Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Rockin‘ for Darfur

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The second annual Rock for Darfur initiative kicked off last week, with a slate of a whopping 37 worldwide concerts set to raise money for the humanitarian crisis in the Sudan. Last year’s effort raised nearly $50,000; the hope is that all of these shows will surpass that this year. Events included Fall Out Boy in Bridgeport, CT; Hot Hot Heat in Glasgow; Charlie Hunter in Milan, Italy; Mute Math in Dallas, TX; Suzanne Vega in Seattle; and The Decemberists at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC. Wanna get all the show reports and more info on how you can help? Check it all out online at www.myspace.com/rockfordarfur...

 
Thursday, November 8, 2007

Gorillaz heading for retirement?

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Gorillaz are busily buying that shuffleboard wardrobe and working on their bingo skills in preparation for the release of their last album - and their entry into band retirement - on November 20. Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett have decided it’s time for Gorillaz to be no longer, so V Records’ D-Sides will be Gorillaz’ last album offering (unless something changes, of course, which frequently happens in the land of rock n’ roll). D-Sides will include two discs, the first being a set of B-sides, rarities, and previously unreleased tracks, and the second being a nifty bonus disc of remixes, running Gorillaz’ songs through the ears of such mixmasters as Soulwax, DFA, and Hot Chip. “New” songs will include “We Are Happy Landfill,” “68 State,” “Highway,” and “Spitting Out the Demons.” On another note, Albarn fans won’t have to despair for too long, as the Gorillaz retirement is happening in part so that Albarn can put all of his focus on the upcoming new album with his “old” band, Blur...
 
Thursday, November 1, 2007

Madonna‘s just one of many modern rockin women

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Mega modern rocker Madonna - although she’s always been a trailbreaker - is now taking another step away from the major label conglomerates and is finishing up a deal with her longtime label, Warner Brothers, so that she can leave and pursue her own deal with concert promotion company Live Nation. Although WB still states that Maddie owes ‘em a new album and a greatest hits compilation before she can “leave,” Madonna is already heading on over to her new $120 million deal with Live Nation, a deal that will enable her to really direct her own career path from this point on and will include all aspects of her music-based ventures, including albums, DVDs, touring, merchandising, and more, making this the first time that all of Madonna’s career will be handled by one company. It’s just another nail in the coffin for the flailing “traditional” record industry as more and more musicians are opting to release albums and plan tours on their own terms...
 
Thursday, October 25, 2007

Hanson‘s musical trick or treat

Modern Rock Kristi Kates A “mystery artist” was recently played on Chicago alt-rock station WKQK, with a song titled “The Great Divide” being put up for listener feedback. Within weeks, the song was receiving tons of requests, putting it into the station’s heavy rotation playlist; and it was only then that WKQK announced that the song was performed by long-maligned former teen-rock band Hanson, who have recently released their latest album, The Walk, Needless to say, listeners were surprised, and the band gained a few more grains of respect; and now, they’re in the middle of a U.S. tour, so you can check ‘em out for yourselves...
 
Thursday, October 18, 2007

Rockin‘ Katmandu for charity

Modern Rock Kristi Kates In order to help benefit cancer and leukemia sufferers all over the world, Squeeze’s Glenn Tilbrook, The Alarm’s Mike Peters, Slim Jim Phantom of Stray Cats, Nick Harper, and The Fixx’s Cy Curnin and Jamie West-Oram are planning to head to Katmandu in order to climb Mt. Everest and perform the highest acoustic concert in history. Fourty musicians in all will travel up the mountain, with a portion of the proceeds going to the Bhaktapur Cancer Hospital; Peters himself, has an especially close tie to the project, as he is a cancer survivor and is one of the founders of the Love Hope Strength Foundation. Tilbrook will follow up the Mt. Everest show with a UK tour with his band Squeeze...
 
Thursday, October 11, 2007

Madonna & The Beasties up for Hall of Fame honor

Modern Rock The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its latest set of nominees, which are once again pushing the boundaries of “traditional“ rock and roll, thankfully incorporating many genres of rock to honor landmark musicians of all varieties. This time around, Michigan‘s own Madonna is one of the nine noms, after scoring 17 top ten hits in the ‘80s decade alone, and still cranking out the hits today. In addition to Maddie, NY hip-hopsters The Beastie Boys, rap pioneer Afrika Bambaataa, literate songwriter Leonard Cohen, Brits The Dave Clark Five, and surf-rockers The Ventures are among the potential honorees; the five leading vote-getters will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during their annual ceremony on March 10th, 2008...
 
Thursday, October 11, 2007

4Play

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Counting Crows - August and Everything After: Deluxe Edition - Geffen
The original *August...* was perhaps the best thing Counting Crows ever did, really; which is why it makes sense that they‘d want to revitalize the release and send it back out to find itself a new audience. Remastered for a more crisp, dense sound, the extras include several interesting previously-unreleased demos, including the band‘s cover of Woody Guthrie‘s “This Land is Your Land,“ and some other tracks that, while not landmark songs, nicely show the growth of the group. Also included here is a separate disc with an also previously-unreleased Paris concert - actually the last show that the band played in direct promotion of the original *August...* album - a groovy poster, and some surprisingly insightful liner notes via which CC singer Adam Duritz explains the breakup of the band admist tales of lunching with famous friends. Even if you‘ve already got the album, this one‘s almost worth it just for the extras.
 
Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A birthday light for Lennon

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Yoko Ono has followed through on a project that she and John Lennon discussed 40 years ago - namely, the Imagine Peace Tower, which will be unveiled on October 9, which would have been Lennon’s 67th birthday. The tower, which is a stories-tall beam of light that will emanate from a wishing well bearing the words “imagine peace” in 24 languages, was built on the coast of the Island of Vioey in Iceland; engineers from Iceland and Japan worked from Ono’s design to build it. The tower will be lit each year from October 9to December 8, “so it has the feeling of the shortness of life, but the light is eternal,” Ono said. “Wishes” that were collected through Ono’s wish tree artworks that she has had set up at gallery shows around the world - around 495,000 in all - will also be buried in capsules around the tower, each topped with a tree, to result in what will eventually be a forest of peace, a great and artistic legacy for the fallen Beatle...
 
Thursday, September 27, 2007

Never mind today‘s wimpy punks, The Sex Pistols are back!

Modern Rock Kristi Kates All four original members of the influential punk pioneer band The Sex Pistols - John aka “Johnny Rotten” Lydon, Steve Jones, Glen Matlock, and Paul Cook - have confirmed that they’ll be playing a one-off concert in the UK to commemorate the 30 year anniversary of their 1977 album, Never Mind the Bollocks, It’s The Sex Pistols. (Famed Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious wasn’t an original member - he actually replaced Matlock during the band’s most well-known phase.) The Pistols were known for their groundbreaking punk sound and authority-mocking tunes such as “Anarchy in the UK,” “Pretty Vacant,” and “God Save the Queen.” The disc will be re-released to mark the anniversary, and the band, who were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, will take the stage on November 8th at London’s Brixton Academy...
 
Thursday, September 20, 2007

McCartney is the Modern Rockin‘ Man

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Forever-Beatle Paul McCartney is set to drop a career-spanning DVD set to close out the year, and not just any set, but a 3-volume DVD collection titled The McCartney Years that will span a remarkable 4 decades of McCartney’s music videos, performances, and more. Beginning in the 1970’s with McCartney’s first solo single, “Maybe I’m Amazed,” the set continues on through plenty of behind-the-scenes footage, commentary, live performances, and over 40 music videos, the performance footage being taken from Wings’ 1976 World Tour, new edits of Macca’s 1991 MTV Unplugged show, and his 2004 Glastonbury headlining gig. With restored materials, widescreen format, and remixes into 5.1 surround sound, it’s a comprehensive and impressive collection of The Cute Beatle’s work to date, a must-have for any McCartney fan, and it’ll be available on November 13th...
 
Thursday, September 13, 2007

Swerving into another music fest

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Swerving Into Another Music Fest
The first annual Swerve Festival, a Los Angeles-based event that’s set to combine music, film, and art into yet another weekend extravaganza, is now set to take place at L.A.’s Barnsdall Art Park on September 28 - 30. The event will include live sets from bands Black Angels, Oh No! Oh My!, Illinois (fresh off of their Lollapalooza appearance), and Snowden, among others; art will be contributed by the likes of Thomas Campbell, Ed Templeton, Geoff McFetridge, and Mike Mills; and films will include the U.S. premiere of The Man Who Souled the World and Anton Corbijn’s biopic Control. Get tix and find out more at www.swervefestival.com...
 
 
Thursday, September 6, 2007

BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Forty

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Currently celebrating their 40th anniversary, BBC Radio 1 has plenty of festive things planned, one of them being one that, should you live overseas or not, you’ll be able to (and will likely want to, if you’re a music fan!) snag. The UK broadcaster is prepping to release a compilation disc that will bring together 40 cover songs, one for each year that the station has been on the air, as performed by many of the musicians currently on the BBC Radio 1 playlist. Although the tracklisting hasn’t yet been solidified, as some of the tracks are still being recorded as you read this, a few of the notables will (hopefully) include Franz Ferdinand taking on David Bowie’s “Sound and Vision” - Razorlight covering Sting’s “Englishman in New York” - Natasha Bedingfield doing her take on Madonna’s “Ray of Light” - Keane covering the Queen/David Bowie classic “Under Pressure” - Corinne Bailey Ray trying her version of The Raconteur’s “Steady as She Goes” - and The Fray covering R.E.M.’s “Great Beyond”...
 
Thursday, August 30, 2007

Daft Punk goes live

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Daft Punk goes live
With their smash hit performance at this year’s Lollapalooza now behind them, Daft Punk is ready to take another robotic step forward, and this time it’ll be in the form of a live album. Their latest disc will offer up their June 14 performance in Paris in audio form, and there’ll be two editions of the album itself, one as a regular single disc and also a double disc set that will include the show’s incredible encore. An Oliver Gondry-directed video will accompany the disc’s first single...
 
Thursday, August 23, 2007

Timberlake & Beyonce double team

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The 2007 MTV Video Music Awards show is now slated for September 9 in Las Vegas, with Justin Timberlake and Beyonce heading up the nominations with a whopping seven noms each, including a direct face-off in the Video of the Year category, for which Timberlake is up for “What Goes Around” and Beyonce is up for “Irreplaceable.” Performers at this year’s event will include Foo Fighters, Lily Allen, and Fall Out Boy, with more TBA; Best New Artist nominess include country diva Carrie Underwood, the aforementioned Allen, Gym Class Heroes, and Swedish modern indie rockers Peter Bjorn and John...
 
Thursday, August 16, 2007

Wilco hits the road

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Wilco’s got a new album out (dubbed Sky Blue Sky), and you’ve probably already heard some of their newest songs in the latest Volkswagen ads. But, luckily for you, Wilco fans, you’ll also get the chance to hear the rest of those songs in their live versions, as Wilco has made plans to tour the U.S. this fall. The band will make stops in Seattle (8/21), San Diego, CA (8/27), Los Angeles (8/29), Chicago (9/12), and Dallas (9/14), and they’ll also serve as the much-anticipated headlining act at this year’s Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans, which takes place October 26 through the 28...
 
 
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