Let’s get the nice stuff out of the way…
I just picked up your rag for the first time today. All I can say is great job. I loved the articles and the reviews were interesting. I think you have the potential to be the best overall magazine here in south Florida.
Eric Schmook, via e-mail
I’m Jimmie R. Vestal, a unsigned indie songwiter/recording artist from Pinellas Park, Florida. I enjoyed reading your features article (“Buy This!”, August 1998). Could it be a lot of Florida bands and artists are wondering… “why am I adding to the CD glut”?
There is a CD glut!
CDs everywhere. Everybody and his uncle is now recording a CD. I feel that the prestige of this is somewhat diminishing. It’s just something that the music industry expects from us in order to sell products, or to get it played on radio stations.
I decided to release two of my best songs on 7″ 45 RPM vinyl. Vinyl can be distributed to “record pools”. DJs at these pools will take my vinyl into clubs and radio stations to introduce it to the public. Many college radio stations have turntables to spin vinyl, and also some commercial stations, but they are difficult to find.
Why would I record only 2 songs on a “45” instead of 10 or more songs on a CD?
• A vinyl recording is less expensive in studio and manufacturing costs (38¢ per record).
• Vinyl is still being released.
• The public doesn’t have to pay around $12 on up for a CD by a unknown artist (me).
• Radio stations don’t have the time to sort through a CD by an unknown artist on an unknown label to pick out the best song.
• Many club DJs prefer vinyl.
• Jukebox operators need vinyl releases
The July edition of the Atlantic Satellite Marketing “Buyers Guide & Radio Airplay Chart” (http://www.atlantic-satellite.com:80/) has my song, “That’s All Right,” listed at position #1579. “My Precious Love” is at # 2224.
These chart positions may not seem very significant to you, yet these insignificant songs are listed on the same chart with all the famous names in the music business — and with all the releases by the major recording companies. The Atlantic Satellite Marketing chart lists the 2500 hot songs that are playing on radio stations worldwide, and are also being used by others in the business as satellite transfers for background music providers (at shopping centers, retail stores, etc.).
I hope that a lot of local Florida bands and artists are listed on that same chart with my songs. Unsigned bands and artists can certainly be charting there if music programmers are playing their songs.
Jimmie R. Vestal, JVestal@webtv.net
Perhaps the best thing about the internet, as you pointed out, is that it levels the playing field for artistic expression. Good luck with your songwriting! –Ed
To the Editors:
Though I can understand the need to highlight the thirtieth anniversary of Planet of the Apes ` release (“I Left both Earth and the 20th Century,” by Dave Liljengren in the September 1998 issue of Ink Nineteen), I cannot fathom what possessed you to print such a strange and frequently incorrect critique of the film(s), not to mention its idiotic personal attack on Charlton Heston.
Pointing out Mr. Liljengren’s oftentimes bizarre inaccuracies concerning the POTA films (e.g., Liljengren’s over-emphasis on Rod Serling’s contribution to the screenplay based on Pierre Boulle’s novel, which, as pointed-out in the documentary, was not as significant as producer Arthurs Jacobs’) isn’t necessary, since the excellent two-hour documentary Behind the Planet of the Apes, narrated by Roddy McDowell, that aired on September 6, 1998 on the American Movie Classics channel, brought all the history surrounding the films and their progeny to light. And it rightly establishes POTA as the pivotal film in the history of modern science fiction, if not the greatest. I should mention, however, that Francis Schaffner didn’t direct the film, Franklin Schaffner did. He also directed Charlton Heston in The War Lord and George C. Scott in Patton. I’m surprised your usually knowledgeable editors didn’t catch that egregious error. The first of many, it set the unfortunate tone for this utterly wretched piece.
While the anniversary celebration of POTA is understood, the assault on Charlton Heston, however, was completely uncalled for. The man’s politics are certainly a matter of personal taste (I refer Liljengren and others to an excellent Heston biography aired on the A&E channel where card-carrying ACLU member and life-long Heston pal Gregory Peck makes this clear), Liljengren is tremendously ignorant of Heston’s downright liberal politics. The man, during his tenure as president of the Screen Actors Guild, participated in the 1962 march on Washington and was photographed with Martin Luther King — right next to Marlon Brando! The only “conservative” issues Charlton Heston pays attention to are preserving the Second Amendment and exercising his First Amendment right to say that Ice T’s song “Cop Killer” is offensive to him and he’d rather not have Time-Warner, a company in which he held a large amount of stock, promoting it. And, if you check the news record (try the New York Times) a couple of years ago you will see that Heston defended and fought for the preservation of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Liljengren later makes the asinine comment that “[Heston]… didn’t grow artistically and change with the times… ” Where the hell did that come from? First of all, Heston, at 45 years of age, did most of the film barely clad. A substantial portion features him in the nude. If that’s not a major challenge for any actor of any age (except maybe the excrement that’s come out of Hollywood for the last two decades plus) to “grow artistically,” what is? Heston has successfully played diverse historical figures like Michelangelo, Moses, John the Baptist, Andrew Jackson, Y.A. Tittle, and Richelieu. He’s played the average Joe in films like The Greatest Show on Earth and Earthquake. He’s played comedy quite well (The Private War of Major Benson) and he’s played sympathetic, tragic characters in films like The Savage and Will Penny. To this day he continues to act in a wide range of films, including the recent Hamlet, where his was the only watchable and properly-cast performance. The man played the starring role in Ben-Hur, the greatest film of all time, while the same year he played the supporting role of the average seaman to Gary Cooper’s captain in The Wreck of the Mary Deare. To say the man hasn’t grown artistically is to admit one’s ignorance, not only of Charlton Heston’s majestic career, but of the entire history of cinema.
Finally, Liljengren assault’s Orson Welles’ fine movie Touch of Evil, in that Heston’s portrayal of a Mexican policeman is “…not for the squeamish.” Liljengren will, of course, be proven wrong as Touch of Evil is being re-released to the theaters this Fall and thousands of movie-goers will see for themselves… But how could he make such a foolish, provincial remark about a stellar performance in what is rightly called “the greatest B-movie of all time”? Touch of Evil is a film noir triumph and Heston’s excellent portrayal of an honorable Mexican of genteel birth is never ridiculed, even by his most acrimonious critics (until now, that is).
I will continue to read Ink Nineteen as it is the finest magazine of its kind, always, however, with the caveat that anything written by Liljengren is best consigned to the “don’t bother” file.
Taylor Apeface, via email
Hate Mail of the Month!
Attention Drew Id (Stoop Id)
We have gotten 127 reviews on our album Superdragsmackheadpsychoplasticgogopunk counting yours. Our album has been reviewed in 7 countries and 48 states in America. Eighty positive reviews, 26 “Album of the Year” nominations, 24 boring reviews that repeat our bio and 23 bad reviews. Ten of which from Florida magazines [sic]. Almost half. Talk about no hometown props. We have been slammed by every FL journalist that picked up our CD. Maybe there is a little problem with the local reviewers, I don’t know. But I care a lot. I called a band meeting and decided we should just give it all up. I mean, our career is resting on your jaded opinions. So we’re gonna break up cause you don’t like us. We can’t go on knowing you think our album sucks.
Well, personally I’m glad you don’t like us. Actually I’m relieved. First (since you didn’t know), we are not a metal band. Slayer is a metal band and we don’t sound anything like Slayer. So therefore, we are not metal. 2 + 2 = 4 or didn’t they teach basic math at the community college.
Second, I don’t expect your super jaded self who can’t even respect a band like KISS to understand what we are doing. I’m glad you don’t get it. It tells me my band is still cool. So I did what every other band does with your silly reviews and I wiped my ass with it. The best part is that next month I be on a bus [sic] supporting my rock n roll record partying in a new town every night with my home boys and you’ll still be right there sucking dicks and living vicariously through all the bands you review. Such a sad existence.
Sammy Allen, Bass Player of the Kill (at least I can sign my real name, you pussy)
According to my Elementary Band Math textbook (from my Remedial Roadie course at Bradford Community College), Slayer is a good band, and the Kill don’t sound like Slayer so… uh. I guess I don’t remember my math as well as I used to. You’ll have to figure that one out with your home boys on a Taco Bell placemat, in a new town, every night. Party on! –Ed