Letters to the Editor

(and a message on the answering machine)

Maxwell had 2, not 3, back-up singers at MERF performance.

I don't know who William Brents is, but before he reviews a band [December '92 issue] he should at least be there to see them, because Maxwell, at the MERF show, only had two back-up singers, not three. It's really ludicrous, because there's no way he could have been there and seen them. So I'm just voicing my opinion. I'm never going to read your little stupid magazine again. Thank you.

Unidentified voice on LMN answering machine, December 4.

(Brents is a free-lance writer who provides articles to Louisville Music News. Thank you for bringing this error to our attention and we are sorry that we will be losing you as a reader. We have asked Brents to reply.)

Did attend MERF show.

First of all, I did attend the MERF show at the Phoenix Hill Tavern and I did witness Maxwell's first three songs before moving on.

Admittedly, my vision of the stage was poor and since I read in the November issue of LMN that they had three back-up singers [info supplied by Maxwell], I assumed they did. An error in judgment was made and I apologize. Next time I'll just have to search for a more suitable location to view a show.

William Brents

Dismayed over Brents' MERF benefit review.

I am writing to you to express dismay and concern over William Brents' review of the November 8th MERF Benefit at Phoenix Hill Tavern. Specifically, my concerns are the negative reviews that several acts received, as well as the accuracy of the review. In addition, I would argue that editorially the press review of MERF in general did not receive enough priority in Louisville Music News (i.e., coverage beginning on page 22).

Three bands received negative reviews, the Velcro Pygmies, I.O. You and Maxwell. As for the Velcro Pygmies, you can either love them or hate them, but their talent and success is undeniable and should be pointed out. I.O. You at least spell it correctly! [Spelled I.O.U. in December article.] And lastly, Maxwell, which in my mind is the worst offense. For those who attended MERF at Phoenix Hill Tavern, you probably noticed only two, count 'em two back-up singers in Maxwell, Sharon Herschler and Dana Lester. Yet Mr. Brents saw "three, count 'em three female back-up vocalists."

Attendance figures were slightly down this MERF benefit as the sparse Tap Room crowd testifies. (I know Mr. Brents saw a packed Tap Room, but who are you going to believe?) Let's support local music, both original and cover bands, particularly when it is for a good cause! Remember, all artists who participated did so for free and on their own time. The "benefit" situation merits slightly different editorial and critical treatment because the point is not to make money, but instead to help one another. All proceeds from MERF go to helping our local music community. Who wants to give that a negative review? As for William Brents l have two suggestions: 1) Attending the event you review and 2) changing your pen name.

Craig H. Campbell

Louisville, KY 40204

(Thanks for your letter. See William Brents' reply, above, to a similar communication from another reader. We hope you will note that nowhere in our coverage was the MERF benefit per se criticized.

As for the priority we gave to it, you may be interested to know that several readers felt that coverage of another significant local event that same weekend was overshadowed by the coverage given to MERF and they were quite right. Two photographers [both of the publishers of LMN],two reviewers who paid nice compliments to the event and at least one other compliment in another part of the paper shouldn't be outweighed by page placement, which was determined by facility of layout rather than a conscious decision to put it on page 22 [and on page 24, which location was listed on the front page].

It would be interesting to see how our coverage [more than one and one-eighth pages, including three photographs] measures up to that of other local newspapers [no contest]. And you would surely be quite surprised to learn how advertising dollars received compare to coverage given.

We heartily endorse your admonition to "support local music, both original and cover bands," and feel that we have proven it by publishing a local music newspaper for almost four years, persevering when it was very difficult to do so, because we care very much about the local music scene.

We TRULY APPRECIATE the handful of advertisers who have helped make this newspaper possible, but we need additional support from other local businesses so that we can continue our support of local music. Editor.)