By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
I just wanted to thank you for the incredible article on Jeff Tweedy and Wilco. It was among the best stories I've ever had the pleasure of reading, one that talks about the album in its own terms, and not in the terms of pop culture (if that's not an oxymoron). The album is truly brilliant--wholly and completely perfection in recording and writing. Thank you for recognizing that.
The big Question is...
If Robert Wilonsky cannot understand the appeal of ? and the Mysterians and believes them to be no more than a one-hit wonder cashing in on long-gone fame ["Why, baby, why," March 18], he has no business being a music writer at the Dallas Observer (or anywhere else, for that matter). If he had bothered to listen to any of their classic tracks like "8-Teen," "Midnight Hour," and "I Need Somebody" (which also cracked the Top 40, relieving them of the one-hit wonder status he chooses to burden them with), Robert would know why the band is held in such high esteem by old and new fans alike.
Their music has as much spirit and energy (and that's plenty more than most bands, past and present) today as they ever did. Would bands like the Turtles and their ilk share the stage with high-octane bands like the Mullens and Gaza Strippers? Of course they wouldn't, because unlike ? and the Mysterians, those groups lost any shred of vitality they might have once had. And "96 Tears" is not just any hit record--it is indisputably one of the greatest singles of all time!
? and the Mysterians were and are a real band writing songs and playing gigs at clubs and halls all across the U.S.A., not just a bunch of schmucks who got lucky and recorded a No. 1 hit. They were, are, and always will be considered greats by anyone who truly loves rock-and-roll music. To sum up, if Robert can't be moved by the music of ? And the Mysterians, he should either remove whatever it is he's got stuck up his ass or give up writing about music that really moves people, because he obviously doesn't understand what it's all about.
Wilonsky responds: Tim, if you actually read the article, what part of "thrilling little reminder of what rock and roll used to be and can still allow" didn't you understand?
Breaking the rules
I just read your "Rules of rock" [March 11], and I thought it was one of the funniest things I've ever read about being in a band. I would know, 'cause I am in one. The comment about the bassist scared me a little, considering we are on our second. Anyway, I thought it was great.
I found that my band only adhered to six of those rules. Hopefully you guys won't like our CD.
And now, a little perspective...
I have been a fan of the Dallas Observer for many years now. Thank God that somebody out there keeps an eye on the money-grubbing, soulless scum that continuously try to play the citizens of this city for a bunch of chumps. I suppose what blows me away is the amount of time and energy your readers spend defending the honor of their favorite band every time Robert Wilonsky expresses his opinions.
We all know he doesn't like anybody who has a decent following, and probably only wishes he had a 10th of their talent. But there are people out there trying to overdevelop every last square inch of what is left of the area's natural landscape and resources with taxpayers' money, as if we need more restaurants and shopping malls. When these selfish liars tear down all the trees in their way to put in more parking lots, who is going to care whether Mr. Wilonsky likes Pearl Jam or not?
When nobody wants to send their kids to schools within the Dallas Independent School District because it is the laughingstock of the country, should everyone be so concerned that Mr. Wilonsky said "mean" things about Pat Green? Five or more letters were published about this last week, when special-interest groups (that is, people with already too much money, who want yours at any cost) are ready to turn the Trinity River into a "Barnes-n-Starbucks" shopping and eating extravaganza! If anyone wants to really help the Trinity, they'd clean it up and leave it alone.