By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
A fan steps up: As a big Beatles fan, I finally have to say something. I'm tired of reading all the Beatle-bashing in your letters section ["Boo, Beatles," Letters, March 23]. Most everybody who loves rock and roll knows the Beatles wrote original songs in the style of great '50s rock and roll artists such as Elvis, Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, the Everly Brothers and Carl Perkins. But John Lennon and Paul McCartney created their own sound in a way that had never been done. Look at all the early Beatles albums. Just about every track could have been a single.
The Beatles are not boomer hype. Many, many generations have discovered the Beatles' music on their own, and that's another reason why their fan base looms large. "Boy band" is crap. "All My Loving" is just cool.
I think the Beatle-bashing is due to one thing. All these guys in their mid-thirties or early forties can't stand it that nothing that great happened in their time. When you look at all the great pop culture of the '60s in music, movies, TV and comic books, there's just no doubt about it: The '60s were the most creative artistic decade of all time. All those thirtysomethings have only Star Wars, and you know what? Lost in Space was more fun.
Lay off Lonnie: Last month an article I wrote appeared in Music News about Lonnie Posey, the talent agent for cover bands. This week the Houston Press covered the same information ["Lord of the Cover Bands," Wack, by Travis Ritter, March 23]. Imitation is a form of flattery; however, the subject matter of the article is where the imitation stopped. My article had a positive slant with regard to the music and the business Lonnie is in.
Ritter's story was belittling to Lonnie and the cover music he promotes. It started with the title, "Lord of the Cover Bands," as in Lord of the Flies...King of Nothing. Ritter went on to degrade cover music, cover bands and the business of promoting them. The tone of the story was condescending, as if the author were a household name with recording awards decorating his wall. Does the armchair quarterback even play an instrument?
As far as original music goes, you can put a monkey in front of a piano and it will create something original -- but is it good?
The same goes for putting someone in front of a typewriter. In the case of Ritter's article, since it contained the same topic and information as my article, I guess he had to put a negative slant on it so it wouldn't be a cover article -- also known as plagiarism.
Great guidebook: Thanks for the article "Band Suicide" [by John Nova Lomax, February 16]. On the verge of releasing an album, I can already see myself headed for many of the pitfalls discussed in the piece. In truth, it scared the hell out of me, but the plus is that it's a timely reminder that I need to get my shit together or, odds are, I'll end up like so many Houston songwriters who either fade away or give up and move to Austin. In fact, I think the article is second only to the documentary Dig in being what I consider a guidebook of what musicians should do (and avoid) when pursuing a career as a singer-songwriter.
No. 1 fan: Back in August, I wrote to call bullshit on the Houston Press's choice for album of the year. When I wrote that time, you asked if I had even heard the Plus and Minus album, which I had. Now you claim that a lack of onstage presence has nullified any success the album or Haaga's effort has garnered. I stand by my previous statement. Los Skarnales's Pachuco Boogie Sound System was the album of the year, by the band that consistently puts on the best show in Houston. If you didn't vote for it, you must not have heard it. Now go see them live.
Late to the Game
Out of print: I've been pretty happy since the Press started publishing video game reviews. It's nice to have a perspective on games from outside the usual gaming press. But Gary Hodges's February 23 Game On review ["Law and Disorder"] is a bit late.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the "latest oddball title for the DS," was released in early October of last year, according to Capcom, the game's publisher. Furthermore, the game has actually gone out of print, with leftover new copies going for around $80 from third-party sellers on Amazon.
The only hope for gamers interested in trying Phoenix for the manufacturer's suggested price is a rumor that Capcom may print more copies in response to high demand after the game's release in Europe in March.
Yummy: I enjoyed your article on pho ["Pho Real," by Robb Walsh, March 23]. It's a staple item in our community and culture. If we travel for a few days without it, we go searching for a bowl of hot pho, no matter how bad the restaurant may be. A little hot sauce and lime, and it's all good!