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Wednesday, June 6, 2007


posted by on June 6 at 15:46 PM

Apparently, I fucked up on my review of Tommy at Issaquah’s Village Theater.

But come on, who knew that some band called the Who (kinda of a cool name anyway) originally did this in 1969? I mean, how can you expect someone to know about some hippie rock album from nearly 40 years ago?

Anyway, these letters just in:

I am so confused by Josh Feit’s article Baby Bomber, where he calls the performance of Tommy performed in Issaquah a “world premier” and talks about how the soundtrack sounds like radiohead. Ummm…Tommy was written in 1969 by The Who, and was translated into both a movie (1975) and a stage musical (1992). We performed it at my highschool. You can buy the soundtrack on Amazon. I love the Stranger, but this just seems crazy. Josh, if you are reading this, there are no Iraq metaphors because the music was written forty years ago, and it’s bizarre and has weird shit about pinball because they were probably all on acid when they wrote it. As to why it sounds like a mix between Queen and Radiohead…I don’t know. —Anna Berentsen

And this:

Dear Josh: I must admit that I don’t often agree with The Stranger’s reviews, but I do appreciate the fact that they’re usually written with strong convictions and an educated perspective of the piece in question. Your recent review of Village Theatre’s production of The Who’s Tommy, however, seems to have all of the former and none of the latter.

The show is described in the secondary headline as a “World-Premiere Musical” and in the first paragraph as “a new musical premiering at the Village Theatre”, but this stage version premiered on Broadway in 1993 and won five Tonys. You say that the show’s numbers are “derivative of Radiohead, with flourishes of Hendrix and Queen”, but nowhere in the article do you mention that this is Pete Townshend’s own adaptation of The Who’s 1969 rock opera album. While the show adds a new song, rearranges the track order, and includes several new or rewritten lyrics, the majority of the music is left pretty much alone. Perhaps this is the reason you feel the music is “mired in rock cliches” - some would argue that The Who were a bit influential in creating several of those cliches. And while your criticism that the production lacks any allegories to modern times may be fair, dismissing the concepts and themes of the show as “tired baby-boomer touchstones [dredged up for] self-indulgent Issaquah hippies” only underlines your ignorance of the show’s origins. It’s like wondering why Shakespeare had to write so damn much about royalty.

Hate the show if you want, but at least do some of your basic homework before showing up at the theatre. And shame on the drama phags and so-called music lovers on The Stranger’s editorial board for not catching this before it went to print. —Matty Worth

Yeah, shame on my editors for not catching this. The nerve.

Sanity from Fnarf. This comment just in:

I thought it was hilarious. Not knowing who the Who is or what Tommy was is the funniest thing Josh has ever written. Zoom zoom, over their heads. It’s not like there weren’t hints all the way through the piece. I mean, c’mon, Josh has posted Who video clips to the Slog before. Posted by Fnarf | June 6, 2007 5:09 PM

He’s right, I have posted Who clips b4.

RSS icon Comments


Seriously, I thought that office was crawling with The Gays! The film version had Ann-Margret for GOD'S SAKE!

Posted by ljg | June 6, 2007 3:48 PM

How old are you Josh?

Posted by elswinger | June 6, 2007 3:56 PM

um. i knew that. just saying.

Posted by adrian! | June 6, 2007 3:59 PM

What is happening in his head?
I wish I knew.
I wish I knew.

Posted by JDC | June 6, 2007 3:59 PM

I'm 100 years old. I have Tommy (the Who's version) on vinyl, cassette, and CD.

These letters are amazing.

Posted by Josh Feit | June 6, 2007 4:00 PM

Dude, you really screwed the pooch on this one.

Please don't plead the typcial "you didn't get my ironic and hilarious fake ignorance," as a cover. You blew it.

#2 had it right, how old are you?

Posted by ecce homo | June 6, 2007 4:00 PM

and it had elton john in huge (i mean like 6ft tall) platform shoes!

wow, Josh, while i am amazed you didn't know the reference, i am even more amazed that none of the editors or others in the office have heard of it either.

i thought you guys all loved to get stoned and revel in being hipsters--Tommy is a classic "drug" movie.

i'll give you a heads up that if you ever review a weird play called "the wall", it was written by another british band call Pink Floyd. no one in the band was named floyd. just thought you should know...

Posted by ddv | June 6, 2007 4:00 PM

elswinger, beat me to the punch about your age. And what rock did you crawl out from under?

Posted by Sammie | June 6, 2007 4:01 PM

did you really not know Tommy? i can't ever tell if any of you Slog writers are serious or not because everything is written with the "saracasm/irony" know dialed up to 11. (BTW - that's another well-known musical reference. See if you can get that one. :)

Posted by pffft | June 6, 2007 4:01 PM

Adhering to this very simple rule would have prevented this: avoid Issaquah.

Posted by kinaidos | June 6, 2007 4:02 PM

i am only 23 years old and i knew that 'tommy' was the product of pete townshend/the who. i agree, a little research should have been done before babbling off about the show.

i am an avid reader of the stranger/slog and i think this is a bit shameful and makes the writer look like an uninformed hack.

Posted by s. | June 6, 2007 4:02 PM

"i'll give you a heads up that if you ever review a weird play called "the wall", it was written by another british band call Pink Floyd. no one in the band was named floyd. just thought you should know..."


Posted by ecce homo | June 6, 2007 4:03 PM

reminds me of the time i was in amoeba records and i overherad someone describe can as a band that seemed heavily influenced by stereolab.. but this would be a splendid idea for a column... pick a warhorse from yesrteryear and have josh review it and cite the influences..just off the top of my head how's about yes' fragile..or elp's brain salad surgery

Posted by riz | June 6, 2007 4:04 PM

Usually I'm with you, Stranger, but this time I just don't get the joke...

Posted by Callie | June 6, 2007 4:04 PM

Seriously? You guys...

Not one choir queer or drama fag at the Stranger caught this before press time?


Posted by Chris | June 6, 2007 4:12 PM

I asked because I work at the UW and am surrounded by 18-22 year olds. And I just realized today that R.E.M.'s Document and Guns & Roses' Appetite For Destruction came out 20 years ago.

Posted by elswinger | June 6, 2007 4:12 PM

To pffft~

bloody brilliant post! they are playing Live Earth this year, let's see if the stranger suggests them as "a great new act"...


Posted by ddv | June 6, 2007 4:12 PM

Tina fucking Turner as the Acid Queeen!

Dude, it's not "apparently, I fucked up..." it's "I totally fucked up real real bad."

This reminds me of the time some 20 year old girl asked me who The Journeys were.

Kids! Geesh!

Posted by monkey | June 6, 2007 4:14 PM

Jesus Christ! DOES NO ONE HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR ANYMORE? I am completely stunned. Are are you all pranking now? God, I hope so.

Posted by Amy Kate Horn | June 6, 2007 4:14 PM

im 25 and certainly no music snob, but i cant believe the stranger has some fucktard out reviewing music or whatever he was doing, without having any idea about tommy or the who. i mean this is embarrassing. i expect better out of seattlites. then again, hes probably from colorado or something.

Posted by billypilgrim | June 6, 2007 4:15 PM

20 years ago a girl I went to Evergreen with had never heard of Neil Young. I told him he was Paul Young's father. Now I can't remember what song Paul Young was famous for.

Posted by elswinger | June 6, 2007 4:16 PM

i have intimate knowledge of Josh Feit's extensive record collection and can report that THE WHO feature quite prominently. Feit know's The Who did Tommy just like you know The What did The Huh?

btw, did that old man fiddle with kids or was that just research?

Posted by nose_josh_2_well | June 6, 2007 4:18 PM

to Amy Kate Horn~

if this is a joke, i highly suggest you come clean now. this is seriously the type of fuck up that destroys your credibility as a source of information and advice. seriously...almost as bad as plagarism or making up a news story....fucking up this bad isn't something you should do as a joke. you can't recover from the damage.

Posted by ddv | June 6, 2007 4:19 PM

how would being ignorant of tommy be funny?

also, how is josh's reaction not like 'who shot jr' on dallas? was it all a dream?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 6, 2007 4:25 PM

Hmmmmm, apparently the Stranger needs to be a "serious" publication from now on.

Posted by Scottie | June 6, 2007 4:26 PM

Honestly, given The Stranger's penchant for snarky, faux-hipster no-nothingism, I honestly thought the review was intentionally meant to display the callous ignorance of the writer.

Now, I discover it was actually, genuinely, sincerely displaying the writer's ignorance, not to mention lack of common research skills.

I'm not sure which disappoints me more...

And I can't believe none of you mentioned Jack Nicholson's cameo, AND the fact that Ken Russell directed.

Jeebuz, sometimes you kids make me feel so frackin' OLD.

Posted by COMTE | June 6, 2007 4:26 PM

Wait, Tommy is the name of a rock band? I'm confused. Is this like a hip hopera? Please, Slog commenters, the Stranger needs your help to stay on top of stuff like this!

Posted by Eric Grandy | June 6, 2007 4:26 PM

You are all idiots. Admittedly dry, but obviously a joke.

Posted by matt | June 6, 2007 4:26 PM

If *you all* aren't joking, your condescension-coated stupidity is making me suicidal.

Posted by Amy Kate Horn | June 6, 2007 4:28 PM

@ 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 15, 17, 18, 20, 23, 24, 26 and probably dozens to come:

I edit the theater section.

It kills me how dumb you're being. It just kills me. I had so much more faith in your collective ability to take a joke.

When we fuck up, we cop to it:

All of you, please stop. You're plunging me into despair.

Posted by Brendan Kiley | June 6, 2007 4:30 PM

My God! It's obviously sarcastic. Did you guys actually read Josh's article? The tone of it is not like Josh at all...he's clearly joking. Why else would he be making fun of boomers if he wasn't aware of Tommy's origins?

I hope he's joking, at least. Because if not, it wouldn't just be a factually inaccurate piece, it would be a horribly written one as well.

Posted by Matthew | June 6, 2007 4:30 PM

Also, ddv, it's spelled plagiarism.

Posted by Amy Kate Horn | June 6, 2007 4:31 PM

Okay, you guys, you had me really questioning your credibility on that one. Well played. Maybe next time save it for April.

Of course now I'm thinking I need to get all my younger friends super high and make them watch it.

Posted by monkey | June 6, 2007 4:34 PM

Hey asshead, if people didn't react this way, what was the point of Josh's post. You got people on a joke and you call them dumb for falling for it?

Posted by Sueme | June 6, 2007 4:35 PM

@30 see the problem is, we all could be joking/dense on purpose, or actually be dense and then write it off later that we were in fact joking.

why arent you affording us the same standard you want for yourself?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 6, 2007 4:37 PM

I wish I could find that article about the hidden Seattle neighborhood -- "Little France" -- from several years ago now. That was awesome. and also a joke. It's a Stranger tradition!

Posted by matt | June 6, 2007 4:37 PM

Fake guys? I really doubt it... nice try Stanger staffers. And why exactly are you fighting Josh's battles for him?

Posted by nice try | June 6, 2007 4:39 PM

it is kind of funny how all the staffers rush to the "it's a joke" defense. kind of ironic how pissed they get at the city, state, other instances of "the system" banding together to defend their own, then pull the same shit when they fuck up.


P.S. Amy, i'll start using spell check for my comments when your publications starts doing research for articles. :)

Posted by ddv | June 6, 2007 4:40 PM

It's all so existential. Everybody at the Stranger is so stupid. Except Jen Graves, who I worship. Or do I?

Posted by ljg | June 6, 2007 4:42 PM

@39, this wasnt written by charles so it doesnt pass that test

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 6, 2007 4:43 PM

No offense to any of you staffers, as I love you all, but I think the problem (and the reason you're getting infuriatingly dumb responses)with this article/post is that it's just not funny. Because of this, people are responding as if Josh were actually an idiot.

Posted by Callie | June 6, 2007 4:43 PM

Wait, was Tommy one of the contestants on American Idol? Was he the guy with the funny hair? Please, Slog commenters, we need your help!

Posted by Eric Grandy | June 6, 2007 4:43 PM

@40 - I once lived on you. Your parking situation is horrendous.

Posted by ljg | June 6, 2007 4:47 PM

@43 thats why I walk to work and school.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 6, 2007 4:48 PM

i heart charles mudededede (sp?).

Posted by s. | June 6, 2007 4:51 PM

Hmmm, I just looked at the calendar and it isn't April 1. So much for that theory.

Posted by N in Seattle | June 6, 2007 5:05 PM

My favorite movie is "Wild in the Streets."

Google it kids.

Posted by Josh Feit | June 6, 2007 5:05 PM

I thought it was hilarious. Not knowing who the Who is or what Tommy was is the funniest thing Josh has ever written. Zoom zoom, over their heads. It's not like there weren't hints all the way through the piece. I mean, c'mon, Josh has posted Who video clips to the Slog before.

Posted by Fnarf | June 6, 2007 5:09 PM

Calm down, guys. Josh was making a long form joke that didn't really work. Now it's over.

Given that this is the same city that has given Patrick MacDonald a music column for about 500 years, I'm not surprised Seattle people have really deaf sarcasm meters.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | June 6, 2007 5:15 PM

Wait, didn't "Wild in the Streets" star Diane Lane as Ellen Aim? Help us Josh, Amy Kate and Brendan! We need your help! Wash our hair, Eric Grandy!

If you have to explain your joke, it's not funny. Way to win readers by calling them idiots! Keep up the good work!

Posted by Move on. | June 6, 2007 5:17 PM

For the longest time I could never understand why older guys obsessed over Ann Margaret.

Then I saw the version of State Fair that was done in like 1954.


That was when I understood why Tommy was such a hit.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 6, 2007 5:22 PM

@ fnarf

it's good to see that the videos he posted in the paper edition of the stranger were good hints that other people missed.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 6, 2007 5:24 PM

Lordy, nobody knows how to read anymore.

Or, apparently, write.

Posted by boomer in NYC | June 6, 2007 5:26 PM

so sanity is apparently pretending like you got the joke at the prodding of stranger staff?

sanity is over-rated.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 6, 2007 5:34 PM

@ 21 - oh, thanks a lot. Now I have "everytime you go take a piece of me with youuuuu..." in my head.

Erm, Paul Young, not Pete Townshend.

And yes @22, it was just research. Honest.

Posted by Lam | June 6, 2007 5:39 PM

Whatevs. I did this joke at my high school paper.

What would have been funny would be to review the performance as though it were child porn.

Posted by frederick r | June 6, 2007 6:00 PM

Hey Josh, did you hear the one about Mayor Nickels diggin smooth jazz?

Posted by frederick r | June 6, 2007 6:03 PM

Bette Midler played Tommy's mother and the Acid queen at a production put on at the Moore back in oh, 1971? She was very good at it. :-) (It was before she became well known.)

Posted by Sachi | June 6, 2007 6:06 PM

Bellevue Ave: um, video clips in the paper? I said "Slog", which is where they, and we, currently are.

Posted by Fnarf | June 6, 2007 6:08 PM

To everyone wondering if it was an April Fool's joke...

Well, you'd be expecting it on April first, wouldn't you?

Posted by mmbb | June 6, 2007 6:22 PM



In Internet terminology, a troll is someone who intentionally posts derogatory or otherwise inflammatory messages about sensitive topics in an established online community such as an online discussion forum to bait users into responding.[1] They may also plant images and data on networks that others may find disturbing (usually indirectly relating to the individual in person) in order to cause confrontation. While not necessarily related to hacking, such a practice is against the Computer Misuse Act 1990 in the United Kingdom, where mischief is caused in order to ensure chaos is spread.

Posted by NaFun | June 6, 2007 6:33 PM

Mayor loving smooth jazz = funny. Some dumb review about Issaquah theatre, not so much. It appears that somebody needs a Weekly lesson in funny.

Posted by hunh? | June 6, 2007 6:42 PM

Mayor loving jazz = (waste of) entire cover story
Tommy thing = small review

Posted by D. Saah | June 6, 2007 7:05 PM

fnarf, the people giving josh shit presumably read the review for the show in print form and are not aware of the videos of the who he posted on slog. therefore to say that is evidence of it being this great big joke is null to everyone who missed out on that because they dont read slog.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 6, 2007 7:05 PM


...except that most of the people tripping on Josh's thing are commenters here on Slog where Josh post all his 60s obsessions shit all the time.

Posted by Teeth | June 6, 2007 7:20 PM

Suddenly I'm reminded of hapless employees of Pacific Northwest Ballet getting harangued for producing that version of the Nutcracker. You know, the one choreographed by Muammar Qaddafi.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 6, 2007 7:48 PM

It must be depressing to learn that a vast portion of your readers are ineducable retardates. Josh et al, you have my sympathy.

Posted by Sean | June 6, 2007 8:17 PM

I agree with the folks that are saying that the problem was that it wasn't funny, that is why they didn't realize it was a joke. And no, people aren't "ineducable retardates" just because they didn't get Josh's lame joke.

Posted by debunker | June 6, 2007 8:43 PM

@64: what @65 said.

Posted by Fnarf | June 6, 2007 8:46 PM

It reminded me of the David Sedaris reviews of two school Christmas plays where he writes in the character of a bitter NYC drama critic ("Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol"). I enjoyed it.

I don't think most people are bright or questioning enough to understand satire. Perhaps I should amend that to "Americans," but I don't know how people elsewhere respond. I do know that when I wrote a review of "Star Wars" for my junior high newspaper and called it "a cheap, sleazy rip off of Battlestar Galactica," a few thought it was funny, but most couldn't understand it.

Posted by Ebenezer | June 6, 2007 8:54 PM

Josh! I am younger than you and I knew this. Get your mind out of the 60s!

Posted by Jason B | June 6, 2007 9:46 PM

Aw, what's a little more of beating the dead horse - it's one of the things we do best around here - so, Brendan & Amy Kate, the question you really should be asking yourselves is: "if Josh pens such a lame attempt at satire that someone such as myself - with a graduate degree in theatre, and the original "Tommy" concept album album collecting dust in my dwindling vinyl collection - fails to clearly "get" the satirical intent, then perhaps the fault lies, not in our lack of humor, but rather in Mr. Feit's abject failure to provide any in the first place.

And Ebeneezer@70, to even compare this to "Front Row Center with Thaddeus Bristol" is just, well - an insult to real satire.

Posted by COMTE | June 6, 2007 9:50 PM

MMMM. Psyche!

Posted by Jason B | June 6, 2007 9:57 PM

Fact: Muammar Qaddafi has always been known to do his own hair.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | June 6, 2007 10:05 PM

Will in Seattle @51, the actual reason that the Tommy movie was a hit was not Ann-Margaret, but Jack Nicholson's performance of "Smash the Mirrow"

When S.F. Sorrow came out in the U.S,, there were those critics who thought it was a rip off of Tommy. I could be wrong, but I don't think they were engaging in satire.

Posted by Ebenezer | June 6, 2007 10:38 PM

Mirror, not Mirrow. Excuse me.

Posted by Ebenezer | June 6, 2007 10:40 PM

Pete Townsend is such an asshole.

Posted by Meher Baba | June 6, 2007 10:50 PM

I heard this record called Tommy and its hella cool! It's like, there's this kid who plays video games, only SUPER old school, and he's super good, but he can't see anything! And then he gets molested! And he takes drugs! And the whole time the guitar is like chugga chigga chigga and a whole orechestra comes in! KA CHUNG! And there's this chick, and someone gets killed I think, and it's SOOOO COOOOL!!!!

Posted by Whiz kid! | June 6, 2007 11:05 PM

I always thought "I Don't Know How to Love Him" was a really pretty song.

Posted by Paulus | June 6, 2007 11:22 PM

@65, while the people within slog are giving josh shit, did the original authors of the letters josh put up on slog frequent slog?

The only thing I find lame is the double standard of saying you were joking all along while not accepting that same thing from people taking the piss outta you.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 6, 2007 11:24 PM

@79, Paulus, I think you are in the wrong comment log. "I Don't Know How to Love Him" is from "Jesus Christ, Superstar", circa, I don't know (1972???)...

Posted by lawrence clark | June 6, 2007 11:57 PM

Okay, but that was Tina Turner as Mary Magdalene, right?

Posted by Paulus | June 7, 2007 12:03 AM

Josh -

You are having an Orson Welles "War of the Worlds" moment. This kind of joke doesn't work in print, especially not on the web. You should know that.

Yesterday I ordered a sandwich and I asked for "no onions." The guy repeated my order back to me, but changed "no onions" to "extra onions." No smirk, no joking tone of voice. I corrected him, saying, "no onions." He had been making a joke and acted offended that I hadn't gotten it. What he failed to realize is that half of the waiters out there are idiots. I have no way of knowing whether he's one of them or not. It's just not a funny joke.

Posted by Lurker | June 7, 2007 12:10 AM

@82, Uh... I don't think so. Of course it has been a long time.

Posted by lawrence clark | June 7, 2007 12:13 AM

come on, no matter what-making fun of issaquah is ALWAYS funny. and on top of it, a theatre piece! double funny!! just like the classic stand up joke "the difference between black guys and white guys is...". i liked your little joke, josh.

Posted by brad | June 7, 2007 9:18 AM


That's nothing, I ordered a burger once and decided it was easier to tell them what I wanted on it rather than everything I wanted the to hold. I ordered a burger with "just lettuce, mayo, pickles, and onions." i wound up getting a lettuce, mayo, pickles, and onion sandwich with no burger.

BTW, this was at the San Diego Zoo, which I thought odd that they served meat.

Posted by elswinger | June 7, 2007 9:41 AM

not that anyone's reading anymore... but for this sort of joke to work there has to be clues. there were clues.

the harsh posts could have been "joke" replies offered no clues that they were in on the joke.

and the idea was not to pull one over on readers, or to fool them. the idea was that they would laugh along. the fact that some were offended(!) means they could have laughed alond instead, becaues they agreed.

Posted by infrequent | June 7, 2007 10:05 AM

Clues? How's this for starters: "World Premiere." It's in the fucking headline moron.

Posted by Brenda Durrell | June 7, 2007 10:47 AM

Just to add a sort of universal existential irony to this for me (why, oh WHY did I read all 10,000 comments on this joke, which was sort of limp to begin with), XM Radio is playing Eyesight to the Blind right this second.

Posted by Geni | June 7, 2007 12:42 PM

I say take it a step further. Hire third-world immigrants and preteens to review the Police. Or the Stones.

That's not sarcasm.

People who insist that something like a Tommy remake has to be reviewed by someone with deep reverence to the source material... want reviews that kiss their ass, instead of ones that actually do the job reviews are supposed to do.

I'm starting to remember why I didn't go into journalism.

Posted by K | June 7, 2007 1:48 PM

Okay, if y'all are still reading this and are actually Who fans, here's a treat.

Tanglewood, 1970 show, a blazing version of "Sparks",with Moon at the top of his game.

Posted by Paul Palinkas | June 7, 2007 3:15 PM

@88 - Brenda:

How about actually reading #87 before calling them a moron?

"not that anyone's reading anymore... but for this sort of joke to work there has to be clues. there were clues.

Why am I still reading this string of nonsense? Moving on!

Posted by ljg | June 7, 2007 3:58 PM

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