Letters

Letters 05-30-2016

Oaks & Moths All of last week’s letters regarding recommendations for the best native plants from “Listen to the Experts” from the previous week were right on target. Those who are interested in learning more about native plants, and their importance to birds, bees and butterflies, would do well to read Dr. Douglas Tallamy’s wonderful book, Bringing Nature Home...

Poor Grades On Standardized Testing We have been enduring standardized testing for the last few weeks as our district isn’t allowing for opting out without student removal. I think other parents need to know and the district needs to address their own inconsistencies in policy...

Beware Trump  To describe Trump: hubristic, narcissistic, misogynistic, sociopathic. There are more descriptors. Should we pity this misfit or fear that his values attract such a large segment of our society? Hitler was spawned in the ferment of economic unrest...

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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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