Crash and Learn
Responding angrily to music criticism because of differing opinions seems a ridiculous waste of breath and bile. But I feel that Brad Tyer did Crash Worship a disservice in the November 18 Press by lumping them in the same category as the men's movement and modern primitivism [Pop Moment, "Tribal Scam"]. In rare moments of lucid cooperation with an interviewer, members of the band have violently rejected any label of "tribalism," specifically because of its absurd connotations of fashionable self-mutilation.
As for the audience, I wouldn't dare to speak for their lack of pretense or purity of spirit -- I wasn't even at this show. Any counting of butts or nipple rings and gratuitous display of "loss of inhibition" would have to be the work of someone who missed the point of trance-induction and somehow became more rather than less self-conscious.
Regardless, a Crash Worship performance has more to do with exhaustive motion and endorphins than with tattoos and props -- it's designed for and defined by active, frantic, honest and total audience participation. In that, it beats the hell out of the passive and impotent cult of spectatorship that rewards hip boredom, nullifies "rock" and cripples all forms of culture in this country. The band doesn't claim to reunite you with your "primeval roots," but it does offer a completely disorienting experience to anyone interested who's willing or able to let go of cynicism and fashion. Criticize the music all you want, but until and unless you've immersed yourself within the experience, kindly don't denigrate it for those of us who have.
Brad Tyer responds: "Immerse myself in the experience..." Hmm. You mean, like, actually go to the show? But, Mr. Bruckman, I was there. I don't have the luxury of reviewing past shows or shows in other cities, so I'm stuck with what Houston is stuck with, and the Crash Worship experience struck me as neither disorienting nor frantic nor honest. It was, however, exhausting, since I felt compelled as a reporter to stay until the end. I apologize if you feel denigrated, but I hope you had fun wherever you were that night.
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El Primer Primer
Recently, I had the good fortune to read your excellent article on Latino Music ["A Latino Music Primer," by Ramiro Burr, November 4] and appreciate your exposure of my favorite music.
s a native of Houston, I have heard the sounds from the stage bands of Jefferson Davis High School and its famous graduates, the Gasca brothers. Salsa clubs have come and gone through no assistance of the press. The Press has provided an invaluable list of clubs, artists, record outlets and programming.
Although I am not a great fan of Tejano music, I am definitely a fan of Salsa music. In reading your article, I noticed you did not mention the salsa sounds of Norma Zenteno and the Secret -- she can be heard frequently at the Bluewater Grill on Richmond and Elvia's off Westheimer.n closing, your article makes this ol' Chicano proud of our music -- I appreciate the professional manner in which you presented the primer.
Carlos R. Garcia