Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Robin Lee Berry

Music Kristi Kates The Ubiquitous Robin Lee Berry
LEAVING LANSING
Berry got her start in the music industry singing in clubs in East
Lansing in the late 1970s; she also worked at the Lansing Sound
Recording Studio, doing vocal work and voiceovers for advertisements.
One year, she was offered a New Year’s Eve gig in Charlevoix, and, as
she puts it, “fell in love with the area.”
 
Monday, November 1, 2010

4Play: Glee Cast, Goo Goo Dolls, Level42, The Maine

Music Kristi Kates Glee Cast - Glee: The Music Volume 3: Showstoppers - Columbia
“Gleeksters,” as fans of this TV show are called, have already - along with, surprisingly, a whole lot of other folks - snapped up the first two volumes of cover songs as performed by the Glee cast - so what’s to stop the success of a third volume, in all its campy pop glory? A wider range of the show’s cast is included here than on previous sets, from Amber Riley’s take on Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful” to Mark Salling’s “Lady is a Tramp.” There are group numbers, too - Glee’s trek through Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” and Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” - plus guest tunes from Olivia Newton-John and Broadway’s Kristen Chenoweth.
 
Monday, November 1, 2010

Women of rock

Music Kristi Kates 2010 - Women of Rock
By Kristi Kates
Although one name may predominate this year’s music scene when you
consider women in rock, that doesn’t necessarily mean that that one
songstress was the best the year had to offer - nor the only artist
around.
 
Monday, November 1, 2010

Influential Beach Boys mark 50 years

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Influential Beach Boys Mark 50 Years
The Beach Boys, the ‘60s band that’s influenced the sounds of everyone from Wilco to The Shins, Apples in Stereo to Belle and Sebastian, are set to reunite in order to mark their 50th anniversary, with none other than a live - and probably free - performance, although the locale has yet to be determined. The line-up for the event is reportedly going to include Al Jardine, Mike Love, Bruce Johnston, early guitarist David Marks and possibly (emphasis on maybe) the evasive (and busy) Brian Wilson. Jardine recently told Rolling Stone magazine that he personally “wants to see a hundred-date anniversary tour,” but that if one show is all they’re going to do together, then he’ll take it...
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

John Jorgenson

Music Kristi Kates John Jorgenson Serves Up Gypsy Jazz
By Kristi Kates
Where most kids today probably don’t feel rewarded unless they’re bought candy, movie passes, or the latest videogame, musician John Jorgenson’s childhood was a lot less commerce-driven - and far more rewarding in the long run.
“I got interested in music really early on, because both of my parents are musicians,” Jorgenson explains. “My father is a conductor; my mother, a piano teacher. So we heard music all ‘round the house, all the time, when we were kids. It was like a treat - if we were good, we’d get to listen to ‘Peter and the Wolf’ or ‘Carnival of the Animals.’ Music was always something special and cool.”
Now, fortunate kids whose parents have a little more insight beyond BioShock 2 or Snickers bars might be passing along Jorgenson’s own music to their potentially musically-gifted offspring.
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

Salaam

Music Kristi Kates Salaam Bringing Peace Through Music
By Kristi Kates
Singer and musician Dena El Saffar grew up in Chicago in an Iraqi-American household, learning classical violin at the age of six. But it was the Arabic music listened to by her family - and initially not given too much thought by her - that would draw her into forming the band that is now called Salaam, a musical expression of El Saffar, her culture, and her bandmates’ wishes for peace - and simply good music.
“Salaam is actually the Arabic word for ‘peace,’” El Saffar says. The band - El Saffar (on vocals, violin, viola, djoze, and ‘oud) along with percussionist/husband Tim Moore; Kevin MacDowell on accordian, guitar, and bass; and Sam Finley on guitar and bass - was formed in 1993, after El Saffar’s life-changing trip to her family’s homeland.
She traveled to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad with her father at the age of 17, and had taken her viola along to practice. Soon, she found herself playing along to cassettes of Iraqi pop music on her viola with her newfound friends, where she says it became like a ‘huge party’ as everyone started clapping and dancing along.
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

4Play: Mes Aieux. The Devil Wears Prada, Karen Elson, Black Lotus

Music Kristi Kates Mes Aieux - La Ligne Orange - LLO
French popsters Mes Aieux’s latest (translated as “The Orange Line,” aka the Montreal Metro system) put forth an interesting blend of Canadian folk songs blended with their own modern lyrics; this mix allows them to stand out even more than their considerable musical talents already do. On this set, their fifth, they tap into classic pub songs and French chansons to translate over their topical wordplay, which includes subjects as diverse as the Olympics and local street musicians. Fifteen songs in all make this a worthy, unique, and interesting listen.



 
Monday, October 25, 2010

Sutton Foster

Art Kristi Kates Sutton Foster Brings Broadway to TC
By Kristi Kates
Actress, singer, dancer, and Broadway conqueress Sutton Foster may have been raised in Troy, Michigan, but it didn’t take long for this ambitious talent to find her way to Broadway.
She actually left Troy High School early (snagging her degree via correspondence courses) to join a national musical tour - and it was goodbye, Michigan, and all about the big stage and the Great White Way from that point on.
After a few false starts in the form of auditioning for The Mickey Mouse Club and as a contestant on the Ed McMahon-helmed American Idol talent show precursor Star Search, Foster found herself in her first Broadway role, as the lead role of Sandy in the musical Grease in 1996. She quickly followed with a trio of other well-known Broadway plays - The Scarlet Pimpernel, Annie, and Les Miserables, in which she alternated between lead and support spots.
In her first “big” Broadway role - which she took over from former lead Erin Dilly in Thoroughly Modern Millie - the New York Post called her “cutely agreeable”; Newsday compared her to a young Carol Burnett; and Time Magazine said that she had “Broadway brass” and the lungs to go with it. Small wonder, then, that Foster would win the 2002 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical - but that was only the beginning.

PUPPETS TO PRINCESSES
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

How to have a modern rockin‘ Holloween

Modern Rock Kristi Kates How to Have a Modern Rockin’ Halloween
With Halloween right around the corner, music fans as well as “regular” folk are pondering just what to be for this year’s festivities. It’s Modern Rock to the rescue - how can you lose with any of the great looks put forth by this year’s colorful crop of performers? The frontrunner, of course, is Lady Gaga - choose any one of her bordering-on-insane combos (bubbles, orbits, or, uh, meat, anyone?) and pop fans will have no problem knowing who you are. But popular rockin’ costumes this year can also be had by approximating the looks of Kanye West (just think shutter shades), Justin Bieber (you’ll need a blow-dried wig), Devo (one word: flowerpot), the modern-punk sensibilities of Green Day, or the country-pop-glam of Carrie Underwood. And, hey, if you can sing like any of ‘em, all the better...
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

Murray‘s

Dining Kristi Kates Do-it-yourself is on the Menu at Murray’s
By Kristi Kates
Doing things themselves is one of the main ways that the owners of Murray’s Bar and Grill in East Jordan keep their restaurant unique.
“Murray’s uses only the freshest ingredients and many Michigan-made products,” Murray’s co-founder Emily Welsh says. “We slice all of our own meats and cheeses, cook our own ribs, and pull our own pork. We make our salsas, dips and sauces from scratch. And Murray’s buys fresh Angus beef, local fish and local fruits and vegetables when in season.”
Founded in 2003, the restaurant/bar was part of the fulfillment of an “Up North” goal, and a way for Murray’s other co-founder, Welsh’s husband Owen, to recover from a serious illness.
 
Monday, October 25, 2010

Picking pumpkins

Features Kristi Kates Picking the Perfect Pumpkin
By Kristi Kates
Are you getting ready to pick out this year’s Halloween pumpkin?
Perhaps you can make that experience a little more interesting than
your basic stop at the grocery store.
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Trapt

Music Kristi Kates Trapt Without Apology: Live in TC
By Kristi Kates
“The name ‘Trapt’ came from feeling like you’re trapped by authority
figures,” Trapt bassist Peter Charell explains, “and kind of morphed
into being trapped by personal issues as well.”
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Sevendust

Music Kristi Kates Sevendust Searches for its Soul
By Kristi Kates
Beautiful fall colors, a short drive - and some impressively aggressive rock music - are all great reasons to head up to Sault Ste. Marie for the evening on October 19. Especially if you’re a fan of Georgia-based band Sevendust.
Just don’t try to pigeonhole them - the band themselves aren’t even sure where to place their sound within the alt-rock genre, according to Sevendust guitarist John Connolly.
“I don’t know - I’ve been trying to figure that out,” he said in a recent interview, “people, for five minutes, called us progressive, and then it was nu-metal. Then, all of a sudden, we were playing alternative metal. We are some kind of heavy, and some kind of rock, and some kind of metal.”
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

4Play: Incognito, Kero One, Slum Village, Paul Wall

Music Kristi Kates Incognito - Transatlantic RPM - Shanachie
Best described as a modern day Earth, Wind and Fire with a dab of Stevie Wonder thrown in, Incognito’s acid funk/jazz sound has set the groundwork for plenty of imitators. But the legends know who to collaborate with, hence the appearances of Chaka Khan, Leon Ware, and Al McKay (of the aforementioned Earth, Wind and Fire) on this set. These tunes tool along with plenty of momentum, propelled by horns and strings while the drums keep the groovin’ beats on track; “Lowdown” throws Mario Biondi into the mix with Chaka Khan, “Put a Little Lovin’ in Your Heart” is five minutes of moving-your-feet music, and closer “Tell Me What to Do” wraps these jams up with soul.
 
Monday, October 18, 2010

Moogfest to welcome Massive Attack, Mgmt

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Moogfest to Welcome Massive Attack, MGMT
The inaugural Moogfest, an event put together to celebrate the life and accomplishments of the legendary Robert Moog (the inventor of the influential Moog synthesizer), is set to take place October 29th through the 31st in Asheville, North Carolina this year. Mr. Moog was well-known for crafting a line of the synth instruments that have been used by everyone from Kraftwerk and Daft Punk to Radiohead. Massive Attack, Thievery Corporation, MGMT, Hot Chip, and Sigur Ros frontman Jonsi are among the acts that will pay homage to Moog at the event, which will include live performances as well as workshops, panels, art exhibitions, and film screenings; go to moogfest.com for more info...
 
 
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