DEAR PORTLAND MERCURY: I thought you all were supposed to inform the public of above average bands in the Northwest? Who in the hell is the Operacycle and where did they come from? More importantly, who the hell is their insanely amazing drummer and why haven't you all told me all I need to know about them yet?

I want to know about the Operacycle and every good band like them in Portland and when they are playing. Sorry to rant. I really do love your paper. I read it from cover to cover every week and laugh my ass off.

David L.

Julianne Shepherd responds: OHMIGOD! We love the Operacycle, too! That's why in next week's Mercury, look for a big honking article on our new favorite band, The Operacycle and their amazing drummer, Jordan Hudson!

TO THE EDITOR: The Sensualists' "Adaptations" LP is a rare, unique collaboration featuring some of our town's most talented dj's and electronic artists [CD Review, Jan 4]. I think these reinterpretations of the Sensualists' early songs were intended as a chance for (mostly) hometown remix heroes to shine, rather than the band itself. Sadly, Joe Faustin Kelly seems to have overlooked this celebratory and communal aspect, in favor of parading around his issues with the so-called trend of implementing electronic or loop-based stylings into a rock/pop context. A trite arguement, I think, considering the concept of remixing pop/rock artists is one that has existed for a measurably long time, and the concept of remixing itself far longer. Perhaps someday critics such as Kelley will get over the multiplicity of "gadgetry" in our 21st century musical atmosphere, and be able to intelligently critique songwriting that uses it, without being stifled by the medium.

Peter Lytton

DEAR EDITOR: Thanks for Monica Drake's review of the new Rebecca Solnit book Hollow City [Jan 4]. It's truly a heartbreaking story--the coolest city in the country invaded by dotcom yuppies and developed out of existence. Even though the virtual boom has by now inevitably busted, San Francisco's unique culture has been destroyed, maybe forever. In Portland, the sleepy little town that time forgot, we ought to take note, consider what the hippitude of lucre has wrought (on Trendy-Third, Hawthorne) and is currently wreaking in Alberta (see Phil Busse's "NAACP Forms Task Force to Stop Gentrification" [Jan 11]). When the poor, the ethnic, the othersexed, students, artists, the differently headset, are screwed out of housing and hangout, culture as a whole goes right down a shiny toilet.

Monica, Phil, Katia, keep at it. Keep writing what the other guys are to chickenshit to write. You can be my valentines.

Doug Spangle

TO THE EDITOR: Your recent "Sex Survey" [Jan 11] took a fun idea and twisted it around in a way that's just plain sick. I am referring to your inclusion of "rape" on a "sex" survey. "Rape" has no place on a "sex" survey, no matter how lightheartedly you attempt to touch on the matter. At least your survey prefaced the rape section with the comment "boo for this shit," but this comment hardly makes the inclusion of rape in a "sex" survey excusable. Rape does not equal sex. Rape is an act of violence, the use of penetrative force to exert power and control over an individual. Perhaps your next sex survey could have a heavier focus on different common household objects people enjoy placing up their butts in sexual interaction between consenting partners (the key word being consenting). Joking about rape isn't funny on any level--it's just plain fucked up.

Maria Cincotta

The Mercury responds: Believe it or not, I think we're all in agreement that rape is not funny. However, who are you to say what "belongs" in a sex survey and what doesn't? Rape is non-consensual, but so is contracting HIV, being slipped a "roofie," or even being cheated on by a significant other--these topics are to be ignored in a sex survey? Sex isn't all just candy canes and lollipops, ya know.

And while we're on the topic, there's still time to fill out the Mercury Sex Survey! Covering funny topics as well as very serious ones, our survey will reveal exactly what Portland has been up to in the varied arena of "sexuality." Go to www.portlandmercury. com and fill it out before Thursday, January 25, and then read the results in our February 8 issue!