Hope for Detroit
I graduated from the University of Michigan, live in Grosse Pointe, and have a second home in Traverse City. I think that would qualify me for the proverbial a-hole trifecta! But, like many in my shoes, I was born in Detroit (1961) and my grandparents lived in the city until they passed away. I seldom miss one of Jack Lessenberry's articles and I enjoy almost all of them, but I think his recent "Joel Landy's Detroit" (Aug. 8) is one of my favorites. Another reason for hope is that my 18-year-old daughter and her friends spend a ton of time in the city — they love escaping the Grosse Pointe bubble and spending time downtown at concerts, etc. My 22-year-old daughter just finished up at Michigan State University, and several of her friends are living in the downtown area with good jobs, and enjoying urban life. Joel Landy sounds like one passionate, interesting and intelligent man. Thank you for bringing his story to us. Keep up the great writing. —Jeff Brayton, Grosse Pointe Farms
The 411 on ICP
Re: "More than a few words with ICP's Violent J" (Aug. 15), this interview was one of the best I've read in my life. I'm 34, from Saginaw. I have been a fan of ICP since Riddle Box, but never attended a concert, painted my face, or purchased any merch (other than CDs and MP3s). But there is something about these two kids that has always kept me interested, and I never doubted they were much more intelligent than they come off in their music.
I wanted to express a sincere thank-you to Doug Coombe for putting together such a perfectly entertaining answer to some of the questions I've pondered about Violent J for 20 yeas now. Here's hoping for a follow-up interview with Shaggy next? —Jeremy James Blohm, Saginaw
Jack Lessenberry's column: "Does God Hate the GOP" (Aug. 15) made me wonder if God also hates extreme fundamentalists. Otherwise, why would the Bible Belt and Tornado Alley coincide? Is God trying to send a message? —Donald Patterson, Troy
Erratum: In "Noise of summer" (Aug. 15), Michael Jackman incorrectly identified the source of a sample from House of Pain's "Jump Around." An alert reader, Tracey, posted in response to the story that the squealing noise was actually from Jr. Walker & the All Stars' "Shoot Your Shot" — adding that the song also used samples from Bob & Ray's "Harlem Shuffle," Chubby Checker's "Popeye," Lowell Fulson's "Tramp," and a DJ side called "Military Cut." Tracey wrapped up this deft bit of scholarship with the statement, "That dumb song contains some pretty smart samples. Who knew?" Point taken.