Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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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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