The Trouble With Harvey
The cartoon by the much overrated Harvey Pekar on why he will never visit the Rock Hall [Music, March 2] is a good example of why Cleveland will never progress until the last members of his myopic generation are extinct. These pessimistic, do-nothing dinosaurs (including Feagler, Bartimole, Lanigan, Trivisonno, et al.) do nothing but stand on the sidelines and complain about anything and everything that tries to propel the city into the 21st century.
They bitch about people who live in the suburbs, but not one of them has lived in the city proper for years, if ever. They always moan about the steel industry, which has been gone from this area for more than 30 years, and they will not face the fact that heavy industry in the whole country is practically gone -- for the simple fact that nobody wants to work in it anymore.
America is a service-oriented country, leading the charge in the information and entertainment age, and all the whining in the world won't bring it back. Much like Pekar's appearances on Letterman.
An Evening With Ian's Flute
I have enjoyed running out every Thursday to pick up the latest edition of Scene every week for, say, the last 20-some odd years! I have been compelled to write in the past, but never did. This time it is different! I was outraged at the review by Jeff Niesel of the Ian Anderson show [Livewire, March 9]. What is he? The twentysomething crowd that has no idea or appreciation of what a true artist really is? The mere 200 or so True Tull Fans were there to see and hear Ian Anderson, and to spend an intimate evening with him and his flute. NOTHING MORE.
I was in heaven and in awe just being in the presence of this truly great performing artist, lyricist, musician, and flautist. It appears that Mr. Niesel expected a Jethro Tull show and cannot move forward in time with the changes. Poor old sod. Who are you kidding, comparing Anderson's work with that of Windham Hill artists? By that comment, you obviously have neglected to listen to any of the more recent Tull albums.
I feel sorry for you and pity you, that you are so closed-minded you cannot appreciate a true artist of our times and one of the greatest living rock legends of today. The show was exciting and exhilarating and very intimate; it's too bad that a ticket was wasted on you!
Maybe you should stick to reviewing 'N Sync, 98 Degrees, Ricky Martin, and other bubblegum pop rock that you understand, instead of trying to put yourself in the big leagues with something that you do not comprehend.
P.S. I have always wanted Scene editors to know: Your published concert reviews are very one-sided. I would suggest that you send a true fan and a nonbiased fan or (music lover) to all concerts. I have come to realize that many concerts are given bad reviews by your critics, and the other side is never reviewed. The opinion of one person does not do a show any justice.
Go Easy on Oasis
What is it about music magazines, or should I say "entertainment guides," like yours, which are constantly pining for the Next Big Thing in music? It seems as though every time I open up your magazine to the review section, some rock and roll band is being slammed by your revolving door of rock journalists. These folks are always condemning today's rock music as being too derivative and unoriginal. They long for the days when music was vital and fresh. We are always being reminded that rock music hasn't been fresh or exciting since the '60s.
I'm sure that most rock music fans would agree with that statement. I also think that most music lovers would agree that the last vital musical movement to affect popular culture was rap music. (Sorry, the Puff Daddies, the Korns, and the Limp Bizkits of the world don't count.) Everything else since has been an evolution or devolution of rock and R&B.
It was Michael Gallucci's review of Oasis's latest album, Standing on the Shoulder of Giants [Playback, February 24], that laid the groundwork for this letter. He seems to be accusing Oasis of rehashing the finer moments of '60s and '70s rock -- particularly the Beatles. Who in the world of rock and roll isn't copying elements of groundbreaking bands from the past? And if you're going to emulate a band, why not the best? As a lifelong Beatles fan, I don't find any of the music Oasis records offensive. If nothing else, these snotty British louts are bringing back music with a purpose, even if it includes the image. Why would a band like Oasis be accused of ripping bands off, while people like Lenny Kravitz have made their careers off stealing old Led Zeppelin riffs? To add insult to injury, we give him a Grammy.
All today's music is nothing but prepackaged "products." Witness the resurgence of the boy/girl bands that are polluting the airwaves. I am intelligent enough to know that most things in popular culture occur in cycles. All the Fabian clones of the late '50s/early '60s seemed to dilute the music scene, even back then. So why are we so surprised now? Why don't we just enjoy the music of the bands whose stock-in-trade is just making good music? I know I can enjoy it. I'm sure that those people who occupy the stables of your review department will continue to blast bands like Oasis. Have a good time. Could I do a better review? Maybe, but judging by the high turnover ratio your paper has for writers, I doubt I'd have a chance.