Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


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4Play: Sade, Eddie Vedder, Rihanna, Ben Harper

Kristi Kates - May 23rd, 2011
Sade - The Ultimate Collection - Epic
Whether you term Sade a solo artist or a band, Sade’s jazz-pop is still of note, even though the bulk of their on-the-radar work was back in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. This “ultimate” collection includes 29 tunes in all, including Sade’s best-known track, the Spanish-flavored “Smooth Operator,” as well as additional songs “Still in Love with You,” a standout Neptunes remix of “By Your Side” with added guitars, and a well-done experimental revamp of “The Moon and the Sky” which adds trip-hop beats and spoken-word overlays from Jay-Z. It’s a solid best-of that also includes four previously unreleased songs for added interest.
 


Eddie Vedder - Ukelele Songs - Monkey Wrench
Like the title says - and no, it’s no joke - this is indeed a set of tunes performed by Vedder, with vocals on… ukelele, including both covers and original songs that Vedder has performed live at times but never released. It’s an interesting and effective break from his role as Pearl Jam frontman; although most of the songs are sparsely arranged and devoid of much heft, they’re still performed prettily enough to be entertaining. “Can’t Keep,” “Without You,” and Vedder’s collaboration with The Frames’ Glen Hansard on “Sleepless Nights” are standouts; first single “Longing to Belong” is on its way to radio as you read this.
 


Rihanna - Loud - Def Jam
Several of the songs on Rihanna’s latest might have been better included thematically in her previous release, Rated R - or even X, for that matter. For such a hip-hop talent, it’s a shame that Rihanna has to be so gratuitous in her lyric-writing, which takes away from the songs themselves, but there are still a few tracks here worthy of attention. “What’s My Name,” featuring Drake, is a catchy throwback to Rihanna’s older work, while “Only Girl,” the first single, is set to stand out on radio, and “Complicated” is reminiscent of Destiny’s Child; “Love the Way You Lie Part II” might’ve worked if she hadn’t allowed Eminem to dominate the track.


Ben Harper - Give Til It’s Gone - V Records
Recorded in Jackson Browne’s L.A. studio (Browne also throws in some vocals on Harper’s “Pray That Our Love Sees the Dawn” from this very set), Harper’s 10th collection of tunes was influenced in part by folk-rocker Neil Young and was co-written in part with Beatle Ringo Starr. Starr’s contributions on the bubbly, ‘60s-inflected “Spilling Faith” and the mostly-instrumental “Get There From Here” are two of the album’s best moments, while first single “Rock N’ Roll is Free” was directly inspired by Young and showcases Harper’s retro abilities; “Don’t Give Up On Me Now” focuses on his more personal side.
 
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