The real Cuba, the indie scene, the bombshell barfers, and how Cubans made Miami

Letters from the Issue of July 21, 2005

Oron Frenkel

Berkeley, California

Okay, So the Indie Scene Has Problems

But I didn't name names: Thank you for asking me to be the cover boy for Mosi Reeves's "Out of Step" (July 7). It was an honor, and I'm happy with how the photo turned out. Unfortunately there are portions of the story itself that raise some concerns. When I was interviewed by Mosi, we discussed, at length, the history of the independent (a.k.a. "indie") music scene in Miami, my history as a DJ, and my role in the indie scene. I was very fair in my answers to his questions. However, when speaking critically about certain aspects of the scene, I made sure not to mention the names of any specific DJs, promoters, clubs, or club nights. Therefore I was very surprised when I read the following: "[DJ Hottpants] says most of these clubs, which range from the established (Revolver, Spider-Pussy) to the recent (Vibrator Wednesdays), are öless about sharing new music and being interested in what's coming up. Instead the focus has shifted to just playing the hits.'"

I did say that some clubs are "less about sharing new music and being interested in what's coming up...," but I didn't name any club nights. I've spun at Spider-Pussy several times, and am both a friend and fan of DJ Saul D, who does a great job spinning at Vibrator. I actually stated that a number of newer club nights were doing a great job of renewing the spirit with which the scene was founded.

During my interview with Mosi, I spoke very highly of DJs in the scene who are doing a great job mixing "crowd pleasers" with fantastic lesser-known tracks (i.e., Matt Cash, Jimmy James), and spoke about the importance of bringing national and international live music acts to Miami -- singling out Poplife and Sweat Records as having done excellent jobs at that. I was disappointed that only my critical comments were included in the article, disregarding the people who contribute positively to the local independent-music community and help it continue to develop in a way that can benefit everyone.

As for this ambiguous statement -- "he never blends his records" -- my mouth is agape. I always follow the music format requested of me by promoters, and I have beat-matched songs since I began DJing.

Daniel Blair (DJ Hottpants)


We Remember Smitty's

No frills, lots of fun: Thanks so much to The Bitch for her piece about Smitty's ("Counter Terrorism," July 7). While I was just an occasional patron, deliveries here at the station were a daily occurrence.

Mira was hilarious with her comments when I would call in an order: "Hi, honey," or "What do you want, sweetheart," or "I love you, baby." She had pictures of all of us on-air types on her walls. It was just a good old-fashioned, no-frills breakfast from a family-owned place.

Yes, there are other places we can go, but Smitty's was Smitty's. It was nice to give them a send-off.

Mark Schumacher

WPLG-TV (Channel 10)


Out and About

Even North Miami is gay-friendly: Thanks to Brett Sokol for his insightful article "Is Pink the New Black?" (June 30). He touched upon several important points. Last year I became the first elected official in Miami-Dade County to come out while holding public office. I've found that the vast majority of residents with whom I interact are very tolerant, but I know there is still work to be done in allaying the fears of others.

Since my coming-out, North Miami has elected an openly gay mayor. I believe we are among the first in county history to have more than one "out" elected official at the same time. This is no small feat in a majority-minority city, where many might expect attitudes to be less tolerant. I am quite proud of my neighbors.

Scott Galvin

North Miami

Bombshells: How Bad Was It?

It was so bad I had to flush it: I picked up New Times at the grocery store and read Kirk Nielsen's article "Bombshell Blowback" (June 16) about the Miami Herald and the "Miami Bombshells." The excerpts the Herald published from Dish & Tell: Life, Love, and Secrets were so bad I read only two of them. And I was disgusted with the publicity generated by this crap.

I appreciate someone telling it like it is in Miami, and you guys at New Times are the only ones doing it.

Gladys Sforza


Bombshells: Upchuck

Yes, Tom Fiedler, we are in fact barfing on your paper: Message to Miami Herald executive editor Tom Fiedler: In case you didn't know, a lot of us are in fact barfing on the Sunday Herald! The "Bombshells" seven-part series represents a new low for the Herald. I won't even touch upon the paper's questionable journalistic ethics, but clearly something had to be afoot. It is unfathomable that a credible newspaper would give such exposure to this book.

It's also painfully evident that Mr. Fiedler is totally out of touch with his female readers. I am one of those well-educated career moms for whom Mr. Fiedler thinks this (aptly described) "drivel" will appeal. In fact these "Bombshell" women are an embarrassment and the very essence of superficiality. With their very limited writing ability, they have brazenly attempted to include us in their sisterhood of narcissism, self-absorption, and unbridled ambition.

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