Foul Ball and Quick Fix

Hot garbage: The published full-page ad for the Sports Monkey/Lucky's Pub's "12th Annual Pimp-n-Prostitute Ball"...sigh [page 51, October 23 paper]. This ad is hot garbage! Why is it in my Houston Press?

I understand that ad sales finance the Houston Press...but are times this bad?

If you look at the history of this "ball," the majority of the participating demographic is Caucasian. Why, oh why, does the cartoon character portray otherwise in the ad? It's a negative stereotype! It's lame! If they wanted to "keep it real," they could've used old pics from the other 11 years. (BTW: They're also hosting a "Golf Pros and Tennis Ho's" event in which that ad has real models — who happen to be white. Where's the full-page ad for that? Hmm?) And the verbiage for the ad...really? Seriously? "Round up yo bitches." "No Bitch slappin' unless the ho be reckless eyeballin' some playa, then you might have to represent." This ad is a perfect example of 'When E-Thugs Create!'...when have you heard of anybody "reckless eyeballin'"?


"12th Annual Pimp-n-Prostitute Ball"

If it's supposed to be humorous...maybe I'd get it if I weren't a woman...of color...of intelligence...

I know you, Houston Press, didn't create the ad — at least I hope not — but you did bring this ignorance to the masses. Do you really want to be associated with a company that is, at the very least, sexist?

You have the largest alternative circulation in the city — you can afford to be selective. Select!

Aleia James

All the answers: There are some points that the writer doesn't emphasize, so I'll help the Houston Press get its facts straight ["Here We Go Again," Noise, by Chris Gray, October 16].

Too many shows booked too close together — that is really not the problem, as there are not enough places for live bands to play at, let alone book too many shows. If you look at the rock and metal scene in Houston, there are about five clubs, tops, where you can play.

Drug use — while it is true that most bands do use drugs, so did Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin and thousands of others, and look where they got.

So how are we really fixing this? By bringing a bunch of no-names that need to promote their Caroline Collective and some industry dinosaurs that have been stuck in an overpriced studio for most of their careers, like Dan Workman?

The truth is that the scene doesn't work because there is no place for bands to advertise. The Montrose was the only place that actually had indie record stores that would take unsigned artists on consignment. There are still a few places left, but they are barely making it.

There is also a chokehold on the press. Just look at your own writers. How many indie bands have they really reviewed and what do they really know about music? I know lots of local bands and musicians worthy of world-class recognition — for example, Café Khytaro.

And as for the subject of local club owners and where musicians have to play in order to get an audience to take them to the next step, I hear horror stories of bands being ripped off across the table — usually most contracts are verbal, and the terms change after the bands have performed.

How to fix the local music scene? We let it die a quick and horrible death. Bands should stop performing in clubs or any other venues. People should stop buying records from the big-box stores or downloading mp3s from the major labels. We should also stop listening to the radio and pick alternative methods of music delivery instead. Thanks to the Internet, local music fans can buy a local band's CD or mp3 download, so that is my first suggestion — put money in the hands of the bands first, then let the rest profit.

Alexander Dorian

An Award Trifecta
Houston Press writers recognized in three
different journalism contests

Houston Press staff writers received awards in two national and one prestigious local contest, for a range of material that took in everything from student investigators, to a chef who worked his way up in the kitchen, to a Texas town and its people harmed by pollution.

Staff writer Chris Vogel has been named a finalist in the National Association of Black Journalists award competition. Vogel was recognized for his story "The TSU Three," an in-depth look at three Texas Southern University students who gathered information about spending at TSU that ultimately led to the criminal prosecution of the school's president.

Food writer Robb Walsh received a second place in the national Association of Food Journalists competition for "Guess Who's Making Your Dinner?" in which he profiled acclaimed Houston chef Hugo Ortega, who came to the United States as a young boy with his family illegally.

And former staffer Todd Spivak received a First Amendment Award from the Houston Trial Lawyers Association for his story "Toxic Town," which investigated the effects of a plant's pollution on a small Texas town.


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