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: Black Keys, Hawthorne Heights, Stone Temple Pilots, Broken Social Scene

Kristi Kates - June 14th, 2010
Black Keys - Brothers - Nonesuch
The ‘70s-influenced pair of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney worked with pal/producer Danger Mouse on their latest album, on which they kept things close to their tried and true formula while bringing in a few guest collaborators to trick up the mix. A cover of Jerry Butler’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” sets the tone for Auerbach’s fervent vocal delivery and Carney’s decisive drumbeats; other notable tunes include “The Go Getter,” and “Unknown Brother,” with Tchad Blake’s expert mixing bringing out the dynamics.





Hawthorne Heights - Skeletons - Wind-Up
Hawthorne Heights debut set was produced by Howard Benson (Daughtry/My Chemical Romance) and introduces listeners to this alt-rock band by placing a well-honed and cohesive production sheen over their sometimes disparate range of songs. “Bring You Back” is perhaps the most typical of the rock tracks, while “Gravestones” shuffles into alt-country-rock territory, and both first single “Nervous Breakdown” and “Picket Fences” allow the band to experiment with a darker, more ‘80s rock influence.




Stone Temple Pilots - Stone Temple Pilots - Atlantic
Produced by the band themselves and mixed by longtime alt-rock cohort Chris Lord-Alge (Green Day, MCR), STP’s album return has been long awaited (and several times derailed) but now appears to be solidified at last. The new set is mostly the classic STP glam-rock/psychedelic mix that first drew fans to the band, and both those sounds and the hooks continue here with songs like the sly, middle-of-the-road ramble of “Huckleberry Crumble,” the Ziggy-Stardust feel of “First Kiss on Mars,” and edgy first pop-rock single “Between the Lines.”



Broken Social Scene - Forgiveness Rock Record - Arts and Crafts
BSS sifted through over three dozen songs that they’d written to comprise this new album, which also features guest appearances from members of Metric and Stars as well as Ohad Benchetrit and Leslie Feist. “World Sick,” the first track released as a teaser, is typical BSS, and feeds nicely into the synth-y “Chase Scene” and the harmony-laden “All to All,” with its detached vocal ending. The sounds of the Las Vegas stage make a stop via the horns on “Art House Director,” and the band heads to the Old West as the album reaches its close.

 
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