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Maybe your suggestion that Jeff Buckley is a ripoff of Jay Buchanan was a humorous attempt that didn't translate well onto paper (Rebecca Schoenkopf's "Not Over My Dead Body," Jan. 11). Not to insult your intelligence, but the only thing the two had in common was the beauty of their voices and their large stables of adoring female fans. Jeff spent many years honing his craft, but he was born with his voice. Unlike many others out there today who try to get that big record deal by imitating others, Jeff paid homage to his influences, but in his own way. Jay is also an original artist, but he'll be the first to tell you that there are few things he has in common with Jeff except for the passionate way in which they sing. Ask him what he thinks the next time you see him. Jay was still a little skate rat in Wrightwood when Jeff was blowing people away in New York. Maybe you should pick some jackass like Pete Yorn or the singer of "Ours" to be the butt of your joke next time. Jeff is way too good for that.
Rebecca Schoenkopf responds:Thanks for the nice note. But since Jeff Buckley is obviously dead, don't you think it slightly more likely that the "ripoff" is coming from the other end? Lots of people seem to have gotten that. Sorry I wasn't clearer.
LILY DOES 'CAFE SUA DA' BEST
Yes, Vietnamese coffee drinks are varied and cheap and quite good (Gustavo Arellano and Kate Pham's "Coffee Crusade," Jan. 18). My boyfriend, Quan, and I have lived in Little Saigon nearly seven years and have sampled many versions. While we sometimes have different opinions, we agree that the best version of iced Vietnamese coffee with the sweetened condensed milk, cafe sua da, can only be found at Lily's Bakery, 10161 Bolsa Ave. You'll pay $2.25 and might have to wade through a small crowd of anxious patrons, but it's worth it. Order a fresh-baked butter croissant to go with your coffee, and your day is made.
BUT HOW'S THE COFFEE?
Having just returned from Vietnam, I share some of R. Scott Moxley's impressions ("Keep Your Trap Shut," Jan. 18). What surprised me most about the country—and what Moxley did not mention—is the virtual absence of the military in civilian areas, the dearth of police, and the fact that the police I did see did not appear to be wearing guns. I saw a much larger military and police presence in Korea, where I stopped, and in America at the airports. I probably missed much of what was going on beneath the surface in Vietnam. However, I did not have a feeling of being in a country in which the government's control was omnipresent and oppressive at every level of society. Most people seemed to regard corruption in government as a bigger problem than big-brother-type control, though they would welcome a return to pre-Communist days, particularly because of the loss of affluence, and they didn't seem afraid to say so.
ALL IN THE FAMILY?
Who the @#&$ is this Rebecca Schoenkopf girl? Is she the niece of the editor ("Masterpieces of Creepiness," Jan. 18)? That is the only way she could have gotten her job. Does she even know who Mark Ryden is? Comparing Ryden to Courtney Love and his work to Babe 2: Pig in the City! You might as well compare Moses to Martha Stewart. Did you even go to the show, lady? I can't begin to tell you how much I despise you and others like you. Note to OC Weeklyreaders: go to the Ryden show, and you will be amazed not only by the beauty and awe of Mark Ryden's work but also by Schoenkopf's complete ignorance!
Uncle "Ed" responds: We thought our little Becca did a fantastic job. Your insensitive comments about her work notwithstanding, she never fails to make the family proud. We've got to hand it to you on one point, though: a story comparing Moses to Martha Stewart would have been at least as good. Thanks for the suggestion! By the way, Ryden's "Bunnies and Bees" shows at Cal State Fullerton's Grand Central Art Center—located at 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana—through Feb. 24. It's free. Call (714) 567-7233 for hours.
I got so upset reading your recent issue exploring the vast bounty available to OC denizens that I cut myself on the lid of my Dinty Moore chili can ("Nice Dish," Jan. 25). OC Weekly claims to be a progressive voice for the Everyman. In light of the current economic recession, your recommendations for Chilean sea bass in Newport Beach or lettuce wraps in Irvine read more like the menu at a George W. Bush fund-raiser.
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The editor responds: We're sorry, Kurt, but our faces were buried in a most divine chestnut and wild mushroom ravioli with seared foie gras and amontillado sauce. What was your question again?
THE DAY THE MUSIC STOPPED
It seems the Write of Passage for most columnists, critics and print media commentators is the gritty moment when it's time to evoke, in satire, the voice of some recognizable public figure (Jim Washburn's "Snake of the Union," Jan. 25). What gives most of us hacks a great deal of pause is the looming specter of public scorn soon to come from other writers, surely a peevish lot who invariably prefer to contribute to the attack than defend their brethren—"a ham-handed attempt at capturing the elusive argot of the streets" would be one of the milder jibes. Therefore, I doff my headwear to Washburn's final paragraphs—after the music stopped. I'm green with envy. Be assured I don't say that often.