By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
Uncovered: Regarding Rocky Presley's letter (Letters, April 6) about Dada and the "death" of the Dallas music scene. While I applaud Mr. Presley's passion, I'd like to say a few things.
Mr. Presley's claims that "...Dada will continue on, but it is dreadful that it is opening for the purpose of cover material" is a little uninformed. Have you seen their calendar? Correct me if I'm wrong, but Sorta, Airline, The Jones Thing, The Transcenders, Rahim Quazi, My Heart Is a Machine, etc. are not cover bands. Also, as someone who booked bands for the bar I used to work at a hundred years ago, I quickly learned that I should book a great cover band every now and then on a weeknight. It was great for sales and guaranteed a good turnout.
He goes on to say that "...the artists 'trying to make it' can't make it if clubs are unwilling to promote them." I bust my ass to promote and manage a local band, and I can speak with a great deal of experience that every single Deep Ellum venue I've contacted recently for booking has not only been extraordinarily accommodating and helpful, they have been absolutely thrilled to support new music. I can only hope that when Mr. Presley speaks of promotion, he surely isn't expecting a venue to do a band's dirty work outside of a little advertising? And Mr. Presley, where are the links to local bands and venues on your Web site?
Isn't it time to stop placing sole responsibility on the venues? Maybe I come from a different school of thought, but I thought that it was the responsibility of the band or artist to self-promote, book their gigs and reach out to the venues they wish to play. We certainly can't expect Deep Ellum venue owners/booking folks to spend all day on MySpace or TexasGigs.com looking for local bands to woo. Shouldn't venue owners have the right to expect Dallas bands to devote more time to promoting themselves and less time waiting for their phones to ring?
Mr. Presley, you yourself are starting a new venture with Ellum:ONSTAGE, just as Bob Cummins has with Dada. When your new venture has been up and running for only two weeks, then maybe you can speak with a little more experience and a whole lot less finger-pointing. If you want things to change, maybe you should express your concerns with Mr. Cummins, or any other venue owner you have a problem with, a little less passive-aggressively and not use the Dallas Observer as your microphone.
C'mon Mr. Presley, don't be a stick in the mud, admit it. Every now and then it's fun to drink really cold Shiner and drunkenly sing along to a great cover band.
Editor's note: In Presley's letter last week, he wrote that Club Dada owner Bob Cummins had monopolized the conversation at a recent meeting of business owners in Deep Ellum. Presley has since told us he was mistaken. Cummins wasn't at the microphone or the meeting. We regret the error.
Darci who?: I'm absolutely dumbfounded with what Darci Ratliff (who is she anyway?) had to say about the upcoming Dark Star concert (Night & Day, April 6). It's obvious that she knows nothing about quality music or musicians, and what she does have to say is worthless drivel. I can't believe that as editor you would let her insult the band, one of your venue sponsors and the jam band music scene in general when there are so many people working to bring good bands to our area. As the editor, how can you approve printing articles about such good musicians that say "this band sucks," songs of the Grateful Dead are "unlistenable" and that DSO fans are "database robots with shitty taste in music"? I take personal offense at being described this way. Ms. Ratliff has no idea what kind of people we truly are. Do you not edit the articles you review in an attempt to get people to actually come to shows that you list?
Comes a Flood
Comes a Flood
Us, not far enough?: Dear Mr. Schutze: Your article ("Devil Creek," March 30) was terrific but didn't go far enough. I moved to Texas 10 years ago, but after the first year could not understand the state's water shortages. Research indicated that Texas gets an average annual rainfall of 34 inches. That's an enormous amount of water. But add to that the water that collects in pools on the ground after heavy rainfalls, the streams of water flowing back out of "storm sewers" in residential communities and along highways, and the flash floods that wreak havoc across the land each year, and you would think that a state with so much water would do something to collect it. You would think that building and highway contractors would be required to install working storm sewers flowing into integrated water collection centers capable of redistributing water to areas of need throughout the state. Of course, the cultural shock of living in the state rapidly leads one to conclude there is no accumulated knowledge here; that people prefer the will of God for sinkholes over the power of the mind for solutions. One part of the problem is inadequate, incompetent and corrupt enforcement of building codes and land development plans. Another is media complicity in conveniently forgetting that "Why?" is a part of every story. Another is simple ignorance in neglecting all the federal money that has been available over the years for the construction of municipal storm sewers. It's a wonderful story, and I hope you will someday get to all of it. I'd do it myself if I weren't so old.