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/ R.E.M., James Apollo, The Smiths, Landy

Kristi Kates - June 15th, 2009
R.E.M. - Reckoning: Deluxe Edition - IRS/A&M
Kristi Kates 6/15/09
R.E.M. continue their series of reissues with a great 25th anniversary deluxe version of their 1984 album, Reckoning, which arrives via IRS. Another two-disc set (like last year’s reissue of the band’s Murmur), the first disc includes the remastered album, with super-clear sound on such tracks as “So. Central Rain” and “Pretty Persuasion,” while the second disc is a live show recorded in Chicago in 1984 at the Aragon Ballroom; that disc features live renditions of eight songs from Reckoning as well as “Driver 8” and “Hyena,” which were new at the time.



James Apollo - Angels We Have Grown Apart - No Alternative
He’s better known overseas than he may be in the U.S., but that doesn’t diminish James Apollo’s talent at all - Americans are just gonna have to catch up with his redolent brand of thoughtful, soulful folk-pop. “Morphine and Wine” blends American jazz with mournful lyrics; a viola serves as the carrying thread throughout the song “It’s Cruel,” with its veering tempo changes; and “Dead Men Weigh More Than Broken Hearts” is perhaps the perfect audio representation of Apollo’s jazzy, melancholy songs and his distinctive, smoky 2 a.m. vocals.


The Smiths -The Sound of the Smiths: The Very Best - Rhino
This deluxe two CD set of The Smiths is quite accurate in its “Best” description; this album really does bring together most of the band’s best tracks from their beginnings in 1981. Morrissey and Johnny Marr’s skills and songwriting complexities stand up even today, whether you’re listening to Smiths classics like “How Soon is Now?” “Girlfriend in a Coma,” or “Panic” - or slightly lesser-known tracks like “The Boy with the Thorn in His Side,” or “Shoplifters of the World Unite,” you’ll hear why The Smiths are still an influential band to plenty of today’s indie-rockers.


LANDy - Eros and Omissions - Apology
LANDy is the pseudonym for actor-slash-musician Adam Goldberg (Friends, Saving Private Ryan), who’s actually been crafting music almost as long as he’s been acting. Goldberg teams up here with the Flaming Lips’ Steven Drozd to arrange and enhance Goldberg’s own songs of love and loss, which he actually began writing way back in 2002. Eighteen songs are included here, from the first single, the quirky-poppy “BFF!” to the piano-riddled “Apology 2,” the more complex “Every Time It’s Over,” and “No One in Particular,” which blends peppy music with saddened lyrics.

 
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