DEAR JOE: [RE: "Letters to the Editor," May 31, in which Joe Davis of the Pinehurst Kids complained of a bad review.] Man, what a bummer. When I moved to this town a few years ago, yours was the first band I saw that made me feel good about moving here.
Well, it's a good thing there are plenty of great bands in town now, because after reading your whining, egotistic, pathetic letter to the editor, I no longer include you in my pantheon of people I give a damn about. It's not like you were all the way off the mark, but taking a review so personally I feel sorry for your girlfriend!
BRIAN IS BUNK AND BEATBOXING IS BEST!
TO THE EDITOR: Yo, this guy Brian needs to keep his opinions about beatboxing to himself ["The Fifth Element," Brian Goedde, June 7]. To write off Rahzel as an "imitator" overlooks the fact that Rahzel can simultaneously make drum and bass sounds with his mouth AND sing a chorus AT THE SAME TIME!!! Not to mention he can make it sound fresher than the original song. In an artform where looping and samples are the norm, beatboxing is a living, breathing connection to the essence of hiphop's oral tradition.
IT'S THE MERCURY'S FAULT THAT RADIOHEAD SUCKS
TO JULIANNE: An interesting review--yet maybe a more interesting overview of the role of the reviewer [CD Review, Radiohead's Amnesiac, June 7]. The critic's job, as Oscar Wilde so famously said, is "to see art, not for what it is, but for what it is not." So what is Amnesiac not? Amnesiac is not here to blow our minds; that's just a journalistic conceit on your part! What your review really points to is the failure of the print press to come to grips with the instantaneous reach of the Internet. In a connected world where we all have access to the information we need when we need it, a one and half star review for a CD in the Mercury stands out as exactly what it is--a mean-sprited, half-hearted attempt to deconstruct a band's work of art.
Also Julianne, as a disclaimer, I should point out that beginning with my band Gang of Four in the mid-'70s, through to my current work here in Portland in the internet-music business, I am involved closely on a daily basis with the media. Your review is one of many I've read that have disturbed me. Radiohead planted a stake in the ground with OK Computer, followed through with Kid A and have completed the trilogy with Amnesiac. Gang of Four planted a stake in 1977 with an album called Entertainment! and we continue to believe it inspired many bands: R.E.M., Fugazi and the Chili Peppers to name a few. And I strongly believe that Radiohead will do the same and they will have a much longer lasting legacy than Depeche Mode! You can attempt to bury them but they are not yet dead unlike the trees that you distribute your words upon.
I'VE SEEN THE LIGHT!
DEAR JULIANNE: I've followed your mag since its inception, and it is a welcome relief. As a longtime Portland music fan (sick of the completely retarded Willamette Week), the Mercury is a refreshing breath of air. But I never cared for you personally. Always passed you off as another indie-goth chick with not a lot to say, but a lot of ways to say it. Until last week, that is. I have heard maybe two Radiohead songs in my life. Never cared for them, haven't heard the last two albums, but your scintillating criticism of them was brilliant! Kudos to you, Julianne! I see you in a different light now.
WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: HOMO OR NO?
DEAR WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY: Who the fuck are you? Am I wrong, or did you not out yourself just 27 issues ago? What in the hell are your readers supposed to think when you keep hopping the fence like this? In your one-year anniversary issue [May 31], in your annual report form, you identified yourself as straight with a reference to "gay-ish" tendencies. Perplexed, I later discovered a lame, but likely explanation. You're a fucking Gemini! Dude, June is gay pride month. Take that as a hint, come out, stay out! Please make up your mind so we Merc readers can get on with our own issues. Fondly yours!
Wm. Steven Humphrey responds: D, you're absolutely right, and I'm finally going to do it. I'm going to take the "taste test," and after I decide which type of genitalia I prefer, I'll get back to you.