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This letter is in re-
sponse to the letter by John Tab in the 4/12 issue. It would appear that Tab has been less than satisfied with Washington City Paper’s coverage of the local music scene, mainly because his favorite style, dance music, has received little mention. Oddly enough, the key to this “mystery” lies in the very article that Tab himself lauded (“Deep Dis,” 4/5).
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Speaking as an outsider to the current dance craze, I believe the article contained the very reasons why I (and many others, no doubt) care not one iota about rave culture: the smug attitudinizing of the DJs, the insular nature of the events, and the synthetic nature of the hyper-trendy music pumped out daily by its adherents. The fact that most underground dance 12-inches are put out in plain sleeves with no packaging speaks volumes about the utter facelessness and disposability of most of this music, which is created for the moment and is of no lasting value. Raves themselves are essentially oversize parties with lots of suburban teenagers on Ecstasy dancing around while lights beam and robotic noise blares. The fact that these events are well-attended and occur internationally apparently makes Tab believe that they are of historic value and deserving of journalistic recognition. They aren’t.
I take particular exception to Tab’s slamming of City Paper’s attempts to be objective in its music reportage. I suppose Tab would rather read only about music that is popular enough to “warrant” mention (the word “thousands” appears three times in his letter), but I, for one, prefer to learn about events and happenings that won’t be attended by thousands, for therein the true “alternative” lies. Personally, I applaud City Paper for choosing to highlight Uz Jsme Doma’s show at the Black Cat, since, as most attendees will verify, their music that night was complex, engaging, and distinctly human, something not so easily said about the rigidly mechanistic racket known as techno, or jungle, or whatever’s “in” this week. I can assure you that in 10 years’ time, UJD’s records will still sound fresh and exciting, rather than laughable, which is what today’s dance music, like all passing fads, will ultimately become.
So rave on, Brother Tab, but please stay the fuck off our plantation, OK? Thanks.