Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

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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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