By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
By Jeff Balke
Pro Ezra: The Great Debate Rages
Sheri Beeson's letter [Letters, "No Mercy for Poor Ezra," July 10] fails to mention whether she has ever actually seen Ezra Charles perform. My guess would be no. Her letter reads as if her knowledge of Ezra, as a person or performer, comes merely from a) the rants of the guy behind the counter at Soundwaves who believes music attained perfection with GWAR, or b) your ever-opinionated "newspaper." Further, her sneering, condescending tone toward a man whom she has obviously never met is insulting to him and to his friends.
Her second paragraph -- the one with the colorful (and mixed) simile -- verges on libel. She implies that Ez consumes substances other than the occasional Starbucks stimulant. Knowing him personally, I am appalled at the insinuation. Mr. Charles is a family man, active in his community, and no one who has regular contact with him will believe (or countenance) such blather. (By the way, Ms. Beeson, I checked with everyone I know, and none of us have ever seen a dog full of false grandiosity.)
Also, even if his letters were self-aggrandizing (and I personally did not find them so), bragging has nothing to do with talent. While class may be an issue in this context, again, were Ms. Beeson to make Ezra's acquaintance, she would find him a perfectly cordial man, and a gentleman in every respect. And intelligent to boot, which, I suspect, is why the Press and other Houston acts have such a problem with him.
Not only can Ms. Beeson mangle a metaphor, she can also completely misread a letter. Ezra's first letter mentioned hundreds of fans and 19 songs. If ya gotta dis, Ms. B, get yer facts straight. And calling the Houston band with the largest name recognition "small-time" is downright erroneous.
As regards the fourth paragraph, Ezra's acquaintances (which I assume Ms. Beeson means when she writes "anyone who even knew who the hell he was") tend toward sympathy for his action. Sure, he was upset at being excluded. What Ms. Beeson and the Press have overlooked is that his band was slighted just as much as he was. The band is professional in the extreme, and none of them were mentioned in your poll at all.
I fully support Mr. Charles's suggestion that you make the ballot completely write-in. It's not without precedent; your Best of Houston is completely voter-driven, with no "suggestions" provided for us (meaning no listing of your advertisers only).
As for Ms. Beeson, it might be time for her to turn on the light, come out from under the bed and go to an EC&W show once or twice. The fact that one can understand the lyrics and enjoy the music might come as a huge surprise to her.
It Ain't the Meat, It's the Cottage Fries
I have no beef with Paul Galvani's review of Capital Grille [Cafe, "Capital Idea," June 19]. It was well done except for two items: Mr. Galvani went soft on the newcomer's raison d'etre -- the porterhouse. Its minimal taste and amateurish grilling is blasphemous to the genre of New York's Peter Luger's and Sparks steakhouses. Nor even close to Houston's Ruth's Chris.
Moreover, Capital Grille's tasty onion rings piled high could not hide the limp, tasteless cottage fries buried underneath, which were not worth exhuming. Oh, for the golden, crusty hash browns at Luger's, which you almost have to chip off the plate.
Let's hope that practice makes perfect.
Richard A. Schey