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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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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