Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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Kristi Kates

 
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Monday, July 25, 2011

Maybe August, Definitely Music

Music Kristi Kates “We used to just make stuff up,” Maybe August’s Rosco (no last name, please) says by way of explaining the origin of their band name, “you know - a different story for everyone who asked.” But the best of all, he continues, was when the media picked up a tall tale about a famous (nonexistant) connection.
“The story got out that we had been named by (actress) Halle Berry,” Rosco chuckles. “We were just messing around with the journalist who was interviewing us, but a lot of media outlets picked it up and that one went on for a while.”
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Expect ?Celticana? from Basement Band Duo

Music Kristi Kates Billy Brandt is a busy man.
Not only does he play with regionally-popular band Grievous Angel, who
keep the dance floor moving at places like Petoskey’s City Park Grill, but
he’s also had to make room in his den for several Detroit Music Awards,
takes care of various releases through his own record label. Now, he is
also helming a duo, Billy Brandt, Sarana VerLin and the Basement Band,
which will perform several Northern Michigan shows this August.
His work with duet partner VerLin started from what might seem like an
unlikely source for this seasoned performer - the internet.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Glenn Wolff Brings the Angels to Harbor Springs

Art Kristi Kates Traverse City native Glenn Wolff’s artwork can be seen all over Northern
Michigan and far beyond, including the pages of many magazines, books and
newspapers such as the New York Times. Now, he’s making his mark on Harbor
Springs.
As of July 21, Wolff’s art has been on display at the Kuhlhaus Gallery in
Harbor Springs. Gallery owner Tim Coon, who co-owns Kuhlhaus with his
wife, Helen, was drawn to Wolff’s work for a wide variety of reasons.
“Glenn’s work is unique, for sure,” Coon says, “he uses a wide diversity
of fascinating materials and subjects, and many of his pieces are quite
ethereal.”
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Cee-Lo, Lowe, Apple Pay Homage to Buddy Holly

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Rave On, Buddy Holly is the title of a new tribute album put together to pay musical homage to one of America’s rock legends, and it’s available right now. Among the covers on the eclectic and worthy set are Paul McCartney’s authentic take on “It’s So Easy,” Cee-Lo’s version of “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care,” Nick Lowe’s “Changing All Those Changes,” Modest Mouse’s “That’ll Be the Day,” The Black Keys’ “Dearest,” and Fiona Apple and Jon Brion’s collaboration on “Every Day”…
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Michael‘s on Fire

Music Kristi Kates Michael’s On Fire
By Kristi Kates
“When I was young, the guitar represented a new way of life that you couldn’t really learn in school,” explains the California guitarist/vocalist/songwriter known simply as Michael On Fire. “It was portrayed as a symbol of freedom - a weapon of the young rebellious spirit that was called rock and roll,” he says.
By the time Michael On Fire was of age, as he explains it, musicians like Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Muddy Waters had “gotten into the fabric of society,” and it was only a very short matter of time before Michael On Fire was - well, on fire for music. From that point on, no other career would do.
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

4Play: Biosphere, Brendan Perry, Blondie, Broken Bells

Music Kristi Kates Biosphere - N-Plants - Touch
At once retro in its choices of synth sounds and beats, and modern in -
well, its choices of synth sounds and beats, Biosphere’s latest sticks to
his familiar sound while striking out into new, backwards-looking
territory. It is most definitely an album of contrasts. Opener “Hendai 1,”
a bit threatening-sounding, offers an intro that feels much like the
beginnings of a thriller or mystery movie, while its successor, “Shika 1,”
warms things up out of the fear factor zones with a more approachable
composition. Brimming with intensity, these tracks push one step beyond
ambient music and into something a little more pensive.
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Polaris nominates Arcade Fire, Sloan, Dears

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Polaris Nominates Arcade Fire, Sloan, Dears
This year’s Polaris Music Prize nominees have been announced, with the qualifying albums being released from June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011. The albums will be judged solely on artistic merit (not sales or other numbers), with the long list of artists being narrowed to a shorter list, and then eventually to the main winner, who will be announced September 19 at the Sixth Annual Polaris Music Prize Gala in Toronto. Already on the long list are modern rockers Ron Sexsmith, Arcade Fire, The Dears, and Sloan…
His Gorillaz Plastic Beach tour is over, and Blur is in a transitional phase (or something), so what’s a supremely talented overachiever to do? Well, if you’re Damon Albarn, you simply embark on yet another project - in this case, Albarn’s writing a rock opera, with the subject matter being Queen Elizabeth I’s scientist/adviser, John Dee. Albarn recently debuted one of the opera’s musical numbers, titled “Apple Carts,” on the BBC - take a listen to the beautiful, pensive song via this Spin link: http://www.spin.com/articles/damon-albarn-debuts-pretty-tune-new-opera. The opera itself, which Albarn
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Red Elvises

Music Kristi Kates Igor Yuzov and a couple of his soon-to-be bandmates were living in Venice
Beach, California when the seeds for Igor and Red Elvises were sown.
“We wanted to play rock n’ roll, and we took it on the streets,” Yuzov
says, “but the crowds got so big, the city of Santa Monica took us to
court and kicked us off the streets.”
Discouraging? Nah. Igor and Red Elvises, Yuzov says, have been touring
ever since.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Boyne River Remedy

Music Kristi Kates Much like a good recipe, a good local band is composed of complementary ingredients - in this case, the music and sounds that have influenced each member. This analogy definitely applies to Boyne River Remedy, who founded their group in 2008.
“Josh, Kevin and I got together with several other musicians to write and record a song,” Boyne River Remedy’s Mark Blaauw-Hara says. “We had a great time, and were very happy with how it turned out, so we decided to see how it would go to form a band.”
With a “very informal” process in terms of just who was in said band (“at one point, we had nine members,” Blaauw-Hara chuckles), Boyne River Remedy morphed around who the bandmates knew and who they enjoyed playing music with.
“Our first gig was at Short’s Brewery,” Blaauw-Hara remembers, “and we were thrilled to have a place to play where they’d give us pizza. As we polished our set list and our lineup became more stable, we started playing other places and events in the area - we’ve done everything from house parties to benefits to festivals.”
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Mary Chapin Carpenter

Music Kristi Kates Mary Chapin Carpenter was in San Jose, California at the time of this
interview. And yes, she’s on tour. But that doesn’t mean Ms. Carpenter
isn’t up for a little fun in between all of those rehearsals, gigs, and,
well, interviews like these.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Lee & Lucinda

Music Kristi Kates Country Weekly called Amos Lee and Lucinda Williams’ “Clear Blue Eyes” duet single ‘a heartbreaking piece of classic country.’
Williams has also joined Lee onstage at his solo shows.
And Lee’s latest album, Mission Bell, released in January of this year, features Williams on that same song, as well as other guest appearances from Calexico and Iron and Wine’s Sam Beam.
Williams’ new set, Blessed, hit stores this past March, and blends her Americana mix of rock, blues and country into another landmark album for the performer; recently married, she’s entering another chapter in her life both musically and personally, as well.
Both of these musicians, now on the road for a July tour, will be appearing - together - at Interlochen this month for a show that’s sure to be a standout.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

4Play: Duncan Sheik, Various Artists, Kate Bush, Various Artists

Music Kristi Kates Duncan Sheik - Covers ’80s - Red General
Part karaoke extravaganza, part (one would think) stroll down an
experimental version of an ’80s memory lane for singer Sheik, this
collection veers between true-to-the-original covers and (more
intriguingly) Sheik’s own interpretations of these eighties classics.
Fortunately for the listener, Sheik chose some of the smarter ’80s tunes,
as opposed to the throwaways (of which there were many); standouts include
his takes on The Thompson Twins’ floaty “Hold Me Now,” Howard Jones’
previously synth-dark “What Is Love?”, and Tears for Fears’ Hughes-worthy
classic “Shout” heard through Sheik’s unique arrangement lens.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Incubus going On Display for new album

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Incubus will be kicking off their “Incubus HQ Live” project on July 12, the same day their latest album, If Not Now, When? is set to hit stores. The band is opening a gallery in Los Angeles where the band members will be available (to a point) for eight hours a day through how-to clinics and special performances; ech band member will have their own camera, so that fans can watch them online at incubushq.com. As if that weren’t enough live exposure, Incubus will also be touring this summer in support of the album, with a start date set for August 17 in Denver, Colorado…
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

4Play: Gomez, Marianne Faithfull, Bon Iver, Jill Scott

Music Kristi Kates Gomez - Whatever’s on Your Mind - ATO/Red
With members that live in the UK and the U.S., Gomez convened in - where else? (huh?) - a recording studio in Virginia to work on their seventh studio set, which they produced with producer Sam Farrar (Maroon 5, Phantom Planet.) Written in large part by internet correspondence, the songs here carry through with Gomez’ trademark sound, whether it’s the acoustically-based resignation anthem “Options”; the piano-festooned title song; the uber-catchy “Place and the People”; or what is perhaps the most alt-rock track on the set, “Equalize.” It’s nothing unusual, but that’s not bad - it’s simply another set of solid new Gomez tunes.
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

Good music at The Good Work Collective

Music Kristi Kates The Good Work Collective’s mission statement says it all about the new arts and music organization housed in a funky old building in Traverse City’s Old Town:
“From art showings, to live music, to culinary events, to meeting spaces for local non-profits and community groups, The Good Work Collective is a welcoming environment where individuals and inspiration meet. We’re not a think tank. We’re a do tank.”
Born in 2008 with a goal of being a “steward of the arts” in Northern Michigan as well as in Bozeman, Montana, Porterhouse Productions supports musicians and artists with a finesse not often seen in the more casual “Up North” environment.
Founded by Sam Porter and Abby Walton Porter as a dual-state entertainment production company, Porterhouse recently expanded its reach with The Good Work Collective, a ‘gathering space’ for everything from concerts, art displays and grass root projects to brainstorming sessions and artistic collaborations.
 
 
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