Amazon, Sofar, Vice...fuck 'em.
|Nov 8||Public post|
First up, I’m playing a show tonight at Junior High in LA with Bad Moves, then another one in December with Lisa Prank and Rose Melberg (holy shit). If you’re in the area, you should come hang out! If not, you can follow Worriers on Bandsintown or Spotify and they’ll tell you when we’re playing near you.
This week has been an emotional rollercoaster, with feelings bouncing all over the place from wonderful to precarious to completely overwhelmed. We played a really fun set at Fest [woo!], I finally saw Jawbreaker [punch myself in the face], and came home to run full speed into the countdown to the BIG THING [haha…ha…I’m fine it’s totally fine].
Part of juggling all of the feelings is forever and always a matter of self-care, and knowing when you need a break. I probably need a break. Odds are you do, too. But the news cycle doesn’t really let up these days, and it’s a constant barrage of reminders that the world is a garbage fire.
I wanted to share a few pieces of news and journalism that have me both riled up and hopeful. If you can get away from the apocalyptic headlines for a minute and focus on the things that folks are doing in the face of evil forces, maybe things can feel less chaotic. I want to harness the anger, keep it close, then use it to metaphorically set a car on fire a-la-Angela Basset in Waiting to Exhale.
Liz Pelly wrote an amazing piece breaking down why Sofar Sounds is exploitive and generally terrible. Tech needs to get the fuck out of house shows, thanks very much.
A few days after the American Copper event, which was in 2018, I spoke by phone with a representative from Sofar Sounds. When I asked about the five-star survey I was emailed, the Sofar rep casually explained that the company calculates an “NPS score” after every show. As someone who has spent the better part of the last decade booking house shows, I had no idea what an “NPS score” was. Researching in real time as the call progressed, I discovered, by way of netpromoter.com, that a “Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, measures customer experience and predicts business growth. . . . Calculate your NPS using the answer to a key question, using a 0-10 scale: How likely is it that you would recommend [brand] to a friend or colleague?” Ah, yes, a normal fucking thing to wonder about your house show.
175+ musicians signed a petition demanding that Amazon cut ties with ICE after the company sponsored a music festival. Not like they asked us to play ANYWAY, but I wouldn’t play something sponsored by Amazon in a million trillion years and think folks should avoid ordering from them whenever possible.
If you want to fully understand why a lot of people think Amazon is awful, the podcast Eating For Free has a three-part-series that unpacks that. You could also take the shortcut to ruining your day by googling “Amazon Warehouse Deaths”.
Last week Harvey Weinstein showed up at an event for emerging comedians and somehow everyone there didn’t lose their shit. It actually turns out he was formally invited! BUT one of the comedians, who is also a survivor, had the guts to make fun of him to his face. Badass. She wrote this NY Times Op Ed about why she chose to do so.
Just to show you the true power of a twitter rant, Emily Alford just published this piece on how Eric Sundermann, previously editor-in-chief of Noisey and Head of Content at the Fader, was long rumored to be a creep but he only got fired once someone tweeted about his actions. 🎉
For nearly a year after he became head of content at The Fader, current and former employees say that Sundermann’s behavior continued unchecked. It wasn’t until November 2, 2019, when Lauren Nostro published the tweets about Sundermann’s behavior, that his years of alleged sexual misconduct became public knowledge. In addition to her own experiences, as well as stories she had heard about Sundermann during her years as a music writer, Nostro tweeted that 18 different women had sent her direct messages on Twitter about Sundermann’s behavior. The stories, that she subsequently tweeted, were evidence of the music industry’s history of turning a “blind eye for years” to the behavior of men like Sundermann.
According to a copy of the email sent to Jezebel by a member of The Fader’s staff, Sundermann was fired just two days after Nostro’s tweets.
I write about these things because I think we all need to stave off apathy by remembering what there is to be angry about, all while knowing that we do have ways to push back against it. Even if that just means buying a book from your local bookstore instead of the global behemoth on the internet.
I’d like to ask y’all though, what other stories are you reading right now? What outlets are reporting on these sorts of topics in a way that aren’t about fear mongering and click bait? How do you stay informed while avoiding a constant state of rage, similar to that of the history teacher on Daria?
I’m also trying to figure out the best charity to donate to that fights climate change. Any thoughts? Comment below if you can!
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I have a lot coming up to tell y’all about, some things that you’ll only find out about if you subscribe, so consider this your 30 days notice!