Busdriver Encounters Racist Soundman at Harpers Ferry in MA

Racism nowadays tends to articulate itself in racist manifestations, rather than through overt racism. The psychological effects of centuries of racial subjugation and discrimination can't easily be washed away through legislation or by policing oneself to withhold racist thoughts, so it's often the case that racism acts increasingly on a subconscious level and is then expressed in more subtle ways. But with a weak enough education system and a culture that often reinforces rather than defies stereotypes, it's no wonder that an Allston, MA soundman's racist remarks could offend rapper Busdriver to the point of immediately leaving Harpers Ferry, the venue in which he was scheduled to perform on November 13.

Regan Farquhar, a.k.a. Busdriver, told the following story to The Phoenix:

Here’s how it started. I settled into the venue and, yeah, I was tired from driving all day. So the soundman approaches me and asks me what’s on the tech rider — you know, what we’re going to need for cords and microphones. I gave him a lose explanation and then sent him to my tech guy, Matt Alsberg also known as Antimc, who did a [tour diary for TMT earlier this year]. And I went upstairs to have something to eat. My tech guy tells him what we’re going to need and the soundman turns to him and says ‘Good thing there’s a white guy on your crew.’ Or something like that.

[After asking Alsberg for the quote again] He actually said, ‘That’s why you gotta have a white guy on your crew.’ Matt asked him to repeat it, and he repeated it. He even went on to say that they had hired like six blacks or something, but that they couldn’t hack it so they had to let them go. I mean, he was implying that because of the color of their skin, they couldn’t wrap their minds around anything technical. So Matt texted me all this and that was it. We walked in, packed up, and left. The manager seemed to feel bad but the point is that this sound guy didn’t see anything wrong with what he said. And that was the problem.

In a letter to Busdriver, Antimc, and Daedelus (the three acts scheduled to perform that night), Harpers Ferry's general manager Andrew Dolan apologized and reiterated the club's zero-tolerance policy for "such behavior." The soundman was apparently fired the next morning and a staff meeting was held the following week regarding "racial sensitivity and appropriate behavior." He ended the letter by saying "words cannot describe how sorry I am and I hope that you do not think ill upon Harpers Ferry as I can assure that what happened is not us and who we are as a club and staff. I welcome you guys back any time in the future to show you what a great venue and staff that we do have here."

Speaking to TMT, Antimc/Matt Alsberg wanted to point out that, despite what happened at this particular venue, they have good friends and have played good shows in Boston. "We hope it isn't something that prevents us from going back there. Hopefully we'll be back through in the future and everyone can come through and have a good time"

Meanwhile, Busdriver, Antimc, and Daedelus each have a handful of separate shows scheduled for December, but will meet up once again for a show at the Troubadour on December 21. Show some support!

Busdriver dates:
12.06.07 - Marseille, France - La Friche Belle de Mai
12.08.07 - Paris, France - Aquaboulvard
12.11.07 - Geneva, Switzerland - L'Usine
12.21.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour (with Antimc and Daedelus)

Antimc dates:
12.16.07 - Eagle Rock, CA - Eagle Rock Center - LA Record X-Mas Party
12.21.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour (with Busdriver and Daedelus)

Daedelus dates:
12.06.07 - Miami, FL - Upper Eastside Garden
12.08.07 - Athens, GA - Next to Last Fast
12.14.07 - Phoenix, AZ - Stray Cat Lounge
12.21.07 - Los Angeles, CA - Troubadour (with Busdriver and Antimc)

Photo: Abe Deyo, from [Busdriver's MySpace]

Breeders Blab About Mountain Battles, Kim Deal is “Kind of a Big Deal”

Oh, hello America. I didn't hear you come in.

I'd like to talk to you fine people tonight about something near and dear to all of our hearts: music.

But not just any music. Honest music. Honest music for honest FOLKS. Well, my friends, that's what seminal indie/alternative wonderwoman Kim Deal is all about. A lot of frontwomen today might try to excite and confuse the voting public with rail-thin bodies, disarming twee-asian accents, timely incontinence, or so-called "good voices," but not my friend Kim. No sir, she isn't out to "trick" America with bells, whistles, hotpants, and hairdos. She doesn't go in for any of that malarkey. She just makes records. Good records. Honest records that are made IN America, BY Americans, and FOR Americans. And THAT, good people, is why my friends and I here at TMT are proud to support KIM DEAL FOR PRESIDENT in 2008.

Oh sure, America, my friend Kim Deal might not have any "knowledge" of the American political system. She might have spent the last several years "touring" with known rock band "The Pixies" instead of campaigning for any sort of public office whatsoever. She may not have any "credentials" or fancy "bachelor's degrees." But I'll tell you what she DOES have: a BRAND NEW Breeders record, her first since Title TK back in the 2002 election, titled Mountain Battles, set for release April 8, 2008 (April 7 for all of our friends in the United Nations' beautiful Countries) via 4AD.

And don't look now, ladies and gentlemen, but even known-patriot Steve Albini has come out in support of Mrs. Deal and her campaign team (consisting once again of kid-sister and speech-writer Kelley Deal, joke- writer Jose Medeles, and mud-slinger Mando Lopez), having tracked much of Mountain Battles PERSONALLY at Electrical Audio in Chicago. My stars, what an endorsement!

So don't miss MY FRIEND Kim Deal and The Breeders on the campaign trail in 2008! And wouldn't you know it, their schedule even includes stops at Canadian Music Week, SXSW and Coachella, plus full [campaign] tours of the U.S. and Europe. And when you go to the polls/record store next April 18, remember that a vote for Kim Deal and her Breeders is a vote for:

Paid for by Citizens for Deal.

New Bauhaus Album Set to Drop in March, Trigger Awakening of a New Global Consciousness

Some people believe the year 2012 will bring about great changes for those of us dwelling here on planet Earth. From alien buffs to Mayan calendar devotees to the London Olympics planning committee, there can be no doubt that millions of people all over the world are expecting something utterly astonishing and life-altering to occur. And while predictions about what exactly will occur in 2012 may differ, each theory is united by one underlying quality... that of being totally, completely wrong.

I'm not trying to harsh on the people hoping for the awakening of an enlightened global consciousness. This could very well happen, but much sooner than the sages have predicted and for a much different reason! You see, in a recent Billboard interview, Kevin Haskins, drummer for seminal goth-rock acts Love and Rockets and Bauhaus, has revealed the release date for the brand new and final Bauhaus studio album!!! The album, titled Going Away White, is due for digital and CD release on March 4, 2008, on the band's Bauhaus Music imprint via Redeye Distribution. Clearly this piece of information had been overlooked by the ancient Mayans, or they would have made some very different predictions.

The historical significance of this event is indisputable. Bauhaus reunited in 2005 for a performance at the Coachella music festival and later went on to spread the good word of goth around the world. The band went to work in the studio "with nothing prepared," but is now excited to release an album Haskins says will fit comfortably within the Bauhaus oeuvre. Unfortunately, Bauhaus will not be touring in support of the record. "We were getting along really well, but there was an incident that occurred," Haskins cryptically explained to Billboard.com. "Some of us just felt that we didn't want to carry on as a working unit."

Going Away White includes the new tracks "Adrenaline" and "Endless Summer of the Damned," which Bauhaus first showcased on their 2006
tour with Nine Inch Nails. I hope that you'll agree with me that based
on this news, and a careful numerological analysis of the song titles, mankind can now expect a truly momentous event to occur in 2008, and
not in 2012 as many people have incorrectly predicted. It will be on March 4, 2008 when we can expect a brilliant awakening. The signs may not be obvious, but when the streets become crowded with more and more people dressed entirely in black, when radio once again resounds with the swirling guitars of Bauhaus, we will all know that the world has become a better, if darker place.

Going Away White tracklist:

Are Arthur And Yu Ready To Support Iron and Wine On Stage?

Listen, I talked to Arthur and he said... Yu hadn't even heard about the tour? Were Yu kidding when Yu told him that? He said he assumed Yu were at first, but that Yu kept saying weird stuff, like "Listen, I'm not Yu... I mean I like your music, the music you and Yu make, I've listened to this year's In Camera (TMT Review) quite a bit, but that doesn't make me part of the band. Please stop calling me." Are Yu reading the transcript of what Yu said to Arthur? Are Yu embarrassed? Because Yu're making almost no sense. Like, I get it. I get that the pressure of being in a band, combined with the pressure of opening for Iron and Wine, is making Yu look for an escape, an easy way out. But I'm telling Yu, just as my grandparents told me: if Yu don't try something new every once in a while, Yu'll never discover how much Yu're capable of.

And I'm being honest when I tell Yu that Yu have an incredible amount of talent, so it makes me sad to see Yu acting like this. I've heard In Camera just like the others, and with an album like that behind Yu, all these doubts and evasions are ridiculous. Look me in the eye: Yu are a singular musician. Now get Yur gear packed, stop throwing Yur hands up and shaking Yur head like Yu can't believe that I would be sincere or something, and show the world all Yu've learned throughout Yur rigorous musical training.

Arthur & Yu & Iron & Wine & Audience:

* Califone

I know what you're thinking. The New England Patriots are monsters. Going for it on fourth down when they already have an insurmountable lead. Keeping Tom Brady in the game to push for a margin of victory over 50 points. Etc. etc. What willll they do next? The thing is, this is just what the NFL needs. No one wants to watch the squeaky-clean white bread Colts win again. Snooze Bowl XLII. Yeah Peyton Manning is funny in those Mastercard commercials (or whatever it is he's advertising), but he is boring. And Marvin Harrison, maybe he's one of the best, but come on, he's lame. Bob Sanders, their supposed feared defensive dood is the only potential scare factor, and even he is inconsistent. So give me the Patriots, give me the Mötley Crüe of football. It is just too bad Tom Brady is so cute.

Now, I really know what you're thinking. What does any of this have to do with Black Mountain? Well, I am a bit of a rebel, much like my partners the Patriots. Keep it on the ‘dl,’ but I got a sneak peak of this album, and it's pretty fucking good. So good I plan to buy it, the ‘it’ being In the Future (released on Jagjaguwar, based out of my home state Indiana!) on January 22, 2008 when it is officially released.

If my telepathic trend is continuing on point, I know, yet again, what you are thinking. What if I can't wait to hear the new stuff? Well, my dedicated readers, no need to worry. Black Mountain are much nicer than the Patriots and have scheduled a handful of shows out west. We can only assume their reluctance to venture east is because of The New England Patriots. Though, as I have already made it clear, the bad guys are a necessity. They are essentially pushing us for the American Dream. How you ask? Yeah, I really don't know; I just thought that'd sound good. What?

Fourth and one. Go for it!

Tonight, they play the Portishead-curated ATP, in February they play:

$ Howlin' Rain

Universal Music Group Proves To Us Once More That It Ain’t Givin’ Up On Its War Against The Internet By Barring UMG Artists on MySpace From Posting Full-length Versions Of Their Songs

Universal Music Group is hellbent on sedating the inevitable. Time and time again, it never ceases to deliver when it comes to conservatism/ignorance. Whether it's intolerance of file-sharing or the inability to give up on DRM, the group is always stirring up trouble that only hurts and embarrasses itself.

One of the newest and more questionable actions from UMG is exemplified in a message sent from Universal artist, Colbie Caillat. In this message, Colbie apologizes to her fans by writing:

Due to circumstances beyond my control I have to swap the songs out on my [MySpace] page for 90 second versions instead of full length versions. In fact some of the songs have already been swapped as I write this.

That's right, Colbie Calliat and every other Universal artist are now prohibited from posting full-length versions of "their" songs on any third-party site that is not directly affiliated and/or in a contract with UMG. According to the The Listening Post, this policy has been in motion for several months now.

Silly Universal. Will you ever learn?

New Ryan Adams Tourdates for 2008; All Bets On a Shitfit in Seattle

Allow me to impart my live experiences with Ryan Adams as such:

Date: May 16th, 2005

Location: Poughkeepsie, NY

Tour: Cold Roses

Backing Band: The Cardinals

Hospitality Rider: Beer, whiskey, beer, and beer. And whiskey.

Demeanor: Belligerent

Reaction to such heckling examples as "BRYAN ADAMS!!!" and a tragically timed "WOOOOO!" during the beginning of "Wonderwall" (Oasis cover): Tantrums, abrupt song-switch, general malaise, etc.

Date: May 16th, 2007

Location: Kingston, NY

Tour: Easy Tiger

Backing Band: The Cardinals

Hospitality Rider: Rehab, orange juice.

Demeanor: Sedated

Reaction to such heckling examples as "NEW YORK NEW YOOOORK!!!" from an audience member on the wrong album tour: "..."

So I've got my money on a balls-out freakout during any one of these dates, but it's like Russian roulette with this dude. He's like Valium and Adderall united as one.

Oh yeah, and we've gotta have a reason to tour (unless you're Interpol): There's a new EP called Follow the Lights, and rumor has it you can hear new tracks from it on the new ABC primetime drama October Road.

All dates are fair game; I accept bar tabs and jukebox quarters as collateral:

Gnarls Barkley To Release St. Elsewhere Follow-Up In 2008; Charles Barkley To Release Rockin’ The Paint With Charles Barkley In 2019

As 2006 drew to a close for the uncomfortably fizzled-out billions of the world, Danger Mouse and Cee-Lo were spending New Year's Eve donning microphones in place of party hats and spilling champagne all over expensive recording equipment. The ideas drunkenly formed that night were forgotten, remembered, and then skillfully chiseled into the finished product you see before you. Well, not before you. Over to the side of you. The side of you that resides in Spring of 2008.

Yes, the costume-loving, multi-genre-stroking duo that makes up Gnarls Barkley is finally sorting out what tunes they want for the follow-up to last year's St. Elsewhere and plans to bring those tunes to you, o prospective consumer, in the coming (more leafy) months. Danger Mouse has said in interviews that the Brothers Barkley would only release another album if they were wholly pleased with the results, so we can expect either excitement and pleasure next season, or a gift-wrapped hearing aid sent to a notable DJ.

No title or exact release date yet, but to tide you over I have the lyrics to "Crazy" right here:

Uh, uh

Gener and Deaner Add 2008 Dates to Ween’s Tour Behind The Band’s Newest manifesto of Weird, La Cucaracha

Ween are a polarizing force in music. Some people think everything Ween do is genius, others are not even mildly amused. Sometimes juvenile, often sadistic, frequently vulgar, and always inventive, Ween wouldn't be Ween if they recorded the touching "It's Gonna Be (Alright)" without tempering it with "Waving My Dick In The Wind." For those who can handle both halves, Ween is an arcane pleasure. For those who cannot, go fuck yourself.

If Ween alienate listeners on their albums -- like on their latest album, La Cucaracha -- their live performances drive the wedge even deeper. For those with an ear for the Brown Sound, Ween will be touring the Southwest as well as Australia and New Zealand in 2008.

The Futureheads Figure Out How to Get Laid, Tour UK Student Unions

Oh sure, UK-based new wave rockers The Futureheads may have been a lot of places and seen a lot of things as rock ‘n’ roll musicians. You might be sitting there in your college dorm room, office, or minimum security prison right now thinking that these four guys are better off than you. "If only I could start a successful band," you think. "Then I'd have it made."

And yeah, it all seems glamorous enough. After all, they've cut a few records, done a few tours, gotten some positive buzz from the likes of P4K, and garnered, if not "respect," then at least damned near indie-rock-household-name status.

But you know something? After a while, all of that rock ‘n’ roll stuff that seemed so utterly fulfilling at the get-go starts to become a little tedious. Before long, bands like The Futureheads find that they've spent time arguing in some hole-in-the-wall studio about whose tracks are going to make the next album, living in 14-passenger vans for months at a time, struggling to pen lyrics that are hip yet approachable, and arguing with your label about the next "single" that they've forgotten what's really important in life: getting drunk and laid, laid, laid by sexy, British College chicks!!

Well, my friends, The Futureheads must have officially learned this hard, hard lesson for themselves sometime recently, because the frisky foursome has officially waived goodbye to that whole "touring foreign and unfriendly cities filled with jaded hipsters and trying to sell records to uptight working stiffs while sleeping in under-sized motel rooms just to make ends meet and survive another tour without killing one another" scene with the recent announcement of a whole, honkin' slew of EXCLUSIVELY University Student Union-based shows this coming January!

That's right, kids. No more of that "your turn to sleep in the van with the baseball bat" horseshit for these lads! Nothing but free booze, bloated University-gig pay, impressionable youths who haven't seen live music in ages, and all of the sweet, sweet #@!!*licious !*$^ing !&**$ #$%& fests that they can handle!

Hats off, Futureheads, and godspeed. Oh, and feel free to send pix my way. Meanwhile, if you guys need anything, we average Joes will just be off killing ourselves...

Best tour EVER:
01.16.08 - Brunel, UK - Union of Brunel Students
01.17.08 - Hertfordshire, UK - University of Hertfordshire Students' Union
01.18.08 - Warwick, UK - Warwick Students' Union
01.19.08 - Leicestershire, UK - Loughborough Students' Union
01.21.08 - Hull, UK - Hull University Union
01.22.08 - Liverpool, UK - Liverpool Guild Of Students Stanley Theatre
01.23.08 - Preston, UK - Preston 53 Degrees
01.24.08 - Strathclyde, UK - Strathclyde Students' Union
01.26.08 - Sheffield, UK - University Of Sheffield Union Of Students
01.27.08 - Leeds, UK - Leeds University Union
01.28.08 - Norwich, UK - The Waterfront
01.29.08 - Bournemouth, UK - Bournemouth The Old Fire Station