Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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4Play: Gomez, Marianne Faithfull, Bon Iver, Jill Scott

Kristi Kates - July 4th, 2011
Gomez - Whatever’s on Your Mind - ATO/Red
With members that live in the UK and the U.S., Gomez convened in - where else? (huh?) - a recording studio in Virginia to work on their seventh studio set, which they produced with producer Sam Farrar (Maroon 5, Phantom Planet.) Written in large part by internet correspondence, the songs here carry through with Gomez’ trademark sound, whether it’s the acoustically-based resignation anthem “Options”; the piano-festooned title song; the uber-catchy “Place and the People”; or what is perhaps the most alt-rock track on the set, “Equalize.” It’s nothing unusual, but that’s not bad - it’s simply another set of solid new Gomez tunes.



Marianne Faithfull - Horses and High Heels - Naïve
Faithfull’s 19th album finds the singer in her mid-60s and in the same quirky form of voice that her vocals have always resided in since her early days. This album is pretty equally divided between new songs for Faithfull and a half-dozen ‘60s cover song versions; both approaches work well for the singer, most effectively on the title track, which she co-wrote about places she’s been, and the Dusty Springfield number “Goin’ Back,” which she rearranges a little and gives her own vocal twist. Other highlights include “Love Song,” “No reasons, “Past Present and Future,” and the poppiest track here, her light take on “Gee Baby.”




Bon Iver - Bon Iver - Jagjaguwar
A direct contrast to Bon Iver’s previous effort, this set finds singer-songwriter Justin Vernon with a host of musical guest collaborators, and an approach that pushes his songs out of their folky comfort zone and on to musical experimentation, especially in the percussion and “world instruments” divisions. “Perth” opens the set with marching drums fighting for space with the vocals, while “Hinnom TX” introduces ‘80s-style synthesizer runs; “Towers” and “Holocene” are perhaps the two songs that keep more of Bon Iver’s original sound while still infusing them with some new and interesting elements that actually work well.


Jill Scott - The Light of the Sun - BB Records
Scott’s latest is less produced and more “jam-like” than her other albums, as produced by Scott herself along with Faith Evans collaborator J.R. Hutson. “Blessings” opens the collective on an upbeat note, as Scott sings and speaks her way through a grocery list of the things she’s thankful for on “Blessings.” Most of the up-tempo songs are on the album’s first half, from the Donna Summer-like “So In Love” to the horn-synths of “All Cried Out Redux” and the funky “Shame”; the rest of the set, including ballads “Missing You,” “When I Wake Up,” and the jazz-inflected “Rolling Hills” lower the beats to a more mellow approach.
 
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