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: The Magic Numbers, Various Artists, Sara Bareilles. Ed Kowalcyzk

Kristi Kates - August 30th, 2010
The Magic Numbers - Runaway - 101 Distribution
A pair of brother-sister, er, pairs, The Magic Numbers are working hard to revive the ‘60s folk/flower-power era, from their dense, well-balanced harmonies (which, in addition to their configuration, often see them being compared to the Mamas and the Papas) to their groovy lyrics and subject matter. “Why Did You Call?” and “Throwing My Heart Away” are peppy and ready for a few tambourine shakes, while “Restless River” and “I’m Sorry” focus more on the instrumentals behind the vocals, but there’s a good balance of both approaches.



Various Artists - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - ABKCO Records
Whether or not you like this comic book-adapted movie - which has its funny moments and its “did they really need to do that?” moments - the soundtrack is nonetheless an interesting one. A variety of musicians bring the comic story’s bands “to life” in the movie, including tracks from Frank Black, The Rolling Stones, and Beachwood Sparks - but the most interesting element is the fact that Beck went back to his punky days and wrote the songs for character Scott’s own band, “Garbage Truck” being one of the best here. (Beck’s songs are listed on the album under the character-band name of Sex Bob-omb.”) Classic rocker anthems and several other newbie tunes round out the set.


Sara Bareilles - Kaleidoscope Heart - Epic
You might best know Bareilles, to date, from her radio single “Love Song”, with its catchy-poppy refrain and advert-friendly sound. Now she’s back with her sophomore set, which has already spawned another catchy single, “King of Anything,” on which Bareilles says she’s channeled her aggrevations over people throughout her career giving her “unsolicited advice.” In addition to her singles work, Bareilles’ newest collection of songs shows off her ability to blend sarcastic and direct admonitions with pretty tunes and interesting piano work on tracks like “Gonna Get Over You,” “Say You’re Sorry,” and “Machine Gun.”



Ed Kowalczyk - Alive - Megaforce
Kowalczyk was perhaps best-known as the frontman of big-time rock band Live, for which he’d been the singer for nearly two years. 20 million albums sold later, and Kowalczyk was at a loss for what to do next. After a few years of contemplation - and a life mostly lived away from the music biz - he’s back with his first solo album, which melds his distinctive vocals with music that’s often Live-like, and just as often not. “Drive,” the opener, is perhaps most reminiscent of Kowalczyk’s old band with its quiet verses and heavy chorus; but other tracks, like the catchy “Stand,” the lyrically-personal “In Your Light” and the more experimental “Fire on the Mountain,” showcase Kowalczyk’s growth.

 
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