Five Ways the Music Industry Is Changing in Seattle

Despicable Promotion

I suppose I should not be surprised at Seattle Weekly's shameless plug of a corporation, namely the huge Starbucks ad that was on the cover last week ["Five Ways the Music Industry Is Changing in Seattle (and Everywhere Else)," Feb. 23]. Did an actual Starbucks representative take that photo? It looks like a print ad right out of their own campaign!

Did you really think that this excuse for a "story" would just get by the general public? Well, in case you're unaware of who you are promoting, let me make it clear for you. Starbucks is a worldwide corporation. There is nothing local about them any longer. And to top it off, they are one of the most evil, take-over corporations out there. The idea that they are "promoting" the music industry or advancing technology is simply preposterous. They are only interested in money, and thanks to you, they are probably getting more of what they love. Why give these trend-hopping, heartless businessmen any recognition at all?

And, a simple extra, it is also possible to purchase an entire album from iTunes. So this so-called "hidden" benefit of the Starbucks music problem is just another stolen asset.

I will now only view your paper as a rag that will roll over and play dead for any useless ad campaign that will give you enough money. Thanks again for promoting one of the least deserving, most despicable companies in the world.

Timothy Youngbluth


Name Change?

If Paul Allen is cutting his annual subsidy of KEXP, and if the radio station is now left as a wholly independent entity, does this mean that the inherent promotional ties to the EXPerience Music Project are severed as well ["Five Ways the Music Industry Is Changing in Seattle (and Everywhere Else)," Feb. 23]? If so, then the call letters can change. How about K-IND?

Peter A. Sennhauser


Better Than Vinyl

Personally I would give the Nobel Prize to the geniuses who invented the CD ["Five Ways the Music Industry Is Changing in Seattle (and Everywhere Else)," Feb. 23]. As a person who probably spent more years listening to vinyl than any of your writers have spent existing in the world, there is no way in Valhalla that I will concede that vinyl sounds better than CDs.

The vinyl cover is the only thing I occasionally miss about the medium. But though a 5-by-5 format doesn't necessarily lend itself to quite the same artistic possibilities that a 12-by-12 format does, the CD cover in the proper hands could and did achieve some lovely work. If the CD travels the same path as vinyl should have decades ago, unless another physical medium takes its place, I will sincerely miss it. Because though the important thing to do with music is to listen to it, it is also a lot of fun to look at the funny designs or read the goofy essays that come with the packaging of music. It is a similar pleasure to reading a cereal box while eating the stuff inside of it.

By the way, the only reason that there are still silly arses who insist on vinyl's "superiority" is that they have to justify holding on to their vast collections that much moola was spent on acquiring, sometimes for such cynical reasons as thinking it would be a lucrative economic investment. CDs sound "cold"? Turn up the midrange, kids.

Jeffrey Slott

Jackson Heights, NY

Home-Birth Bias?

I was surprised to read Nina Shapiro's article "More Midwife Strife" [Feb. 23]. It was the type of sensationalistic journalism I would expect to see in the National Enquirer.

If, in fact, the Department of Health is not releasing any information regarding the current investigation of Debra O'Conner, then it seems to me that the entire article is based on nothing but hearsay, speculation, opinion, and insinuation.

The carelessness with which Shapiro addressed complex issues such as the investigations of O'Conner, home birth, and the regulation of midwifery did nothing to inform readers. Seattle Weekly has merely provided a platform for Shapiro to vocalize her own biased opinions with the result of perpetuating myth, misinformation, and rumor.

What a disappointment.

dianah damron de Luna


Gonzo Cuts to Truth

As a fan of Hunter S. Thompson's political writing, I find his ego barely matched those colossal frauds he wrote about [Mossback, "Gonzogate," Feb. 23]. He had an instinct for sizing up and exposing the breed: the basic dishonesty of Richard Nixon, the crybaby in Ed Muskie, the inner goofball that was Hubert Humphrey, and the phony who is George W. Bush. He gave us what others wouldn't or couldn't, because others had neither the guts nor the insight. He wrote not so much about what these men did or what they said, but who they were. Gonzo or not, the knife cut deep and true.

Thomas E. Hauber


Egotists Better Than Toadies

What? The media's self-infatuation since Watergate and its "lingering bias that everything in America is corrupt at heart" has hurt its credibility and effectiveness [Mossback, "Gonzogate," Feb. 23]? In other words, journalists are now too skeptical for their own good? I must have picked up The Wall Street Journal by mistake.

Writing anything—even letters to the editor—is always an act of ego. I can't imagine that just finding the news and getting the facts were ever enough to get stories into print. Publishers have always published what they want, not necessarily what's true. Maybe it's not such a bad thing to be reminded that the media is biased. "Don't believe everything you read in the papers" has always been good advice.

And it seems to me that the media's inherent bias that America and its leaders are good and pure at heart is still the biggest problem for the public, if not for the "industry." From the American Revolution to the invasion of Iraq, the media has mostly been a servant of power, and in that capacity, it's usually been much too credible. Call me a Marxist, but with a grain of salt I'll take self-righteous, self-absorbed, knee-jerk skeptics over self-censoring, ass-licking toadies and shills any day. Bob Woodward circa 1973 is worth emulating; Bob Woodward circa 2003 is a menace.

Paul Both


Sex-Mad Culture

I just saw a preview of Diary of a Mad Black Woman and was so pleased to see morality and Christianity portrayed in a mostly favorable light. Unfortunately, Tim Appelo didn't see it the same way [This Week's Attractions, Feb. 23]. His sarcastic comment about chastity ("[Orlando] chastely courts Elise for months; he's more interested in intimacy than sex") was just another reflection to me of how morally degenerate our society has become.

I, for one, am a single, 42-year-old woman still waiting for a man such as Orlando, who respects me as a woman and is not just waiting to climb into bed with me. Moral virtue has become lost in our culture, and unfortunately your paper caters to the dominant voice, which screams for more sex!

Erin McClain


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