Letters

Letters 02-02-2015

History Lesson  “The days of cheap oil and easy acquisition are over. “ -- President Obama, June 2010

A Study In Mudslinging In the January 12 issue of Northern Express, Grant Parsons wrote a piece that touched on behind-the-scenes campaign financing. Mr. Parsons referenced attack ads he received in the mail prior to the November elections.

Sad Story I read with sadness in the Detroit Free Press of 24-year-old Angela Marie Alexie, who abandoned her just born baby boy in an unheated Eastpoint, Michigan garage to die alone in the cold, and who had also previously lost 3 children to foster care, the youngest of which, a girl, suffered withdrawal symptoms because of Alexie’s drug use during pregnancy.

Balance On The Page Having looked through the Northern Express for years, I have finally found something worth reading besides News of the Weird and the Advice Goddess!

An Eye On Congress The U.S. Senate on January 21 voted 98 for and 1 against to adopt a non-binding resolution stating, “It is the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax.”

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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.”
 
Monday, April 25, 2011

A mission for Bliss

Music Kristi Kates A Mission for Bliss: New recreation center will energize Blissfest farm
By Kristi Kates
The Mission: To build and launch the Blissfest Arts Recreation Center, a
facility for cultural, recreational, and sustainable living experiences,
to be enjoyed in a quiet natural setting.
 
Monday, April 25, 2011

4Play: TV on the Radio, Telekinesis, PJ Harvey, Low

Music Kristi Kates TV on the Radio - Nine Types of Light - InterscopeBrooklynites
TV on the Radio offer up their latest and fourth album complete with production by David Sitek, who offered up his Los Angeles home studio for the recording proceedings. A bright record than previous efforts, Nine… weaves in more human musicians and less electronic samples, with frontman Tunde Adebimpe in solid form, buoyed up by plenty of groove-based elements from the syncopated horn lines to the galloping bass, layered high-pitched chorus parts, and funky beats. Top highlights include the uber-catchy “Second Song” and the undiluted jam-stream the band calls “Caffeinated Consciousness.”
 
Monday, April 25, 2011

Oasis‘ Noel Gallagher not quite solo yet

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Oasis’ Noel Gallagher Not Quite Solo Yet
With his brother’s new band, Beady Eye, taking the bulk of media attention at the moment, talented songwriter Noel Gallagher - who actually wrote most of the songs for the brothers’ prior band, a little outfit called Oasis - has been calmly waiting under the radar to make his next move. The press and musical peers keep speculating as to whether or not Gallagher has already started recording a solo album - fueled in part by Gallagher’s acquisition of his new website name, www.noelgallagher.com
 
Monday, April 25, 2011

Grain Train

Dining Kristi Kates The Great Grain Train Turns 40: Petoskey co-op has stuck to its ideals
By Kristi Kates
“The Grain Train Natural Foods Cooperative was born in 1971, when a group
of Petoskey area residents joined together to obtain quality foods at
reasonable prices,” explains Grain Train General Manager Bob Struthers,
“food that was not overly refined and was free from unnecessary
additives.”
 
Monday, April 25, 2011

Bay Burger

Dining Kristi Kates Four years ago, Valentino Trabucchi of Birmingham, Michigan, decided to bring one of his local restaurant’s burger philosophies up to Petoskey.
“For over 35 years, I had been regularly frequenting the Hunter House in Birmingham,” Trabucchi explains. “They offered great little sliders (miniature burgers) with juicy sweet onions - something I couldn’t find Up North.”
Now the owner/proprietor of Petoskey’s newest “burger joint,” Bay Burger, Trabucchi is ready for a busy summer with his sliders-focused menu.
 
Monday, April 25, 2011

Petoskey‘s Labyrinth

Features Kristi Kates Petoskey’s Labyrinth: Metaphor for Life
By Kristi Kates
Visitors to the Petoskey District Library who take the time to look around
the grounds will soon find a gem on the building’s western side - a large,
precisely-built labyrinth, 35 feet in diameter and constructed of charcoal
and red paver bricks by The Labyrinth Company of Connecticut.
 
Monday, April 18, 2011

Goin‘ Dutch

Music Kristi Kates Goin’ Dutch: Band offers a blend of power pop & alt-country
By Kristi Kates
Musicians John Merchant and Greg Miller met while working at a music store in Muskegon and teaching guitar. They formed the band known as Dutch Henry “basically to have an outlet for our songwriting,” Miller says.
Focusing at first on being what Miller calls “a dyed-in-the-wool alt-country band,” the group’s first album was compared to Steve Earl and Jason and the Scorchers, and made a decent dent on college and XM radio; but changes were on the way.
 
Monday, April 18, 2011

Seasons of Swirl

Music Kristi Kates Seasons of swirl: Wine tasting & music energize Crooked Tree Arts Center
By Kristi Kates
“I like learning about the wines and asking about food pairings at Swirl…”
“It’s great to be able to view an exhibit with friends at Swirl…”
“Swirl is a great way to meet new people of all ages…”

But just what is Swirl?
“Swirl is an informal and informative wine tasting held in our galleries, with live music,” explains Liz Ahrens, the Crooked Tree Arts Center’s Executive Director. “Each month we invite a local wine purveyor to provide wines and appetizers, featuring their best or most unusual products,” she continues, “it’s the result of CTAC wanting to bring in visitors to the galleries in an informal and relaxed setting.”
 
Monday, April 18, 2011

4Play: Paul Simon, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Alexander, Robbie Robertson

Music Kristi Kates Paul Simon - So Beautiful, So What - Hear Music
Simon returns with some of his best music since back in the Graceland
days, featuring an emotional range of new songs fully graced (ahem) with
diverse worldbeat instrumentations pinned to intelligent-folk roots. With
vocals barely aged even as Simon approaches 70 years old, he crafts smart
storytelling vehicles via music that beckon the ear and spark discussion.
“Questions for the Angels” harkens empathy for the homeless through one of
Simon’s trademark ballads; “The Afterlife” throws a bit of humor into the
mix; “Dazzling Blue” mixes exotic percussion and fiddle; and highlight
“Love is Eternal Sacred Light” is as catchy as Simon’s music ever was.
 
Alison Krauss and Union Station - Paper Airplane - Rounder Records
It took a few years for Krauss and crew to craft something that they
apparantly felt would stand up to their 3-Grammy-winning 2004 release
(Lonely Runs Both Ways), but they’re back in full force with this one,
which showcases every facet of Krauss’ influences, from
Americana/roots/bluegrass music to country and pop. Krauss’ voice is a
consistent element throughout for the most part (three songs are sung by
Union Station’s Dan Tyminski), whether on the pensive “Lie Awake,” the
serene “Dimming of the Day,” and the slightly darker “Sinking Stone.” It’s
nothing particularly groundbreaking, but a consistent, strong, and
appealing set of tunes.
 
Monday, April 18, 2011

Phoenix start sesions in Aussie studio

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Phoenix Start Sessions in Aussie Studio
The land down under has welcomed French indie-pop-rockers Phoenix, who are currently doing some recording for their next album in Australia’s Byron Bay, working in some orchestral elements to their new songs. Early listens indicate that Phoenix’s next set is a pretty even mix between the classic Phoenix sound and some more retro-futuristic elements, as the band is including both organic sounds and a blender’s worth of rhythms that spin up drum machine sounds, loops, and actual (live!) drumming. No date has been set yet for the album’s release…
Capitol Records have finally confirmed that they’ll be releasing the legendary “lost” Beach Boys album, Smile, some time this year, as produced by archivist Alan Boyd and engineer Mark Linett. Re-dubbed The Smile Sessions, the album will be released as a 2-CD set, a limited edition box set, and on iTunes as a digital album, although real Beach Boys fans will probably want to spring for the box set, with its additional vinyl records and a 60-page hardbound book on the band. Brian Wilson
 
Monday, April 18, 2011

Green roofs

Features Kristi Kates Green Roofs Take Root
By Kristi Kates
Installed on top of homes, businesses, and factories, among other
buildings, green roofs - also called eco-roofs or living roofs - are
perhaps one of the more unusual ‘green’ movements going on today.
The benefits of green roofs are many. They include conserving energy,
lowering roof temperatures, cleaning the air, reducing noise inside the
building, creating mini-habitats for wildlife, and extending the life of
the roof itself.
 
 
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