Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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Kristi Kates

 
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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.
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Glenn Wolff Brings the Angels to Harbor Springs

Art Kristi Kates Traverse City native Glenn Wolff’s artwork can be seen all over Northern
Michigan and far beyond, including the pages of many magazines, books and
newspapers such as the New York Times. Now, he’s making his mark on Harbor
Springs.
As of July 21, Wolff’s art has been on display at the Kuhlhaus Gallery in
Harbor Springs. Gallery owner Tim Coon, who co-owns Kuhlhaus with his
wife, Helen, was drawn to Wolff’s work for a wide variety of reasons.
“Glenn’s work is unique, for sure,” Coon says, “he uses a wide diversity
of fascinating materials and subjects, and many of his pieces are quite
ethereal.”
 
Monday, July 25, 2011

Cee-Lo, Lowe, Apple Pay Homage to Buddy Holly

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Rave On, Buddy Holly is the title of a new tribute album put together to pay musical homage to one of America’s rock legends, and it’s available right now. Among the covers on the eclectic and worthy set are Paul McCartney’s authentic take on “It’s So Easy,” Cee-Lo’s version of “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care,” Nick Lowe’s “Changing All Those Changes,” Modest Mouse’s “That’ll Be the Day,” The Black Keys’ “Dearest,” and Fiona Apple and Jon Brion’s collaboration on “Every Day”…
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Michael‘s on Fire

Music Kristi Kates Michael’s On Fire
By Kristi Kates
“When I was young, the guitar represented a new way of life that you couldn’t really learn in school,” explains the California guitarist/vocalist/songwriter known simply as Michael On Fire. “It was portrayed as a symbol of freedom - a weapon of the young rebellious spirit that was called rock and roll,” he says.
By the time Michael On Fire was of age, as he explains it, musicians like Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and Muddy Waters had “gotten into the fabric of society,” and it was only a very short matter of time before Michael On Fire was - well, on fire for music. From that point on, no other career would do.
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

4Play: Biosphere, Brendan Perry, Blondie, Broken Bells

Music Kristi Kates Biosphere - N-Plants - Touch
At once retro in its choices of synth sounds and beats, and modern in -
well, its choices of synth sounds and beats, Biosphere’s latest sticks to
his familiar sound while striking out into new, backwards-looking
territory. It is most definitely an album of contrasts. Opener “Hendai 1,”
a bit threatening-sounding, offers an intro that feels much like the
beginnings of a thriller or mystery movie, while its successor, “Shika 1,”
warms things up out of the fear factor zones with a more approachable
composition. Brimming with intensity, these tracks push one step beyond
ambient music and into something a little more pensive.
 
Monday, July 18, 2011

Polaris nominates Arcade Fire, Sloan, Dears

Modern Rock Kristi Kates Polaris Nominates Arcade Fire, Sloan, Dears
This year’s Polaris Music Prize nominees have been announced, with the qualifying albums being released from June 1, 2010 to May 31, 2011. The albums will be judged solely on artistic merit (not sales or other numbers), with the long list of artists being narrowed to a shorter list, and then eventually to the main winner, who will be announced September 19 at the Sixth Annual Polaris Music Prize Gala in Toronto. Already on the long list are modern rockers Ron Sexsmith, Arcade Fire, The Dears, and Sloan…
His Gorillaz Plastic Beach tour is over, and Blur is in a transitional phase (or something), so what’s a supremely talented overachiever to do? Well, if you’re Damon Albarn, you simply embark on yet another project - in this case, Albarn’s writing a rock opera, with the subject matter being Queen Elizabeth I’s scientist/adviser, John Dee. Albarn recently debuted one of the opera’s musical numbers, titled “Apple Carts,” on the BBC - take a listen to the beautiful, pensive song via this Spin link: http://www.spin.com/articles/damon-albarn-debuts-pretty-tune-new-opera. The opera itself, which Albarn
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Red Elvises

Music Kristi Kates Igor Yuzov and a couple of his soon-to-be bandmates were living in Venice
Beach, California when the seeds for Igor and Red Elvises were sown.
“We wanted to play rock n’ roll, and we took it on the streets,” Yuzov
says, “but the crowds got so big, the city of Santa Monica took us to
court and kicked us off the streets.”
Discouraging? Nah. Igor and Red Elvises, Yuzov says, have been touring
ever since.
 
Monday, July 11, 2011

Boyne River Remedy

Music Kristi Kates Much like a good recipe, a good local band is composed of complementary ingredients - in this case, the music and sounds that have influenced each member. This analogy definitely applies to Boyne River Remedy, who founded their group in 2008.
“Josh, Kevin and I got together with several other musicians to write and record a song,” Boyne River Remedy’s Mark Blaauw-Hara says. “We had a great time, and were very happy with how it turned out, so we decided to see how it would go to form a band.”
With a “very informal” process in terms of just who was in said band (“at one point, we had nine members,” Blaauw-Hara chuckles), Boyne River Remedy morphed around who the bandmates knew and who they enjoyed playing music with.
“Our first gig was at Short’s Brewery,” Blaauw-Hara remembers, “and we were thrilled to have a place to play where they’d give us pizza. As we polished our set list and our lineup became more stable, we started playing other places and events in the area - we’ve done everything from house parties to benefits to festivals.”
 
 
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