Week of September 3, 2003

Phair Enough
Long may she run: If Gina Arnold thinks it's tough being a Liz Phair fan, she should try to follow Neil Young for about 25 years ["Phair Trade," July 30].
Steve Maliszewski
St. Louis

A Phair phase? I am not intimately familiar with Liz Phair's career, so I can't comment much on it. But I do have a few words on her recent attempted foray into mass commercial acceptance: She wants to make some money!

She and her managers have made a decision to experiment a little with her sound and image. I would say that we should wait to see how this campaign develops and how it is reflected in her live performances and subsequent actions. I recall Joan Jett's brief fling with a sweet, soft femme image that was extremely short-lived, and this may be a repeat of that.

Here's hoping that the essence -- whatever that may be -- of Liz's heart and soul show through in the overall span of her career, and that it lives or dies by that.
John Korst
St. Louis

Tuned In, Tuned Out
Can we get a head count? I couldn't help but notice something that I found kind of disturbing in the RFT's music awards issue [June 18]. What do the Reactions, Asia Minor, the Dead Celebrities and Grandpa's Ghost have in common? Two things: 1. All of them just won awards voted in by readers of the RFT. 2. In the past six months I have seen all four bands play shows at reputable St. Louis venues that have been completely empty, despite good promotion of the shows.

It strikes me as funny, and kind of representative of St. Louis in a way, that people could care enough about the band to vote for them, but (despite these bands only playing locally about every month or so, if that) going out of your way to actually attend one of their shows is unheard of. In a city of around a million people, it's a rarity for 50 to show up for a band -- even those that just got voted for by readers of this publication.

It would be nice to see people in St. Louis put their money where their mouths are and attend a show every now and then.
Ryan Wasoba
St. Peters

Won Two
Riverfront Times staff writer Geri L. Dreiling was honored in this year's Clarion Awards competition, presented annually by the Association for Women in Communications. Dreiling's February 27, 2002 cover story "Nasty Boys," an exposé of how harassment of female workers at a prominent rent-to-own company led to the mother of all lawsuits, won a first-place award in the Newspaper Feature Story category. Additionally, earlier this summer the National Association of Black Journalists awarded former staff writer Jeannette Batz top honors in feature writing for "Judgment at Hookyville," her March 27, 2002 cover story about a group of volunteer jurists who were rudely awakened after entering the twisted world of St. Louis' truancy court.

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