A rare treat: I just wanted to compliment you on the article you wrote about George Strait and his concert in Phoenix ("Rollin'," Henry Cabot Beck, January 23). It's rare that such an in-your-face and plain-speaking review is written about Mr. Strait, his music and career. We certainly need more articles written in this manner. Thank you!
World class: Am I just a cynic, or could the Grammy shutout of Jimmy Eat World have anything to do with the fact that the band took control of their professional lives, did the CD on their own, and then took their pick from among the many labels that courted them as a result ("Arizona Squeeze," Christopher O'Connor, January 16)? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the band earned their success themselves, and no label honcho could brag that he "made" them? I think the popular success of Jimmy Eat World goes a long way toward showing that the standard music industry way of doing things may not be the best way. (What a surprise!)
Perhaps the industry doesn't like that type of success story.
Border patrol: After reading "Ladmo's Bark" (Susy Buchanan, January 16) ("Barf" is more apt), I must say that "Joe" is your typical hero wanna-be, hiding like a roach while talking like a warrior. He says he won't reveal his identity because others would attack the messenger, not the message. But then he turns and attacks the message of those of us who are manning the border to try to prevent the criminal acts being perpetrated upon our neighbors on a daily basis.
Theft, assault, rape, kidnap and murder are common occurrences along the border with Mexico, and we are "morons" because we don't turn a blind eye and ignore it? "Joe" has a rather skewed version of fact. Or perhaps he chooses to ignore them.
His reluctance to "come out" in the open is more likely a fear of being confronted by truth than an issue of protecting his family. He tries to make himself appear macho when in fact he is a coward. Liar would probably fit his character as well. He really has nothing to fear except exposure as a con man.
I will tell you who I am. I won't hide. I am one of the "morons" from whom "Joe" is hiding. In truth all "Joe" has to fear from me and others in our group is the light we will shine on his cowardice.
Northern Arizona Coordinator
for Ranch Rescue
Badu to the bone: I am writing in response to your article about the arrival of Erykah Badu into Phoenix ("Rollin'," Christopher O'Connor, January 16). We were lucky to have her grace our city and I was disgusted to read such a muddy review of her, her fellow musicians and her music. Have you ever really experienced a concert of Ms. Badu's? Probably not, because if you had, you would know that her stage performances are brilliant. The rare moments I have been lucky enough to see her she lights up the room with sultry notes, improv, DJing and keyboard playing, and pays homage to old-school rap artists with a twist of her very own. She speaks with her heart in a nonthreatening manner and excites the crowd, because she cares. I have been to many concerts and would put her in the top five of the 35 or so of my concert experiences.
Oh, and to speak negatively about Common, Jill Scott, and D'Angelo? That's just wrong, and I highly advise you to pick up Like Water for Chocolate, Mama's Gun, and Jill Scott's debut album, which is wonderful. As you write about musical artists, try to learn a bit about music before you criticize such rare and unique musicians.
By the way, did you even know that Cody Chestnut was at the concert? You didn't mention him, which in my opinion shouldn't have been overlooked in your article.