Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


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Monday, June 27, 2011

Musical Roots on the River in Manistee

Music Kristi Kates Roots on the River is the moniker that’s been given to a relatively new
music series in Manistee, at the impetus of two locals who simply wanted
to bring more music to the community.
“In 2007, Noah Joseph and I decided that with so many talented musicians
in Michigan, we wanted to support them,” organizer Erin Garcia explains.
“Recently joining the Manistee Jaycees, we thought this would be a great
community project to initiate. The community has really embraced Roots on
the River, and we are now celebrating our fifth season.”
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

Free Summer Concerts Charlotte Ross Lee?s musical legacy

Music Kristi Kates The Charlotte Ross Lee Concert Series at Pennsylvania Park in downtown
Petoskey was the dream of its namesake.
“She was the champion of this community event,” explains Carlin Smith,
president of the Petoskey Regional Chamber of Commerce. “She raised the
money, booked the shows, and made all of the preparations. I look at it as
Charlotte’s legacy - a gift she left to our community.”
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

4Play: Third Day, Antlers, Brandon Heath, Gus Gus

Music Kristi Kates Third Day - Move - Provident
Third Day’s 11th set, recorded in the band’s own studio in Georgia, features 12 tracks that blend together heavy, Southern-rock influenced instrumentals with soulful, introspective, pensive lyrics and hooks, with a focus on faith. While the songs here are very specifically focused and solid in their beliefs - some of the most inspirational being “Surrender,” “What Have You Got To Lose,” and “Don’t Give Up Hope” - the album adds yet another dimension via the band’s collaboration with The Blind Boys of Alabama on “Lift Up Your Face,” and encouraging tune that showcases both the band’s traditional rock abilities and their positive attitude.
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

Seamus Shinners: The Man Behind the Music

Music Rick Coates Just mention his name in certain music circles and one will quickly find
that Seamus Shinners is a legend. He may not be a household name in
Northern Michigan, but there is a good chance over the past 20 years if
you are an aficionado of music you have attended at least one of the more
than 500 concerts he has presented around the region.
The founder of Connemara Concerts, Shinners has brought an eclectic
collection of performers, from Greg Brown to Second City to Lynn Miles to
Chris Smither to name just a few. His quiet but passionate demeanor has
helped shape the culture of the music scene in the region. While
concertgoers from the area have benefitted so have the performers Shinners
has brought in. 
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

Nocturnal Jazz A night of sight and sound at the Dennos

Music Erin Crowell Having grown up in California and experiencing the all-senses performance
of The Blue Oyster Cult and laser light show of Pink Floyd, Stosh — a
Traverse City artist who moved to the area in 1993 — knew firsthand that
an audience at a jazz concert could experience more than
just sound.
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

4Play: Moby, Blondie, Above & Beyond, BT

Music Kristi Kates Moby - Destroyed - Mute
Moby’s latest set is a thematic one, focusing on the busy musician’s many hours spent in spare hotel rooms, impersonal airport lounges, and in transit. All of the songs were written on the road - many fueled by Moby’s insomnia - and many are also accompanied by photographs that Moby took, which can be acquired via a separate photography book of the same name. Opening the album is the evocative instrumental piece “The Broken Places” (several other “just” instrumentals are also included here, the best being “Sevastopol”); also included are danceable tracks “After” and “Blue Moon,” and the more introspective “When You Are Old.”
 
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

Meredith Fierke?s Triple Threat

Music Kristi Kates By Kristi Kates

Singer-songwriter Meredith Fierke grew up in the small town of Northfield, Minnesota, and has been writing and singing songs for “as long as I can remember.” 
“I learned to love music by listening to it obsessively as a kid,” she explains, “I loved the radio; I would tape my favorite songs by holding my radio speakers up next to the tape recorder. What would come back was a crackling ‘far away’ version of the songs that I would sing along with over and over again. But it wasn’t until I decided to write and record my first album (The Procession, 2008) that I really started learning the art of recording and collaborating with other musicians.”
Today, Fierke is a busily ambitious musician, collaborating with a father-son team who make up her trio. She’ll be performing in Petoskey at the Crooked Tree Arts Center this Thursday.
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

Stripped-down Cracker brings acoustic rock to Legs Inn

Music Rick Coates In the early ‘80s when major record companies were trying to get every band to sound the same, the indie-rock scene emerged to counter the money-oriented music industry. As commercial radio embraced the homogenized rock sounds, college radio and MTV were busy ushering in the independent labels, with such bands as R.E.M. and U2, among others, leading the way. 
Another band that was part of the second generation of the indie-rock scene was Cracker founded by vocalist and songwriter David Lowery and guitarist Johnny Hickman. Formed in 1991, Cracker signed with Virgin Records and released their self-titled debut CD in 1992 with alternative rock hits “Happy Birthday to Me” and “Teen Angst.”  Cracker would become best known for their platinum-selling album, “Kerosene Hat”  in 1993, which featured the hit songs “Low”, “Euro-Trash Girl”, and “Get Off This.”
Lowery and Hickman will head to Northern Michigan on Friday June 24 at Legs Inn (Cross Village, north of Harbor Springs) with a special version of Cracker.
“Johnny and I do a stripped down version of Cracker. I can’t afford to bring the full band to a small venue in Northern Michigan so this works. we call it Cracker Duo,” said David Lowery. “It gives us a chance to play out of the way places and we still rock out, we are not sitting on stools we are standing up and jamming. Our fans love this, they view the Cracker Duo as a separate entity from Cracker. This format gives us an opportunity to play a different set of songs, of course w
 
Monday, June 20, 2011

Val du Lakes

Music Rick Coates It has been 15 years since Val Du Lakes hosted their last summer concert
series. The popular concert and camping venue located just south of
Pentwater (two hours from Traverse City) is back after a long hiatus. The
16-week concert series kicked off in May with the return of Pop Evil, from
neighboring Ludington that has hit the big time, and concerts will
continue through the end of August.
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

4Play: Gomez, Dave Alvin, Bon Iver, Matt Nathanson

Music Kristi Kates Gomez - Whatever’s On Your Mind - ATO/Red
Although they’re probably best known as a British band, Gomez’ bandmates are actually scattered across a couple of countries, with its members now living in the UK, L.A., and NY. Fortunately for them, they had a common production ground in producer Sam Farrar, who helped them bring together this, their latest album. Recorded primarily in a remote studio locale in Virginia, this is both a smoother and more experimental set than previous efforts, with new in-band approaches taken to horns and guitars (“Options”), synth/strings (“Our Goodbye”), and electronica (“Song in my Heart.”) It’s fresh, eclectic, and interesting.
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Elvis Costello

Music Rick Coates When Elvis Costello takes the stage at Interlochen’s Kresge Auditorium on
Tuesday June 21 to kick off the music portion of their Summer Arts
Celebration, his eclectic approach will be a fitting tribute to
Interlochen’s summer concert series.
The 2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee has extended his popular
“Revolver Tour” to include Interlochen and other dates this summer and for
the first time in 25 years he is bringing along his “Spectacular Spinning
Songbook.” This carnival-like atmosphere will feature a gigantic game-show
wheel with 40 song titles on it ranging from hits to rarities to covers.
Concertgoers will be invited up on stage to spin the wheel to help create
the setlist for the evening and then after spinning the wheel they have
the option to hear their song while hanging out in the “Hostage to Fortune
Go-Go Cage,” or taking a seat at the “Society Lounge,” where light
refreshments are served.
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Soul Patch

Music Kristi Kates Soul Patch brings maximum grooves to Northern Express Minifest
By Kristi Kates
“Soul Patch has been a long and interesting journey,” begins Soul Patch singer Christopher “Wink” Winkelmann. The band, a Traverse City hometown favorite, began as a two-piece acoustic act made up of Winkelmann and Michael “Mando” Peck (on guitar and mandolin), and evolved into a two-piece with a whole lot of guest musicians sitting in.
“We are still in TC and probably always will be. This is our home and we love ‘Da Mitten!’” Winkelmann says.
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Motley‘s Crue pays Tribute to Bad Boys of rock

Music Rick Coates The “Original Bad Boy’s of Rock-n-Roll,” Mtley Cre are currently out headlining a major summer concert tour. Following right behind them is Motley’s Crue -- the newest entry in the Mtley Cre tribute scene.
“Our booking agency, A Plus Entertainment, located in Northern Michigan, had been getting a lot of requests for a Mtley Cre tribute band the past couple of years,” said Sarah Adkins. “We started looking for musicians in Northern Michigan and found the right mix of guys to look and sound the part of all the members of Mtley Cre.”
Calling themselves Motley’s Crue, they will perform Saturday June 18 at Ground Zero inside The Streeters Center in Traverse City. They will be joined by In The Name Of: the Ultimate Black Sabbath Tribute Band.
“What we have booked are shows near and around the actual Mtley Cre tour and we will be giving away tickets at Ground Zero for their Grand Rapids show,” said Adkins.

BIG HAIR SCENE
The real Mtley Cre formed in 1981 by bassist Nikki Six and drummer Tommy Lee and recruited lead guitarist Mick Mars and lead singer Vince Neil to join them. The Cre helped to usher in the hair metal scene of the ’80s with such hits as “Shout At The Devil,” “Looks That Kill,” and “Girls, Girls,Girls.”
Now faux Mtley Cre is just coming off their second show but the demand for them is already there. Taking a page out the KISS playbook band members are remaining anonymous and even wearing costumes on stage.
“We go into character an hour or so before the show,” said Jim (plays the Vince Neil part). “We are still working everything out. our Tommy Lee guy got too into his character and was a little too intoxicated at our last show.”
The popularity of tribute bands continues and the economy is a big factor.
“We are charging $8 in advance to see two great tribute bands,” said Jim. “Mtley Cre tickets are going for $65 to $100 apiece for this tour and if you were to add Black Sabbath to the mix it would easily be $150 a ticket. People are tight with their dollars right now so this is very affordable entertainment.”
Early reviews have been positive with attendees at their last show commenting on how closely they resemble the real Mtley Cre. Lead singer Jim has been a part of several successful tribute bands and says he finds it easy to emulate the actual singers.
“I liken it to my martial arts training. In martial arts you go to great lengths to study your opponent,” said Jim. “I master their mannerism and then get their vocal sounds down it is actually easier than it looks.”
Jim’s success as tribute band singer has led to the actual acts to call upon him. He was runner up in the search for Journey’s new lead singer a few years ago. Now, Black Sabbath is reforming and he is the front runner to take lead singer role originally held by Ozzy Osbourne and also Ronnie James Dio who recently passed away.
 
Monday, June 13, 2011

Michigan Music Fests Are Rockin? Along

Music Kristi Kates 2010 said bye-bye to Rothbury - but fortunately for Michigan music fans, a replacement fest has sprung up in its place, even in the same locale (see “Electric Forest Festival” below) for 2011. Other events celebrated their longevity in 2010 (happy 30th birthday, Blissfest) and are still going strong this year. Stack ‘em all together, and you’ve got another great selection of 2011 Michigan music fests to choose from, whether you choose to stay Up North or venture downstate in search of an even wider variety of tunes and venues.
 
Monday, June 6, 2011

MacPodz

Music Kristi Kates The five members of the band that would become the MacPodz - Brennan
Andes, Nick Ayers, Jesse Clayton, Ross Huff, and Griffin Bastian - spent
much of the latter half of 2005 backing up various singer-songwriters and
other performers around Ann Arbor, including poet/social activist John
Sinclair.
“We all really enjoyed each other’s musical stylings and late-night
antics,” explains percussionist Ayers, “and we just started palling around
more often.”
 
 
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