MUSIC IN THE NEWS: DIIV, Napalm Death, Michelle Shocked


DIIV played SXSW last week, and guitarist Zachary Cole Smith decide to share his feelings about the festival on Tumblr: “Hi Austin. Fuck SXSW. There… I said it,” wrote Smith, whose band had only played one of their four scheduled shows at the time. “Here, the music comes last. 5 minute set-up, no sound check, 15 minute set. The ‘music’ element is all a front, it’s the first thing to be compromised. Corporate money everywhere but in the hands of the artists, at what is really just a glorified corporate networking party. Drunk corporate goons and other industry vampires and cocaine. Everyone is drunk, being cool. ‘Official’ bureaucracy and all their mindless rules. Branding, branding, branding. It’s bullshit… sorry.” Despite what you may think, Smith was “actually having a blast at SXSW” according to a tweet he made a few hours later, leaving the rest of us to scratch our heads in bewilderment.


Enemy of the museum business

Napalm Death was scheduled to play in a museum last week. Metal? Maybe, maybe not. The gig getting canceled due to fears the music would be loud enough to destroy their exhibits? Definitely metal. “It is with regret that we have taken the decision to cancel the one-off Napalm Death performance,” museum officials wrote. “This was due to take place in the Europe Galleries which are currently being refurbished and a further safety inspection has revealed concerns that the high level of decibels generated by the concert would damage the historic fabric of the building.” Vocalist Mark “Barney” Greenway took the cancellation in stride, attributing it to the band’s “crippling sound” and saying there had been a lot of hesitation from the museum. “[The Victoria and Albert Museum] had been making noises. They started asking the sound guy fairly nervously: ‘What will the volume be like?’ He was like, ‘What can I tell you? They make a lot of noise,’” said Greenway. The group was to perform last Friday in collaboration with the museum’s resident ceramic artist, Keith Harrison, who was to build them a custom clay PA system that would “explode” during the show, which still might see the light of day, as the V&A are thought to be working with the band to find a more suitable venue for their performance.


Short sharp shocking

Folk–rock singer Michelle Shocked surprised everyone last week when she began proselytizing about the evils of gay marriage in the middle of a set at a San Francisco venue. The singer went on a rant about overturning California’s Prop 8 and citing passages from the bible condemning homosexuality, much to the confusion of her left-leaning fans; this was, after all, someone who’d been arrested at an Occupy protest and had spoken out against Bush-era republicans. One fan who’d been picked to live tweet the show from onstage said that after the singer had mentioned her support of Prop 8, “People got a little riled up; then there started to be some call and response from the crowd about what she meant. She started exhorting the crowd very specifically to go ahead and tweet or write and say that Michelle Shocked says God hates f–s, and some other references to the Bible denouncing homosexuality as sinful and abhorrent.” Shocked has since apologized, stating her comments were taken out of context, and that she was “damn sorry.”



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