Letters

Letters 04-14-14

Benishek Inching

Regarding “Benishek No Environmentalist” I agree with Mr. Powell’s letter to the editor/ opinion of Congressman Dan Benishek’s poor environmental record and his penchant for putting corporate interests ahead of his constituents’...

Climate Change Warning

Currently there are three assaults on climate change. The first is on the integrity of the scientists who support human activity in climate change. Second is that humans are not capable of affecting the climate...

Fed Up About Roads

It has gotten to the point where I cringe when I have to drive around this area. There are areas in Traverse City that look like a war zone. When you have to spend more time viewing potholes instead on concentrating on the road, accidents are bound to happen...

Don’t Blame the IRS

I have not heard much about the reason for the IRS getting itself entangled with the scrutiny of certain conservative 501(c) groups (not for profit) seeking tax exemption. Groups seeking tax relief must be organizations that are operated “primarily for the purpose of bringing about civic betterment and social improvements.”


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4Play: Gomez, Dave Alvin, Bon Iver, Matt Nathanson

Kristi Kates - June 13th, 2011
Gomez - Whatever’s On Your Mind - ATO/Red
Although they’re probably best known as a British band, Gomez’ bandmates are actually scattered across a couple of countries, with its members now living in the UK, L.A., and NY. Fortunately for them, they had a common production ground in producer Sam Farrar, who helped them bring together this, their latest album. Recorded primarily in a remote studio locale in Virginia, this is both a smoother and more experimental set than previous efforts, with new in-band approaches taken to horns and guitars (“Options”), synth/strings (“Our Goodbye”), and electronica (“Song in my Heart.”) It’s fresh, eclectic, and interesting.



Dave Alvin - Eleven Eleven - Yep Roc
After Alvin departed his long-time work with The Blasters in the late ‘70s, he found folk music to be his newest calling, and it ended up being one that snagged him several Grammy nods and a secondary round of new respect for his earthy and emotional songwriting. There are several surprises here for fans of Alvin’s music, including the more subtle, thoughtful approaches on such songs as “No Worries Mija” and the catchy “Harlan County Line”; Alvin also duets for the first time on a recording with his fellow Blaster and brother Phil. It’s another solid step in Alvin’s ongoing - and artistically growing - roots rock career.




Bon Iver - Bon Iver - Jagjaguwar
With songs named after towns, reverb courtesy of an old swimming pool’s acoustics, and Auto-Tune used not to actually tune, but to add quirky, fragile vocal effects, Bon Iver’s latest showcases a willingness to push his songs through new challenges as well as a strength in the unusual songwriting itself. More traditional-sounding pianos and strings appear on “Wash,” while the Americana-seasoned “Towers” is both emotive and simply pretty; “Minnesota, WI” somehow fuses banjos and horns into an effective musical base, and “Hinnom, TX” throws in scratchy, amped-up FX like the most seasoned guitarist-slash-DJ.



Matt Nathanson - Modern Love - Vanguard
Matt Nathanson may be one of the busiest performers that hardly anyone knows about. You may have heard his songs on VH1, American Idol, 90210, Good Morning America, and Vampire Diaries - but you may not know that the Bay Area singer-songwriter is already on his 8th album. Modern Love, which will hit stores on June 21st, offers more of the hearty pop that makes Nathanson’s music so palatable to the average TV-watching American - unfortunately, he’s going down a road similar to that of Diane Warren: carefully-crafted tunes that end up being too sterile to transcend anything past commercial impact.
 
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