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, June 8, 2006

Swinging Joan Baez takes to a tree

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Legendary folk singer Joan Baez has taken up residence in a tree - literally - at Los Angeles’ South Central Farm, a 14-acre agricultural retreat for around 350 inner-city farmers who are each responsible for a small patch of the land.  Baez is joining several other activists who are camping up in the trees in makeshift treehouses to protest the eviction threats that are coming at the organization, who are having financial difficulties related to keeping the charitable farm running.  The land dispute has been going on for some time now, but Baez, along with other celebs such as singer Ben Harper and actresses Laura Dern and Daryl Hannah, are hoping that the extra media attention will help the farm’s cause...
 
 
Thursday, June 1, 2006

Scissor Sisters cut their friend in on a new CD

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Scissor Sisters are finally just about done working on their second album, which is expected out later this year, and the group’s female presence, Ana Matronic, recently spoke with the press about some of the special guest stars that will be appearing with the Sisters on their latest effort. Among the contributors will be David Bowie’s former guitarist Carlos Alomar, and, also Elton John, who plays piano on the new, Scissor Sisters track “I Can’t Decide.” The band recently debuted several of their new songs at this year’s Coachella Festival, which took place just a few weeks ago...
 
Thursday, May 25, 2006

Tuning in the latest from Radiohead

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Radiohead are not, repeat, not, breaking up - nor has singer Thom Yorke “gone solo” - but Yorke has put together an album of his singular works with longtime Radiohead producer/collaborator Nigel Godrich, and with, as he puts it, the “blessing” of his bandmates. Yorke, who reportedly has had all of the elements of a number of his self-penned songs “...kicking ‘round now for a few years,” put the disc together quickly, and decided to release it as just a Thom Yorke effort as opposed to including the songs on a Radiohead album. Consisting of more beats and electronics than the usual Radiohead offerings, the set will be released as a full album, titled The Eraser on XL Recordings, and will hit stores in July; those interested can get a preview by sticking around for the end credits of the upcoming Philip K. Dick/Richard Linklater rotoscoped film A Scanner Darkly, which will feature Yorke’s song “Black Swan”...
 
Thursday, May 18, 2006

The Last Word from Johnny Cash

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Prior to Johnny Cash’s passing in September, 2003, he’d been diligently working on a batch of new songs with producer Rick Rubin, and now, an all-new Johnny Cash album taken from those sessions will be released on the American Recordings label, including “Like the 309,” the last song Cash ever wrote.  An eclectic and emotional set, the songs that are planned for the disc include the beautiful “If You Could Read My Mind,” the heartwarming “Love’s Been Good to Me,” the prayerful “Help Me,” and the melancholy “On the Evening Train.”  A respectful wait to finish and release the album was planned so as not to in any way capitalize on Cash’s death;  the album now stands as Cash’s final statement, and, as Rubin puts it, “(these songs) are the truest reflection of the music that was central to his life at the time - this is the music that Johnny wanted us to hear...”
 
Thursday, May 4, 2006

The Jam Man is Back

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Legendary Jam member Paul Weller is prepping to drop a two-disc live album, a set that will include both tracks from his own solo work and from his work with The Jam and his other band, The Style Council.  Recorded at London’s Alexandra Palace during Weller’s 2005 tour, the album will include tunes “The Changingman,” “That’s Entertainment,” “Town Called Malice,” “Shout to the Top,” “Wild Wood,” and “The In Crowd” - it will be his first live disc to get an official (as opposed to import-only) U.S. release.  Weller, who received a Brit Award for Lifetime Achievement last February, will possibly be doing some touring this summer as well, although the only confirmed dates as of press time are the European Oxegen and T in the Park festivals;  the live disc, which he’s dubbed Catch-Flame! will be in stores this summer...
 
Thursday, April 27, 2006

Jewel Sparkles with Rob

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Interlochen alum Jewel is back with a brand new album, her first in three years - titled Goodbye Alice in Wonderland, the disc will get some extra promotion in the form of Jewel’s upcoming tour with Atlantic Records labelmate Rob Thomas, whose continuing promotion work of his latest disc, last year’s Something To Be. The duo are set to join up for a seven-week tour that will kick off in Florida on May 23 and will run through mid-July, with stops set to include Atlantic City, NJ (6/2 and 6/3), Boston (6/9), Cleveland (6/12), Detroit (6/15), Chicago (6/17), and Santa Barbara, California (7/2) - Toby Lightman will serve as opening act...
 
 
Thursday, April 20, 2006

Replacement replaces themselves

Modern Rock Kristi Kates A Replacements best-of compilation is set to hit stores in June, which is great news for Replacements fans - but even better news might be that the, er, compiling of the compilation has induced the Replacements’ surviving original members - namely Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, and Chris Mars - to reunite in order to record two new tracks that will be included on the best-of disc.  The remaining trio got together at Flowers Studio in Minneapolis to put the songs “Message to the Boys” and “Pool & Dive” - both written by Westerberg - to tape, as produced by Ed Ackerson. The 20-track CD, titled Don’t You Know Who I Think I Was?: The Best of The Replacements, will arrive in stores on June 13 on Rhino Records, and will include such legendary must-listen Replacements tunes as “Kiss Me on the Bus,” “I’ll Be You,” and “Alex Chilton”...
 
Thursday, April 13, 2006

Madonna Plans One Big Dance Floor

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Madonna plans ‘one big dance floor’
Michigan’s favorite musical daughter, Madonna, has announced the dates for her upcoming Confessions Tour, which will begin on May 21 in Los Angeles.  Promising to “...turn the world into one big dance floor,” Maddie’s making plans for lots of disco balls and mostly songs from her newest album, Confessions on a Dance Floor, as opposed to more retro Madonna hits.  Tour dates so far (more are said to be in the planning stages) will include stops in Las Vegas (5/27), Montreal (6/21), and, of course, New York City (6/28 and 6/29), before she moves on to a final U.S. stop in Miami (7/22) and  European shows in London, Rome, several stops in Germany, and Denmark.  No Detroit show is scheduled as of yet - so far, it looks like the closest she’ll be is in Chicago on June 14...
 
Thursday, April 6, 2006

Morrissay pulls plug on seal-killing Canada

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Legendary Brit singer-songwriter Morrissey is making an environmental stand on his own terms - he announced that he’s refusing to perform any live shows in Canada in protest of the nation’s controversial use of seal skins as a commodity.  In a recent interview, Morrissey stated that although his singular protest is unlikely to “...bring the Canadian economy to its knees,” he’s still horrified by the authorized slaughter of baby seals in the country of Canada, and hopes that his actions will help to draw attention to the cause.  Morrissey is also encouraging fans to boycott Canadian goods - so, luckily, his album, Ringleader of the Tormenters, which is due out on April 4, is being released on the UK/US label Sanctuary Records...
 
Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Flaming Lips revealed at last

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The Flaming Lips are the subject of a brand new book titled Staring At Sound: The True Story of Oklahoma’s Fabulous Flaming Lips, as authored by Jim DeRogatis.  DeRogatis, a music critic at the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune, as well as the host of Public Radio’s “Sound Opinions,” tracks the band’s 20-year career to date, from their underground start in 1983 all the way to their platinum record, Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, and on to the recording of their latest album, which will hit stores this April - while you’re waiting for the album, you can snag the book, which was published by Doubleday and is in stores now...
 
Remember World Party, and their early-’90s hit “Ship of Fools?”  Well, the sophisticated pop band is back, with a new album headed up by the band’s Karl Wallinger, and hosted on his new record label, Seaview Records.  The new disc will be called Dumbing Up, and will serve as the follow-up to their performance at the SXSW shows - Wallinger will also be re-releasing remastered versions of older World Party albums, including Private Revolution and Goodbye Jumbo.  A summer tour is also being planned, so keep an eye out for the revived World Party coming soon to a stage near you...
 
Thursday, March 23, 2006

Has Garbage been Trashed?

Modern Rock Kristi Kates That thing that Garbage fans have been worried about has finally happened - the band is now on a hiatus of “undetermined length.”  But all is not lost, at least not as long as Garbage songstress Shirley Manson has something to say about it.  Manson has just begun work on her first solo album, and has already completed a track with UK film composer David Arnold, who she previously worked with on the theme song for the James Bond film “The World is Not Enough.”  Manson, who’s reportedly very enthused about her solo project, has no timetable for the album’s release, and isn’t at all convinced that her solo album means the end of Garbage as we know it - with all of the band members off doing different things (including drummer/producer Butch Vig, who’s going back into doing some production work), Manson feels it’s more of a much-needed break from their last “crazy decade” of working together, and that the band is far from broken up...
 
 
Thursday, March 16, 2006

Pearl Jam Questions Reality

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Pearl Jam is set to release their self-titled eighth album, which consists of thirteen tracks of the band, as singer Eddie Vedder puts it, “processing some of their emotions about the reality of war and today’s modern day worries.”  Two tracks have already been included in the band’s live sets - “Comatose” and “Gone” - Pearl Jam are also giving away a free MP3 of the album’s first single, “World Wide Suicide,” via their website www.pearljam.com, and you can get the rest of the full-length album when it hits stores on May 2 ...
 
Not that it’s any surprise - because it happens pretty much every summer - but Dave Matthews Band have announced that they’re once again hitting the tour trail, and they’ll begin their longggggg roster of shows on May 30.  They’ll stay on the road until the end of September, when their final show will be on September 23 in Charlottesville, Virginia;  along the way, they’ll make stops in Clarkston MI (6/6 at the DTE Energy Music Theater), Toronto (6/13), Cuyahoga Falls OH (8/2), West Palm Beach FL (8/12), Hollywood CA (8/28), and Denver, Colorado (9/12).  They’ll also take along a variety of opening acts that will split the various dates, among them Gov’t Mule, Bela Fleck and the Flectones, O.A.R., Gomez, Pat Green, and Matisyahu...
 
 
Thursday, March 9, 2006

REM‘s Bring Em Home Now!

Modern Rock Kristi Kates R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, a staunch anti-war supporter, is the motivator behind the upcoming “Bring ‘Em Home Now!” charity concert set to take place at New York City’s Hammerstein Ballroom on March 20 - Stipe hopes that the concert will help bring about discussions regarding America’s possible withdrawal from Iraq. All of the proceeds from the show will go to the Veterans For Peace and Iraq Veterans Against The War organizations, and the show itself will feature sets from Stipe himself as well as from Rufus Wainwright and Fischerspooner...

The Sasquatch! Festival, started in 2001 as just a single-day musical event, is now going into its fifth year at Washington state’s Gorge Amphitheater, and will take place on Memorial weekend, May 26-28, 2006, with tickets set to go on sale as of March 4. Confirmed acts for this year’s event include Beck, The Flaming Lips, Queens of the Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys, The Decemberists, and Michigan’s own Sufjan Stevens - 40 acts in total on three stages, including the special “Yeti” stage that highlights performers from the Pacific Northwest. More artists will
be added as the festival date grows closer - in the meantime, find out more at
www.sasquatchfestival.com...
REM’s Bring ‘Em Home Now!


 
Thursday, March 2, 2006

Brothers of a Feather

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Brothers of a Feather
Brothers Chris and Rich Robinson have always served as the foundation for The Black Crowes, but now they’re breakin’ up the House of Crowe to take their brotherly show on the road. Chris and Rich, sans the rest of the Crowes, will be billed as “Brothers of a Feather,” and will be presenting their show, “An Acoustic Evening with Chris and Rich Robinson,” at theaters and small clubs across the U.S. They’ll be performing plenty of Black Crowes classics, plus some cover tunes and - surprise! - some brand new Black Crowes songs, too. The shows will begin in early April in Brooklyn, New York, and will continue to the beginning of May...
 
Thursday, February 23, 2006

Grammys Roundup

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The 2006 Grammy Awards have come and gone, and among the winners were several deserving Modern Rockers. Among the ones bringing the golden gramophones home were Green Day (Record of the Year for “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”), Kelly Clarkson (Best Female Pop Vocal for “Since U Been Gone” and Best Pop Vocal Album for *Breakaway*), Maroon 5 (Best Pop Duo or Group with Vocal for “This Love”), Gorillaz featuring De La Soul (Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for “Feel Good, Inc.”), The White Stripes (Best Alternative Music Album for *Get Behind Me Satan*), and U2, who snagged plenty of awards including Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Rock Duo or Group with Vocal, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Album. Whew! And among the great performances this year were Paul McCartney, U2, and animated modern rockers Gorillaz, who performed “with” Madonna...

The Pretenders - one of the newest inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - are following up that honor with a little something to make their fans happy - namely a four CD box set (plus DVD) that they’ve dubbed Pirate Radio. The set will feature the usual plethora of box set contents - album tracks, rarities, and some previously unreleased tracks including demos - and tracks that you can expect to hear will include “Talk of the Town,” “Brass in Pocket,” “Back on the Chain Gang,” “Middle of the Road,” “Don’t Get Me Wrong,” and The Pretenders’ cover of The Kinks’ “Stop Your Sobbing.” The third and fourth CDs contain even more covers, including the band’s versions of Jimi Hendrix’ “Bold as Love,” Radiohead’s “Creep,” and Morrissey’s “Everyday is Like Sunday,” and the DVD will feature live footage from Top of the Pops and the Montreux Jazz Festival. Expect to see Pirate Radio in stores March 14...
 
 
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