Letters for July 1, 2004

Your (Christo)phobia is showing

Re “Holy box office!” by Harmon Leon (SN&R Cover, June 17):

Shame on SN&R for letting an amateur write an article so full of ridiculous tripe. Leon shows ignorance and arrogance repeatedly, as though his cultural myopia is a virtue rather than a fault! But what is criminally inane about Leon’s piece is that he picked on absolutely the wrong two people to present as examples of whatever point he was trying to make.

I am no Christian-music apologist. I spent eight years in Nashville working in the Christian music industry, and I could fill a three-page article of my own talking about the shortcomings of Christian music.

But I must state unequivocally that Toby Mac and Mac Powell are two of the most giving, genuine people I have ever met. They walk the walk and have given back through countless unpublicized ways that which was given to them. They are happily married men working in a very difficult environment. Leon’s statement about Toby, “He must get sooooo much Christian booty,” borders on the slanderous. Our junior writer might have found out they were the antithesis of his point if he had actually tried to talk to either of them instead of wearing his bias like a piece of toilet paper stuck to his shoe.

Our boy Harmon just can’t stand the fact that people at this concert were having a good time, not causing trouble, not drinking, not cussing. You know what they say about homophobics, don’t you, Harm? Well, it seems like a classic case of Christophobia here, which can only mean one thing—we got us a real closet Christian here!

Yes, there may be too much commercialization in Christian music. Yes, these guys are out there selling shirts while they’re saving souls. It costs a lot of ducats to put a show like that on the road, as any booking agent, manager or artist will tell you. There’s a discussion to be had on this subject, if only we could find someone intelligent enough to write about it.

Brent Bourgeois
Warehouse Christian Ministries

What would Jack Chick do?

Re “Holy box office!” by Harmon Leon (SN&R Cover, June 17):

It is surprising to finally see a non-Christian writer who questions whether the promoters of “Christian rock music” are really out there doing what Jesus wants for people’s lives.

His observances of a Toby Mac concert make me recommend a book called What’s Wrong With Christian Rock? by Jeff Godwin, available from the publisher at www.chick.com. The message of biblical scriptures he uses for his defense against “contemporary Christian” musicians who sound and act like those in secular music are timeless: “The shrew of their countenance doth witness against them, and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul, for they have rewarded evil unto themselves” (Isaiah 3:9).

Indeed, the “fruit” of the modern multibillion-dollar contemporary Christian music has been raising a generation in a spiritual rebellion that is contrary to the message of submitting one’s will to God. Its listeners just have parties with Toby Mac or Third Day without ever learning how to develop the spirit of Christ within them. This is part of what the saints warned as to leading up to the last days of this world, with “those having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof” (2 Timothy 3:5).

Michelle Kunert

Leon’s next assignment: serial killer

Re “Holy box office!” by Harmon Leon (SN&R Cover, June 17):

I’m sure Mr. Leon had a point, but the only point he actually made is that he finds the “Christian culture” irritating, talentless and hypocritical. The article seemed to be more about the author’s hang-ups and less about a culture about which he knows (for lack of trying) very little. It lacked objectivity, and so credibility, the same characteristics found lacking in so many serial killers in prison.

S. Corbelli

No ugly stepchildren in Sacto

Re “Dances with Hitler” by Patti Roberts (SN&R Theater, June 17):

In Patti Roberts’ review of our Broadway Series presentation of the national tour of The Producers, she mentioned Sacramento being considered “an ugly stepchild when it comes to doling out roadshows.”

This certainly does not come from anyone in the musical-theater business that I know. Ms. Roberts needs to gain a little more knowledge before making such claims as “considering how long it takes for Broadway to find us.” The Broadway Series has been presenting national tours from Broadway for over 15 years now and has received numerous shows before they go to such cities as San Francisco. How about our presentations of Thoroughly Modern Millie or Flower Drum Song? Both wonderful productions made it here this season before going to the favored child, San Francisco.

I personally speak with actors and tour promoters from all over the country, and no one considers Sacramento a “forgotten little sibling.” On the contrary, Sacramento is considered a prime stop for touring Broadway, as evidenced by the four-week run of The Producers, which is longer than any other city on its current schedule.

There are numerous reasons why a show does or does not come to Sacramento, including our own schedule and the availability of the Community Center Theater.

And, by the way, we have never had a show that was “flimsy scenery-on-wheels.” The same sets and scenery that tour to San Francisco come to Sacramento. It seems that the “cow town” image of Sacramento comes frequently from locals as opposed to those around the country.

Christopher Bower
director of marketing and public relations, California Musical Theatre

Patti Roberts responds: There was no disrespect meant in pointing out that original large-production Broadway shows used to take longer to debut in Sacramento than they do now. The review gave no disrespect to the Broadway Series or Sacramento audiences, nor did it make any references to Sacramento as a “cow town.” In fact, the review complimented the Broadway Series’ management for getting new shows to Sacramento theatergoers sooner, and it gave the highest review rating of “sublime” to the current production of The Producers.

Good radio up the hill

Re “Radio control” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R Cover, June 10):

There’s no lack of “localism” in Sacramento public-radio circles, if you’re willing to look beyond the Goliaths and a bit up the hill. We at KVMR-FM (89.5, Nevada City) offer feisty independent news and diverse musical programming, courtesy of 150 passionate volunteer broadcasters from throughout the Sacramento Valley and Sierra foothills.

Our programming mix continues to draw more and more support from discerning folks in the immediate Sacramento area. In fact, about 45 percent of our listener-supporters live there.

Steve Baker
program director, KVMR-FM, Nevada City

Reviewing intermission

Re “Channeling Jackie Harvey” by Jackson Griffith (SN&R Scene&heard, June 10):

I was disappointed to read Jackson Griffith’s comment about Bolivian guitarist and flutist Oscar Reynolds. He mentioned that “Reynolds wasn’t playing guitar or blowing his pan pipes; he just sat there, all alone.”

The art fiesta was from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. No musician, however strong and enduring, can play straight for seven hours without taking a break. It appears that Mr. Griffith had passed by during one of Reynolds’ breaks; he was playing his CD so people could sample the music while he took a rest. It appears that Mr. Griffith didn’t even bother to stick around to hear Reynolds perform, nor does he seem to have even thought that musicians playing through a seven-hour festival need to rest, too. Should a sign have been put up saying, “Show starts again at X p.m.,” or would that be misconstrued as laziness if the musician just sat there anyway?

I’m very disappointed that Oscar Reynolds’ musicianship was overlooked. I find it an immeasurable injustice to be unfairly criticized in this manner, without having even heard Reynolds play at all. The undertones of Griffith’s four sentences on Reynolds appear degrading, not to mention the overall tone he had toward the art fiesta (“Pennysaver territory”).

The only way I can analyze Jackson Griffith’s review is to compare a concert with the festival: He just happened to review the music during intermission.

Anne Reynolds via e-mail