Chris Jones

The Vile Dial

Sirius listener: Good piece on Houston radio [Racket, by John Nova Lomax, February 12]. I dunno why Houston radio's always sucked, but it has -- 'cept for the Vietnamese and Indian AM stations.

I hear several variations of the format you propose on my Sirius satellite radio, particular Sirius Disorder 24, a real throwback to freeform FM before it was formatted with a little bit of KGSR AAA format thrown in, Left of Center 26, which is edgier and focuses on new stuff, and Faction 28, which mixes hard-core rock, hip-hop and punk. It's a shame one has to buy into the service and that it's not local (though I hear loads of Texas artists). But it has changed my listening habits and turned me on to tons of new music.

Joe Nick Patoski

Clueless stations: Every word you said is so true. Houston radio sucks. I can't stand to listen to the morons yapping on morning, noon and night. A few weeks back, a phone surveyor called about our airwaves and I launched into my own diatribe that pretty much covered what you said in your article.

I told him I get my fix from the Internet and some allegedly illegal activity called downloading. All of the bands you mentioned -- BRMC, Starsailor, Violent Femmes, Butthole Surfers, T. Rex -- are just a small sample of a very wide range of music I like. Some of your fantasy playlists I like, some I don't. But if radio could be like that, I would certainly listen, because I couldn't wait to see what you might play next. I grew up in L.A., so seeing this "modern oldies" station is something I could imagine. Clear Channel is so fucking clueless, I'm embarrassed for them. "Format? We don't need no stinking format!" By the way, I'm waayyy past 19 years old.

Pam Lemay

Sugar's Beef

Great music: I read your review of one of the best-loved new CDs released by a Houston band [Local Rotation, by Bob Ruggiero, February 26] and was just about as disappointed as I've ever been in anything I've ever read in the Press. Talk about not catching the vision for something! Sugar Bayou's Nowhere But Gone is a gem -- designed to make a positive, inspirational, yet lighthearted and truly fun impact on all who listen.

As one of the supporting cast on the album, I am continually hearing feedback from actual listeners (rather than simply critics who are paid to do just that: criticize) about how often they listen to Nowhere But Gone and how it is one of their favorite albums.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder -- and Sugar Bayou is as beautiful on disc as it is in person. You really should meet the real Nowhere But Gone sometime -- I don't know what album you were listening to, but it definitely wasn't the same one Sugar Bayou's fans happily purchase in the hundreds.

Shannon Cutts

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