HEY THERE, SAILOR, THERE'S SOUP ON MY FLY
As Alfama's co-owner, I wish to thank Robert Sietsema for his review of our restaurant ["Blessed by Cod," Counter Culture, March 1420]. However, the comment he made about our staff dressed in sailor suits is completely inaccurate. Saying that we were trying to attract a gay clientele by dressing our staff that way totally misrepresents what we were trying to do at the time. The sailor-suit theme was meant to allude to the fact that Portugal was a seafaring nation. If it looked as though gay people responded to how adorably cute the waiters looked, that was just a coincidence.
When I was quoted in Tricia Romano's "In Defense of Ultragrrrl" [March 1420] as saying that Spin magazine was "bad," I was implying that it was "bad" for sacking me. This doesn't really sound like something that I would say, and I have no recollection of using the word "bad" at all in the statement, but after a discussion with the writer (whom I know and trust) it was suggested that I may have said it in jest, and I accept that. I never intended to say that the quality of Spin was poor. I am extremely proud of the work I did while on staff. After I was fired, I made a point to subscribe, and I still read it every month. I regret the context my word was placed in. I also didn't mean to imply that my former co-workers were uncreative or cynical in their approach to what was covered in those dark, preNew Rock years. I only meant to illustrate how Sarah [Lewitinn] was someone who was dismissed initially as a novelty and that many started taking her seriously once her pet bands got the buzz. I don't think that's an inaccurate statement, and I am truly sorry if my irreverent tone reduced it to something hurtful or dismissive.
Congratulations on Tricia Romano's crackerjack reporting. As someone who was an editor at Spin during Ultragrrrl's tenure, it is with great shame that I recall what "uptight indie rock nerds" we all were. I can only imagine that space considerations prevented her from detailing any of the colorful stories involving our condescending treatment of the girl whoit's true!we considered little more than an "office mascot." I remember one time in particular. We were all hanging out in (redacted)'s office (boys only!), when in bounced Ultragrrrl. "Hey!" yelled (redacted). "How dare you interrupt the sanctity of our Archers of Loaf listening party!"
"But, guys," she squealed, "there's this band called the Strokes; they don't actually exist yet, but I can tell that . . ." And then she launched into a passionate description of how this band of the future would one day come together and, as Romano puts it, "resonate beyond the four walls of her LES apartment."
"Yeah, right," (redacted) snorted, pushing up his glasses, which had fogged up due to the presence of a girl in the room. "And Stephen Malkmus might one day make an album as great as Slanted and Enchanted!"
Ah, how we laughed and laughed. We're not laughing now, that's for sure.
You guys scored a twofer with Tricia Romano's cover story. Not only did you again smear your pages with worthless shit, but you also demonstrated that even when writing worthless shit, you can't adhere to journalism basics (solid reporting, fact-checking). Gawker totally handed Romano ("Look at me! Look at me! I'm a DJ and writer!") her pasty white ass by refuting the impressive statistic that Ultragrrl's book actually sold 8,000 copiesnot 38,000 as she lazily asserted. How did those meddling kids crack the case? They consulted Nielsen BookScan and Simon Spotlight Entertainment's publicity director.
Tricia Romano replies: Nielsen BookScanwhich only tracks sales at major outlets such as Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Target and does not account for "special sales" at places such as Urban Outfittersrecorded 8,000 copies sold of The Pocket DJ. Spokesperson Cara Milo adds, "Nielsen BookScan does not capture sales from Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, food and drug outlets, or specialty stores." Jennifer Robinson, the publicist for Lewitinn's publisher, Simon & Schuster, says, "We do not release sales figures, but I can tell you we have 50,000 copies in print with almost half that going to special sales."
When The Village Voice does a story on the front page calling someone a martyr, I expect a little bit more than a rock 'n' roll scenester with no apparent talent except for creating playlists.
New York City
AT LEAST LEE SAW THE MOVIE
In his review of the film 300 [ "Man on Man Action," March 713], Nathan Lee wrote that Spartans were "militaristic psychopaths," and that "they spoke in a language composed almost entirely of monosyllabic stupidities." My advice to you: Read some history! If not for Leonidas and his 300 warriors, Greece would have been conquered by the Persian empire, and the history of the last 2,000 years would have been completely different. The whole world would be different. As a Greek, I am offended by Lee's article. I cannot comment on what you write concerning the film, as I have not seen it yet.
Re: Jerry Saltz's "Fur What It's Worth" [March 713]: Saltz's review and insight into this particular art work of David and Chie Hammons made me think about many things, some listed at the end of Jerry's article: "shamanism, politics, consumerism, animism, genre painting, animal rights .. ." I guess overall it's just sad to me that we have reached a point where, in order to make a point, we (in this case, the Hammonses) have to go this far, to take the fur of dead animals, as Jerry points out, probably animals that were electrocuted or killed in some other grotesque fashion, and display them in an "upscale" gallery. We should all feel ashamed for what we have done to animals and the planet as a whole.
Corrections "Un-Veiled," a book review of Ayaan Hirsi Ali's Infidel [March 1420], carried an incorrect byline. It was written by Joel Whitney.
In "The Alien Invader" [March 1420], a photograph of graffiti artist Deuce Seven's work on page 40 was incorrectly credited to Chad Griffith. It should have been credited to the photographer who goes by the handle Fuzzy.
ARTS EDITOR WANTED
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The Village Voice
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