Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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Ross Boissoneau - March 24th, 2005
Nils Landgren Funk Unit – Funky ABBA (Justin Time Records)

And they said it couldn’t be done. Actually, ABBA’s popularity peaked right about at the height of the disco craze. But funked-up versions of “Thank You For The Music” and “Dancing Queen” just don’t seem right somehow. That is, until you listen to trombonist Landgren and his cohorts, including horns, a rapper, even ABBA’s own Benny Andersson on the concluding “When All Is Said and Done.” The trip-hopped versions of familiar ABBA tunes show a side of the sugary-sweet pop group that lends itself to a driving beat and bass-heavy treatments. Highlights include a soulful “Voulez-Vous” and a rocking “Summer Night City,” but every cut reinvents the Swedish superstars, often slowing down the beat and separating out the unison vocals.

Bill Wyman’s Rhythm Kings – Just For A Thrill (Fuel 2000)

One of the only surviving ex-Rolling Stones, Wyman has been out of the spotlight since leaving the legendary band in 1993. His Rhythm Kings is a collective of old pals and new friends who enjoy the old-time blues and R that first brought his former band together. This is the group’s fourth disc, and like the others it’s an enjoyable program as long as you’re not taking things too seriously. Loose and amiable describes the atmosphere. Among the pals on hand for these sessions are Martin Taylor, Andy Fairweather-Low and Mark Knopfler. The vocalists – Albert Lee, Bevery Skeete, Fame, and Wyman, among others – are properly laid-back and greasy. It’s no “Satisfaction,” but fans of Jools Holland, Louis Jordan, or early rock and roll will enjoy the proceedings.

John Pizzarelli – Knowing You (Telarc)

Guitarist and singer Pizzarelli takes on such varied American songwriting masters as Johnny Mandel, David Frishberg, Sammy Cahn, and Brian Wilson. “Coffee, Black” from the Broadway musical “Big” is a caffeine-fueled romp that drops quotes from the old Maxwell House commercials into the mix. Other highlights include “Ain’t That A Kick In The Head?” which sounds like a set-closer as the patrons have one more for the road. “The Shadow Of Your Smile” has a similar late-night vibe, though this time more like it’s being played to a nearly-empty lounge. Pizzarelli follows that formula throughout the album, mixing up-tempo and more laid-back numbers. Pizzarelli’s playing and his vocal phrasing are so clear and casual that it’s easy to overlook their brilliance.

Thievery Corporation – The Cosmic Game (ESL Music)

This is not your father’s electronic music. Unlike, say, Klaus Schulze’s excursions on the space machine, Thievery Corporation explores a lot of territory in its trippy blend of beats, acoustic guitars, and various world musics. This is closer to easy listening than to the sonic excursions of Tangerine Dream. Lounge music morphs into world music so effortlessly you hardly notice. The Washington D.C. DJ duo of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton continues to produce music that is at once interesting and unknowable. Winding its way from the dance clubs to the blissed-out listening rooms across the country, “The Cosmic Game” includes such exotic instruments as sitar, berimbau and tabla alongside real and synthetic horns and sound effects in its 16 tracks.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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