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: The Black Crows, Los Lobos, House of Heroes, Filter

Kristi Kates - August 23rd, 2010
The Black Crowes - Croweology - Megaforce
1990 was the year, Shake Your Money Maker was the debut disc, and the band was The Black Crowes. Twenty years later, the band has released their first album of all-acoustic tracks, a double album being sold at the cost of a single set to thank the band’s fans. Produced by Paul Stacey, the album itself includes unplugged versions of prior Crows songs, plus a couple of newbies; opener “Jealous Again” is punchy and strong, while classic “She Talks to Angels” adds in pedal steel and mandolin to the acoustic guitars, and “Thorn in My Pride” finds the band doing a little acoustic jamming to Robinson’s distinctive vocals.




Los Lobos - Tin Can Trust - Shout Factory
Los Lobos’ first collection of new original songs in four years, the album brings together blues, rock, both English and Spanish-language tracks, and even a cover tune. “27 Spanishes” presents a musical history lesson complete with guitar work from Cesar Rosas; Texas polka makes an appearance on “Mujer Ingrata”; Susan Tedeschi steps in to contribute backing vocals on “Burn It Down”; and the band pays homage to the Grateful Dead with their version of “West L.A. Fadeaway.” A nice progression for this skilled band.





House of Heroes - Suburba - Gotee Records
Pop-rockers House of Heroes draw mostly on classic rockers (think Springsteen, The Who, John Mellencamp) to hammer together their current album, although many of their songs take things a step heavier. The album’s theme, as one might guess from the title, is “growing up in middle class suburbia,” according to the band’s Tim Skipper; the arena-friendly tracks send along messages of utilizing spirituality to get through the tough times, all wrapped in pop hooks from “So Far Away” to “Independence Day for a Petty Thief.”




Filter - The Trouble with Angels - RS
Richard Patrick (vocalist) and his band Filter harken back to the band’s good ol’ days on this set - by that, of course, meaning the days when Patrick, pre-pop/rock-charts, used to put far more focus on the aggressiveness of his vocal lines, right down to some actual screaming. These equally strong songs aren’t necessarily for everybody, with their heavily metallic instrumental backdrops and Patrick’s unflinching subject matter, but Filter fans will be glad to see the band return on such impact-making songs as “The Inevitable Relapse,” “No Love,” and “Fades Like a Photograph.”

 
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