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An Exercise of Power

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Kristi Kates

 
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Monday, August 8, 2011

Rufus Wainwright

Music Kristi Kates House of Rufus is a new box set collection of a half-dozen studio albums, two live albums, six DVDs, and four extra albums of previously unreleased material that hit stores earlier this year.
“Rufus,” of course, is singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, he of the elegant, operatic-pop songs, rich tenor vocals, and stylish piano skills.
A few weeks ago, Wainwright took what’s best referred to as a “House of Rufus experience” to the Royal Opera House in London, a five-night series of live performances that made him the first solo artist to take up a musical residency there. Special guest appearances by Wainwright’s father, the famed Loudon Wainwright III; his sister, Martha Wainwright; and his half-sister Lucy Wainwright Roche added to the glitz and glamour of the shows, while the Britten Sinfonia chamber orchestra provided the musical backdrop.
Wainwright, as colorful an interviewee as he is a performer, considered the shows a huge success - and he’s not shy about saying so.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

4Play: Duran Duran, A-ha, Brian Eno, OMD

Music Kristi Kates Duran Duran - All You Need is Now - S-Curve Records
The original ‘80s Brit-synth-popsters, Duran Duran haven’t slowed down much since their Aqua Net days. Catch is, they’ve spent a lot of that time trying to reinvent themselves when they really didn’t need to. Now that ‘80s music is making a genuine comeback, perhaps their trademark sound will catch fire once again, if this album’s any indication of their continuing skills. Produced by Kaiser Chiefs/Adele cohort Mark Ronson, these new D2 songs catch the ear immediately, from the title track to “The Man Who Stole a Leopard,” the synth-y ballad “Before the Rain,” and the pretty “Mediterranea.” It’s a successful return to their Duranie roots.
 
Monday, August 8, 2011

Strokes still promoting Angels album

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Strokes Still Promoting Angles Album
The Strokes are still riding the wave of the April release of their fourth set, Angles,and are simultaneously putting together a fall tour and working on a follow-up album to Angles. Currently cruising through some overseas live dates, they already have two shows scheduled for late summer, specifically Pearl Jam’s 20th Anniversary concerts, which will take place at the Alpine Valley Music Theater in East Troy, Wisconsin on September 3 and 4. Earlier reports pointed out that there’s been a little conflict in the band as the bandmates work separately on songs for the new Strokes set, but perhaps that friction will simply translate to more good, spiky modern rock music…
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

George Cole

Music Kristi Kates He’s toured with Joe Walsh of The Eagles, was guitar instructor/mentor to Green Day, performed with Buster Poindexter, and recorded with Chris Isaak. But guitarist/vocalist/composer/producer George Cole is poised to perhaps become best known for his own work with his George Cole Quintet, a group he’s put together to interpret the sounds of great American classic songs through a musical filter that’s all his own.
Comprised of Jimmy Grant (“he brings the power,” Cole says), Chris Bastian (“connectivity”), Stephan Dudash (“virtuosity”), Mary Jenson (“melody”) and Cole (“I bring the flash,” he laughs), the five musicians focus on a sound that Cole has developed - one that he’s dubbed ‘Eurocana.’
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Lollapalooza

Music Kristi Kates Big, big numbers are being projected for this year’s 20th Anniversary Lollapalooza Festival (August 5-7) in Chicago, which serves as pretty much the Midwest’s only truly gigantic claim to summer music festival fame, with Rothbury’s Electric Forest Fest aiming at second place. Lolla keeps aiming at bigger and bigger goals, and this year’s no exception.
If 90,000 tickets sold per each day of Lolla’s three-day run sounds like a lot to you, you’re right - last year’s record was 240,000 people over the weekend; a sold-out show this year would result in a three-day attendance of 270,000. So patience will definitely be a virtue - but it’ll be worth it to see Lolla’s once again standout lineup.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

4Play: James Blunt, Old 97‘s, Kaiser Chiefs, Incubus

Music Kristi Kates James Blunt - Some Kind of Trouble - Atlantic
Twelve fresh songs arrive from Brit singer-songwriter on this set, with production by Steve Robson and songs penned by Blunt himself. People tend to be polarized regarding Blunt’s music, mostly due to the inescapable presence of his biggest hit, “You’re Beautiful”; but it’s not fair to hold that against him when he does have such skill at crafting indie-pop ballads. The jangling guitars of “Stay the Night” open the set, which movies right into the peppy (for Blunt) “Dangerous” and “I’ll Be Your Man.” And those ballads are certainly present - the highlights being “No Tears,” “Best Laid Plans,” and the Americana-tinged “If Time Is All We Have.”

 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Paul Van Heest

Art Kristi Kates Motivated by a couple of politely persistent emails and a recommendation
from a print company, Kuhlhaus Gallery owner Tim Coon remembers first
discovering the artwork of Paul VanHeest.
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Cycling Salamander

Art Kristi Kates As a child in the ’70s, I used to spend hours looking for salamanders
along Lake Charlevoix, where my parents had a cottage on the south arm,”
says Rebecca Glotfelty, owner of the Cycling Salamander gallery in
Charlevoix. “The gallery’s name stems from my childhood love for
salamanders, and my love for mountain biking.”
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Afro-Punk Fest arriving in August

Modern Rock Kristi Kates The seventh annual Afro-Punk fest will take place this year on August 28 and 29 in Brooklyn, and they’re bringing back the Battle for the Streets Skate and BMX Competition for the second time this year; making its debut at the event will be the Afro-Punk Bites and Beats, which will include food vendor trucks from around the world. But let’s get to the music - the lineup’s been announced, too, and will include sets from Ninjasonik, Jay Electronica, Rocky Business, Reggie Watts, and Toro Y Moi, among others, all rocking out in Brooklyn’s Commodore Barry Park…
 
Monday, August 1, 2011

Take It From The Top

Features Kristi Kates It’s not often that youthful students have a chance to work with a Broadway director on their theatrical skills, but that’s what’s in store for kids participating in the Take It From the Top (TIFTT) workshops this summer at the Traverse City Opera House.
Poised to offer aspiring musical theater performers a wealth of personalized training and experience in music, dance, and theater, the TIFTT workshops, taught by Broadway professionals and helmed by director Paul Canaan, are enriching and focused, exposing their students to many different facets of on-stage life.
Currently, the workshops are limited to those aged 10 to 18; a teachers’ workshop took place in East Lansing, but that idea has yet to be developed in Traverse City, nor have adult theater workshops. But for the youthful students who are fortunate enough to be able to enroll, it’s a chance to see what the Broadway life is really all about.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Maybe August, Definitely Music

Music Kristi Kates “We used to just make stuff up,” Maybe August’s Rosco (no last name, please) says by way of explaining the origin of their band name, “you know - a different story for everyone who asked.” But the best of all, he continues, was when the media picked up a tall tale about a famous (nonexistant) connection.
“The story got out that we had been named by (actress) Halle Berry,” Rosco chuckles. “We were just messing around with the journalist who was interviewing us, but a lot of media outlets picked it up and that one went on for a while.”
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Manchester Orchestra , Cold, Alkaline Trio, Separation

Music Kristi Kates Opening with a direct message to fans “Dear everybody/that has paid to see my band…,” Manchester Orchestra’s latest carefully places some more delicate instrumentals - specifically strings - on top of their stacks of heavy, dense guitars, a definite plus for the album’s overall sound and presence. “Mighty” is perhaps the best example of this musical juxtaposition, as is the even catchier “Pensacola” and the title track. Both guitars and violins quiet to complement each other well on “Leave It Alone,” while “Apprehension” shifts the focus to the track’s percussion, with strongly personal lyrics throughout the set.

 
Monday, July 25, 2011

The Decemberists Kings of Their Stage

Music Kristi Kates Indie folk-rockers The Decemberists aren’t your typical West Coast hipster band. Fusing their ambitious, complex songs with everything from historical happenings to old wives’ tales and lore borrowed from sea shanties, a live Decemberists show might find the audience doing everything from singing along to watching a quirky reenactment of a ship battle to being told to “scream as if they were being eaten by a whale.”
It’s all just part of The Decemberists’ colorful stage show, which also finds the audience doing a whole lot of applauding.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Maybe August, Definitely Music

Music Kristi Kates “We used to just make stuff up,” Maybe August’s Rosco (no last name, please) says by way of explaining the origin of their band name, “you know - a different story for everyone who asked.” But the best of all, he continues, was when the media picked up a tall tale about a famous (nonexistant) connection.
“The story got out that we had been named by (actress) Halle Berry,” Rosco chuckles. “We were just messing around with the journalist who was interviewing us, but a lot of media outlets picked it up and that one went on for a while.”
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Expect ?Celticana? from Basement Band Duo

Music Kristi Kates Billy Brandt is a busy man.
Not only does he play with regionally-popular band Grievous Angel, who
keep the dance floor moving at places like Petoskey’s City Park Grill, but
he’s also had to make room in his den for several Detroit Music Awards,
takes care of various releases through his own record label. Now, he is
also helming a duo, Billy Brandt, Sarana VerLin and the Basement Band,
which will perform several Northern Michigan shows this August.
His work with duet partner VerLin started from what might seem like an
unlikely source for this seasoned performer - the internet.
 
 
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