Letters

Letters 05-02-2016

Facts About Trails I would like to correct some misinformation provided in Kristi Kates’ article about the Shore-to-Shore Trail in your April 18 issue. The Shore-to-Shore Trail is not the longest continuous trail in the Lower Peninsula. That honor belongs to the North Country Trail (NCT), which stretches for over 400 miles in the Lower Peninsula. In fact, 100 miles of the NCT is within a 30-minute drive of Traverse City, and is maintained by the Grand Traverse Hiking Club...

North Korea Is Bluffing I eagerly read Jack Segal’s columns and attend his lectures whenever possible. However, I think his April 24th column falls into an all too common trap. He casually refers to a nuclear-armed North Korea when there is no proof whatever that North Korea has any such weapons. Sure, they have set off some underground explosions but so what? Tonga could do that. Every nuclear-armed country on Earth has carried out at least one aboveground test, just to prove they could do it if for no other reason. All we have is North Korea’s word for their supposed capabilities, which is no proof at all...

Double Dipping? In Greg Shy’s recent letter, he indicated that his Social Security benefit was being unfairly reduced simply due to the fact that he worked for the government. Somehow I think something is missing here. As I read it this law is only for those who worked for the government and are getting a pension from us generous taxpayers. Now Greg wants his pension and he also wants a full measure of Social Security benefits even though he did not pay into Social Security...

Critical Thinking Needed Our media gives ample coverage to some presidential candidates calling each other a liar and a sleaze bag. While entertaining to some, this certainly should lower one’s respect for either candidate. This race to the bottom comes as no surprise given their lack of respect for the rigors of critical thinking. The world’s esteemed scientists take great steps to preserve the integrity of their findings. Not only are their findings peer reviewed by fellow experts in their specialty, whenever possible the findings are cross-checked by independent studies...

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4Play: Nic Dawson Kelly, Chet Baker, Various Artists, Tom Waits

Kristi Kates - February 7th, 2011
Nic Dawson Kelly - Old Valentine - 101
This debut set from the newbie Brit singer-songwriter finds him inviting over a few pals to help fill in his genre-crossing songs, including Portis head’s Jim Barr and Primal Scream’s Marco Nelson. Set on a foundation of folky guitars and rattling harmonicas, the set focuses on old Valentine’s Day love letters to sketch portraits of what seem to be a couple of Kelly’s
old loves. “Thursday 3-23” secures its harmonica right next to uplifting banjo riffs, while “The Musician” leans more on ‘50s/’60s era rock-folk, and “Delicate” showcases Kelly’s pensive, lovelorn vocals.




Chet Baker - My Funny Valentine: The Best Of - EMI
Classic Chet is a great choice for Valentine’s Day (or any other date night), and this album is no exception. This 2010 collection features over two dozen standout tracks from the jazz icon, including, of course, that classic title track (a great live version); also included are plenty of other tunes perfect for the dinner table or dancing afterwards. You’ll get (as those late-night TV infomercials say) Chet’s takes on such songs as “Love Walked In,” “I’m Through with Love,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is,” “What a Diff’rence A Day Made,” and 21 more of Chet’s best.



Various Artists - Valentine’s Day Motion Picture Soundtrack - Big
Machine A collection of songs from the (aptly-named) 2010 big budget movie (starring an ensemble cast that includes Julia Roberts, Topher Grace, Ashton Kutcher, Bradley Cooper, and Taylor Swift, among others), this set brings together - what else? Romantic songs to accompany the characters as they wander around L.A. on the holiday itself. Jewel’s new track, “Stay Here Forever,” and Swift’s “Today Was a Fairytale” anchor the set, while other tunes are contributed from the likes of Jamiroquai, The Bird and the Bee, Sausalito Foxtrot, and Steel Magnolia.



Tom Waits - Blue Valentine - WEA
This credibly remastered version of a classic set from Waits definitely does justice to his distinctive, gravel-filled voice and unique song stylings. That said, Waits’ music isn’t necessarily for everyone. His bluesy, jazzy blend is full of depth, but sometimes too much, as he sings floridly of the darker underbellies of life and society. His cover of West Side Story’s “Somewhere” is a standout in its uniqueness, but some of the other songs are more melodramatically angst-ridden than the most eye-rolling of today’s emo-pop bands.


 
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