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: Various Artists, Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriquez, Lang Lang, Gary Husband

Ross Boissoneau - January 3rd, 2011
Various Artists – Soul Revival (Shout/NPR)
This compilation, put together by National Public Radio, starts off with a bang. “Do the 45” by Ryan Shaw harkens back to the heyday of soul shouters like Sam Cooke and Al Green. Eli “Paperboy” Reed keeps up the momentum with “Am I Wasting My Time?” complete with spine-tingling yelps. Both feature instrumental backing reminiscent of the best soul music of the ‘60s and ‘70s, with chittering rhythm guitars, organ, handclaps and horns. Raphael Saadiq’s “100 Yard Dash” is more sedate than the title might suggest, and Chaka Khan’s “Disrepectful” with Mary J. Blige is an unqualified treat. Imagine a whole CD like that. Now stop imagining and listen.



Chip Taylor & Carrie Rodriguez – The New Bye & Bye (Train Wreck Records)
Songwriter Chip Taylor (Jon Voight’s brother, composer of “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning” among others) teamed up with young fiddle player/vocalist Carrie Rodriguez after hearing her at SXSW in 2002. This is a compilation of some of their best work alongside four new songs. Perhaps the best testament to its success is that it’s impossible to tell which are the old songs and which are the new. Taylor’s rough-edged voice is complemented by Rodriguez’s sweeter hue. It would be nice if they could sing more in tune, but those who like their folk with a generous dose of twang will likely enjoy this recording.


Lang Lang – Live in Vienna (Sony)
There’s no doubt that Lang Lang is the most celebrated pianist in classical circles and beyond, from gigs at the Grammys and the Olympics to this recital in Vienna. His bravura style is occasionally over the top, but it’s hard to argue with the results. On this two-disc set, he performs two Beethoven sonatas, including “Appassionata,” as well as one each by Prokofiev and Albeniz. As a tribute to Chopin’s 200th anniversary, he also performs three of that composer’s works. Lang Lang’s playing may be overly enthusiastic at times, but it’s never florid. The “Appassionata” in particular rings with joy and passion, from hushed pianissimos to strident fortes.


Gary Husband – Dirty and Beautiful Volume 1 (Abstract Logix)
British drummer/keyboardist Husband has played with loads of folks in the jazz/rock firmament, and they’re all here with him. John McLaughlin, Jan Hammer, Jerry Goodman, Allan Holdsworth, Robin Trower, Steve Hackett, Mark King and a host of others join him for a bracing set that touches on fusion, soft jazz, ambient rock, all with aplomb. Husband seldom lets things get out of control; the one criticism might be that it’s just a little too polite. Best tracks? Probably “Moon Song” with Hackett and English bass ace Laurence Cottle, or the spooky “Afterglow,” with Husband conjuring up images of fire and ice with his keyboards. But truly any tune is worth the price of admission.
 
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