Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Monday, February 21, 2011

OPapercuts presents their Fading Parade

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Papercuts Present Their “Fading Parade”
Papercuts are set to release a new album early this spring, complete with plenty of new songs from Papercuts mastermind Jason Quever. The latest set, which Quever recently said purposefully avoids being the “aggressive music” that’s often so prominent with indie bands today, leans more toward the folky side of shoegaze pop (and the more folky side of Papercuts’ own sound), and Quever has titled it Fading Parade. The new Papercuts set will hit stores on Sub Pop Records on March 11...
Monday, February 14, 2011

Michigan‘s White Stripes to rock no more

Modern Rock Kristi Kates MODERN ROCK
By Kristi Kates
Michigan‘s White Stripes to Rock No More
Many have speculated over the past few years as to the “active status“ of Detroit‘s own White Stripes, aka Jack White and Meg White, with Jack White involved in a plethora of other projects and Meg White mostly off of the radar. But now, via Third Man Records, arrives the penultimate confirmation of just what the Stripes are - and that would officially be “broken up.“ A full letter from Jack and Meg was posted on the Third Man site, rendering them defunct after 15 years as a band. The reasons? Uncertain, really - although the duo say that they are not breaking up due to any “artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues...“ Hmm. Then what‘s left? Only time will tell if this breakup sticks, or if we‘ll be seeing a big White Stripes Reunion Tour in 2015...
Monday, February 7, 2011

Wilco Defect from Nonesuch to own label

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Wilco Defect from Nonesuch to Own Label
Chicago rockers Wilco, who have been based at Nonesuch Records for years (and who featured their transition to that label in a critic and fan-acclaimed documentary about the band), have just announced that they’re leaving their label home to start their very own record company, which they’ve dubbed dBpm Records. dBpm’s releases will reportedly be distributed through Los Angeles indie label Anti Records, which includes such similarly rebellious DIY musicians as Nick Cave and Merle Haggard on its roster. Wilco themselves are currently keeping busy in the studio in Chicago, working on the follow-up full-length record to their 2009 release, Wilco (The Album)...
Monday, January 31, 2011

Ron Sexsmith collaborates with impressive lineup

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Ron Sexsmith Collaborates With Impressive Lineup 1/31/11
Canadian indie singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith’s newest album, Long Player, Late Bloomer, is set to hit stores on March 1, as helmed by uber-producer Bob Rock and recorded in Sexsmith’s home territories of Toronto and Vancouver, Canada. Included on the set are a plethora of pals who’ve added their musical input to Sexsmith’s thoughtful, folk-pop songs, from session drummer Josh Freese to Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning, Pedestrian’s Joel Shearer, and The Sadies’ Travis Good. Sexsmith will also reportedly tour in support of the new set, although he only has one date booked (London on April 30) for now; future dates TBA...
Monday, January 24, 2011

Cut Copy blend up new Zonoscope

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Cut Copy Blend Up New “Zonoscope” 1/24/11
Cut Copy have put their musical style into something of a blender for their next album - infusing their usual fiesta of electronic equipment, synths, and computers with more organic/acoustic sounds and drumbeats - and they’re now looking at a date later this year for the new set’s release. Dubbed Zonoscope,the first indications of a new direction start with the photo-montage surrealistic album cover, the under-the-radar preview single (“Where I’m Going”) that the band released way back in July of last year, and their new video, “Skies of the Ape.” Pick up Zonoscope on February 8 on Modular Recordings...
A Beatles-themed museum just opened in down
Monday, January 17, 2011

Cruisin‘ the Rockin‘ Islands with 311

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Cruisin’ the Rockin’ Islands with 311 1/17/11
311 are prepping to take their first-ever ocean cruise this March on a dedicated “311 Cruise” event that will include a few guests and an entire boatload of 311 fans. The trip will begin on March 3 aboard the Carnival Destiny, departing from Miami, and will trek through the Turks and Caicos Islands, with, of course, plenty of 311 music on tow. The band will also reportedly pose for a photo with every passenger as they board the ship, will host several Q and A sessions, and will invite the likes of DJ Soulman and Pepper on stage with them for some shipboard jams...
Monday, January 10, 2011

Weezer just say No to Styrofoam

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Weezer Just Say No to Styrofoam
Three interesting Weezer items this week - the first being that Weezer’s frontman, Rivers Cuomo, has announced that he can see himself heading up the two-decades-strong band until he’s at least sixty years old. “That’s the cut-off point, maybe,” Cuomo recently told website Nola.com. Those who are fans of the band will also already be aware of our second news flash - that the band have quickly followed-up their eighth studio album, Hurley, with a rarities set called Death to False Metal, which was quietly released in December. And third (and most amusing) is the fact that one of Weezer’s tour contracts has been released online, with such notable items being the band’s on-the-road requests for a meditation room at each venue, as well as vegetarian food, specific brands of chocolates (Teuscher), jams (St. Dalfour’s), salsas (Paul Newman’s), teas (Ito En Tea), and bread (Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain), and a proclamation of “No Styrofoam Anywhere.” Now there’s a band who knows what they want and aren’t afraid to ask for it...
Monday, November 15, 2010

Get Up Kids get working on a new album

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Get Up Kids Get Working on New Album
The Get Up Kids, who released their latest set, Simple Science, earlier in 2010, had planned out a series of EPs with release dates starting this year. That plan’s a no-go now, though - instead, the band is sketching out the details on what will be a new full-length album, as they say they have more than enough songs to fill it. As for that release date, you’ll have to wait until early next year, as the full-length, they (kinda) confirm, will take until “January, February, or spring” to complete...
Monday, November 8, 2010

Gallagher‘s beady eye makes bold claims

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Gallagher’s Beady Eye Makes Bold Claims
Ex-Oasis singer Liam Gallagher is making some pretty big claims regarding the upcoming album from his new band project, Beady Eye, especially considering Oasis’ gigantic success over the years. The band has reportedly completed work on the album, which Gallagher says won’t be released until 2011 - but he’s already claiming it will be the “best album of the next 50 years” and will be “bigger than Oasis.” The other members of Beady Eye are ex-Oasis members Andy Bell on bass and Gem Archer on guitar, plus Chris Sharrock on drums. Oasis’ other half, Liam’s brother Noel Gallagher (who was responsible for the majority of songwriting in Oasis) is already hard at work on his own solo album project...
Sting has added “Farm Shopkeeper” to his list of accomplishments - the former
Monday, November 8, 2010

Top Banana

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Top Banana: Nothing ‘conventional’ about this band
By Kristi Kates
Paul Shaffer’s band on the David Letterman show has often been referred to as “The World’s Most Dangerous Band.” But Saginaw/Bay City pop-rockers The Banana Convention, it seems, are in the running to be dubbed “The World’s Busiest Band.”
We asked percussionist/vocalist Monte Nothelfer what the band’s been up to lately. His answer would even make the uber-peppy Richard Simmons tired.
“Well, we’ve self-recorded several albums of original music,and have gone on the road many times, hitting up major cities across the country like Detroit, Denver, New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles,” Nothelfer says. “We’ve played the Warped Tour three years in a row, and opened for the band All Time Low at the Chicago House of Blues.
Monday, November 1, 2010

Influential Beach Boys mark 50 years

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Influential Beach Boys Mark 50 Years
The Beach Boys, the ‘60s band that’s influenced the sounds of everyone from Wilco to The Shins, Apples in Stereo to Belle and Sebastian, are set to reunite in order to mark their 50th anniversary, with none other than a live - and probably free - performance, although the locale has yet to be determined. The line-up for the event is reportedly going to include Al Jardine, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, early guitarist David Marks and possibly (emphasis on maybe) the evasive (and busy) Brian Wilson. Jardine recently told Rolling Stone magazine that he personally “wants to see a hundred-date anniversary tour,” but that if one show is all they’re going to do together, then he’ll take it...
Monday, October 25, 2010

How to have a modern rockin‘ Holloween

Modern Rock Kristi Kates How to Have a Modern Rockin’ Halloween
With Halloween right around the corner, music fans as well as “regular” folk are pondering just what to be for this year’s festivities. It’s Modern Rock to the rescue - how can you lose with any of the great looks put forth by this year’s colorful crop of performers? The frontrunner, of course, is Lady Gaga - choose any one of her bordering-on-insane combos (bubbles, orbits, or, uh, meat, anyone?) and pop fans will have no problem knowing who you are. But popular rockin’ costumes this year can also be had by approximating the looks of Kanye West (just think shutter shades), Justin Bieber (you’ll need a blow-dried wig), Devo (one word: flowerpot), the modern-punk sensibilities of Green Day, or the country-pop-glam of Carrie Underwood. And, hey, if you can sing like any of ‘em, all the better...
Monday, October 18, 2010

Moogfest to welcome Massive Attack, Mgmt

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Moogfest to Welcome Massive Attack, MGMT
The inaugural Moogfest, an event put together to celebrate the life and accomplishments of the legendary Robert Moog (the inventor of the influential Moog synthesizer), is set to take place October 29th through the 31st in Asheville, North Carolina this year. Mr. Moog was well-known for crafting a line of the synth instruments that have been used by everyone from Kraftwerk and Daft Punk to Radiohead. Massive Attack, Thievery Corporation, MGMT, Hot Chip, and Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi are among the acts that will pay homage to Moog at the event, which will include live performances as well as workshops, panels, art exhibitions, and film screenings; go to moogfest.com for more info...
Monday, October 11, 2010

R.E.M. Go Old School For New Album

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Athens, GA hometown boys R.E.M. have been diligently working on their
new album, which R.E.M. auxilary touring member Ken Stringfellow (The
Posies) says is very “old school R.E.M.” in its sound. The new R.E.M.
songs are also said to be “darker” in tone than previous recent
releases, again more like the R.E.M. of yore, with Byrds-like acoustic
guitar, piano, and straightforward drums. The as-yet-untitled (and
much anticipated) set is due to drop early in 2011...
Monday, October 4, 2010

Kings of Leon return with Sundown

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Kings of Leon Return with... Sundown
Kings of Leon have wrapped work on their fifth album, which was
recorded in New York at Avatar Studios. The band’s Nathan Followill,
in a recent Billboard interview, said that the new songs, which the
band has been playing on tour this summer, have been going over
“really well, a lot better than we thought they would.” Fans have even
been seen singing along to the new tunes, which can be heard here and
there on YouTube. The album itself, titled Come Around Sundown, is due
in stores on October 19...