Letters 09-26-2016

Welcome To 1984 The Democrat Party, the government education complex, private corporations and foundations, the news media and the allpervasive sports and entertainment industry have incrementally repressed the foundational right of We the People to publicly debate open borders, forced immigration, sanctuary cities and the calamitous destruction of innate gender norms...

Grow Up, Kachadurian Apparently Tom Kachadurian has great words; too bad they make little sense. His Sept. 19 editorial highlights his prevalent beliefs that only Hillary and the Dems are engaged in namecalling and polarizing actions. Huh? What rock does he live under up on Old Mission...

Facts MatterThomas Kachadurian’s “In the Basket” opinion deliberately chooses to twist what Clinton said. He chooses to argue that her basket lumped all into the clearly despicable categories of the racist, sexist, homophobic , etc. segments of the alt right...

Turn Off Fox, Kachadurian I read Thomas Kachadurian’s opinion letter in last week’s issue. It seemed this opinion was the product of someone who offered nothing but what anyone could hear 24/7/365 on Fox News; a one-sided slime job that has been done better by Fox than this writer every day of the year...

Let’s Fix This Political Process Enough! We have been embroiled in the current election cycle for…well, over a year, or is it almost two? What is the benefit of this insanity? Exorbitant amounts of money are spent, candidates are under the microscope day and night, the media – now in action 24/7 – focuses on anything and everything anyone does, and then analyzes until the next event, and on it goes...

Can’t Cut Taxes 

We are in a different place today. The slogan, “Making America Great Again” begs the questions, “great for whom?” and “when was it great?” I have claimed my generation has lived in a bubble since WWII, which has offered a prosperity for a majority of the people. The bubble has burst over the last few decades. The jobs which provided a good living for people without a college degree are vanishing. Unions, which looked out for the welfare of employees, have been shrinking. Businesses have sought to produce goods where labor is not expensive...

Wrong About Clinton In response to Thomas Kachadurian’s column, I have to take issue with many of his points. First, his remarks about Ms. Clinton’s statement regarding Trump supporters was misleading. She was referring to a large segment of his supporters, not all. And the sad fact is that her statement was not a “smug notion.” Rather, it was the sad truth, as witnessed by the large turnout of new voters in the primaries and the ugly incidents at so many of his rallies...

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Modern Rock

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Save the Casbah Club

Modern Rock Kristi Kates At a time when many rock clubs and vintage record stores are being closed down and/or demolished (CBGB, anyone?), the
British government’s Heritage foundation has stepped in to grant historical status to Liverpool, England’s Casbah Coffee Club to prevent it from being destroyed in the future. Founded by Pete Best’s mother (Pete Best, being, of course, the first Beatles drummer), the club was modeled after the beat clubs of London, and The Beatles, under the name The Quarrymen and minus Ringo Starr (who would join later, after Best had been ousted), played their very first show there in 1959, doing double duty as bartenders between sets.  The club closed officially in 1962, but today still houses some musical equipment from that time, plus various works of art by both The Beatles themselves and by John Lennon’s first wife, Cynthia. English Heritage officer Bob Hawkins says, “These basement rooms are historically significant because they represent tangible evidence of The Beatles’ formation, their growth in popularity and their enduring cultural influence”...
Thursday, September 28, 2006

Squeeze the Lemonheads

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The newly reformed Lemonheads - yes, complete with lead singer/ragamuffin Evan Dando - are getting set to release their first new studio album in over 10 years.  Titled simply The Lemonheads, the album is being released by Vagrant Records, and should hit stores on September 26.  In addition to foundation member Dando, the band now also includes bass player Karl Alvarez and drummer Bill Stevenson (both of The Descendants), plus additional contributions from Dinosaur Jr.  The new band formation will be touring, too, with dates beginning November 18 in Santa Ana, California, and continuing through mid-December, including stops in Los Angeles (11/21 and 11/22), Seattle (11/28), Minneapolis (12/5), Chicago (12/7 and 12/8), and Detroit (12/10 at The Magic Stick)...
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Foos dig the Underground

Modern Rock Kristi Kates wo Australian miners - Brant Webb and Todd Russell - were trapped for two weeks underground recently, and passed some of the time by listening to music players that were passed through a small hole dug by their rescuers while working on the larger hole that would allow the men to escape. During their time underground, Webb made a special request that the Foo Fighters music be added to his music playlist;  and when the Foos’ Dave Grohl heard about this, he sent a message of solidarity to the miners, pledging two tickets to any Foos show anywhere, plus two cold beers waiting for the men.  After thinking over his offer, Grohl took things one step further, and is now planning a whole night out with the men.  “I’m not just having one beer with those dudes - we’re going to have a big night,” Grohl said.  Now that’s the ultimate fan reward...
Thursday, September 14, 2006

MTV Music Awards

Modern Rock Kristi Kates It’s not exactly a blue-ridge mountain, but on Saturday, September 16, Boyne Mountain will sure sound like one when the resort hosts its first Bluegrass Festival.
The festival is part of Boyne’s Music on the Mountain Concert Series, bringing some of the best of Michigan’s homegrown bluegrass bands and nationally-touring groups. 

The festival begins at 1 p.m., rain or shine.  The scheduled line-up is as follows:

1 pm: Greensky Bluegrass (www.greenskybluegrass.com). This Kalamazoo-based band were winners of the prestigious 2006 Telluride Bluegrass Festival Band Competition. They’ve been on tour all over the country, sharing bills with the likes of the Yonder Mountain String Band, The Mammals and the best of the young bluegrass scene.

2:30 pm: Nobody’s Darlin’
(www.myspace.com/nobodysdarlin): All-girl string band straight outta’ Grand Rapids speicalizes in old timey, bluegrass and gospel sounds.

4 pm: Steppin’ In It
(www.steppininit.com): Lansing-based band is consistently one of the most popular bluegrass/acoustic dance groups in Michigan. This year they’ve been as much out-of-state as in, performing at festivals and venues all over the country.

5:30 pm: Dixie Bee-Liners
(www.dixiebeeliners.com): New York City “bluegrass with a buzz.” This summer, the band’s debut CD stayed six weeks in the top-10 of a roots music-bluegrass chart. Expect some high-octane performances.

7 pm: Lare Williams & New Direction (www.larewilliams.com): They may be from the Midwest, but they aim for the high, lonesome sound of authentic blue-ridge mountain bluegrass.
Only 2,500 tickets will be sold for the event. Tickets are $18.50 with free admission for children 10 and under.  Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster locations or by visiting www.ticketmaster.com. 
Boyne Mountain will open for festival-goers at 11 a.m. 
Food, beverage and coolers will not be permitted into the venue. 
Festival-goers can bring blankets, beach/folding chairs, musical instruments and cameras. Concession stands within the venue will be
serving food as well beer, wine, soft drinks and water.
Scenic chairlift rides will also be available for festival-goers for a nominal charge. 

For more information or to make lodging reservations, please contact 1.800.GO.BOYNE or visit
Thursday, September 7, 2006

Book now for L.A.

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The first L.A. Weekly sponsored Detour Music Festival is set to be held this October 7 in Los Angeles, with tix for the all-day-long event going on sale this week.  Scheduled to play live sets at the event are Beck, Basement Jaxx, Queens of the Stone Age, Of Montreal, The Elected, and Nortec Collective, among others;  there will also be DJ sets from Steve Aoki and VHS Or Beta.  A portion of the proceeds from the Detour Fest will benefit the non-profit group Tree People, who work to find sustainable solutions to urban ecosystem problems...
In other Beck news, Beck wants his fans to “contribute” to the artwork for his upcoming album, The Information - the disc will feature blank packaging and one of four sets of sticker sheets designed by both U.S. and European artists, meaning that fans can deck out their discs in a unique fashion. A contest is also being planned to select the best configuration of album cover decorations, with the final winner being selected by Beck himself.  As for The Information, it will consist of 15 tracks plus a music video for each song, including one, namely “Cell Phone’s Dead,” directed by Michel Gondry...

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Get your Folk on

Modern Rock Kristi Kates A new 2-CD, 2-DVD box set titled The Harry Smith Project: Anthology of American Folk Music Revisited is being released in honor of musicologist Harry Smith, the man who helped introduce listeners to a large majority of American folk music through his own anthology series and short films.  The new set, which will feature a large range of talent interpreting many of the vintage songs that were released in 1952 on Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music Collection, is expected to include songs by such artists as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Robert Johnson, and Mississippi John Hurt, as reimagined by the musicians of today, among them Beck, Beth Orton, Elvis Costello, Lou Reed, Gavin Friday, and Wilco.  The set, which will be released on October 24, will also include a documentary on Smith and several of Smith’s film shorts...
After much resiliant resistance from the owners and much support from the NYC music community, legendary rock/punk venue CBGBs has finally pushed its negotiations as far as it could go and will reportedly be permanently closed on September 30 due to ongoing “lease complications.”  The club, which hosted famed early gigs by the likes of the Ramones, Patti Smith, Talking Heads, and Blondie, will feature Dub Trio as its final band concert on September 28, with a secondary lineup of bands playing all day long in CB’s downstairs lounge; among the acts set to pay tribute to CBGBs’ final day are The Last Word, Shadow Machine, The Getaway Drive, Plan of Attack, Amie Amis, and Hugh Mann and The Beings.  CBGBs is likely to move to another location in Manhattan, although, of course, the atmosphere of the historical venue just won’t be the same...
Thursday, August 17, 2006

A new Mouse onboard

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Modest Mouse have a new band member, and, remarkably, that member is none other than influential Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr.  Marr, who was previously involved in the recording of Modest Mouse’s next album, We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank, has now confirmed that he’ll also be touring with the band, effectively making him a Modest Mouse.  MM’s singer Isaac Brock reports that although Marr was “cautious” at first regarding working with the band, they all became closer during their studio time together, and Marr agreed to hit the road as well.  We Were Dead... hits stores this fall, complete, of course, with Marr’s contributions...
Thursday, August 10, 2006

Who will win Album of the Year

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Who will win “Album of the Year?”
The shortlist has been announced for this year’s Mercury Music Prize, the prestigious British/Irish album of the year as announced by the Mercury Music Prize’s 12-judge panel. Among the nominees are Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke, who is up for his just-released solo debut disc The Eraser, plus additional musicians The Arctic Monkeys (for Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not), Editors (for The Back Room), Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan (for Ballad of the Broken Seas), Muse (for Black Holes & Revelations), and Guillemots (for Through the Windowpane). The prizewinner is set to be announced in London on September 4 with broadcast coverage on the BBC television and radio networks...
Thursday, August 3, 2006

Gabba Gabba Hey

Modern Rock Kristi Kates It’s already been called “a trashed-up Grease on speed” and “a musical with a mosh pit” - and it kicks off on July 31 in the UK.  What is it?  Why, it’s The Ramones, of course - or, more specifically, The Ramones’ musical, reportedly the first punk rock musical, that’s been dubbed Gabba Gabba Hey! and will appear at London’s Koko Nightclub.  The show fuses 18 classic Ramones songs, including “I Wanna Be Sedated,” “Sheena is a Punk Rocker,” and “53rd and 3rd” into a downtown girl-meets-boy story that’s been approved by Tommy Ramone himself;  Ramone is contributing musical direction for the show and will make special nightly appearances. Rumors of a U.S. premiere of the show have been circulating, but nothing’s been confirmed yet; we’ll keep you updated...
Are you a fan of The Who?  If so, you’ll be thrilled to hear about this one - the band (well, the remaining members, anyway) are embarking on a rare world tour this fall starting on September 12 in Philadelphia.  It’ll be a series of live shows that will take them through five continents, playing such Who hits as “My Generation,” “Who Are You,” and “I Can See For Miles” - the original duo of Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey will be joined on the road by Ringo Starr’s son, Zak Starkey, on the drums, bassist Pino Palladino, Pete’s younger brother Simon Townshend on guitars, and longtime tourist keyboardist John Bundrick. The Who are also dropping a new album, Wire and Glass, that you can expect to see in stores this October...
Thursday, July 27, 2006

Who do the Voodoo

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Yet another festival is heading your way in the fall, namely the Voodoo Music Experience Festival, which will help continue revitalizing New Orleans by taking over the city’s City Park on October 28th and 29th. Over 50 performers are schedule to appear, including the likes of My Chemical Romance, The Flaming Lips, Blue October, Broken Social Scene, The Rentals, and Drive-By Truckers; The Red Hot Chili Peppers will open the show, and Duran Duran are set to close. The lineup will likely expand over the next couple of months as more acts are added; tickets can be purchased and updated info can be checked out at the official festival website, www.voodoomusicfest.com...

Indie pop-rocksters Switchfoot have been focusing on work for their new album, having just brought in producer Tim Palmer (U2, Pearl Jam) to help with the effort. The band, who says they are being “more experimental” this time around, are planning a late 2006 release date for the new disc, and are also playing a few summer tour dates in between their studio work, so keep an eye out for them on the road...
Thursday, July 20, 2006

DVD return of The Clash

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The legendary 1980 fictional documentary about The Clash, Rude Boy, is set to make its debut on DVD on August 1. The story centers around a working class man who quits his job to become a roadie for the band - the plethora of musical footage was filmed during actual Clash tours of the UK, and includes performances of “White Riot,” “Tommy Gun,” “Clash City Rockers,” and much more. Other special DVD features include the original theatrical trailer for the film, plus a photo gallery, several deleted scenes, and several interviews, making it a must-have for Clash fans..

The Mars Volta, who are set to hit the road for a series of tour dates with the Red Hot Chili Peppers later this summer, have both finalized the tracklisting for their new album and finalized the cover art for the disc. For their snazzy cover, they’ve selected artist Jeff Jordan to design some custom artwork just for the band, and for the tracks, they’ve picked eight, among them “Viscera Eyes,” “Meccamputechture,” “Tetra-grammation,” and “Day of the Baphomets.” An exact release date isn’t confirmed, but the album is expected in August...
Thursday, July 13, 2006

Rocking with the Pirates

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Recording work has wrapped on a compilation CD that was thought up by none other than Johnny Depp and director Gore Verbinski while the duo were working on the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie - titled Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys, the double-disc set was produced by Hal Willner, and features contemporary interpretations of pirate-friendly songs by a wide variety of musicians.  Among those participating in the quirky-cool project are Bryan Ferry (“The Cruel Ship’s Captain”), Nick Cave (“Fire Down Below”), Sting (“Blood Red Roses”), Rufus Wainwright and Kate McGarrigle (“Lowlands Away”), Bono (“Dying Sailor to His Shipmates”), Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker (“A Drop of Nelson’s Blood”), Lou Reed (“Leave Her Johnny”) and Ed Harcourt (“Farewell Nancy”); 43 songs in all are included, and the YARRR-filled set is due out on August 22nd...
Thursday, July 6, 2006

Bonnaroo‘s Backseat

Modern Rock Kristi Kates A revamped Bonnaroo Festival took place last weekend in Tennessee to mixed reviews from attendees, some of who liked the more mainstream/indie-rock changes to the traditionally jam-band lineup, and some who saw the genre-adding as an unwelcome means to an eventual Bonnaroo end.  It was the usual atmosphere as previous Bonnaroos, for the most part - gravel roads, plenty of dust and dirt, relentless heat alternating with mud-creating rain, pay showers, $4 bottles of water, lots of neo-hippies peddling various, er, substances, and far-flung crowded campsites - plus, of course, the longest jam band sets you’ll ever pay to see.
The stages were given such names as “What Stage,” “That Tent,” “This Tent,” and “The Other Stage,” which added to the overall confusion - and by the second day, Shakedown Street - Bonnaroo’s “main drag” - was lined with overstuffed aromatic trash bags and sunbaked vendors selling “organic earplugs” which, upon closer inspection, were... pebbles.  But it’s all tolerated to see the lineup of bands, which this year included Tom Petty, Phil Lesh, moe, Damian Marley, Cypress Hill, Stevie Nicks, Oysterhead, Son Volt, Rusted Root, The Neville Brothers, Dr. John, and Umphrey’s McGee plus those new-genre-to-Bonnaroo bands, which included Beck, Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, and Bright Eyes.  The highlight of the festival, though, was said to be the midnight Super Jam, which featured Trey Anastasio noodling endlessly with Mike Gordon, a treat for Phish fans who saw half of the band, at least, reunited at last...
Thursday, June 29, 2006

No Idiot

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Green Day’s latest album, American Idiot, is definitely full of political messages - but little did the band know that there was a life-saving message hidden within, as well. The cover of the California punkers’ disc - a red, black, and white graphic depicting a hand holding a heart-shaped hand grenade - recently helped 12-year-old Ruby Wilson of Halifax, England identify a live grenade in her yard when she identified it with the album art. She took the grenade in to her family, who called the police; the small munition was later identified as a World War II leftover and was detonated in a controlled explosion...
Thursday, June 22, 2006

Sing A Song of Sixpence

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Former Sixpence None the Richer singer Leigh Nash is set to release her solo debut CD next month on Nettwerk Records - dubbed Blue on Blue, the album, which will hit stores on August 15, was produced by Pierre Marchand (Sarah McLachlan), who also co-wrote several songs with Nash for the disc;  other songs set for inclusion are “Ocean Size Love,” “My Idea of Heaven,” and “Nervous in the Light.”  This is Nash’s biggest musical project since Sixpence’s demise in 2004;  she also plans to tour North America this fall to further promote her new solo set...