Letters

Letters 10-20-2014

Doctor Dan? After several email conversations with Rep. Benishek, he has confirmed that he doesn’t have a clue of what he does. Here’s why...

In Favor Of Our Parks [Traverse] City Proposal 1 is a creative way to improve our city parks without using our tax dollars. By using a small portion of our oil and gas royalties from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund, our parks can be improved for our children and grandchildren.

From January 1970 Popular Mechanics: “Drastic climate changes will occur within the next 50 years if the use of fossil fuels keeps rising at current rates.” That warning comes from Eugene K. Peterson of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management.

Newcomers Might Leave: Recently we had guests from India who came over as students with the plan to stay in America. He has a master’s degree in engineering and she is doing her residency in Chicago and plans to specialize in oncology. They talked very candidly about American politics and said that after observing...

Someone Is You: On Sept 21, I joined the 400,000 who took to the streets of New York in the People’s Climate March, followed by a UN Climate Summit and many speeches. On October 13, the Pentagon issued a report calling climate change a significant threat to national security requiring immediate action. How do we move from marches, speeches and reports to meaningful work on this problem? In NYC I read a sign with a simple answer...

Necessary To Pay: Last fall, Grand Traverse voters authorized a new tax to fix roads. It is good, it is necessary.

The Real Reasons for Wolf Hunt: I have really been surprised that no one has been commenting on the true reason for the wolf hunt. All this effort has not been expended so 23 wolves can be killed each year. Instead this manufactured controversy about the wolf hunt has been very carefully crafted to get Proposal 14-2 passed.

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Music

 
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.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Rufus Wainwright

Music Kristi Kates House of Rufus is a new box set collection of a half-dozen studio albums, two live albums, six DVDs, and four extra albums of previously unreleased material that hit stores earlier this year.
“Rufus,” of course, is singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, he of the elegant, operatic-pop songs, rich tenor vocals, and stylish piano skills.
A few weeks ago, Wainwright took what’s best referred to as a “House of Rufus experience” to the Royal Opera House in London, a five-night series of live performances that made him the first solo artist to take up a musical residency there. Special guest appearances by Wainwright’s father, the famed Loudon Wainwright III; his sister, Martha Wainwright; and his half-sister Lucy Wainwright Roche added to the glitz and glamour of the shows, while the Britten Sinfonia chamber orchestra provided the musical backdrop.
Wainwright, as colorful an interviewee as he is a performer, considered the shows a huge success - and he’s not shy about saying so.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Interlochen looks ahead to fall

Music Interlochen looks ahead to Fall
With summer halfway over, Interlochen Center for the Arts has announced
its fall/winter schedule, a blend of music, dance and theater.
Here’s what to expect between September and May:

Guster • September 2 • Kresge Auditorium
Offering indie pop; now in its 15th year, the band is a perennial favorite
with the 20-something set.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Colt Ford

Music Rick Coates Real country musicians have an edge and attitude. Just ask Colt Ford, the
Georgia-based former professional golfer turned country singer. Of course,
Ford has to have an attitude since his way doesn’t fit the corporate
profile Nashville looks for in today’s country superstars.
“Yeah you could say I am on the outside looking,” said Ford. “Country
music today is still using that big corporate model that was developed in
the ’80s where they tell you how to look, sound and what to do. There are
very few independent country artists that have much success. It is a very
corporate world with a few people making all the decisions.”
Ford is frustrated trying to find his place.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

4Play: Duran Duran, A-ha, Brian Eno, OMD

Music Kristi Kates Duran Duran - All You Need is Now - S-Curve Records
The original ‘80s Brit-synth-popsters, Duran Duran haven’t slowed down much since their Aqua Net days. Catch is, they’ve spent a lot of that time trying to reinvent themselves when they really didn’t need to. Now that ‘80s music is making a genuine comeback, perhaps their trademark sound will catch fire once again, if this album’s any indication of their continuing skills. Produced by Kaiser Chiefs/Adele cohort Mark Ronson, these new D2 songs catch the ear immediately, from the title track to “The Man Who Stole a Leopard,” the synth-y ballad “Before the Rain,” and the pretty “Mediterranea.” It’s a successful return to their Duranie roots.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Dunegrass

Music Rick Coates Since its formation 18 years ago the Dunegrass Music Festival has changed
its name (formally the Sleeping Bear Dunegrass & Blues Festival) twice; is
now on its third promoter (a former promoter is spending seven years in
federal prison); has moved to its fourth location; and is now in a totally
different county. 
For current organizer Ryan Lake he chuckles and says the roots of the past
have made Dunegrass stronger and wiser.
 
 
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