Crashing the Sidecar
Pub for the pub: Music editor John Lomax's recent coverage of Sidecar Pub's "Houston Press Don't Just Live With It" show clearly indicates that the goals of the show were valid [Racket, January 9]. Having set up the show, I can clearly say that we were not out to slam him or the Houston Press but to try to open the Press's eyes to many of the bands and clubs it isn't aware of.
We clearly asked for bands to submit letters that had constructive ideas and not "hate mail" as John presented. In addition, several of the bands have Web sites and are quite easy to find.
What I find most amusing is that Lomax would have to wear a shirt identifying himself because people don't know who he is. John should also clarify that he has visited my club only twice, and these visits were all in the past several months. All this just confirms the point we were trying to make, which is that there are many venues and bands that are unknown to and uncovered by the Houston Press music editor.
Kudos for the confrontation: That was a fucking great article. We get the same kind of shit all the time for doing our jobs and doing a good job of it.
Kudos to you for calling those guys on their shit and doing it in the classiest, most up-front way possible. Folks get too comfortable out there when they're anonymously passive-aggressive. They need to be called out more often -- and squarely.
No Soul: Your column was quite accurate about the show at the Sidecar Pub. However, the band Soul Harbor that you referred to is actually my band called savingyour[own]. So yes, you in fact did see us play. Despite the fact you said we sounded like the 1,000 other "emocore" bands out there, I'm glad you didn't say that we sucked. Instead you stated our musical talent and continued to bash the other bands (which mostly did suck).
I apologize for the bad publicity; I was just being naive and "jumping on the bandwagon." We didn't do the show because we hate the Houston Press, we did it for publicity purposes and to get a few more names added to our mailing list. I don't think I quite understand why Einkauf would say that you guys don't cover the scene well enough. I think it is quite well done. So I hope there are no hard feelings.
And for the record, only five of the people there came to see us; the rest were just there. That includes that "group of teenage girls" and "parents." Shit, I would have assumed the same if I were where you were.
Thanks again for your time and not bashing our heads in about our uninformed comments. I will at least clear up your name on our site and post on boards that slam you guys and ask them where they got their info.
Coming and going: It was a great show indeed. Having Cronus play was definitely the highlight of my night. Dereistic was very good, too, and brought a nice crowd -- it's just too bad that crowd came and left with the band.
Later on, the club started filling up again, so we knew something was about to happen. Strait Jacket came in and kicked some major ass to close the show out. The boys in Hollister Fracus came by after practice and threw down the party gauntlet, so that was another highlight.
Now, Mr. Lomax -- apparently he actually showed up early on and was wearing a T-shirt that said "Sidecar Pub" on the front (misspelled), and on the back it said, "Just live with me -- I'm John Lomax."
What an arrogant bastard he is!
It was a great show for a great cause, but apparently we have a ways to go before the Press will take the Outer Loop seriously.
Spinning the Web: FYI: I'm using your stuff on www.TexasGigs.com. What a friggin' kick. I laughed my ass off!
Live fire: I had to sympathize with the grumblings about the difficulty getting print in the Houston Press. For the last five months at the Rhythm Room, we've been broadcasting monthly live music shows on Saturday afternoons on KPFT. We have presented some of the best in talent from Houston and Austin.
Not only has the talent been some of the best, but we pair up bands for the broadcasts so the audience gets to see two great acts for a measly $5 cover charge, or can simply tune in to Joe's Roadhouse from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on FM 90.1 to hear these artists playing live on the air. We've been trying for months to get some mention of these shows to the readership of the Press.
Last month we sent a press release about the show featuring Grady Gaines and his Texas Upsetters and Calvin Owens and His Blues Orchestra. No mention of these two world-class acts appeared, but this month there is a review of their CDs touting them as reigning horn kings [Rotation, by John Nova Lomax, January 9]. It sure would have been nice to let people know about these kings, so a larger audience could have been exposed to these musical giants. Maybe it's just me, but I would think a regular live music radio series like this would be worth mentioning. The fact is we have a great music scene in Houston; it just doesn't get covered very well.
Park angel: Welcome back, Oliver Spellman [The Insider, by Tim Fleck, January 9]! If you did such a great job with city parks, imagine the possibilities with the county parks. Compliments to Commissioner Sylvia Garcia for the first-rate choice.
Fowl fun: How sad! I remember coming to Houston after graduating from high school in rural America in 1979, and one of the first bars I was introduced to was Mary's ["Zipping Up Mary's," and "Mary's to Remain," by Cathy Matusow, December 26 and January 2]!
My friends and I were considered "chicken meat" back then. I am Hispanic, and two of my friends were white and black, so we were tagged "the rainbow girls"! We always had a good time with all the other leather-clad men. I will never forget this place as it was a major part of my "coming out" years.
Name withheld by request
Lessons on death: As I passed the holidays in Houston I picked up a copy of the Houston Press, as I always do, for its excellent writing and edgy investigative reporting. Cathy Matusow's piece did not disappoint, although I believe she missed some of the darker ironies of the story.
Her painful description of the sad throes of this Houston "institution" only brought to my mind the inescapable imagery of what must have been the same lonely ending for so many of its former patrons: the innumerable Houston victims of AIDS.
Even more distressing is the thought of their gray ashes -- representing what should have been long, fruitful lives -- being ignominiously dumped, possibly in the very backyard spots where they received their death sentences; in the backyard where so many urinated, fornicated and even defecated.
For many, like myself, who shamefully participated in that "lifestyle" and lived to tell about it, there are no tears shed for Mary's. Just as her former owners found out belatedly that there are certain financial rules you must follow if you want your business to continue, many members of Mary's clientele also found out, tragically, that there are certain moral rules to follow if you want a long, healthy life.
Name withheld by request
No Yellow-Dog Democrat
Killer campaign: Add my dog Annie to the depravities associated with the Democrats [Letters, "Democrats' Doom," December 26]. Annie, a normally obedient dog who is kept in her locked and gated yard, was resting comfortably on the couch, enjoying some quality time with her mistress on a cold and rainy Saturday. I had politely asked a Sanchez campaigner not to leave literature with me, as I vote Republican.
Shortly thereafter, another campaigner placed three "Sanchez For Governor" signs on my property, then he argued with me he had the right to do it. Hearing the heated discussion, my loyal and protective companion, perceiving a threat to me, charged out of the house after the campaign van. Another campaign van then came around the block and hit Annie. The driver got out, saw what happened, then drove away. Annie died quickly thereafter.
I contacted the Sanchez headquarters for the names of the drivers; the remedy we agreed upon was a memorial donation to the Spay-Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP). This was a tragedy, but the real tragedy is the violation of the personal freedoms and property rights of citizens by campaigners of the party that sells itself as representing the interests of the poor.
What happened to Annie is a glimpse of what is to come if people are allowed to continue imposing their political will on those with a different ideology.
No-fault assurance: Thank you so much for finally bringing the issue of Indigo Children to the forefront of our attention ["Alien-ated Youth," by Dylan Otto Krider, December 19]. I was beginning to think that my children's misbehavior might, partly, be my fault. Now I know better.
Now I know that their not wanting to follow directions or thinking rules of behavior don't apply to them is normal. Whew! I was getting worried I might need to use some discipline. But seriously, ha. Ha-ha. Hehe-ha-haha. Heh-heh
Okay. I'm under control now. Thank you for that article. Life was getting grim there for a while.
A good play: I happened to be at the production of Whistle Down the Wind that Lee Williams reviewed ["The Second Coming," December 12]. No, I am not a parent of a cast member, and I only knew who Lee was when I overheard someone say she was a critic.
She obviously doesn't enjoy musicals and has a problem with religion. Since the townsfolk were supposed to be religious, the crosses she complains about were necessary for the story. Deciding that the man was Christ didn't come out of nowhere, it came from the man uttering "Jesus Christ" and the innocence of the girls.
If Ms. Williams hadn't sat through the whole show looking so bored, she might have enjoyed it more and seen a fine family performance.
Discovering Thelma's: We've been going to Thelma's (and taking friends who also continue to go back) ever since your article ["When Jeffrey Met Thelma," by Robb Walsh, July 11]. I think you did quite a bit to enhance her business, as she was featured twice on PBS earlier this month. [See Toque Off.]
The initial taping was from a Pittsburgh PBS station that heard about her. After the more recent Houston PBS airing, the lines were out both doors. Thelma is a really neat lady and ever so friendly, and I want to thank you for telling us about her. She has a great life story.
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Stoop to Slimy Goop?
Riviera's wrath: I believe that your points of criticism of both Riviera Grill and chef Sheely are largely unfair ["New Digs, Old Tricks," by Robb Walsh, January 9]. Your whole first dining experience seems to have been marred by your failure to obtain a beer at the start of the meal. If you wanted a beer, you should have made sure that you got your beer. Complain about the service, not that your own wine selection failed to complement the entrée. And you order the calamari because you know it's great! That's why it's on the menu, and that's why it should stay on the menu. And being aware that the chef is known for his Chilean sea bass, it was your responsibility to inquire about the origins of the fish. There are many types of bass with a range of tastes and textures; if you're picky, you should have asked.
Further, I do not believe that your choice of adjectives used in describing the food is of any use to the sophisticated leather-clad diner that would frequent the artsy, edgy establishment that you long for. Words like "goopy" and "slimy" belong in children's publications -- not in one of the premier publications in a major metropolitan city. You end your scathing commentary with the wistful regret that Sheely's dishes are not different enough, not trendy enough, yet the body of your review seems to complain about how the dishes are not prepared like you want and the food does not taste like what you are used to enjoying. Which is it you want?