Thank you for Jerry Stahl’s definitive statement on the whole Frey fray [“Free James Frey!” Jan.27–Feb. 2]. I was beginning to tire of the whole self-congratulatory and rather righteous tone creeping into the discussion — well meaning and important as this topic is. It’s a wonder Finding Neverland found the adulation it did with its liberal embellishment of P. Barrie’s life. I guess “emotional truth” has its place. Now, watching Bill Frist on Meet the Press yesterday dodge questions about domestic spying, Terri Schiavo and his own financial malfeasance — that’s cause for outrage.
Your terrific article on Libya [“In the Land of the Brother Leader,” Dec. 30–Jan. 5] is an example of why I am a devoted reader of L.A. Weekly. To be brief, I wonder if Mr. Totten is offering the story as a precautionary tale of where we are headed if we allow the present leaders of this country to carry out their political and economic policies. So we sit back and let things ride. What will it be like in the future? Everyone except a selected few entombed in subsidized housing, such as Mr. Totten so well described, and being fed the scraps from the tables of the selected few. Or are we looking forward to the dreadful prospect of Soylent Green? For entertainment we will have the occasional pleasure of uttering in a low voice and clenched teeth a few obscenities at our unelected leaders. My relief? I hope to be gone by then. My concern? All of that might come sooner than I think, and I might still be here.
Record Store Reviews
Given that I probably spend more time and money in music stores than anyone who doesn’t sell or play music, I felt compelled to write my first-ever letter to the editor after reading Tanveer Badal’s demise-of-Aron’s/indie article [“A Love Song for Aron’s,” Jan. 27–Feb. 2].
As a bargain shopper trying to get the most music for his money, I check out the Best Buy and Circuit City ads every Sunday and if they’re selling the new Mars Volta or Broken Social Scene for $5.99 or $7.99, I’m buying without guilt. Even though these places are beginning to stock a lot more “indie” bands, I’m generally not going to find what I’m looking for. Therefore, I spend most of my time and money in indie stores on used CDs. It’s my Zen experience to spend 1 to 2 hours combing through New Arrivals, A-Z used and, best of all, the clearance bins in hopes of finding the last Sunshine Club or other favorite I couldn’t even find new.
I don’t need any company or any conversation while doing my digging, but this is a retail business. I don’t want or need someone to come over every five minutes and ask me if I need assistance, but can I at least get a “How’s it going? Looking for anything in particular?”
The only conversations I ever hear between employees and customers are with the collectible guys in back talking to the same customers week after week about the long-lost Brian Wilson vinyl from 1649. That’s great for them and that’s what people that have common interests do — they talk about it. I know not everyone is going to be excited about the Saxon Live ’84 I’m buying, but there must be something.
Marc Cooper spends half his column [“Impeachment Sickness,” Jan. 20–26] deriding those liberals, ”feverishly infected” and “in their delirium,” calling for the impeachment of Bush.
Then he brilliantly prescribes “the one guaranteed thing that really works — winning elections .?.?.
It’s too bad Cooper didn’t come off his pedestal and follow his own advice in the 2000 election, when he backed Nader’s futile candidacy at the expense of Gore’s, his newly found buddy.
Our Warts Are Showing
How do you simply find what jazz music is happening for the week throughout the L.A. area on your new website? Your old format was easy .?.?. like reading the hard copy. Now I can’t figure it out.
Editor responds: We are developing a database to make our listings sortable and searchable online. Until the database is up and running, we’re adding a listings page to each of our section home pages. So if you go to laweekly.com/music, you’ll find links to all the music listings.