Show Cancellations, the “Missing Stair”, Houseboi, Walter Sickert

Content Warning: mentions sexual assault, no descriptions

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Long Post RE: Sexual Assault Allegations at the Middle East in Cambridge, MA

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TLDR: Sexual Assault has a radiating affect. Make informed decisions to cancel/relocate your shows, and don’t be a “missing stair.”

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Show Cancellations, the “Missing Stair”, Houseboi, Walter Sickert

To survivors of sexual assault, I believe you, I support you.

https://barcc.org/

Recently, my band got bumped off a show at the Middle East, because the headliner (a national, touring band) decided to relocate. I wasn’t too surprised, as I had sent them an article detailing the sexual assault allegations.

I personally cannot speak to the horror of sexual assault, but the toxicity of rape culture and these sexual assaults have a trickle down/radiating effect on everyone in the music community. It affects the people who work there, the bookers scrambling to fill calendar voids, touring bands who don’t feel safe there, supporting bands (like me) who are getting dropped, concert goers, and people who are triggered by sexual assault.

The Middle East is still up and running, and I even attended a show there recently. But now every time we give business to the Middle East, we have to think about our conflicting interest of supporting a loved music/art institution and the harm that was done there.

Before this show was canceled, I felt very conflicted about it. And whether it’s fair or not, a lot of the labor of figuring out what’s right and the safety of shows seems to be falling on the performers.

I believe the staff who work there are trying to make the best of it. They are openly supportive of bands relocating and canceling their shows. They are still giving the same customer service I’ve received before–but it doesn’t appear any changes have been made to actually protect people from being sexually assaulted.

Since most performers (myself included) don’t feel equipped to handle this extra responsibility, some are relocating shows, canceling their shows, or simply choosing not to book shows there. And there are many people who do not know that these allegations are even present, and are continuing to do business there without the option of consent.

A few musicians have really led the way in how to handle these allegations. Houseboi released a beautiful statement (LAST YEAR!) supporting survivors and cutting off ties with Zuzu’s/Middle East. They decided they did not want to be a “missing stair” of accountability. Please read it. They did such a wonderful job listening and putting the safety of their fans and performers first.

https://www.facebook.com/houseboiboston/posts/781235092000988

Walter Sickert & and the Army of Broken Toys are taking a leadership role in this discussion. They have been extremely proactive in taking measures to make their show safe, pressuring the Middle East to make changes, communicating with their fans, donating money to BARCC. They are truly doing the hard work of creating a healthy, supportive environment.

https://www.facebook.com/armyoftoys/posts/10156708321372458?hc_location=ufi

I feel like it’s important to detail what a massive effect sexual assault is having on our music community. My show cancellation took part of the responsibility off my shoulders, but if a show is canceled because of sexual assault–then that is something I have to be open about. These allegations are out in the open, but I think a lot is getting swept under the rug. I feel like we’ve been massively let down. I also feel like I’m a part of the problem. I thought maybe if I feel this way, other people might too.

Thank you for reading this. I’m ready to listen.

To survivors of sexual assault, I believe you, I support you.

https://barcc.org/

More links on this subject:

Here is a more up to date article by Cambridge Day: http://www.cambridgeday.com/2018/09/01/arts-organizations-with-ties-to-the-middle-east-clarify-connections-policies-after-sex-allegation/

Article about Joseph Sater retiring by WBUR:

http://www.wbur.org/artery/2018/08/29/middle-east-nightclub-owner-retires-sexual-assault-allegations

Alex Pickert’s Public Letter:

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10156368120841405&set=pb.747811404.-2207520000.1536680659.&type=3&theater

Poor Eliza Ghost Town Summer Tour Announced!

6/21 MILFORD, NH
6/22 ROCKLAND, ME
6/23 TIVERTON, RI
6/24 STROUDSBURG, PA
6/25 BALTIMORE, MD
6/26 WASHINGTON, DC
6/27 CHARLESTON, WV
6/28 KNOXVILLE, TN
6/30 PADUCAH, KY
7/1  INDIANAPOLIS, IN
7/2  LOUISVILLE, KY
7/6  DAHLONGEGA, GA
7/7  DECATUR, GA
7/8  ATHENS, GA
7/9  NASHVILLE, TN
7/10 NASHVILLE, TN
7/11 EATON, OH
7/12 GRAND RAPIDS, MI
7/13 PLEASANT PLAIN, OH
7/14 SANDUSKY, OH
7/15 ARDMORE, PA
7/21 BANGOR, ME

Ghost Town EP Release and Spring Tour!

Eclectic singer-songwriter Poor Eliza announces brand new EP Ghost Town! A short solo tour in celebration of this EP takes her to New York City, D.C., and Harrisburg, PA. Ghost Town is a condensed journey of stagnation, rebirth, and disappointment. Says Jane Park of Poor Eliza in a press release, “It’s a bit of a reaction against the victory story, winning against all odds, or the ‘ah-hah’ moment. I try to examine moments that don’t necessarily lead to anything or just end quietly.”

This is especially pertinent to her the EP’s title track, which is about desperately wanting to leave one’s hometown, having the chance to escape, and never leaving. The song starts with an echoey, plaintive guitar riff and a militaristic drum roll that introduce the wistful lyrics, “It’s all so magical in your head/Take the car for a ride/Leave it all behind.”

While most of the songs feature introspective vocals and lamenting guitar swells, a lighter side to Poor Eliza is revealed in the instrumental “Ice Cream Song.” A note from inside the EP jacket says, “When sung live, Ice Cream Song is interspersed with audience members calling out various flavors of ice cream. Please feel free to do the same when listening in your car or at home.”

Poor Eliza’s latest EP Ghost Town is available in limited hard copy edition and on bandcamp. A short solo tour in celebration of this EP will take her to New York City, D.C., and Harrisburg, PA in the Spring. Poor Eliza is also going on a more expansive tour this summer to TN, GA, and OH. Go to pooreliza.com/shows for her most up to date tour schedule or email info@pooreliza.com.

FIRST Winter Tour

Poor Eliza goes on her first tour ever starting Feb. 19th at Andy’s Old Port Pub in Portland, ME and ending with a homecoming at the Burren in Somerville, MA on Feb. 25th! Check out the dates and locations below and come out to see her!

2/19 Andy’s Old Port Pub in Portland ME
2/20 Empire in Portland, ME
2/21 Radio Bean in Burlington, VT
2/22 Design Lab (presented by Sounds and Tones) in North Adams, MA
2/23 Elements:  Books, Coffee, Beer in Biddeford, MA
2/24 Superfresh! in Brattleboro, VT
2/25 HOMECOMING at The Burren in Somerville, MA

 

2/25 The Burren

On Sunday, Feb. 25th at 7:30pm, Korean-American songwriter Poor Eliza (Jane Park) performs with Vietnamese American poet Duy Doan, and transgender singer-songwriter and poet Skylar Kergil at the Burren in Somerville. All three artists are united by a desire raise the visibility of marginalized voices, and use their art to connect to audiences who wish to experience a wide range of perspectives. Tickets are $12 advance/$16 at the door and can be purchased here: https://tickets.burren.com/eventperformances.asp?evt=268

Born in Texas, Duy is the author of the forthcoming collection We Play a Game, winner of the 2017 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize. A Kundiman fellow, he received an MFA in poetry from Boston University, where he serves as director of the Favorite Poem Project. Duy loves cats, soccer, and dance.

Skylar shares his stories through simple progressions and complicated lyrics. According to Billboard, he is one of eleven transgender and non-binary musicians to keep an eye on, writing that his music has a folk sound that sends a statement. He is a Boston native, often found nearby cats or listening to the lives of queer youth.

Boston-based, Korean-American songwriter Poor Eliza is an alum of the All Together Now performance series, producer of Ladies Coverband Night, and focuses her local shows on raising the visibility of women and minority performers. She is currently working on her second album and her first set of tours, which are planned for February, April, and June of 2018. For more information, please email info@pooreliza.com.

12/4 Plough & Stars

On Monday, Dec. 4 at 10pm the Plough and Stars in Cambridge hosts songwriters Thomas Knight, Poor Eliza, and Derek Curtis (21+, no cover). While all three have a rooted connection to New England, Derek Curtis currently lives in Nashville, TN and is actively touring on his latest album “Carpetbagger.” Coincidentally Poor Eliza (Jane Park) was born and raised in Knoxville, TN and now lives in Boston. Derek hails from NH and just released his debut solo EP “The Black and White.” All three songwriters are influenced by a range of artists including Woody Guthrie, Kathleen Edwards, and Bruce Springsteen. The Plough and Stars is a staple of the Cambridge community (open since 1969) and music scene with live music 7 nights a week. 

More about the artists: Continue reading “12/4 Plough & Stars”

7/10/2017 PA’s Lounge

WEMF is one of the few artistic organizations that will book a songwriter night like this, and I’m so grateful. Many thanks to Heather Timmons for booking me! Now….what kind of weirdness will we have ready for you?

Jackals has made their mark on the local scene with their brand new release Keep Mother Sane and music video “Homesick.” Steve Subrizi is a local poet and songwriter, plays a mean lefty electric, and has a beautifully composed, horror album titled “Evil Beds.” Matthew Frantz hails from…all over the map! Hear his rootsy folk in this video “Willow Bee Widow.”

8:30-9:05 Jane Park of Poor Eliza
9:15-9:50  Steve Subrizi
10:00-10:35  Matthew Frantz
10:45-11:20  Jakals

8 pm doors // 21+ // $5 at the door