Scratched Out

For the record: What a great story ["House Music Scratches for a New Vibe," by Michael Serazio, May 6]. Finally someone writes about the downfall of electronic music. I never got into the rave scene; I discovered the music just as the law was cracking down on massive parties and their promoters.

I fell in love with drum 'n' bass and my boyfriend and I bought tables and a bunch of vinyl only to find ourselves dumping tons of money into a hobby. While he is incredibly talented, the dream of commanding a massive crowd and traveling to other cities has been shattered because of lack of interest and support.

It is so sad that we had Fresh -- of Bad Company -- in town; while it was an amazing night with great music, there were maybe 100 people there. The promoters lose so much money trying to keep this scene alive. It hurts everyone involved in electronic music, and it is hopeless for anyone trying to break through. It is just never going to happen. I feel awful for the guys who are at the point where they are having to re-evaluate life. It is sad that an era is ending.

Cara Valinoti

Spare change: Maybe instead of wondering what happened back in the day and pointing out all that has changed, accept it. It happens in any music scene. Five years makes a hell of a difference for all genres of music. If you don't like how it has become, change it. Adapt and evolve.

Unfortunately, dance music gets a negative stigma from drugs; well, get over that, too. Rap lyrics are deemed "offensive," metal "too violent" and so forth.

It's pretty obvious that anything gaining any kind of recognition will get picked apart, piece by piece, by people who refuse to understand it or give it a chance.

Seeing as how three years ago I would have rather eaten glass than go out and listen to house -- yes, you guys are doing something right. I've come to love and support a huge group of hardworking, genuine, talented people. I can also promise you this is something to keep your eyes on and watch.

A lot of people contribute to the Houston dance scene, whether it be supporting, deejaying, promoting, producing -- whatever, it is moving. A lot of recognition is deserved. You can't say you've been to Mexico if you just visited Tijuana. There are too many weeklies, events, nights, DJs and supporters missing from this spotlight.

K. Harris

Out with the old: Thanks for the article on DJs who don't even play real music. This town sucks; all it is about is drugs and computerized music. Some of us are sick of this. We need new places and newer DJs -- the old order is boring.

Shawn Stevenson

Fills the Bill

Mayor on a mission: You guys gotta admit one important thing: Bill White is the first serious, no-nonsense white boy who gets off his rich capitalist ass and tries to achieve actual results [Hair Balls, "Hurry Up and Wait," April 22]! It's incredible, ain't it! Houstonians have not seen such a thing in more than 20 years!

Scott Jern


Shirley you jest: Hold on! Didn't Shirley "DeLiberate your dollars" come from fucking up New Jersey [Hair Balls, "Perfect Fit," April 29]? Did the new dude apply for the job -- i.e., is there a chance of jailing him if we find he has given false credentials?

One can only hope for a commitment to make all new transit monorail, which will ultimately run in the black, as opposed to Metro Lite, for whom the streets run in blood.

Name withheld by request

Speaking for LULAC

Council reps: While Dorothy Olmos is a member of one LULAC council (out of 35-plus councils) within District VIII of LULAC, she does not represent LULAC, neither as an officer of LULAC nor as a "LULAC Gulf Coast board member" [Hair Balls, "What'd I Say?" May 6].

While Dorothy Olmos, like all citizens, has her rights to her personal opinions, she does not have authority to represent LULAC as a whole. Your readers may not be aware there is currently only one spokesperson for District VIII LULAC, and that person is not Ms. Olmos.

Michael Harris joined LULAC Council 402 at the invitation of one of our LULAC Council 402 members who also happens to serve on the Gulf Coast Community Services Association board.

I will not get into the specifics of the "allegations" being brandished about for approximately six months; however, I will admit that your article is the first time that I have seen any of the allegations in writing. Until such time as the complainants utilize their prerogative to follow an investigative process to its completion, I will withhold further comments.

I appreciate your time and attention.

Mary Almendarez, president
LULAC Council 402

No Strip Show

Get it right: My picture is featured in the May 6 issue, on page 45 near the "Sugar and Spice" article [See/Be Seen, by Keith Plocek].

The show that is reviewed was inaccurately portrayed in this little snippet, and one reading it would assume it was a strip show. I am a physician, and such assumptions are not good for my credibility and/or future career.

It would be one thing if the show actually did include "stripping." But it is quite the opposite. I have been receiving phone calls in regard to this article, and honestly I am quite unappreciative of this. It is clear that the review was written without anyone even bothering to see the show.

Cherise Dsouza

Lone Star Spar

Unchecked media: Walt Wilkins wrote "Songs About Texas." His version is extremely passionate. It was written well before the whole Hill Country/Shiner Bock lyric became cliché [Racket, by John Nova Lomax, April 29 and May 6]. He wrote it while suffering through a terrible Kentucky winter and missing home. He had a case of Old Milwaukee. According to Rilke, you write for yourself because you have to, not because you're trying to sell a CD, or because you give a crap what someone else thinks.

Since I'm in the media, KNBT Radio, I feel I can call on those who are also in the media to take this challenge: Send me a song you wrote; I'll play it on the air. Then I'll play "Luckenbach, Texas." I'll ask the listeners to rate the two songs.

Why do you criticize something that many people have found joy in? I play these songs on the radio. People request them. Are they wrong, too? I'm glad I'm not a music critic. I couldn't live with the negativity that would surround my being as I awoke every day, knowing my job was to criticize the work of others. The media go unchecked. That's what is scary to me.

Walt Wilkins has more soul and God-given talent than you could ever have. He has dedicated his life to build. You dedicate yours to knock down. How about a list of the 30 worst articles written by Texas journalists? Got the balls for that?

Mattson Rainer
New Braunfels

Notes on a native son: I was both shocked and horrified to learn that several readers have accused my son of heinous crimes and have resorted to name-calling of the vilest stripe, in fact tarring him with the worst epithet a Texan can receive: "Yankee."

I notice John Nova responded with his bona fides, all of which are true. I would like to add just a couple of logs onto his fire, to wit:

John's great-great-grandfather brought his family to Texas in a covered wagon, settling in Bosque County, near Meridian, in 1869.

John's great-grandfather, the noted collector, was a professor at both Texas A&M and UT, rising to the level of secretary to the president at the latter institution and becoming one of the key founders of the UT Ex-Students Association.

John's grandfather moved to Houston in 1945 and became a founder of the Houston Folklore Society, and he managed blues legend Lightnin' Hopkins while also developing several subdivisions in north Houston.

John's dad (yours truly) grew up in Houston and graduated from Pershing Junior High and Lamar High School before getting a BS and MS at UT and going on to manage the musical careers of Texans Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Rocky Hill and David Schnaufer.

I think we've made our point, yes?

Do I hear anyone say "uncle" on the Texas heritage issue?

John Lomax III
Nashville, Tennessee

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