The Fish
for 10 June 1999. Updated every WEEKDAY.
 
 
Suck Staff
 

Joey Anuff
Joey Anuff
Editor in Chief

 

[Tim Cavanaugh]
Tim Cavanaugh
Special Guest Editor

 

Terry Colon
Terry Colon
Art Director

 

[the fixin' pixie... ]
Emily Hobson
Production Manager
& Rhythm Guitar

 

Heather Havrilesky
Heather Havrilesky
Senior Editor

 

[Ian Connelly]
Ian Connelly
Marketing Manager

 

[Brian Forsyth]
Brian Forsyth
Production Editor
& Pool Monitor

 

[Copy Edit]
Erica Gies
&
Merrill Gillaspy

Copy Editors









	
Suck Alumni
Suck Alumni Text
 

Carl Steadman
Carl Steadman
Co-Founder

 

Ana Marie Cox
Ana Marie Cox
Executive Editor

 

Sean (Duuuuude) Welch
Sean Welch
Suckgineer

 

Owen Thomas
Owen Thomas
Copy Editor

 


T. Jay Fowler
Production Manager
& Ass Kicker

 

[yes, it's a plunger. i'll l
eave the rest up to your imagination ... ]
Erin Coull
Production Manager

 

Monte Goode
Monte Goode
Ghost in the Machine

 

Matt Beer
Matt Beer
Development Manager

Positively Fourth Rate

You almost had me until this
statement: "Dylan, who on his
only indisputably great LP —
1979's Slow Train Coming...."

If you dispute the greatness
of Blood on the Tracks,
Blonde on Blonde, or Hwy 61,

you are a dingleberry in
Patrick Ewing's sweaty arse.
You lost all credibility
after that, skippy.

Chad

Dear Chaderooski,

Let's lay the cards on the
table: At least the Knicks
are in the playoffs. Better
to dingle in the sweaty arse
of hell than to serve in
heaven, donchaknow.

Back to Slow Train Coming:
Dylan is at his best when
challenging his audience.
When else does he challenge
them more than by releasing a
X-tian rock LP at the end of
the '70s — an LP that
Satan himself would grant is
a damn fine disc. Blood on
the Tracks
is marred
irrevocably by "Lily,
Rosemary, and Jack of Tarts"
(that sound is not drillin'
in the wall; it's drillin' on
the listener's brain); Blonde
on Blonde
by any number of
rotten tracks (suffice it to
say: "Rainy Day Women"); and
Hwy 61 by (at the very least)
"Desolation Row" (yeah, the
hand's in my pants).

Prof. M.

Dear Sir,

Whatever the merits, or lack
of, existent in your piece, I
find it laughable that one of
your major tenets is the
dismissing of every Dylan
album except Slow Train.

Take a week off from quoting
other articles to pad the
length of yours and listen to
Blonde on Blonde and Blood on
the Tracks,
then pen an apology
for that absurd statement.
Then, just maybe (though it's
highly unlikely) someone will
remember you as more than an
ignorant clown (while Mr.
Dylan, the man you so
flippantly disparage, is
remembered as THE VOICE of
the second half of the 20th
century at a time when your
great-great-grand kids
probably won't even know your
first name).

Regards, John

I regret having to write this
letter. But there's someone
new. For details, see above.

Mr. M.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Filler

Subject: On How to Be Polly

You'd be surprised! Young
America needs a new young,
hip icon of endless cynicism
about the minutia of everyday
existence. Why, if I were two
years younger, I would invite
you to my high school to give
a point-counterpoint session
with the valedictorians. So,
what do you think? Are you up
to the challenge? If not then
the shadow of banality and
despair will overcome us all,
and the shadow of banality
and despair was last seen
wearing Old Navy pants at a
Backstreet Boys concert.

Oh wait, it already has come.
Well, good luck and good
writings!

Arthur Rimbaud
<vangogh@iav.com>

The shadow of banality and
despair stopped by last week
to slap me about the face and
neck, so believe me when I
tell you he's not to be taken
lightly. He was bitching
about what the humidity was
doing to his hair and
chain-smoking Virginia Slims
Menthols, and he forced me to
read this suck-ass book
called The Way I Found Her.
Word to the wise: When
there's a breast of any kind,
undulating or not, black and
white artsy look or not, on
the cover of a book, you know
immediately the book sucks
ass. Most people know this
intuitively. My only friend
who reads was with me at the
bookstore, and when he looked
at the cover of the book, he
said, "Hmmm. Why are you
buying this?" Spoken like a
true valedictorian.

So, to answer your question,
no, I don't think I'm up to
the challenge.

Banal and despairing,

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Polly,

Hey I know that guy! Urban
Outfitters on the Promenade!
He rang up my Buddha mousepad
with a sneer.

I have been in LA three years
and he has been there every
second. Like a hunter-orange
benchmark.

Isn't he just a fantastic
specimen? The gelled hair,
the glasses, the thermal
underwear under the bowling
shirt.

Why do the coolest people
always have such awful jobs?

Geek with a killer gig,

Bryan Richard
<brichard@usinteractive.com>

Dude, those people aren't
cool. They just play cool in
a retail store. Don't you
know the difference, dude?
Dude.

I was thinking of the one on
Melrose, actually. The Urban
Outfitter toadies in SF are a
lot more authentically
emptily cool, whereas the LA
ones are just lame LA types
painted over with a vaguely
SF-like veneer of cool, like
Gap monkeys dipped in
bittersweet chocolate.

Yes, both cities are
interesting yet suck equally
for very different reasons,
so don't give me any shit
about it. Everyone aches to
about the same degree. I
should know. I am a medical
doctor.

Ouch.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

This will be very quick. Just
want the world of my cyber
friends to know that Eckert
Drug Store sucks because
Eckert Drug Store does not
have a decent return policy
on merchandise. Eckert Drug
Store says that you must buy
other merchandise right then
upon the return. I was forced
to buy from Eckert Drug
Store $18 worth of merchandise
just because I lost my
receipt. I got an apology
from the store manager
but that didn't cut any
ice with me. As far I am
concerned, Eckert Drug Store
sucks. Yes, Eckert Drug Store
really sucks. I sure hope I
have Eckert Drug Store in
this note often enough so all
search engines pick it up.
But just in case, one more
time: Eckert Drug Store.

Marge Howard
<marjos@frontiernet.net>

Ooo, boy. Thanks for the
heads up! And to think, I
spent the better half of my
youth shopping there. Now I
know better! To think, not
being able to return
something without a receipt!
I've never heard of such a
malevolent policy!

That's Eckerd Drugs, by the
way.

Polly

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 
Knockout Layout

For the record, I like Suck's
layout. It's easy both to
read and to navigate, which
is important, considering the
majority of your readership
is probably somewhat hung
over, bleary-eyed, and badly
in need of caffeine and/or
other chemical substances
when they log on early in the
morning from their
office/cube/workstation
to put off whatever work
they're supposed to be
doing (if the rest of your
readership is anything like
me, that is).

Also, I'm neurotically averse
to change. Which reminds me,
thanks for coming up with
that "Terry's day off" icon;
I'm sure it will allay a lot
of panic attacks in the
future — and it's good to
hear Terry's OK. I was afraid
maybe he'd crashed his bike
again. Anyway, please don't
change a thing about Suck's
layout.

Badly in need of chemical
substances,

Jean Marie Cousins
<JCousins@ WCP.TWC.com>

"Neurotically averse to
change" pretty much describes
our target demo. Our only
concern is that our readers
might stop palming the pills
the nurse gives out every day
before arts and crafts hour.

Sucksters

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

Positively Fourth Rate

OK, so Dylanology is not only
a silly word but a silly hobby.
It's not the only one —
let me quote you
directly:

"It may be too much to ask
that the artist formerly
known as Robert Zimmerman
publicly apologize for
dropping such tuneless turds
as Self-Portrait, Saved, Shot
of Love,
and all the
pre-electric LPs into the
punch bowl of popular music."

Oh, yeah, and here we go:

"His only indisputably great
LP — 1979's Slow Train
Coming
... "

Let it also be known that
music criticism is a field
that no one — let me
repeat that, NO ONE —
likes. Not journalists, not
the musical acts, not the
average reader. By making
such statements you bypass
the practice of name-dropping
as the surest way of making
yourself sound ridiculously
phony. You reveal your basic
delusion that figures in
popular music really must be
more than just guys who write
songs for money and are
somehow accountable to the
public — like Bob Dylan
must be some kind of US Music
Authority bureaucrat who, by
God, didn't deliver the
record to which you were
entitled as a consumer!

Now, I'm not going to lie; I
actually like the
pre-electric albums. I came
to this opinion because when
I heard they existed, I
actually gave a little of my
money to Dylan (or whomever),
took the CDs home, and found
out for myself. I expect shit
mags like Rolling Stone or
Wired to practice such
self-indulgence — but you
guys? Here? You know people
will call bullshit on you,
and, well, here I am.

That said, Suck rules!

Capricorn Service Desk
<service@cdsonline.com>

Dear Service,

No, Suck sucks (as various
letters will attest). And you
are bullshit, as you call
yourself. Let's face it,
music criticism is like
opinions is like assholes:
Everyone's got one, and they
all stink. Having said that,
let's not dismiss Slow Train
Coming,
the one Dylan record
that seriously challenged his
fan base, nay, the country.

Mr. M.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

It takes a big man to choose
a target as difficult as Bob
Dylan.

Rob Madeo
<rmadeo@WNYT.com>

Dear Rob Madeo,

No, it takes a big man to
take on my next target: Dave
Van Ronk. If I can pull that
one off and live to tell the
tale, I'll insist my middle
name is Courage (pronounced
in the French fashion).

Mr. M.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

I find it unbelievably and
indescribably amusing that
you find the discussion
of Bob Dylan to be
such a pointless and
self-congratulatory pursuit.
I'm sure other Dylan fans —
and I am very much one —
will also find it to be
so. It's ironic: Your piece
is linked at Expecting Rain,
one of several hundred sites
devoted to the work of Mr.
Dylan (do you have a Web
site? No! You wouldn't be
that ego driven; what am I
thinking?). It's even more
ironic how well it fits. You
see, Mr. Mxyzptlk, those of
us who have been moved by
Dylan's work are immune to
such a tirade ... indeed,
we're amused by it.

Well, first of all, we hear
it everyday. The only friends
or lovers I've had who did
not demean "that voice" are
those who were also moved by
it. When I first began
listening to Bob (about 25
years ago, much longer than
I'll remember your name —
such as it is) I heard it; I
hear it still. Funny that the
artists my friends back then
touted as so important
("You've GOT to hear the new
Styx album!") have mostly
faded beyond remembrance like
worn-out clothes, while Bobby
plays on.

Second, we actually enjoy the
fact that other people don't
get it. It's our club, and
it's exclusive. Only people
who "get" Bobby can even
stand him. Do you see how
perfect that is? Well, I'm
sure you have other icons
whose work will be remember
long after you skewer it.
I'll leave you to it.

¡Hasta!

Matthew Bailey
<lostsok@hotmail.com>

Dear Lostsok,

Here's hoping Tommy Shaw and
the other aggressively
masculine members of Styx
track you down and whip your
dog's ass, buster. You are
correct (Sir) that Dylan's
work will "be remember" [sic]
long after yours, mine, and
ours. You are incorrect (Sir)
in suggesting I is [sic] not
a Dylan fan. But then only
people who get it get that.
See how perfect it is?

Mr. M.

 
Fish With Letter Icon
 

 The Shit
Left for Dead in Malaysia, Neil Hamburger, Drag City, 1999
The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium: American Culture on the Brink, Mark Dery, Grove/Atlantic, 1999
Crazy from the Heat, David Lee Roth, Hyperion, 1998
Keep It Like a Secret, Built to Spill, WEA/Warner Brothers, 1999
Abbott's Pizza Company, near the corner of Abbott-Kinney and California, Venice Beach, Los Angeles (delivery hours limited)
Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Pink Floyd, CD remaster, EMI 1994
Motorhead, CD remasters, all
Det Som Engang Var, Burzum, Misanthropy, 1998
Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, Nashville, Tennessee
A History of the Modern Fact, Mary Poovey, University of Chicago Press, 1998
V., Thomas Pynchon, HarperCollins Publishers, 1999
The Coffee Mill, Emeq Refaim, Jerusalem, Israel
The Salesman and Bernadette, Vic Chesnutt, Capricorn Records, 1998
Good Morning Spider, Sparklehorse, Cema/Capitol, 1999
Third Floor, Anderson Building, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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