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: Various Artists, Suzanne Vega, Sarah McLachlin, Cowboy Junkies

Kristi Kates - July 12th, 2010
Various Artists - Lilith 2010 - Arista
Lilith Fair, the female-centric concert tour that hasn’t been active
in a decade, is now back and running this year, with over three dozen
U.S. dates. Much like the Lilith of yore, Canadian musician Sarah
McLachlan serves as headliner; the other acts rotate depending on the
city. Among them, the musicians included in this compilation album;
Dixie Chicks side project Court Yard Hounds (“The Coast”), jazz
standout Norah Jones, and singer-songwriters Brandi Carlile and
Corinne Bailey Rae (“Dreams” and “The Blackest Lily,” respectively.)





Suzanne Vega - Close-Up Vol. 1, Love Songs - Razor and Tie
It’s an astonishing 25 years into her career, and Suzanne Vega barely
shows it. The singer-songwriter, who’s notched over seven mil in album
sales, is taking on a fresh new approach to her own music in four
thematic albums that will be released in 2010/2011. This first takes
some of her most relationship-centric songs and deconstructs them to
their near-acoustic properties, proving that her songwriting on tracks
like “Caramel,” “(I’ll Never Be) Your Maggie May,” “Marlene on the
Wall,” and “Gypsy” still stands strong.




Sarah McLachlan - Laws of Illusion - Arista
One of Canada’s most popular musical exports, singer-songwriter
McLachlan’s voice and piano work are as striking as ever on her latest
full-length, which arrives seven years after her last. McLachlan’s
gone through a lot of personal turmoil since then, unfortunately; some
of which she beautifully channels through her songs, from the
bittersweetness of “Loving You Is Easy” to the sadness of “Heartbreak”
and the fragile melody of “Forgiveness.” “One Dream,” the pretty
inspirational number she crafted for the 2009 Olympics, is also
included here.



Cowboy Junkies - Renmin Park - Razor and Tie
Another Canadian export anchored by siblings Margo, Michael, and Peter
Timmins, this band got some of their first early breaks opening for U2
on tour. Far more introspective than the bombastic Irish rockers, the
Junkies create far more mellow music, too, although the emotions
behind the songs are comparative to U2’s level of intensity. On Renmin
Park, a fictional story is told of a doomed romance, enhanced by
Michael Timmins’ recent trip to China, which inflects the band’s
compositions with Asian field recordings and Eastern complexities.

 
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