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: Gorillaz, Monolake, We The Kings, The Head & The Heart

Kristi Kates - August 15th, 2011
Gorillaz - The Fall - V Records
Recorded during Gorillaz’ last autumn tour, this album is a sonic “diary” of sorts, and features an eclectic range of Gorillaz tracks, some only at demo level, some solo Damon Albarn, and some more fully developed into actual Gorillaz songs. The songs are short and to the point, unlike some of the other Gorillaz albums, but that’s not a bad thing; and because the album was recorded mostly on the fly, it’s far more electronic in its base sounds, with plenty of synth and what seems like more loops than their last set. Highlights include the incongrously bright “Detroit,” the horns-graced “The Snake in Dallas,” and the trip-hop “Hillbilly Man.”




Monolake - Silence - Monolake
Sitting on a set of scales are the two halves of this Monolake album, not so much as in two separate sides (as you might see on a vinyl album), but in the set’s two subtly distinct musical personalities. A series of tracks that are quite dark and industrial dominate the drone-ambient set, enhanced and seasoned with the sounds of metal, electronics, and hovering tones that help to set the various moods. The other “face” of the album surfaces in tracks that, to the experienced ambient listener at least, take a break from the dark and invite in some less-threatening sounds on such numbers as “Void” and “Internal Clock.”




We the Kings - Sunshine State of Mind - S-Curve
Floridians We the Kings are back with a third set of punky pop tracks (or is that poppy punk tracks?) that unfortunately aren’t quite as strong as previous releases. The lyrics have taken a step back in smartness, while the production is a bit… well, corny, perhaps the result of a change in the band’s production team. Elsewhere, a lack of conviction seems to filter through the vocal performances of Travis Clark, who sounded breezy before but positively bored now; only a couple of the tunes here are worth the download, those being the zippy “Kiss Me Last” and the island-inflected, Jack-Johnson reminiscent “Say You Like Me.”


The Head and the Heart - The Head and the Heart - Sub Pop
The Head and the Heart, led by singer-songwriters Jonathan Russell and Josiah Johnson, is right in trend with some of the other more recent singer-songwriters (and bands helmed by same) that have been making more noise over the past few months, Bon Iver and the Avetts among them. THATH’s songs, enriched by the full band which includes piano, violin, bass, and drums, are showcased best on songs like the dynamic, well-arranged “River and Roads,” the beautifully regretful “Honey Come Home,” and the more energetic “Heaven Go Easy On Me” and “Sounds Like Hallelujah.” A consistent and likeable debut.
 
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