Letters

Letters 01-19-2014

Cancerous Costs My heart goes out to all those dealing with cancer. Sadly, I think the truth is we will never see a cure for cancer as long as treatment for cancer is so lucrative. True story: A friend had monthly cancer treatments…$8,000 per treatment for roughly 2 1/2 years.

My Favorite Opinions Betsy Coffia tackles vital but challenging local issues and does her research; her clear thinking and writing about Michigan’s stuggles with gas and oil agendas, both hidden and manipulative tactics, takes brave digging below the surface!

You Own Your Health January 29th, 2007 was the day I made the decision to lose weight and get healthy. The rules on how to do this were always in front of me but I didn’t want to listen to them. Gradually, at the rate of two pounds per month, I lost 45 pounds and have kept it off. My energy soared and a “new me” emerged from the ashes.

Dirty Money Redux Grant Parsons’ opinion piece highlights the serious issues with the recent Inman campaign. While Ms. Coffia took the high road with her campaign of “She Can’t Be Bought” — not accepting money from PAC’s, Lobbyists or Special Interest Groups, Mr. Inman decided to take the low road using substantial outside funding in the final weeks of the campaign. When I received the first negative post card against Ms. Coffia I called Mr. Inman’s campaign HQ to ask where the money was coming from - and the person answering said, “I don’t know.”

Defending Our Law Enforcement I address this note to the “cartoonist” responsible for fostering lies about law enforcement. To your readers, please look at the facts before making ignorant presumptions.

Now Who’s Ridiculing Drilling? Remember when conservatives advocated for “Drill, baby, drill?” And how the left ridiculed the idea? Hmm, the silence is deafening...


Home · Articles · News · Music · 4Play: Polar Bear; Sufjan Stevens;...
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4Play: Polar Bear; Sufjan Stevens; Secret Sisters; Black Dub

Jack Pine - January 17th, 2011
1/17/11
Polar Bear - Peepers (Leaf Label)
Here’s a concept: Jazz that is fun, musical, adventurous and not at all boring. Polar Bear is a small combo from England that features two saxophone players. Polar Bear plays jazz that is more about the compositions than any lengthy jazz trance solos. There are touches of Sun Ra, Morphine and Tom Waits (sans vocals). Some songs groove and some float, but it is all fresh and inviting music. It all seems so natural; it is a wonder a band with Polar Bear’s sound hasn’t happened sooner.




Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz (Asthmatic Kitty)
Let us pause for a moment and thank Stevens, the former Petoskey resident and Interlochen student for his fine ‘03 release “Greetings from Michigan - the Great Lakes State,” and giving our state so much badly needed creative attention. Stevens now lives in Brooklyn. He has always been more than a simple singer/songwriter, but on “The Age of Adz” Stevens has created his most ambitious and biggest sounding recording yet. Musical creativity flows out of Stevens like Beck and David Byrne, to the point where it can be overwhelming. But if you like rich headphone music, “The Age of Adz” is worth a listen, all the way through to the album’s closer, the 25-minute-plus “Impossible Soul.”


Secret Sisters (Universal Republic Records)
Maybe you need some neo-retro classic sounds to go with the neo-retro classic furniture you just got for Christmas. If so, the Secret Sisters would be just the thing. The sisters, Lydia and Laura Rogers, are from Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Their first album was produced by Jack White and this one is co-produced by T-Bone Burnett. At times the album flirts with being too cute (“My Heart Skips a Beat”) or too campy (a cover of the Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s hit “Something Stupid”) but there are also some great songs here, such as Bill Monroe’s “The One I Love is Gone.” The Secret Sisters’ overall sincerity and spot-on harmonies will eventually win you over.



Black Dub (Jive Records)
In addition to his work as star producer (U2, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan etc.) Daniel Lanois has made some impressive albums on his own, “Shine” from ‘05 being the best of the bunch. This time, Lanois enlists late bluesman Chris Whitely’s daughter Trixie to handle most of the lead vocals. She’s a belter of songs - a more organic version of Joss Stone. The rhythm section with Brian Blade on drums and Daryl Johnson on bass is about is good as it gets. Ample amounts of atmospheric sounds and the lush reverb that Lanois is famous for are featured on every song. Black Dub was on a several 2010 “Best of Lists” and deservedly so.
 
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