Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

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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.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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