By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Dallas' last drive-in
Richard Peterson is to be commended for his devotion to saving the Astro ["Don Quixote of the drive-in," November 5]. I attended opening night of the Gemini twin on Central, and was very disappointed that we didn't get to have a send-off party for the grand old gal. I live in Oak Cliff, but I have to admit that I haven't been to the Astro in a few years. Richard, I apologize.
In regard to Mark Donald's article "Amazon.com" [October 29]: Thank you so much for being a part of our weekend party in the Dallas area. As a member of the Very Very Tall Women's room on AOL for some two years and a 6-foot-tall female since the age of 14, I have to say that I appreciate your bringing the issue of height to the general public.
I realize that our height isn't some earth-shattering issue, but it is something that we have lived with most of our lives--the hardships of finding clothes to fit, cars with enough leg room, airline seats that don't leave us with leg and hip cramps, kitchen counters at a height that don't give us backaches--the things most of us take for granted in life. They do make a difference to a tall person. In many ways, tall people have been discriminated against in these matters.
We honestly do not think we are "better" than anyone else, but we do definitely think we are lucky to be tall. And we are very proud of it.
On the Saturday night of our Dallas party, after dinner, our group went to Cowboys for dancing. It was amazing to see the people there watching our group of very tall people. The look on many faces was pure amazement. Funny thing is, I always thought there were tall people in Texas...where were they hiding?
Thank you again for the wonderful article. We have passed it on to all our e-mail buddies and have enjoyed all the comments we have gotten from it. And Mark, I'm still not convinced you are that close to 6 feet tall. LOL. (For those of you not on-line, that's laughing out loud.)
Observer on the air
The Real Audio just finished playing, and I wanted to comment. First of all, I would like to say that I am such a fan of Mr. Robert Wilonsky's work. You have impeccable taste in music, and for that I applaud you. Both the intro and outro to your show were wonderful.
This is a brilliant idea to showcase the musical talent that Dallas holds in esteem, such as Mr. Peter Schmidt and the brothers Kadane. I very much enjoyed the hour, and it even brought back fond memories of old (yes, I'm gonna say it)--Adventure Clubs when Keven McAlester was still in town and co-hosting the show. I look forward to hearing more of these, and I just wanted to thank you for this bit of Dallas on the Internet.
Editor's note: Dallas Observer music critics Robert Wilonsky and Zac Crain may be heard every Tuesday at 4 p.m. at www.dallasobserver.com.
Damning the fans
I can't stand Vanilla Ice ["Korn holed," October 22] or Korn any more than Robert Wilonsky can. Therefore, I'm shocked to find myself defending their fans. Wilonsky's latest piece on Vanilla Ice, while it acutely defines and pinpoints the idiocy of Robbie Van Winkle's music, also demeans his fans.
The problem seems to be this: Wilonsky can't separate the music from the music listener. Instead of just vilifying Korn (which I think is an admirable idea), he also feels the necessity to pigeonhole the band's fans as "white schmucks on dope." I can easily trace this absurd tendency in some of the Observer's other recent music pieces: Phish fans become dated hippie stereotypes in his eyes, of the same camp as Blues Traveler and Dave Matthews Band followers; Jimmy Buffett fans are reduced to "white racists."
I love Phish--does that make me a pot-addicted hippie? But I also love R.E.M.--am I now an art-school geek who wears black? I adore De La Soul--does that make me a laid-back hip-hop head? No, no, and, of course, no--each group's music and identity contradict the others'. A listener like me, who genuinely likes all three, thus has conflicting impulses...as does human nature.
By Wilonsky's analysis, however, the music listener's preferences fully shape the fan. He denigrates Korn's fan base, which doesn't add to the Vanilla Ice article at all. Instead, it showcases his ability to be just as immature and frivolous as the baggy-jeans-wearing white male teenagers he rails against.
Robert, please, stick to the music and its influence--that's what you're best at writing about. I will forever remember the term "Adidas Rock" as applied to "musicians" like Korn and 311--it's so dead-on that I laughed out loud when I read it. However, I'll forget the insipid grade-school name-calling and personal insults...just like I did in high school.
You pretty much hit the nail on the head with old Robbie boy, but why are you using this article as a way to cheap-shot great bands like the Deftones or Korn? I don't like Van Winkle either, but I do like Korn and the Deftones. To call it "er, music" is stupid. It's great to those of us that like it. All I'm saying is, feel free to bash a loser like Vanilla Van Liar, but leave established, well-known victors like Korn alone.
On being Zac Crain
Grow up, get real, and take the chip off your shoulder. Do you ever really listen to the albums you get to review, or do you just take out all your personal frustrations (of which you obviously have many) on the bands?
I have been reviewing local bands for the past three years, and sometimes if the style is not what you like, you have to look beyond your personal tastes and take into consideration the band's talent. You unnecessarily slammed Chet Arthur [Out Here, October 22] just because you don't like rock. They are one of the most talented and hard-working bands in the metroplex. Just because they aren't alternasuck, you have to say this shit? You have proved many times through your reviews that you don't like rock, so why do you keep reviewing it? You and Wilonsky need serious therapy or something. Maybe an ear transplant?
I do know that it must suck to be you.
This is Calvin, lead guitarist from Chet Arthur, writing you to show my appreciation for your taking the time to listen and review our CD. I put a lot of pride and hard work into that piece of my life, and the review you gave it helped me see that it is exactly what I wanted it to be. It's nothing new and outrageous and probably would not be greeted with open arms by any Ugly Mustard or Nirvana fan, but that market is not the sea I am fishing in.
Anyway, thanks for actually listening to a heavy metal album and printing your honest thoughts. One last thing, "Silver Spoons" and "Crazy Train," I don't see the similarities in the introductions; maybe you could show me so that I may give Rhoads credit for his influence on me.
I have been a reader of the Observer for years, and the review of the Chet Arthur CD has for the first time made me want to re-think why! I mean, does this man have a personal problem with the band? Damn, it was brutal for no reason. If he doesn't like the music, Seattle is 2,200 miles northwest of here--haul ass! They can always use another Grunge critic.
Have you ever cruised the local club scene and paid your good money to listen to one of these great local bands? I guess I can say that I'm proud that I'm a Chet Arthur fan, because they are one of the many bands that play not for the money or the recognition, but for the absolute love of the music and their fans.
There are a lot of very bad bands out there; Chet Arthur is not one of them. They deserve an honest review, not one by a dipshit that has some kind of personal problem with the band. It was an insult to the fans of rock music in general. I am very insulted in the personal attack on the band and Tuzy the singer in particular. I love the Observer and will continue to read it, unless I come across a review like the Chet Arthur one, and then hey, I'll have toilet paper for a month or so.
If it happens again, I'll send Ozzy over there to bite the head off your...bat.
Good grief--lighten up a little. Your food critic sounds like someone that couldn't be pleased even if you kissed his ass! I know for a fact that Trulucks ["Clawing for success," September 3] is an up-and-coming restaurant that has some very good seafood. But this guy has to go degrade it. Obviously he doesn't have enough class to recognize a real restaurant. Thank God that most of Dallas doesn't read your poor excuse for a restaurant review, otherwise some really great restaurants would be out of business.
Take a chill pill.