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I did a little search on Roy Lanham and found your site. I knew Roy. A wonderful man. He was more than an occasional studio player for The Sons of the Pioneers, he played lead with them for nearly 30 years. This man could play flawlessly anytime you asked, regardless of how much he may have imbibed. You might have had to wake him, though.

One of the classic stories about Roy was after a night playing the Chart House in Burbank, they (Roy, Marianne (his wife) and his brother Ray) were driving home in their Cadillac when it suddenly caught fire. They pull over, Ray is fanning the fire thinking it would help, Roy gets out and leans up against the railing by the freeway, and Marianne is screaming, "Roy! Roy, your guitar! Get your guitar!" This was one of many custom Fender guitars given to him by Leo Fender himself. Roy simply answered, somewhat confused by her request, "I don't feel like pickin' right now."

I miss him.I had the pleasure of playing with him a couple of times (I play keyboards).

You've got a classic recording. Treat it well.

Steve Azbill




Dear FREEwilliamsburg -

Here's an odd question.... where's a good place to meet indie gay boys that are relatively masculine in wburg? Do they exist? Am I alone? Thanks for any pity you can spare...

-- Name withheld


We don't know either. Is there a gay scene in Williamsburg we are missing? If any readers have a clue let us know and we will pass the information on.

-- FREEwilliamsburg





Dear FREEwilliamsburg
-

Why don't you folks practice what you preach and cover some local music in your music reviews section... Zero 7 and New Order? give me a fucking
break. let Spin cover that... i thought you were about local uplifting...
so, why dont you?

i've got a brooklyn based indie instrumental trio called UsVsThem... i also
run a brooklyn based record label, LittleFuryThings... cover us instead...
you wankers.
:)

again, you guys are simply NOT representing like you pretend like you are... Hooverphonic? what the fuck is that shit? why don't you interview some local bands? interview Stereobate! Shoes and Rider! Tin Can Telephone! don't end up like 11211. be true. dont pretend. please.

--Nat

 

First of all, we are freelancers, godammit, with the emphasis on FREE. We all have day jobs. This often keeps us from covering everything we would want to cover.

Secondly, why don't you send us your shit for review instead of bitching.

Thirdly, we have covered music by LuLu, Baraka, Misra, Thirsty Ear, and
Arena Rock in the past few months. Here are a few articles covering local bands:

www.freewilliamsburg.com/september_2001/111.html
www.freewilliamsburg.com/september_2001/coastal_drag.html
www.freewilliamsburg.com/october_2001/electro.html
www.freewilliamsburg.com/september_2001/big_numbers.html
www.freewilliamsburg.com/may_2001/hood.html
www.freewilliamsburg.com/september_2001/mightymusic.html

Last, you tell us to "practice what we preach." What the hell do we preach?

Please let us know.

Thanks-
The Wankers




Regarding the book, Nickel and Dimed, J Stefan-Cole writes:

"Barbara Ehrenreich is a best-selling writer, a journalist, lecturer
and, as she mentions, in possession of a Ph.D. in biology. She left
behind those credentials and the comforting fruits of her success to
join the minimum wage crowd. She wanted to find out if it was possible
to survive on wages of up to $7.00 an hour."

It's an interesting experiment and it is useful in that those who don't
know the working poor or haven't been among them (e.g., most of the
readers of Harper's magazine, the NYTimes and other publications that
have swooned over Nickel and Dimed) will learn that the minimum wage
isn't really a living wage.

One big problem with Ehrenreich's experiment, though, is that Ehrenreich was not actually poor and thus unable to apply for some benefits. There

are programs (both government and private) that would have assisted her
with housing, paying utility bills, and so forth. But because
Ehrenreich's a wealthy writer, she couldn't fully play the role of the
working poor person. The upshot is that we get an incomplete picture:
maybe the aid would have helped a great deal; or, maybe we would have
seen firsthand that aid is hard to get, humiliating, inadequate, and so
forth. Too bad.

Moreover, since Ehrenreich has spent the past couple decades doing
research and tapping on her computer's keyboard, it is not surprising
that she finds scrubbing and serving the public painful. Mr. Howell on
Gilligan's Island bitched and moaned when asked to carry a few
coconuts. So her near hysterical depictions of the 'oppressive' job
circumstances ought to be taken in perspective. Yes, working as a
waitress is damned tough (I've bartended, scrubbed toilets, torn tickets at movie theaters, etc.), but it's not a Soviet work camp.

Cheers,
Kevin R. Kosar
Lecturer in Public Administration
Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
New York University


Dear Kevin Kosar,

Thank you for writing. I agree, the nasty facts of minimum wage-living are a well kept secret. The value of Ms Ehrenreich's book is that she challenges us to imagine the life of the working poor.

I don't know how well off she is, certainly not comparable to Gilligan's islander Mr. Howell. She states in the book that she does not employ a cleaning person in her own home. And I did not have the sense that she found hard, repetitious physical labor insulting per se.

She was able to obtain some financial aid through private agencies in the form of food purchase vouchers. But the overall point of her book is that affordable housing shortages are crushing the working poor. And why should a person doing an honest days hard work have to stand in line after hours for a handout in order to eat or pay rent?

The humiliation comes not from the work itself (though it's hard to imagine taking much pride in cleaning toilets all day), but in the inability to fend for oneself even if holding down two jobs. Ehrenreich does not suggest that the working poor exist in a Soviet style Gulag; they are free, though they are also cornered by market place economics. Someone has to clean, and wait tables, and fold shirts at Wal-Mart, but those someones are treated like replaceable screws in a gigantic machine. The folks who lost their savings with the Enron collapse, for example, were not regarded much more highly by their bosses who held all the cards and cheated at the game. It's not just the lack of a living wage that keeps the working poor down, it's the lack of hope, too. The work that needs to be done at the bottom is performed by increasingly desperate but invisible workers living on the insecure economic edge. Regardless of how many credit cards Barbara Ehrenreich holds, her message is clear: you can't make it on the minimum wage.

--J. Stefan-Cole




Dear Free Williamsburg,


Whassup yall? I'd like to compliment Maurice for being a true critic. I'm sorry he didn't like the album but at least he didn't do what other "critics" do. You know they try to totally trash something they don't understand. To Maurice I say "maybe next time bro" In defense of my effort I will say this. The album is meant to be more simplistic than my previous works. The album as a whole is a throwback to original,well mixed, head bop hip hop. While it is simple, there is more going on than you notice on just the initial listen. But thanks for not being a dick!
(here's the review)
PEACE -
Mr.LeN


Dear FREEwilliamsburg:

Great Fugazi review. I mean really great. I too lack faith in everything,
just about, except honesty and truth, and honesty & truth in music
(which is a lot to have faith in, but leaves a lot more out). You said it well,
considering yourself to be pleased to hanging with them at 26. I still
have faith in Fugazi at age 43 to even a greater extent I did at 33. It
stays the same. The Argument catches their developments and takes them to a new and refined level (though there are some meanderings in the mid/later tracksI don't quite latch onto); Furniture's a nice little wail too.

Thanks.
Jonathan




Dear Free Williamsburg,


First of all, what the hell are you trying to do? I can just picture you guys as bunch of CMJ-reading, Matador-listening, ex-nerd hipsters who think that someone cares what the hell you have to say just because you learned html. The worst part is that you weren't unpopular because no one liked you or your kind, but just simply because you were socially inept and couldn't carry on conversations with people, as if that gives you the right to make fun of people who watch ESPN.

I'm especially horrified by your music reviews. If you aren't going to bother learning anything about the band and insist on spewing misinformation, don't write a review. I started reading the Reindeer Section review only to read that it supposedly sounds influenced by Belle & Sebastian. I'm not sure what records your listening to, but every damn song was written by Gary Lightbody and basically sounds like a Snow Patrol album with one Arab Strap track at the end. They are also all from Glasgow, Scotland instead of Dublin...don't you think Thin Lizzy would have been in the group if they were Dubliners. You poor foolish bastards.

-Kelan

We're not ex-nerds. We actively practice our nerdhood every day. And we don't make fun of people who watch ESPN, but we do make fun of retards that write assinine letters. As per the Dublin mistake... oops, that was pretty dumb of us.

-- FREEwilliamsburg



Regarding our article on the Village Voice:

Dear Free Williamsburg,

FUCK YEAH! Give the Voice hell.

I have also found very little redeeming in any of their reporting (with the
notable exception of their theatre reviews), most of it qualifies as
knee-jerk-hyper-left-wing-reactionary masturbation. It is an unfortunate
reality that a majority of today's journalists have forgotten the very
purpose and founding principles of their craft. However, in this particular
case, how can you blame them? Everyone is so desperately anxious to find the next Seattle that they will sink to almost any depths to announce their ownership of the discovery. The Voice has never hesitated to include itself in the ranks of the cultural conquistadors. So...fuck 'em.

Keep fighting the good fight. Good luck.

Yours,
Thomas S.


Dear Free Williamsburg,

As much as I can sympathize with Ken Wohlrob being pissed off, it is, as he writes, a matter for the courts to decide (and, yes, should you choose to pursue a legal option, the test is "harm" -- just as in fair-use cases).

Media, particularly electronic media, is a endlessly replicating virus.
How many reporters covering Afganistan follow one another's leads or
replicate a colleague's angle on a story?

As far as I can tell, the Free Williamsburg inspired a Voice topic on the
same topic and, yes, the bigger fish always gets to eat the little fish and
take the credit. It isn't fair, but it isn't necessarily plagiarism
either. I read both pieces and found them to be significantly different:
the FW piece focused on several new clubs in Williamsburg, the Voice piece
mentioned those clubs, clubs in other parts of Brooklyn, and interviewed
established Manhattan clubowners about the new competition.

Also, why did Ken write the piece at all, for his clippings book or to help
the "scene." I'm sure Williamsburg clubowners and musicians are quite
happy with the additional attention.

Sorry. No plagiarism.

PS: I don't work for the voice or anything.

-- Name withheld




In regards to our Lump of Coal List:

Dear Free Williamsburg,

His name is John, and he's been selling candy for the last 8 years. His
mother and aunt are Jehovah's Witnesses; they are the ones who put him up to it, rain or shine, on the 4th of July and on the coldest day of the year.

He lives in downtown Brooklyn and has been taking the train to the Northside (either alone or with his even younger brother) since he was 7 years old.

He's not "in on the scam". He's a child who has been forced into this for
most of his life.

Suzy OBrien
Bean Restaurant



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