You invite Pamela Anderson to share a bucket of KFC with the music section and we reward you with a Payback Time T-shirt and two CDs off the Straight's Top 50. Here's this week's winning whinge.
Dear Payback Time: I have just finished reading the write-up Steve Newton did about the Steve Vai show, and I feel I must speak out about the credibility of the writers that the Georgia Straight sends to these shows. Besides spelling Tony MacAlpine's name wrong, Newton claims: "There were no complaints when Vai slowed things down, however, as on 'For the Love of God', from 1990's Passion and Warfare CD," which was the final song Vai played of the night. Later, in his conclusion, Newton writes that during a mid-set keyboard solo, he and his friend left the show and caught the Skytrain to New West. If he was gone mid-show, how was it that he was left spellbound by the final song of the night that was played over an hour after he left the venue?! It's one thing to use the all-too-popular trick of showing up for the first three songs of a show and passing off a review, but to blatantly fake even being there is pretty shady to say the least.
> Sean Cowie
Steve Newton replies: Dearest Sean-or should I call you "Lord of the Wasteland", the wacky pseudonym you use to get free reviewer tix for shows you review on your heavy-metal Web site? Okay, I will. Dear Lord: after Alexander Varty, Esq.'s scathing rebuke of the Payback feature in last week's Straight, I was seriously considering following his royal lead by furtively tethering some Spanish onions to my belt, donning a Welch's Grape Jelly-coloured cape, and never again responding to any comments sent to this "dangerously counterproductive" forum. But then Mike Usinger, prime Payback pusher and high sheriff of the music section, returned from his European vacation and threatened to administer a torture technique he picked up in Italy, an ancient punishment devised in AD 56 by a diabolical Roman cult whose rarely whispered name roughly translates from Latin as "Those Who Fuck the Skull". Since I don't exactly relish the idea of Usinger's fabled meat wand pile-driving my cranium, I chickened out of my refusal. So, Mr. Wasteland dude, you're absolutely right: I got a song title wrong and used a Mc instead of Mac. But I have a good excuse for my critical failings, one that's a lot more believable than Sire Varty's "anti-allergens" cop-out. According to the highly illegal but extremely accurate note counter I smuggled past the Commodore's security team, there had been precisely 37,582,973 guitar notes flying around the bar before I ran away. How could I be expected to get my facts straight with the echoes of all that weedley-eedley-eedley jockeying for space in a mind that was already overburdened with anxiety about which new torment Usinger planned for me upon his return from vacation?
Sean Cowie continues the infuriatingly ignorant tradition of refusing to tell us which CDs he wants. You can voice your impotent rage by snail mail or by sending an e-mail to email@example.com.