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Feeble imitators

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Pardon me for taking exception to some comments in Angie Carlson's profile of local pop darlings, the Mayflies USA. For starters, claiming that the band is "the area's first rock pop band in a generation of alternative bands"--hello? Ever hear of Ben Folds Five? Or what about Gladhands, an indie band of outsiders who didn't hang at all the right parties with all the right people, but whose loud, rocking unapologetically polished brand of pop flew in the face of local fashion, garnered rave reviews in the national press and was--unsurprisingly--largely ignored locally.

Next, there's the dubious remark about the Mayflies "bypassing the 'friend rock' circuit" whereby a group's friends fill their local gigs, but the same group doesn't draw well outside the city limits. The Mayflies have certainly followed that humbling road. Sure they can pack the Local 506, but perhaps Carlson didn't ask the band about its illustrious gig at South by Southwest this year in Austin, playing to a nearly empty room.

Finally, there's guitarist Matt Mc-Michaels' dismissive response when asked about other, better-known "power pop" bands. Annoyed that "they're just too damn good," McMichaels' pat hipster retort continues: "I guess it's that competence thing that really bothers me." Carlson fails to counter this with the fact that being able to play well and sing in key really come in handy when you're trying to perform the kind of tightly crafted pop rock the Mayflies so feebly imitate.

It's great that The Independent supports the local music scene, but please spare me the misleading soft journalism. --STEVE CHANCE, CHAPEL HILL

Zach Hoskins is correct when he says that the jury is still out on the value of Your Voice, Your Vote ["'Voice' of the People?", Sept. 20]. As he points out, the problem is equally with declining interest as it is with how elections get covered. However, readers who care to know can benefit from the compare-and-contrast style used in YVYV, a style that resembles a substantive voter's guide. Local TV coverage would benefit if this style were employed for following state politics on the nightly news.

Regardless of whether the YVYV project is copping out by using marketing tools to drive its coverage, it's still apparent that it hasn't had a tremendous impact on at least one segment of the population: the candidates.

At a recent roundtable of broadcast journalists covering state politics, one astute observer made the following observation: If aliens landed in North Carolina in the middle of the current election campaign and examined television advertising for insight into what issues concern the public, they would probably come to this conclusion: public service announcements. Do we wonder why voter interest is declining? --JESSE RUTLEDGE, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS N.C. CENTER FOR VOTER EDUCATION, RALEIGH

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