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Shaking Through Mailbag

Posted: August 25, 2004

By Kevin Forest Moreau, Postmaster General

We sure get a lot of mail here at Shaking Through World Headquarters. Sure, most of it is email inviting us to try some male organ-enlarging product or another, but we also get real questions from readers just like you. As a public service -- and because I'm too lazy to think of a better editorial idea right now -- we thought we'd open up the ol' mailbag and answer a few of your incisive inquiries. Shall we begin?

No? How about now? Now? Now's good? Okay. Then let's begin...

Dear Kevin:

What current musical trend upsets you the most?

Signed,

Lorne, Los Angeles


Dear Lorne:

Glad you asked. There are a lot of reasons to be worried about the state of music today: The consolidation of the major labels into a handful of greedy conglomerates; the lowest-common-denominator mentality that causes radio (and even the press) to overlook or ignore deserving artists; the continued career of Incubus -- all of these are cause for alarm. But at the moment, nothing gets my Hanes Super Premium Boxer-Briefs in a knot like critics and fans who use affected, poncey British nicknames when referring to celebrities.

Just in case you might be one of these people, here's a crash-course in how to avoid looking and sounding like a complete tool. Ready? Here we go...

1. Paul McCartney is not a "Macca" -- what the hell is that nonsense? Sounds like mac-and-cheese (which, come to think of it, is a pretty apt description of McCartney's work).

2. Please, please, please don't refer to Morrissey as "Moz" or "Mozzer." And no, putting a "the" in front of either one of those -- "The Moz" -- doesn't make it any better.

3. And for the love of all that's holy, people, please, I beg you, whatever you do, do not refer to Madonna as "Madge." Esther, yes, if you want to be cute and insider-y (Entertainment Weekly, I'm talking to you!). But Madge? C'mon. That's like getting "Peggy" out of "Margaret." It just doesn't work. Better yet, don't refer to Madonna at all.

Got all that? Good. There'll be a pop quiz; you never know where I'll be lurking, or when I might jump out of the shadows and cudgel you into submission with a rolled-up copy of Rolling Stoner. When you least expect it... expect it!

Dear Shaking Through:

I have a question. Clemenza and Vincenzo: Are these guys for real?

Inquisitively Yours,

Vic Sage, Hub City


I'll let our esteemed bad-movie reviewers answer this question themselves:

Clemenza: Am I real? To paraphrase Morpheus from The Matrix, "What is real?" If by "real" you mean what you can feel or touch, then "real" is only electrical impulses being processed by your brain. If by real you mean have I rolled my editor's house in a drunken stupor, then yes, I am as real as it gets. Of course I'm real! Have you read my reviews? You think that level of grittiness and immersion in the B-movie world could be faked?

I am as real as the basement office here at ST headquarters, the one with the buzzing florescent bulb and the electrical outlets that only accept appliances made in nameless Eastern Bloc countries. Laurence Station just mouthed off to me yesterday 'cause I "borrowed" the plasma-screen TV in his office -- he was handed a first- class beat-down. Ask him how real I am! Anyway, thanks for reading, and stay strong!

Vincenzo: I'm real enough not to worry about defending or defining myself for those of you threatened by the concept of my existence. And I'm real enough to mop up the floor with your sorry carcass if you get on the fightin' side of me. Good enough?

Well, I guess that's settled. Next question.

Dear Kevin,

I sent a copy of my band's latest CD to your P.O. Box a couple of months ago to be considered for review. So far, you guys still haven't reviewed it. What's up with that? How can I make sure I get reviewed on Shaking Through?

Respectfully,

Robert Zimmerman


Rob:

How do you get reviewed on Shaking Through? Practice, practice, practice.

But seriously, there are two answers to your question:

1. Don't suck. I'm serious. We here at Shaking Through World Headquarters leave our mailbox open for anyone who wants to send us a CD -- or a book, or a comic, or even a movie, if they're so inclined. We're happy to run reviews of CDs by unsigned bands or artists when we can, but you need to send us a product of professional quality. (In other words, don't send us a tape of your band rehearsing, or of you singing into a tape recorder in your bedroom while the train rumbles in the background.) Try to send the most polished package you can, with the best songs, and we'll give it a fair shake.

But be forewarned: We are not a press clip machine. We give every CD we listen to an honest, critical assessment. If we really don't like what we hear, we most likely won't review it. There's little point in slamming an act nobody's heard of, especially if they've gone to all the trouble of sending us their stuff. We're not here to piss all over people who take the time and effort to mail us a CD because they like our site.

Important Note! This does not mean that if we haven't reviewed your disc, we think it sucks. That is not the case! It most probably means we just haven't gotten around to listening to it, which leads us to…

2. Bug us. Shaking Through is a small, home-based operation. It's a labor of love for Laurence Station and myself, both of whom have jobs and other things to keep us busy outside of Shaking Through. We get a lot of CDs in the mail -- for which we're very, very appreciative. It's great that so many people know about our little site, and it means a lot to us. But we do all of the reviews ourselves (with the help of a small handful of volunteers, none of whom gets paid a red cent for their efforts), and there are lots of CDs out there and only so many hours in a day. If you've sent us a CD and haven't seen anything about it in print, the best thing to do is to follow up with an email to nudge us a little bit.

Oh, and Please Note: Our mailing address has changed. Go to our Send Us Stuff page for the correct address.

Hope that helps. Okay, we've got time for one more...

Hey, Hockey Puck!

I like the Vatican Assassin's advice column. He's funny, he's smart, and he really tells those knuckleheads where it's at! So why the hell aren't you publishing more of his columns? And don't sign me with no stupid name like "Jonesin' in Jonesboro," neither, or I'll come up there and slap you around so hard your momma will feel it!

Sincerely,

CPO Sharkey


Dear Jonesin':

We print the Vatican Assassin's letters whenever he gets one. It's that simple. You want to bask in his scintillating assaults on the confused and the lovelorn? Then get off your pasty white posterior and write to him, already!

Okay, that about wraps it up for today. Keep those cards and letters coming, and in the meantime, remember these words of wisdom: Don’t touch a Filipino bride’s ass!

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