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, 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.
 
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.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Cherry Poppin‘ Daddies

Music Rick Coates Paella in the Park sold out last year in its debut with John Popper and
Blues Traveler headlining an evening that featured local wines, paellas
and West Bay as a strong supporting cast. The event this year returns
Friday, August 5 at the former Clinch Park Zoo site in TC, and with
vocalist Steve Perry taking the stage, it is certain to be a sell-out
again. 
Now this particular Steve Perry is with the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the
best-selling swing band, whose smash hit album “Zoot Suit Riot” sold over
two million copies in the U.S. and spent 53 weeks on the Billboard charts,
helping to usher in the swing dance craze to a new generation.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

RFD Boys

Music Rick Coates With another successful Traverse City Film Festival now in the rearview
mirror, movie enthusiasts will look to the Frankfort Film Festival at the
end of October to get their film fix. The Third Annual Frankfort Film
Festival will take place at the recently renovated Garden Theater which
has been offering first-run films in Frankfort for the first time in
years.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

George Cole

Music Kristi Kates He’s toured with Joe Walsh of The Eagles, was guitar instructor/mentor to Green Day, performed with Buster Poindexter, and recorded with Chris Isaak. But guitarist/vocalist/composer/producer George Cole is poised to perhaps become best known for his own work with his George Cole Quintet, a group he’s put together to interpret the sounds of great American classic songs through a musical filter that’s all his own.
Comprised of Jimmy Grant (“he brings the power,” Cole says), Chris Bastian (“connectivity”), Stephan Dudash (“virtuosity”), Mary Jenson (“melody”) and Cole (“I bring the flash,” he laughs), the five musicians focus on a sound that Cole has developed - one that he’s dubbed ‘Eurocana.’
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Lollapalooza

Music Kristi Kates Big, big numbers are being projected for this year’s 20th Anniversary Lollapalooza Festival (August 5-7) in Chicago, which serves as pretty much the Midwest’s only truly gigantic claim to summer music festival fame, with Rothbury’s Electric Forest Fest aiming at second place. Lolla keeps aiming at bigger and bigger goals, and this year’s no exception.
If 90,000 tickets sold per each day of Lolla’s three-day run sounds like a lot to you, you’re right - last year’s record was 240,000 people over the weekend; a sold-out show this year would result in a three-day attendance of 270,000. So patience will definitely be a virtue - but it’ll be worth it to see Lolla’s once again standout lineup.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

4Play: James Blunt, Old 97‘s, Kaiser Chiefs, Incubus

Music Kristi Kates James Blunt - Some Kind of Trouble - Atlantic
Twelve fresh songs arrive from Brit singer-songwriter on this set, with production by Steve Robson and songs penned by Blunt himself. People tend to be polarized regarding Blunt’s music, mostly due to the inescapable presence of his biggest hit, “You’re Beautiful”; but it’s not fair to hold that against him when he does have such skill at crafting indie-pop ballads. The jangling guitars of “Stay the Night” open the set, which movies right into the peppy (for Blunt) “Dangerous” and “I’ll Be Your Man.” And those ballads are certainly present - the highlights being “No Tears,” “Best Laid Plans,” and the Americana-tinged “If Time Is All We Have.”

 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Maybe August, Definitely Music

Music Kristi Kates “We used to just make stuff up,” Maybe August’s Rosco (no last name, please) says by way of explaining the origin of their band name, “you know - a different story for everyone who asked.” But the best of all, he continues, was when the media picked up a tall tale about a famous (nonexistant) connection.
“The story got out that we had been named by (actress) Halle Berry,” Rosco chuckles. “We were just messing around with the journalist who was interviewing us, but a lot of media outlets picked it up and that one went on for a while.”
 
 
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