By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Martin sees the light: Finally, New Times gets it right. Dear and the Headlights are, indeed, the most important band in Phoenix, and I dare say they will become one of the most important bands in the nation.
Your article was very interesting, though I would have preferred the writer stick to DATH's music and not get so caught up in their business plan. Because their music is great, and Ian Metzger is a great singer!
Work ethic counts for something: What an interesting story on Dear and the Headlights! Other bands should read this article to find out how to make a living with their music. I think DATH is a mediocre band, but there's nothing mediocre about their work ethic, and that's what it takes to succeed.
That and being extremely nice guys. They're very accessible at concerts, as your story mentions, and fans love that. It helps that Ian Metzger is a good-looking guy under those grungy clothes and that big beard — or at least I think he is.
Sabine Martino, Beaverton, Oregon
Guess you're one of the smart ones, Gary: Why is it that New Times is always equating success with artistry. The best bands in the area are the ones the fewest people listen to, because Valley music fans are too stupid to get really good music. It's pretty much always true that bands and singers who are hugely popular are bad. Look at Britney Spears!
Sure, Dear is successful — as you say, the most successful band in town. But that doesn't mean they're any good. Come on! Get real! People loving them doesn't make them the most "important" band in the Valley, now does it?
Gary Jones, Phoenix
DATH not even in Danny's top 20: You say that Dear and the Headlights would be on everybody's list of best Valley bands. Please! They wouldn't even make my top 20. Why doesn't New Times hire a music critic with some fucking taste?!
Daniel Zachery, Glendale
Jay don't read so good: Dear in the Headlights are great, but couldn't you have told their story in fewer words. Why such a long-ass story? Your writing sucks so bad that I could barely stay awake, and I love these guys.
Jay Chavez, Phoenix
Are you calling poor Jay a goober?: Anytime anybody does a music cover story about a great band, you can count on goobers to chime in that the story is too long, poorly written, yadda yadda. "See," they gripe, "there are so many great bands in Phoenix. Why this band?"
Duh, no there aren't, dumb-asses!
And it's funny how grunges who are pushing 30 and still living in their parents' houses think they know anything about writing. This was a great story about a band who's taken the necessary steps to make it.
Stop with the playa-hating sour grapes.
A friend in the Northwest: DATH went out of their way to befriend one fan: me. I'm the Portland fan mentioned in the story. So I return the favor by turning anyone I meet into fans of DATH. So far, it has paid off. Every time they come through, more fans are at their shows.
Brent West, Portland, Oregon
Too boring for Lenny: I live in Phoenix and, contrary to this article, it is not hard for me to leave Dear and the Headlights off my list of the best bands in town. I listened to them on MySpace — they sounded a bit boring. And it didn't make me feel I'd really want to listen again or check them out live.
It doesn't bother me that you like them — that's your thing. But when you say "the most important band in Arizona," you just look dumb.
Lenny Leonardson, Phoenix
Are DATH the next Britney or Miley?: The problem is that Martin Cizmar's idea of an important band is a band who has taken the steps to make it. What does it even mean to make it? Take Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus — they took the necessary steps to make it. The thing is, that doesn't make them important or good or the best or anything besides popular.
The music industry circle-jerk that's a make-or-break for up-and-coming bands is only a make-or-break for the bands who want to be part of the music industry. Most of the good bands, the ones who do something innovative or exciting, aren't trying to be part of that industry. They're doing what they want because they want to, not because they'll be popular.
Ted O'Brien, via the Internet
Carol's got a crush: I love Dear and the Headlights, and I found the article extremely interesting. I wish you had told us more about this fabulous band. What you said was great, but I wanted to know more about their personalities, especially about dreamy lead singer Ian Metzger's. Also, whether they have girlfriends or not.
Carol DuBois, address withheld
Yet another sleep-deprived reader: I love DATH so much, but I almost fell asleep reading your drivel. It's literary Ambien. Please, please go away as quickly as possible.
Why play king of the hill with bands?: OMG, why did this story have to be that long? DATH are a good band. They're also doing pretty well in respect to their career thus far. Great for them.
What I want to know is, why do we always have to play king of the hill in this town? There are so many artists and bands in Phoenix who are really friendly, hard-working, and business savvy.
I'm not trying to hate. I'm just saying: "The most important band in Phoenix?" C'mon dude! That's just asking for widespread resentment, which these guys don't deserve.
Does anybody at New Times write objectively? About anything?
No comment: Not a bad article, but it's really stupid how you spend paragraphs going on about how recent cover stories were worthless. Guess your editorial decisions suck. Maybe [the decision about] this story, as well.
It's your problem if you can't find good bands: I really like this band. I've seen them about four times, and they're always really solid. But there are a lot more people making great music in this town. If you're too lazy and disconnected to find them, that's your problem.
HOUSE OF WORSHIP
Pastor not in the right: It seems to me that Pastor Michael Salman is trying to scam the city and his neighbors. This is a zoning issue, pure and simple, and he most definitely is running a church in a residential area, from what your article states.
If I lived in Salman's neighborhood, I would be up in arms over his starting a church in my single-family home area. I agree that people can do whatever they want in the privacy of their own homes, but this is hardly Salman's home where the services are taking place.
I think the city is right to hassle this charlatan.
Mike Zine, Phoenix
A punch in the metaphorical nose: Mr. Salman, the right for you to swing your fist ends at my nose.
It sounds like you have swung your metaphorical fist, and it is debatable if you have hit your neighbors' metaphorical noses.
I do believe in religious freedom but feel you are pushing the envelope. The government officially ignores religions, due to the separation of church and state. This is the reason churches are tax-exempt (which I disagree with. After all, your own god said "Render unto Caesar, that which is Caesar's.")
Yes, churches may be allowed in residential neighborhoods, but one must use common sense (which unfortunately, is not that common anymore).
I don't know exactly where you live, but it sounds like it is on a small street. Follow the Golden Rule: Don't do unto others what you would not have done unto you.
Vik Thor, Phoenix
Christian with a lower-case "C": It seems to me [Pastor Salman] has little or no respect for people and their property. If he were a Christian and not a christian, he wouldn't offend people and claim it's their fault. Moral of the story: When in Rome, do as the Romans do.
Good question: I belong to Calvary Community Church, and we have home groups. Are the police going to stop us now?
They should've just followed the rules: I think the main point here is that the family constructed a large building on their property for worship. If they had held gatherings in their home or backyard, I doubt there would be a zoning problem.
If there are laws in place about how and where you can build a large building solely for religious use, then you are stuck abiding by the zoning laws. All this carrying on about people being prevented from worshipping is nonsense.
Remember the ninth commandment: Michael Salman, you deliberately misled (lied to) the city about your true intents and purposes for the building in your backyard. Had you been honest (see commandment nine), you would have a case right now.
You have brought this upon yourself through your own dishonesty. While you and many others view the city's reaction as overkill, you have no legitimate complaint.