Letters 10-12-2015

Replacing Pipeline Is Safe Bet On Sept. 25, Al Monaco, president and CEO of Enbridge, addressed members of the Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance. His message was, “I want to be clear. We wouldn’t be operating this line if we didn’t think it was safe.”

We pretty much have to take him for his word...

Know The Root Of Activism Author and rabbi Harold Kushner has said, “People become activists to overcome their childhood fear of insignificance.” The need to feel important drives them. They endeavor good works not to help the poor or sick or unfortunate but to fill the void in their own empty souls. Their various “causes” are simply a means to an end as they work to assuage their own broken hearts...

Climate’s Cost One of the arguments used to delay action on climate change is that it would be too expensive. Such proponents think leaving environmental problems alone would save us money. This viewpoint ignores the cost of extreme weather events that are related to global warming...

A Special Edition Cuckoo Clock The Republican National Committee should issue a special edition cuckoo clock commemorating the great (and lesser) debates and campaign 2016...

Problems On The Left Contrary to letters in the Oct 5th edition, Julie Racine’s letter is nothing but drivel, a mindless regurgitation of left-wing stuff, nonsense, and talking points. They are a litany of all that is wrong with the left: Never address an issue honestly, avoid all facts, blame instead of solving; and when all else fails, do it all over again...

Thanks, Jack It is so very difficult for the average American to understand the complex issues our country faces in far off places around the globe. (Columnist) Jack Segal’s career and his special ability to explain these issues in plain English in many forums make him a precious asset to all of us in northern Michigan...

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4Play: Blue October, I Wrestled a Bear Once, Dave Matthews Band, Augustana

Kristi Kates - August 22nd, 2011
Blue October - Ugly Side: An Acoustic Evening with Blue October - Red General
Recorded at the band’s first “official” acoustic shows at a couple of different locales in Texas, this set showcases their tunes in both a different setting and with a different vocal approach. They’re not “ugly” versions of the songs, although they are unplugged - this serves the songs and their arrangements well, especially on “Come In Closer,” which seems more personal with the absence of the female singer on the full version; “X Amount of Words,” which adds in a shakeup in the bass line; the popular “Jump Rope”; and the evocative, emotional “The End.” It’s a nice acoustic roundup of what this band can do without their full sound.

I Wrestled A Bear Once - Ruining It for Everybody - Century Media
Somewhere between serious screamo music and post-metal-emo - they don’t seem to be quite sure where they’re meant to be - IWABO produced this album a little more thoroughly than previous releases, but it’s still just kind of… well, average. Nothing about this album makes them really stand out from the pack; even though they term themselves as ‘experimental,’ you can’t help but think you’ve heard these same experiments attempted somewhere else. It’s difficult to pick any highlight tracks, because they all, unfortunately, seem to run together; perhaps they’ll do some groundwork and make a better set next time around.

Dave Matthews Band - Live at Wrigley Field - RCA
This endlessly-popular, jazzy rock-jam band never seem to slow down, at least not to their loyal base of fans. 40,000 of said fans showed up for this show at Chicago’s historic Wrigley Field last September to watch (and listen, of course) to this particular set, which included plenty of old favorite DMB songs and a few newer ones. You’ll hear familiar DMB hits like “Jimi Thing,” “Crash Into Me,” and “Tripping Billies,” all delivered with the energy and precision the band is known for. “Jimi Thing” in particular is notable, if for nothing else than to hear an entire crowd of that size singing along. A fun listen for Dave Matthews fans.

Augustana - Augustana - Epic
This is Augustana’s third set, with production by Kings of Leon cohort Jacquire King. With its theme of ‘fighting for the one you love,’ the songs here are impassioned and strong, balancing determination with romance; “Steal Your Heart” has a spare but solid hook to it, while “Shot in the Dark” adds more depth to its own hook, and some of Augustana’s usual pianos are exchanged for guitar, which is a nice change for the group. A few experimental elements - the mandolin on “Borrowed Time” and the synthon “Shot…,” for example, seem not quite fused with Augustana’s arrangements, but don’t detract enough to take away from the overall impression.
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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