Rufus Makenzie

Rolling over the Stones

Re Nick Sylvester's article on how "disgusting" the Rolling Stones were ["I Wanna Be Your Riff," Riff Raff, villagevoice.com, February 6]: Sylvester's review betrayed a common prejudice within music journalism, in what I see as an inbred "conservatism" that most music critics have either ignored or failed to recognize.

Rock 'n' roll (as opposed to jazz, r&b, blues, or other forms) has always been viewed as "youth music." To a certain extent, this is understandable. A fresh influx of ideas and sounds is always necessary to keep things from stagnating. But to assign relevance to only that facet of it is shortsighted. In other words, for many people like Sylvester, rock music "should" look and sound a certain way. For example, only kids under 25 playing loud and fast. If it doesn't fit that mold, it's either "dinosaur music" or won't get acknowledged. Dumb. I'm not trying to make the world safe for aging bands to sell $1,000 tickets for arena shows. I'm merely trying to point out what Sylvester, and others of his ilk, often fail to see. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. If you watched the show and thought the Stones sucked, fine, I respect that. But say that. I don't think there was one word in your review about the quality of the performance. I find it interesting that you're willing to make fun of geriatric geezers, with their "skin flailing about," but you didn't mention anything about overweight Aretha Franklin or Aaron Neville.

Erik Bresnihan
Port Jefferson Station, New York

Feminist farewell

Thanks for Michael Feingold's wonderful piece on Wendy Wasserstein ["Wendy Wasserstein 1950–2006," February 1–7]. It was because of Wasserstein that I made the mistake of going to Mount Holyoke College. Oy—what a bad idea. All the same, her plays highlighted the internal conflict of what it means to be a woman in this day and age. It's such a shame to see feminism become "out of style" for my generation (of idiots—especially the ones who voted for Bush). It's a good thing to learn that brilliance can be accompanied by a sense of humor. So many writers take their mediocre thoughts so damn seriously. I never got to meet Wasserstein, the woman who inspired me, but Fein- gold's article made me feel like I finally got to know her a little bit.

Ash Barth Yardley, Pennsylvania

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