Was Michael Batty even present at the Bottom of the Hill's SFO3 set on Sunday, July 28 ("SFO3 Diary," Music, July 31)? He wrote a review of the event. He even described the place as having "cheap chow." But my goiter tells me the person known as "Michael Batty" was, instead, bowling at the Kabuki.
He most certainly was at the club for the first band. With the moxie and poise of a SPIN free-lancer, he anointed Slim Cessna's Auto Club with the praise and analogies these Denver upstarts rightly deserve.
But by 6:30, he either paid off a bitter intern to cover the rest of the show or something went very sour in the walnut that serves as Batty's central processor. Was he fixated on some punky Lolita? Did he shake off friends who begged him to switch to O'Doul's? Was his clove cigarette tinged with ... something stronger?
Were I not at the Bottom of the Hill last Sunday, I would be iffy as to whether music was even the central issue. Soul Divine was reamed as having "budget glam outfits"; Gun & Doll Show was peopled with "homely fellows"; an unsuspecting bar local was a "balding, Calistoga-sipping 50-year-old ... A&R guy." I can only be grateful he didn't stick around to comment on Swingin' Doors' fashion sense (but stick around he shoulda -- they kicked hoss ass!).
The show was about music -- not MTV video potential. The joint was packed; bands were cheered; self-financed CDs were sold; barbecue was globbed under fingernails -- what's not to like? Slim Cessna will come back to S.F., and we've got a buttload of talent in our own back yard.
Rock critic or fashion consultant? Maybe Batty should move back to L.A.
In her very nice (but too short) article on Charles Schulz ("Still Drawing After All These Years," July 24), Ellen McGarrahan errs twice. First, Snoopy's flying ace alter-ego inhabits the battlefields of World War I, not World War II. Second, Snoopy does get Linus' blanket, though he rarely (perhaps never) manages to shake it from Linus' grasp. The point of the blanket episodes is not Snoopy's frustration or anxiety, as McGarrahan implies, but Linus' vulnerability and fear of being separated from his material token of security.
Nitpicks aside, though, a fine piece of work.
I am writing somewhat belatedly to thank you not only for voting h2so4 the Best Zine in the Bay Area ("Best of San Francisco," June 26), but for being one of the first reviews of the magazine that, to me, reflects our intent and content. Your review was (leaving out the phrases "too bright for their own good" -- an impossibility -- and "underemployed" -- a sad untruth) both a compliment and a complement.