Letters

Letters 11-24-2014

Dangerous Votes You voted for Dr. Dan. Thanks!Rep. Benishek failed to cosponsor H.R. 601. It stops subsidies for big oil companies. He failed to cosponsor H.R. 1084. There is an exemption for hydraulic fracturing written into the Safe Drinking Water Act. H.R. 1084. It would require the contents of fracking fluids to be publicly disclosed to protect the public health.

Solar Is The Answer There have been many excellent letters about the need for our region, state and nation to take action on climate change. Now there is a viable solution to this ever-growing problem: Solar energy is the future.

Real Minimum Wage In 1966, a first class stamp cost 5 cents and minimum wage was $1.25. Today, a first class stamp is 49 cents, so federal minimum wage should be $11.25.

Doesn’t Seem Warmer I enjoy the “environmentalists” twisting themselves into pretzels trying to convince us that it is getting warmer. Sure it is... 

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Monday, April 14, 2014

Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson to Return to Interlochen

Music Ross Boissoneau Another favorite is preeminent banjo player Bela Fleck. Fleck has performed with a wide range of musicians, from contemporary bluegrass pioneers New Grass Revival to jazz pianist Chick Corea. He’s touring with Corea through the end of this month before heading out on dates with fellow banjoist Abigail Washburn.
 
Monday, April 7, 2014

Broadway Dolls Bring Great White Way to TC

Music Kristi Kates “When I left the role of Penny Pingleton in ‘Hairspray’ on Broadway, I was at the height of my career, and wanted to conquer the world,” said Howard, an MSU alum and the Dolls’ president. “Well, I didn’t work for a year and learned very quickly the downside of the entertainment business.
 
Monday, March 31, 2014

Acoustic Royalty at Dennos

When it comes to authentic American music, Ken Burns, National Public Radio, and Hollywood have all turned to folk duo Jay and Molly.

Music Kristi Kates Since a chance meeting 30 years ago, Emmy nominees Molly Mason and Jay Ungar have played together on a number of NPR shows, several movie soundtracks (including “Legends of the Fall” and “Brother’s Keeper”) and saw their track “Ashokan Farewell” selected as the main theme music for Ken Burns’ acclaimed PBS documentary “The Civil War.
 
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.”
 
 
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