Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

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4Play:R.E.M., Beady Eye, The Strokes, Elbow 3/28/11

Kristi Kates - March 28th, 2011
R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now - Warner Bros.
The Little Athens Band That Could harken back to their good old days with their newest set, as produced by legend-in-the-making Jacknife Lee. Tracked in New Orleans and at Berlin’s famed Hansa Studios, the album includes special appearances by Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, and Hidden Cameras’ Joel Gibb - but the real elements to note are the songs themselves. “Discoverer” is classic R.E.M. (their more optimistic side, as well), with big Peter Buck guitars and an undeniable hook; “Uberlin” and “Oh My Heart” showcase R.E.M.’s ability to craft evocative indie ballads; and album closer “Blue” lets Stipe’s speaking voice take center stage.



Beady Eye - Different Gear, Still Speeding - Dangerbird
Liam Gallagher’s first project since splitting from his brother Noel and their long-term, highly successful Brit band Oasis, Beady Eye’s songs are often along the same track as Oasis, albeit with a little more sass. First single “The Roller” features that familiar Liam yowl on the lead vocals, with comrades Gem Archer and Andy Bell picking up the rest of the instrumentals; the rest of the songs are plenty catchy and radio-friendly, but not so much as to sell out nor tarnish what Oasis established in the Brit rock genre. Other highlights of this debut set include the quirky “Millionaire,” the pretty “For Anyone,” and the singalongable “The Beat Goes On.”



The Strokes - Angles - RCA/Rough Trade
All eyes are on The Strokes as they release their fourth album, which was reportedly recorded within a swirl of band conflict and a bit of a power play between unofficial bandleader Julian Casablancas and his sidemen - er, bandmates. In spite of all of that, the latest collection of Strokes tunes is as confident and moody as anything that’s been released before, from the buoyancy of “Machu Picchu” to the perfectly balanced guitar/vocal dissonance of “You’re So Right,” the near folk-pop of “Undercover of Darkness,” and the whistling Cars-era synths of “Games.” It’s a solid polish on the band’s signature sound, all arguments aside for the music.


Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys! - Downtown
Manchester indie-rockers Elbow have long sat in queue behind their other Brit-rock peers, although many of their songs are easily comparable. This album may finally set them apart stateside, with concrete-solid hooks and the sweeping instrumentals that reside behind Guy Garvey’s Peter-Gabriel-esque vocal lines. Arena-ready first single “Neat Little Rows” is joined by the life-affirming “Open Arms,” with its equally huge choruses, and “Dear Friends,” a paean to the pals of the song’s title, complete with lyrics just this side of overly-sentimental and horn lines fit for theatre productions. It’s all well-written and performed with sonic self-assurance.
 
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