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Letters 05-30-2016

Oaks & Moths All of last week’s letters regarding recommendations for the best native plants from “Listen to the Experts” from the previous week were right on target. Those who are interested in learning more about native plants, and their importance to birds, bees and butterflies, would do well to read Dr. Douglas Tallamy’s wonderful book, Bringing Nature Home...

Poor Grades On Standardized Testing We have been enduring standardized testing for the last few weeks as our district isn’t allowing for opting out without student removal. I think other parents need to know and the district needs to address their own inconsistencies in policy...

Beware Trump  To describe Trump: hubristic, narcissistic, misogynistic, sociopathic. There are more descriptors. Should we pity this misfit or fear that his values attract such a large segment of our society? Hitler was spawned in the ferment of economic unrest...

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4Play: MercyMe, Tonic, Jack Johnson, Tenth Avenue North

Kristi Kates - June 28th, 2010
MercyMe - The Generous Mr. Lovewell - Columbia
Putting forth the philosophy that we should all “love well” and as unconditionally as possible, this new album from MercyMe features powerful topics and spiritual lyrics, to carry the band’s philosophy that everyone should try to change the world a little bit each day. “This Life” kicks off the set’s theme with its ELO-style synths/drums, and the title track carries on the theme while taking it to the dance floor; “Crazy Strength” is more traditional in its pop-rock arrangement, and “This So Called Love” wraps things up on a positive note.





Tonic - Tonic - 429 Records
Energetic and emotional, Tonic’s latest, production-wise, may still sound a bit like the alt-rock of the late ‘90s, but their songwriting has continued to grow along with the band’s extensive tour schedule. It’s an interesting mix between more chill pop-rock songs and more aggressive tracks, with echoes of everyone from Matchbox Twenty to Stone Temple Pilots heard. The songs themselves range from the anthemic first single “Release Me” to the hooky “Send a Message,” all the way to the heavier next-to-last track “Torn to Pieces.”





Jack Johnson - To the Sea - Brushfire
Working again with his trio of regular bandmates - Zach Gill on piano, Merlo Podlewski on bass, and Adam Topol on drums - Hawaiian folk-pop troubadour Johnson offers up more of his sincerely saccharine (this is not a bad thing) tunes with the calm confidence of someone whose musical direction - that being firmly planted in the “mellow” category - is secure. Songs including first single “You and Your Heart,” “The Upsetter,” and “Turn Your Love” share solar-powered space with the wittily-named highlight, “Pictures of People Taking Pictures.”




Tenth Avenue North - The Light Meets The Dark - Provident
Continuing their pop-gospel forward momentum from their past year and a half of success, Tenth Avenue North’s latest also sees the band adding more depth into their music, especially on songs like the social statement of “All the Pretty Things” and the piano balladry of “On and On.” “You Are More” is perhaps the most radio-ready track on the set, with “Empty my Hands” a close second due to its expressive content and chorus; “House of Mirrors” uses a smart allegory to get its point across, and “Oh My Dear” is simply pretty.

 
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