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: Crowded House, Sky Sailing, Fran Healy, Josiah Leming

Kristi Kates - October 11th, 2010
Crowded House - Intriguer - Mercury
Crowded House singer/songwriter Neil Finn - a master craftsman of
songs if there ever was one - calls Intriguer what may be the best
thing the band has ever done. That’s saying a lot, from him. Produced
by Jim Scott, this set of new Crowded House songs - their first studio
effort in over a dozen years - blends Finn’s instantly identifiable
songwriting and trademark harmonies into ten near-perfect smart indie-
pop songs, executed by the rest of his skillful band. Opener “Saturday
Sun” accompanies “Either Side of the World, “Twice If You’re Lucky”
and “Even If.”

Sky Sailing - An Airplane Carried Me to Bed - Republic The earlier
side project of Adam Young aka Owl City, Sky Sailing’s debut offers up
a slightly different side of the effusive performer’s digi-pop, this
time with more acoustic guitar and piano, and a little less of the
electro bleeps and synth work that was presented on Owl City’s album.
The beats vary from pop to waltzes, and Young’s lyrical imagery ranges
from underwater caves to a night at the opera (quite literally); his
ability to craft atmospheric tracks is no less here than it was on Owl
City, and is a nice change-up that shows the musician’s remarkable
range.





Fran Healy - Wreckorder - Rykodisc
Appearing on his first solo album cover a bit scruffy and “not that
kid any more,” as he says about himself, Travis frontman Healy’s well-
known skill for songwriting is in fine form here, blending his Britpop
sensibilities with line-drawn song storylines, beats from pop to
waltz, and special guests, as well. Paul McCartney contributes bass to
the rambling “As It Comes,” and Neko Case shares vocals with Healy on
“Sing Me to Sleep,” while first single “Buttercups” blends perfectly-
chosen minor chords with wistful wordplay and another pretty, catchy
Healy tune.




Josiah Leming - Come On Kid - Warner Bros.
First single “Maybe” puts the spotlight on Leming’s remarkably concise
writing abilities and his way around a song, as well as his poetic
lyric-craft, giving the gifted singer vindication for his crash-
landing off of American Idol a while back. Leming, who obviously
wasn’t suited for Idol’s oft-corny canned-performer assembly line,
spent a couple of years writing and recording this set, and both the
effort and his talent show through; the title track is an admonition
to self to try harder, while “To Run” is directly pretty and “Arctic
Outcry Wind” utilizes Brit-pop-inflected hooks to be proud of.

 
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