Local musicians express differences of opinion 

An open letter to the metro's music scene, penned by a frustrated member of Norman rock band Student Film, has garnered a flurry of Internet discussion and publicized commentary from local performers, fans and rock 'n' roll followers.

The 1,000-word manifesto was penned by singer Justin Rice, who lamented some of Student Film's wasted tour efforts and record-label courtships, and advised local bands not to chase the "illusion" of a thriving city music scene.

In the letter, Rice also called out two local acts: Stillwater-born Colourmusic and OKC's Stardeath and White Dwarfs " groups with successes he assigns to being "products of privilege," having been "sanctioned" by World's Fair Label Group Inc., the Edmond-based record label and management outfit co-founded by The Flaming Lips' manager Scott Booker.

Stardeath's lead singer/guitarist is Dennis Coyne, nephew of Lips' front man Wayne Coyne, and the Dwarfs recently inked a deal with Warner Bros., also the longtime label home to the Lips.

The e-mailed letter was received by Oklahoma Gazette on July 16, the same day Rice posted it on the discussion forum of popular state music Web site www.oklahomarock.com. Since then, the discussion thread has swelled to more than 14 pages and has received more than 10,000 views. 

A portion of Rice's letter ran as a letter to the editor in July 23's Gazette, prompting a critique and response from former Stillwater resident Nathan Lankford, who likened the singer to a disgruntled complainer who "has it all wrong," an attitude he said is absent in successful music scenes like Austin, Texas.

To read the original letter, Lankford's response and additional reader commentary " and to chime in with your own thoughts " go to OK:See. "Joe Wertz

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Joe Wertz

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