Letters

Letters 07-21-2014

Disheartened

While observing Fox News, it was disheartening to see what their viewers were subjected to. It seems the Republicans’ far right wing extremists are conveying their idealistic visions against various nationalities, social diversities or political beliefs with an absence of emotion concerning women’s health issues, children’s rights, voter suppression, Seniors, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid...

Things That Matter

All of us in small towns and large not only have the right to speak on behalf of our neighbors and ourselves, we have the duty and responsibility to do so -- and 238 years ago, we made a clear Declaration to do just that...

An Anecdote Driven Mind

So, is Thomas Kachadurian now the Northern Express’ official resident ranter? His recent factfree, hard-hearted column suggests it. While others complain about the poor condition of Michigan’s roads and highways, he rants against those we employ to fix them...

No On Prop 1

Are we being conned? Are those urging us to say “yes” to supposedly ”revenue neutral” ballot proposal 1 on August 5 telling us all the pertinent facts? Proposal 1 would eliminate the personal property tax businesses pay to local governments, replacing its revenue with a share of Michigan’s 6 percent use tax paid by us all on out-of-state purchases, hotel accommodations, some equipment rentals, and telecommunications...

Fix VA Tragedy

The problems within the Veterans Administration identified under former President Bush continue to hinder the delivery of quality health care to the influx of physically wounded and emotionally damaged young men and women...

Women Take Note

I find an interesting link between the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby and the crisis on the southern border. Angry protesters shout at children to go home. These children are scared, tired, hungry and thirsty, sent to US prisons awaiting deportation to a country where they may very likely be killed...


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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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