THE SOUND OF SUCK

Thank you. Lately I've been wondering just what to call that music I hear every time I turn to one of the mainstream alternative stations. I'll have an inner dialogue trying to explain to someone what it is about those bands that all have the same tired drummer and wishy-washy guitars that I have such contempt for. But, of course, it's the Sound of Suck, or rather, suck rock, the reason I've not listened to commercial radio for the past eight years. Even my favorite station, KCMU, slips it in every so often, provoking my high blood pressure and momentary enmity. The one thing that is perhaps more chilling than the music itself is the fact that it will live with us for the rest of our lives, endlessly recycled by legions of future suburbanites and clueless hipsters, as the dolts who buy this crap now come into power. Good night! Thank you for naming this demon so that I can now ponder ways of mortally wounding it.

Keep up the good work, Everett, and fuck those critics who fail to see the love with which you lace your astute and bitter rants.

Sean Shopes

PARANOID JOURNALIST

Everett, do you really hold OK Computer in the same low esteem as the latest offerings from Oasis and Gomez? I ask because I've noticed an interesting lack of reference to Radiohead in your writing. And just so you don't think I'm above asking Sub Pop questions: does Red Red Meat ever tour? It's obvious S/P put a considerable number of colloquial eggs into the There's a Star Above the Manger Tonight basket (the album is very polished, physically and sonically). Invite 'em over! Use that rock-star charm and pull of yours. Do you ever sink as low as to "charm" folks?

Happy fucking Friday,

Colin

No, I don't hold it that low.

I liked Oasis for a while, too--especially live in front of a massive football stadium, where they really start to make sense. Gomez I've never heard: only got Kathleen Wilson's say-so on them. She knows her mid-'70s American rock rip-offs better than me anyhow. I loved Radiohead passionately for about two days after years of hating them--and I featured as their most hated journalist on the band's official website around the time "Paranoid Android" was written, thus leading me to believe that the "When I am king you will be first against the wall with your opinions which are of no consequence at all" line was inspired by me. Unfortunately, those two days coincided with me deciding to write about them, so I'm sure they feel I'm a suck-ass sell-out as well as a complete cunt. I hate them again now. Soulless, self-serving, and too derivative of Pink Floyd by half.

I know nothing about Red Red Meat beyond having interviewed them years ago, and liking them and not liking their cover art. The singer is a sweet, small chap but he's friends with Billy Corgan. Sigh. Some things are truly unforgivable.

I stoop low and use my charm all the time.--ET

ECHO POINT

Hi Everett. I look forward to reading your articles in each issue of The Stranger, and agree quite frequently with what you say. I was just wondering what you thought of my all-time fave band: Echo and the Bunnymen. I have a feeling you think they suck, and that's why no one cares about them.

Eric

Hmm. Well, I liked their first single... "Pictures On My Wall," wasn't it? Early on, I was into the whole Zoo Records scene they were part of--probably cuz my best friend at college first year was from St. Helens, near Liverpool. Later, I grew to hate almost everyone from Liverpool, especially their sense of "humor." This included Julian Cope, Ian McCulloch, et al., though not Wah!'s Pete Wylie--even though the music he's made has sucked since the almighty "Story Of The Blues." I don't know too much about McCulloch, except that (i) I appreciate anyone who spouts off as much as him, (ii) Courtney Love is way too influenced by him, as are Oasis, (iii) that solo project he had--Electrafixion?--was truly horrible, (iv) his England World Cup song with the usually untouchable Spice Girls sucked too, and (v) I have a vague feeling that I think Echo and the Bunnymen is generally overrated. Banks of guitars? Ugh!

Compared to what came after, though, they were saints.--ET

WE FUCKING ROCK!

Cheers, Kathleen.

Just dropping a line to say you fucking rock! Read your Excellent story on the "Early Years" back in the Valley, Eugene. I wouldn't blame you if you just closed your e-mail and went to lunch right now--I sympathize with those who see Eugene as a cultural wasteland, but dude, Oregon Jam '81! I saw you catch Joan Jett's sweat-band, or whatever that thing was! I got one of Foreigner's picks! I think I was 14 when I went to that show. I remember car prowling for weeks beforehand to scrounge up enough quarters and dimes to buy the ticket.

You just made me a little nostalgic for that cute little whitebread valley town....

Bobby Wane Ingram

PUNK IN DIAPERS

Ever since the witless curmudgeon Everett True assumed control of The Stranger's music section, I have been consistently embarrassed by the contents therein. He has turned it into a muckraking forum for warring factions of scenesters who view music as a fashion accessory, and can't even fathom that it might have artistic, cultural, or spiritual value. His clumsy use of irony and poor writing reminds me of the work of a high school student who has newly discovered post-modernism. He has proved that in order to be a music critic one must posses two qualities: strong, exclusively subjective opinions, and the ability to drop names, the more obscure the better.

I have, however, been pleasantly surprised to come across articles like Juliette Guilbert's critique of the swing scene and the more recent article about Beck, by Philip Guichard. Criticism of that quality promotes thought and intelligent discussion. I wish writing like that would show up more often in The Stranger's music section. As for Everett True: I was listening to punk rock when he was in diapers, man.

Alex Guilbert

Support The Stranger