Sounds of Silence
Supporting the scene: Here's a summary of the article titled "Last Dance" (Brendan Joel Kelley, January 6): A musical guy with a day job hasn't gotten a record deal. Boo-f*cking-hoo! Phoenix New Times thinks that's somehow newsworthy? Shame on you!
Living in Phoenix for those of us who love dance and electronica is really tough. We have to look to widely read periodicals -- like New Times -- to generate some interest and enthusiasm for this kind of music. I expect stewardship and support for the arts community, the scenes and alternative politics from New Times. A downer article about the life and times of a real-estate-dabbling computer dude who'll quit music if he doesn't get signed doesn't generate interest or enthusiasm. It makes me want to move back to Chicago.
While you listen to the tiny violins screeching out tiny sad tunes about the demise of Radio Free America, I'll be at Hollywood Alley on January 28 supporting the scene. I've heard great things from Amish Rake Fight and Army of Robots. I hope in the future you can find column space to spread awareness about the cool things that are going on in Phoenix, rather than pining away for what was lost or will never be.
Dana Sterling, Phoenix
Radio Free -- and possibly sales-free: "But he swears that if it doesn't blow up beyond the confines of the Valley, he's done wasting his time with music." This is what Eric Seven from Radio Free America [told Brendan Joel Kelley] in his featured interview. Come again? True artists do not say that.
Want more? "I don't want to think about music for all of 2005. I want to try and sell this shit."
What happened to loving your art and creating music because it's who you are?! Eric Seven is a prime example of someone who wants to use music simply to gain him money and success. He embarrassed himself in this article, and, frankly, New Times should be embarrassed for publishing such an anti-art story.
Look, we all would love to make money with our music, but speaking as a musician myself who couldn't get by without expressing myself musically, we do it because we love it. It satisfies our soul. And if the day were to come where it stopped satisfying my soul, I would not speak of it in the way Seven did in this article.
So thank you, New Times, for publishing this article on RFA. Now that I know this guy's attitude and intentions, I will make sure I don't buy or support his new album.
Deb Stark, Phoenix
A model column: I just wanted to say how much I liked the Inferno column you guys did on Six Lounge. It had good writing by that Kreme character, and nice pictures of the ladies ("Red Bull Run," Stephen Lemons, January 6).
Not that I'm gay, but those were some cool-looking male models you guys shot, too. They didn't look like the typical gay models you see in Scottsdale.
Anyway, thanks for a very true light on the Scottsdale scene, particularly on how the women here try to be more than what they are. That one guy from Chicago knew what he was talking about!
Davon Strickland, Scottsdale
Kreme is full of holes: Unfortunately, very much like the dying doughnut chain, Kreme is a failure.
First, one of his Inferno reviews killed the reputation of the Palo Verde in Tempe ("Motley Crew," August 26, 2004), and now his column is brainless and gushy. There are better and more culturally relevant things going on in this area, and Kreme (a.k.a. Stephen Lemons) continues to propagate the bullshit L.A.-wanna-be hype this town cloaks itself in.
Phoenix is a great place, and I'm glad we don't have people like those covered in Inferno fucking up my personal trip here.
Ben Vorono, Tempe
An Inciteful Story
Thoughtless and naive: First, I must explain that I have been a longtime reader of New Times, and also have paid for some advertising. I consider New Times a great voice for the Phoenix area. However, articles like "'Nigga,' Please" (Joe Watson, December 23) really bother me because they show a lack of credibility.
Did you ever consider that, after reading your article, people got more on edge? With your thoughtless and naive viewpoints, people became confused over a small misunderstanding, and it could have resulted in violence. It's sad for both hip-hop dance crews -- Furious Styles and the FootKlan -- and for your readers.
Did you need increased readership so bad that negative hype spilled off your front page? Why don't you stick to discourse regarding the transit system, or lack thereof, or about any water shortage? How about printing something that your readers really need to have a view on? Instead, you have incited a beef that will go on and on.
Anyone who knows Furious Styles Crew knows that what you did was wrong and sickening. Also, I know FootKlan, and its members are good people. They should have nothing taken away from them. However, anyone who helped you write this should share the blame. If you were led to believe this bullshit, then I owe you an apology.
Almost exactly a year before this, your magazine gave thanks and praise to b-boy House's positive influence on the Phoenix dance community. Sad to say, but Fox News is less biased than this article. Put truth before sensationalism, as your readers deserve nothing less.
Name withheld by request
Editor's note: New Times stands behind the facts of Joe Watson's story.
Telling it like it is: Great piece on the war between Furious Styles and FootKlan! Finally, somebody tells it like it is about this violent subculture. I'm surprised these guys ain't blasting away at each other (and I'm not talking about verbally) about something that would be a small dustup to anybody else.
Name withheld by request
An eatin' fool: After reading "My Lucky Seven" (Cafe, Stephen Lemons, December 30), I've just got to tell you that your food columnist's writing about gastro delights is just amazin'! I should deserve a job like his, and not many people could do it justice.
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When somebody can write about food in a way that makes people think sex, celebration, garden, satiation, fecundity -- something good is happening!
I haven't had the resources to follow up on many of Stephen Lemons' great suggestions, but I almost feel like I've been there after reading him. The suggestion on Thai food is one that I will definitely take.
By the way, I'm extraordinarily good at deconstructing and reconstructing concoctions and am very knowledgeable about a multitude of ethnic/cultural cooking styles. I was brought up on a farm where you personally ax the chicken's neck directly before putting the bird in the pot. I canned my own tomato sauce with basil and garlic from the garden. I have made rhubarb pie to die for. I'm saying, I have the soul of Julia Child.
So if Stephen Lemons ever needs a stand-in . . . seriously, keep on keepin' on. Food is the highest art!
Juliana Rose, via the Internet