Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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4Play: Various Artists, Brian Keane, Various Artists, Simon and Garfunkel

Kristi Kates - September 5th, 2011
Various Artists - America: A Tribute to Heroes - Interscope
Big-scale concerts - especially those with a long list of equally big names - can take up to a year to organize. But when duty calls, musicians and organizers can definitely step up to the plate and deliver, as they did with this heartfelt and surprisingly subdued presentation, which took place on September 21, 2001. Broadcast commercial-free by all four major US TV networks, the event took place on a stage lit by hundreds of candles, and featured moving performances by Neil Young (John Lennon’s “Imagine”), Wyclef Jean (“Redemption Song”), Bruce Springsteen (“My City of Ruins”), and U2’s emotional medley of “Peace on Earth”/”Walk On.”


Brian Keane - New York (Original Soundtrack Recording) - RCA
The striking accompaniment to the PBS documentary of the same name, this album features the skillfully-written NYC-focused compositions of Brian Keane, alongside revamps of some of the best-known classic compositions about the Big Apple. “Dark History Theme” and “Dark History Waltz” both dredge up plenty of emotion about the attacks on NYC both new and historical; “Transformation” musically evokes the City’s growth and changes over time; and “City of Dreams” especially captures the depth of living in the City itself. Classics “Rhapsody in Blue,” “Take the ‘A’ Train,” and “Anything Goes” round out this audio tour of Manhattan and its wealth of stories.

Various Artists - The Concert for New York City - Sony
This two-disc set showcases the best of this concert, which took place at NYC’s own Madison Square Garden on October 20, 2001, and featured highlights such as James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain,” Five for Fighting’s “Superman,” Billy Joel’s “New York State of Mind,” and David Bowie covering Simon and Garfunkel’s emotional “America.” Organized by Beatle Paul McCartney (and featuring many of his Brit-rock pals including Rolling Stones Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, The Who, Bowie, and Elton John), the event focused on honoring the NYFD and NYPD first responders, recovery workers, and those lost in the attacks. A moving and hopeful tribute.

Simon and Garfunkel - Tales from New York: The Very Best Of - Sony/Columbia
Few artists current or classic capture the feelings and moods of New York City better than Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. While this album wasn’t specifically crafted with September 11 in mind (it’s an older release), it’s still a perfect tribute to The City That Never Sleeps, from the subterranean subway and tenement warnings of “The Sound of Silence,” to the seasonal perfection that is “A Hazy Shade of Winter,” and the solitary city dweller of “I Am a Rock.” Even more City-specific are standouts “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy),” “At the Zoo,” “The Only Living Boy in New York,” and of course the duo’s evocative (and oft-covered) “America.”

 
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