Commentary

Letters

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Michael Roberts's articles always have a ring of truth to them. Ninety percent of Americans never have taken or ever will take an honest look at themselves or deal with truth. Honesty and truth have never been paramount in America's philosophy. We Americans continue to perpetuate this with emotional retorts when someone else's opinion differs from our own.

Robert S. Guzman
Denver

Thank Michael Roberts for his article "Breaking Up Is Easy to Do." Some saw it as negative--it wasn't. The Denver scene isn't dead, it's getting organized. There's Alan Roth's New Talent Showcase on Wednesdays at Herman's (don't miss it) or Cricket on the Hill's Battle of the Bands on Tuesday nights, when there's a list of bands on the wall I've never even heard of.

The bands Roberts spoke of all had individual circumstances. Only the bandmembers themselves know why it didn't work. Nobody's crying, and new music is being born. Let's see a follow-up article titled "Proposed Solutions." Producers, where are you? Bands need your help getting punchy recordings. Most don't know how, and the radio-program directors can't play poor production. Studios, give away your downtime for producers; I know most of you have many unused hours per week. Work out percentages, everybody wins, use the overnights. Bar owners, start rockin' the house; push local music but raise the standard, guarantee your public, be patient. Bands, demand more money by kickin' it harder, in business and on stage. Let's get this thing rolling.

And stop snivelin'--this isn't just the Super Bowl town.
David Fox
Denver

I enjoyed Michael Roberts's article on the demise of bands in Denver but am troubled by the attitude that the music scene in Denver sucks. I've been an observer of the local live, original music scene since the mid-1980s, and I've seen plenty of bands come and go. Right now, though, we have the strongest, most talented scene ever. Sure, we're not L.A., New York, Chicago, Seattle or Atlanta--we're a smaller city, so we have a smaller music scene. You want more? Move!

For perspective, let me remind everyone of what this town was like during the late Eighties: Most bands or musicians who thought they were talented or could draw 300 people to a gig moved away. Making a living is tough in this region, so they went to L.A., New York and Chicago. Most were never heard from again, broke up, and/or came back with their tails between their legs, more appreciative of what Denver has to offer. Drastically fewer clubs were willing to book live music. If you wanted live music, you had to hunt for it.

Today we have tons of bars and clubs all booking live music and ample talented musicians to draw the music-appreciative crowds. So what if a few bands broke up? Look at those that haven't (yet), are not moving away, and still have a reasonable shot at those elusive recording contracts. Stop all the whining about how the local scene sucks and do something about it. Turn off that crap on the radio, stop wasting your money in the dance clubs, and listen to some live music. If bands can make a living off the likes of Westword readers, it will only serve to attract more talent and maybe even get those lazy record-company execs off their fat asses to sign some more Denver acts.

David Barber
via the Internet

I am in my fifth year of publishing a local music magazine called Euphony. I agree that Denver and its environs are basically very non-supportive of local music. Westword is more guilty than most. Michael Roberts totally ignores the existence of dozens of good bands because they aren't his style. When he writes, it is mostly to criticize. I find it interesting that you published such a story when you are part of the problem, with your narrow outlook on local music and Roberts's totally mistaken ideas of what bands are worthy in this town!

Bonita Berger
Denver

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