Lineup Segregation? Really? That’s a thing?
So what is it with bookers in this city booking bands by color rather than musical style? That’s really never happened to me before but since my return, that’s all that’s happened and I really want to know why the rock bookers in this city actually think that is even remotely acceptable. If you listened to my music and saw a picture of a white woman on my websites and in my videos you wouldn’t put me on a hip hop night or an r&b night or a night with all Black or Asian bands playing some form of hip hop, r&b or electronic music. But that’s all I get. There is this one booker who was like “I’ll get you a show and I have the perfect band for you to play with.” I listened to their music and it was really nothing like mine but, oh, they were Black women. I guess in her eyes that made us “perfect” to play together. Because I know every band with White guys in it is perfect to play together regardless of the actual style of music that they make.
What is your problem, White bookers? Are you really that myopic that as soon as you see someone isn’t White, you scour your backlog of bands to find the brownest people for them to play with? Are you dumbasses? Why is that a thing? The rock scene in this city really is the absolute worst. I don’t think I will even be playing here anymore. I make more money in the subways and I don’t have to put up with the disrespect of these lame bookers who expect you to kiss their ass just to get a gig. No, I am not going to explain to you how many people I can draw on a Sunday night at 2am go fuck yourself. I’m not playing that game. Not with my music at this point in my career. Anyway it’s not like the rock venues in this city will even book me. Cameo, Trash, Cake Shop…they only want “connected” bands that won’t upset their White hipster sensibilities. Can’t get drunk on PBR and give BJs in the bathroom when some Black chick is on stage talking about her minority issues.
I think White bookers don’t know what to do. There are more and more rock bands with people of color in them and more and more of us don’t feel the need to censor ourselves and keep things “safe and non threatening” for White audiences. I feel like the inane phenomenon of booking bands by race is a bit like insurance, so if any acts start, Idunno, burning White people in effigy like all of us crazed PoC militants tend to do at our shows, they can be sure the audience won’t mind, but they can also keep the White band’s audiences lily white. Because most White bands and acts don’t have diverse audiences. Certain do but most don’t. Booking PoC bands with White bands would change that. It would also expose PoC bands to press and a wider audience and god knows that can never happen. What would the community think?!
I’m tired of being marginalized in every fucking arena. When I have put together a night of Black bands, it is with the expressed interest of giving Black bands a stage and an audience to do what we like on our own terms and to be in the center of things; not in the periphery. These bookers are doing the opposite. It’s lazy and offensive. Me defining myself as a Black artist is different than you doing it for me and deciding what that should entail, including who I should play with, when and where. The latter is limiting. The former is not.
I’d really like for there to be a Black run or at least PoC run arts venue, by PoC that are not crazy from being ravaged by internalized racism and just want to showcase art by PoC who really couldn’t give a flying shit about White people liking them or “crossing over”. Who gives a fuck about “crossing over”? What, am I making art or visiting the afterlife? It should have an emphasis on booking PoC bands that make music outside of R&B and hip hop. It’s like you have to have some element of those genres in your music for people to even look at you. Like if there is something, anything about you that is unfamiliar to them, you are not worth touching. That is bullshit. I’m tired of the disrespect and the marginalization and the having to behave like a panting housepet to get a fucking gig. It’s absurd. Especially when all these venues are smack dab in the middle of Black and Latino neighborhoods. Ironic, isn’t it? There was one venue where the website was all about “creating” with the “community” and there were all these smiling, happy Negroes and Latinos. I wrote and it was bullshit. Turns out I could play a gig there. If I shelled out about 500 bucks for the space. One other Black run venue in Clinton Hill actually asked me of upwards of 1000 to play. And wanted me to provide security. Why would I need to pay for security? I’ll let you simmer on that one for a bit.
In short, everyone is an idiot. Good day.