Letters 11-30-2015

“Snapshots” of Islam Offensive  In his latest effort (Northern Express Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015,) David Kachadurian provides a jumble of FYI disclosures pertaining to Islam and Muslim societies, and posing as if providing a public service announcement, he advises the readers to ponder their import and to “make of them what you will.”

Not Another War To these people who believe we need to be at war in the Middle East all the time: try thinking about getting the countries that are in the area to take care of these bad guys instead of us. We are almost in constant war and have been as long as most can remember...

The Unvaccinated Are Punished Pulling healthy children from school due to a so called “outbreak” of a mild childhood illness isn’t for the safety of the community, as we’re being led to believe. It’s to prove a point that the health department will follow through on their threats to exclude the unvaccinated from all school related events, whenever they see fit...

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4Play: Keane, Doves, Ok Go, Gorillaz

Kristi Kates - April 26th, 2010
Keane - Night Train - Island
Serving as a mini follow-up to Keane’s 2008 set, Perfect Symmetry, this EP shows off both what’s best about the band as well as their ability to infuse new elements into their distinctive sound. Recorded on the fly during the band’s last tour, the new songs echo many of the places they traveled, from the South American horns of “Looking Back” to the appearance of Canadian/Somali rapper K’Naan (“Stop for a Minute.”) Songwriter extraordinaire Tim Rice-Oxley even throws in some solid vocals next to Tom Chaplin’s own impressive ones.

Doves - The Best Of - Astralwerks
The Best Of marks ten years of music by the influential Brit pop-rock band Doves, in a worthy retrospective that includes everything from “The Man Who Told Everything” and “Snowden” to more recent hits as “Jetstream” and “Kingdom of Rust.” A special edition of the set will also include a DVD and a 16-page booklet with special artwork and pics; both versions of the collection will include three new Doves songs (including “Andalucia”) as produced by the band themselves; hopefully their next ten years will be just as good as this.

OK Go - Of the Blue Colour of the Sky - Capitol
Helmed by Mercury Rev/Phantom Planet cohort Dave Fridmann, OK Go’s skills for witty art-rock and quirky, danceable compositions are faultlessly showcased on their latest effort, which is both conceptual (via a wellness book by General AJ Pleasonton) and perfectly pop. First single “This Too Shall Pass” melds tubas and military drumbeats with an eminently singalongable refrain, while cell phones lights surely take to the air on “All is Not Lost,” and more experimental elements surface on “Back from Kathmandu” and “In the Glass.”

Gorillaz - Plastic Beach -
Take that, those of you who thought that Blur frontman Damon Albarn’s “virtual cartoon band” project was nothing more than a passing fad. Over ten years later, Gorillaz are still going strong, and have garnered critical acclaim for their clever electro-hip-hop-rock tracks. The “band’s” latest effort focuses on an environmental theme through songs like “Stylo” (featuring Mos Def) and “Some Kind of Nature,” on which guest Lou Reed waxes kinda-poetic on foil and plastics. You won’t recycle this disc, though; you’ll want to listen again and again.
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