Letters

Letters 12-05-2016

Trump going back on promises I’m beginning to suspect that we’ve been conned by our new president. He’s backpedaling on nearly every campaign promise he made to us...

This Christmas, think before you speak Now that Trump has won the election, a lot of folks who call themselves Christians seem to believe they have a mandate to force their beliefs on the rest of us. Think about doing this before you start yelling about people saying “happy holidays,” whining about Starbucks coffee cup image(s), complaining about other’s lifestyles…

First Amendment protects prayer (Re: Atheist Gary Singer’s contribution to the Crossed column titled “What will it take to make America great again?” in the Nov. 21 edition of Northern Express.) Mr. Singer, the First Amendment states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”

Evidence of global warming Two basic facts underlay climate science: first, carbon dioxide was known to be a heat-trapping gas as early as 1850; and second, humans are significantly increasing the amount of CO2 in Earth’s atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels and other activities. We are in fact well on our way to doubling the CO2 concentrations in our atmosphere...

Other community backpack programs I just read your article in the Nov. 28 issue titled “Beneficial backpacks: Two local programs help children.” It is a good article, but there are at least two other such programs in the Traverse City area that I am aware of...

A ‘fox’ in the schoolhouse Trump’s proposed secretary of education, Betsy DeVos (“the fox” in Dutch), is a right-wing billionaire; relentless promoter of unlimited, unregulated charter schools and vouchers; and enemy of public schooling...

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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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