It was encouraging to see Skip Heller’s article on Ronnie Mack’s Barn Dance [“Country Countdown,” November 2–8]. I have been attending the Barn Dance on and off since it was held at the Palomino. There are very few clubs that are so accessible to anyone who happens to walk through the door. Ronnie Mack sets a tone that feels welcoming and special. All of the musicians respond to the vibe and add to that tone. Ten years of Barn Dance resonate in my memory — and leave me wanting more.
Re: Manohla Dargis’ review of Amélie [“Sleepless in Montmarte,” November 2–8]. I never read a more wrong-headed assessment of a film. Amélie is a film of great originality, creativity and humor. When I saw it, I felt transported to a magical world, and when it was over the whole audience applauded. Who cares about Dargis’ ramblings about high culture and low culture, when what we have is a gem that warms the heart and tickles the mind?
I realize that Manohla — the cynical, über-cool maven of slinging hipper-than-thou rhetoric and slagging films that are entertaining and well-crafted — can’t like a film like Amélie. It doesn’t fit into her jaded world-view. Still, the Weekly’s readers should do themselves a favor, not listen to Dargis and go see this wonderful film.
STRUMMING THE MONKEY
Thanks for Kristine McKenna’s “Stop the World” interview with Joe Strummer [October 19–25]. Punk was never about making money, regardless of how the Sex Pistols tried to spin it. The Clash represent supreme hope for me, the ultimate DIY wet dream. They started in the garage, and their undeniable talent got them recognition from the industry and the media. But I always believed that they were not doing it for money, or for recognition. They were just being true to their hearts. They cursed mainstream music and then punk itself.
I am a better human because of the Clash.
I BE DONE SEEN ’BOUT EVERYTHING . . .
Bob Callahan & Spain’s “Rockey Devito’s Starlight Alleys” comic strip [November 2–8] describes “elephant boy” Sabu serving “as a ball-turret gunner in a B-24 Liberator.” Unretractable ball turrets were on B-17s, not B-24s. But I still liked Spain’s drawing.
YEAH, THAT’S TRICKY
I found Harold Meyerson’s “One-Trick Party” [November 2–8] a very refreshing piece of journalism, what with the patriotic bravado that is currently available via mainstream U.S. and even European media. I agree that a solid economy is a benefit to all, but the distance between the happy few and the middle class (forget about the poor) is sometimes hard to accept. How can you demand commitment from — and offer job satisfaction to — a security guard at an airport when all he or she gets is the minimum wage?
BEST OF ALL POSSIBLE WORLDS
I am writing to Robert Lloyd to thank him for his introduction to the Best of L.A. 2001 edition [October 12–18]. A friend of mine read it to me several weeks ago on a crisp, beautiful Los Angeles Saturday morning. We were already feeling overwhelmed with gratitude for our lives that morning, particularly in light of the horror of September 11, 2001, and hearing the sentiments expressed in that article, particularly those with regard to the qualities of our city that make it uniquely liberating among cities, made me feel a buoyant affection for L.A. The article captured effectively what makes L.A. a place where we can each make a home that is distinctively our own. I have had two copies of the article framed, one for my wall, and one for the friend who shared the article with me that morning. Please convey my gratitude to Mr. Lloyd for his inspiring observations.
Madeleine Shaner, in her review last week of the five one-act plays that constitute Tongue-Tied Tales, at Sacred Fools Theater, misidentified the performer — Majken Larsson — in the role of the obsessive-compulsive in the piece Time.