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, November 8, 2010

A concert series for SoBo

Music Kristi Kates A Concert Series for SoBo: Boyne City gallery merges art with music
By Kristi Kates
The SoBo Arts District in Boyne City continues to boom, not the least of which is via the musical offerings of a new concert series.
Singer-songwriter Michael Lee Seiler has amped-up his participation in the Sobo scene as entertainment director for the BAC (Boyne Arts Collective), bringing live performances to the artsy little town’s roster of activities.
Begun at the end of August with a fundraiser that helped revamp the BAC’s South Gallery room that serves as the music venue, Seiler is offering concerts on the second and fourth Sunday of each month from 4-6 p.m., usually in conjunction with an art exhibit in the BAC’s gallery.
 
Monday, November 8, 2010

Hillbilly Music

Music Kristi Kates Hillbilly Music: Old Sledge brings the music of the mountains
By Kristi Kates
The sound of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia comes to Northern Michigan this week, with the arrival of Old Sledge.
“This winter is going to be a busy one for Old Sledge,” begins the band’s Sabra Guzmán. “we wrapped up a great summer with festivals and new venues, and for this fall, we’re getting to visit four new towns in Michigan. We’re really excited to be treading into new territory, and hope to make some new friends and fans!”
If you’re a fan of traditional “old-timey” music, whether fiddle tunes, Appalachian classics, or revitalized blues, chances are you’ll quickly become a fan of Guzmán and her bandmate, aptly named Chance McCoy. The pair of friends, who often round out their duo sound by adding frequent live collaborators Ben Townsend or Jake Hopping, will be performing in Petoskey this Saturday at the Crooked Tree Arts Center.
 
Monday, November 8, 2010

4Play: Brian Wilson, Madlib, Lloyd Miller, Various Artists

Music Kristi Kates Brian Wilson - Reimagines Gershwin - Disney
The uber-talented Brian Wilson keeps evolving as a creative musician, this time taking on two pieces of music left by the equally skillful George Gershwin when he passed away (with the approval of the Gershwin estate.) Wilson’s gift for melodies blends perfectly with Gershwin’s
lush, beautiful compositions, adding modernity to the likes of “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “Summertime.” And Wilson completes the unfinished “The Like in I Love You” and “Nothing But Love” with his gift for songcraft; he adds beachy buoyancy and delicate emotion to both of these tracks that Gershwin unintentionally left in very good musical hands.
 
Monday, November 8, 2010

Fox on a Hill

Music Kristi Kates Fox on a Hill: Celebrates Four Years
By Kristi Kates
Fox hunting takes a musical twist this week with an organization whose
‘targets’ are promising musicians.
Founded by Patrick Schaller, Susan Fawcett, and Clay Ebert, Fox on a
Hill Productions is becoming well-known for their promotion of
primarily Michigan-based musicians, artists, and filmmakers.
 
Monday, November 8, 2010

Gallagher‘s beady eye makes bold claims

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Gallagher’s Beady Eye Makes Bold Claims
Ex-Oasis singer Liam Gallagher is making some pretty big claims regarding the upcoming album from his new band project, Beady Eye, especially considering Oasis’ gigantic success over the years. The band has reportedly completed work on the album, which Gallagher says won’t be released until 2011 - but he’s already claiming it will be the “best album of the next 50 years” and will be “bigger than Oasis.” The other members of Beady Eye are ex-Oasis members Andy Bell on bass and Gem Archer on guitar, plus Chris Sharrock on drums. Oasis’ other half, Liam’s brother Noel Gallagher (who was responsible for the majority of songwriting in Oasis) is already hard at work on his own solo album project...
Sting has added “Farm Shopkeeper” to his list of accomplishments - the former
 
Monday, November 8, 2010

Top Banana

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Top Banana: Nothing ‘conventional’ about this band
By Kristi Kates
Paul Shaffer’s band on the David Letterman show has often been referred to as “The World’s Most Dangerous Band.” But Saginaw/Bay City pop-rockers The Banana Convention, it seems, are in the running to be dubbed “The World’s Busiest Band.”
We asked percussionist/vocalist Monte Nothelfer what the band’s been up to lately. His answer would even make the uber-peppy Richard Simmons tired.
“Well, we’ve self-recorded several albums of original music,and have gone on the road many times, hitting up major cities across the country like Detroit, Denver, New York, Washington DC, and Los Angeles,” Nothelfer says. “We’ve played the Warped Tour three years in a row, and opened for the band All Time Low at the Chicago House of Blues.
 
Monday, November 1, 2010

Benny Green

Music Kristi Kates Benny Green‘s Been Around: 100 album jazz odyssey for swing maven
By Kristi Kates
Benny Green’s discography reads like - well, like a very long discography. Green’s work, both on his own as a highly-regarded jazz pianist and also as a sideman to everyone from Art Blakey to Cecil Brooks III, Betty Carter to Bob Belden, Ray Brown to Freddie Hubbard, is more than impressive, spanning well over 100 album appearances.
And now, he’ll be adding to his equally lengthy list of live performances with a show at Interlochen’s Dendrinos Chapel and Recital Hall on November 4.
 
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
 
 
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