Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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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