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Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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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