May 25, 2020

Kristi Kates | Author


Motown Founder Finally Retires

Jan. 4, 2020

As 2019 wound to a close, so did Motown mogul Berry Gordy’s career; the always-busy Detroit native, who founded and grew Motown Records (and launched the careers of such acts as Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Th... Read More >>

James Blunt – Once Upon a Mind – Atlantic

Jan. 4, 2020

Still fighting his meme-worthy “You’re Beautiful” reputation, Blunt has spent the past several years continuing his growth as a songwriter, and with this album, at last, it’s clear he deserves another listen. He tried some electronica components on his last album, ... Read More >>

Get Festive with Kacey and Friends

Dec. 21, 2019

Singer-songwriter Kacey Musgraves is the latest musical celeb to get her own holiday special, and it’s streaming now on Amazon Prime. Narrated by Dan Levy, the show will feature performances of classic seasonal tunes by Musgraves and her friends, in... Read More >>

Wham! – Last Christmas: The Soundtrack – Legacy

Dec. 21, 2019

A movie inspired by … ’80s dance-pop outfit Wham!? That’s Last Christmas, a new romantic holiday comedy co-written by Emma Thompson and featuring Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Henry Golding. The soundtrack’s are mostly fun, in a nostalgic s... Read More >>

Last-minute Stocking Stuffers

Dec. 21, 2019

Need a lil’ something to stuff in somebody’s Christmas stocking? Don’t waste time waiting for Amazon to deliver. Simply shop the old-fashioned way: Stroll into a shop in your town and buy something special. Here’s a few ideas we’re hoping to find in our stock... Read More >>

How to Resist Leaving Your Kids in a Snowbank Over Winter Break

Dec. 21, 2019

You’ve baked all the cookies, visited with all the relatives, unwrapped all the gifts, watched all the movies, and played all the games ... and there’s still a week of winter break left to go. Now what? If you and your kids are starting to come down with a hot case cabin fever... Read More >>

Winter Festival Madness!

Dec. 14, 2019

The best way to prevent cabin fever in the coming months? Plan to hit up some of the North’s weird, wild, or just plain wonderful winter fests. We’ve assembled a few of our favorites — and a singular must-see event at each. All you’ve got to do is pencil in the dat... Read More >>

Merlefest Brings Back the Folk and More

Dec. 14, 2019

Enjoy Americana, bluegrass, folk, roots, and country music? Then get yourself ready for a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina next spring, when the 28th annual Merlefest rolls around April 23–26. Founded in 1988 by guitarist Doc Watson, the must-visit music fest for f... Read More >>

Blake Shelton – Fully Loaded: God’s Country – Warner Bros. Nashville

Dec. 7, 2019

Shelton is an interesting mix of traditional good ol’ country boy and kindly coach (with bonus dad jokes) of aspiring talent on NBC’s “The Voice.” A settled relationship with pop star Gwen Stefani has also shifted Shelton’s sound to a more mainstream tone. Fi... Read More >>

Pharrell Finds Something in the Water

Nov. 30, 2019

Pharrell Williams’ multi-day music and culture festival, Something in the Water, which Williams debuted last April in his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is set to return for 2020. The tentative dates: April 24–26. The fest will be divided into two portions: culture (wit... Read More >>

Hovvdy – Heavy Lifting – Double Double Whammy

Nov. 30, 2019

Sketching out an audio picture of life as a teen in the ’burbs, Hovvdy’s third album of faintly naïve indie pop circles around first relationships and the breakup of same. Whether the duo, Will Taylor and Charlie Martin, are looking for the keys to long-lasting love (&ldq... Read More >>

Pharrell Finds Something in the Water

Nov. 30, 2019

Pharrell Williams’ multi-day music and culture festival, Something in the Water, which Williams debuted last April in his hometown of Virginia Beach, Virginia, is set to return for 2020. The tentative dates: April 24–26. The fest will be divided into two portions: culture (wit... Read More >>

Downstate Destination: Enter Peppa’s World

Nov. 16, 2019

Peppa and George, Mummy and Daddy, Grandpa and Granny Pig — the entire Peppa Pig family would love Great Lakes Crossing’s newest attraction. As a matter of fact, they’d feel right at home.

Peppa Pig, as anyone with a preschooler probably already knows, is a Briti... Read More >>

Peter Green – Kolors – MOV

Nov. 16, 2019

Composed of leftover blues-rock tracks from several of Green’s earlier recording sessions (ones that didn’t make it to the actual albums), this is an interesting collection — especially considering any of the tunes would’ve fit in to his other sets seamlessly. It&r... Read More >>

Kraftwerk, Houston, B.I.G. for Hall of Fame

Nov. 9, 2019

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its annual list of nominees, Among those on the list of 16 performers up for inclusion in the rock hall in 2020 are Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.I.G., Kraftwerk, Soundgarden, and Todd Rundgren. The ceremony itself, presented by Klipsch Audi... Read More >>

Yeasayer – Fragrant World – Secretly Canadian

Nov. 9, 2019

There’s a lot of machinery on Yeasayer’s latest, as the experimental indie-popsters dig into more eclectic, diverse sounds and steer away from classic indie-rock guitars. Piling layers of synths and drum machine tracks atop each other would seem to result in disorder, but the ... Read More >>

Meaningful Music from Kittel & Co.

Nov. 9, 2019

If you’re a music fan living in Michigan, chances are good you’ve heard of Jeremy Kittel. Originally hailing from the Ann Arbor area, the Grammy-nominated composer and musician — aka violin, fiddle, and viola master — is a force to be reckoned with, and not just in... Read More >>

Lamp Light Fest Dimmed

Nov. 2, 2019

Eight years in, Grand Rapids Lamp Light Music Festival is closing down the early November event that showcased live “house concert” performances in various Eastown area homes, citing difficulties with community support, accessibility, financial sustainability, and safety. Word... Read More >>

Various Artists – Big Little Lies Season 2 – ABKCO

Nov. 2, 2019

A big-time roster of actresses leads this Emmy-winning HBO series — Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, and Laura Dern — and the series’ accompanying soundtrack is equally impressive. Here, you’ll find tracks deftly themed to the show&... Read More >>

What’s trending in northern Michigan music

Nov. 2, 2019

Music trends come and go like everything else, but it’s always interesting to take the pulse of our region to see what’s happening on our stages and in our music stores. We checked in with some in-the-know folks, and here’s what’s hot on the local music scene.
Read More >>