Re: Brett Callwood's article on Niagara ("She comes in colors," Dec. 9), the first time I saw Niagara, at the Second Chance in Ann Arbor, she bit me on the top of the head! At a couple of later Detroit shows, at Bookies and the Red Carpet, she came offstage and danced with me, which was probably the biggest boost to my ego up to that point. However, when I jumped onstage to dance with her at a show at Todd's, she whirled me around and literally kicked me offstage with such force that I had a bruise that lasted for weeks.
Apparently she has just such a like-hate relationship with local artists. On the one hand, her continued presence in the area, when she apparently can afford to move elsewhere, can offer up proof that one doesn't have to move to New York in order to be successful in the art world. However, statements such as, "It would be so much fun to have all these artists here" (as if there weren't any here already) and, especially, "You've got me, and that's it in this town," both of which appear in her recent cover story, are significant only in regard to her attitude, which seems awfully presumptuous. Not that this is exactly news to me. An artist friend of mine, who has had a Metro Times cover story himself, told me that, after having been introduced to Niagara at a local gallery, she told him that he was responsible for the destruction of a local landmark. Tact is not her forte, it seems.
All of this, of course, is stuff-and-nonsense. Some of Niagara's lyrics on the Destroy All Monsters singles, such as "You're Gonna Die," were a thematic precursor to Goth; who knows, she may have influenced Lydia Lunch and Texicali Jones. I still enjoy them, and I like the reproductions of her artwork that accompany the article. I'm willing to bet that my aforementioned artist friend even liked it, as animosity can be a one-way street.
As a fair warning to anyone who attends her live shows: Don't lean too far over the edge of the stage! —Don Handy, Mount Clemens
We received some responses to our blog post, "WDET 101.9 FM shakes things up heading into 2010" (Dec. 18). Doc d20 posted: Replacing the incomparable Ed Love with a replay of some talker?! I hope WDET still hosts archived Destination Jazz and The Evolution of Jazz shows. I always tune in to Ed Love (via live streaming) on weeknights when I'm catching up on paperwork and getting my house in order. Paying bills isn't so bad with Miles Davis in the room, and with Love's smooth, eloquent narration of jazz history.
And in response to Jack Lessenberry's "SOS: Save our state" (Dec. 9), jlessl posted: Everyone calm down. Jack is doing his consistent Chicken Little "the sky is falling" routine. Yes, we are all aware that Michigan is in a dire situation. However, it does get a bit frustrating, Jack, to hear your never-ending refrain that more taxes will solve all of our myriad problems. Michigan has a shrinking tax base, so where will that additional tax revenue come from? It's like Detroit ... there ain't enough taxpayers to pony up the money!
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