Letters

Letters 09-29-2014

Benishek Doesn’t Understand

Congressman Benishek claims to understand the needs of families, yet he wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would cause about 10 million people to lose their health insurance. He must think as long as families can hold fundraisers they don’t need insurance...

(Un)Truth In Advertising

Constant political candidate ads on TV are getting to be too much to bear 45 days before the election...

Rare Tuttle Rebuttal

Finally, I disagree with Stephen Tuttle. His “Cherry Bomb” column in the 8/4/14 issue totally dismayed me. I always love his wit and the slamming of the 1 percent. His use of fact and hyperbole highlights the truth; until “Cherry Bomb.” Oh man, Stephen...

Say No To Fluoride

Do you or your child’s teeth have white, yellow, orange, brown, stains, spots, streaks, cloudy splotches or pitting? If so, you may be among millions of Americans who now have a condition called dental fluorosis...

Questions Of Freedom

The administration’s “Affordable Health Care Act” has ordered religious orders to provide contraception and chemical abortions against the church’s God given beliefs and teachings … an interesting order, considering the First Amendment’s clear prohibitions...

Stop The Insults & Talk

I found it interesting that Ms. Minervini used the Northern Express to push the Safe Harbor agenda for a 90-bed homeless shelter in Traverse City with a tactic that is also being utilized by members of the city commission. Those of us who oppose the project are being labeled as uncompassionate citizens...

Roads and Republicans

Each time you hit a road crater while driving, thank the “nerd” and the Tea Party controlled Republican legislature.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

Home Energy Fundamentals

Features Kristi Kates Home Energy Fundamentals: John Plichta says energy audits equal savings
By Kristi Kates
Home energy auditor John R. Plichta probably seems to many of his colleagues and acquaintances like a long-time Michigan guy. But the owner of of J.R. Construction Building and Design in Petoskey actually began his career in California, after attending Central Michigan University for Science, Business Administration, and Industrial Technology.
“After my time at CMU, I moved to Northern California and began implementing a variety of alternative energy systems to my clients,” Plichta says. “Our company installed small hydro-electric systems, photovoltaic electrical panels, 12-volt home wiring, battery backup and inverters, hot water jackets in wood stoves to supplement domestic hot water and solar roof top panels and coils for hot water as well.”
In California, Plichta explains, conservation of water and energy were “not electives,” but were mandatory processes to help a region suffering from a seven-year drought.
“So many of the recommendations we make in our audits today are fundamentals I learned as a way of life,” Plichta says.
 
Monday, February 14, 2011

4Play: AMOS LEE, THE DECEMERISTS, BIGHT EYES, COLD WAR KIDS

Music Kristi Kates Amos Lee - Mission Bell - Blue Note
Melding the vocal stylings of Bill Withers and James Taylor together into a soulful American roots-music mix, Lee’s latest (his fourth album) includes a wide range of guest musicians and amps up his arranging skills with more complexity than previous releases. He brings Lucinda Williams in for a duet on “Clear Blue Eyes” to great effect, while Willie Nelson steps in on a secondary version of Lee’s song “El Camino,” although Lee’s Nelson-free version is as good as, if not better than, the collaborative take on the tune. Other standouts include the downtrodden but pretty “Out of the Cold,” the joyful “Violin,” the well-constructed balladry of “Stay With Me,” and the pensive-meets-instructive “Learned a Lot.”

 
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 14, 2011

Lewis Black

Features Kristi Kates Lewis Black’s Black Comedy
By Kristi Kates
He counts among his fans George Carlin and the recently-retired Larry King. His stature onstage is that of beckoning aggression - even as you might be a little taken aback by his in-your-face performance style, you can’t help but admire his steadfast determination to state his opinions on, well, pretty much anything and everything.
And he’s perhaps one of the best known stand up comedians performing today, venting in a comedic - and loud - fashion about everything from business to politics to pop culture.
As Lewis Black’s press release explains, “Lewis yells so his audiences don’t have to.”
 
Monday, February 7, 2011

4Play: Nic Dawson Kelly, Chet Baker, Various Artists, Tom Waits

Music Kristi Kates Nic Dawson Kelly - Old Valentine - 101
This debut set from the newbie Brit singer-songwriter finds him inviting over a few pals to help fill in his genre-crossing songs, including Portis head’s Jim Barr and Primal Scream’s Marco Nelson. Set on a foundation of folky guitars and rattling harmonicas, the set focuses on old Valentine’s Day love letters to sketch portraits of what seem to be a couple of Kelly’s
old loves. “Thursday 3-23” secures its harmonica right next to uplifting banjo riffs, while “The Musician” leans more on ‘50s/’60s era rock-folk, and “Delicate” showcases Kelly’s pensive, lovelorn vocals.
 
Monday, February 7, 2011

Tracking the Bliss Train to Petoskey

Music Kristi Kates Songs by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, The Eagles... country, folk, blues... guitars, banjos, harmonicas, and mandolins. All of the above have made “appearances” at the Bliss Train Coffee House, the quietly-progressive open mic that takes over Petoskey’s Grain Train cafe every Sunday afternoon - and that’s been around a lot longer than you might expect.
“The idea for the Bliss Train Coffee House was developed at the program committee of the Blissfest Music Organization,” Bob Fawcett explains, “Jim Gillespie (executive director of Blissfest) came up with the name. At that time, around 2003, I was treasurer of BMO, a board member, and part of the program committee, as were Jim, Kirby, and Mitch Weber.”
Initially, Fawcett says, the group’s newbie jam sessions were held at the old Blissfest office on Lake Street in Petoskey. But it wasn’t long before more space was needed.
“As it grew, the venue was moved to a coffee house on Howard Street in Petoskey,” Fawcett recollects, “When that coffee house closed, we moved to the Grain Train four or five years ago.”
 
Monday, February 7, 2011

The Gypsy Grooves of Caravan of Thieves

Music Kristi Kates The husband and wife team simply known as “Carrie and Fuzz” are at the wheel of the indie pop/gypsy/jazz band known as Caravan of Thieves. The partnership flourishes in both directions, musically and personally, and the result is an unusual musical configuration that started acoustically and has expanded its dynamics to include a whole lot more.
The Caravan will pull into Traverse City’s InsideOut Gallery for a concert on Friday, Feb. 11.
 
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, February 7, 2011

Boyne City gets chocolate covered

Dining Kristi Kates Boyne City Gets Chocolate-Covered
By Kristi Kates
Intially spearheaded - or perhaps dunked is a better word - by Boyne City’s Linn Williams, who retired to Boyne City from Ann Arbor with her husband Glen several years ago, this weeken’s Chocolate-Covered Boyne event aims its cupid’s arrow at promoting Valentine’s Day, Boyne City itself, and of course, chocolate, says the fest’s assistant organizer Jamie Baumann.
“Linn has been the primary organizer, and has worked very hard to make this event successful,” Baumann explains. “It began when the Main Street promotions committee felt that an event was needed around Valentine’s Day to promote the community in a special way and give visitors a reason to come to town.”
 
Monday, January 31, 2011

Dick Siegel

Music Kristi Kates Petoskey Welcomes Dick Siegel
1/31/11
By Kristi Kates

Michigan transplant Dick Siegel, born in New Jersey but now firmly a
part of the Detroit music scene, has become well-known over the years
for his quirky lyrics, singer-songwriter styling, and his unique
fusion of roots, folk, and jazz.
 
Monday, January 31, 2011

4Play: Klaxons, Gasoline Silveer, Manic Street Ptreachers, Vincent Minor

Music Kristi Kates Klaxons - Surfing the Void - Polydor 1/31/11
Electro-rock band Klaxons stepped out of Europe and into Los Angeles to record their sophomore set with producer Ross Robinson, and have added even more of an alternative feel to their music via several experimental elements and plenty of dark harmonies. First single “Echoes” presents a zippy beat and chiming guitars, while the title track ventures into unusual vocal territory with high falsettos and electronica fx; “Future Memories” sets the tune to a military beat, and “Flashover” echoes Interpol with its near-disco beat and heavy instrumentals.


 
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

4Play: Elvis Costello, The Acorn, Nellie McKay, High Dials

Music Kristi Kates Elvis Costello - National Ransom - Hear Music 1/24/11
Recorded in a mere 11 days, Costello teams up with uber-producer T-Bone Burnett for his latest, which consists of a new tracks and plenty of guest appearances, including Vince Gill, Leon Russell, and Marc Ribot. It’s standard Costello as far as the compositions themselves, but there are hints of interesting new inflections here and there, like the Naw’lins-influenced “Jimmie Standing in the Rain,” the countryfied “I Lost You,” and the folky, backcountry-meets-jazz sound of “A Slow Drag with Josephine,” as enhanced by mandolins and Costello’s distinctive voice.

 
Monday, January 24, 2011

Bibb plus Booker equals new music

Music Kristi Kates Bibb plus Booker equals new blues 1/24/11
By Kristi Kates
American-born and European-based, blues singer-songwriter Eric Bibb was given his first steel-string acoustic guitar at the age of seven, encouraged in part by a remarkable lineup of supporters and family friends that included Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, singer/activist Paul Robeson (Bibb’s godfather), and the legendary Bob Dylan.
 
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
 
 
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