Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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4Play

Kristi Kates - July 28th, 2005
The Foos’ went from their original idea of an acoustic album to this, a double-disc that exercises both the Foos’ heavy-punk ambitions and their quieter abilities. Yet another foomination - er, rumination - mostly on relationships, Foo leader Dave Grohl still stays behind his wall, only peeking his head around lyrically to give a few scant glimpses into how he really thinks about things.  There are some solid songs here, but they’re mostly on the acoustic disc - the headbangin’ disc gives the impression that the band was a little too concerned about giving off the impression of rockin’ hard to actually cut loose and do so.  This latest Foo effort offers up a few solid tracks - but the Foos might’ve been better off if they’d concentrated on one collection of quality songs, instead of spreading themselves too thin. 


 
Bryan Adams - Room Service - Mercury

Canadian pop-rocker Bryan Adams used to be a big deal in the early ‘90s.  Heck, he’s still a big deal in Europe, much like David Hasselhoff.  But although this album’s concept is pretty cool - Adams reportedly recorded the 11 tracks of Room Service in various hotel rooms while on tour in Europe, hence the title - it doesn’t live up to its own hype.  His raspy, urgent voice still sounds pretty decent, given the genre, but the songs themselves are awfully generic, suggesting that Adams might end up playing fairground bills instead of arena rock shows. There are a couple of songs that you might want to snag as singles, if you’re a fan of that back-to-basics heartland rock formula (namely “This Side of Paradise” and “East Side Story”), but overall, it’s quite lukewarm - average, even - in both its songs and presentation.


Screaming Trees - Ocean of Confusion - Songs of Screaming Trees 1990-1996 - Sony Music

Screaming Trees, although they did have one radio hit with the uber-hooky “Nearly Lost You” (which also appeared on the soundtrack for the slice-of-Seattle-life flick Singles), never quite hit the stride that fellow Seattle-ites like Soundgarden and Alice in Chains did.  And that’s really a shame - which is something you’ll discover when you take a listen to some of their back catalog as revealed on this disc.  More experimental and psychedelic ‘60s than the bulk of the grunge bands that came out of their hometown, it rocks hard but still manages to showcase some gothic-meets-grunge lyricism and the gutteral, expressive vocals of bandleader Mark Lanegan.  Old-school Screaming Trees will find this a must have, while grunge fans in general will want to add this to their collection, even if they’re new to this Seattle band who are still rocking under the radar.


Backstreet Boys - Never Gone - Jive Records

The first BSB album in over five years from the Orlando, Florida boy band, now more men than boys, the group seems a little lost on this effort, and with good reason, since boy bands are finally out of vogue for the most part.  It’s somewhat admirable that they’re attempting to stage a comeback - well, maybe gutsy is a better word - but they didn’t strike out far enough from their original sound to make any kind of real impact.  They’re still not writing much of their own music, which probably contributes to their somewhat superficial sound - the harmonies are there, granted, but there isn’t much of a foundation to support the Boys’ vocals.  It’s not completely horrible - they do have a good production team behind them, and again, they’re trying and all - it’s just that the results aren’t really much of anything.




 
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