Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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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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