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: Paul Simon, Alison Krauss & Union Station, Alexander, Robbie Robertson

Kristi Kates - April 18th, 2011
Paul Simon - So Beautiful, So What - Hear Music
Simon returns with some of his best music since back in the Graceland
days, featuring an emotional range of new songs fully graced (ahem) with
diverse worldbeat instrumentations pinned to intelligent-folk roots. With
vocals barely aged even as Simon approaches 70 years old, he crafts smart
storytelling vehicles via music that beckon the ear and spark discussion.
“Questions for the Angels” harkens empathy for the homeless through one of
Simon’s trademark ballads; “The Afterlife” throws a bit of humor into the
mix; “Dazzling Blue” mixes exotic percussion and fiddle; and highlight
“Love is Eternal Sacred Light” is as catchy as Simon’s music ever was.
 
Alison Krauss and Union Station - Paper Airplane - Rounder Records
It took a few years for Krauss and crew to craft something that they
apparantly felt would stand up to their 3-Grammy-winning 2004 release
(Lonely Runs Both Ways), but they’re back in full force with this one,
which showcases every facet of Krauss’ influences, from
Americana/roots/bluegrass music to country and pop. Krauss’ voice is a
consistent element throughout for the most part (three songs are sung by
Union Station’s Dan Tyminski), whether on the pensive “Lie Awake,” the
serene “Dimming of the Day,” and the slightly darker “Sinking Stone.” It’s
nothing particularly groundbreaking, but a consistent, strong, and
appealing set of tunes.
 

Alexander - Alexander - Vagrant
Alexander Ebert - otherwise known as the frontman for indie band Edward
Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros - steps out as a solo artist for the first
time on this set, which features ten songs that Ebert wrote, performed,
and recorded entirely by himself, solely on guitar, organ, violin,
clarinet, and his vocals. Reminiscent of the simpler, candy-coated songs
of the ’60s, these are appealing numbers for the most part, and slightly
more in-depth than the songs of that earlier era - “Glimpses” is a pretty,
soul-inflected number, while “In the Twilight” is a deeper mediation on
life happenings; the highlight may be “Million Years” with its unexpected
hook.
 
Robbie Robertson - How to Become Clairvoyant - 429 Records
Robertson’s fifth solo album sees the guitarist bringing in a colony of
heavy-hitters for his first album in over a decade, including Eric
Clapton, Robert Randolph, Tom Morello, Steve Winwood, and Trent Reznor,
plus production by Marius de Vries. Heavy on retro-rock and various (if
obvious) guitar variations, this is more mainstream than Robertson’s
previous recent-ish efforts, and includes the heavy attackers “Straight
Down the Line” and “He Don’t Live Here No More” for starters (complete
with Clapton on backing vox); diversions from the rockers include the
atmospheric title track, and closer “Tango for Django” with its
instrumental flair.
 

 
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