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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4Play

Kristi Kates - April 20th, 2009
Doves - Kingdom of Rust - Astralwerks
Returning with their first album in four years (has it been that long?) Doves spent a year and a half tracking this set in a farmhouse in the English countryside, with Dan Austin on board again for co-production duties. This album harkens back to the days of Doves’ Lost Souls album, as it’s more moody and ambient than their last set, Some Cities, which did less well on the charts stateside than such an accomplished band might expect. It’s a well-balanced set on which they still rock a bit, too - “Jetstream” is one of those rockers, with a Euro-club heavy beat, while the title track wraps the whole thing up nicely with its atmospheric SFX and prettily shuffled melody lines.



Great Lake Swimmers - Lost Channels - Nettwerk
Singer-songwriter Tony Dekker helms the cargo ship that is Great Lake Swimmers, with their load of well-referenced indie-folk-pop. For this album, they really went into the depths of history, relying on a local Canadian historian to guide them to interesting venues (an old arts center, a castle) in which to record their dense, layered songs amidst genuine reverb. Whether it’s a surprise banjo on “The Chorus in the Underground,” the buoyant guitar on “River’s Edge,” or the mention of several Toronto landmarks in “Concrete Heart,” they’ve tried to build this particular album in order to capture the feel of their recording locale, and from the sounds of this, they’ve succeeded.



Tinted Windows - Tinted Windows - S-Curve
The singer is Taylor Hanson (yes, of the brothers Hanson pop group); the bass player is Fountains of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger; the guitarist is Smashing Pumpkins’ James Iha; and the drummer is Cheap Trick’s Bun E. Carlos. And no, I’m not making this up. Hanson and Schlesinger first met in the mid-’90s and discussed collaborating, as Schlesinger did with Iha; once that trio was established, they brought in Carlos. The result? An uber-peppy and way New Wave/rock set that somehow manages to both sound like... and completely different from... all of the referenced bands, especially on the feisty “Kind of a Girl” and the ‘80s-heavy “Messing With My Head.”


Vetiver - Tight Knit - Sub Pop
It takes a few listens to squeeze all of the subtleties out of a Vetiver record - especially this one, which is even more detailed than the previous three efforts - but that listening proves well worth it once you realize the rich depth of the songs as written by Andy Cabic. Reminiscent of a slightly more exotic take on Brian Wilson’s quieter, more folky side of songwriting (complete with ‘60s organ), other influences, such as The Shins, surface on songs like the synth-inflected “More of This,” while that Wilson-esque beachy groove continues through such tracks as the comfortable trot of “On the Other Side” and the slightly (but just slightly) peppier feel of “Everyday.”
 
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