Julia Cabrera

Or Deep Ellum diversity
I would like to take a moment to clarify a point that was made (repeatedly) in the article "The g word." Deep Ellum does not have a problem with Hispanic men. Nor does it have a problem with gangs. Deep Ellum has had some problems with cruising. This refers to people of both genders and all races who are not old enough to get into most of the bars and clubs down here. They therefore resort to cruising as a way to socialize. The unfortunate side effect is that the people who otherwise can get into the bars and clubs are having difficulty because they get mired in traffic. The barricades and additional police are doing a fine job of resolving this difficulty.

In addition, Deep Ellum does not cater exclusively to "white people with large disposable incomes." Most Dallasites are aware that, in fact, Deep Ellum is one of the last bastions of diversity, where all are welcome. We have something for everyone, regardless of race, religion, creed, sexual preference, personal taste, and income level. How can a weekly Dallas-based publication not be aware of that?

Amy Vercruysse

Seven for Ben Folds Five
I just have to say, What the hell? The writer of your article on Ben Folds Five is certainly entitled to his opinion, but it is very inaccurate [Music listings, May 14]. What makes BFF so special is the fact that they take really boring, run-of-the-mill happenings in day-to-day life and make a song about them. This proves that they are more real than the so-called "deep" musicians who try so hard to be deep that it is they who are actually the poseurs.

I am highly offended that your writer would consider "Brick" to be the best song. And why? Simply because of the fact that it is based on a controversial issue? What makes a song about abortion better than one about a domestic dispute ending in death? Who are we as people to judge the importance of individual acts committed in this world? BFF has given us a window from which to look. It is not a window with a "great view," but it is the view you will see when you look out of any ignored window.

BFF are not the pseudo-musicians that you make them out to be. They realize that their songs may not be particularly literary or metaphorical at first. But if you think about their music as a whole entity, they are actually exposing the ignored, seemingly mundane aspects of human existence, which we all need to be aware of.

Via e-mail

Keith Moerer is no critic. For some reason, he seems biased against Ben Folds Five. The majority of their songs are not meant to be taken seriously. They, unlike a certain Mr. Moerer, have a sense of humor and are very talented. Ben Folds Five is a critically acclaimed band and are well deserving of that acclaim.

John A.
Via e-mail

I can't believe that you even have a job. How do you sleep at night knowing that you have just published lies and rumors about one the best bands of the decade? I wanted to spit after I read that "review" of Whatever and Ever Amen. You were so off the mark. Ben Folds Five music is anything but petty. They sing about life as it is and as they know it. I am truly sorry for you that your life is perfect. If you were to wake up, step back, and look at the album again, you might change your tune. I would hope so anyway. The band is doing a great thing, and I appreciate them for it.

Dave Tillotson
Via e-mail

What is the deal with people writing about something they seem to know nothing about? Keith Moerer states in the article how shallow Ben Folds' inspirations for his songs are--what the hell is that? Bands like Nirvana wrote songs about certain episodes of a television show, and shallow is a term I seldom hear for them. And what is this magical "novelty" that you speak of that Ben Folds Five lacks using a piano? What's novel about two guitars, a bass, and some drums? I mean, it was novel in the '50s when Buddy Holly did it.

Folds' lyrics aren't as sharp either: "'One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces' is about a short kid who becomes a powerful man taunting those who bullied him..." This just makes no sense at all. You seem to know what the song is about, but then somehow you don't understand that it is just a simple wish. It's not complicated or as intriguing as I'm sure your thoughts are with your vast knowledge of what is up to your standard for mental stimulation, but if you say that you have never thought similar thoughts as Ben Folds talks about in "One Angry Dwarf and 200 Solemn Faces," I bet that you'd be lying.

Andy Czerlinsky.
Via e-mail

Was Keith's piece supposed to be a review of the recent Ben Folds Five show? It seemed more like a feature and a review of the album Whatever and Ever Amen, which he could have done months ago. I'd be curious to see what he thought of the show itself.

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