DEAR MERCURY: I'm writing about your completely terrible coverage of hiphop. In your "new releases" listing for August 9, you give recommendations to the following artists, among others: Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopez, New Order, and Timbaland & Magoo. I don't usually pay much attention to this part of your paper, but this leapt out at me, especially since you didn't give Roots Manuva's last single a recommendation at all. What the fuck is that about? Do any of the people working at your paper even listen to hiphop beyond The Coup and Spearhead? Are you yuppies, or did you just think you were clever because you know that Magoo=Q-Tip, and you've actually heard of him? I hate to break it to you, but Tip's been pretty whack since about 1997, a development which can be traced completely to his relationship with Timbaland (AKA The Man who Makes Music for Malls). The last thing either of those two fuckers need right now is incentive to do more work together.
I now realize that as much as you cats front, and as much as you've probably tricked the local mall-rats and PSU students into thinking you're these cutting edge eclecticons, you're just some sorry ass plants by the jiggidons, here to make people listen to your played out emo and punk.
WHAT ABOUT THE MUSIC?
TO THE MERCURY: I have been reading your paper since it came out, and have always been a fan of the music articles and Up & Coming columns. As an avid Portland music fan, I was greatly disappointed and a little insulted by the write-up Kate Mercier gave the Man of the Year/Tristeza/764-Hero show ["Up & Coming," August 9]. Not only did she insult all three of these bands (not based upon their musical ability, but their looks), she insulted half the Portland music scene.
It's okay if she doesn't like the music or the vocals, but she needs to state specifics and prove she has given the bands a fair chance WITH THEIR MUSIC, and not how they choose to dress. I will continue to read this paper and your Up & Coming write-ups. I just felt this one was extremely amateur and void of the information people want to read in a music paper MUSIC.
ANY UKRAINIANS IN THE AUDIENCE?
TO THE MERCURY: [Regarding Ann Romano's "One Day at a Time" for July 25th.] Derry Jackson is coming under fire for statements that have been perceived as anti-Semitic, or just plain bigoted. Now, for a minute or two, let us play pretend and look at Mr. Jackson's much maligned statements and substitute the word "Jew" for "Muslim." My point being that he probably would not have elicited such a powerful reaction if he was speaking about Muslims as opposed to Jews.
Or hell, let's get wild and substitute "Ukrainian" for "Jew." If Mr. Jackson insulted the Ukrainians, would he be in such hot water?
I really don't think he said anything racist or bigoted, he simply picked the wrong race to talk about; a race that not only has a strong foothold in the American media, medical and legal professions, but also a race of which the Portland mayor is a member.
Vera Katz and the rest of Mr. Jackson's critics need to practice some yoga and meditate on the oneness of things. Either that or eat some more Valium.
KATIA, I CALL YOUR CRITICAL SKILLS INTO QUESTION!
MS. DUNN: First you liked the film The Cell, many moons ago, for which I have never forgiven you. Now calling Patti Smith "non-great." ["Up & Coming, " August 2] You have made me question your critical skills when it comes to film and music. Tell me one thing did you say that about Patti just to be cool and alternative, or do you really feel that way?
Still reading, but with a grain of salt...
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
In last week's issue, we stated that city officials were finalizing plans to build a skatepark ["The Skatepark's Coming," August 9], pending final details from city officials. However, according to Charlie Hales' office, they're actually finalizing the pre-finalizing details; the park is still pending a vote by city council, further discussion with the neighborhood, completion of plans, and fund-raising. Sorry skateboarders!
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