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The previous comment has been deleted because it could be considered defamatory. No armchair mental health diagnoses, please.
Words cannot adequately express my seething rage and disgust towards the Indy for publishing that story on Justin Williams. The myopic view of a known rapist and abuser as the “tortured artist” is frankly a story I have heard one too many times. Guess what. A lot of people have demons of various kinds--a lot of us have been abused, raped, or humiliated at various times in our lives. Most of us do not turn around and become abusers.
But my purpose in writing is not to demonize Justin, but to call you out, Indy, for publishing a story about this man. And yes, you can say that you tried to contact his “victims” (and who can blame them for not speaking to you) and that you presented a “balanced” story about him. But at the end of the day, we both know that bad press is still press, and you basically shined a spotlight on this dude.
Kudos to the folks at Phuzz Records for canceling Justin’s record (at great expense to themselves), and kudos to all the people in the music scene (Ryan Martin, for one) who seek to create a scene that is safe for everyone.
Shame on you, Indy. You have lost all credibility with this long-time reader.
Aren't there more deserving musicians to be covered out there?
From a sound man friend - "only interactions i've had with this jerk have been running sound for his band at clubs i was working at a few times. i didn't know about his history but he's someone i have always avoided because he is a belligerent & violent drunk & unpleasant to be around when sober. not sure why he would get coverage in the Indy- seems like The Slammer would be a more appropriate place. not real bright getting an outlaw biker gang tattoo when you are not a member- he's likely to get it removed the hard way if he ever gets locked up with some of them. there is another musician in the area with the same name who i hope does not confused with this asshole. this guy should be in prison instead of making records."
Thanks for clarifying. I was just confused as I knew there was a a past association there, so I thought that was odd. I understand that those were different times and did not know you had severed ties with Jason. Good on ya. I agree with you, Philip's response was very thoughtful and they have handled this very tastefully. I eat crow. Would delete previous comment I made if I could but the site won't let me. Just wanted the facts! I appreciate you taking the time to clear the air. I agree, this conversation should make people think about who and what they are supporting if they are armed with this kind of knowledge. Thanks - Dave
to DE: I released an album by a band Jason was in early 2009, toured with him in 2007, found out about the sexual assault accusation in mid 2010 or therabouts, by that time had grown apart personally for unrelated reasons. He has not played Savage Weekend once, and I have not asked him to play any fests and I have not set up any shows for him since the message board furor on the internet. Still have boxes of the record at my house. My initial comment on Phuzz Phest was personal - I did not want to play because of a horrifying experience my friend had with Justin, described to me first-hand, as well as hearing the (not-as-severe) experiences of others from around town. This is not really much of a bold statement on my part, more of a no-brainer. I know other people might not want to attend or perform if they were aware of this person's history - I also know some people might not care - People should decide for themselves. I think Philip Pledger's official statement was articulate, responsible and compassionate to all parties beyond what I could muster, and I harbor no ill will to his label or fest. I don't care to keep commenting on this, other people are definitely better qualified in these topics than I am, but I think the conversation on this topic, beyond Justin, is an important one to have.
It may take 10 years but if he does right lives well and keeps playing good music good things will come. I don't know what's true or not in the article but we all love the underdog.
Jonnnnny, I think you are referring to noise artist Jason Crumer, a long time friend of Ryan Martin. Crumer has had rape allegations thrown at him not unlike Justin Williams. So I, like you, find it curious that Ryan would drop out of a festival that supports someone like Justin Williams, when he himself has had Jason Crumer play his Savage Weekend fest numerous times and released records by him on Hot Releases and toured with him extensively during his tenure in BoyZone. I think it's kind of shitty that Ryan is standing on a pulpit and in the process kind of shit all over Phuzz Phest and Phuzz Records, who are trying to get something started for Winston Salem and out of their own pockets. I think hypocrisy on any level is lame and this is a shining example of that. Mr. Martin is fine collaborating with "certain" alleged rapists, just not Mr. Williams. With that said, I do think Justin Williams brought this upon himself unfortunately. You can only be a drunk asshole so many times before it bites you in the ass. I do not condone violence against women or at all and think that anyone who has committed acts such as those should be outed and shunned, rightfully so. Either way, the article was kind of patchy and inconclusive. I do hope Williams sticks to his word, quits the booze and doesn't become a deadbeat dad. I think Mr. Martin should let Aimee Argote do the talking.
Way to flush your feminist credentials down the drain, Indy.
"The allegations are false, Williams says, and stem from jealousy after he told someone he'd been seeing that he was returning to an ex-girlfriend."
Yeah, because that's what women always do when they get their hearts broken: falsely accuse a man of sexual assault. Why did you give this scum a forum in which to say such bullshit?
Oh, that's right, because his music is just sooooooooo good. It's like the Beach Boys and George Harrison all rolled into one--that is, if Brian Wilson and George Harrison had been serial rapists.
Fuck you, Indy, and fuck this turd.
Mr. Williams' problems are a far cry from "personal" as his arrests were not victimless. I'm hoping this article was a backhanded way of announcing his background instead of exalting a talent unfortunately shadowed by haters, a fog of drunkenness, and unfair targeting by police.
I found this article to be crass and insensitive by excusing and tolerating rape, rape allegations, violence towards women, and non-aggressive force towards women (whatever that is).
Also, the alleged rape victim wasn't available for comment....no shit.
Was this written by a friend of Justin's by chance?....because there's not much actual journalism going on here.
interesting that the same artist that protested, Ryan Martin also released a record by an alleged rape victim Jason Cruger.
http://www.hot-releases.org/ (American Band)
discussion of Cruger's alleged rape
To any who did or did not know Kelly...
There are only a handful of people who can have absolutely galvanize an entire room with a single note coming from the vocal cords. Kelly Holland was one of them.. Yep perfect pitch and he had all of the love ,rage, light ,and shadow energy of a true blues man within trapped in his soul and also looking for an exit... and when he sang, that was the magic we got....
Chris, I hope you can make it to the show and the no shame lesson (I'm teaching on Friday!) - you are right in that the dancers thrive in a supportive environment that leaves room for lots of fun, silliness, and, like the jazz we are dancing to, improvisation. I think you may also find that this music is not forgotten and that it lives in many ways, in the musicians who have devoted their energies to study and create this music and in the dancers who thrive on the energy the band creates. I've been swing dancing for 15 years, since high school, and the music just keeps getting better. :)
For inspiration, I'll leave everyone with a video from the Lindy Hop finals at the 2013 International Lindy Hop Championships: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9xxeWRxSb…
Hi Bill, thanks for your comments, but did you actually read the piece? Brian Carpenter and his band -- in performance and in the studio -- are tremendously fun, which I think I convey at many points in describing their music.
And as for my brief preview of a 2-night show not containing the complete history of jazz in all its rich detail, well, show me a continent in a shoebox and then I'll apologize for it. I think that my compressed gloss of ragtime-bigband-bebop suits the subject well here, which Brian Carpenter and I talked through at some length together in the interview for this little piece.
Oh, and "no shame" dance lesson is "if you have 2 left feet, don't worry about it and just have fun." Haven't you heard of "no shame" gyms?
Finally, I'm happy that these ephemeral chamber jazz scenes are echoing really loudly in the present, and that audiences are responding to it. True love for the musicians indeed.
I'm sure the event will be far more entertaining than this oddly written, glib piece makes it sound. What does a "shame free" dance lesson mean?
Putting aside references to Saturday morning cartoons and thinking about the history in terms of actual music you see that "short lived" bands like McKinney's Cotton Pickers, lost key members like Fletcher Henderson to other bandleaders like Duke Ellington. Meanwhile other players like Coleman Hawkins, Fats Waller and Don Redman also went on to successful solo careers. Music didn't just dry up in the Depression Era and wait for white bandleaders to suddenly start playing their versions of the same recordings, they just had a better institutionalized system for getting their music heard and accepted by the mainstream.
There's a vibrant and growing resurgence of pre-bop trad jazz across the country and around the world. Sadly your piece misses that point and doesn't express the amount of fun and excitement these shows bring to audiences. Show the musicians and dancers some true love!
I was one of Yusuf's caretakers near the end of his life. I've taken care of a lot of people over the years but Yusuf was a very special man. In the short time I knew him he made a huge impact on my life. And he was the kindest man I have ever met in my life. I'm tearing up a bit thinking of his hugs.
I didn't only see him at work where I cared for him. He invited me out to watch him play at a Durham book store and I was delighted to go. Even so late in his life he still had a passion for jazz, music and life that many younger people will never have. I will always have a special place in my heart for him.
Although the title was true, it was painful to read and appeared designed for that reason. Those who knew Kelly knew of his demons - which I believe had a great deal to do with the bad relationships/break ups mentioned in the article. The article leads one to believe that the other member of the relationship made it bad, not the demons that came along with one or both of the people involved which is nothing but hurtful to those people and the rest of us who care for them & for Kelly as well. Kelly had enormous talent and now he's gone. That's depressing. I have yet to be able to listen to the music I had from back in the days of the Point or during his days with Cry of Love because to hear that beautiful voice will bring forth torrents of tears knowing that it is now quiet forever. I hope you have found the peace you have sought for so long. Peace to all who loved him as a friend, a band-mate, a son... or whatever.
This article's tone is seedy, salacious and depressing. I'm not sure what the point is other than to tell a cautionary tale about an "almost famous" rock star. I'm going to take a wild guess that the author didn't know or ever meet Kelly. Although the facts stated may be 100% accurate, they're not 100% true, and paint a very narrow picture of a truly talented man that will be missed. Shame on you Corbie Hill and Indy Week.
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