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Week of July 14, 2004

A Tip of the Hat
A good lesson learned: I just wanted to let you know that I liked Ben Westhoff's piece on Blake Brokaw ["Party Down," July 7]. Brokaw's story is a warning to restaurateurs everywhere, and you told it very well.
Johnny (Rock & Roll) Brookheart
Bartender, Dressel's
St. Louis

White Is Good
Not all "racialists" sympathize with the National Alliance: As the white racialist author of a novel popular in the pro-white movement, I just want to comment that not all white racialists support the National Alliance, its tactics or its leaders [Ben Westhoff and Randall Roberts, "Rabble Rousers," July 7]. Their use of Nazi symbols, flags and rhetoric truly makes them rabble-rousers, [unlike] those on my side who are patriotic white Americans working for the preservation of our culture, traditions and race.
Ward Kendall Author, Hold Back This Day
Arcata, California

Piece of Poop
Hooray for the Hayseed Dixies: I enjoyed Dan Leroy's article ["Love Stinks," July 7]. The listed songs pretty well cover the gamut of feelings you go through after a breakup. I was a little disappointed, though, to see my own personal favorite semi-obscene breakup song omitted. Of course, it doesn't have the F-quotient or violence of "the best foul-mouthed breakup songs of all time," but it still expresses all the right sentiments. I am speaking of Hayseed Dixie's "I'm Keeping Your Poop" from A Hillbilly Tribute to Mountain Love, which details how the singer scooped up the only thing his former love left behind and bottled it up in a jar as a reminder: "In case I ever fergit/You're just a piece of...poop!" Great stuff.
Tom Comegys
Webster Groves

Sonic Lifers
This just in -- sobriety kills rock: Sonic Nurse is a fabulous album from the long-standing champs of no-wave post-punk-drone-what-have-you, Sonic Youth [Paul Friswold, Rotations, July 7]. Yet the review seemed overly reminiscent or nostalgic in tone without adequately attempting to describe the actual music. I think the review pandered too much to long-standing Sonic lifers instead of trying to excite newbies (legions of sonically malnourished emo-pop fans, maybe?) into a discovery of this great American band.

Plus, how could you write, "Then Sonic Nurse, number eighteen in the series, slipped into being, pushing up against Murray Street's haunches..." Alternately, you could have written: "Hard-core Sonic Youth fans and newbies alike rejoice, for Sonic Nurse is a great Sonic Youth album by any standards and not a lukewarm and uninspired melted poop project like Murray Street."

Murray Street was almost Sonic Youth's Load in terms of Potential Fan Alienation. However, Steve Shelley's drums sound better produced than ever on Sonic Nurse. Unlike Metallica's attempt to regain lost cred, St. Anger, where the drums actually sound worse than ever. Apples and oranges, maybe. But both bands are extremely relevant to their respective genres. One just sucks really bad nowadays. Sobriety kills rock. Thank God the Youth got it back and Kim's got a new anorexic celebrity-victim to sing to (Ms. Carpenter, your legend lives on).
Mark Blasciewicz
St. Louis

Giving Good English
A toast to the Beer Hall of Fame: I must say that you have an excellent command of the English language [Mike Seely, "Brilliant!," June 30]. It's good to know that some people did listen up in journalism class. Starting with the first word, "brilliant" and throughout, you hit on all the finest points of our project. I was truly taken aback with the great quotes from Mr. Schumacher. He is highly respected in the beer industry. It's good to know that he sees the tremendous potential for the Beer Hall of Fame. Good job. I owe you a beer!
Dennis Buettner
Producer, Beer Radio
President, U.S. Beer Drinking Team
Baltimore, Maryland

Dog Years
Still salivating: "Once you were star-struck and now you're not!" wailed St. Louis rock legend David Surkamp at nearly midnight on, of all places, KMOX radio. Yes, the historic 30th-reunion tour of Pavlov's Dog was nowhere to be seen or heard on the old standbys KSHE 95 and the Riverfront Times, who said, "We're into younger bands!"

It's too bad some St. Louis media is being "too hip" to appreciate its history. What an event for a unique band that has meant so much to St. Louis and has had such staying power. It's no wonder St. Louis is losing population. History is any city's greatest resource, what makes it unique. David Surkamp (eccentricity aside) should be revered -- which he will be, probably after he's gone. He is a world-class unique talent, as is Pavlov's Dog. All the European fans at the show will tell you that. And to think the Post-Dispatch did not even review the show! Bring back the good ol' days, or at least treasure them, because many are still star-struck by this great band.
M. Brett Woosley
St. Charles

Clubs Editor
The Riverfront Times is looking for a part-time (25-30 hours per week) clubs editor to contribute to our music section. Must be knowledgeable about -- and fascinated by -- the local nightclub scene and possess a desire to put that knowledge to work in building the RFT's clubs coverage. Please send résumé and writing samples to:
Jordan Harper, music editor
Riverfront Times
6358 Delmar Blvd., Ste. 200
St. Louis, MO 63130

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