Letters

Letters 09-01-2014

Hamas Shares Some Blame

Even when I disagree with Mr. Tuttle, I always credit him with a degree of fairness. Unfortunately, in his piece regarding the Palestinian/Israeli conflict he falls well short of offering any insights that might advance his readers’ understanding of the conflict...

The True Northport

I was disappointed by your piece on Northport. While I agree that the sewer system had a big impact on the village, I don’t agree with your “power of retirees” position. I see that I am thrown in with the group of new businesses started by “well-off retirees” and I feel that I have been thoroughly misrepresented, as has the village...

Conservatives and Obamacare

What is it about Obamacare that sends conservatives over the edge? There are some obvious answers...

Republican Times

I read the letter from Don Turner of Beulah and it seems he lives in that magical part of the Fox News Universe where no matter how many offices the Republican Party controls they are not responsible for anything bad that happens...

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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.”
 
Monday, June 6, 2011

4Play: The Go-Go‘s, The Kinks, Stevie Nicks, Pat Benetar

Music Kristi Kates The Go-Go’s- Beauty and the Beat: 30th Anniversary Edition - Capitol
It’s the 30th anniversary of this landmark Go-Go’s album - so what better
way to celebrate than with a remastered disc plus a bonus concert disc
from one of the band’s early ’80s live shows? Belinda Carlisle and her
bandmates really set the bar for their own brand of candy-pop, perfectly
frosted with surf-worthy guitar riffs, solid beats, and Carlisle’s
distinctive trill on studio tracks like the bright “We Got the Beat” and
“This Town”; the live disc adds another catchy, sugary layer with
now-classic Go-Go’s songs like “Vacation,” “Cool Jerk,” and “Let’s Have a
Party” arriving time-capsule-style from one of their peppy ’80s-era Boston
shows.
 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Minifest concert series

Music The Northern Express MiniFest will present some of the best of local music over the course of four Thursday evenings in June in a free concert series to be held at Lay Park in Traverse City’s Old Town.
“We’re inviting everyone to come down and to hear some great music in the park and celebrate the 20th anniversary of Northern Express Weekly,” said George Foster, co-publisher of the free newsweekly. Co-sponsoring the series is the Traverse City Parks & Recreation Commission.
The acoustic-oriented concerts will be held from 7-9 p.m. on Thursdays June 9-30 in Lay Park on Union Street (the tiny park just south of the Union Street dam).     The lineup includes Sour Mash (June 9), Soul Patch (June 16), Miriam Pico and David Chown (June 23) and the Fresh Fossils (June 30).  Warming up the shows will be the Acoustic Dynamite duo and special guests.
 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Into The Mystic

Music Kristi Kates Formed six years ago in the Muskegon area, the reggae powerhouse known as
Mystic Dub - comprised of Raya True (vocals/keyboards), William Jeannot
(guitar), Kosta Karis (bass), and Juan Carlos (vocals/drums) began their
musical journey by playing regional venues.
 
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

4Play: Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi, Death Cab for Cutie, David Guetta, Deadmau5

Music Kristi Kates Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi - Rome - Capitol
Italian film music and spaghetti westerns were the influences behind this collaboration between Brian Burton (Danger Mouse) and Italian talent Luppi. Actually recorded in Rome (on top of the other inspirations), the pair worked with an eye toward copying the recording practices of the late ‘60s, recording live to tape and using mostly vintage gear. Another component of the album were the vocals, contributed by Jack White (“Two Against One,” “The World”) and Norah Jones (“Season’s Trees,” “Problem Queen”), as well as soprano Edda Dell’Orso, making for a pop (yes, pop!) record full of depth and complexity.
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Taylor Hicks

Music Rick Coates America continues its fascination with American Idol as it continues week
in and week out to be the number one watched show on television. This
season’s finale will take place Wednesday, May 25 with the 10th winner
being selected. Past finale shows have brought back previous winners, but
producers are remaining silent as to who might be coming back this year. 
There is no secret, however, that season five winner (2006) Taylor Hicks
will be coming to Northern Michigan this weekend to perform at the Little
River Casino in Manistee on Sunday night. With a clear schedule for
Wednesday night and a tour that currently has him on the West Coast, the
speculation is that Hicks will make an Idol appearance Wednesday night.
“I will keep that a surprise for now; the show producers like to keep
things a secret so I guess people will just have to tune in and watch,”
said Hicks. “I will give you this bit of information: I am coming to
Northern Michigan and looking forward to that.”
 
 
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