|50,000 Scudieri Fans Can't be Wrong!
|When I crapped negative on Scooter Scudieri, I had no idea he had legions of fans crawling the web. Try typing "2strokeBuzz" into any search engine (no, really, go try it, right now). Nothing. But type in "Scooter Scudieri" (or "Amish Delcano Emu Fresca,") and there's 2strokeBuzz. Someday I'll figure out how search engines work. Probably about the same time I figure out how Vespa engines work. In the meantime, we can only imagine the angry buzz on the Scudieri mailing lists and fan pages, but here's what got through to me. Shall we start with the original review?
Artist: Scooter Scudieri
I thought I'd taken it easy on the guy. I also thought I'd never have to think about it again. I was wrong.
I saw your comments on bands named "Scooter". I have to take issue with one of these. I am a musician in Manhattan, and have seen the live performances of Scooter Scudieri. What in the world were you thinking when you wrote that aimless diatribe? Were you crashing on something? Wow....Anyhow, kindly allow me to rebuff your review. This is one of the freshest original artists to leave the gate in some time. His performances are passionate and riveting. The girls love his hair...I should be so lucky. I've seen this guy play to astounded and attentive audiences. It's been a long time since I've seen an original artist with this kind of intensity and drive.
Something about Cew's mail was unsettling...I'm guessing it was the language, it seemed awfully similar to the hyperbole evoked in the MP3.com profile. this Scudieri seemed to have some weird control over his fans' usage of the English language, making them use horse-racing terminology and words like "riveting." In any case, not being one to know when to keep my mouth shut, I wrote back:
Hey, fair enough, and you're entitled to your opinion, and I'll be the first to admit that he's probably the most "talented" of any of the artists mentioned, but Steve Vai is more talented than Kurt Cobain [ I felt a Modest Mouse reference might be wasted here -ed] and I know whose CD's I'd choose. And, being bald at 31, I see long hair as a personal insult. : ) I was pretty hard on him, but if it's any consolation, luckily for him, I'm not the one picking and choosing rock stars, and I haven't liked 99 out of 100 last bands to achieve success, so what do I know? Also, the words and phrases you use to describe Scooter Scudieri are just so weird, I've seen plenty of riveting bands, but I would never use the word "riveting" to describe them. And I'm in a band, and again, as I said in the story, we REALLY REALLY suck. Seriously, we really couldn't be any worse, and that's not just humorous self-deprecation, it's true, we have absolutely no right to play music. But even if we were good, I would never put such flowery backpatting in our MP3.com profile, that kind of conceit just turns people (or at least me) off. Self-esteem is fine, but let the people decide whether you're good or not. There are so many DJs and A&R jerks getting paid by record companies to tell me what to listen to, that I don't trust anything but my ears and my heart.
Again, fair. Maybe a bit preachy, but I felt I'd explained my position and maybe that would be the end of it. But the presses were rolling out the Scudieri fanzines, and people were talking about this renegade Vespa webpage asswipe who *gasp* didn't like Scooter Scudieri! After a few days, word eventually reached the man himself the riveting songster with the flowing mane. Scooter Scudieri took cursor to screen and wrote:
Hey now- a bunch of fans emailed me your "review." It was nice to get a different perspective on what I'm doing. Ugh! is right. Sometimes it takes a guy like you to show an artist how he "comes off." If people don't like the music- that's one thing- but I think you are right on not trying so hard to impress with names and "singles in rotation....blah, blah, blah...
BTW I did open for DMB in late 94 when they had signed with RCA...it was at The Bayou in Georgetown- 1200 SRO! It was really fun. I think my music reaches far deeper than you realize...but who cares? I'm happy when someone likes my music. That's it.
Shocked by his easygoing charm, I actually felt a teeny bit bad. Also by this time I'd done a little more research and found out he actually was considered a bit of a pioneer in do-it-yourself internet music circles, and he'd started his own label, Scooter Scudieri Records (well, what else would it be called?) and maybe stuck it to the man here and there, so despite his inability to end an email without plugging himself, I felt a thinly veiled apology was in order:
I'm really surprised any of your fans found the review on my half-ass webpage. Hey, thanks for taking the review with a grain of salt. Like I said to your fan that emailed (gotta be impressed w/ the loyalty) you are a talented musician, I just don't like your music, and I don't suspect most of my readers who are into mod, punk, ska and indie rock would think too much of it either. The Grateful Dead (or their replacements, the Dave Matthews Band, for that matter) are arguably musical geniuses, but I'd rather have my eyelids ripped off than listen to a whole album. And I'm sure you feel the same way about a lot of bands, you just have the sense to keep your mouth shut. If you're honestly having fun and things are going well for you, then more power to you. Also, since I started getting hate mail, I read some more articles about you, and hey, way to do-it-yourself. Please keep your integrity and stay the hell away from major labels, however tempting it may be. I take back the "sellout" attack, if nothing else... Take it easy and please keep it real...
That's the end of it, I hope. I look forward to a world where Flaming Lips fans can hold hands with Scooter Scudieri fans and get on with their lives. And y'know, if you listen to Scudieri very quietly with the air conditioning humming over it, it almost sounds like Belle and Sebastian, so there's room for all of us on this big blue rock.
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