When Rich starts with all that they-are-just-too-rock-star stuff, he sounds like some bitter geek who was never liked in high school. The bottom line is that's what people want. Otherwise, bands like Lit would sell only 1,000 records instead of 500,000 and bands like Korn would be playing small places as opposed to the big arenas they've been selling out all year long.

Kane says bands like these and Sugar Ray and Zebrahead sound the same. That is precisely what people say when the music they don't like happens to be the popular sound. Remember, rock music is bigger and badder than arty, underground, independent, ska, swing, gender-bending music. Right now, OC has become Camp Rockstar for many platinum rock bands that deserve the OC Weekly's respect. Kane should rename Locals Only to Only Locals Who Will Always Be Only Locals.

—Mike Isley, Newport Beach Rich Kane responds: Woo! Talk about bitter geeks! Anyway, lemme flip open my Billboard here: Backstreet Boys, 5 million sold. Britney Spears, 4 million. 'N Sync, 7 million. Backstreet Boys again, 10 million. The real bottom line, Mike, is that "what people want" is a lot of crappy music that's force-fed to them through the twin demons of corporate rock radio and MTV, regardless of whether or not it's performed by people who can actually play instruments. The bands I champion in Locals Only may forever be only local, but I could honestly write an article each week about an OC or Long Beach band who've been courted by a major label, only to walk away from the deal when the label wanted to change them too much, whether it was their sound, their clothes, their name, their songs, even their members. In the long run, these local indie bands may never have the kind of money they can make at a major label (money that will only come, of course, after they finish paying back the fat advances they'll owe the label), but at least they'll get to keep their self-respect. So who has more integrity, Mike? The local bands who make music their way, without any meddling from bottom-line-watching Fortune 500 executives or compliant bands who are packaged and sold to you like so much laundry detergent? I'm not much of a Reel Big Fish fan, but I give them full props for covertly getting the truest line ever spoken on the airwaves a couple of years ago: "The radio plays what they want you to hear." And what's with this "Camp Rockstar" shit? Jeez, I hope you don't call OC that whenever you venture outside the county. We have enough of an image problem as it is without your help.

I would like to respond to your article about the Jam at the Dam (Rich Kane's Locals Only, July 16): Hey, don't get me wrong; it was a great show and everything [in a sarcastic tone]. The first band played to only 45 people, including all the Staff Pro guys. Another band played Lisa Loeb and got away with it. Give me a fuckin' break!

Hey, I can't talk shit about the bands. It's not what Cacawates or I am about. Yep, we were the band that "sounded like an HB nightmare." Hey, brotha, it's cool. We don't care if you critics like us one fuckin' bit. But I bet you didn't even know the votes were already counted during our third song. That's right: 10 minutes into our set! We got fifth [place] because no one was allowed to vote.

—Paco Preciado, CacawatesNO BLOW HERE

I'd just like to thank the OC Weekly for running the great review of my new CD ("You Live in the Best of Times!" July 30). I'd also like to say that I DID NOT BLOW Buddy Seigal in order to receive those kind words. In fact, we've never met. This may explain why he mistook camera highlights for graying temples in my photo.

Speaking of photos, I carelessly forgot to credit the multitalented Stephen Hodges for taking the shot that appeared with the story. You may remember Hodges as the drummer who has played with Tom Waits, Mike Watt, Smashing Pumpkins, Bruce Willis and the original James Harman Band. I've done many a gig with him, and he's one of the most musical people I've ever met.

—Freddie Brooks, Costa Mesa WE'LL GET OURS

I recently reviewed your publication, and I found myself deeply disturbed by the content it contained. I am—as you of a younger generation might say—of a repressed generation. I am deeply saddened at your seeming encouragement to berate one another. I noticed several responses to readers that were extremely rude. Buddy Seigal talks about a portion of his personal physique that is beyond tacky; it's repulsive. Rebecca Schoenkopf seems to have no personal concern other than to insult other people. Your readers also seem to be quite full of rancor. Do you purposely promote this type of anger and abuse?

I could continue to point out various unacceptable and crude articles (Commie Girl, etc., etc.). The point is that this magazine—with its gross articles, its flagrant "finger up" attitude—is terribly tragic. You, like the previous generation, starting with the "love children," are sowing the seeds for destruction. Someday, you will be forced to face your Creator. What will you say to him? You won't be able to tell him to "F off." You will be on your knees, pleading for mercy.

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