Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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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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