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: Sia, The XX, The Roots, Groove Armada

Kristi Kates - August 16th, 2010
Sia - We Are Born - Hear Music
UK-via-Australia singer Sia returns with her fourth set, as produced
by Kylie Minogue collaborator Greg Kurstin; Inara George and The
Strokes’ guitarist Nick Valensi also chip in. First single “Clap Your
Hands” sets the dance-floor-friendly tracklisting in motion, alongside
other disco-ish hits “You’ve Changed” and “The Fight.” Elsewhere, Sia
shows off her balladry skills on a Madonna cover as well as her own
songs “I’m Here” and “Stop Trying” - she may have started as a simple
pop singer, but she’s gradually gaining more depth with each album.


The XX - XX - XL Recordings

The XX – ironically signed to XL Recordings for this set - blend
call-and-response male/female vocals with R&B tunes and arrangements
and ’80s synths. Have we lost you yet? It’s definitely a unique mix,
but one that works in a modern new wave way. Opening with the
obviously-titled “Intro,” the sparsely-edited instrumental flows into
the first introduction of singers Sim and Croft (not to be confused in
any way with Seals and Crofts), who proceed to shoegaze beautifully
and quirkily through songs like “Shelter,” “Basic Space,” and
“Crystalized.”


The Roots - How I Got Over - Def Jam

Hip-hop pioneers and Jimmy Fallon house band The Roots have taken
their time to put together their 9th studio album, but the wait was
definitely worth it audio-wise. First single “Dear God 2.0” remakes
the Monsters of Folk song (“Dear God”) and includes contributions from
M. Ward and Conor Oberst; John Legend also shows up - twice - to
collaborate with The Roots on “The Fire” and a revamp of his own tune,
“Again,” here re-dubbed as “Doin’ It Again.” It’s a bright, funky set
with The Roots’ usual snappy arrangements and deft musicianship.


Groove Armada - Black Light - Om Records
After spending a good part of the past 10 years of their career
collaborating with everyone from Fatboy Slim to the aforementioned
Kylie Minogue, Groove Armada’s latest brings in a little pop and a
little art rock to their Eurodisco sound, via the vocals of Will Young
and Roxy Music’s Bryan Ferry, respectively. “Shameless” offers up
Ferry’s smooth vocals and some spoken-word efforts (in French, of
course), while “Fall Silent” adds a dash of The Human League via
Empire of the Sun’s Nick Littlemore, and “History” adds Will Young’s
vocals to the ’70s/’80s mix.

 
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