Peter Margasak’s review of Combustible Edison [Rock Etc., June 10] smacks of the purist’s dismissal. In fact, it was premeditated. He went to their Chicago debut with poison pen in hand, eyes closed and ears shut. His contention that lounge music “was never designed to be exciting in performance; it was background fodder, mood music” reinforces this fact. His reference to other lounge and exotica artists as “their ilk” seems almost derogative as he lumps them into a holding tank for further dissection. It also reinforces another awful theory that popular music critics take pop culture too seriously. Pop music is not fine art nor does it search to fill that role. But don’t tell that to Mr. Margasak. If he were to ever drop the art snob pretense, he might actually enjoy himself. Judge Combustible Edison as Sub Pop has–on their own merits, not on historical authenticity or outdated comparisons with lounge artists of some 30 or more years past. For the sake of the fans, Combustible Edison provides a very refreshing and different choice to a decade of music that has been unable to have much fun. Listen, dance, and pass the martinis, please.

Peter Erickson