Bitter Bastard on XLR8R Letters

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From mangled postcards to maniacal fans, BJ "Bitter" Bastard lets you in on the most popular types of letters that XLR8R has received over the years.

1. "You are grossly overusing the word 'chanteuse,' 'techno,' 'dancefloor,' etc."
Every issue we grossly overuse one word. It just happens. Music critics have a nerd-collective consciousness that causes them to all use the same complex adjective or obscure music reference in the same month. Past issues have included an inappropriate number of references to Gang of Four and Aphex Twin, and overuse of words like "arpeggiating," "post-punk," "ominous," and "minimal." But the award for most overused word goes to..."deep!"

2. "Stop dissing Soul Slinger. He is the best."
A few times in the '90s we referenced the suspect mixing of NYC drum & bass DJ Soul Slinger. Well, that man has some serious fans, many of whom are ready to kick our ass in defense of their goggled rave superhero. We ain't scared–we have a kung fu black belt on staff, fueled by death metal and Sparks Plus.

3. "Send me back Croatia."
One day maybe we'll get some crazy corporate sponsor who will let us spend $19 a pop sending copies of our March 1997 issue to some grad student in Zanzibar writing a paper on The Orb. In the meantime, just subscribe so you don't miss out, or read our back issues online at [It's our mag, we'll shamelessly plug if we want to. – Ed.]

4. Mangled letters and voicemails
A significant portion of our readers have shitty mailmen, crappy cell phones, and/or write us letters when they are very, very high. These amuse us, so keep 'em coming.

5. "My INCITE CD is broken."
Into each life, a malicious mail deliverer must fall. It happened to us too, right after we bought a collection of porcelain frog figurines on Ebay. Sorry, brah.

6. "Thank you for not putting Daft Punk on the cover, making fun of Paul Oakenfold, and not sucking."
You are welcome.

7. "Why don't you cover our scene in Sacramento, Dublin, St. Louis, etc.?"
XLR8R contributors come from all corners of the globe and we even have special gnomes traveling as far away as Iceland and Japan to get you the latest. But we're not, like, God or Santa–we can't be everywhere at once. Rest assured, we'll eventually find out if there's something going on in your town, or just write us and tell us all about it.

8. Letters from ravers in prison.
Lots of people are too busy organizing their iTunes to write us, but those caught up in the U.S. penal system have nothing but free time. We love receiving their letters, but find it perplexing that half of them are about how rad a piece of music-making gear is that's not even out yet. Respect to the behind-bars massive!

9. "Why don't you cover trance or progressive house anymore? It's the bomb."
Some years ago we decided that if we really don't like something, we shouldn't cover it, no matter how many people care about it. We just can't rightfully introduce you to crap. This entry will, of course, generate a bunch more letters hating on us. And now that trance stands a tiny chance of actually getting good again, we may have to eat these words.

10. "Bitter Bastard is a hater and should die."
Some of you are still hung up on the PLUR concept, but don't harsh on BJ "Bitter" Bastard for putting in print what we heard you whispering to your friend at the party when you thought no one was listening. And with all the time we spend loving on everyone in the features and reviews, we deserve a little cleansing hate session now and again. Deal with it, hippies.