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...

Home · Articles · News · Music · 4Play: Biosphere, Brendan Perry,...
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4Play: Biosphere, Brendan Perry, Blondie, Broken Bells

Kristi Kates - July 18th, 2011
 Biosphere - N-Plants - Touch
At once retro in its choices of synth sounds and beats, and modern in -
well, its choices of synth sounds and beats, Biosphere’s latest sticks to
his familiar sound while striking out into new, backwards-looking
territory. It is most definitely an album of contrasts. Opener “Hendai 1,”
a bit threatening-sounding, offers an intro that feels much like the
beginnings of a thriller or mystery movie, while its successor, “Shika 1,”
warms things up out of the fear factor zones with a more approachable
composition. Brimming with intensity, these tracks push one step beyond
ambient music and into something a little more pensive.

 
Brendan Perry - Ark -101
Former Dead Can Dance member Perry’s sophomore set, recorded at Perry’s
own home studio, finds the musician on a true solo mission of sorts, as he
wrote all of the songs here and performed all of the instruments himself.
The tracklisting extends that isolated approach, as Perry thinks and
performs his way through musings on life and personal growth, translated
through instruments both typical (guitars, keyboards) and somewhat
unexpected, given his electro/pop background (dulcimer?); and the
carefully-constructed lyrics on tunes like “The Devil and the Deep Blue
Sea” and “Utopia” show off Perry’s experience and craft.

 
Blondie - Panic of Girls - AIS
The legendary Debbie Harry and bandmates are back for yet another new set,
with their latest approach attacking solid refrains and radio-friendly
hooks head-on. A blend of electro-punk and some slightly misplaced reggae,
it’s successful for the most part, although the set may have served itself
better to focus on one sound/genre instead of the two. “Le Bleu,” with its
dual-language lyrics, and “D-Day” are catchy updates of the familiar
Blondie pop-punk sound, but tunes like “Girlie Girlie” drag on way too
long, time that would’ve better been spent expanding the more catchy “The
End, The End” or instant single “What I Heard.”


Broken Bells - Meyrin Fields - Columbia
Short (only four songs) but appealingly diverse, the Shins/Danger Mouse
side project serves as follow-up to their critically and fan-acclaimed
2010 debut, opening with “The Ghost Inside” B-side “Meyrin Fields” (hence
the album’s title), and shifting directly into the more rough,
suspenseful, and funky “Windows,” the tropicalia/synthy mix of “An Easy
Life,” and the more mainstream twisted electropop of “Heartless Empire,”
all of which serve to help define why these two skilled musicians work so
well together as a musical team. It’s artsy and concise, and a good look
forward at Broken Bells’ recordable future.
 
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