Swine Among Pearls

A truly pants-wetting piece: Hysterical. Thank you very much for that absolutely fall-on-the-floor funny Pearl Jam article ("Shut Up, Jeremy!" October 12). Now we know that there was another curse upon man that God (or whoever's in charge) intended. And I thought George Carlin had it all figured out when he opined that five-day deodorant pads sounded like a Biblical punishment. ("Three years I wore those mothers...") Little did George know that one day his worst fears would be exceeded by a Seattle rock band.

A truly pants-wetting piece of classic rock-crit from start to finish. Man, you folks are lucky to have Wilonsky and Crain. Come back to L.A., Robert! We hardly knew ye!

Joshua Sindell
Beverly Hills

Annoying and moronic: Shut up, Robert and Zac! Sorry to say this, but I think that the Dallas Observer needs a new set of critics. These guys make themselves and the paper look completely stupid. Pearl Jam is a great band and should only be reviewed by critics who understand what it means to be a professional. They say that they have barely listened to Pearl Jam in the past 10 years. Well, maybe that's why they know nothing and come across sounding as though they know nothing. Robert and Zac, your review is annoying and moronic, but probably not as much as you guys are.

Eric Bowie
Via e-mail

Very funny: Robert Wilonsky and Zac Crain's article was very humorous. Maybe they should write for South Park, because they don't know shit about music.

Jason Rot
Kansas City, Missouri

All for the fans: While I believe that everybody is entitled to his own opinion when it comes to music, I don't think that the authors of "Shut Up, Jeremy!" understood Pearl Jam's 25-disc release. These discs are simply a way for fans of the group to get decent live recordings without having to pay bootleg prices. Only the very hardcore fans would actually buy all 25. It's totally consistent with their actions to be true to their fan base (e.g. low-cost tickets, fan-club priority, etc.).

As for the music, I definitely think that it's harsh to say that they've "lost relevance." They may be overshadowed by cookie-cutter acts (Britney Spears, Limp Bizkit, etc.), but they continue to crank out good music that pushes their listeners to new places.

Geoffrey Ley

Nerve-racking indeed: Whoever wrote this article about Pearl Jam is obviously very biased and cannot appreciate good music. I'm sure that listening to 25 CDs in a row can be nerve-racking, but Pearl Jam is the best live band around today. I think they pour their hearts out in all their performances, and they care so much for the fans that they offer the lowest ticket prices possible. This is the biggest knock to the band since the Rolling Stone article that pretty much said the band is a fake.

Eric Lewis
Herkimer, New York

Whine on, Wilonsky: My heart goes out to Robert Wilonsky and Zac Crain at having to listen to 25 live Pearl Jam CDs. I know they were hoping for 25 live Britney Spears CDs instead.

By the way, when are you going to hire some real music critics, ones with less tendency to whine?

Kim Batchelor

Speaking of Whining

And your pouty, angry writers: I only have one question: Do any of your writers actually like living in Dallas? What started out as a fun weekly to read, with interesting articles and reviews, has turned into a Dallas bitch-slap festival of a depressing nature.

Lately, all I seem to read in what you laughingly call a newsweekly are bad reviews of movies, shows, restaurants, and bands as well as stories about the darker aspects of living in and around the Dallas area. Who needs that? If we want to know what is wrong with Dallas, we can pick up The Dallas Morning News or the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and mope to our hearts' content. Someone needs to tell your staff that the day of pouty, angry, rebellious society-haters is over, and we should be celebrating what is right with Dallas. But you just can't seem to get that through your thick heads.

I won't even mention your so-called "Best of Dallas" issue (September 21), because your lazy-assed staff didn't research half of the categories that they chose. You guys are killing me with your artsy-fartsy bullshit.

Get over it. Some of us like living here. If your staff doesn't, then they should move back north where they came from and let Dallasites write for their townspeople.

Yeesh. Just because it's free doesn't mean it has to be another angry independent. Bring back The Met. At least it didn't take itself too seriously.

Doug Wagner

Swine Among Pearls

Dog-eat-dog soccer world: Great story ("Out of Their League," October 5). Where do we go from here?

Did you ever read Martin Ralbovsky's Lords of the Locker Room from the 1970s? He mentioned abandoning baseball and football for soccer because it wasn't spoiled, yet. If soccer became spoiled...

I grew up in a world not too far removed from Huck Finn. Free to roam the hills and woods of my home village. These children do not have these freedoms. It isn't even safe to play beside the soccer field (Ashley). Children's play has to be organized and supervised. To what extent?

I conceived a soccer fundamentals program that doesn't require teams or match play. Would children be bored? Would their parents? Would they sign up for such a thing?

In a "dog-eat-dog" world, must we condition our children to be "kings of the hill" in kindergarten?

David Ponsonby
USSF licensed coach

Tune It Out

Radiohead's ambulatory noodling: Props to Zac Crain for having the courage to tell the truth about the new Radiohead album: that it's a self-indulgent piece of shit ("Hear, There," October 12). While everyone else tries to convince each other that the record is "amazing" or "groundbreaking," repeated listens reveal the obvious--that the band is too big for its own good.

At first, I thought that this record was a joke they were playing on their fans. Who could have imagined that they really wanted to be Kraftwerk or Aphex Twin? Who knew that Thom Yorke's gorgeous voice would sound more interesting buried underneath a ton of gimmicky digital-processing outboard gear? And isn't it cool that the words don't mean anything or make any sense? (Did he really say that he woke up sucking on a lemon?) Where are the guitars, the verses, the songs? Don't you just love that "song" where eight guys with saxophones jam for 10 minutes (a la Dave Matthews Band) while Thom bleats a bunch of nonsense into a blender? Yeah, that's the Radiohead we all know and love. Hey, this record wouldn't bother me a bit if it had been released under another name. Simply put, this isn't Radiohead. It might be the guys in Radiohead, but it sounds like a solo album by their bass player. Perhaps this was the first album ever recorded where none of the band members were ever in the same building at the same time.

Another group like Oasis or Pearl Jam would never be able to get away with releasing (especially after three years of eager anticipation) an utterly pointless album like Kid A. Look, I wanted to like it, I really did! Radiohead is probably my favorite band in the world. Perhaps they wanted to show just how much contempt they have for their audience. That said, why don't they just disappear completely? Because no matter how much they hate being rock stars, they still want your money. And if you don't have a problem with throwing 20 bucks at 45 minutes of ambulatory noodling, they'll still cash your check in a second. What a letdown. What a huge, huge waste.

Thanks, Zac...I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels like he just got a swift kick in the nuts from his best friend.

Jeff Liles