Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fakechella is controversial!

A few words about “Fakechella”

So apparently on May 3rd there is a music fest happening called Fauxchella. I say “apparently” because I don’t know anything about it other than it is happening in The Space parking lot (I think) and it’s name is a play on Cochella, which is another, much larger music fest that is held yearly on the West Coast and is famously attended by the kind of generic girls we all mostly find insufferable and terrible, but date and sometime marry nonetheless (one of my ex-girlfriends, I'd say, skirted the edge of this culture and I loved her the best in spite of it). But I, as they say, digress.

So Fauxchella is a thing and it’s name means “Fake Cochella.” I assume it is cheeky and self-deprecatory.  I like that. My favorite form of comedy. Probably yours as well.

The first I heard of this “Fauxchella” thing was when I was speaking with bands about playing a Barbeque me and my friend Dave were planning at the Captain’s House that same weekend.

“Let’s do it the 2nd or 3rd,” I said.
“Okay. Whatever,” Dave replied.

We settled on the 3rd based on the availability of a band from Nothampton that was going to come down to play, but has had to reschedule based on the classic band/girlfriend bassist issues that are not uncommon in our world.

Anyway. The answer I kept getting from the bands I spoke with was: “You know Fauxchella is the 3rd, right?”

At first, my answer was: “No”; or "Yes” if I wanted to seem cooler by knowing about things I didn’t; then finally it was: “I do now.”

So we rescheduled the thing for the 2nd and a bunch of bands signed up.  Someone suggested selling the event as an unsanctioned  Pre-Fauxchella party. That sounded cool to me. At any rate it didn’t matter. We are having a party, and people will come if they want to come to it.

So, that was it for a while. Eventually a guy from one of the acts playing the party was like, “Dude. You gonna make a facebook event or publicize this shit in some way at some point. It’s in like two weeks, homie.”
I said "fine" and set to work on that instead of doing my actual job, not dissimilar to what I am doing now by writing this.

So, I needed a flyer and a name. I knew it would have to be some type of play on Fauxchella, a sort of double-recursive deal. Something equally, if not more, cheeky and self-deprecatory. I realize now that the cuter name to go with would have been “Phoneychella,” but I was hungover at the time and also I like the total lack of poetry and grace of “Fakechella.” It’s a linguistic bellyflop. I like that.

So, I told the guy who prompted me to get off my ass and make the event and flyer it was done and he was like, “Cool. You gonna change that name or what?”
And I was like, “No. Why?”
And then I don’t remember what he said, but I was like, “It’s a joke.”
And he was like, “I know.”
And I was like,” It’s fine.”
And he was like, “Okay.”

And that was the last I thought of it. Until last night when I was at Ordinary with one of my good friends and he mentioned that people were abuzz about this "Fakechella thing."

“I don’t get it.” I said. “What’s the problem?”
“It’s just a little in poor taste,” he said.
“What do you mean?” I asked, genuinely confused.

It went on like this for a while. He said people were saying things like: “Mike’s band is new, he needs to be careful.”
Or “If he wants to keep getting booked in this town…”
Or whatever.
It was slightly irritating, but I was more surprised how frightened and stupid everyone was apparently being. It was as if I pissed on the mayor's loafer or something. I still don’t really get it, to be honest.

“Maybe you should just change the name,” My friend suggested.

This definitely irritated me and put me in an anti-authority mood. I considered very briefly changing the name to ”Gofuckyourselfchella.” But I was drunk and decided to get drunker instead (which as a side note worked out, because I met a really nice Yalie working on her Philosophy PhD, who I think I'm going on a date with.)

So all of a sudden this fun little barbeque I was planning had become some type of controversial local hot-topic, which I only care about because I am easily irritated by this type of thing. So stupid.

Now, as I said, I know nothing about Fauxchella. I don’t know who is playing, I don’t know who is running it, yadda yadda. All I know is, most of the people I know are going and I will probably go too because I like concerts and friends. I am neutral to its existence, falling slightly on the side of being “for” it. I wish Fauxchella well.  I have absolutely nothing against it. Why would I? I support local music 100%. In fact, show for show, I don’t think there is anyone who attends more local shows than me in the whole New Haven scene.

Now to address the most irksome of the comments I heard last night on this topic.  As for the “If he wants to keep getting booked in this town…” bullshit:

With the exception of our guitarist, all the members of my band have been involved in the New Haven music scene since the 1990s. About 20 years folks. Combined, as they say, that's over 60 years of scenestering. Our drummer is in 3, sometimes 4, other bands that play regularly in New Haven.  We all have good, personal relationships with many of New Haven’s promoters and venues.  We currently have a number of bookings through the next couple of months. We are fine. Our music stands on its own and we are an agreeable, easy-to-work-with band.  We like to get along with everyone. We are nothing if not conscientious. 

Another thing to consider is, as much as I very truly love the New Haven music scene, my goals and aspirations for this project and my musical career go beyond this city. We are already working on bookings in Northampton, NYC, Philly, Providence, New London, and Boston. We have friends and connections in the scenes of all those cities. Don’t worry about us; we are fine. If other bands are concerned with offending people and kissing ass that’s cool. I’m personally not concerned about that, nor do I want to live my life in that kind of fear. I certainly do not want my band to operate that way.

So, in closing, I did not set out to offend anyone and I don’t actually see how I could have. I’m pretty sure the people running Fauxchella, unless they are total idiots, understand the joke since they made it themselves in naming their event what they did.

As for the bands playing, if your panties are still bunching about the event name, they had nothing to do with choosing it and their playing should certainly not be viewed as an endorsement of the name. In fact, some of them voiced concerns, which I, as the booker, chose to ignore. 

I do feel a little sad about this non-troversy because it indicative of the death of the great “punk rock” mentality that had previously been so present in this little scene of ours.  It indicates that some local artists are more concerned about not making waves than being “real” or whatever. As artists I don't see the purpose in self-censorship of any kind. I mean, this isn't G.G. Allen level shit here, dude.

Anyway, on Friday May 2nd we are having a party at Captain’s House, and you should come have some fun with us. Good bands are playing, booze will be flowing, some people will probably be making out in corners.

FYI: I will say a lot more actually offensive, tasteless, stuff that evening, I guarantee it.  Here’s one for free: “I bet Jesus was in the tomb for 3 days fucking his own stigmata.”

Cheers. All the best. Be well.