Letters

Letters 12-14-2014

Come Together There is a time-honored war strategy known as “divide and conquer,” and never has it been more effective than now. The enemy is using it against us through television, internet and other social media. I opened a Facebook account a couple of years back to gain more entries in local contests. Since then I had fallen under its spell; I rushed into judgment on several social issues based on information found on those pages

Quiet The Phones! This weekend we attended two beautiful Christmas musical events and the enjoyment of both were significantly diminished by self-absorbed boors holding their stupid iPhones high overhead to capture extremely crucial and highly needed photos. We too own iPhones, but during a public concert we possess the decency and manners to leave them turned off and/or at home. Today’s performance, the annual Messiah Sing at Traverse City’s Central Methodist Church, was a new low: we watched as Mr. Self-Absorbed not only took several photos but then afterwards immediately posted them to his Facebook page. We were dumbfounded.

A Torturous Defense In defense of the C.I.A.’s use of torture in a mostly fruitless search for vital information, some suggest that the dire situation facing us after 9-11, justified the use of torture even at the expense of the potential loss of much of our nation’s moral authority.

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4Play: Moby, Blondie, Above & Beyond, BT

Kristi Kates - June 20th, 2011
Moby - Destroyed - Mute
Moby’s latest set is a thematic one, focusing on the busy musician’s many hours spent in spare hotel rooms, impersonal airport lounges, and in transit. All of the songs were written on the road - many fueled by Moby’s insomnia - and many are also accompanied by photographs that Moby took, which can be acquired via a separate photography book of the same name. Opening the album is the evocative instrumental piece “The Broken Places” (several other “just” instrumentals are also included here, the best being “Sevastopol”); also included are danceable tracks “After” and “Blue Moon,” and the more introspective “When You Are Old.”
 


Blondie - Greatest Hits - Capitol
With Blondie prepping a brand new album for release later this year, now seems like a good time to revisit their remastered … Hits set, which - although it could stand an update with some of the band’s more recent tunes (other than “Maria”) - is the best representation of the influential group to date. Showcasing their progressing from a more punk outfit (“X Offender,” “Rip Her to Shreds”) to the synth-pop, catchy songs they became known for, the collection includes fan and critical faves “Heart of Glass,” “The Tide is High,” “Hanging on the Telephone,” “Island of Lost Souls,” and the landmark “Rapture.” It’s icy cool, and great indeed.
 



Above and Beyond - Group Therapy - Ultra
At once both shoegazy and dance-floor-friendly (somehow?), Above and Beyond’s latest equally showcases the vocal work of Richard Bedford and Zoe Johnson, staying well within the trance realm but adding plenty of personalized emotion and thoughtful arrangements. “Filmic” proves A and B’s skills with synths, weaving around a subtle piano line and a catchy theme. “Thing Called Love” gets more energetic and poppy, while “Sun and Moon” gets even heavier; the album balances well between those moments and quieter ones, such as the harp-laden “Eternal” and “Only a Few Things” with its lonely ambiance.
 


BT - These Re-Imagined Machines - Nettwerk
This two-disc set takes BT’s Grammy-nominated studio album, These Hopeful Machines, and hands it over to the likes of Armin van Buuren and Marcus Schossow, among others, for some serious and crafty remixing. Even if you purchased the original set (or BT’s one-disc, compressed version of the same), you’ll still want this third version of the set, from the Cedric Gervais remix of “Le Nocturne de Lumiere” all the way through van Buuren’s take on “Every Other Way.” Other standouts include Ferry Corsten’s revamping of “Suddenly,” Schossow’s version of “The Emergency,” and the Sultan/Shepard remix of “Rose of Jericho.”

 
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