Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

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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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