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: Booka Shade, Kaskade, LCD Soundsystem, Minus the Bear

Kristi Kates - July 5th, 2010
Booka Shade - More! - GP Music
Booka Shade revamps their percussionist stance again on their newest set, which puts 90% of the emphasis on the beats and hands over vocal duties (for the most part) over to the likes of C. Jones and Yello. Although a couple of the tracks are just too plain weird to call up a proper description, the majority are strong, moody techno-electro numbers like the darkened “Regenerate,” the new-wave inflected “Bad Love,” and the synthy background that helps define the disgruntled vocal mumbles of Yello’s Dieter Meier on “Divine.”





Kaskade - Dynasty - Ultra Records
Sticking with an eclectic house-music format for his sixth album, Kaskade adds in a few acoustic sounds for variety on songs like the peppy, guitar-seasoned zing of “Fire in Your New Shoes,” the uber-danceable “Start Again,” and the start-stop exchange of “Call Out.” Highlight “Don’t Wait” continues the acoustic guitar and frosts it with cool, spiralling synths. Kaskade’s worked hard to get to the top of the DJ heap, and he has; when he’s not busy remixing the likes of Britney and Lady Gaga, his own career is moving along just fine, thank you.





LCD Soundsystem - This is Happening - DFA
LCD’s first set since their highly-lauded 2007 album, This... isn’t necessarily LCD’s attempts at a set of hits - as Murphy says himself on “You Wanted a Hit” - but a collection of tunes that’s both self-referential and staunchly new. “Pow Pow” references tunes by Jellyfish, while “I Can Change” is reminiscent of the ‘80s hit “Cars”; all the beats, though, are more club-focused, with sharp snares and rolling styths, albeit in direct contrast to Murphy’s aggressive, cantankerous lyrics - an interesting contrast, but it’s a danceable one.




Minus the Bear - Omni - Dangerbird
Another complex and evasive set from the alt-dance band, Omni is a slow burn of a listen. It may take you several spins to catch on to the sound - but it’s a compelling one, from the sliding guitars of “Excuses” to the gaunt keyboards and elusive instrumentals of “Into the Mirror” and the heavier emo-punk of “Summer Angel” and “The Thief.” Mixing the serious experimentation of previous album Planet of Ice and the more commercial side of El Oso, it’s a somewhat disjointed collection of songs, about half hits and half misses.


 
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