A few weeks ago, I received a letter from a reader. "I think you have a great spark," it began. (Or was it, "Shut yer pie hole, you stinking hack"? I get them all confused.) "And I would love to see you write about the Democratic Party candidates for 2004." It raised some questions. First of all, what Democratic Party candidates? Second, why don't we talk about politics more in the music section? Oh, wait, I forgot--it's boring. But seriously, our fate is tied up in the success or failure of one of these men to oust ol' Dubya, and we need to be vigilant. Kind of like when a really bad song is No. 1 for, like, ages, and you get all your friends to call the radio station a zillion times to vote for a different song. Or like when you stuff the ballot box for the Dallas Observer's "Best Of" issue. See, you can make a difference. Music is political, after all. So, just for you, I've made politics into something musical. It's a whole new funky government.
Claim to fame: the most downloaded single of last year
Hit single: protest anthem "War (What Is It Good For?)"
Bottom line: A good beat. But can we dance to it?
Genre: heavy metal
Claim to fame: former front man for The Generals, known for their sonic explosions and stealthy guitar attacks
Hit singles: "Wrong War, Wrong Time," "Luck Be a Lefty"
Bottom line: He's got brains and know-how, but his solo career's been a bit of a stumble.
Genre: freedom rock
Claim to fame: long, wanking guitar solos--technically precise, but is anyone listening?
Hit single: "Remember the Time (I Served in Vietnam)"
Bottom line: The '70s are over. What do you have for us now?
Genre: campfire acoustic
Claim to fame: umm, none
Hit single: "Thank God for My Willie"
Bottom line: Duuude, this bowl is caaashed.
Genre: Wait a minute. Who is this person?
Claim to fame: Seriously, is this guy running?
Hit single: I swear to you, I've never heard of him.
Bottom line: Not sure whom this reflects on.
Claim to fame: hardest-working man in showbiz, mouthy mofo
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Hit singles: "Funky President," "Out of Sight! Out of (My) Mind!"
Bottom line: Ain't got a prayer, but hey, it makes for a better party!
Department of corrections: In last week's story on the Suicide Girls, we (as in, "I") listed the venue as Rubber Gloves. The Suicide Girls perform at Hailey's. Our apologies to both venues and the performers. In last week's column, we (again, me) mentioned that the pAper chAse would be included on an upcoming Kill Rock Stars compilation. Soon after, we received an e-mail from band member Sean Kirkpatrick pointing out that, sure, that's cool and all, but it's not nearly as cool as the band getting signed by the freaking label. The Seattle-based label, home to Hella and The Decemberists, will put out the full-length God Bless Your Beautiful Black Heart in late spring, which means this summer. For now, the band has released What Big Teeth You Have, a chilling three-song EP on Southern Records for those of us who like our music mixed with our nightmares. And so, while we're on the subject of our mistakes (or, you could say, "my mistakes"), let's return to the Spoonfed Tribe. The band, whose New Year's Eve show collapsed into mayhem, held a news conference last week to release videotape footage of the incident and refute comments made by Lieutenant Vince Golbeck in this column ("I'm sure there was plenty of warning," he said). "Without instruction, direction or warning, four officers began pepper spraying the crowd," claimed the statement, read by the band's booking agent Greg Brown. "There was, without question, no justification for any of the DRUM participants to have been pepper sprayed. The officers were not provoked or attacked." The footage, which played on local news channels, was somewhat inconclusive; cameras are focused on the drum line (not the police) during the alleged "surprise" spraying, but the whole thing looks like a mess, if you ask me. Brown and several others have filed complaints with the Internal Affairs Division. But what of our mistake, you ask? Oh, yes. We (that's me!) ran the wrong picture of Spoonfed Tribe with that report. The band featured was Spoonfed, one of the member's high school bands, not Spoonfed Tribe. How embarrassing, huh? Well, we all agreed it was a cool picture. And that I need some sleep.