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

Ross Boissoneau - October 14th, 2004
Mike Keneally – The Universe Will Provide (Favored Nations)
Former Zappa guitarist Mike Keneally certainly learned a few things from Frank, and on “The Universe Will Provide” he puts some of them to use. His compositions are more like min-symphonies than rock songs, which makes sense given the fact he’s accompanied by the Metropole Orkest, a 60-piece Dutch orchestra. Keneally’s lines are ofttimes jarring, placed almost in opposition to the orchestra; at other times, the two blend, or the orchestra supports Keneally’s electric excursions. Keneally touches many bases here, from shred guitar to complex orchestral passages to sweeping melodic grandeur. If titles like “Worrywart Spoonguy” and “Four Slices of Toast” intrigue you rather than put you off, chances are the music will as well.

The Chieftains – The Long Black Veil (Mobile Fidelity)
Sting, Mick Jagger, Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor, Mark Knopfler, Tom Jones – no wonder “The Long Black Veil” garnered notice by the masses and critical acclaim when it was released in 1995. Now this marriage of rock royalty and traditional Celtic music has been given glorious new life by the label famed for its painstaking approach to audiophile quality sound. Listen past O’Connor’s vocals on “The Foggy Dew” to the rolling drums in the distance and the pipes and bodhran, or the exquisite sound of the harp, flute and pipes on Morrison’s “Have I Told You Lately That I Love You?” that back the singer on a most heartfelt version of his hit. Really, any track here is divine, and is made all the more so by the incredible sound.


Brian Setzer – The Ultimate Collection (Surfdog)
The novelty of rockabilly bad boy Brian Setzer fronting a 17-piece big band has long since faded. Now the group can be appreciated for its musicality and muscle, and there’s certainly plenty of both on display on this double live CD. From “Brand New Cadillac” and “Sittin’ On It” from the band’s debut disc in 1994 to the surprise hit “Jump, Jive & Wail” to remakes of the themes from James Bond and “Hawaii Five-O” and big-band treatments of “Stray Cat Strut” and more, this disc swings and zings. His band boasts great soloists and a tight ensemble sound. Setzer is Setzer, of course, his growling guitar and bluesy vocals taking center stage most of the time.

Karrin Allyson – Wild For You (Concord)
Today’s best female jazz vocalist – save your arguments, it’s just the truth – turns back to her pop roots, with tunes by Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, James Taylor and Elton John, among others. Allyson’s sex kitten poses on the CD cover are hardly necessary, as the music itself is by turns sensual, playful, engaging, and always soulful. Like the greatest ballplayers, Allyson makes everything seem effortless. Her re-arrangements of “It’s Too Late” by Carole King is a great example of how she keeps the spirit of the original intact even as she and the band stretch out, with a great solo by guitarist Rod Fleeman before Allyson returns to the vocals and melody, then scats out to the end.
 
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