Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

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4Play:Badly Drawn Boy, The Apples in Stereo, Eels, Autumn Defense 4/4/11

Kristi Kates - April 4th, 2011
Badly Drawn Boy - It’s What I’m Thinking: Part One - The End Records
Chock-full of emotional filling and dusted with instrumental sugar, Badly Drawn Boy’s latest - like so many of his best albums - is another musical treat that’s light enough to not be overwhelming, but still a rewarding and smart listen. His personal lyrics tell the stories, while the melodies remain as catchy as always, right from the temperate opener (“In Safe Hands”) to the reflective “What Tomorrow Brings,” the simple but effortlessly pretty balladry of “Saw You Walk Away” and “The Electric,” and onward to the slightly more musically-adventurous “A Pure Accident” and “This Beautiful Idea.” It’s fairly apparent that most of the album is inspired by relationships - but hopefully something else he’s thinking about is how to make more great music like this.


The Apples in Stereo - Travellers in Space and Time - Yep Roc
Serving as the successor to their much-lauded New Magnetic Wonder album, The Apples in Stereo push forward with more of their uber-catchy refrains and witty wordplay. A slightly more danceable feel is woven through this set, with disco beats enhancing tracks like “Hey Elevator” and the appropriately-dubbed “Dance Floor,” while songs like “Dignified Dignitary” and “No Vacation” keep those foot-friendly rhythms while blending back in the Apples’ appealing quirkiness, from their inclusion of vocoders and off-kilter harmonies to their slightly goofy way of writing lyrics that tell universal tales in a humorous way, albeit one that’s blended with alien synths and heavy rock guitars.



Eels - Tomorrow Morning - E Works
With more electronica and definitively anchoring bass lines than prior efforts, Eels frontman E (aka Mark Everett) throws out the songs on his latest effort like confetti, completing what’s being considered a concept trio of albums that began in 2009. With carefully-structured arrangements showcasing Everett’s personal, often humorous lyric stylings, this is a more hopeful album than the two prior, beginning with the instrumental opener “In Gratitude of This Magnificence” setting the tone. “What I Have to Offer” is a simple man’s love song, quickly followed by a 180, mood-wise, with “This is Where It Gets Good,” with its funky beat and synth work; and “Mystery of Life” is a standout with its obvious Beach Boys-influenced harmonies.



Autumn Defense - Once Around - Yep Roc
You might be familiar with at least two of the members of this band, namely Pat Sansone and John Stirratt, who are also bandmates in another little indie band called... Wilco. The Autumn Defense has actually been a side project of the friends for about the past 10 years, and offers both some similarities to Wilco’s sound and some fresh infusions that are all Autumn Defense’s own. The production is sharp, the arrangements bedecked with strings and plenty of backing vocals, and the songs themselves, while not as immediately catchy as Wilco’s tunes, do grow on you, especially tracks like “Tell Me What You Want,” “Don’t Know,” “The Rift,” and “There Will Always Be a Way.”
 
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