BEHIND THE MUSIC
In [Alan Rich’s] article about the play on the murder
of Klinghoffer [“A Lot
of Night Music,” January 16–22], there is a glaring omission. Namely, neither
he nor the play mentioned the ethnic cleansing of a little under 1 million Jews
from Arab/Muslim lands. Hell, even before the founding of Israel, there were
horrific massacres of Jews by Arabs living in pre-Independence Israel, such
as occurred in 1929 in Hebron.
Unfortunately, these facts don’t fit the ideological, anti-Semitic filters
of the modern left, who have joined the racist right in attacking Israel and
indeed Jews in general. Perhaps someday the left may acknowledge that Israelis
are human beings deserving of equal human and national rights, but I’m not holding
my breath for that day.
Rich responds: Similarly, my reviews over the years of John Adams/Alice
Goodman’s previous “play” (opera, actually) on Nixon’s trip to China did not
touch on the subterfuges by which Nixon rose to political power. My concern
with Klinghoffer was with the balance with which an opera on a difficult subject
had achieved a balance of conflicting ideas, and the success with which a work
already 12 years old has been re-created in a new medium. I noted that “the
work survives in an aura of hatred.” Mr. Sol underscores my point.
Mr. Rich’s profound love and knowledge of “serious” music come across
in every review he writes. His daring [recent] column, in which he contemplates
the filming of John Adams’ opera The Death of Klinghoffer, is a moving
and impressive example of open-minded appreciation of the people who created
this operatic effort. And when he closes this article with words that describe
his admiration for librettist Alice Goodman, such as “she comes off in the video
as someone you’d love to meet,” I immediately thought, Alan Rich, that’s something
I have also been thinking about for a long time. However, it is he, Mr. Rich,
who I have so far silently admired.
RETURN OF RADIO
Kate Sullivan’s “Corporate
Radio Doesn’t Suck” (January 16–22) was much appreciated for the information
it provided. The format of the new radio station has sounded too, well, formatted
to actually be independent, such as its name would suggest. The name that has
been given to 103.1 co-opts and undermines what truly independent radio stands
for: a place for communities, like-minded or not, to share and exchange experiences,
opinions, music and other forms of culture free from the constrictions of a
company interested in dominating culture and discourse in the pursuit of financial
gain. I personally don’t care if Entravision controls the programming while
Clear Channel merely sells ad space. Those 12 ads an hour will be sufficient
to support its other ventures. If Clear Channel continues as it has, its Indie
103 profits will help buy billboards, music venues, radio stations, and lobby
Sullivan obviously knows the points of debate over corporate sponsorship.
It was a sad thing to read as she turned away from those issues in favor of
assisting Entravision as a “potential devotee.” Becoming a fan of Indie because
of the “freakishness of the station as a thing” is shortsighted. Just as her
reference to Ralph Nader’s candidacy in the 2000 election ignores the more serious
issue of Florida’s unscrupulous voter-purge lists that denied numerous people
the right to vote, so too does her focus on station playlists ignore the danger
of media conglomeration.
I’ve been maniacally spreading the word about 103.1 to every parched listener
I know in hopes of warding off the station’s inevitable demise at the hands
of Clear Channel or “some Hispanic radio company.” So, while learning that both
such entities are behind this wondrous station (and why) should make me cynical,
I’ll take the music where I can get it. As Kate Sullivan’s opening paragraph
so aptly captured it, rock & roll desire, well, it’s kinda one of the best
feelings around, isn’t it?
ALL OVER BUT THE
Thank you for running the informative article about Dennis Kucinich
[“Open City,” January 16–22], by Steven Mikulan. It’s nice to see Congressman
Kucinich getting some much-deserved media attention.
Mikulan hits the nail on the head when he says, “Dennis Kucinich embodies
everything American progressives say they admire but has been conspicuously
ignored by them in favor of the safer, mainstream liberal, Howard Dean. In the
end it’s all about winning . . .”
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the Average Joe/Jane will jump on
the “winning” bandwagon, even if it means going against their principles and
against their own best interest. Others of us refuse to settle, in this case
for yet another big-money, centrist Democrat. Been there, done that, didn’t
Many believe that Kucinich is the best Democratic candidate to challenge Bush
in November, because he best represents the combined interests of the Anybody
But Bush crowd and of those who voted for third parties in 2000. Besides, as
Kucinich said in an Iowa debate: “Well, you know, I’m electable if you vote
for me.” In other words, democracy works — but only if We the People believe
Thank you for your very informative article
[“Ten Years After,” January 9–15]. I was referred to it by my friend Miles
West, father of D’Arcy West. Miles has suffered greatly from the loss of his
daughter. He e-mailed me to notify me of your column, with the comment, “Sarah,
this article mentions my daughter D’Arcy. Thought you might be interested. Obviously,
I have mixed feelings about it.” Obviously, that is an understatement, but honestly,
I think your words were a help.
My sister, D’Arcy West, loved the Campfire Girls! She loved the music, the
boys, the friends who made Bar Deluxe. Mike Semple joining Andrew Clark and
Christian Stone makes heavenly sense, as if life were a chessboard navigated
by angels, and the success of the Campfire Girls is sweet redemption for D’Arcy’s
swan song of a band. Well-beloved. Thanks for writing of her so gloriously in
her home rag. Well-beloved and well-deserved. Rock on, Girls!
I am not in the movie business, but I do go see a lot
of movies. I have seen 21 Grams three times now. And everyone else I
have talked to thinks that it is a good, if not great, movie. And I am fairly
certain that many critics (even though I don’t always agree with them) thought
highly of it as well.
Needless to say, I was shocked when I saw the review by Scott Foundas
[“Taking Measure,” November 21–27]. How could somebody that shortsighted
write for such a large publication, and in L.A. no less?
I won’t go so far as to say that 21 Grams is undeniably one of the
best movies of the year, because everyone shares different opinions. However,
if you are going to have someone who is a movie critic review movies for L.A.
Weekly, I would think that the editor(s) would want to make sure that person
knew what he or she was doing.
In short, Foundas was having a bad day, he missed the point, or he has no
business reviewing movies of quality and substance.
After reading your review of Torque [“New Reviews,” January 16–22], I must
conclude that your reviews are written solely to extract those 3- to 10-word
quips printed on the box of the video. Where else could the distributors find
anything good to say about this movie? Dude, you were the only critic who liked
St. Cloud, Minnesota
DREDGING UP THE FACTS
In “Scoring the Clubs” [January 2–8, Dave Cotner eloquently
and incorrectly states that the band Dredg is a “sometime side project of members
of Incubus.” I’m guessing he did not come to this conclusion by looking at the
band’s press kit, official Web site, or by doing a simple Google search. I’m
sure the band appreciates your publication’s recognition, but not at the expense
of its reputation.
In “Trauma and Triage” [January 16–22], the director
of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee was incorrectly identified as
Ted Watkins. The director is his son, Tim Watkins. Ted Watkins is deceased.