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Roger, Wilco

The same week the Wilco documentary I Am Trying to Break Your Heart debuted in area theaters, the band rolled into town for a spectacular, sold-out show Monday, November 4, at the Carefree Theatre. Remember back when the two Uncle Tupelo offshoots, Son Volt and Wilco, would battle for seasonal supremacy, staggering album releases in a furious one-upmanship campaign? Jay Farrar may as well go to sleep in Sebastapol now: Seeing Wilco, a band clearly at the very top of its game, rendered Son Volt's catalog all but obsolete. Wilco's experimental wanderings, coupled with pop songcraft (and in particular, adventurous keyboard work) captured the ultimate prize. At the Carefree, the band members performed superhuman tasks: Leroy Bach switched from piano, synth, and guitars with aplomb; drummer Glen Kotche adroitly tapped toms, cymbals, and bells; bassist John Stirratt underpinned everything with stately melodicism; Mikael Jorgensen conjured computerized blips, bubbles, and beeps; and leader Jeff Tweedy coaxed mesmerizing sounds from an apparently endless stream of guitars. Repeatedly hammering a single chord into submission or tangling his fingers in effortless acoustic arpeggios, Tweedy and company rode the songs from Summerteeth, Being There, and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot atop monstrous, "A Day in the Life"-styled crescendos. I'll go out on a limb and say it boasted possibly the most impeccable sound mix these ears have yet experienced.

Bandwidth's October 17 column regarding local music discussion page and its thorny Jesus Christ character pissed off at least one individual. A person whose e-mail address gives his name as "CJ Christopher" (who attempted to pass himself off as "CJ Sacafeces from Pompano Beach") wrote in with a heated assault on "some of the most journalistically irresponsible garbage I've read in quite some time." Christopher hurled insults at Jesus, nailing him as a "jaded, ill-informed ex-musician" and a "malicious jackass." How one becomes an ex-musician wasn't revealed, but it's probably similar to renouncing one's citizenship. Speaking of which...

Anyway, the letter writer (who refused to own up to his or her true identity -- though, in an interesting coincidence, the day before the letter arrived, a Spitswap rep asked Bandwidth to forward him a copy of the column) castigated Christ for having "absolutely no credentials or credibility in the music scene. He is not in a band; he is not a promoter, and above all else he's not even a fan -- he is merely an ego-impoverished little boy who derives pleasure from deriding other musicians and placing himself on a pedestal above all local acts."

Christopher didn't let up, chastising yours truly for not "evaluat[ing] the credibility of a source," charging that because we didn't discover that Jesus works (as he claims) in the capacity of "a photographer... specializing in anal sex pictures," somehow voids the Lord's two cents. Does the fact that I moonlight as assistant onion ring tech at the Broward Boulevard 24-hour Burger King render my box any less soapy?

Christopher denied that a handful of area bands monopolizes Spitswap's content, and bemoaned the fact that no one at New Times will ever pen a piece about "bands we enjoy but don't get enough press" -- despite the fact that's been this section's sole focus from the get-go.

Additional complaints: Christopher insists that Bandwidth permits no coverage of "newsworthy events such as a great show at Culture Room or $150,000 of upgrades to Culture Room sound system, or when the Factory shifts its booking focus to punk acts or builds onto its stage."

Anyone taking a cursory glance at the paper knows that great shows at the Culture Room have seen no short shrift in this book. And to quoth the Lord, "Saying you should have covered an upgrade on a PA system is like saying you should have covered the scoop on little Timmy's new car stereo!

"The commie pinkos at Spitswap removed my section," he said a few weeks ago. "I thought I heard them say they were going to ignore this whole fiasco.

"There is a lot of good music all over Florida that I plan on promoting on my upcoming site," continues his fiery screed. "Everyone should enjoy my next article. I like to spank the little pussies around with my holy scepter before feeding them. Love, Jesus."

We couldn't verify that Christ's rantings have been eradicated: has been down for more than a week. Surely the thin-skinned site didn't collapse over a little editorial commentary? Spitswap's self-congratulatory tone toward its own questionable contribution to "the scene" certainly left it vulnerable to criticism. And we should point out that Jesus wasn't a "source," but simply a guy with an opinion on local music-- just the sort of fella Spitswap allegedly set out to embrace.

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Jeff Stratton
Contact: Jeff Stratton

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