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: Big Phony, Field Music, FM Belfast, Juliana Hatfield

Kristi Kates - May 3rd, 2010
Big Phony - Kicking Punching Bags - BPM
Big Phony, aka NYC-Los Angeles coast-hopper Bobby Choy, has quietly stayed under the radar, crafting folk-pop tracks overloaded with catchy melody after catchy melody, all equally understated via Choy’s carefully wistful, mellow performance skills. Songs like the concise “Short Intermission,” “Talk of the Town,” and live, self-deprecating favorite “Girls Like You Don’t Go For Guys Like Me” recollect the folk-pop stylings of Elliott Smith, while his voice echoes that of Sean Lennon or Smith himself; he probably won’t remain under the radar for long.





Field Music - (Measure) - Memphis Recordings
Technically an eponymous set with the “Measure” subtitle (to separate it from the band’s eponymous debut), Field Music’s latest offers up 20 tracks of the quartet’s guitar-focused English art-rock, complete with snippets of influence from Fleetwood Mac, Roxy Music, and The Smiths, among others. Blues-inflused “Each Time is a New Time” is one of the disc’s more notable tracks, as are the more poppy “The Rest is Noise,” “See You Later,” and the slacker anthem “Them That Do Nothing,” all flourished with plenty of FM’s subtle guitar work.




FM Belfast - How to Make Friends - Kimi Records
The second “FM” of this week’s column, this particular one hails from Iceland (despite the Irish-referential band name) and crafts a sound best described as earthy electronica. From quirky songs about getting new eyeglasses (“Optical”) to the more serious, cold synths of tracks like “President” and “VHS,” the band - whose members constantly change number based on “who happens to be around” - have a little more than the usual sense of humor, too - as evidenced by their mellow interpretation of Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam.”




Juliana Hatfield - Peace and Love - Ye Olde Records
Former Blake Babies bandmate and ongoing Evan (Lemonheads) Dando muse Hatfield set forth to track her latest album all by herself - literally - writing, performing, producing, engineering, and mixing the album alone. The evolution of her latest crop of songs might seem to be relationship-focused at first, but is actually as much about randomly pensive moments, from the crunchy-guitar’d “What Is Wrong” to the reflective “Why Can’t We Love Each Other” and Hatfield’s ode to Dando himself (“Evan”.) It’s both accomplished and personal.

 
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