Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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Foo Fightin‘ across the U.S.

Kristi Kates - January 14th, 2008
Foo Fightin’ Across the U.S.
Foo Fighters kick off their U.S. arena tour this week, and it’s already set up to keep the band on the road through early March, for starters. Touring in support of their latest (sixth) studio album, Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace, the Foos are making this particular trek a bigger production than ever, with two different stages and some mechanical “gags,” according to the band. The two stages will be utilized as one main stage and one acoustic stage that will be used for a handful of quieter songs; some guest musicians are also expected to appear. The Foos also recently garnered five Grammy nominations for their newest disc...
Speaking of awards, musicians Eddie Vedder and Shakira are both up for awards in the music categories for the 65th Annual Golden Globe Awards; Shakira for her song “Despedida” from the movie “Love in the Time of Cholera,” and Vedder for his original score for the film “Into the Wild” and also his song “Guaranteed” from the same film. In the Best Musical or Comedy category, this year’s nominees include Johnny Depp/Tim Burton’s “Sweeney Todd” and The Beatles-driven musical “Across the Universe,” among others...
London indie duo The Kills began recording their latest album in Los Angeles, but didn’t find the atmosphere to their liking - so they decamped for the unlikely recording locale of... Benton Harbor, Michigan, to a studio where they had previously recorded their 2005 album. The bands says that they like the fact that there are “no distractions” and that they had to invent things to do while staying in the relatively remote location. The result? Their latest set, Midnight Boom, will include songs “Tape Song,” “Hook and Line,” and “Alphabet Pony,” will be in stores in Michigan and beyond on March 18 via Domino Records...
Matt Costa’s second album, Unfamiliar Faces, just hit stores, and already Costa has planned out a tour in support of the new disc. He’s also managed to snag Jonathan Rice as opening act (Rice’s Further North album hit stores this past September) Dates on the Costa/Rice venture include stops in Chicago (2/22), Ann Arbor (2/25), Boston (2/29), Philly (3/4), Washington DC (3/5), and Hotlanta (3/8)...

MODERN ROCK LINK OF THE WEEK:
Okkervil River has uploaded a free digital collection of cover songs called the Golden Opportunities Mixtape - complete with the band’s versions of songs by the likes of Serge Gainsbourg, John Phillips, Jimmy Webb, and Randy Newman - and it’s yours for the taking at
www.okkervilriver.com...

MINI BUZZ:
But wait, there’s more awards news - in the Spoken Word Album category, that is, which this year will pit presidental hopeful Barack Obama (“The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream”) against former Presidents Bill Clinton (“Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World”) and Jimmy Carter (“Sunday Mornings in Plains: Bringing Peace to a Changing World”)...
And there’s more presidental-slash-music news, too - the aforementioned Obama brought indie rocker Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes) along to a recent January rally; Oberst played a few tunes and said to the crowd, “I met the next President of the United States earlier today.” Other musical Obama-backers include The Cool Kids and Jeff Tweedy...
The Decemberists may have cancelled their tour this past fall due to illness, but now they’re getting back on their feet, having booked a couple of make-up shows for fans in the Northwest; they’ll take on a two-night stand at Portland, Oregon’s Crystal Ballroom (1/22 and 1/23) and will follow those shows up with two at Seattle’s Moore Theater (1/30 and 1/31)...
Underworld’s formerly scuttled tour has been rescheduled, too - they’ll kick off their new dates on January 28 in Cologne, Germany - additional shows will include stops in Amsterdam (1/30), Prague (2/9), and London (2/28 and 2/29)...
Boston band Mission of Burma are set to take the stage at Allston, Massachusetts’ Great Scott on January 20 to play a show to benefit the U.S. Campaign for Burma...
And, of all people, Skid Row singer Sebastian Bach has finally been the one to point out the emptiness of MySpace “Friend”-ship Bach points out that he has over 83,000 “Friends” on MySpace, but if they were actually friends, wouldn’t they have purchased 83,000 copies of his new album, Angel Down, by now? Good point...
And here are a few things good for your media collection; this week’s new releases... ON CD: Ringo Starr’s Liverpool 8... Get Set Go’s Sunshine, Joy and Happiness: A Tragic Tale of Death, Despair and Other Silly Nonsense... Hello, Blue Roses’ Hello, Blue Roses... British Sea Powers’ Do You Rock Like Music?... TV on the Radio’s Walking the Cow... and Eels’ Living Life... ON DVD: Celine Dion’s A New Day... David Gilmour: Music in Review... Inside The Smiths... and James Brown and BB King’s One Special Night... and that’s the buzz for this week’s Modern Rock.
Questions, comments, rants, raves, suggestions on this column or your fave musicians? Send ‘em to Kristi at modernrocker@gmail.com!
 
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