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, March 14, 2011

Orpheum Bell

Music Kristi Kates Orpheum Bell rings anew in Northern Michigan
By Kristi Kates
Since 2009, when Express last checked in with Ann Arbor band Orpheum Bell, they were putting on a big CD release show at Freshwater Studios in Boyne City - and watching their music slowly but surely acquire more and more critical and fan acclaim.
Well, the gypsy-esque lineup of musicians has changed a bit, now reading Aaron Klein, Michael Billmire, the inimitable Serge van der Voo, and newest bandmates Henrik Karapetyan and Katie Lee (“With every member change, our music goes through a growing transformation process; Katie and Henrik have added tremendous intensity and inspiration to our group’s sound,” van der Voo says) but Orpheum Bell the band haven’t slowed down at all.
 
Monday, March 14, 2011

4Play: James Blake, The Script, Edwyn Collins, The Dodos

Music Kristi Kates James Blake - James Blake - Universal
Blake’s unique, downtrodden take on dubstep may not be for everyone - or
at least, not for those who don’t appreciate a certain level of
pensiveness - but his skills at melding quietude with beats can’t be
denied. The studied awkwardness of the piano on “Give Me My Month,” the
street corner loneliness and abandoned penny organ sounds of
“Measurements,” the ’80s detachment of “Lindisfarne II,” and the clicky
apathy of “The Wilhelm Scream” never pick up the pace to take the listener
anywhere at all, but that unmoving sadness is part of what makes this
album succeed - as long as the listener is in a very s
 
Monday, March 14, 2011

Bono‘s Doppleganger makes a movie

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Bono’s “Doppelganger” Makes a Movie
Comedy-drama film Killing Bono, the movie version of the Neil McCormick
memoir I Was Bono’s Doppelganger that chronicles the lives of two
schoolmate brothers who left U2 before they hit the big time, is set for
release this April, and will actually include a song from U2’s veeeeery
early days, back when they were still called “The Hype” and when The
Edge’s brother, Dik Evans, was still in the band (which is now, of course,
a four-piece.) The tune, “Street Mission,” will also be on the movie’s
soundtrack, alongside songs sung by Irish singer-songwriter Joe Echo and
the two actors who portray brothers Neil and Ivan McCormick in the movie,
Ben Barnes and Robert Sheehan…
 
Monday, March 7, 2011

Sean Ryan

Music Kristi Kates Petoskey’s Own Irish Troubadour Sean Ryan
By Kristi Kates
Anyone who has spent any time at all vacationing Up North has likely at least heard of local performer Sean Ryan.
Ryan, who has spent the better part of the last two decades as a regular at Petoskey’s Noggin Room in the Perry Hotel, is a big part of many folks’ summer memories - carefully walking down the stone steps to the subterranean Noggin Room; settling in at dark wood tables set with icy drinks and baskets of popcorn; laughter and singalongs floating through the air to compliment Ryan’s own Irish-inflected folk singing; good-natured banter and deft guitar work.
It’s a story that started in Ireland, and ends - happily, thank you - in Petoskey.
 
Monday, March 7, 2011

O‘Rourke & Zeitler‘s Irish afternoon

Music Kristi Kates ’Rourke and Zeitler’s Irish Afternoon
By Kristi Kates
Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, purveyor of roots Americana and folk music.
These are all worthy subtitles given to not one, but two performers, namely Siusan O’Rourke and Zig Zeitler, the talented folk music couple who will be performing “An Afternoon of Irish Music” at Boyne City’s BAC (Boyne Arts Collective) as part of local St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.
 
Monday, March 7, 2011

Six Irish modern rockers

Music Kristi Kates Six Irish Modern Rockers
By Kristi Kates
Most modern rock fans are pretty familiar with great Irish bands like U2,
Snow Patrol, The Pogues, The Frames, and The Cranberries.
 
Monday, March 7, 2011

4Play: Cake, Soundgarden, Wire, The Go! Team

Music Kristi Kates Cake - Showroom of Compassion - Upbeat/ILG
Cake’s latest album - their first since 2004 - sounds pretty much like… their last album in 2004. This isn’t a bad thing. It just means that Cake still pretty much sounds like Cake, complete with horns, punchy guitars, callback harmonies, and John McCrea’s oft-acerbic, wry vocal stylings. There’s nothing particularly edgy here, but the songs are definitely catchy, from the “Never There”-reminiscent “Sick of You,” “Federal Funding,” and “Got to Move” to their left-field cover of Frank Sinatra’s “What’s Now is Now” to the country-inflected “Bound Away.” Groundbreaking, no - entertaining, yes.
 
Monday, March 7, 2011

Obamas celebrate Motown music in D. C.

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Obamas Celebrate Motown Music in DC
President Obama and the First Lady celebrated Motown at a special White House event last week that included a slew of live performances. Mr. Obama, who called Motown’s music “the soundtrack of the civil rights era... that helped blur the line between music that was considered either black or white” - and Michelle Obama, who named Stevie Wonder as her favorite Motown artist and said that in addition to Motown music being a soundtrack, it was also “a heartbeat” - were treated to a kickoff off of the festivities in the East Room via a Motown medley by Seal, John Legend, Jamie Foxx, and Nick Jonas. Next up, Natasha Bedingfield, Jordin Sparks, and Ledisi channeled the Supremes with their take on “Stop! In the Name of Love.” Other performers included the legendary Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordy, Sheryl Crow, and yes, Michelle’s fave, Stevie Wonder himself...
 
Monday, March 7, 2011

Shop Celtic at Emmet County

Features Kristi Kates Shop Celtic at County Emmet
By Kristi Kates
“Everybody’s got an Irish, Scottish, or Welsh connection,” explains Ed
Karmann, owner of one of downtown Petoskey’s newest stores, the County
Emmet Celtic Shop.
“You know - people want to identify with a group, or a nationality,”
Karmann continues, “and the Irish, Scottish, and Welsh are all fiercely
loyal to their countries.”
 
Monday, February 28, 2011

Chanticleer

Music Kristi Kates Chanticleer: An Orchestra of Voices
By Kristi Kates
First, a little background. Chanticleer, the internationally-renowned singing group, has actually been around since 1978. Founded by musicology grad student Louis Botto - who found it unusual that much of the repertoire he was studying wasn’t actually being performed - the group was initially pulled from members of choirs in which Botto sang (namely the San Francisco Symphony Chorus and the Grace Cathedral Choir), and began as a nine-member endeavor.
They named themselves after Chanticleer, the singing rooster in one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales - and the group debuted before a capacity audience at San Fran’s historic Old Mission Dolores. With their very first show a smash success, the nonet agreed to continue on, and a singing tradition was born.
 
Monday, February 28, 2011

MilkDrive

Music Kristi Kates MilkDrive Shakes Up the Austin Music Scene
By Kristi Kates
The sounds of Austin, Texas resonate in Northern Michigan this weekend
with a band that knows how to fiddle around.
Comprised of Brian Beken, Noah Jeffries, and Dennis Ludiker (all who play
guitar, mandolin, and fiddle) and Matt Mefford on bass, Austin-based
alt-folk band MilkDrive first found its feet in Idaho, the homeland of
main songwriter Jeffries, who grew up playing music with his family’s
bluegrass/gospel band.
 
Monday, February 28, 2011

Miss Tess

Music Kristi Kates Miss Tess’ leads the Retro Parade
By Kristi Kates
Being compared to the likes of both Ella Fitzgerald and Madeleine Peyroux - and being dubbed Outstanding Folk Artist of the Year by the Boston Music Awards - is no small feat.
But Boston-launched, New York-based singer-songwriter Miss Tess, who will be appearing in Traverse City at the InsideOut Gallery, on March 2, is no small-minded musician, pushing and pulling her talents through a wide range of projects but always keeping her own musical sensibilities inta
 
Monday, February 28, 2011

4Play: Ron Sexsmith, Adele, The Jayhawks, Duffy

Music Kristi Kates Ron Sexsmith - Long Player, Late Bloomer - Thirty Tigers
Long underrated and often (unfortunately) unnoticed by U.S. audiences,
Canadian singer-songwriter Sexsmith nonetheless counts among his fans
everyone from Coldplay’s Chris Martin to Elvis Costello. Opening track
“Get in Line” is actually instantly reminiscent of Elvis Costello, right
down to the bobs and warbles at the end of the verse lines; other
highlights include “No Help at All” (on which he sounds a little like
Bruce Hornsby) and “Everytime I Follow,” with its off-beat acoustic and
heavier rhythms. This album full of quiet, stealthy hits closes with
“Nowadays,” prettily plucked on guitar and seasoned faintly with pedal
steel in the background.
 
Monday, February 28, 2011

Rockin‘ the Ozarks at Wakarusa

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Rockin’ the Ozarks at Wakarusa
Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas will be the setting for this year’s 2011 Wakarusa Festival, which has just announced its lineup for the music fest event. It’s a good-sized spring roadtrip from Northern Michigan, but it’ll be well worth it - Ben Harper and the Relentless 7, Thievery Corporation, and buzz band Mumford and Sons are among the headliners, with over 150 bands in all taking over six stages from June 2 through 5. The roster also includes Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Ghostland Observatory, Dark Star Orchestra, and Ozomatli, among plenty of others…
The latest inductees to the Recording Academy’s Grammy Hall of Fame have been announced, honoring the latest lineup of recordings “of lasting historical or qualitative significance” that are at least 25 years old. This set of honorees
 
Monday, February 21, 2011

Bye, Bye winter blues

Music Kristi Kates Bye Bye, Winter Blues Petoskey’s Got the Cure
By Kristi Kates
“It all started because our marketing consultant told us we were doing
well in the summer, but that we needed to get more people here in the
winter,” explains Petoskey Downtown Director Becky Goodman, “there had
been nothing in the past here in the winter, or for the locals.”
 
 
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