Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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4Play: Sonic Youth, Counting Crows, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam

Kristi Kates - August 29th, 2011
Sonic Youth - Hits Are for Squares - Geffen
Essentially a hits collection in defiance of the album’s name, this Sonic Youth best-of was put together in an interesting fashion - specifically, by a group of fellow artists personally selected by the band who in turn chose the Sonic Youth songs that would be included here. Given that the tracks were chosen by such a wide range of folks, it’s to be expected that the album itself is somewhat uneven, but it’s still entertaining - top picks include the Beck-selected “Sugar Kane,” the Radiohead-chosen “Kool Thing,” and the Mike D-dubbed “100%,” while Eddie Vedder, Chloe Sevigny, and Gus Van Sant picked less appealing Sonic Youth tunes.



Counting Crows - August and Everything After: Live at Town Hall - Eagle Records
Plenty of strained vocals - and quite a bit of swearing, as well - highlight (?) frontman Adam Duritz’ part of this live concert release from the Berkeley folk-pop-rock band. The rest of the musicians are in decent form, fusing in Hammond B-3 organs, a broad range of guitars and mandolins, and solid percussion into a hits-worthy setlist of Crows tracks as they perform their seven-million-copies selling 1993 album August and Everything After in its entirety. Tracks “’Round Here,” “Ghost Train,” and the ultimately singalongable “Mr. Jones” translate better on record than live, but it’s still fun reminiscing with the band on this classic ‘90s album.


Red Hot Chili Peppers - I’m With You - Warner Bros.
2006 was the last we heard from the Red Hot Chili Peppers (at least in album form), although their long setlist of songs lives on on album rock stations nationwide. Now they’re back with their latest Rick Rubin-produced set (Rubin’s produced the last six of the band’s albums now) as recorded in the Peppers stomping grounds of Los Angeles. Sounds copacetic so far, right? Well - it is - kind of. Problem with the Peppers almost 30 years into their career is that nothing much has changed; songs like “Look Around” and “Police Station” just sound like outtakes from older RHCP albums. For fans, this is reassuring; for the casual listener, it’s just boring.


Pearl Jam - Twenty (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - Columbia
Almost Famous director Cameron Crowe is at the helm for the film part of this Pearl Jam 20th anniversary rockumentary, which is set to be accompanied in September by its own soundtrack, ‘natch. The two-disc set brings together live tracks, demos, and instrumental versions of PJ songs from “Crown of Thorns” and “Black” to “Alive” and “Walk With Me,” with standouts including their Saturday Night Live performance of “Just Breathe” and a NYC live version of “Better Man.” Accompanied by Crowe-penned liner notes in a snazzy booklet, this is a nice commemoration of the Seattle band’s two decades together.
 
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