As you like it: This is my response to Dave Herrera's response to all the stink about DJs at the Westword Music Showcase (The Beatdown, July 14).
I don't discount the point made that what DJs (all of them) do requires a high degree of skill and focus, at least, and at most, imagination, creativity, passion, vision, a cool outfit and all the other tangibles and intangibles deemed integral to viable artistry of any kind (or a good sales presentation, for that matter). God, that was a long sentence!
I do find it chilling, from my own perspective as a writer, to observe that in these times we find it increasingly normal and acceptable to have our cultural and (arguably) personal likes and dislikes dictated by someone else ("the tastemakers," as Sean Choi put it). It's as if we don't even have the energy to decide for ourselves what we like now. Weird! It feels a little Orwellian to me, and I don't even read much.
That's probably what my friends are yapping about when they accuse me of being "old school." Eh! I'm not crazy about TV, either; I only watch it when I'm ill.
Good luck with the next twelve pounds of correspondence you will hopefully receive on this topic.
In hot water: Somebody at Westword sure seems to have their pulse on what's hot when it comes to music. The band you featured on the July 14 cover, Born in the Flood, is just that -- very hot!
Last Friday at the hi-dive, where Born in the Flood was celebrating the release of its new, six-song CD, I experienced something very special: a live concert that hasn't made me feel the love I have for live shows since seeing U2 at Red Rocks in the early '80s. Taking that powerful show in was like an out-of-body experience. Absolutely riveting.
Experiences like this are probably the biggest reason it's so hard for me to move back to Hawaii. The quality of life here is like paradise, when you keep finding bands like this in our own back yard. I may have missed getting to see U2 when they were playing little dive bars in Dublin back when they were just starting out, but getting to see a band like this at the hi-dive kind of makes up for that.
Everybody into the pool: Born in the Flood rocks! This band works hard and is the best I have heard in the Denver area for a long time. They have gotten a lot of notice in Denver and across the country. Go see them while you can, because this band is headed for the big time!
Collect call: I have been waiting for a good, clear article in the press about the end of Ma Bell, and you delivered with Alan Prendergast's "Waltz of the Cannibals." I am saving the July 21 issue of Westword.
I started at Mountain Bell out of college, when Robert Timothy was there. Alan's remark about him being at the last stockholder meeting was poignant. Thank you.
The hard cell: The industry changed less in the first 120 years after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone than it has in the last decade. Alan Prendergast's story was a masterful summing up of a sad situation.
Disconnected: "Waltz of the Cannibals" was a very well-written article. But in this sentence -- "A second wireless effort became a joint venture with Pacific Telesis" -- Alan had the pieces right, but didn't make the connection. NewVector was contributed to a joint venture with AirTouch (which had been PacTel's wireless arm before it was spun off). Ultimately, US West Media Group shareholders received AirTouch shares in exchange for their interest in the joint venture that had been NewVector. Thus, the joint venture was not a second wireless effort; to put it in your terms, NewVector became a JV with PacTel.
There was a second wireless effort called US West Wireless, which became Qwest Wireless, in which the customers were ported to Sprint, and the spectrum and towers were sold to Verizon last year. This effort was not competitive, because its higher-frequency spectrum was not well-suited to the low-population density of US West/Qwest's western markets. However, this venture had no operational connection/relationship to either NewVector or the JV.
Again, a small nit in what was otherwise a fine piece.