Dear Mr. Black, I am perplexed by the motives of your Music section. As co-owner of Room 710 (the one who fronted all the money and subsequently spent the first three years of our existence scrubbing the floors and toilets), it stunned me to read in the paper about how my bar has become "Red River’s most tragic example" of (I’m assuming from the tone and content of the article) business failure ["One Night on Red River," Nov. 5]. One month ago, your same writer, Darcie Stevens, was given the opportunity to write a flabbergastingly empty piece entitled "31 Nights" [Sept. 10] under which the Red River scene, arguably 4 years old, was deemed old and hackneyed. (I’m sure you remember this article. You ran it as the cover story.) Now, your publication considers us decrepit and falling apart. I don’t understand. To be sure, it seems as if the Chronicle’s Music section wants to hurt Red River more than help it. I don’t think describing our streets as a barren sea of "beer and piss" is very flattering. Nor do I think it will necessarily bring new people and their wallets to our neck of the woods, which therefore counteracts the $1,150 a week our Red River Association invests in advertising in your paper. Of course, it doesn’t help that Raoul Hernandez seems to delegitimatize the homegrown talent in this town by completely ignoring the scene. Back when we first opened and were brazen with promotion, we put out a compilation CD of 19 local bands. To help sell it we put on a two-night showcase of local talent. Twelve top-notch Austin bands who will never share the stage again, and your Music editor didn’t seem fit to recommend it. Pardon me, but what is the point of a local paper that doesn’t promote the local folk? Let me close by assuring you Ms. Stevens’ report of our impending demise is greatly exaggerated. Everyone wants to do better business; it’s how one handles the ups and downs that validates success. The fact that we had 10 people at 10pm on a Tuesday for a Schlong Daddy set does not mean that my club has failed to attract either the "hard drinkers or the music fans." Some might, in fact, consider this a minor victory. Maybe it is in your best interest to revoke Ms. Stevens’ creative license before she really pisses us off and we are forced to search for an alternative way to advertise.
Sincerely yours, Asher Garber
[Music Editor Raoul Hernandez replies: The Independence CD release shows were recommended that week in the Music news column, "Dancing About Architecture," (Vol. 21, No. 24) austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/2002-02-15/music_dancing2.html.]