Regarding the "Buzz" last week about NAACP [leader] Lee Alcorn: Your suggestion that Lee Alcorn "staged" his "painful-to-watch" appearance at the City Council meeting on April 22 was not paranoid but absurd and mean-spirited, and reflects laziness on the part of your staff.
First, having watched his speech, as well as his interchange with the mayor and Larry Duncan, he was the one who remained calm throughout the shouting match. (It was Roy Williams who was raising his voice in the background) No, Lee Alcorn did not provoke the mayor, he did not try to out-shout Mr. Duncan, but he did keep on speaking, and in the end, he made his point. Was it unusual for him to calmly ask Mayor Kirk for more time to speak? Maybe so.
If anyone on your staff tried to answer this not so interesting question in a real way, they would have found that Lee Alcorn's sister had died that very day. Since when did you "offer any facts" to support your views? What exactly are your views? And that photograph...it looks like it came from a 1978 David Duke flyer. What was it supposed to say to us? Perhaps it is to your credit that this column lacks a clue as to its own agenda. With friends like you, who needs enemies?
Your remarks on the Trinity River project are confusing to me. [Buzz, April 30] I was in Dallas just before the election and had an opportunity to hear first-hand some of the complaints of the Cadillac Heights Community--lead poisoning, etc. And I believe you do a terrible injustice to center your news items on the personalities rather than the citizens of the area's real problems.
My daughter is a graduating senior at Bryan Adams High School. Everything Julie Lyons says about Bryan Adams' computer labs (and DISD's computer programs for the district students) in her article is right on target. ["Life in the Slow Lane," April 30]
During the fall semester, she learned Framework 3 in her required computer class. Has anyone ever heard of Framework 3 before? From her description, it sounds like an Ashton-Tate creation. Anybody besides me been around PCs long enough to remember those programs? Knowing Framework 3 is really going to help her in her future life!
This semester her class learned Lotus 1-2-3. For DOS. At least they're learning something about spreadsheets! Fortunately, she doesn't have to depend on her school to teach her how to use a computer. Her mommy can do that quite nicely, thank you.
I've maintained for years that our children don't get the education we pay for. Good thing. Otherwise we'd have illiterate children. It's obscene that our culture thinks nothing of paying a pro athlete millions upon millions of dollars, but we balk, scream, kick, and throw temper tantrums if anyone suggests we pay teachers competitive (with industry) wages, or provide our schools with up-to-date equipment.
Jo Francis Byrd
I am writing in regard to your issue concerning your nominees for Best Blues Band in the metroplex, particularly the "blurb" on Hash Brown [1998 Dallas Observer Music Awards issue, April 30]. I would like to list a couple of suggestions for Jimmy Fowler before he attempts to write another article on musicians in this town:
1. You may want to actually go to see the talent that you are giving a review on before attempting to give your personal opinion on them. Better yet, do not even give your personal opinion, base it on the facts.
2. Research topics such as history, contributions, influences, accomplishments, and so on.
Not to sound cynical, but why would a magazine nominate an individual then completely deface them in a review section of the paper? Didn't your organization pick these nominees? It is not only his "blurb" that was so contradictory; others got the wrong end of the stick too. Just to make a point about Hash Brown...Dallas Blues would not be what it is today if he had not moved here and worked his butt off. Whether it be his consistent jams or his regular gigs, the man has paid his dues.
More music cacophony
Maybe you haven't noticed, but there aren't a lot of icons or culture left. I respect anybody who still has the guts to stand up and perform to an angry, bored, and jaded culture. I won't admit to being a huge Missing Persons fan, but it's articles like yours that make people want to turn off to mainstream media and go underground. By the way, stay the hell away from there too. We want you to build Dallas up, not tear down those that come here to entertain. You journalists have certainly done your part this decade in taking some fun out of life.
The crap I read in your overview of the nominated groups in the last issue nearly made me laugh--and explode. How can anyone write the b.s about Andy [Timmons] that was written? Is there an editor at your paper? Timmons is one of the most incredible guitarists in the world, let alone Dallas, and just going by your review, I wouldn't even bother to see the band. Besides, he has always come across as down-to-earth and real. Has the reviewer ever really gone to the Blue Cat and watched Timmons? If so, you need another columnist.
Regarding the results of your little music awards, they are totally off-base. The Toadies have not had an album in four years, yet they win best overall. Plus, if One Ton is the best label, then the Dallas music scene is in a lot of trouble. All the bands on One Ton are so pathetic, they should be barred from playing anywhere on the planet. Those out there who voted for Slow Roosevelt must have been smoking some serious shit. Hey, Peter Thomas, God hates you, he told me. No band from that label deserves any recognition. Not even Doosu, who without Casey Hess' heart problem should be in the gutter with the rest of the One Ton label. And finally, Caulk. A band, if you can call it that, so untalented, the lead vocalist, Aden [Holt], had to form his own label to get signed. So for all you One Ton fans out there, just because you voted, that does not make your bands great.
I have quite a problem with Mr. [Scott Kelton] Jones' review of the Best Local Radio Program. Not for one minute do I agree with anything said within the article, and I wonder if Mr. Jones even listened to any of the programs he was reviewing.
How else could he know so little about a wonderful program? You are not giving the Adventure Club the credit it so deserves. The only time I even turn my radio on is for the three hours of brilliance known as the Adventure Club.
Not only does the Adventure Club give the audience something totally different to look forward to, it's a guarantee that you won't hear the same worn-out songs that are far too over-played. Not every listener in DFW wants to hear what is so commonly termed "popular" by some faceless radio director. That's what daytime radio is for; people who can only enjoy a song if they hear it 10 times a day and know the words by heart. Josh keeps radio interesting, fun, and most of all, enjoyable. These other shows may have a decent program, but let's face it, the Adventure Club was here long before their shows emerged. The Edge has paved the way and set a standard in local show "how to" that is not only recognized locally, but nationally as well. Josh and the Adventure Club have many loyal listeners and true fans who can't fathom radio without this program. The Adventure Club is, by far, the best radio program this city has seen in a long time.
I am writing in response to the letter "Voters Block" [Letters, April 30]. First, let me say I am really happy to hear someone has been thinking about me almost as much as I think about me. Second, I want to apologize to anyone who has experienced me as this reader did--aloof and unapproachable.
I am pretty aloof; I consider myself a loner, but I make an effort to be just a little sociable when I am in public. If the reader saw me play before December of 1995, however, I plead guilty. I was probably drunk. I was miserable then, and I am sure I acted like it. Honestly, I don't remember that much!
If the reader has seen me play in the past two and a half years however, I am befuddled by her comments. Although I am no Liza Minnelli, I put forth an effort to treat the audience with respect and give them attention.
I want to respond to the other accusations. Granted, at our last show, I tried the gratuitous, "So how are ya'll doin' tonight?" As I said it from the stage, I felt like I was going to puke! But if I really knew how to conduct myself, I wouldn't be a musician, I would be a politician. In regard to acting like I don't appreciate fans, I do feel uncomfortable saying thank you when someone tells me that he or she likes my voice. I had nothing to do with the construction of my vocal cords. However, I am not that much of a purist putz that I don't say thank you. I say thank you. And I mean it. I'm glad you like it!
The reader commented that I looked at her like she was an idiot when she requested a song. I don't know. Usually, I can't see anyone in the audience. I was probably trying to figure out where the voice came from. It is true that some of my older songs--ones I wrote when I was in high school--I don't really enjoy playing. That happens to every writer I know. I still play those songs if people request them--that's if I can remember them. I will make an effort to do it a little more joyfully. How's that?
As for voting for me, I don't know. I don't believe in a best in the arts. In 1996, I thought, there's no way I'll win, and I won. Last year I thought, yeah, I'll probably win, and I didn't. Go figure. This year I am so happy with the band and what's going on with my career, I think I will be content either way. But please, don't vote for me for my outgoing personality.
Response to Jef King's letter [April 30]: While you were sitting on your lazy, ever-expanding butt, whining and pointing fingers via the Internet, the Mullens were touring the USA and Canada. We played in cities like Chicago, Montreal, and New York City to audiences who knew our songs well enough to sing along the entire set. These were fans who wrote us, told us how much they like our album, and begged us to come play in their cities.
We're not trying to create a "buzz sound" for the '90's or any other moment. We love music too much. And while I sincerely appreciate your passion about music being original, I challenge you to name one song on our album (S/T debut on Get Hip) that even sounds like the Ramones.
Careful, Jef. All that sitting around playing on the Internet will get you nothing but a payment plan on a Nordic Trac. Life's too short. Get out and see the world.
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