by Dan Gibson
Stephen Lemons of the Phoenix New Times (who it might be worth mentioning is seemingly not above working for a paper that receives a significant amount of revenue from concert promoters adversely affected by the Sound Strike) really is doubling down on his pro-Sound Strike rhetoric today, going after Salon's interview with Rialto booker Curtis McCrary:
[Full disclosure: I am an occasional freelancer for the Phoenix New Times, and I once worked in the same building as Lemons, but haven't really met him.]
Music fans are suffering according to Grant and McCrary. Well, bestill my aching liver. The pair should explain their alt-music angst to the Hispanic families that have fled Arizona because of Senate Bill 1070, or the kids whose parents don't come home at night because they were caught up in Sheriff Joe Arpaio's anti-immigrant raids and sweeps. And then there are those who've suffered severe injury at the hands of the U.S. Border Patrol.
Surely those who die of thirst crossing the Sonoran Desert will feel the agony of all those iPod-bearers who won't be able to see their fave indie acts while sipping on a delicious micro-brew.
Maybe the immigrant woman whose arm was broken while in MCSO custody will shed a tear for them. The undocumented lady who got her jaw busted during one of Arpaio's operations? Perhaps she could do a fundraiser for these lame-sters.
Sorry, I have little patience with all this petulant kvetching coming from folks whose main dilemma in life is figuring out which to do first: download a Kings of Leon album, or catch the latest gossip on the FB.
Is that really helpful? Knowing quite a few of the people in this city trying to ward off the boycott, they're far too busy actually working, trying to keep their businesses open and worrying about their employees to "catch the latest gossip the FB", but at this point, I guess this what it's come to. Instead of actually trying to figure out the most effective way to change government policy around here, let's just broadly characterize each other. Personally, I'll live if I miss shows by one band or another, I just think the boycott hurts the wrong people, people who didn't have anything to do with SB 1070.
Instead, Lemons gives Sound Strike organizer Javier Gonzalez a platform to throw the term "hater" around again and lump Cypress Hill not playing Arizona in with the larger economic boycott, so that it can seem like all the effort is worth it. What's most funny/sad/frustrating to me is when Gonzalez writes that he's been waiting around for Arizonans to call him about putting together benefit shows. From multiple conversations I've had with promoters here, those calls have been coming in since before the election last year, so maybe it's not that no one is trying to set up shows, but that the Sound Strike isn't seeing what's in it for them to make those concerts happen.
I'd love to see fewer border crossing deaths. I'd love to see a sane immigration policy. I'd like to think, however, that we'll get closer to those goals by doing something, instead of defining the artists' response as playing San Diego one day sooner and endangering the livelihood of Arizonans who also want Russell Pearce and his ilk to go away.