Ella Taylor, a Jewel Revisited 

Also, the Germs: What We Do fails to impress

Wednesday, Aug 27 2008

A Diamond in the Roughage

You’ll excuse me, certainly, if I say I’ve found little to read in L.A. Weekly for some time now. However, Ella Taylor’s critique of Waugh and the most recent Brideshead [July 25-31] was a gem of the critic’s art. To finally have perused a jewel of the analytical trade was ... well, shocking! Taylor’s prose was delightfully abrasive, erudite, catty, profound and highly entertaining. The film review has been pretty much dead since Kael and Christ, but could it be that we’re witnessing a next-in-line?

Mark S. Tucker
Manhattan Beach

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Immune to the Germs

Just when you thought it was safe to again read a local alternative newspaper without having to be subjected to yet another article deifying Darby Crash, out comes the August 22 L.A. Weekly with “FINALLY! The GERMS on Film” blurbed on the cover. Of course, Hollywood’s rejection of a Crash biopic helped fuel a number of those articles over the years (as if his story was one that just had to be told).

So, now comes the movie — and it is widely panned (including, ironically, by critic Nick Pinkerton in the same issue) and opens in one or two theaters to virtually no business. But that will not stand! So, we have an article called “Crash Landing” in the music section to help keep the legend alive, tossing in a couple of Crash’s old collaborators to fan the flames. In the article, writer John Payne even resurrects the L.A. scenesters’ old canard that Crash’s death was “eclipsed” because it happened the day before John Lennon’s murder! Yeah, Howard Cosell would have broken into Monday Night Football to announce Crash’s death and worldwide vigils would have been held in his honor, if only that Beatle guy didn’t die at the same time!

The movie’s title is apt — What We Do Is Secret — for it tells the real truth of how Darby Crash and the Germs affected the music scene outside of L.A. That is the true “secret,” for it is very, very small.

Joe Stemme

Culver City



The story “Grand Avenue Drenched in Misdirection,” by Tibby Rothman [Aug. 22-28], questioning the latest delay granted to developers of a massive luxury project on Grand Avenue, incorrectly said that Supervisor Gloria Molina did not respond to questions from the Weekly. Molina’s office sent an e-mail response, but it was missed during production of the story. Gerry Hertzberg, her aide, says she “considered all factors” before voting to allow the delay.

A record review of Lucky Dragons’ Dream Island Laughing Language [Aug. 1-7] failed to acknowledge Sarah Anderson as a regular member of the group. We regret the omission.

Send letters to L.A. Weekly, 3861 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA  90230. Fax: (323) 465-3220; e-mail: readerswrite@laweekly.com

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