Go Ask Alice
A loyal listener: Wow! I guess you're not a fan of Alice Cooper's radio show, eh ("Alice in Revolver Land," Brendan Joel Kelley, June 3)? I read your article, and between bong hits I couldn't stop laughing. Funny stuff. I'm actually writing to you because I do happen to have a shitty job where I drive around the Valley all night, every night. My point being that I listen to the show every night.
I have been listening since Alice started on the air in late January. The show has actually developed into something pretty cool. Alice has come out completely differently than I thought he would -- no snakes, no guillotines, no scary Alice Cooper -- just a real dude in his mid-50s who has seen a lot of crazy shit in his life.
I don't agree with everything he says, but I think he's perfect to be syndicated across the country playing cool, old tracks that were never played on the radio, and telling cool stories about the legends he's playing. I'm surprised you don't get his sense of humor. He's the first one to self-deprecate, calling himself "Your favorite transvestite radio host," and other ridiculous pokes. He's usually got me laughing pretty hard, and I'm not a tweaker, head-banger or a dumb-shit mongoloid.
And, no, I was never an Alice Cooper fan. I'm 26 years old. I knew "School's Out," and some other tracks, but I have to say that I am a fan of his radio show. A loyal listener, even. I never used to leave the radio on one station all night, and for the first time, I do. The show is constantly getting better as well. Check it out again in a month or so. And shit, man -- he plays Zappa!
Your article on Alice's show was harsh, to say the least. Making fun of the fact that it's on in Utica got a laugh out of me, but the reality is that Alice's show is getting new stations every week. It definitely is a growing show, and I think there are many others aside from me who like what it's growing into.
I read New Times every week, and I just wanted to give you another opinion from somebody who's listened to probably every show. It seems only fair to Alice. I mean, print my letter as a favor to Marilyn Manson (for whom Alice set the stage). Peace.
Ryan Grimwood, Phoenix
Off with his head!: When did Brendan Kelley become a rock legend? Oh, wait, let me answer that: never! How dare you diss Alice Cooper or his show. Some of us like listening to his exploits as a rock star. Who he's met, what they've said.
Let's talk about boring, shall we? Drinking a bottle of Merlot while listening to anything would put even a death-metal person to sleep.
I do, however, have a suggestion for Brendan Kelley. At the next Alice Cooper live show, why don't we have Alice take care of that boredom [Kelley] suffers from? Let's have Alice just whack his head off on stage.
Joe Kennedy, Phoenix
Rock of aged: Hey, I thought your article on Alice Cooper was right on! What's the fascination with this dinosaur? He sucked musically even when he was young. Why does anybody want to hear from him now that he's playing golf with Glen Campbell?
Anyway, Brendan Joel Kelley, that was funny stuff! I'm surprised the bottle of wine you drank didn't put you into a coma when listening to Cooper wag his forked tongue about the aging rockers he knew. If you want to hear about aging pop icons, why not just watch Behind the Music on MTV. At least that's not narrated by some boring gimmick-meister turned law-and-order Republican.
As horrible as it might be, too, I'd rather hear a talk show hosted by Stevie Nicks, another Phoenician, or Arizonan Linda Ronstadt. Is she still alive? Wish Cooper wasn't!
Rich Donaldson, Yuma
Electro magnet: I really enjoy Brendan Joel Kelley's articles on the local music scene. I really think he hit it on the nose, man, about the phony electroclash trend ("Electro Ass," May 6). Places like Phoenix will always be rife with suburban wanna-bes who will clamor for anything chic -- even if it's passé elsewhere.
Name withheld by request
Dishing It Out
The round mound of P-town: Recently, columnist Stephen Lemons began his Cafe review by encouraging New Times readers to imagine him as a combination of Sydney Greenstreet's Signor Ferrari and Aleister "The Great Beast" Crowley ("Kings of Kebab," June 10).
A curious amalgam, to be sure. Presumably, we are to infer that Mr. Lemons is fat and unscrupulous. Why not pull out all the stops, Mr. Lemons? Have you forgotten about Jabba the Hutt?
Mr. Lemons had begun his previous column by comparing himself to Ted Bundy and Jack the Ripper ("Psycho Killer," June 3).
These revelations may possibly be of interest to Mr. Lemons' psychoanalyst. Possibly not. But at the risk of appearing naive, might I suggest that discernment and taste are more important traits for a restaurant critic?
Mark Adkins, via the Internet
To each his own: I used to avoid your paper because of the Cafe section. It never had anything worth reading in it. And even when it seemed that a restaurant might be worth going to, I couldn't tell for sure by your confusing reviews.
To say that I preferred the somber Howard Seftel in the Arizona Republic was an understatement. Now, however, I find Seftel droll by comparison to the hilarious Stephen Lemons. Not only does Lemons seem to enjoy food and drink immensely -- and be greatly knowledgeable about it -- he isn't afraid to give a not-to-be-mistaken thumbs up or thumbs down to Phoenix-area establishments.
I rushed over to his latest restaurant pick, Efes Turkish Cuisine, after reading his rave in New Times. It was, as he said it would be, great ("Kings of Kebab," June 10)! I live in the neighborhood of Serrano's Fishmarket and Restaurant, and I went there and had the Mexican seafood ("Fish Tales," May 27). Again, perfect, though the place could use a few more customers. Come on up to 32nd Street and Shea, Phoenix! 'Cause I want to keep this gem open so that I have some place close by at which to grab a good meal.
But Lemons is funniest when he hates a place. He was on the money to call Brazeiro Steakhouse in the Scottsdale Fashion Square the "Todai of Brazilian barbecue" ("Brazilian Bust," May 20). I lived in Brazil for years, and I can tell you that whoever runs this place is all about turning a great tradition into little more than an American fast-food franchise.
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Keep telling us where to go, including warning us off the crap.
Mary Williams, Phoenix
Summer in the City
No, no, no . . . yes . . . no: About your recent Summer Guide(June 3), can't you guys stop putting hot young girls on the covers of your publications?! You are exploiting women by portraying them as sexual objects. The girl with her tongue out may draw readers inside your pages, but at what cost? Stop it! That model should be ashamed of herself for getting used like that. Pant! But once I got inside, I must say that I did find doable stuff for the summer months. Until I got to that butt-crack-waxing article. Again, stop it, stop it, stop it!
George Hernandez, Tempe
Waxing poetic: Finally, news you can use. I refer to your great Summer Guide. I just got back into town from an extended stay in Europe, and I find my favorite publication with a new stapled look, and inside it this guide to fun stuff in town. Great job! I may even get that area between my cheeks waxed (you know, where the sun don't shine). Seriously, New Times has moved into the 21st century with this makeover. The ink doesn't even come off on my hands.
Molly Haskins, Phoenix