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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Monday, May 23, 2011

4Play: Sade, Eddie Vedder, Rihanna, Ben Harper

Music Kristi Kates Sade - The Ultimate Collection - Epic
Whether you term Sade a solo artist or a band, Sade’s jazz-pop is still of note, even though the bulk of their on-the-radar work was back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. This “ultimate” collection includes 29 tunes in all, including Sade’s best-known track, the Spanish-flavored “Smooth Operator,” as well as additional songs “Still in Love with You,” a standout Neptunes remix of “By Your Side” with added guitars, and a well-done experimental revamp of “The Moon and the Sky” which adds trip-hop beats and spoken-word overlays from Jay-Z. It’s a solid best-of that also includes four previously unreleased songs for added interest.
 
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Well, isn‘t that album just the Living End

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Aussie Band The Living End have wrapped recording on their sixth album, which they worked on in Melbourne, Australia at the Red Door Sounds Studio. The new set of songs, which will now be shipped to mixmaster Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Springsteen) for mixing, have also been road-tested by the band over the past few months - they selected the album’s tracklisting from over 3 dozen new tunes, including “Postcard American Town,” “Heatwave,” and “Black and White”…
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Cooper‘s Pub & Grill

Dining Kristi Kates There’s a new restaurant in town - well, city, that is, and Boyne City, to be specific. That restaurant, Cooper’s Pub and Grill, has taken over the old 220 Lake Street locale courtesy of its founder, Patrick Schaller. It’s already made a big splash among locals, and is poised to be an even bigger draw for this year’s crop of tourists old and new.
Schaller, who was a restaurant investor in the past, says that actually owning and running his own restaurant is a new venture to him; his prior work was mostly in advertising and other unrelated projects.
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Petoskey Stone Festival

Features Kristi Kates Long ago during one or more of North America’s glacial intervals, sheets
of slowly-moving ice pulled fossilized coral pebbles from the bedrock and
deposited them in what is now Northern Michigan.
 
Monday, May 23, 2011

Petoskey pedicab

Features Kristi Kates Friends and teammates Josh Lycka and Calvin Schemanski have known each other for years. So what better athletic, ambitious pair of pals to team up for a new business venture? The result - Petoskey Pedicab, a big-city-parks idea that the partners applied to the tourism industry of downtown Petoskey.
“Calvin and I had both run cross-country together through all of high school, and worked together at the Bay Harbor Yacht Club,” Lycka explains, “one winter, as we were running errands for work, we were driving through downtown Petoskey, and began discussing the possibilities of a pedicab business.”
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

4Play: Amon Tobin, Del and the Funky Homosapien, DJ Quik, Whodini

Music Kristi Kates Amon Tobin - Isam - Ninja Tune
IDM, or “Intelligent Dance Music,” is what producer/DJ Tobin calls the musical arm of his craft, in which he blends South American rhythms with hip-hop, breakbeat, and a dense layer of samples and cuts. More experimental than previous works, these tracks take some listening before the appeal becomes evident, as they’re crafted with a more haphazard overall feel yet with more attention to each element’s detail and placement. The melodic “Lost and Found” and the intriguing “Journeyman” are two of the standouts on this particular set, both rumbled through with heavy bass and Tobin’s distinctive mixes.
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

The Lucas Paul Band

Music Kristi Kates The Lucas Paul Band are Ann Arborites at heart, but often make Traverse City their temporary home away from home, at least on stage.
“We have and always will have plans to come up to Traverse City frequently because we get the best love up here of anywhere,” says the band’s namesake Lucas Paul, “hands down.”
The band is comprised of Pete Birchler on lead guitar, Bobby Streng on sax, Mark Damian on drums, Matt Henninger on bass, and Paul on rhythm guitar and lead vocals, 
In early 2006, Paul explains, he was a “lost soul” - freshly out of college, but with no job prospects and no band.
“I would frequent Goodnite Gracie’s in downtown Ann Arbor every Wednesday and Thursday to watch local blues prodigy Laith Al Saadi,” he explains, “and every night found myself staying until last call because his band was that good.”
After months of persistent begging to Gracie’s manager, Terry Martin, Paul got a shot to perform before one of Al Saadi’s shows.
“Eventually, Laith handed me a few gigs of his own that he couldn’t take,” Paul says, “so I put a band together. After getting our foot in the door, other nightclubs became interested in what we had to offer.”
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Stripes Look Back at Mississippi, Minnesota Shows

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The White Stripes themselves may now be defunct, but there’s still some Stripes music left to be heard (and seen), starting with an album recording of their last complete live performance from back in July of 2007. Dubbed Live in Mississippi, the disc will be released in both CD and vinyl formats, and will include the duo performing several covers in addition to their own setlist. A live DVD of one of the band’s year 2000 shows will also be released around the same time; titled Moorhead Lights All Fargo Night, this one showcases the Stripes performing at a small bar in Minnesota. Additional releases are expected…
 
Monday, May 16, 2011

Zoo-De-Mackinac kicks up a notch

Features Kristi Kates Zoo-De Mackinac: 500 cyclists ready to roll this weekend
By Kristi Kates
It was 22 years ago - 1989, to be precise - that Greg Drawbaugh got a new mountain bike and decided to celebrate that purchase with a little more than a ride ‘round the block.
“I’d ridden the road from Harbor Springs to Mackinaw City a couple of times,” Drawbaugh explains, “so with the new bike, I thought, ‘hey, let’s go bike this thing,’ but with some friends this time. We talked five friends into doing it and went over to the island afterwards.”
The following year, Drawbaugh wrote up “a little one-page flier,” and sent it out to more friends, calling them to meet at the hotel parking lot at Boyne Highlands.
“We had 80 people show up,” Drawbaugh chuckles.
 
Monday, May 9, 2011

4Play: The Cars, Stevie Nicks, Matthew Morrison, Jennifer Lopez

Music Kristi Kates The Cars - Move Like This - Hear Music
Back after nearly a quarter-century out of the loop as a band, ‘80s hipsters The Cars reconfigure their jittery, poppy brand of new wave into a slightly more modernized set that’s still just retro enough to bring back their old fans while most likely snagging a few new ones, as well. The synths, jagged guitars, and distinctive Ric Ocasek vocals are all present and ready to be called to order within a series of well-constructed pop songs reminiscent of Devo, Talking Heads, and, well, The Cars of yesteryear. “Sad Song” debuts first with its accompanying Rene-Magritte-meets-the-’80s video; production by Jacknife Lee adds consistancy.
 
 
Monday, May 9, 2011

Electric Forest Fest Replaces Rothbury

Modern Rock Kristi Kates A fest of special local interest for several years was the Rothbury Festival, several hours downstate right here in Michigan. Well, Rothbury itself is no longer, but another fest has sprung up in its place - the Electric Forest Festival, which will run June 30 through July 3 in… the town of Rothbury. With a focus on what appears to be a trifecta of sounds - bluegrass, electronica, and local-ish bands - the lineup so far includes The String Cheese Incident, Tiesto, Stephen Marley, Galactic, The Ragbirds, The MacPodz, and Railroad Earth, among others… get more info at www.electricforestfestival.com…
 
Monday, May 2, 2011

Mexican pop rocks

Music Kristi Kates Mexican Pop Rocks! Rock your Cinco de Mayo with these South of the Border bands
By Kristi Kates
Mexico isn’t necessarily the first country you might think to look into while searching for up and coming new indie pop and rock bands. But in recent years, and especially with the ever-growing influence of the internet, Mexico’s been fertilizing its own burgeoning crop of Mexican indie-rockers, and there are plenty of them cool enough for school - so, for our Cinco de Mayo issue, we’ve rounded up a few of the best for you to take a listen to, complete with a starting suggested single. Disfrutar de la msica!
 
Monday, May 2, 2011

4Play: Beastie Boys, Friendly Fires, Panda Bear, Fleet Foxes

Music Kristi Kates Beastie Boys - Hot Sauce Committee Part 2 - Capitol
Not since the late ‘90s have the Beasties made such a festive, sassy racket. Opening with first single “Make Some Noise,” the Beasties are back in grand form, modernizing their production values while (thankfully) sticking masterfully to their own brand of retro hip-hop sound - no need to conform when you’re this cool. That aforementioned opening track has synths and knows how to use ‘em, while other influences surface, too, just for texture, such as the punky rhythms on “Lee Majors…,” the shoutouts to classic rap on “Nonstop Disco Powerpack,” and the intergalactic funk of “Here’s a Little Something For Ya.”
 
Monday, May 2, 2011

Dido returns with new Electronica-fied album

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Dido Returns with New Electronica-fied Album
Electro-indie-pop singer-songwriter Dido’s long-awaited album is almost here, right on the heels of her Academy Award nomination (for co-writing the song “If I Rise” from the James Franco movie 127 Hours). Once again working with her brother, Rollo Armstrong (who was one of her bandmates in Faithless) as well as a few other producers, she says that the new set is much more electronic than her last album, 2008’s Safe Trip Home, and that she’s looking forward to performing the new songs live…
Influential Brit band The Kinks will reissue seven of their classic albums throughout this year, with each of the albums being reconfigured as double CDs, complete with added outtakes, demo tracks, session recordings, rarities, and a wealth of extensive liner notes. March 28 already saw two of the reissues hit stores, Kinda Kinks and The Kink Kontroversy
 
Monday, May 2, 2011

Horse sense

Features Kristi Kates Horse Sense: Horses become teachers at Equine Journey
By Kristi Kates
Boyne Spas are becoming known in Northern Michigan for offering “spa experiences” far beyond that which might be expected. While facials, hair treatments, mud baths, and the like are great pursuits for relaxation, Boyne Spa’s extra workshops have so far included, among others, trapeze, healing, art, and drum circle events, all of which seek to take participants well past the typical.
“Boyne Spas are the complete destination for body, mind, and spirit,” says Camryn Handler, spa director from the Spa at The Inn at Bay Harbor. “We focus not only on great treatments in our spas but also on creating new experiences in our lives to learn and grow with our spa weekends and retreats.”
 
 
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