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...

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4Play: Incognito, Kero One, Slum Village, Paul Wall

Kristi Kates - October 18th, 2010
Incognito - Transatlantic RPM - Shanachie
Best described as a modern day Earth, Wind and Fire with a dab of Stevie Wonder thrown in, Incognito’s acid funk/jazz sound has set the groundwork for plenty of imitators. But the legends know who to collaborate with, hence the appearances of Chaka Khan, Leon Ware, and Al McKay (of the aforementioned Earth, Wind and Fire) on this set. These tunes tool along with plenty of momentum, propelled by horns and strings while the drums keep the groovin’ beats on track; “Lowdown” throws Mario Biondi into the mix with Chaka Khan, “Put a Little Lovin’ in Your Heart” is five minutes of moving-your-feet music, and closer “Tell Me What to Do” wraps these jams up with soul.




Kero One - Kinetic World - Plug Label
There are few matters of questionable subjects within his tunes, but for the most part, Kero One achieves quite a lot on this album, on which he performs most of the vocals, beats, and scratching on his own. A mix of east coast-west coast rap beats seasoned with a few worldbeat sounds, Asian influences, and a variety of production styles, he addresses relationships on “On Bended Knee” and warns of too big of a lifestyle on “Fast Life”; guest artists include appearances from Tablo, Dminor, and The Tones, among others.




Slum Village - Villa Manifesto - E1 Entertainment
They may have had a tumultuous career to date since their industry beginnings in 2000, between the member switches and difficult times all around - but Slum Village is holding on, with the group’s T3 saying in a statement that he wanted to “pull the squad together” once again. Their sixth studio album shows a return to more of their earlier classic sound, with “Earl Flinn” roping in one of Madlib’s beats, “The Reunion Pt. 2” offering up more directed, emotional subject matter (as well as a few warnings), and “Dance” bringing in the - well, dance beats.




Paul Wall - Heart of a Champion - Asylum
Texas jeweler-slash-rapper Wall (and his diamond-encrusted teeth) release his fourth major label set through Asylum, where he’s teamed up with pal (and Blink-182 band member) Travis Barker on most of the production duties. In addition to Wall’s own confident, if self-absorbed, performances on songs like “Take Notes” (about his own bling-bedecked lifestyle) and “Live It,” he welcomes in the likes of
Beanz N’ Kornbread to add production where Barker didn’t, as well as guest performers Chamillionaire, Devin the Dude, and Slim Thug, among others.

 
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