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Letters 01-26-2015

Food Isn’t What It Was In regards to your article on nutrition being a key weapon for battling cancer, the problem is that much of our food has little nutritional value.

The Real Muslim Issues At least [Express columnist] Tom Kachadurian is being honest when he confesses a long-held family resentment towards Muslims

Applauding Opinions Kudos to the Northern Express for inviting guest editors to write columns. I have enjoyed the timely columns of Scott Hardy particularly

Party For The People One political party opposes minimum wage increases, pushes “right to work” legislation state-to-state, and finds it their mission to eliminate labor unions and the benefits they bring to everyday workers

Big Money Politics Wins Again I’m in agreement with Grant Parsons’ opinion column published in the 1/12 edition of the Express.

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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.
 
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