Hobart Rowland, Town Gossip
This letter is in response to the Static column [October 23] by your so-called "music editor," Hobart Rowland, regarding the closing of Rockefeller's. Unlike his "anonymous source," I am a faithful and loyal patron-turned-employee of Rockefeller's who obviously got a hell of a lot more out of our staff meeting than she did! After reading Rowland's article, I'm not even sure she attended the same meeting!
As for you, Mr. Rowland, exactly what is your job -- "music editor" or "town gossip?" I am very disappointed that a journalist with your experience would waste ink on such drivel.
As music editor, your job is to preview upcoming shows and review shows past. Well, where the hell have you been? As box office manager at Rockefeller's, I can count on one hand all the times I've seen you at the club in the past ten months. You couldn't wait to print gossip passed on by some "anonymous source." What about previewing and reviewing all the fantastic shows that Rockefeller's has had, not to mention all the shows still to come before January 1?
Mr. Rowland, maybe you should take a better look at exactly what service you're providing the Houston music scene. In this case, it was nothing more than reporting gossip that any one of us could have gathered at the office water cooler.
Hobart Rowland, Cheap-Shot Artist
Whose side is Hobart Rowland on? Why does he delight in seeing Rockefeller's close? Every time another live music venue closes in town, the entire music community suffers. Doesn't he get it?
Rockefeller's has pumped thousands of dollars into the local economy. It was a clean and safe venue to see live music. In addition, many local acts were used as opening acts.
Rowland's remarks are of sarcasm and bitterness. They are simply cheap shots, and I find them irritating, irresponsible and petty.
In closing, please get out and work in the real music world. Talk to venue owners and learn what they face. Change your attitude, get some therapy or just keep quiet. Whatever you decide, please stop hurling verbal abuse against those who struggle daily to make the local scene happen. If you can do it better, leave the paper and go to it.
Michael R. Laman
Hobart Rowland, Third-Rate Kurt Loder
Does Hobart Rowland actually like music? He doesn't seem to grasp the fact that every band in this town is paying for their own records (with a couple of exceptions). Furthermore, he's sending a message to the city and the rest of the country -- most especially major labels -- without thought toward anything but his own malicious interests, and it says, "This town has no music scene!"
I put it to you that if you cared at all about Houston or music in general you would wake up and realize that your negative, third-rate Kurt Loder bullshit is doing this town a great deal of harm. I demand that you present a fair opinion of the music of local, unsigned artists with the appropriate perspective. This doesn't mean kissing ass, but it does mean recognizing that the only reason you are reviewing anything local at all is because someone loves doing it. No one is trying to impress critics in this town because ... well, everyone knows you hate everything.
You can dislike the Sperlings all you want, but I think comments that lead to an unspoken conclusion that we should just give up (which you never say about anyone, but you always mean. Don't you?) are totally out of line. Have you ever said anything nice about any artist in this town? I don't know a single person who thinks you have.
Mike Fuller, The Sperlings
Hobart Rowland replies: You must have me confused with Brad Tyer, my predecessor as music editor.
Bad Night Out
I just read Margaret Briggs's "The Not-So-Grand Canyon" [Cafe, October 30] and I must say that never has someone hit the nail so squarely on the head. I had a horrible outing there recently. It seemed the entire species list of desert flora was in my food! There was absolutely no restraint used in flavoring, and our experiences with the food temperature were identical to Ms. Briggs's. Our service was performed with the rapidity usually reserved for a tunnel-digging apparatus (when our server remembered  what we ordered and  that we actually had asked for something). The decor was interesting, but give me good food and bad decor any day of the week!
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Rated "Y" for Young at Heart!
Perhaps the Press and the Chronicle should start "age-rating" their movie reviewers. It might help explain the wide discrepancies in their reviews of Going All the Way.
Andy Klein of the Press writes that "director Mark Pellington, working from Wakefield's own screenplay, wisely avoids the excesses of MTV flash." ["The Wild Side, Circa 1954," October 9]. Jeff Millar of the Chronicle slams Pellington as a director "who comes to features -- and don't you know it -- by way of music videos." Millar then writes: "If there were a juvenile detention hall for self-indulgent movie directors, you'd want to put Pellington in it." I suspect that Klein is closer to 30 and Millar is closer to 50. At least that's what I've gathered from each reviewer's slant on "stylistic excess," which seems to depend entirely on amount of MTV viewing.
Perhaps one way of defining each reviewer's prejudices would be to have each provide capsule reviews of their top ten movies from the last 20 years only. For example, I'd be more interested in knowing what each thought of Raging Bull than of Citizen Kane. Was Scorsese exercising talent or excess in the camera work used during the fight sequences? Just curious, fellas.
via Internet, Houston