Letters

Letters 11-24-2014

Dangerous Votes You voted for Dr. Dan. Thanks!Rep. Benishek failed to cosponsor H.R. 601. It stops subsidies for big oil companies. He failed to cosponsor H.R. 1084. There is an exemption for hydraulic fracturing written into the Safe Drinking Water Act. H.R. 1084. It would require the contents of fracking fluids to be publicly disclosed to protect the public health.

Solar Is The Answer There have been many excellent letters about the need for our region, state and nation to take action on climate change. Now there is a viable solution to this ever-growing problem: Solar energy is the future.

Real Minimum Wage In 1966, a first class stamp cost 5 cents and minimum wage was $1.25. Today, a first class stamp is 49 cents, so federal minimum wage should be $11.25.

Doesn’t Seem Warmer I enjoy the “environmentalists” twisting themselves into pretzels trying to convince us that it is getting warmer. Sure it is... 

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Kristi Kates

 
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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.
 
Monday, July 4, 2011

Hot tickets major festivals outside the region

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Coachella and Bonnaroo may have already passed for this year, but never fear, music fans; there are plenty of musical destinations left both nationwide and overseas for the 2011 summer season.
So grab those extra funds that are burning a hole in your pocket, prep for those steamy summer temps with sunscreen and bottled water, and make your destination picks from our yearly preview picks list of this summer’s hottest festival tickets.

TEMPERATE TUNES
Summerfest, June 29-July 10, Milwaukee WI (www.summerfest.com)
If you’re going by the numbers, Wisconsin’s Summerfest is the biggest in the U.S., hosting hundreds of thousands of folks and a dozen stages. This year’s event will play host to live sets from another eclectic mix of performers from old-school (Meatloaf, Hall and Oates) to country-rock fusions (Sugarland, The Black Keys) to hip-hop n’ pop (Kid Cudi, Kanye West.) Bring: miniature American flags, Milwaukee Brewers sweatshirts, Pepto-Bismol tablets to combat the range of carnival foodstuffs.
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

Rock Fusion The Max Allen Band

Music Kristi Kates Most of today’s up and coming bands - with good reason - don’t like to be pigeonholed, nor do they like to be limited. Indianapolis band Max Allen Band, who will be performing in Traverse City the first week of July, are no exception.
“This band has been influenced by way too many genres and artists to list,” Max Allen explains. “We like to call what we do ‘rock fusion’ - there’s some rock, rap, Latin, funk, blues, bluegrass, baroque, R&B, electronica - if it sounds good and it moves us, we’ll play it.”
See for yourself when the band plays the Loading Dock in TC this Friday, July 1.
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

Aten Place

Music Kristi Kates “This is probably the best schedule we have been able to put together in the 17 years we have offered shows,” grins William Aten, organizer of Aten Place Concerts in Boyne Falls.
Aten - who, perhaps somewhat incongruously, also works as a mathematics consultant and data coach for the Charlevoix-Emmet ISD - runs the Aten Place Concerts shows with his wife, Maxine, and has watched as their “house concerts” have become part of a growing movement in Northern Michigan.
The Rhubarbary Farm House Concerts in Harbor Springs and the Black Cat Concert Series at the Dhaseleer Events Barn in Charlevoix are two other venues that are spearheading this growing trend - great music being showcased in low-key, homegrown venues, usually privately-owned homes or barns that have been converted into personalized and friendly local concert stages. Aten Place is no exception, and have been doing their musical thing since 1995.
 
Monday, June 27, 2011

Musical Roots on the River in Manistee

Music Kristi Kates Roots on the River is the moniker that’s been given to a relatively new
music series in Manistee, at the impetus of two locals who simply wanted
to bring more music to the community.
“In 2007, Noah Joseph and I decided that with so many talented musicians
in Michigan, we wanted to support them,” organizer Erin Garcia explains.
“Recently joining the Manistee Jaycees, we thought this would be a great
community project to initiate. The community has really embraced Roots on
the River, and we are now celebrating our fifth season.”
 
 
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