Letters

Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

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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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