So a year or so ago I was contacted via e-mail by a local guy named Coulter, who commented that we had a lot in common when it came to music, and we've since continued a sporadic dialogue. I'm always up for that, because I don't get feedback too often--other than a line or so spewing hatred, daily, often about something read online, written years and years ago and usually taken out of context (the one about my hating the Clash, for example, which was part of a Stranger PACKAGE called "Kill Yr Idols" and I have never for a moment disliked the Clash, so leave it now, would you?), but such is the curse of the web. More appreciated are the occasional kind words of appreciation, for which I am so thankful, given obvious crippling anxiety. (What? No!)

Anyway, I like the mutually respectful ongoing exchanges the best, and Coulter chimes in whenever my rampant Anglophile tendencies edge toward Mancunians. Lately, we've been discussing the new Morrissey album, which I listened to no less than four times before loaning it out--and it's time to return it, please... ahem, you, my tall, skinny friend who once fell on his lunch while enduring the local drudgery (trudgery) that is known as Pinewalking? I'll pull over this column right now and go on with the story, I swear to God.... Anyway, Coulter is a local singer (formerly from Tallahassee) who displays obvious inspiration by the Mozz, evident on his 2003 CD The End of Everything. It's a joy to hear. The CD actually reminds me of a certain sweet, tender hooligan lover of yore--one who now resides among his many fans in Los Angeles--but in a beefed-up, horned-up, sometimes Minus Five-sounding, sometimes Rock*A*Teens-, sometimes Stone Roses-sounding version. And that makes me happy, especially because Coulter's set to play the Hideaway on Wednesday, June 2. If you're at all interested, please make it a point to check out his set, as he's leaving on tour soon after. Says my fine correspondent: "We'll be doing about 35 cities in seven weeks, basically hitting all four corners of the country (God help us if gas prices stay where they are). We're hooking up with a fabulous all-female three-piece from San Antonio called Girls in a Coma for the last half (they'll play with us here in Seattle at the end of the tour). We're looking forward to playing places we've never been, hopefully convincing someone along the way to pay for the next record!" Always a detractor of the Seattle trend known as the Hipster Shutout, he adds: "I just want to do what I can to help the team and good lord willing, we'll get out there, play hard, and win some ballgames."

More Anglophile stuff: Charlatans fans with a computer can listen to THE ENTIRE new album, Up at the Lake, on the band's official website,, a fact sweet guy A. J. clued me into. It's a departure of sorts because frontman Tim Burgess--also a frequent denizen of Los Angeles--has let his in-demand DJ skills inform some of the new material on Up at the Lake, but mostly I think it's a wonderfully rocked-out album, showing great maturity of Burgess' vocals and songwriting, buffed up on old Britpop, as well as a great maturation of the band--one that's been putting out records for at least 15 years. Yes, there's still a sexy wail of Hammond B-3, but not so prominent as in the past. So far, no American tour has been scheduled.

Speaking of old-timers, I found an old copy of Kerrang! while cleaning out my closet (yes, it does happen) and it included a fawning story on Queensrÿche that's nothing short of hilarious. The band was at the demo stage of its career and highly anticipatory of a slot opening for Zebra in a KISW-sponsored "Rising Star" concert. The magazine featured a phone interview with the members, scheduled around their day jobs at a factory where they assembled electronic components. As the issue went to press, a quick insert was added salivating that the Seattle-area band had just signed a seven-album deal with EMI. Oh, the costumes and postures in the photos! By the way, in that same issue of Kerrang!, Def Leppard's "Rock of Ages" was a new single "available on a limited edition guitar-shaped cut out disc and loud 7-inch." (A quick disclaimer that will no doubt get me more hate mail, the frothing-at-the-keyboard kind which I mentioned earlier in this column: I'm pretty sure that the long history of my career as a music writer has never once included a kind word, or even just a word, about Queensrÿche.)