Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


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4Play: James Blunt, Old 97‘s, Kaiser Chiefs, Incubus

Kristi Kates - August 1st, 2011
James Blunt - Some Kind of Trouble - Atlantic
Twelve fresh songs arrive from Brit singer-songwriter on this set, with production by Steve Robson and songs penned by Blunt himself. People tend to be polarized regarding Blunt’s music, mostly due to the inescapable presence of his biggest hit, “You’re Beautiful”; but it’s not fair to hold that against him when he does have such skill at crafting indie-pop ballads. The jangling guitars of “Stay the Night” open the set, which movies right into the peppy (for Blunt) “Dangerous” and “I’ll Be Your Man.” And those ballads are certainly present - the highlights being “No Tears,” “Best Laid Plans,” and the Americana-tinged “If Time Is All We Have.”



Old ‘97’s - The Grand Theater Vol. 2 -
New West
Rhett Miller and crew’s ninth studio set follows up The Grand Theater Vol. 2, which was released about a year ago; the new set, featuring over a dozen songs, further explores the thread set down on the first volume of tunes. The 97’s trademark folk/punk/pop mix is still in well-produced evidence here, from the rocking “I’m a Trainwreck” and the humor-laden “White Port” (with its pirate-accent references) to the equally peppy (but more poppy) “The Actor” and “Perfume.” There aren’t really any mellow moments here - the album pretty much keeps the energy level at at least 6 - but it’s a solid set that should translate well live.




Kaiser Chiefs - Future is Medieval - Universal
What should a successful Britpop act do after selling millions of albums and spending much of the past three years on tour? Why, get back at it in the studio, of course - namely their own studio that the Chiefs built in the basement of their London management office. Snagging Owen Morris and Tony Visconti to help them with production duties, the band has crafted another uber-catchy set that opens with the now-classic Kaiser Chiefs sound on “Little Shocks” and continues onward through the rhythm-anchored “Things Change,” the piano-dusted “Starts with Nothing,” and single-in-the-making “Coming Up for Air.”


Incubus - If Not Now, When? - Epic
It must be something about the “Bs”; Incubus frontman Brandon Boyd and producer Brendan O’Brien have teamed up to craft Incubus’ sixth studio album, and it’s another solid, if somewhat surprising tempo-wise, set that showcases the band’s tuneful capabilities and ways around an alternative-rock hook. Although it’s less complex than previous efforts as far as showing off the bandmates’ instrumental skills, this “band love letter to the world,” as the band puts it, is more mid-tempo than ever before, leaving more room for Boyd’s emotional vocals on tracks like the affirming “Isadore” and “Tomorrow’s Food.”

 
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