Letters 11-30-2015

“Snapshots” of Islam Offensive  In his latest effort (Northern Express Nov. 23 - Nov. 29, 2015,) David Kachadurian provides a jumble of FYI disclosures pertaining to Islam and Muslim societies, and posing as if providing a public service announcement, he advises the readers to ponder their import and to “make of them what you will.”

Not Another War To these people who believe we need to be at war in the Middle East all the time: try thinking about getting the countries that are in the area to take care of these bad guys instead of us. We are almost in constant war and have been as long as most can remember...

The Unvaccinated Are Punished Pulling healthy children from school due to a so called “outbreak” of a mild childhood illness isn’t for the safety of the community, as we’re being led to believe. It’s to prove a point that the health department will follow through on their threats to exclude the unvaccinated from all school related events, whenever they see fit...

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4Play: Mes Aieux. The Devil Wears Prada, Karen Elson, Black Lotus

Kristi Kates - October 25th, 2010
Mes Aieux - La Ligne Orange - LLO
French popsters Mes Aieux’s latest (translated as “The Orange Line,” aka the Montreal Metro system) put forth an interesting blend of Canadian folk songs blended with their own modern lyrics; this mix allows them to stand out even more than their considerable musical talents already do. On this set, their fifth, they tap into classic pub songs and French chansons to translate over their topical wordplay, which includes subjects as diverse as the Olympics and local street musicians. Fifteen songs in all make this a worthy, unique, and interesting listen.

The Devil Wears Prada - Zombie EP - Ferret Records
TDWP decided that before they started work on a new full-length, they’d offer up a short EP to their fans. This is that EP, with five songs in all - “Survivor,” “Anatomy,” “Revive,” “Escape,” and “Outnumbered” - but there isn’t a whole lot of distinction between each track within this 20 minute set; it’s extremely heavy and overloaded with SFX, unfortunately at the expense of the songs themselves. If you enjoy the overbearing sounds of sirens, bomb-like drums, and saws, then you’ll dig it - if not, wait for the full-length, which might showcase a little more restraint.

Karen Elson - The Ghost Who Walks - XL Recordings Elson may be fortunate in having Jack White - also her husband - as producer and supporter on her debut album, a far cry from her previously successful modeling career; but that doesn’t mean she’s devoid of her own musical talent. Elson, who collaborates with White via him serving as both producer and drummer, along with Jackson Smith on guitar and Rachelle Garniez on backing vocals, presents a surprising kind of dark, alt-country mix on these songs, which suit her retro-ish vocal stylings. The title track is one of the best on the set, as is the cryptic “A Thief at My Door.”

Black Lotus - Harvest of Seasons - Bleak Art Records
This is another heavy set of tracks, although this one is far more complex and thoughtful in its scope, even within its framework of noise and aggressive vocal lines. The arrangements may be part of why this set works, as they are more concise and anchored with arena-worthy synths to carry the musical threads through each song.
Opener “Prelude” does a good job of setting the album’s consecutive scenes, from the mystical “Statues in Auburn” to companion pieces “Of
Pathless Woods” and “The Fallow Earth.” It still might be too dark for some, but it does succeed at its own genre.
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