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Boingo's Ethics Defended

November 19, 1988

I thought your review of Oingo Boingo's Halloween concert was off base ("Oingo Boingo is Catchy, Danceable at Irvine Meadows," by Mike Boehm, Oct. 31). If there's any band whose ethics in concert (or on album) should not be brought into question it is Boingo.

I don't see the point of bringing up any so-called "taped rhythm embellishments." If, in fact, any were used, it was in such a minuscule degree that I fail to see the reason for even mentioning it--let alone centering your review around it.

If Boingo wanted to make things easy for themselves, they would have cut down to a four-man band years ago. Group leader Danny Elfman could have created simple concepts, sounds and arrangements. Instead, he creates diverse music that draws from areas other than rock roots. He made Boingo a unique, thick, orchestrated big-band sound. How many other rock bands incorporate xylophones, accordions, steel drums and glockenspiels into their live acts? Not many.

I thought even your compliments were a bit backhanded. "Fast-paced party-going that was unflaggingly catchy and danceable." If I listened to their music for "catchy and danceable" I might as well have a few Depeche Mode records in my collection.

You made Boingo sound like some fake pop-synth group, when actually they are talented, well-rehearsed, veteran musicians.

SARAH BENDER

San Diego

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