Yes, because if you're interested in seeing a noise set (Clang Quartet) you might want to check out a fun hip hop set instead. "Overrated AND underrated"! What a way to say absolutely nothing. The premise for this article is petty and stupid.
unpublished letter in response from a friend of a friend that makes many good points :
"Last week I wrote a letter to Indy Week but it wasn't published, so here it is anyway:
Indy Week’s profile of Justin Williams is a disservice to women. Regardless of what you think of the situation, it was crass and irresponsibly worded. “A gifted singer-songwriter whose personal problems get in his music's way". Really? His music's way? It’s also fair to say his personal problems stopped being “personal” problems as soon as he started assaulting other people. The article in question is apologist. It sends the message that a history of rape and violence against women is excusable for artists.
It was also disappointing to see another employee at Indy Week post the following on their public Twitter account: “Saying that it sucks when an allegedly bad person makes good music doesn't make you an apologist. It makes you a realist.”
That’s not what the article “said”. The allegations against Justin Williams were listed without any analysis or criticism.
Fortunately, Justin did an excellent job of further implicating himself. I found one quote to be especially laughable:
"If I fucking beat a chick up and raped her, and everybody knows me and everybody knows the chick, I'd be in prison," Williams says. "I would at least have gone to court for it. I would have been tried.”
Perhaps, in the name of journalism, it would have been worth noting that 60% of sexual assaults are not reported to the police, and 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail. The American system of justice fails victims of sexual violence every day. The “if I did it I would be in jail” argument doesn’t hold any water.
The conversation to be had here is if it’s more important to value the respect and safety of women over the respect of someone’s work. Ending the article by noting that Williams’ songwriting has “deepened” gave Indy Week’s answer.
I would like to add that the journalism involved was pretty half-assed - if you're going to look up arrest records, might be worthwhile to look them up from more than one or two counties, since there's been hearsay from other places. Or talk to some other local business owners who have banned him - Doe instance, Alexis from Nightlight has publicly stated that she had him banned for reaching into her shirt and pulling out an insulin pump. Local 506 had him banned for slashing a female bartender's tires. I think this article shouldn't have been published at all, and if you were adamant about publishing something it shouldn't have been so rushed, or started from scratch. Inserting lazy journalism into a puff-piece makes for a muddled mess that benefits no one involved. Also, that tweet is terrible. When a friend gives you a first-hand account of someone doing violent things to them, and you hear more things from other people and persistent denials or refusal to acknowledge any form of wrong-doing, lionizing someone's supposed talent to any degree is terribly offensive. Personally, I'm not into the music at all so the defense of 'talent' is especially useless, though that shouldn't even be an issue.
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's so good to see Ron Lessard quoted in the Independent, great article! Green noise + magistrates.
One addition: Relay For Death is Rachal + Roxann Spikula, they play in BZ also - they set up some great weird shows in Raleigh in the now-demolished Farrior Rd basement, a couple brutally underground ones recently in their backyard in Durham, and they do some great live shows that sound a lot different from their RRR tape - more rock moves + ghost sounds - some photos from one of their best-ever shows hereabout: http://flickr.com/photos/thisreallyhappenedok/584784261/in/set-72157600425774418/
Also, Roxann has a double LP with Jason Crumer coming out on Ecstatic Peace sometime soon, so fame + the cup of glory clearly favor Relay For Death strongest.
You can get the tapes from RRRecords.com also along with tons of other great music.
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