Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


Home · Articles · News · Music · 11/15/2011 4Play: The Besnard...
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11/15/2011 4Play: The Besnard Lakes, Phosphrescent, Josh Ritter, Black Mountain

Kristi Kates - November 15th, 2010
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes Are the Roaring Night - Jagjaguwar
Montreal band Besnard Lakes add even more power to their orchestral pop-rock blend, with epic compositions and dense yet opaque song structures. “Land of the Living Skies” stacks instrument upon instrument as it moves along, adding each element with precision until the song is at its optimum balance. “Albatross” sketches in horns, layered vocals, and chilled drums, and “Chicago Train” utilizes strings to interplay its sad feel with the guitar work. All of the attention to detail is what makes this one of the Canadian band’s more accessible yet still unique sets.



Phosphorescent - Here’s to Taking it Easy - Dead Oceans
Most reminiscent of older Wilco, this alt-Americana band’s latest features the expected country-Western rhythms, buzzing guitars, and
lovelorn lyrics. It’s nothing terribly different for the band, but the songs are solid, and reside thematically well on the album as a whole. “The Mermaid Parade” - one of the set’s best tunes - finds singer Houck wandering around New York’s Coney Island after a breakup; another song, aptly titled “Los Angeles,” plops the band on the opposite coast, complete with underground folk guitar and the unmistakable influence of Neil Young.




Josh Ritter - So Runs the World Away - Pytheas
Ritter’s fifth album finds him in an audacious mood, with the album’s lyrical topics centering on explorers and discoverers from Egypt to the Polar caps to the high seas. It’s nice to see an artist crafting a theme like this and seeing it all the way through the album, and the quality of the music matches these aspirations; “Southern Pacific” sings of a seafaring man; “The Curse” tells the tale of an Egyptian mummy meeting a modern-day archaeologist; and “The Remnant” finds Ritter musically trekking through the wilderness. Ambitious and well-executed.



Black Mountain - Wilderness Heart - Jagjaguwar
Hailing from the other side of Canada, Vancouver’s Black Mountain have thankfully grown since their first classic-meets-drone rock album back in 2005, with this more advanced, emotional set. While their sound is not for everyone - it veers too much toward ‘70s psychedelic-metal for its own good at times - the tunes are well-structured and there are some interesting little components that hint toward better things in the future. “Buried by the Blues” utilizes a simple tambourine to set the pace, and “Radiant Heart” is a standout duet between singers McBean and Webber.
 
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