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: Brian Wilson, Madlib, Lloyd Miller, Various Artists

Kristi Kates - November 8th, 2010
Brian Wilson - Reimagines Gershwin - Disney
The uber-talented Brian Wilson keeps evolving as a creative musician, this time taking on two pieces of music left by the equally skillful George Gershwin when he passed away (with the approval of the Gershwin estate.) Wilson’s gift for melodies blends perfectly with Gershwin’s
lush, beautiful compositions, adding modernity to the likes of “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “Summertime.” And Wilson completes the unfinished “The Like in I Love You” and “Nothing But Love” with his gift for songcraft; he adds beachy buoyancy and delicate emotion to both of these tracks that Gershwin unintentionally left in very good musical hands.


Madlib - Medicine Show No. 7: High Jazz- MLS
The always-busy Madlib presents another of his Medicine Show installments, on which he works out various jazzy themes with his jazz quintet; on this set, he experiments with more of a jazz-fusion selection, chopping up bits of psychedelic music, funk, soul, and worldbeats into his own blended array of sounds. “Electronic Dimensions” throws robotic bass and futuristic chords into a blender sassed by a hi-hat, while “Steppin’ Into Tomorrow” offers galloping spare guitars, and the humorously named “Funky Butt, Pt. 1” is definitely funky with its choppy rhythms, catchy-repetitive harmony bass, and background vocal throw-ins to cut up the mix even more.


Lloyd Miller - Lloyd Miller and Heliocentrics - Strut Records
The UK musical collective (Heliocentrics) pairs up with jazzy multi-instrumentalist Miller for this collection of songs, which blends New Orleans jazz and Middle Eastern flair together perfectly, bouncing the angles of the more American jazz harmonies off of the more freeform, pitchy tones of the Eastern instruments and Oriental soundscapes. “Electricone” focuses the album’s sound right from the beginning (it’s the opening track) with its massive range of notes and expansive feel, and “Spirit Jazz” veers around and around within its own arrangement, adding surprising elements on each layer; other standouts include “Nava” and “Sunda Sunset.”


Various Artists - Book a Trip: The Psych Pop Sounds of Capitol Records - Now Sounds
This album collects a variety of rare late ‘60s psychedelic singles from the Capitol Records roster, some included here in stereo for the first time. A full-page booklet guides you through each track’s liner notes, which include production by David Axelrod, arrangements by Leon Russell, and compositions by a host of famed songwriters. You’ll hear Capitol pop from the era by the likes of The Moonpark Intersection, the Teddy Neeley Five, The Staccatos, and This Side Up, among others; some of these kitschy retro tunes are even presented in (whoa!) new stereo.
 
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