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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4Plat: Moondoggies, Middle Brother, Tino Ghost, Twilight Singers 4/11/11

Kristi Kates - April 11th, 2011
Moondoggies - Tidelands - Hardly Art
Seattle harmony-fans Moondoggies (think Crosby Stills and Nash, not Gidget) teamed up with Erik Blood, Kurt Bloch, and Phil Ek for this set, which finds the band in a more determined mood production-wise, and a more shoegazey mood musically (firmly within their Americana vibe, of course.) They’re strong on the melodies, too, with plenty of songs that offer hooks without pandering to radio - retrofied organ sounds coupled with simply mic’d pianos and guitars set the groundwork for songs like the languid, drawling “It’s a Shame, It’s a Pity,” the violin-seasoned “Lead Me On,” and the chugging, organ-tuneful “Down the Well.”




Middle Brother - Middle Brother - Partisan Records
Featuring singers from Delta Spirit (Matthew Vasquez), Dawes (Taylor Goldsmith), and Deer Tick (John McCauley), the wittily-named trio brings a wealth of indie rock and folk experience to this project and to the album itself, which recorded in something of an old-school tone, much like some thrown-together basement tapes (albeit with far better equipment.) A bluesy-garage sound permeates tracks like “Blue Eyes,” “Someday,” “Blood and Guts,” and “Million Dollar Bill,” while a more folksy approach is taken on tunes like the acoustic ballads “Wilderness” and “Thanks for Nothing,” and the ‘70s-inspired “Theater.”





Tino Ghost - Until Autumn - CDB
Los Angeles musician Jay Rivera - aka Tino Ghost - takes the “singer-songwriter” label to the next level, with a nice balance of alterna-folk and rich pop influences. Featuring dense guitars and pianos and chilled-out vocals, the arrangements here are concise, while the songs tell tales of aggrevation over slowly dissipating dreams, failing relationships, and an attempt to keep everything together. The dichotomy between the pretty melodies and the somewhat serious, introspective lyrics keeps things interesting without veering too far into the melodramatic, and Rivera/Ghost himself has the talent and the skill to pull off such complexities.




Twilight Singers - Dynamite Steps - Sub Pop
Best known for his work with Afghan Whigs, Greg Dulli’s latest project - well, one of two, the other being Gutter Twins - offers up its first album in five years, although it makes only a minor impact. “Last Night in Town” opens the set in reverse motion with a piano flourish and rumbling low end, moving fairly quickly on to “Be Invited” (featuring Mark Lanegan on backing vocals), “On the Corner,” and the Joseph-Arthur-featuring “Gunshots.” A slow shift in the middle of the tracklisting begins with the pretty “She Was Stolen,” and continues in a quieter fashion through “Never Seen No Devil” and “The Beginning of the End” to close the set.
 
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