Business as Usual: Stalling in Sudan - Al Uthman

Chris Hitchens Digs Deep - Matt Taibbi

Rods From Gods: Reagan's Legacy - Bob Fitrakis

Learning from the Help- Matt Taibbi

Interview w/ Perry Rogers, Video Captain- Ken Barnes

From the Desk of Vin Diesel

Ask a Chronic Pot-Smoker

I Hate You

Powell Goes Nuts- Josh Righter

BEAST Staff Forces Publisher to Run for Congress


Buffalo in Briefs


Sports Blotter - Matt Taibbi

Celebrity Math

[sic] - your letters

Pusher - Distro Watch - Seamus Gallivan


Unbalanced Load - Darren Longo


Kino Korner


AudioFiles: Uncle Sam's Jam, Retro Schlock


Archives--Old BEASTs

Contact Us

© 2004 The Beast



while i’m no fan of the major party candidates you mention, i think you should look for someone else [“Beast Drafts Paul Fallon for Congress,” BEAST #52, 6/23/04].  having a nude press conference and smoking a joint at city hall were embarrassing displays of immaturity and did nothing but make paul fallon look like an idiot.  the fact that he actually thought people would show an interest in the race after these publicity stunts showed how out of touch he is with reality.

also, i’m no prude but the constant use of vulgar language in the beast is also totally unnecessary.  i’m as upset with the system as you are but thats no reason  to use four letter words in every other sentence.  in my opinion, it really makes the writers come across as uneducated.   sorry for all the pessimism.  i do give you credit for coming up with an alternative to the bflo snews.

—joe reiss

Dear Joe,

Fuck you.


You really should listen to Hesperus’s music before making such terrible comments on this band! [“sic,” BEAST #52, 6/23/04] Listening to them on stage under a lot of pressure is not the best time to place judgment on them. They are an incredible, extremely talented group. I happened upon them in a coffee house not to long ago and was blown away. Try listening to their CD a few times before making such harsh Judgments! They are better than 90% of the Crap on the radio!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think you will change your mind if you ever do decide to listen to the CD but I’M sure you won’t because you would not admit that you were so wrong.



Dear Jewelbox,

1. “Listening to them on stage under a lot of pressure” is the best and only time to place judgment on a band.

2. Being better than the crap on the radio is about as difficult as urinating after a game of quarters.

Look, let’s get this straight: these dicks were the ones who sent a long, bitchy, insulting e-mail essentially declaring war on us for some softball criticism of their faggily-named band. They are from this town, and should already know not to fuck with us. He who messes with The BEAST gets the horns.

 Here’s what we originally said about Hesperus that so bruised their tender Tonawanda hearts: “But while they too had a vote-getting rhythm section, the guitarist was a bit stiff, and at times I wondered if they knew that a world of music exists outside of the Doors, particularly in their vocals.” Not exactly nice, but all in all a pretty mild criticism, and actually fairly astute (That’s the thing about playing in front of people; they may actually criticize your work).

Then, in a gross overreaction and an appalling display of sour grapes, this pants-wetting pussy bassist, who was actually complimented in the article, throws a classic sore-loser tantrum and proceeds to go on a bridge-burning rampage, blasting his fellow local musicians (Ani Difranco and Righteous Babe records, Mad Yellow Sun, and of all people the nice-as-pie Jony James Blues Band, all of whom can play circles around these monkeys) and our beloved paper (which is at least seven hundred and eighty-four times as worthwhile and entertaining as these run-of-the-mill shitbags and their woefully pedestrian “jams”), and even goes on blast his own home town, Buffalo itself. We quote from commander dickhead: “You all settled for a second rate city like Buffalo, NY to live in.” Wait, doesn’t he live here too? Remember those words, Buffalo—Hesperus thinks you suck; they’re too good for you. Maybe they should get the fuck out of town before somebody kicks their asses. Then again, maybe they should wait until after that.

By the way, we did listen to their CD, a tired and atrociously sung manifestation of their own personal mediocrity. We would give it another spin, but we had to throw it out after we all took turns shitting on it to kill the evil spirits of stylistic incompetence when we checked it out the first time. Fuck Hesperus.

Just for future reference, if you’re in a band and you feel we’ve done you wrong, try sending an e-mail more like this next one:


I was just writing this to express my opinion about an article printed awhile back.The article was writin about how Jackdaw is burning bridges in Buffalo [“AudioFiles,” BEAST # 40, 1/6/04].I’m not here to rant and rave.I love your paper.I think you guys do an excellent job.But the article about our band was lacking information.The cancellation at the tudor lounge was my fault.At my place of employment I am low on the senority list.I get called in to work alot.Sometimes only with a few hours notice.I pay a mortgage and I am soon to be a father.If I dont report when told The risk of loosing my job is very high.I had to make a choice.We fully take blame for the cancellation but its not because we thought p.a. system was not good enough.I dont know why the band was not contacted for any rebuttal.The quote you have from shawn byrne is not our expressions.He is not our manager and has no authority to speak for the band.Our website clearly indicates the correct link for direct access to the band.We were never informed of the article until it was written.Maybe if the writer took some time to get the real story it would have been better.Also,we did not cancel at darcy mcgees for that st. pats show.They contacted us about playing a show each night of st pattys weekend.I believe they offered us 1100$ to play friday,saturday and sunday.We thought that price was a little low and asked for 1500$.Their response was we can not justify paying a local band that much and told us to forget it.About 2 weeks later we decided to do the show for 1100$ and called darcy mcgees booking agent.After we said we were jackdaw he told us Darcy mcgees wants nothing to do with us anymore.That was when we contacted the Sphere to set up a show.We never cancelled the show at Darcys’ to play the Shere.It was only after the told us to bug off.By the way.We were contacted by Darcy Mcgees a couple of months ago to come back and play.We told them no because of the lies they told in your paper.Thats all for now.Just wanted to give you our side of the story.

—Mike Jordan

Dear Mike,

Man, that took awhile, huh? We’re glad you set the record straight, even if it did take half a year. Sorry about the sloppy reporting, but you’ve got to admit that your job and your bun in the oven isn’t anyone else’s problem, least of all the poor guys at the Tudor who were left holding the bag. If you can’t promise you’ll be at a gig, then you really shouldn’t.

On the other hand, it’s not like we never blew anything off. We also know you guys played a campaign party for Paul Fallon at Mulligan’s, so we sort of owe you. You’re obviously a wise and discriminating individual, since you like our paper so much. So peace to you, Jackdaw; we’re square. At least you didn’t whine like little bitches about it. Next time you have a big gig, try to hook us up with an ad for it (yes, we noticed that veiled reference to us in the half-page ArtVoice ad you did).



You guys need to ease back on the drug coverage man. After your last issue came out with the drug review [“…But the Drugs Like Me,” BEAST #51, 6/9/04], some serious busts went down in Allentown. That shit was way too acurate! it was funny too, but dont be blowing in your devoted readers, what are you working for the cops? Christ. Now I’m too nervous to carry. Why don’t you just print a guide of which bars let you smoke, so they can take those down too. Chill out, BEAST! You got more balls than all the other papers in town put together, but you need to think about the little guy’s out here trying to make a living without spending a decade getting buttraped in Riker’s. Aside from that, you guys rock, best paper in toen. Just don’t get me busted.

Still sellin,

Positronic Jablonski

Dear Positronic,

Oh, come on. Do you really think the cops need to read a paper to figure out that there’s coke in Allentown? Hell, there’s coke everywhere in this “toen;” it’s ridiculous. The only reason a dealer gets busted on Allen is that he hasn’t been making his stipend payments to the boys in blue in a prompt manner; let it be a lesson to you. Have you considered that maybe your nervous feelings may have more to do with drug-induced paranoia than journalism-induced heat? Remember the Eazy-E rule, man—“don’t get high on your own supply.”


You should know, what to do, when you have to take a drug test and have it turn negative. Besides not druging. I’ve heard several


Dope Head

PS I talking just pot.

Dear Dope Head,

Man, we already did an article about that [“Pissing and Passing,” BEAST #46, 3/31/04]. The best thing, if you’re not going to be observed, is one of those additives, like Tommy Chong’s “Urine Luck” (besides, that’s just funny). There are also those expensive-ass drinks with the money-back guarantee (that’s BS, though; you need a copy of the failed test, which you’d have to request, and who wants to do that?) Other than that, drink a ton of water for a few day before the test. We urge you to reconsider quitting weed for a while, though—it increases your chances dramatically, and maybe your verbal skills will return as well.


dear paul salamone,

funny to see someone else using the beer mystic name [“Beer Mystic Manifesto,” BEST #50, 5/26/04] since i have been using it or have been associated with it and the novel of the same name since 1986... Thot maybe you would be interested to know more about this beer mystic:

BEER MYSTIC: originally titled “Confessions of a Beer Mystic”, it has a longer, more checkered history of recognition than OGOG [below], having been excerpted many times in a variety of journals and anthologies. Back when the Lower Eastside was hip and profitable [late 80s, mid 90s] it held a certain sway and dare I say carved out a kind of parameter of zeitgeist - people related to the spiritual aspects of beer. The editors of RANT [a NY lit & politics zine] and the editor of BEET [a Brooklyn lit zine of some sway back then] both declared it “the best novel never published”. This self-depricating

black humor was part and parcel of our writing group, the Unbearables [see internet for more].

I was the co-founder of the Unbearables [formerly the Unbearable Beatniks of Light] in a Midtown Broadway Socialist bar in 1986 with 3 other writers. The group evolved and became less drinking-complaining buddies and more of an action group that devolved into self-conscious-promoting writing group, famous for many actions including the Brooklyn Bridge Reading and the New Yorker “free verse” protests against their publishing of boring poetry. we also published 3 anthologies of prose & graphics with Autonomedia. We spawned…[litany of people we’ve never heard of]... But ultimately the core group kind of disintegrated as the group divided over the issue of cultural criticism [our anthology CRIMES OF THE BEATS, endorsed by Gregory Corso, dealt with the commodification of the Beats] vs  self-promotion...[blah blah blah, self-stroking BS…]

Beer Mystic was meant as a kind of spiritual parable and as a satire of the Brett Easton Ellis and McInerney novels among others who dealt with the lives of those with access to money, privilege and entitlement. Beer Mystic would be a revenge on all those who held cultural sway in the late 80s in NY. It pre-saged the supersession of cocaine culture by beer-fetishism [micro-brewery trend].

But ultimately Beer Mystic emerged quite organically from my pen. It began as I used to wander the NY streets late at night pen in one hand, open beer in one pocket, notepad in another... [Ugh. We can’t take anymore. This guy goes on and on about his unpublished book, apparently the only thing he ever wrote, dropping every name he knows in the process, listing every place that ever printed an excerpt, and detailing a story about how he almost got it published once, even going so far as to list all of the BLURB QUOTES that were to go on the non-existent dust jacket. Here’s our favorite, from someone we’ve heard of and so vague as to the book’s contents it indicates that its writer either hated the book or never read it.]

“I loved psycho-careening through the wreckage with the Beer Mystic, though beer makes me think of Belgium and public toilets.”

— Judy Nylon, author & former collaborator with Brian Eno & John Cale

all the best, yeastly not beastly,

bart plantenga

Dear Bart,

Thank you for your incredibly long-winded and self-congratulatory e-mail. Guys like you are essential, because without you we would not be able to fill this page every issue. Write another book. 1986 was a long time ago, man, but it was still too late to be cool by posing as a beatnik and excusing your alcoholism as a metaphysical/poetic stance. Oh, and please cease and desist using the phrase “Beer Mystic;” it is now the copyrighted and wholly owned intellectual property of The BEAST. Once we’re done suing you for all the PBR and Lawrence Ferlinghetti posters you’ve got, we’re going after Salamone for putting it on his website.

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