So, being a Charles Schwab employee as well as a rabid, DogBitten fan of your column, you can imagine my dismay upon reading the following in your latest Dog Bites: "What's next -- anti-IMF protests in the doorway of the Charles Schwab?" ("Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Boring Clothes Have Got to Go!," May 3).
The Charles Schwab? The Charles Schwab what? Building? Doorway? Or perhaps you were referring to him in the Italian/Mafioso sorta way that the Chronicle refers to San Francisco as The City. Not just Charles Schwab, but the Charles Schwab. Heh heh.
Also, I was kinda disappointed that you didn't harp on Ken Garcia more, but only for personal reasons. I can't stand that guy. His columns read like he thinks he's "all that." Or he's convinced himself he's super-clever. He's probably the kind of person that laughs a lot at his own jokes. You know, you can always tell a lot about a person by looking at their shoes -- and I bet he wears the soft leather Oxford style that wimpy, effeminate (but straight) yuppies wear with French-laundered white shirts and jeans that they've "had since college."
Anyway, as you can see I am composing this from work so it's about time that I actually did some. Heh heh. Take care, take it easy, take it slow, and junk.
Brendan G. Bailey
In your article "School of Hard Knocks" (April 26) I found a very well-written example of how a trade school can go bad. What I did not find was any information on how good trade schools can be, or even ways for the prospective student to figure out if such schools exists. As a graduate of two trade schools, the Utah College of Massage Therapy, and Miss Marty's Skin Institute, I find this troubling. By not mentioning the vast majority of trade schools that are not out to take advantage of students, you have painted all trade schools with a very broad brush.
For your information, there are ways to tell if a school is any good. First, the Better Business Bureau is a good place to start, or talk with people doing business in the field that you are interested in, and see what schools they recommend.
Yes, there are problems in the trade school field, and, yes, there are problems with the state agency that governs them. But to not mention that these problems are the exception, and not the rule, does your readership a disservice.
Owen D. Edwards
Saxually Speaking, Size Doesn't Matter
Regarding Sam Prestianni's Hear This ("Tony Bevan," Music, April 26) I just wanted to clear things up about the much mythologized bass sax. I have owned and played one since 1976 (that's the spirit).This is probably a moot point, but when Sam says "the average jazz player can't handle the requisite breath to make this monster sing" actually they don't need any more wind power than a baritone. Size doesn't matter so much; the weight on the other hand is a problem. The availability of bass saxes, and the high price once you find one, also limits the number of players. And, finally, the range of the horn makes it hard to blend unless you are either the "bass" player or the bottom of a section. I know this is music-nerd stuff, but I just wanted to toot my own horn.
Dead on Revival
Hey, I just read the article on Common Rider ("Common Cause," Music, April 26). I just have to say that I disagree completely; I think this album was an incredible disappointment. I was a huge fan of Operation Ivy's music, and I don't think that Jesse Michaels should be trying to live up to the music of his past, but the Common Rider album is a poor attempt at a musical revival.
The album is a lame rehash of the current attempt at ska and punk that is making it on mainstream radio, and there is not even a hint of any emotional intensity or lyrical ingenuity that we all know Jesse is capable of. What gives? I am eagerly awaiting something new from Jesse, cuz I know the good stuff is still lurking within.
We're Not Whiners!
This response is directed towards the author of a letter printed in the April 26 edition of SF Weekly regarding the band Orixa ("Don't Whine. Practice.").
With regards to your insinuation that Orixa doesn't "really" work like other independent bands in the area, since I joined in the summer of '98, we have averaged three to four shows a month. With the release of our latest CD 2012: Elegua Digital in January of 2000, this has steadily increased. In May of this year alone, we have so far confirmed 12 performances from San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley to L.A., San Diego, and Tijuana. Pretty busy for a group that spends its time "sitting" and "whining," wouldn't you agree ?
For a list of venues of upcoming and past shows, as well as groups we have shared the stage with, please visit our Web site, www.orixazone.com. You will notice from the many different places and bands mentioned that we have NO problem playing in front of Latino, non-Latino, or mixed crowds. As a matter of fact, even in the "English speaking" clubs, the crowd is generally split 50/50. Latinos always come out and support us, for which we are entirely grateful. Without them, Orixa wouldn't have survived since 1993.
The challenge for us in the past few years has been in convincing club owners, booking agents, and concert promoters outside the rock en español sphere that our music is first and foremost ROCK. That is why the Wammies nomination where we were included with Ritmo y Armonia and Vinyl in the Latin music section was mentioned. Spanish surnames aside, we share almost nothing in common with either of these groups musically.
One band receiving major local publicity, such as an interview in SF Weekly, will undoubtedly help all rock en español bands in the Bay Area by creating a broader base of awareness within both the Spanish- and non-Spanish-speaking community, thereby helping the ENTIRE scene grow.
Now You Know
Reading your piece on Tom Lehrer ("That Was the Wit That Was," April 19) gave me flashbacks of listening to him on The Dr. Demento Show back in the '70s. Thanks. I always wondered who sang "National Brotherhood Week."