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 - 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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