The Benson crime problem; sorry, no Feelies; Pains of Being Pure at Heart tonight…

Category: Blog — @ 5:33 pm September 10, 2009

Via Facebook I discovered that a friend of mine was robbed last night at gunpoint in Benson, presumably a few blocks from The Waiting Room. And we all remember when Burke’s Pub was held up at gunpoint this past January. I’ll say again what I said back then: It’s time for the Benson Business Association — or the bars, venues and restaurants in the area — to put money in a hat and hire off-duty cops to patrol the streets at night. A network of security cameras also might make a difference, though I don’t know who would be responsible for running them. The best answer would be for the OPD to start a foot patrol in the evenings, but with budget cuts I doubt that’ll ever happen. Of course we could all start escorting each other to and from the venues, but I don’t know how that’s going to stop a guy holding a gun.

Crime in Benson is a problem that is going to have to be addressed if the area is ever going to emerge as one of the city’s true entertainment centers. I know people who will not step foot in Benson after dark for fear of being robbed. I always thought they were paranoid, but after what happened last night, maybe their fear isn’t so unwarranted.

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Well, I went to Homer’s Old Market location yesterday to pick up a copy of the reissue of The Feelies’ The Good Earth, an album that was ballyhooed in the current issue of Rolling Stone. After pushing past the racks of Beatles’ reissues that stood like a barricade at the front of the store, I perused the “Rock” section of the CDs. Hmmm., not only was the reissue not there, but there wasn’t even a place-holder for The Feelies in the bins. Clearly they must have moved the CDs somewhere else. There’s no way they wouldn’t stock what many believe is one of the most influential indie bands in the history of rock music, right?

So I asked the clerk. “The Feelies, is that the name of the band you’re looking for?” he asked, seemingly never having heard of them. After a few taps in his computer, he said “Nope. We don’t have it.” Apparently they didn’t order it. I told him how surprised I was, especially with the rather large review of the Feelies reissues in Rolling Stone. He offered to order it for me, but really, who wants to deal with that? I wanted my Feelies CD yesterday. Now I’d have to wait, or check back later. Homer’s obviously can’t stock every band that I consider to be essential, but it would be nice to at least be aware of what magazines like Rolling Stone consider to be essential. It is, as the kids say these days, an epic fail.

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I’m surprised that tonight’s Pains of Being Pure at Heart show at Slowdown Jr. hasn’t sold out yet. They were one of the most talked-about bands at SXSW this year, and continue to garner tons of press. If you’re interested in going, I suggest you buy your ticket online now rather than risk being disappointed by seeing “Sold Out” taped to the box office window. Opening is The Depreciation Guild and Cymbals Eat Guitars. $12, 9 p.m.

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