March 1998
s m u g
ear candy
by Joe Procopio

Dear Eddie,

First of all, thank you very much for the collection of jams and jellies from the Pacific Northwest. I swear, I will most certainly use these on occasions when I have friends over and such. There won't be another incident like the time you found the Hickory Farms Summer Sausage tray you gave me hidden under the seltzer in the pantry. And again, your forgiveness in that matter was most noble and appreciated.

I also promise to give Yield a listen, as I hear it isn't the raging suckfest that No Code was.

As for your questions, I will do my best to answer them in order.

First of all, I do think it was a good idea to give in a little and put some marketing support behind this latest record. You're absolutely right, artistic integrity doesn't get you courtside seats. I mean, what fun is wearing a disguise if no one is going to see through it?

Along with that, I also agree that it's time to make videos again. Don't sweat this. Whatever you churn out will be heralded and played ad-nauseaum on whatever channel happens to play videos these days. Just film something with you and the fellas looking all serious and deep again. I guarantee you it will win some kind of award. After all, the terms music video and artistic vision were separated right after they finished broadcasting "Video Killed the Radio Star".

As for question number two, stay pouty. The world doesn't need an older, uglier Hanson.

Now, for your cause celebre this time around, I say get off Ticketmaster and latch on to Microsoft. Surely Generation X can align themselves with that. I know this is going to feel somewhat ham-handed at first. And finding something to rhyme with "Stop feeding us Internet Explorer" is going to be a bitch. But it'll pay off. I mean, look at how much Ticketmaster has done to slash service charges after you...

Wait. Never mind.

The whole Latch-Onto-The-Forgotten-Aging-Rock-Star program worked quite well last time around. And I think you should take another stab at it. Unfortunately, you've already propelled Neil Young from unwashed-critic favorite to unwashed-cult-hero. So you can't go back there. I thought about this for a while and my suggestion would be to just go out and dust off someone else. As a matter of fact, I, for one, really miss Colin Hay from Men At Work. And just think, you'd get to do classics like "Down Under", "Overkill", and "Be Good Johnny". I'm picturing this and not laughing my ass off at all. Really.

Next Question: The Radio-Friendly vs. Relevance issue. I don't know. Ten was indeed a single-heavy record. But I think it was an accident. It had more to do with what happened to be the reigning sound at the time than the record's production values. If you're that worried about it, then may I suggest Puff Daddy? He did something with Dave Grohl that everybody seems to be quite excited about. Although I have yet to hear it.

Or why not get some wunderkind brother team to remix "Given to Fly" and put some scratches in there (because, as we learned last year, scratching=genius)? Go get whoever's hot at the moment. Dust Brothers, Chemical Brothers, Mario Brothers, whoever.

And even though you know I appreciate only succinct and to-the-point questions, I'll go ahead and respond to - what must've been four pages of rant on the horror of pop-up garage bands playing painful, tuneless versions of your songs. I'm right there with you, slick. It was hideous enough when classic-rock radio picked you up a couple years ago. And I know the pain you must feel hearing "Alive" or "Daughter" sandwiched between "Desperado" and "Freebird". What can I tell you? I must say I don't think that you'll end up on a K-Tel Heroes of Grunge retrospective ten years from now. So don't worry about that. And cheer up about the classic-rock-stations and the garage clones. It could be worse. You could be in the Black Crowes.

No, I don't think it was a wonderful thing that Soundgarden broke up. I don't care if it does mean that you're the last remaining vestige of an innocent era gone by. Is that any way to act? You know better than that.

Finally, in reference to your last question about the Kurt and Courtney lawyer feud at the Sundance festival this year. I don't know what it's going to take to get you into a documentary film. I wish I had an answer for this one, as I wouldn't mind for myself the kind of attention and lasting impression that a bio/history flick creates (Hmm... Note to Leslie: "Smug, the Musical"?). I mean, the chance to be a permanent part of a moment in history, what an opportunity that would be. To be asked for your views and your impression of a period that changed the face of pop-culture for a little while. The things you say in a spotlight like that could change the world.

Hey, wait a minute. Weren't you in Hype?

I've gotta run. I hope I've helped at least a little. Next time you're in town we'll go out and get those little hot dogs you like. And I promise to take you to all the places I took Thurston so please stop reminding me about that.

Take care,



in the junk drawer:

and such
and such

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