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

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.



 
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