Sunday, March 04, 2007

D*mn it feels good to be a gangsta...
(aka...At least they're honest about it in the South.)

You ever had a situation that was so appallingly racist you were surprised anyone could still be that ignorant. Like 'how did you survive with the Neolithic opinions?' Then you just want to completely belittle them until they feel dumb as hell.

Tonight my band was playing at this club on one of the most popular strips in the Boston area. Honestly, I never heard anything about the place til we were booked to play it. Upon arrival I was disappointed cus i thought the place was twice as big as it was (stupid deceptive online photos). We sound check, everything is smooth. The band before us does the same and the band (excluding me) go to get something to eat. Upon arrival they are given a hard time at the door. The band was not up to dress code. ... Wait... Dress code? Who said anything about a dress code tonight?

Yes. After we've already been set to play we find out there is a dress code. Now sure it is not the clubs fault they have a dress code. We should have been informed in the booking true. However since it's too late for that now, I ask to speak with the manager. Surely, he'll be reasonable about the situation.

The security guard i've been talking with up to now (whom i've deemed Uncle Tom aka House Slave Supreme) points me to a 'gentleman' outside in a black wool trenchcoat. May I also mentioned that he refused to explain why they hold fast to their dress code tonight? So I go over to the manager, at which point he and I begin to discuss this policy.
(I shall paraphrase to make him seem more intelligent than he tried to be.)

His point: We have a dress code to keep the crowd civil.
My point: Our crowd is a music-appreciating college crowd, they are not a rowdy bunch.

His point: Hip Hop shows have fights.
My point: We've never had a fight at a show. We've never had a dress code at a show.

His point: We are trying to avoid a certain time of clubgoer. This is an upscale establishment (he said 'joint' i think).
My point: We the band are not to dress code. The engineer is not to dress code. Some of the people you've already let in are not to dress code.

His point: We're not changing the dress code just for tonight.
My point: Why not?

His point: Cus I do not want to?
What I thought: "Are you three?"
What I said: What is your reason for that?

His point: If we slide tonight. People will constantly want to come in under dressed.
My point: Why would you suddenly lose your ability to turn them down then?

His point: It doesn't matter, it's not changing anyway.
My point: Then you are content to have twenty people at this gig versus filling the place to capacity.

His point: Yes.
My point: How does that make sense? Not only are you losing out financially for the evening but you are also denying a new crowd the experience of your 'joint'.

His point: Doesn't matter the dress code is not changing tonight.
My point: So who do you decide gets in or not?

His point: No 'baggy' jeans. No boots. No sneakers. No Polo shirts.
What I'm thinking: Now you know good and well who wears Polo shirts.
What I say: That's very subjective.

His point: We know the type we're looking for. They wear the baggy jeans, they come to the hip-hop shows and they start fights.
My point: Well that sounds like y'alls problem to me. Our crowd is not that type.

His point: Well how do I know that?
I'm thinking: Bout time. Possibly the best retort you've had this entire debate.
I say: True, however I can tell you that our crowd looks and dresses a lot like me.

He looks me up and down surveying my jeans and hoodie and asks what i have under the hoodie. I have a black t-shirt on. He concedes that I would not get in. I laugh, fighting the urge to slap him with my degree. I ever-so-eloquently communicate that as he can see just cus i'm dressed 'a particular way' doesn't say the first thing about me. He asked if i've ever seen people in tuxedos fight. I respond yes. Clearly lying but it was a dumb point (even beyond the exaggeration that people are wearing tuxedos to this 'joint'). So why concede? He asks if i've seen people not dressed up fight. Dumber question. So I point out how civil i've been in this entire debate while he's the dressed up one who has been cussing to me.

At which point the promoter suggests talking to the guy above this 'manager'. Which pissed me off (though i didn't show it) cus that means i just spent half an hour debating with the lackey.

I turn to the promoter and relate that the number of people they turn away tonight will be far greater than the amount they admit. I went on to say either way this is not going to reflect well on this establishment (verbatim 'it's going to give the club a bad name'). Lackey then interrupts and says "Oh your going to give my club a bad name, then forget the gig then. You can't play here." I'm thinking "good move buddy, making a small show a no show = better results ... clearly he has his MBA on lock)". Let's expound on the economics of it. 2 people = little or no money. However we're still set to get paid a booking rate. So financially, not playing works better for us. As far as reputations go, we could just send an email explaining the situation then play another show next week and be good. They would still be dicks.

Let's wrap this up... promoter talks to boss. Boss is like bring 'em in. Boss apologizes lets us know about how they had a bouncer stabbed (i'm thinking sounds like a personal problem, homey). Lackey gets written up. We play a pimp show. Put some new people on to us. I come home and though I wasn't going to give them a bad name before... i sure am putting the truth out there now. As Thom Yorke once sang... "You do it to yourself, you do, and that's why it really hurts!" [Radiohead - Just]

Peace & Blessings.

THEMODERN - 36 Lansdowne St Boston MA

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