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: Various Artists, Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse, Various Artists, Interpol

Kristi Kates - September 13th, 2010
Various Artists - Yo Gabba Gabba: Music is Awesome - Filter U.S.
The innovative TV series Yo Gabba Gabba mixes up modern-day music (and
bands) with groovy puppets and retro styling to relate simple but
necessary life lessons to anyone who watches. Viral videos often
circulate on YouTube and elsewhere of the many music, tv, and movie
talents that guest star on the show, but this is the first time that
fans can snag the original songs as performed by the Gabba cast and
special guest bands. This release (with hopefully more to follow)
includes the show’s popular theme song, as well as tracks by The Shins
(“It’s Okay, Try Again”), The Roots, Money Mark (“Robo Dancing”), and
Biz Markie’s hilarious “Biz’s Beat of the Day.” Cool.


Danger Mouse and Sparklehorse - Dark Night of the Soul - Capitol
Prior to his passing, Mark Linkous (aka Sparklehorse), worked with
Danger Mouse on this album, which sadly ended up being Linkous’ last
collaborative project. Melding moody psychedelic pop and shoegaze-y
rock, the pair of musical friends also welcomed in a host of guest
performers to make this a diverse, eclectic, and appealing set; “Just
War” includes vocals from Super Furry Animals’ Gruff Rhys, “Pain”
features Iggy Pop on vocals and lyrics, “Insane Lullaby” showcases
James Mercer of The Shins/Broken Bells, “The Man Who Played God”
welcomes back Suzanne Vega, and other tracks include contributions
from The Cardigans, The Pixies, and Julian Casablancas.


Various Artists - Sunshine Pop - Ace UK
Twenty-six happy, and yes, sunny tunes in all inhabit this set of
chart-topping hits from the mid to late ‘60s, songs that have
influenced legions of indie-popsters and producers alike. The landmark
“happy” tune, The Turtles’ “Happy Together,” kicks things off,
followed by Tommy James’ “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” The Lemon Pipers’
“Green tambourine,” The Cowsills’ “The Rain, The Park, and Other
Things,” and other singalongables by The Beach Boys, The Mamas and The
Papas, and The Tokens, among others. Sugary, yes - catchy, definitely.



Interpol - Interpol - Matador
Four albums in, and Interpol is sticking to their musical guns -
namely, their own unique, darkened version of modern art rock. Heavier
on percussion than previous sets (perhaps due to the mix influence of
Alan Moulder), the set veers between spiky indie pop-rock to ’70s
metal-lite, never going off the rails, but almost always barreling
with one wheel off the ground around that next corner. “Lights,” “The
Undoing,” and “Barricade” focus on the melodies, while “Memory Serves”
and “Success” aim more at the overall aggressive mood and ambiance of
their respective songs; these aren’t always immediately accessible
tracks, with their walls up and lights flashing, but they definitely
make an impression.

 
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