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I am appalled by Rich Kane's lack of professionalism and journalistic integrity in his review of Bob Dylan's March 10 early show at the Sun Theatre (a href=”http://www.ocweekly.com/ink/00/28/locals-kane.shtml”>”Masters of Snore,” March 17). His article does not even resemble an effort at critical journalism, seeking to objectively analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a musical performance. It is self-indulgent, overtly biased and more than mildly insulting in its lack of civility and intelligence. In the opening paragraph, speaking of Bob, Kane states, “So we went thinking he'd even do the big gurk! right there onstage-now, wouldn't that ticket stub bring in a bundle on eBay.” He continued to prejudge and insult audience members as well as Bob based on physical appearance, age and lifestyle choice. The entire article is belittling to anyone in Mr. Kane's path. Just to clear up a couple of items: Kane writes, “His . . . voice was much clearer than we've ever heard it, though we pay props to the Sun Theatre sound crew for that little miracle.” Does he really suppose that Bob tours the world each year, months at a time, relying on the venues to control the sound quality of his shows? In the past 10 days, I have had the intense pleasure of seeing Bob perform several shows and seeing the glow on the faces of people from 12 to 70 as his performance pulls on the common thread of humanity in their spirits. I spoke with hundreds of people from Anaheim to Reno and did not find one unhappy soul-except for those who could not get tickets!
Heike C. Strand via e-mail For somebody who writes for the Weekly, Kane is stunningly smug. Stuart Levitan via e-mail
Kane doesn't know shit about music. His unwarranted negative comments about Bob Dylan demonstrate how much of an idiot he is. It is a shame that he is allowed to do any kind of music reviews, and it's an even bigger shame that he has a job as a writer because he sucks at it.
Aaron Sullivan via e-mail
As an Orange County resident, I would like to register my displeasure at the sociopathic and sophomoric diatribe by Rich Kane. More so at the editor who actually permitted that hatred to be printed. I expect the paper to apologize to Mr. Dylan, his family and his fans. I would like to think that Kane would reflect on his vileness and understand that, yes, Mr. Dylan was singing about him: “Rip down all hate, I screamed.”
Ronnie Keohane Fountain Valley
I would've liked to have seen an unbiased report of the concert, not a slam toward hippies and unintelligent kids. Your reviewers are taking up valuable seats that would have been gladly taken by any other Dylan fan, who probably would've been glad to write a review. I'm only 19 and had the best time at the show. I just can't believe some ignorant elder is working for a respectable newspaper that I read! Well, I won't be reading it anymore.
Garciyalater, Jeff Dreher via e-mail
Thanks, Rich, for your review of Dylan! I loved every bit of it-EXCEPT FOR THE CONTENT!!!!!! How old are you, anyway? I suppose you're right into Britney Spears-now there's talent, right? Okay, so you're real clever and you write with unguarded sarcasm, but you don't know who you're dealing with! And that hippie dude you found so offensive? Well, at least he didn't waste his 45 bucks! Go get a life, you hipster doofus! Hmph!
Donna M. Mytka via e-mail
Kane may be a very entertaining writer, but sorry, chief, he's way off on Dylan. Hey, it's fine if he doesn't get it. But as a writer, he has a responsibility to back off when he gets in over his head. Try doing Britney Spears concert reviews-the jokes will come easily, and you'll be above the intellectual level of the performer!
Dennis Cleary Copenhagen, Denmark
News flash, Mr. Kane: this is not how to write a critical review. A critic is supposed to be objective. I mean, tell us honestly, do you think you went into that concert just a tad cynically? I would have respected you for objectively stating your opinion, whatever it may be; as it is, however, I have lost all respect for you thanks to the way you did it. My bottom line here? Hate the music. Hate the concert. Hate the singer if you want to. But don't base a review on personal attacks, snide little comments about someone's health and state of well-being, and remarks about the possibility of that person dying onstage. I cannot believe I have read an article so insensitive and crude.
Brenda Paro via e-mail
I just wasted my time reading Rich Kane's drivel about Bob Dylan. I'm amazed that you would put out such nonsense. While the nasty Mr. Kane is entitled to his opinion, he should refrain from reviewing areas of music he obviously knows nothing about. Dylan's acoustic guitar playing is totally unique and rivals any player out there! ANY! I just got back from a bunch of shows-the Thursday show in Santa Cruz being the highlight! As good as any show I've ever seen! Tell Kane if he's going to review a show, he needs to get his head out from under the table, worry about his own toenails, and try to leave his miserable punk attitude at the door. Better yet, stay home: Bob don't need you on tour bumming everyone out. Kane is a piece of crap, just like your publication is for printing nonsense.
Tony Mazurowski via e-mail
Shame on Rich Kane for his anti-semantic [sic?], mockery-bashing slur on the nature of the beast. You will of course get many threats and denunciations from those of an even more questionable mental status than Mr. Kane. Do not let this dissuade you from your duty to fire the sourpuss for being boring himself and finding the world and its beautiful people boring. Mr. Kane does snot [sic] respect his elders, leading to the downfall of the nuclear unit. Thank you in advance for your immediate and swift axing.
Sonny via e-mail
The Weekly needs to rethink some of its staffing choices. They should hire someone who knows something about music to write the entertainment column.
Linn Carpenter via e-mail
Yes, I know that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but that review written by Rich Kane about Bob Dylan was quite frankly really low. And yes, I actually am a Bob Dylan fan, but I would be making the same comments if that article was written about Marilyn Manson. That was purely not a review of a concert, but a personal dig on “nostalgia” in itself.
Jennifer Elliott via e-mail
Dylan's lack of appeal to today's audience, as demonstrated in Mr. Kane's article, is a prime indicator of the decay of music. Dylan is not a “man prostituting his legend,” as if it were necessary for him to do so. To borrow a line from a musician your music critics are more likely to admire and laud, his candle will blow out long before his legend ever will. See, Dylan's the only thing left in this country to remind itself of its roots. One can discover the history and mystery of America through his music. But his true power not only lies in the incredible catalog he has amassed throughout the years. No, it's deeper, much deeper. His performances also transmit something powerful. Dylan's not the Homerian balladeer everyone likens him to. For he is able to do something far more difficult than someone under the former title could ever hope to accomplish. He's able to transmit ideas and feelings without the use of words. In fact, nowadays, that's what he's doing. He's not singing words so that we can understand, memorize and contemplate them. No, sir; he's singing and playing sounds that do much more than words could ever hope to. Isn't it obvious? The words to “Blowin' in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-changin” and “Tangled up in Blue” don't mean anything anymore. He's not singing those songs to get people to hear the “message”; he's singing those sounds to allow people to feel and realize a mystery that's far more complex than any message anyone could conceive.
Sebastian Cucullu via e-mail
Let me be frank: I'm dismayed. I'm dismayed that small-town, West Coast journalism tries so hard to fulfill stereotypes that long ago should have been outgrown. I'm dismayed that the writer has nothing to say-no standards, no sense of beauty that might have been confirmed or outraged by the concert: only a Pauline-like itch to be thrilled that seemingly wasn't scratched (poor thing!). I'm dismayed that the author's warped sense of chronology-or inability to resist pushing predictable buttons?-has him referring to an illness Dylan recovered from three years ago. I'm dismayed that nothing's been delivered. Would it be going too far to say you are a large part of what's wrong with the world? I suppose. Assign someone to say it better.
John Haas via e-mail
Rich Kane has no clue about music. He does not understand Bob . . . and the real kicker was that Bob is not like the multitalented Jakob??!! Jakob's talent had to come from somewhere, and I am positive that Bob is a lot more multitalented than Jakob will ever be-guitar, harmonica, piano, writes the best songs. What more do you want? Rich Kane should go to his room, turn on his Discman, and place his old Spice Girls and Ricky Martin CDs in the player and transport himself to the reality of his life: he knows shit about music.
Jay Veck via e-mail
Rich Kane was fortunate to catch a glimpse of a living work equaled by few but seems to have been more concerned with the apparent evidence of late middle age that surrounded him. I understand a review should place an event in a proper cultural context; however, I believe Mr. Kane's flippant review, in its focus on age, is rather shortsighted in that regard. Mr. Dylan is a living treasure. He is just as likely to play a Buddy Holly song as a Frank Hutchison song in the same concert. His songs, concerts and albums reflect a deep appreciation for the broad American musical tradition. Mr. Dylan is both a curator and a messenger of that tradition. No one else of his stature does what he is doing. From condescending words on dancing grandpas to unnecessary and cruel words on Mr. Dylan's mortality, Mr. Kane's focus in his review seems, to me at least, to say more about his own views toward age and mortality than what actually happened at the concert. Hooray for Mr. Dylan! He's still out there on the road. Perhaps his constant touring and refusal to fade away are his way of reaffirming his famous warning that “he not busy being born is busy dying.”
Otto Thompson Zama City, Japan
Words can't express how deeply sorry I am that the audience didn't acknowledge punk's musical influences and insisted on asserting that “strange, sickening '60s vibe.”
Mike Miazgowicz Berkeley