Come now, Alec Something Bemis, what did Mannheim Steamroller ever do to you [The Story in the Soil, March 1218]? Chip Davis is an Omaha fixture, and if youre going to write an article about the Omaha music scene, hes certainly worth a mention. But your tone! And calling him infamous! Chip Davis is way too square to be infamous. Also, your story contains a number of factual errors about the city of Omaha; for instance, the tallest building used to be the Woodmen Tower, but now its the First National Bank building (the structure being erected in the background of the movie About Schmidt, from which I can almost guarantee you the author derived most of his metropolitan descriptions). Theres, like, four buildings in Omahas skyline is it too cool to take notes? Ive been considering moving back home of late, partly to get away from you conceited, contemptuous, Los Angeles tools.
Carrie Jacobson Santa Monica
Being from Omaha, I am disappointed that L.A. talent cannot appreciate the true good life of Nebraska. Reading The Story in the Soil is bittersweet indeed. I like how Bemis fails to mention any other city of importance during the additional 245 miles between Gothenburg and Omaha. Why did he stop in Gothenburg? Because the name sounds indie rock? Try Grand Lake and Lincoln on for size. And the list of iconic celebrities with ties to Omaha is perplexing to him? Maybe he will be perplexed to find that shops really dont close on Sundays, the tallest building in Omahas skyline is not the Woodmen Tower, and that if he would have tuned his dial to KIWR-FM 89.7 The River, he could have heard Omahas cutting edge of rock instead of Omahas Catholic radio station.
For those of you interested in seeing indie rock at decent venues when youre in Omaha, check out places like Sokol, the Ranch Bowl, or Homers Music and Gifts for bulletins. And no mention of Boys Town, scenes shot from Indian Runner and Election, Memorial Park, the Dundee Dells largest scotch selection in the United States, Council Bluffs casinos, and steakhouses? What about the steakhouses? I could go on. I will just suppose that Alec had a brain freeze due to the unfamiliar frigid temperatures, and his failing to write about any of Omahas real highlights can be blamed on this temporary loss of judgment. People in Omaha are far beyond your first impression, Alec.
Matt Kolbeck Venice
What Johnny Angel-dust is your reviewer smoking [Anarchy in the Airwaves, March 1218]? So, Clear Channels Indie 103.1 is now, by virtue of Steve Jones turn at the mic, honest-to-god punk radio? Sorry, but this puts the moron in oxymoron.
The Orwellian marketing (your independent radio station) of a venture aimed at selling the very music that Clear Channel drove off the commercial airwaves is an insult to listeners everywhere. Its a brazen, ballsy masquerade, dripping with contempt for the consumer.
So, this exSex Pistol can play whatever he wants whenever he wants? Wow! How revolutionary. I got news for you, Johnny: Before Mr. Jones employers swallowed the dial whole, most FM disc jockeys were free to do the same. Career suicide by freewheelin, freeform jocks on the commercial dial is impossible because the breed is already extinct. Sure, we still have a few old dinosaurs like Jim Ladd and Rodney Bingenheimer stomping around the airwaves but, like the Adventures of Indie Jones, theyre relegated to special-show status, to being musical museum pieces trotted out for the few remaining radio faithful folks hungry for the days of old, when FM rock mattered. Clear Channels betting that the new generation doesnt know, and that the old guard doesnt care about, the truth. Oh, but to sell this snake oil theyll play the Clash nonstop. Somewhere Joe Strummer is rock and rolling in his grave.
Someone has to tell the kids that once upon a time stations used to be truly independent, local, vital and diverse places where DJs programmed their own shows and developed close relationships with artists. Then came Clear Channel and their friends on the political right. Now, listeners are left with centrally programmed, corporate-cloned delivery systems, where airplay is essentially bought rather than earned. Its time fans of 103.1 woke up. By supporting this station, you undermine the very artists theyre playing and our collective power in the marketplace. The only way to take back the airwaves and make Clear Channel go away is to tune them out.
Finally, Mr. Jones closing comment on his gig, Id like to . . . syndicate it, proves far better than I can that punk is dead and Clear Channels latest rock & roll swindle is working.
Nathan Dan Aldrich Los Angeles
JOURNO IN ROADIES CLOTHING
Jesus, thanks for the catch-up on MIA Jef Hickey [Too Old To Rock, Too Young To Die, March 1218]. For a minute there I thought with watery-eyed anticipation Id get to break the news about Hickeys secret life as a brilliant postmodern journalist, yet Im grateful that Beato exposes Hickeys true calling.
Damn, I hope the novels as good as it could be. That Hickey has not been realized as the writer he is has been a topic we were known to wring our hands over in the offices of Adult Video News.
Rebecca Gray Adult Video News Chatsworth
NO PROOF OF GOD
My thanks to A.W. Hill for doing a fine job capturing the essence of John Dobsons cosmology classes at the Vedanta Temple [The Matrix in Gods Eye, March 1925]. While I agree that its not everyones idea of a hot date, my wife and I are attending the series this year for the second time. I dare say it is a shared experience that has brought us closer together. The concepts are challenging (as Dobson likes to say, You need to think until it hurts), and it certainly helps to have someone to review them with afterward.
My only quibble with the article is the use of the possibly misleading word God, which is a term that I cant recall ever hearing pass Dobsons lips. Despite his apparent spiritual background, Dobson claims to be a physicist first and foremost. As he stated just last week, I dont see any evidence of a creator.
Stephen Roullier Los Angeles
25 MILLION FREED
There is one crucial statistic left out of your War by Numbers [March 1925] compilation: The number of Iraqi civilians liberated by a noble and just war is approximately 25 million.
Michael Maloney Silver Lake
I love the review of Metallica [Bastard Power, March 511]. Greg Burk hit it right on. The music in their future is a mystery. I cannot wait to see what they do. Maybe some blues-funk-metal! They just have to grow with their music. What they do is what they feel. Whatever they feel is fine with me.
Charlotte McKinley Culver City
ALL THAT JAZZ
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I noticed Brandt Reiter isnt doing the jazz pick of the week anymore in the Calendar section. I also noticed that the Weeklys jazz coverage has declined and there seems to be more emphasis on rock again. Could we get a little bit better representation considering Los Angeles offers excellent jazz at many new and old venues?
Jordanna Potter Los Angeles
Two recent articles about Patricia Surjues civil rights lawsuit against the city of Inglewood (Light of Justice, February 1319, 2004, and Day in the Sun, February 2026, 2004) included Surjues allegation that her lawyers, Robert Mann and Cynthia Anderson-Barker, pressured her to accept a confidential settlement. However, the tentative settlement agreement that the parties reached on October 23, 2003, before federal district Judge James Otero did not include any confidentiality provision and did not limit Surjues ability to discuss her case publicly. Inglewoods lawyers introduced a confidentiality clause into a draft settlement agreement that they later prepared and sent to Mann and Anderson-Barker. After Surjue refused to sign the city-drafted agreement, Mann and Anderson-Barker asked Judge Otero to enforce the terms-of-settlement agreement placed on the record in court on October 23, without the citys proposed confidentiality provision. Judge Otero declined to enforce the settlement, and reset the case for trial.