"if they were actually having a CD release show in their hometown, we'd write about that too."
...Ugh, I give up.
There is no legitimate long sustaining support structure or audience for national level independent or developing music in the bay area. There just isn't. If there was there would have been more than 30 people at TV on the Radio's first show, more than 50 at Cold War Kid's first show, and some of the better touring acts that play 500 cap venues packed around the country wouldn't be stuck playing for beer here in the Tampa area, only to never come here on routing again. Compound that along with urban decay, sprawl, pockets of uber new money development and inner city abandonment, noise ordinances, youth curfew, and a lack of patrons and mentors. He's pretty spot on. Hell it's almost a nice piece, really. I think the people that got up in arms either have their head in the sand or don't realize that no one is going to their shows, either. I mean there's a college that has 50,000 new students ever year and probably only 200 of them even know there's a local music scene here. There's a serious disconnect in that. I mean, if the music and arts scene here is so legit and healthy, shouldn't SOMEONE be connecting with all the new blood here every semester ? Anyone ? No ?
I'd say it seems like he's owning it, because he knows he's a byproduct of it, and to expect the area to be a cultural hotbed with no large support structure is asinine. So he's owning it. He's calling a spade a spade; a guy that for almost a decade was playing in anywhere-that-has-an-electric-outlet thrown together punk and diy music venues, storage units, and garages. I have seen the main guy in various garage bands around for years. I still have never met him.
But you can't expect an artist to get treated all "get away from me kid you bother me" locally and then just happen to get the nod of validity on an international level, and then get just happen to get signed to an iconic record label, and then in interviews give the Bay Area a pass. Nor should he or anyone else. It's just acting like what it's really like here isn't how it really is to make ourselves feel better about our own investments here, our own efforts, whatever they may be.
Regardless, Merchandise is about to be the face of Tampa for some time to come.
A better article about Merchandise that clarifies Cox's love/hate relationship with Tampa (a town that he's kept as a home base even after signing to 4AD): http://www.stereogum.com/1701291/this-is-the-ether-re-introducing-merchandise/franchises/cover-story/
.... a review of the new Merchandise album will be in next week's issue... and if they were actually having a CD release show in their hometown, we'd write about that too. Thanks for paying attention :-)
Same day as Guaveween...
BOOM! Great response Julie, couldn't have said it better myself. I've seen the Mojo Gurus once supporting Joe Perry from Aerosmith. They blew me away. I've been meaning to see them again. What's wrong with the Tampa Bay area? Answer, not much. I always find fun and interesting things to do. There are so many local original bands around here it's insane, not to mention the volume of touring bands that come through town. It's a lot different from 20 years ago.
That criticism is based on the supposition that Merchandise was not approached for an interview — they were. And, frankly, a lot of people who know what's right with Tampa Bay are fed up with the juvenile eye rolls from Merchandise and a contingent of its short-sighted fans, who seem to think that Tampa Bay doesn't have enough bike messengers, vegan bistros and punk house parties to be recognized for our cultural contributions. I've been meaning to blog about this Merchandise-Tampa-antipathy ridiculousness, but I've been too busy blogging/editing stories about all the great things that are happening in our arts community (two ambitious art and dance shows last weekend to start). A rigid, elitist adherence to a hipster ethos is not what CL is about. As soon as you expect something should be written about, we do the opposite. That's what CL is and always has been about. Mojo Gurus is a talented, hard-working band with a long history in our area. We do not snub contributors to our rich, diverse music scene to appease children who haven't moved away and gotten their hometown hatred and post-college relocation to a hip, expensive metro out of their system yet.
That was awesome! Thanks Ray Ray
Merchandise have an album out on 4AD and the Mojo Gurus get an album release story?
This is a perfect example of what's wrong with Tampa. (sigh)
Heartfelt Thanks Leilani Polk!!!!!! Linda Nash
Lee and I became best friends at the end of 7th grade in Seminole Middle School. His friendship was the truest form you'd ever experience. He would do and say the craziest things to make you laugh. He wouldn't allow you to fall. From sliding me down the hallways in my slippery boots in middle school to not leaving my side when my father was killed in 9th grade, to watching me walk down the aisle at my wedding. 23 years of being your friend just isn't enough. Sending love and strength to your mom, sis, brothers and all the rest of your family and friends.
Some of my best memories of my teens were from hanging with Lee in Seminole. Lee was one of the most beautiful, friendly, engaging buddies I have ever had. Every time I saw him again over the years after I moved we always caught right up like we were sitting in my bedroom sneaking bowl hits hoping my parents wouldn't notice. I'll miss you bud.
Sad, sad news. Rest in peace, you will be severely missed "Woofie".... 😢
Rip Lee you are severely missed
Lee was such an awesome guy. Even in high-school, he was wise beyond his years. He made me laugh, when I wanted rail against the ignorance of others- truth be told, Lee was probably my first example of "Rising above it".
One time, when the "popular girls" in school were giving me a hard time (on this particular day, they had put cockroaches in my locker) Lee told me- "That sh*t's got nothing to do with you"... and then I think he made some comment about lighting their hair on fire, or something.... but those words stuck with me.
It's something I've carried with me, my whole life....even though he and I lost touch after graduation. May he rest in peace...and may his family find peace and love in their time of loss.
Lee was an old friend. I will miss our common love of Alice Cooper, Sepultura, Acid Bath, and all things metal. Most of all, it sucks to know I will never get a hug from this fine human again. My heart goes out to his surviving family.
A beautiful, engaging spark ... shine on ...
I have know Lee since the 9th grade. He was always funny! Our math class was always hilarious and we more often then not were a tad bit disruptive....lol....After high school it is as everyone says, you always go your separate ways and you lose touch! It hits close to home. Makes you realize that you are not a invincible teenager anymore. That is has been almost 20 years since high school. (Have to admit that was even hard to write.. Haha) If you were lucky enough to know him or even have a conversation with Lee you will be forever touched. He was a awesome drummer, and friend. RIP
Thanks Scott that's a very nice tribute.
He was an amazing man, and will be missed by many. The outpouring of love I have seen thus far gives me hope in humanity.
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