Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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4Play: The Bihlman Brothers, Barbara Faith Jordan, Ron Harrison

Kristi Kates - September 28th, 2009
4Play: The Bihlman Brothers, Barbara Faith Jordan, Ron Harrison
Kristi Kates 9/28/09

The Bihlman Bros. - What U Want
Scot “Little” Bihlman and Jeff “Jabo” Bihlman, along with Charlie “Cornbread” Short and Gary Worden, make up the Bihlman Bros., a grunge-country-rock quartet in the vein of a more rustic Stone Temple Pilots or a Pearl Jam light, although the echoes of many different bands can be heard within their range of songs. Opening with the aggressive “I Wanna Fly,” the album quickly takes a turn for the mellow by track three, “Jubilee,” a Southern-rock influenced number with well-arranged harmonies. “Angel’s Wings” is another slow tune, showcasing a slightly Hendrix feel, and is followed by “Needle and Thread,” which recollects the best of Hootie and the Blowfish. The brothers’ vocals do blend well together, especially on the aforementioned “Angel’s Wings” and later track “Better Place,” and the guitar work is adroit and well-mixed; the one real misstep on the set seems to be “Shotgun,” which is a little too gimmicky and unfinished sounding amidst the rest of the album’s polished production values.


Barbara Faith Jordan - Passages
With her clean vocal lines and self-assured acoustic guitar work, Barbara Faith Jordan’s set shows off her thoughtful songwriting and narrative sensitivity, especially on songs like “There’s a Friend,” and “See What You Made Me Do.” A few of the songs here are slightly darker in tone, which makes for a nice change - especially “Loose Ends,” which features detailed characters, some interesting minor chords, and a shift into falsetto towards the end of the song that’s reminiscent of Tori Amos. Speaking of Amos, the piano work of Dave Proulx on “I Remembered to Forget You” also falls into that similar sound, and the keyboard tones line up well with Jordan’s vocals - her voice almost seems to stand out better at times against the piano than the guitar. Elsewhere on the set, she channels the likes of a Mary Chapin Carpenter or a Shawn Colvin on “You’re Too Much,” and closes the collection fittingly with the thankful “Blessed By It All.”


Ron Harrison - River Rd.
Recorded and mixed in Copemish, Michigan, singer-guitarist Ron Harrison presents a half-dozen jazz-pop tracks on his new album, which opens appropriately with a drumroll. First track “Can’t Have It All” features syncopated rhythms and plucked guitar, setting the stage for track two’s continued guitar work and soulful organ. The title track, “River Road,” is nicely anchored by several stringed instruments and a traipsing rhythm that’s well-suited to the road-trek feeling of the song, while the loungey “When I Met You” adds in piano and woodwinds for some added variety and texture. Harrison could use a little more soul in his vocals, though - while his tone is lucid and on-pitch, it seems he needs to summon up a little more emotion than what’s displayed vocally here, as oftentimes he seems to be singing on top of the rest of the instruments, instead of interacting with them and with the song itself. But overall, these tracks are concisely written, and would be a perfect addition to any easy listening radio station’s playlist.

 
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