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 - September 29th, 2005
Soulive – Break Out - Concord

Missing that spicy soul music? Into the jam band scene? Like your licks hot and heavy one minute, sweet and sassy the next? Soulive is your answer. One minute the band is channeling Sly Stone, the next Jimi Hendrix, then modern flamenco, and with contributions from Ivan Neville and Chaka Khan among others, there’s some superlative singing as well. But that’s just icing on the cake that is Soulive, a guitar/organ/drums trio that draws its inspiration almost equally from the rock, soul, jam, and jazz camps. They don’t just lock into a groove, they grab it and don’t let go, no matter how ferociously they rock around it. But Soulive offers precision as well, as on the title track, where the two-man horn section complements Eric Krasno’s guitars.

Richard Thompson – Front Parlour Ballads - Cooking Vinyl

Richard Thompson has been hailed as a guitar hero, the voice of folk, and a songwriter extraordinaire. He is, of course, all three. The opening “Let It Blow” is one of those instant singalongs, its lyrics witty and wry. The poignant “For Whose Sake” follows, and the rollicking “Miss Patsy” could come from Planxty or any of the Irish folk-rock groups. But coming as it does from Thompson, you should expect the unexpected, as when he sings, “So I got me a nose job, a shave and a haircut, to drive all them ladies berserk.” All the while he’s finger-picking a beautiful and decidedly difficult guitar line. This collection recorded mostly by himself in his home studio stands comfortably alongside the more than 30 albums he’s crafted with Fairport Convention, with his ex-wife Linda and a host of other collaborators.

Maria Muldaur – Sweet Lovin’ Ol’ Soul - Stony Plain

Midnight at the Oasis? More like quarter to three in some juke joint on the highway, where the line between hillbilly music and the blues is blurred to the point of being ignored. The onetime pop siren has been performing roots music the last several years, trading her vibrato-laden, high-pitched sound for one lower and more, well, lowdown. The honky-tonk piano, fiddle, mandolin, and banjo – and jug! – actually take Muldaur back to her musical roots when she performed with the Even Dozen Jug Band and the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Traditional bluesman Taj Mahal guests, and the two seem perfectly at home with each other and the material, much of it by Memphis Minnie. Still, it’s an acquired taste at best.

Praful – Pyramid In Your Backyard - Rendezvous/Therapy/N-Coded

In the ‘60s Praful’s music would have been labeled psychedelic. In the ‘70s it would have been somewhere in the progressive camp alongside the likes of Henry Cow or the Art Bears. Today it gets play on the smooth jazz stations. Go figure. But this heady concoction of sampled beats, washes of electronic sound, Praful’s snaking saxophone and occasional vocalizing can be mesmerizing one minute, and get you on the dance floor the next. Sometimes the lines coalesce into a regular beat, as on the almost bossa nova-ish “Acredite.” No matter that it’s not sung in English. “Eternity” and “Naked” both are in English, and the former is particularly engaging, the light feathery-soft voice of Sudha floating atop a bed of synthesizers and percussion.

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