Letters

Letters 08-25-14

Save America

I read your paper because it’s free and I enjoy the ads. But I struggle through the left wing tripe that fills every page, from political cartoons to the vitriolic pen of Mr. Tuttle. What a shame this beautiful area of the state has such an abundance of Socialist/democrats. Or perhaps the silent majority chooses to stay silent...

Doom, Yet a Cup Half Full

In the news we are told of the civil unrest at Ferguson, Mo; ISIS war radicals in Iraq and Syria; the great corporate tax heist at home. You name it. Trouble, trouble, everywhere. It seems to me the U.S. Congress is partially to blame...

Uncomfortable Questions

defending the positions of the Israelis vs Hamas are far too narrow. Even Mr. Tuttle seems to have failed in looking deeply into the divide. American media is not biased against Israel, nor or are they pro Palestine or Hamas...

The Evolution of Man Revisited

As the expectations of manhood evolve, so too do the rules of love. In Mr. Holmes’s statement [from “Our Therapist Will See Us Now” in last week’s issue] he narrows the key to a successful relationship to the basic need to have your wants and needs understood, and it is on this point I expand...

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Monday, March 31, 2014

Christopher Cross Sails On

Music Kristi Kates was his triple Grammy Award-winning 1979 soft-rock song, “Sailing,” that put him on the map – and in untold grocery stores, elevators, and doctors’ offices. Now singer/songwriter Christopher Cross is back, promoting a new live two-CD album, “A Night in Paris.
 
Monday, March 31, 2014

Driftwood’s Striking Sound

Music Kristi Kates “The sound stems from a few different things,” said Byrne, who also leads and backs up on vocals. “We have all studied classically, and I think that, combined with our various musical influences, anything from Hendrix to Doc Watson, gives us the sound we have.
 
Monday, September 5, 2011

4Play: Various Artists, Brian Keane, Various Artists, Simon and Garfunkel

Music Kristi Kates Various Artists - America: A Tribute to Heroes - Interscope
Big-scale concerts - especially those with a long list of equally big names - can take up to a year to organize. But when duty calls, musicians and organizers can definitely step up to the plate and deliver, as they did with this heartfelt and surprisingly subdued presentation, which took place on September 21, 2001. Broadcast commercial-free by all four major US TV networks, the event took place on a stage lit by hundreds of candles, and featured moving performances by Neil Young (John Lennon’s “Imagine”), Wyclef Jean (“Redemption Song”), Bruce Springsteen (“My City of Ruins”), and U2’s emotional medley of “Peace on Earth”/”Walk On.”
 
Monday, August 29, 2011

Early Start to the Stupid Season

Music Steven Tuttle Early Start to the Stupid Season
The political Stupid Season, usually reserved for election years, is off to an early start.
Most of the stupidity is more silly than destructive. But not all of it.
When Sarah Palin told us that Paul Revere was “...shootin and ringin’ those bells...” to “warn the British” it likely didn’t help her much but, aside from that, it was just a harmless flub.
The impact is about the same when Michelle Bachmann confuses John Wayne with John Wayne Gacy or mistakes Elvis’ birthday with the anniversary of his death. It provides fuel for her political adversaries who delight in her every misstatement and bit of fractured syntax. It is certainly no help to Rep. Bachmann. But in the larger scope of things her occasional, inaccurate blathering is mostly meaningless.
There is another level of stupidity that is somewhat less benign. Vice President Joe Biden gave an excellent example of that next level when he claimed recalcitrant Republicans, unwilling to go along with the administration’s budget proposals, were behaving like “terrorists.” C’mon, Joe.
Republicans are not terrorists nor have they behaved like terrorists. The suggestion they are is both stupid and dishonest and added absolutely nothing to the debate. (Actually, they were behaving like obstinate brats but that’s a different issue.)
Then there’s the final level of stupidity – intentionally dishonest stupidity.
 
Monday, August 29, 2011

Jazz It Up at the Grand with Arturo Sandoval

Music Kristi Kates Born in Cuba, influenced by the likes of Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, jazz trumpeter/pianist Arturo Sandoval is bringing his Latin jazz/classical fusion to Mackinac Island for a performance that’s sure to be a standout.
If you don’t already recognize Sandoval’s music, you might recognize his personage from the 2000 TV movie For Love or Country: The Arturo Sandoval Story, in which Sandoval was portrayed by actor Andy Garcia (whose co-stars in the film included Gloria Estefan and Scarface actor Steven Bauer.)
The movie told the story of Sandoval’s life up to his emigration to the U.S., as he became a fixture in Cuba’s jazz scene and solidified his own career. Sandoval’s mentor, Dizzy Gillespie (whom he is most often compared to), took the musician on the road with him early on for concerts in Cuba and across Europe.
His eclectic, fine-tuned musical stylings are part of why the Island’s Grand Hotel chose Sandoval to help close the summer season and welcome in the hotel’s fall events.
 
Monday, August 29, 2011

Lollapalooza

Music Kristi Kates Arriving in Chicago for the 20th Anniversary of the ambitious and now classic Lollapalooza Festival (August 5-7), this intrepid reporter - and 89,999 other music fans - were pleased to see that the Lolla grounds were sunny, expanded into more sections of the park than previous years, funkily decorated, brightly colored, and all ready to go for a weekend’s worth of fantastic music, food, and fun.
So what would the fest’s highlights be for 2011? One of the headliners, or would a second-stager or a newbie grab all the attention? Would Chow Town’s foodstuffs live up to the reputation of Lolla Culinary Director Graham Eliot? Would 90,000 people daily be able to co-exist in beautiful Grant Park without incident? And - perhaps most pivotally - would it rain?
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

Suds & Song

Music Rick Coates The festival season is winding down and and putting an exclamation mark on
a stellar summer of events is the Third Annual Traverse City Microbrew &
Music Festival.
The brainchild of Sam Porter and Porterhouse Productions, the festival
will take place this weekend, August 26 & 27, at the Village at Grand
Traverse Commons. The Microbrew & Music Festival will feature over 50
craft breweries, wineries, cider and mead makers along with 10 local
eateries.
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

BJ Thomas

Music Rick Coates B.J. Thomas:Still Hooked on a Feeling
By Rick Coates
B.J. Thomas has one of the most distinctive voices in popular music
history. His vocal talents have helped him reach the top of the pop,
country and Christian charts over his 45-year recording career. It has
been 25 years since his last Top 10 hit but Thomas’s popularity has not
waned with his fans as he continues to tour the country performing to
sold-out venues.


 
Monday, August 22, 2011

Guster

Music Kristi Kates Guster set to blow Interlochen away
By Kristi Kates
Massachusetts alt-rockers Guster are on their way back to Interlochen for another show, and they couldn’t be more thrilled about it. The band - Adam Gardner, Ryan Miller, and Brian Rosenworcel, met back in 1991, and have played music together ever since, releasing their first album in 1995, and their most recent last year (2010’s Easy Wonderful.)
If you think you’re not familiar with Guster’s music, chances are you’ve heard it in stealth mode on such TV shows as The OC (or on a recent ad for The Weather Channel), or on movies such as Martian Child and Disturbia. If you’re intrigued and want to get familiar with their music, then their upcoming Interlochen show will be a great start, as the band is still breaking in the contributions of new touring member Luke Reynolds, and will be performing a wealth of music new and old.
 
Monday, August 22, 2011

4Play: Blue October, I Wrestled a Bear Once, Dave Matthews Band, Augustana

Music Kristi Kates Blue October - Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening with Blue October - Red General
Recorded at the band’s first “official” acoustic shows at a couple of different locales in Texas, this set showcases their tunes in both a different setting and with a different vocal approach. They’re not “ugly” versions of the songs, although they are unplugged - this serves the songs and their arrangements well, especially on “Come In Closer,” which seems more personal with the absence of the female singer on the full version; “X Amount of Words,” which adds in a shakeup in the bass line; the popular “Jump Rope”; and the evocative, emotional “The End.” It’s a nice acoustic roundup of what this band can do without their full sound.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Mickey Hart

Music Rick Coates There is no “mailing it in” with Mickey Hart, the percussion guru of the
Grateful Dead, who could easily cash in year after year touring and
playing the hits of his former band.
“What’s the point of always doing the same thing? I don’t eat my favorite
meal everyday; I explore different foods in search of my new favorite
meal, and that is my approach to music,” said Hart. “My whole life I have
constantly been exploring different types of music, even during my
Grateful Dead days.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Brent James

Music Rick Coates It was just two years ago this weekend that musicians from all over Northern Michigan were gathering at Union Street Station to jam. The reason was a benefit for fellow musician Jason Kott.
In late July of 2009, Kott, who was 34 at the time and a popular bass player and musician on the Northern Michigan scene, was headed home to Traverse City from Petoskey the day after a gig when another car turned head on into him. The accident was serious, breaking his ankle, eight ribs and two vertebrae.
Lucky just to survive, Kott, a full time professional musician, was forced to cancel a full slate of paying gigs for the rest of the year. In addition to his solo work Kott was a member of Brent James and The Contraband and they were scheduled to go into the studio.
“We had been working so hard to get our big break and then I break myself up and there was no way I was going to let this opportunity pass by,” said Kott. “I toughed it out and was far from being healed and went to Nashville to record the record.”’

DEBUT ALBUM
The fruits of that labor have paid off as their debut album “Moments of Silence” was released to stores and itunes two weeks ago and their first single, the title track of the CD, hit radio stations this week.
Now Kott will retrace his travels from two years ago as Brent James and The Contraband will perform Thursday and Friday night at Union Street Station in Traverse City. On Saturday they will headline the Festival by the Bay in Petoskey.
“I am not sure they will let me drive the van,” said Kott. “We are excited about coming home as we have been out touring with Alice Cooper and we did all the west coast dates with Ted Nugent earlier this summer.”
Kott grew up in Traverse City where he was active in music at TC Senior High School. After graduating in 1993 he headed off to Albion where he majored in classical voice. He returned to Traverse City where he has spent the past 14 years performing solo and as part of several bands from Dawn Campbell to Ron Getz and even a stint with The Bihlman Bros., among others.
“I am still doing the occasional solo gig around here but I have now put all my eggs in this basket,” said Kott. “And for good reason, Brent is an exceptional singer and guitar player plus we have Mike P on guitars and Matt Hayes who is also from Traverse City on drums and both of those guys are awesome.”
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

4Play: Gorillaz, Monolake, We The Kings, The Head & The Heart

Music Kristi Kates Gorillaz - The Fall - V Records
Recorded during Gorillaz’ last autumn tour, this album is a sonic “diary” of sorts, and features an eclectic range of Gorillaz tracks, some only at demo level, some solo Damon Albarn, and some more fully developed into actual Gorillaz songs. The songs are short and to the point, unlike some of the other Gorillaz albums, but that’s not a bad thing; and because the album was recorded mostly on the fly, it’s far more electronic in its base sounds, with plenty of synth and what seems like more loops than their last set. Highlights include the incongrously bright “Detroit,” the horns-graced “The Snake in Dallas,” and the trip-hop “Hillbilly Man.”

 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Poor standards

Music Stephen Tuttle So, now we’ve been “downgraded” by the estimable Standard and Poor’s
(S&P). We’ve fallen from a top-of-the-line AAA rating to AA+. No one is
certain exactly how far the ripples from this will extend. The giant
mortgage houses known as Freddie Mac (Federal Home Mortgage Association)
and Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association) have already been
similarly downgraded.
 
Monday, August 15, 2011

Micky Free

Music Rick Coates Micki Free might be the best guitarist no one has ever heard of -- well
the general public that is. Mention his name to people in the business,
such as Joe Perry of Aerosmith, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Bill Wyman of
The Rolling Stones fame and they will all sing his praises. In fact, all
three legends are currently working on projects with Micki Free.
Ask KISS frontman Gene Simmons his thoughts on Micki Free and a smile will
come over him.
 
 
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