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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Manchester Orchestra , Cold, Alkaline Trio, Separation

Kristi Kates - July 25th, 2011
Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math - Columbia
Opening with a direct message to fans “Dear everybody/that has paid to see my band…,” Manchester Orchestra’s latest carefully places some more delicate instrumentals - specifically strings - on top of their stacks of heavy, dense guitars, a definite plus for the album’s overall sound and presence. “Mighty” is perhaps the best example of this musical juxtaposition, as is the even catchier “Pensacola” and the title track. Both guitars and violins quiet to complement each other well on “Leave It Alone,” while “Apprehension” shifts the focus to the track’s percussion, with strongly personal lyrics throughout the set.




Cold - Superfiction - Eleven Seven Music
Heavy alt-rock and carefully-crafted storytelling might seem like an unusual combination, but it’s one of the best descriptions of Cold’s latest album. Frontman Cold (aka Scooter Ward) helms his bandmates well throughout this set, which presents dark instrumentals, distressed guitars, and weighty beats together with a wide range of poetically-executed tales. “The Ballad of Nameless” adds pensive piano to this mix, while “Wicked World” amps up the distortion on the guitars, even as the vocals take the “pretty” route; “Flight of the Superstar” sets the stage for “… Nameless” to sweep in and wrap the set up perfectly.




Alkaline Trio - Damnesia - Epitaph
The Trio decided to celebrate their 15th anniversary as a band with this collection, which serves as a best-of collection of their works over the past 15 years, a showcase for three new songs, and a way for the band to have a little fun revamping some of their older songs as unplugged/acoustic numbers. The acoustic guitars add depth and focus to the band’s “Mercy Me” and “Calling All Skeletons,” and new acoustic-based track “I Remember a Rooftop” is a pretty musing by lovelorn Dan Andriano. Elsewhere, acoustic pianos are added in to “The American Scream” and “This Could Be Love.” It’s a varied set and an enjoyable listen for fans.


Separation - Balance and Composure - No Sleep Records
Take a less-funky, earlier Chili Peppers, throw in a little Cursive and Brand New, and you’ve got Separation’s under-the-radar alt-post-hardcore sound. Got that? “Void” begins the album’s tracklisting with unadorned guitars, but things get a lot more punk fairly quickly; lead single “Quake” harkens back to the mid-’90s with its up-n-down arrangement, “More To Me” deposits several layers of vocals, one on top of the next; and “Patience,” despite the title, sees the band getting more aggressive. There are some slower-tempo moments here worth hearing, as well, namely “Progress, Progress” and the midtempo “Stone Hands.”


 
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