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: Arctic Monkeys, The National, Jonsi, Band of Horses

Kristi Kates - May 17th, 2010
Arctic Monkeys - My Propeller - Domino
Of remarkable note for a mere 4-song EP (likely a fan-placating measure until the next AM album is well underway), My Propeller’s title track is the definite standout here, taken directly from the band’s last full-length, Humbug, and showcasing the English band’s new, California-inflected sound, in part courtesy of new producer Josh Homme. Accompanying the single are quirky “The Afternoon’s Hat,” the guitar-heavy “Joining the Dots,” and the danceable, confident “Don’t Forget Whose Legs You’re On.”






The National - High Violet - 4AD
Moody and manic by turns, The National’s latest is full of both spiky attacks and contrasting introspective (if gloomy) numbers. Harmony-rich and festooned with horns and strings, the Brooklyn band knows how to coordinate texture and temper, hitting some of their best moments on this album towards the end of the set. “Sorrow” is a heavy yet compelling song, with the weight deftly echoed in the drums/percussion; and “Conversation 16”’s wind instruments add an interesting detached element to the song that suits it well.





Jonsi - Go - XL Recordings
After ten years of performing as frontman for Icelandic electro-mood outfit Sigur Ros, Jn Thor Birgisson, aka Jonsi, has decided to strike out on his own (but don’t worry, Sigur fans, he’s reportedly not leaving the band any time soon.) Jonsi’s solo works are more dynamic and pop than what he creates with Sigur Ros, like the harmonic lift of “Go Do,” the dark pop balladry of “Grow Till Tall,” and the accomplished songcraft of “Sinking Friendships”; lyrically, things are a bit obscure, but all the better for letting the instrumentals show through.





Band of Horses - Infinite Arms - Columbia
Horses’ third full-length finds them at a new major label home, with two new bandmates (Tyler Ramsey and Bill Reynolds) and working wix mixmaster Dave Sardy on the album itself. Choosing to open in an unusual fashion with a ballad (the pretty “Factory”) instead of a more propulsive number, they set the album’s tone right away with the density of their guitar work and the mid-range tempo. The title track adds a more ethereal feel to those guitars, while “Neighbor” mixes in organ, and “NW Apt.” throws in a little unexpected pep.


 
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