If the Gnome's queer, it's none of Joe's business.

The Gnome's steamed this week thanks to a bevy of dagger-wielding letter writers and would-be critics. First, fans of local string maestro Orville Johnson wrote attacking this column's reference to "some old guy named Orville" who sat in with Jimmie Dale Gilmore at the Swingside Caf頩n February. The Gnome has witnessed Johnson's plucking skills at the Swingside before and referred to Orv in the same offhand way that many musicians get mentioned in this space. Johnson's henchmen pointed out his resume as a sideman for folk, blues, and country players, but some others just resorted to spewing vitriol. One guy, Joe Weihe, accused the Gnome of making ageist remarks about Orville, then extended his rant to include an offensive statement suggesting that a queer insinuation was made about the Gnome's appreciation of Jimmie Dale, a "hetero guy from Texas" who wouldn't be keen on such an advance, according to Joe. Joey, you're a homophobic slug. Others had a reasonable reaction, such as someone who sent a photo of Jimmie Dale and Orville just to clear up this mess.

Other complaints? The Gnome's dis of local rags for failing to note the arrival of Neko Case's new album neglected to mention The Rocket's cover story on Case. Well, that paper neglected to mention the release date of her Furnace Room Lullaby (out on Bloodshot as of February 22). Point well taken: There's a splashy piece on Case (and Gilmore) in the new No Depression. And reports indicate that another weekly paper in Seattle has taken a shot at the Gnome's gnowing puns, marking at least the third toothless critique since this column originated less than six months ago—and several weeks earlier than the launch of that weekly's local music column.

What's up with Seattle's representation at South by Southwest this year? The annual mid-March music industry confab in Austin has lured fewer local standouts than usual. At least 20 have made the trip in the past; last year's emissaries included Pedro the Lion, Death Cab for Cutie, and the Delusions. Only 13 music acts are Texas-bound next week. Fortunately, most of 'em are loud enough to make noise for the rest of us, such as punk-as-hell heroes Fastbacks, Valentine Killers, Supersuckers, Murder City Devils, and Love as Laughter. Also headed south are Neko Case, the Gimmicks, Green Pajamas, Local 808, Mountain Consolidated, Old Dominion, Saltine, and Ugly Casanova. Bon voyage, y'all. You betcha!

You can reach the Metro Gnome at metrognome@seattleweekly.com

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