Letters 11-23-2015

Cheering From Petoskey While red-eyed rats boil fanatically up from the ancient sewers of Paris to feast on pools of French blood, at the G20 meeting the farcical pied piper of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue thrusts a bony finger at the president of the Russian Federation and yells: “liberté, égalité, fraternité, Clinton, Kerry--Obamaism!”

The Other Mothers And Fathers Regarding the very nice recent article on “The First Lady of Yoga,” I have taken many classes with Sandy Carden, and I consider her to be a great teacher. However, I feel the article is remiss to not even give acknowledgement to other very important yoga influences in northern Michigan...

Drop The Blue Angels The last time I went to the National Cherry Festival, I picked the wrong day. The Blue Angels were forcing everyone to duck and cover from the earsplitting cacophony overhead...

Real Advice For The Sick In the Nov. 16 article “Flu Fighters,” author Kristi Kates fails to mention the most basic tool in our arsenal during Influenza season... the flu vaccine! I understand you might be afraid of being the victim of Jenny McCarthyism, but the science is there...

Keeping Traverse City in the Dark Our environment is our greatest asset. It sustains our lives; it drives our economy. We ignore it at our peril. Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) has submitted letters of concern to both the city commission and planning commission regarding the proposed 9-story buildings on Pine Street. We have requested an independent environmental assessment with clear answers before a land use permit is granted...

All About Them Another cartoon by Jen Sorensen that brings out the truth! Most of her cartoons are too slanted in a Socialist manner, but when she gets it correct, she hits the nail on the target! “Arizona is the first state to put a 12-month lifetime limit on welfare benefits.” That quote is in the opening panel... 

Unfair To County Employees It appears that the commissioners of Grand Traverse County will seek to remedy a shortfall in the 2016 budget by instituting cuts in expenditures, the most notable the reduction of contributions to various insurance benefits in place for county employees. As one example, the county’s contributions to health insurance premiums will decrease from ten to six percent in 2016. What this means, of course, is that if a county employee wishes to maintain coverage at the current level next year, the employee will have to come up with the difference...

Up, Not Out I would like to congratulate the Traverse City Planning Commission on their decision to approve the River West development. Traverse City will either grow up or grow out. For countless reasons, up is better than out. Or do we enjoy such things as traffic congestion and replacing wooded hillsides with hideous spectacles like the one behind Tom’s West Bay. At least that one is on the edge of town as opposed to in the formerly beautiful rolling meadows of Acme Township...

Lessons In Winning War I am saddened to hear the response of so many of legislators tasked with keeping our country safe. I listen and wonder if they know what “winning” this kind of conflict requires or even means? Did we win in Korea? Did we win in Vietnam? Are we winning in Afghanistan? How is Israel winning against the Palestinians? Will they “take out” Hezbollah...

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4Play: Foo Fighters, The Dears, Noah & the Whale, old War Kids 3/21/11

Kristi Kates - March 21st, 2011
Foo Fighters - Wasting Light - RCA
Recorded on defiant analog tape in Dave Grohl’s garage (albeit with the
assistance of superproducer Butch Vig and top-notch mixer Alan Moulder),
the songs on the Foo’s latest are an equally yin-yang mix of the high
sheen and the grungy. First official single “Rope” has pushy drums that
solidify the raw pop/rock beat and charging punk-popster “Bridge Burning”
plays out that garage-band feel, while more restraint and smoother
arrangements are shown on tracks like “These Days,” “I Should Have Known,”
and the Bob Mould-guesting “Dear Rosemary.” The new songs are definitely
fodder for the Foo’s potential headlining spot at Lollapalooza this year.

The Dears - Degeneration Street - Dangerbird
The Dears’ fifth set is a mournful one, mired in the years of backstory -
and member changes - that this band has gone through, with tension and
desperation showing through in many of the songs. Reuniting their original
lineup seems to have added just as many problems as the band had back when
they were a more fragmented group, as evidenced in the melodramatic plot
points of the lyrics; melodically, it’s okay at best, with the “big” songs
(“Stick with Me, Kid,” “Thrones”) being overly earnest, and the quieter
tracks (“Galactic Tides”) falling tepid. Hopefully they’ll work the
wrinkles out and conjure up something better next time.

 Noah and the Whale - Last Night on Earth - Def Jam
After Noah’s lead singer Charlie Fink directed a short film to go along
with the band’s prior album, The First Days of Spring, he found himself
inspired by filmmaking in and of itself, and those visualization elements
are showcased in part here on their third set. The album’s first single is
the ridiculously catchy, modern-campfire singalong “L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N.”
with its spell-check refrain; “Just Me Before We Met” taps into Fink’s
romantic, poetic side; and “Tonight’s the Kind of Night” depicts a late
night escape from the mundane, which is a good representation of the album
itself, and its quirky brand of indie-folk-pop appeal.
Cold War Kids - Mine is Yours - Interscope
American indie-rockers CWK having been making big strides out of their
So-Cal locale the past few years, first with a standout set at
Lollapalooza and now with their latest album. Full of the familiar dense
guitar/busy beats/arena-ready vocals that fans have already become
familiar with, lead single “Louder Than Ever” begins the chartattack with
its immediate hook, and is followed up by the likes of the
Bono-reminiscent “Bulldozer,” the soulful “Royal Blue,” and the
dynamically-arranged “Out of the Wilderness” that almost blends two
different song moods into one great track. It’s more accessible than
previous efforts, but without losing the band’s aim.

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