Letters to the editor, March 31

Stillwater is the best thing for the local music scene

Sam Simpson, how dare you suggest that Stillwater should not be allowed to operate in Ashland? (See March 27 Tidings "Stillwater, tattoo place changing 'Southside.'") As a local musician I can tell you Stillwater is the best thing that's happened to our local music scene in over a decade. They book shows almost every night without discriminatng based on genre. This accounts for a wide variety of eclectic acts such as the one Simpson singled out and attacked without attending the show or talking to anyone who did. Simpson Googled the artist and found the description distasteful. I say a piece of art that is distasteful to one person can be beautiful and meaningful to another. And don't forget Stillwater is a 21-and-up venue. No children or even teengers attended that show.

Simpson also criticized Stillwater for being busy and noisy. Well, wouldn't that pretty much describe any successful music venue? It should be noted that Stillwater has never been cited for a noise violation.

Simpson thinks that Stillwater and the new Southside Tattoo parlor down the street bring an unsavory element to the neighborhood. That's ridiculous. The folks at Stillwater are just your average friendly, fun-loving music fans. We're not hurting anyone. Sam Simpson, you say you hate to be a prude. Well then don't be one! Here in Ashland we don't decide what businesses are allowed to thrive according to your personal taste in the arts or your personal judgements about your neighbors.

Anthony Nelson


Stillwater brings in shows relevant to our times

I read Sam Simpson's letter to the editor (see March 27 Tidings "Stillwater, tattoo place changing 'Southside'") and wanted to speak out on behalf of Stillwater. With all due respect, Sam sounds a little behind the times. Certainly people's comfort and discomfort with art and top-notch literary sexual expression ranges widely, but he needs to realize a whole generation now is largely tattooed and pierced. Top 40 music videos regularly depict pole dancers in G-strings. Teenagers network and discuss sexually explicit material daily. Erotica is not synonymous with cheap. Porn is no longer a bad word: It is discussed in SOU college courses. Writers have always fought fiercely and respectfully for the freedom of speech and subject matter. The four spoken word artists who graced our town Wednesday night are all published authors and one has won distinguished poetry competitions in the Bay Area. The group regularly tours and performs on college campuses across the U.S.

Congratulations to Stillwater for hosting material that is current and relevant to our times. The show packed the house and the audience left reverently happy and inspired.

Julie Weber


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