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: Sheryl Crow, Carole King & James Taylor, Rosanne Cash, Lady Antebellum

Kristi Kates - August 6th, 2010
Sheryl Crow - 100 Miles from Memphis - A&M
Crow grew up 100 miles from Memphis, in a small farming town, and
returns on this set to the music she used to listen to then. Echoes of
those influences, from the Stax records to Stevie Wonder and Al Green,
are heard throughout these songs, with their funky/bluesy rhythms and
AM-radio retro arrangements. “Summer Day” is a well-honed pop-rock
number, while “Stop” shows off her vocal range. Crow’s friends show
up, too - old pal Keith Richards (Rolling Stones) stops by to add
distinctive guitar riffs to “Eye to Eye,” Justin Timberlake drops
backing vocals into Crow’s cover of D’Arby’s “Sign Your Name,” and
Citizen Cope duets with Crow on his shoegazy-blues tune “Sideways.”


Carole King and James Taylor - Live at the Troubadour - Hear Music
This album is really the culmination of a trio of Troubadour
performances for King and Taylor. They first performed there together
in 1970, right after Taylor’s debut album; their return in 1971 found
Taylor’s “Fire and Rain” on top of the charts and King’s Tapestry a
big deal. 36 years later (Nov. 2007), the pair returned to the
Troubadour for a show to celebrate the venue’s 50th anniversary; these
are the shows recorded here, and impressive ones they are. Included
are beautiful performances of some of their most familiar songs,
including “Fire and Rain,” “Up on a Roof,” “So Far Away,” and
“Carolina in My Mind” - captured in state-of-the-art sound, it’s both
a captured moment and a great album.


Rosanne Cash - The List - Manhattan Records
Cash got a list from her father when she was around 18 years old, on
which he - he being Johnny Cash - tried to educate the talented
singer-songwriter on the basics of essential country music. On this
set, daughter Cash takes a dozen songs from that 100-track list, and
interprets them through her own musical talents and life experiences.
The album, which includes duets with Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright,
and Jeff Tweedy, among others, highlights Cash’s strong, emotional
vocals, along with her great ability to collaborate as well as to take
songs back to their basic elements, as she does here on several
numbers. It’s a stylish album crafted with a lot of heart.


Lady Antebellum - Need You Now - Capitol
This sophomore release from the pop-country trio may not be as concise
as their first album, which moved from track to track with
near-flawless song choice, but it’s still a good progression for the
ambitious group. Written with a variety of contributing Nashville
songwriters and produced by Paul Worley, the tunes here range from
first single, the long-distance relationship anthem “Need You Now” to
the fun “good times” song “Perfect Day” to the regretful ballad “If I
Knew Then.” A few of the other songs are somewhat throwaway, like the
too-cute “Our Kinda Love,” but for the most part fans of Lady
Antebellum should enjoy this next step for the band.

 
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