Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Monday, December 1, 2014

The Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra’s Next Chapter

Music Kristi Kates Celebrating 12 years producing live orchestra performances for the Petoskey community, the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra continues to grow with the recent addition of Anne McDevitt as the organization’s executive director and the appointment of Dr. Libor Ondras, originally from Slovakia, as the new music director and conductor.
Monday, November 24, 2014

Four Questions About Record Collecting Up North

Music Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Rush’s 2112 and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. “Dark Side of the Moon, I can’t keep in stock. And I don’t get many of them, so I’d probably sell as many of those as Fleetwood Mac, but I don’t get them,” said RPM Records Owner Greg Walton.
Monday, November 24, 2014

The Ragbirds Are a Travelin' Machine

Music Kristi Kates Multiple appearances at Blissfest and other Up North venues have made the Ragbirds familiar faces around the northern Michigan music scene, despite being based in Ann Arbor. The last time Northern Express spoke with the band, they were in the middle of promoting their then-new album, Finally Almost Ready, and were taking their sound to stages in 20 states.
Sunday, November 16, 2014

African Rhythms

Guitar Summit Offers Journey Through the Sounds of a Continent

Music Kristi Kates “A producer named Todd Fraracci decided to put together a recording project with the best, in his opinion, African guitar players who lived in Canada,” explained Donné Roberts. “It was like a round table. Each of us introduced himself and his song, and we played together like a jam session.
Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ho Ho Holidays

Music Ross Boissoneau You can begin with the biggest show out there, boasting enough lights for a small city, fog to cover the eastern seaboard and blasts of pyrotechnics felt halfway to the back of the arena. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is bringing “The Christmas Attic”.
Sunday, November 2, 2014

Jetty Rae's Determined Climb

Music Kristi Kates Today, she’s leaps and bounds from her early songwriting efforts. While hints of her talent could be faintly heard on a few of the Blackberries songs, since then, she’s heavily expanded on her potential with four additional albums—the newest, 2013’s Climbing Clouds and another (2012’s Drowning in Grain) that made the CMJ Top 200 radio chart.
Sunday, November 2, 2014

The 2014 Women of Rock

Music Kristi Kates While the field of women in rock typically turns over more slowly than that of the men (many female artists hold onto their crowns from year to year with few surfacing to challenge them), this year’s list is a pretty solid mix of stalwarts and newcomers.
Monday, October 27, 2014

Monster Mix!

Music Kristi Kates You’ve played all of your Sound FX tracks on CD, streamed Pandora’s Spooky Symphonies channel for three hours and danced to the “Monster Mash.” Now you’re in dire need of some more modern music to entertain your Halloween guests. Never fear! Express is here with a monstrous mix of two dozen essential cuts for Halloween 2014.
Monday, October 27, 2014

Modern Rock

Music Kristi Kates If you’re looking to get out of town for Halloween, take a road trip to N’awlins for the 2014 Voodoo Music and Arts Experience festival, perfectly timed from Oct. 31 through Nov. 2. This year’s edition of the fest will include headliners Foo Fighters and OutKast, plus additional sets from the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Manchester Orchestra, Twenty One Pilots, Skrillex, Zedd and plenty of others. Bring your own costume and spend your Halloween modern rockin’.
Monday, October 20, 2014

North Perk Brews Up An Open Mic

Music Kristi Kates Open mics can be great platforms for musicians to try out new tunes, get experience in front of an audience or just have a little fun. In Petoskey, however, open mic nights have become something of a rarity. Red Sky Stage and Beards Brewery do hold them occasionally, but North Perk Coffee has just started a regular open mic happening that’s poised to be a Gaslight District hit.
Friday, October 10, 2014

A New Season at BC's Own Venue

They bill themselves as “six boys lost in time, as if they never left 8th grade male choir class.” That’s a pretty accurate description of Traverse City’s The Overtones, a men’s a cappella group existing in perfect harmony since 1990.

Music Kristi Kates “When we acquired the building, we blew eight inches of foam insulation into the ceiling,” she said. “While painting the ceiling girders, we accidentally hit the foam with the paint, and Tony realized that we would not need to install the drop ceiling.
Friday, October 10, 2014

The Overtones: A Musical Time Warp

They bill themselves as “six boys lost in time, as if they never left 8th grade male choir class.” That’s a pretty accurate description of Traverse City’s The Overtones, a men’s a cappella group existing in perfect harmony since 1990.

Music Kristi Kates After graduation, the friends went on to their separate college classes and careers, but, in 2000, they were brought back together by Men of Note’s director Tom Stokes who wanted the members to consider singing as part of a larger group called The Northmen Singers.
Friday, October 10, 2014

Brett Mitchell Sews Up Another Album

Music Kristi Kates “I usually tell people my music is folky, indie pop-rock—whatever that even means any more,” Mitchell laughed. “I have an eclectic taste in music, so I think that comes through in my songwriting."
Monday, October 6, 2014

Go Go Gopherwood!

Music Kristi Kates Just a couple of years later, when people started buying VCRs, attendance waned. So, the decision was made to change the name and start presenting music instead. The first concert took place at a camp just outside Lake City where the organization presented a show by the Lost World String Band.
Monday, September 29, 2014

Loudon Wainwright’s Bluesy Return

Music Kristi Kates Whether you first knew him as Captain Spalding, the “singing surgeon” on the ‘70s TV show M*A*S*H; via his novelty song “Dead Skunk”; or from one of his Grammy nominated albums, you’ll likely recognize the work of Loudon Wainwright III.