Austin Offers Rich Music Menu

RECEIVED Wed., Jan. 14, 2004

Dear Editor,
   Jesse Santos, why Austin is the live music capital of the world ["Postmarks," Jan. 9]:
   Doubtless there are many who have called for your head for disparaging our city and musicians. I welcome your opinion.
   The "lot of local groups performing every night" that you so casually dismiss are world-class. Any night in Austin there is rock to rap to soul to jazz to world beat to reggae to hip-hop and every point in between. I have seen music I cannot even classify and have been mesmerized by it.
   I have enjoyed seeing many national acts, but I also have been blown away by local musicians who have practiced thousands of hours and played their hearts out for maybe 10 people. Many local musicians have played on national tours, and many famous musicians come here just to check out our music scene and are almost always amazed by it.
   Yes, Jesse, many bands do not stop in our fine city. I could tell you a few stories about going to San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and even to L.A. to see bands, and the trips were almost as much fun as the destination and concert.
   People live here because of the beautiful, friendly people; the climate; the lakes; the music; the arts; the parks; and so many more reasons that I cannot even begin to count them all. Perhaps a good resolution for you would be to count yourself lucky for the blessings you have to live in such a fine city with its artists, dreamers, and performers.
   You ask us to "please spare me your bloody story." One of the great things about living in America and Austin especially is that we each have a story and can express it. I do want to thank you for using your freedom of speech to voice your opinion; however, I respectfully disagree with you.
Tom "Phoenix" Strubbe
lead singer, the Unsolved
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