Letters

Letters 08-29-2016

Religious Bigotry President Obama has been roundly criticized for his apparent unwillingness to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” His critics seem to suggest that through the mere use of that terminology, the defeat of ISIS would be assured...

TC DDA: Focus On Your Mission What on earth is the Traverse City DDA thinking? Purchasing land around (not within) its TIF boundaries and then offering it at a discount to developers? That is not its mission. Sadly enough, it is already falling down on the job regarding what is its mission. Crosswalks are deteriorating all around downtown, trees aren’t trimmed, sidewalks are uneven. Why can’t the DDA do a better job of maintaining what it already has? And still no public restrooms downtown, despite all the tax dollars captured since 1997. What a joke...

European-Americans Are Boring “20 Fascinating People” in northern Michigan -- and every single one is European-American? Sorry, but this is journalistically incorrect. It’s easy for editors to assign and reporters to write stories about people who are already within their personal and professional networks. It’s harder to dig up stuff about people you don’t know and have never met. Harder is better...

Be Aware Of Lawsuit While most non-Indians were sleep walking, local Odawa leaders filed a lawsuit seeking to potentially have most of Emmet County and part of Charlevoix County declared within their reservation and thus under their jurisdiction. This assertion of jurisdiction is embedded in their recently constructed constitution as documentation of their intent...

More Parking Headaches I have another comment to make about downtown TC parking following Pat Sullivan’s recent article. My hubby and I parked in a handicap spot (with a meter) behind Mackinaw Brew Pub for lunch. The handicap spot happens to be 8-10 spaces away from the payment center. Now isn’t that interesting...

Demand Change At Women’s Resource Center Change is needed for the Women’s Resource Center for the Grand Traverse Area (WRCGT). As Patrick Sullivan pointed out in his article, former employees and supporters don’t like the direction WRCGT has taken. As former employees, we are downright terrified at the direction Juliette Schultz and Ralph Soffredine have led the organization...

Home · Articles · News · Music · 4Play: John Mellencamp, Hank...
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4Play: John Mellencamp, Hank Williams III, She & Him, Jeff Beck

Jack Pine - December 27th, 2010
John Mellencamp - No Better than This (Rounder Records)
“No Better Than This” is the second down-to-the-basics, Mellencamp and an instrument or two, mono recording produced by T-Bone Burnett. This time they take an old tape recorder and one microphone to the Sun Studios in Memphis, a Baptist church in Savannah and a hotel room in San Antonio where legendary bluesman Robert Johnson recorded. The mood is slightly more chipper than on the last one “Life, Death, Love and Freedom” and starts out with a real good, moving song “Save Some Time to Dream,” but Mellencamp is still no Bob Dylan. There is more pretense than substance on this one.



Hank Williams III - Rebel Within (Sidewalk Records)
Hank the Third made some good honky tonk/punk records about 10 years ago, like “Lovesick, Broke and Driftin’.” He was able to connect with the spirit of his granddad without being tainted by the hocum of his dad Hank Jr. “Rebel Within” is more of the same Hellbilly sound, but without as much emotion. These are all songs about getting falling down drunk. Well, except the one about heroin, “#5” which has the line “Four of my friends have gone on and died, it looks like I am going to be #5.”





She and Him - Volume Two (Merge Records)
She and Him is musician M. Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel. As a singer Deschanel is best known for the duet “It’s Cold Outside” with Will Farrell in the movie “Elf.” Her singing has an appealing something extra, cry-in-her-voice quality about it. Volume Two doesn’t have a song as good as “Change is Hard” from Volume One, but on the whole it is a stronger collection. Volume Two goes for a fuller retro-pop, girl group ‘60s sound. Zooey is also a good songwriter. She wrote all the songs except the two covers, NRBQ’s “Drivin’ In My Car” and the classic heartbreaker “Gonna Get Along Without You Now.”




Jeff Beck - Emotion and Commotion (Duece Music)
Guitarist Jeff Beck has had an extraordinary career, including his time with the Yardbirds, “Truth” with Rod Stewart, and his fusion records “Blow by Blow” and “Wired.” He has never gone for the same old thing and has repeatedly shown a capacity to surprise. Still, “Emotion and Commotion” is surprisingly dull. Several of the tunes here feature his impeccable electric guitar tone with a symphony in the background. It mostly sounds like soundtrack music. And do we really need another version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”?
 
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