Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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4Play: Punch Brothers, Works Progress Administration, Cyndi Lauper, Chris Isaak

Kristi Kates - July 19th, 2010
Punch Brothers - Antifogmatic - Nonesuc
Recorded and mixed in Hollywood with legendary producer Jon Brion
(Fiona Apple, Kanye West), Chris Thile and crew’s latest manages to
converge the generally-divergent genres of pop and bluegrass with both
emotion and sheer get-up-and-go. Opener “You Are” blends staccato
guitar with strings, while “Don’t Need No” rallies up the beats and
“Next to the Trash” is the closest thing to “real” bluegrass you’ll
find on this outing. It’s quite an accomplishment for a string band to
actually make tracks that are this crossover-friendly and catchy, too.



Works Progress Administration - WPA - Red
Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips and Chris Thile’s Nickel Creek
bandmates Sean and Sara Watkins team up on this album with an
impressive linup of fellow folk-pop musicians (including Pete Thomas,
Luke Bulla, Greg Leisz, and producer Jim Scott), on which they
collaborated on and recorded seventeen songs in five days. Album
opener “Always Have My Love” as sung by Phillips himself is perhaps
the song with the most staying power, although Luke Bulla’s “Who’s
Gonna Cry for You” and Sean Watkins’ “Paralyzed” are close seconds.


Cyndi Lauper - Memphis Blues - Downtown Records
Singer Cyndi Lauper - whose remarkable voice has been overshadowed, at
times, with the very costumey showiness she had to attempt in order to
draw attention to it - has gone through several phases in her career,
from radio pop to standards. Her latest effort is this set, on which
she traveled to Memphis to record a blues cover album. On it, Lauper
collaborates with the likes of B.B. King (“Early in the Morning”),
Jonny Lang (“How Blue Can You Get”), Charlie Musselwhite, and Allen
Toussaint to prove that this girl can have fun with any genre.



Chris Isaak - Live at the Fillmore - Mailboat Records

Recorded at San Francisco’s Fillmore Auditorium, this live CD aims to
bring a Chris Isaak show to CD, with as close an approximation of the
“Isaak live experience” as possible. Whether that works or not is up
to Isaak fans to say, but it is certainly recorded crisply and with a
lot of attention to detail, including much of Isaak’s on-stage banter
between songs like hits “Somebody’s Crying,” and classic “Wicked
Games,” as well as fan favorites such as “Worked It Out Wrong,” “Move
Along,” “Lonely with a Broken Heart,” and “Blue Spanish Sky.”

 
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