From the Week of October 26, 2000

Second, and you did mention this briefly, I do not think the point of releasing these shows was to listen to all 25 simultaneously. I am a fan of Pearl Jam, bought three shows and enjoy them all, some more than others. But even as a fan I would be sick of hearing them after listening to all 25 discs. You also state "no freakin' way" that the band would try this in America. However, a little research on your part would have found that it is releasing the U.S. dates when the tour is over.

Also, the statements about the band being greedy: From the band's Web site, those who wish can order all 25 discs at a discount (which you state they should) or order the discs at $12 apiece, I think a very reasonable if not cheap price compared to today's standards.

These are just some of the holes in the article. Whether the authors dislike Pearl Jam or not is irrelevant; I would just like to read an unbiased review, maybe next time.

I am a big fan of New Times, but I expect better.

Tony Cavallo

Cultured club: I want to know how to contact Zac Crain or Robert Wilonsky, the two cheap hacks who "wrote" the Pearl Jam article. What is the point of the article? They obviously had their minds made up before they even popped in the first CD. I doubt they even really listened to any of the music. They admit they were reading, watching TV, etc., while "listening" to these CDs. I think they missed the point of why Pearl Jam released 25 live CDs. Do they really think PJ did it for the money? Come on, now. This is the band that took on Ticketmaster and refuses to whore itself to MTV. These moves aren't arrogant and they certainly don't promote the career of PJ. Instead, they prove that PJ did it how it wanted, when it wanted. It may be the cool thing now to bash PJ after a string of "unsuccessful" albums, but I can guarantee that Zac and Robert will be telling their children how much they loved Pearl Jam back in the '90s. It will be similar to someone talking to his kids about the Who or the Stones today.

Dave Svelund

Drive-by Reporting

Weeping statement: On September 21, I picked up the eagerly awaited Best of Phoenix supplement of New Times. It only took a few moments for the anticipation to be replaced with disappointment. Cleverly hidden among other seemingly legitimate awards was an award titled "Best Morning-Drive Crybaby." The award, which criticized Zone DJ Dave Smiley, lacked both tact and compassion. On the particular day that the reviewer chose to listen, Mr. Smiley received heartbreaking news regarding his relationship with a longtime girlfriend. In a moment of honest emotional response, something very few radio programs possess, Mr. Smiley broke down and cried. Aware of the fact he was crying on air, he tried to quickly regain his composure and carry on as usual.

The publishing of the "Best Morning-Drive Crybaby" mocked Mr. Smiley for his sensitivity and then added insult to injury by questioning the sincerity of his tears. The award alleged that the crying was merely a pretense put on to draw sympathy from female listeners. Whatever the case may be, the inadequate time spent listening, the heartless accusations and the inappropriate publishing of such an award have led me to believe New Times should receive awards for the "Best Inadequate Reporting," the "Best Instance of Unfounded Cruelty" and the "Best Example of What Not to Do." I would also like to point out that the award spoke of the "nauseatingly reassuring Love Doctor" who is on the show every Tuesday. She doesn't come in on Tuesdays, she comes in on Thursdays!

Ashley Gose

Baby Boomer

Mother load: Is anyone supposed to feel sorry for Michelle Bailey because she doesn't make $50,000 any more and that she had to resort to unemployment and then to a paltry $500 a week ("Lawsuit on Board," Laura Laughlin, September 28)? Give me a break. Perhaps she could view her dismissal from AutoNation as a way of spending more time with her child. There are a lot of well-educated and previously professional women who have given up bigger houses, fancier neighborhoods, newer vehicles and more to work part time and raise their own children.

Dee Pavlovich

Critic in the Dark

Dance recital: I thought I would perhaps reply to the review of Lars von Trier's award-winning film Dancer in the Dark by our visually stimulated friend Gregory Weinkauf ("Dumb and Blind," October 5). After leaving the Camelview 5 theater completely awed and enlightened by Dancer in the Dark, I was perplexed by the overall negative review it received. While Mr. Weinkauf applauded Björk's performance, and deservedly so, as "amazing" only begins the adjectives, he seemed stuck on the sans-tripod handling of the director. Simplicity seemed to me the tone, with all emphasis on the story itself. Von Trier did not bombard our visual senses with effects, as is the norm today, but allowed the viewer to be introduced wholly and honestly to the character of Selma, and utterly fall in love with her. She was our special effect, the tripod the camera anchored itself to. Perhaps dear Mr. Weinkauf should stick to some more easily diagnosed cerebral engagements, such as the new Sylvester Stallone movie. There's just nothing like a good action flick to fuel our visually hungry brains, right, Greg?

Stephanie Crawford

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