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, February 21, 2011

4Play: Jamiroquai, Ice Cube, Cee-Lo Green, Ne-Yo

Music Kristi Kates Jamiroquai - Rock Dust Light Star - Mercury UK
Frontman Jay Kay and crew’s first album in over five years, Jamiroquai’s latest set was recorded half in the UK and half in Thailand, giving this set both a grounded and a more exotic side. First single “Blue Skies” sticks close to England - reminiscent, even, of the best possibilities of England’s boy band roster with its pop sensibilities - while other tracks show more depth. The lighter side continues on tracks like the zippy “Lifeline” and “Two Completely Different Things,” while the heavier grooves surface on songs like “White Knuckle Ride,” the bass-y “All Good in the Hood,” and the cool funk-reggae anti-drug anthem “Hey Floyd.”

 
Monday, February 21, 2011

OPapercuts presents their Fading Parade

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Papercuts Present Their “Fading Parade”
Papercuts are set to release a new album early this spring, complete with plenty of new songs from Papercuts mastermind Jason Quever. The latest set, which Quever recently said purposefully avoids being the “aggressive music” that’s often so prominent with indie bands today, leans more toward the folky side of shoegaze pop (and the more folky side of Papercuts’ own sound), and Quever has titled it Fading Parade. The new Papercuts set will hit stores on Sub Pop Records on March 11...
 
Monday, February 21, 2011

Sparkle power

Features Kristi Kates Sparkle Power: Aluminum Show puts the pedal to the metal
By Kristi Kates
Combining movement, plenty of dance, astounding visual theater, and even a
little humor, The Aluminum Show is perhaps one of the more unusual
performances to step onto the City Opera House stage in Traverse City.
An Israeli-based company that’s garnered worldwide recognition for its
artistic and unique approach, the Show has toured across the globe, making
what at first appear to be simple hardware-store implements into an
intriguing and futuristic on-stage world.
 
Monday, February 21, 2011

Getting Organized

Features Kristi Kates Do you use or need this?”
“Why?”
“What do you use this for?”
“What do you need it for?”
These are just a few of the questions calmly asked by professional
organizer Connie Huizenga, whose business, Details, Et Al, strives to
de-clutter and reorganize people’s homes, and, by intent or merely
association, their lives, too.
 
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.


 
 
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