Face the Music
What about Bob? It always amazes me when someone picks a job he hates. Take, for example, your music editor, Bob Mehr. Funny how he works for you, but he seems to hate every minute of it. This is very apparent in his article "Had a Nice Day" (May 4) about the New Times Music Showcase held on April 30. New Times put on this fest and all he can do is complain about having to go and review it.
In the past, New Times has always had great music editors who never complained about "fried food and watered-down beer." I don't want to read about Mehr's personal bitterness. I want to read about the bands. That is what I thought Mehr's job was about. But what we are faced with each week is Bob bitching about how he is above covering the Valley's music scene.
I feel that Bob Mehr is an utter disgrace to New Times and does a disservice to local music. Bob, I will be the first to buy you a bus ticket to the city of your choice. Why not write for TV Guide, seeing that television seems to be the one thing that you may actually have a passion for? Or is that just the voyeur in you?
The trite stuff: The problem with the Phoenix (and Arizona) music scene is that it is stagnating on "been-there, done-that" musical styles. Perhaps this can be attributed to the state's conservative nature. When people don't go out regularly in large numbers to explore new music, diversity suffers.
New Times attempts to address this problem through its Music Showcase. But walking around the showcase, I could not help but feel that we are still caught in this conservative Arizona trap. Most of the music being played just seemed to long for the semi-heyday of the "Tempe Sound," instead of looking for a new expression. The bands did not seem any different from last year -- as if the same group of friends got together for the same old party. Worst of all, with the exception of some DJs, solo artists were summarily ignored.
Lisa Marmur crammed her huge voice into the little Starbucks on Fifth Avenue, and it spilled out all over the intersection, causing a curious fishbowl effect around the coffee house. Her effort to crash the festival seemed to draw attention to the showcase's almost superficial attempt at musical diversity.
Like Arizona itself, the showcase seemed to err on the side of caution and tradition.
History lesson: Thank you for your outstanding article on the history of a great man, Adam Diaz, as well as the story of our city's colorful past ("The Lore of the Luhrs," Paul Rubin, May 4).
Lisa Irwin, director
Phoenix Historic Neighborhood Coalition
Dim Flash: Regarding your Flashes item of May 11: The Flash had better contact his lawyer. In addition to forcible rape, there is statutory rape. This is generally consensual sex between a minor and an adult. Even though the minor may consent, the law considers this as rape.
Vigilance on BFA: Thank you so much for your continuing coverage of the BFA scandal ("Spike Girls," Terry Greene Sterling, May 11). I have no doubt that there would be much more national press on this if there was an angle that involved sex, or a photogenic child. Instead, we have thousands of elderly men and women who have lost their life savings. Your articles have been very informative and a great help to understanding what happened, and what is still happening with BFA and the thousands of people, including my father, who lost so much. Once again, thank you, and keep up the good work!
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Where do I sign? Thank you, New Times, for reminding readers that "Power to the People" is not just a snappy slogan ("Autograph Hound," Amy Silverman, April 13). With Arizona's so-called political leaders waffling on mental health care reform and other major issues, we need Derrick Lee's petition pushers more than ever.