the southwest, chile, racist bullshit + plush.

30 Apr

we have had a pretty amazing time in the southwest. we’ve met good people, eaten way too much fantastic food, and had good conversations. all this was quite refreshing after a somewhat disappointing experience in Tulsa featuring too many drunk men who seem to think girls in bands = funny/hot. funny/hot is NOT my favorite set of adjective options. in any event, fast forwarding beyond the heckling and on to the amazing Southwest — we ate SO MUCH CHILE. seriously. and as a New Yorker who finds great happiness in New York (and therefore, has NO fantasies of relocating to the southwest, alaska, florida, upstate or any of the other places new yorkers talk about moving to), touring is my time to enjoy all the beautiful and delicious things in this country. i rely on my yearly trip to New Mexico to overeat green and red chile.

one of the most consistently heartening aspects of touring is spending so much time with new people – who usually become friends quickly. after a really wonderful week with my sister and brother-in-law in St. Louis, i didn’t expect to end up having so much fun — i assumed everything would pale in comparison to our week of intensityfest meets fitz-induced frenzy — but what’s awesome is that i was wrong! while time with family (and this family especially) is its own particular variety of awesome, we really had a lot of fun in fayetteville and albuquerque too.

in fayetteville, we learned just how gorgeous the ozarks are, slept to the sound of pouring rain, played an in-store at the awesome Sound Warehouse, for (among others) kids and passersby (a new experience!), and set up shop at Ozark Natural Foods to get some work done (befriending most of the staff by the end of the day.) in albuquerque, we had some really lovely hosts who not only tolerated our post-van hijinks (which really, must be extremely annoying to anyone who’s not us?!), including endless carrying on in our various jewish grandparent personas, insisting on watching entertainment of the “Gold Blend?” variety, and expecting chile at all hours of the night.

the hateful, racist, anti-immigrant SB-1070 was passed in Arizona last Friday. when we realized there were calls for boycotts of arizona coming from all over the country, we paused our plans to head to AZ, and spent some pretty intensive time talking among ourselves, with our awesome host DB, and making phone calls to organizers and activists back home and in AZ. in the end, no one who was actually working on the issue here in arizona was calling for a boycott that would apply to bands traveling through (at the club level), and instead encouraged us (more than encouraged us) to come and try to help move the whole audience toward participation in Saturday’s May Day activities, upcoming fundraisers, and working with organizations here.

i think what made me the most happy about this whole process we went through, was that it was 100% clear to all of us that our decision should be based on being as useful as possible to the struggles going on against this legislation, and not about convenience, or how we would look to people… there is no question that some of our fans don’t give a shit about the passing of legislation that further criminalizes people of color here in arizona. and frankly, if you fall into that category, i’d like to 1) have a conversation about it and see if you’re open to caring about it, and 2) disown you as a fan if you don’t.

so here we are, backstage at plush in tucson, az, following new developments as they come in, excited to play for people here, and to have a speaker/tabler join us from the Border Action Network. more later!



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