Happy Sanchez does his happy-Sanchezdance and jumps up and down upon his mattress, for his birthday wish has cometrue! Some goofy rock critic finally took the bait and wrote a pissy letterto Sanchez! Whereas smug know-it-all Sanchez could've guessed that a coupleof crazy women from Manhattan and Piscataway would have respondedto his tearful plea for hate mail the week before last, Sanchez could barelydream that an actual writer would be dumb enough to take Sanchezon! The poor girl?who brags about having been in a moving vehicle with ChuckEddy?a namedropping just a couple rungs down from Sanchez's friend who claimsto have met the guy from the "time to make the donuts" commercialsat a train station in Peekskill?wags a scolding finger at naughty Sanchezfor skimming an Eddy review and drawing broad conclusions from barely examinedfragments of text. Honest Sanchez swears he was only trying to be as rock-critic-likeas he could possibly be?taking things out of context, being "mean-spirited,"barely digesting the material he was reviewing and generally paying more attentionto the word count than his own half-assed, hastily conjured opinionsthat might (sniff) hurt Chuck Eddy's feelings?why, meticulous Sanchezinsists he was only following the manual! However, solemn Sanchezaccepts being berated for his blatant ripoffs of righteous poet of the agesJo Jo Dancer. From now on, repentant Sanchez will eschew all phrasesminted by Dancer, including "phoned in," "yank your chain,""for the love of mike," "three sheets to the wind," "shitfor brains," "up the cornhole" and "put up wet." Havingtaken his lumps, though, benevolent, free-advice-distributing Sanchez patientlyinforms the letter-writer?who signed her note as Zsa Zsa Dancer?thatthe presence of two opening acts?the Roots andSantana?at theDave Matthews show that Eddy condemned so savagely does not a"concert by three bands" make. Sanchez can't blame the lady?afterall, what professional critic would sully their reputation by actually attendingand becoming familiar with the ins and outs of live gigs attended by the generalpublic??but advises that the next time Matthews sells out a stadium, she dropby the parking lot and ask one of the beer-addled yobs in attendancewho's playing. The answer may be shockingly uninformed by the hardcorebrainpower of the Voice's critical think-tank! Why, the yob inquestion may never have read Mystery Train at all! Woeful Sanchezwonders what this world is coming to! As for the rest of his birthday,Sanchez plans to sit around and wait for the rest of his dreams to cometrue, namely, that the Wookie and the Lumpy Lass and a gaggleof their furry, pudgy friends will mob Sanchez, rip off his clothing,grease him down with Wesson, force him to dance for them and then stapledollar bills to Sanchez's chest with staple-guns! Giddy Sanchez can justfeel that his ship is coming in! Lucky Sanchez found evenmore rock-critic goofballery neighboring his own column in the NYPress,week before last! Rob O'Connor, writing about perennial singer-songwritersob story Ron Sexsmith, wrote that the babyfaced tunesmith "caughtthe ear of a guy...at the publishing division of Interscope. Sexsmith was originallysigned as a songwriter, but once it was figured out that he could deliver thesongs himself, he was given a shot." Head-shaking Sanchez cannot believea colleague would be so ignorant of the nature of publishing deals! Pedantic Sanchez gathersthe children around him and tells the story very slowly: Nobody outsideof Nashville hires songwriters simply to write songs, particularly songwritersof Sexsmith's arty ilk. A publishing deal gets the artist a chunk of change,and then the publishing company collects the mechanical royalties?togrossly oversimplify, the author's cut (the incomprehensible mess that is themechanical royalty system is not something that lazy Sanchez is going to takeon explaining to the likes of you)?until they've recouped their advance?still collecting a percentage if recoupment actually happens. The optimum scenariofrom the publishing company's point of view is to get the artist into a three-recorddeal for $15,000 a pop and then drag the tape around to all the labels, tryingto get the artist a deal with a $250,000 advance. Which nearly always is spentactually making the record. Given that once the videos are made and thetour support checks are signed it's near impossible for the artist to recoup,that publishing check is more or less the artist's income, period. Big artistswith multi-platinum hits rarely recoup; usually they get paid by renegotiatingtheir contracts?for instance, those REM and Janet Jackson multimillion-dollardeals that happened earlier this decade?of which scribes pointlessly debatedthe wisdom?weren't meant to gamble on the artists' future releases, but ratherto pay them for the hits they've already had. Sanchez's favorite thingabout publishing deals is that even though there is a federal law establishingthe rate at which the writer is paid, the writer's lawyer still has to negotiatefor the percentage of the legally defined rate they'll get. An artist islucky to win three-quarters of what the law says is his! What does this meanto you, attentive consumer? Well, if the next Billie Holiday shows up?shedidn't write her own material?in order to actually make a living as a singershe'll have to be a songwriter! Lip-licking Sanchez hopes that future legalconvolutions force singers-forced-to-be-songwriters to also play drums on andmix their own recordings, thus ensuring that even less good music makesits way into the world! Inelegantly-segueing Sanchezasks: Just who the fuck is Dan Ingram anyway? Sharing a cab with theWiper, curious Sanchez inquired with the cab driver, who launched into an iratetirade about how his dispatcher has no idea either, how he continually asksfellow cabbies and no one can answer him. Nervous Sanchez was more than a littlescared by the cabby's banging his fist on the dashboard and yelling and hadthe guy stop a dozen blocks before his destination! And what's with the ultra-deep-reverbon the Cindy Adams buckle-your-seatbelt-and-get-your-receipt speech? Did theyhave to tape her in the bathroom because she refused to get out of the tub?Or is she just a big Lee "Scratch" Perry fan, who happens toknow a thing or two about an echoplex? And now that Sanchez hasfuriously banged out his column, he is ready for the birthday celebrations tocommence! Why, surely some friend of Sanchez is gearing up for a big surprisebash that will fill the heart of Sanchez with joy, joy, joy! And all certainSanchez has to do is just sit right here, Buddha-like, on his mattress for afew hours and wait to be showered with love sweet love!
NEXT WEEK: Profuse, tearful thanks from Sanchez to his readers for pooling all their moneyand buying him a pony!