Clarence Eckerson

West Indies

Re Eric Weisbard's "The Graying of Indie Rock" [March 30]: Here in lovely Seattle, home of the scene that killed the independent hardcore movement of the 1980s, there was a recent piece in a local rag that asked the same question: Is the indie movement dead?

What was indie music anyway? Poorly skilled bands or bands with poor equipment? Probably a combination. A few good, tiny bands of the mid '90s are now getting picked up by labels and making money. After living the indie lifestyle for more than a few years, they probably deserve it. The bands that haven't made it are reflecting on the good times they had during their careers. This is the natural rhythm of any rock scene; let's hope achieving Bonnie Raitt­style success doesn't become the goal.

Charles Cortalano
Seattle, Washington

Luc & Listen

Luc Sante's review, "Roots of Everything" [March 23], reassured me that shelling out $18.39 for Yazoo's compilation CD Before the Blues— The Early American Black Music Scene, Vol.1 was worth every cent. The history and background Sante provided in his review greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the music.

Lawrence Mcgarvey

Capsule Classical

I miss Leighton Kerner's regular, weekly contributions to the paper. His comments in the listings section are far too brief. I hope he will be doing longer reviews again soon.

Patricia Contino

Good Vibration

David Kushner's article "Shock Value" [March 30], about vibrators and their renaissance on the Internet, was fascinating. The Internet has been a boon to people who want sex toys but are too embarrassed to actually buy them, and for those poor souls who live in states that are too repressed to sell them.

I am glad the Voice is now including articles on technology (if this is indeed technology).

Howard Schwartz
Lawrenceville, New Jersey

Chest Nuts

I am glad Michael Feingold had the balls to admit that Annie Get Your Gun is another emperor with no clothes ["Diversion 2.0," March 16]. How many old-fashioned Broadway musicals will avaricious producers eviscerate before realizing that new shows are more entertaining than bland rewrites of old chestnuts?

In Peter Stone's attempt to be politically correct, he ignored one of the basic rules of theater: musicals thrive on music and die on dialogue. This production was a waste of talent and time.

Lars Thorson
San Marino, California

Mystifying Musto

I was profoundly disappointed by Michael Musto's March 16 column with all its blind items.

Everyone likes to have fun, but what happened to the ballsy writer who tells the dirt like it really is? I read Musto's column because he understands the importance of recognizing our gay glitterati for what they are; he shouldn't be coyly shielding facts behind blind items.

Ross Carson
Cleveland, Ohio

Lowdown On Linux

There are two Linux user groups in New York City— not three, as Austin Bunn reported in his article "Beware All Ye Who Install Linux Here" [March 23]. The LUNY and NYLUG groups mentioned by Bunn deal strictly with Linux. The third group, LXNY, started out as a Linux group, as the name indicates, but is now more of a political-action group promoting many types of free software, not just Linux. A fourth, lesser-known resource for Linux is the AnyNix SIG, which offers support for any flavor of Unix, and especially Linux.

AnyNix Sig has a standing offer that anyone may bring a machine to a meeting and install Linux there or receive postinstallation assistance. There is also a local chapter of a group called UseNix, with annual membership dues, which has been in continuous operation for over a decade.

Buz Cory

Diss Connected

In Sharon Lerner's HMO Watch column [March 23], she wrote that getting in touch with the Health Insurance Association of America is "a near impossible feat."

I find this puzzling. Ms. Lerner and I spoke on the telephone at least twice, and not once did she indicate that she had a problem getting through. Neither did a Voice researcher, who called me after Ms. Lerner. For future reference, our number is listed in the phone book.

Richard Coorsh
Health Insurance Association of America
Washington, D.C.

Sharon Lerner replies: Coorsh is correct, it was not at all difficult to get in touch with the HIAA. I incorrectly stated that it was. But I also went on to explain that the real difficulty was reaching not Coorsh, whom I spoke with, or the HIAA, but Inginex, the company that now owns the "usual-and-customary rate"­setting business that formerly belonged to HIAA.


  • Due to an editing error, a statement by Khallid Muhammad, head of the New Black Panther Party and New Black Muslim Movement, was wrongly attributed to an FBI agent in Peter Noel's article "Who Is Gunning for Ex-Farrakhan Spokesman?" last week. A sentence in the top paragraph of the second column on page 55 should have read: "Khallid says he argued that 'there are other times when you don't let them know and times when you tell them that no assassination plot exists, and you foment discord and tension and exacerbate tensions, blow them out of proportion and create a deadly climate of mistrust.' "
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