Days of Lore

WHERE DO I START? The neat thing about an opinion column is you get to spout off about pretty much any topic your little heart desires and (gasp!) express your opinion. Well, a harmless opinion in an opinion column has seriously ruffled the feathers of a member of the local music community.

Vext Intent drummer Bob Zammit has been the most outspoken about my referring to his band as “unlistenable crap metallers.” The funny thing is that I made the statement while expressing my skepticism toward Chico Indie Fest—students hell-bent on reeling in sponsors before they even had a product, picking ridiculous categories, bringing in only one local band (while claiming they were trying to “connect with the local scene”) and supplying little-to-no information. Again, my opinion.

The band appeared to have a sense of humor about it, though—adopting “Unlistenable crap metal” as their MySpace headline and displaying said phrase on their kick drum. I thought it was a cool move on their part. And last week when I mentioned the CAMMIES Metal Showcase and told people to check out the aforementioned drum, the boys in Vext Intent changed it that night to read: “I ♥ Mark Lore: Unreadable crap journalism.”


The fact that Zammit even cares what I say is beyond me, considering there were tons of rowdy fans packed in front of that stage supporting the band.

CLEARLY VEXED I’m not here to criticize Zammit, or any individual member of Vext Intent. I’m sure they’re nice guys. But reading comments from Zammit in this paper (See Street Talk, page 9; he also wrote a Letter to the Editor back in October of 2005 condemning me for a story I wrote about auditioning for Red With Envy) and in bulletins about how I’m shoving my nepotistic preferences down people’s throats and “suffocating the local music scene” makes me go, “Hmmm … ”

Nowhere does it say in the Great Rock Critic Manual that I’m obliged to speak glowingly about every band in this town—if I did that, I’d be lying. That’s what being a music critic is about—critiquing music, not blowing smoke up a band’s ass just for the good of the scene. And Vext Intent and Red With Envy are both in the CAMMIES, which proves that no one listens to me anyway.

POP QUIZ In addition to the above, the media experts in Vext Intent have also provided a quiz on journalism ethics. So I gave it a go, keeping my answers short, sweet and to the point:

• Do you feel some journalists overstep their bounds? If they provide false information.

• Should the media only present facts? Yes, and present opinion in an opinion column.

• Should the media be unbiased? Impossible.

• Should early stage bands be promoted because of who they know as a journalist? If the journalist chooses to write something about the band.

• Do you feel the local music scene suffers from poor representation of local talent? Not at all.

• In your personal opinion should there be a change? Get rid of horrible snot-nosed columnists.

• Are you willing to stand up and make a change? Yes.

• Do you feel that in general the media is doing a good job with the local scene? Yes.

• Can you point out the good journalists from the bad? Yes.

• Do you feel one-sided attacks on local acts is fair to the local music scene? It’s obviously never one-sided.

• If you read about how terrible local music was, would you want to invest your time and money into it? Yes, I prefer to form my own opinions.

• Do you feel that journalists who make one-sided attacks on local talent should be publicly ridiculed as well? Of course.

• Are you willing to contact the local papers and give them your opinion? Absolutely.

You can take it yourself!

IN CLOSING I still think Vext Intent is unlistenable crap metal (obnoxious, funky basslines, generic riffs, frat boy sing-along choruses); but hey, this is from a guy who listens to plenty of music that some people consider unlistenable, i.e., KISS, Green Day. But I do wish Vext Intent and the rest of the local bands the best of luck in the CAMMIES. Honestly.