For those who know, I’ve been writing music and album reviews for Bucketlist lately. My review for The Matadors, though, was removed and re-edited. They felt it was too political (after two editors passed the review to go online), and Hooch, the frontsman for The Matadors, felt it was a personal attack. Due to this review, I was asked to “step down” from Bucketlist for a while.
This is a show that I went to because I always end up reviewing metal shows and wanted a change of pace. Didn’t know any of the bands, figured it’d be a new experience and that I’d hear some good music. The music was great, but the bullshit between songs sucked badly enough that I went to look at what kind of band this was. I researched the band, found out the guy has a history of that kind of thing, and wrote my review – including links and quotes from him, and some of their lyrics. I was concerned about how it would be taken, but was encouraged by my editor to go for it.
It went up, I posted it, folks commented there and on my post, no issues. The editor posted it with a link to the band, and all hell broke loose. I got shit from Hooch, I got shit from their fans. My editor decided after legal threats and a whole lot of “it’s all an act, I’m not really like that” from Hooch, she was going to take it down. It was decided that it could be edited rather than removed completely, and they put the new review up this evening.
The best part was how a band I had literally never heard of before went on and on about how I had an agenda, only went to the show to shit on them, clearly had this all planned out beforehand… because of course I have so much free time and there are so few shows in Vancouver that I have to subject myself to bands that are going to piss me off.
So, before the review, some of the choice quotes from that night that I didn’t include:
“I came down here and I asked for some weed today, they gave me this crippling fucking weed, so I just smoked it all day. You know what? I don’t think I have to answer to you motherfuckers. This one’s about me having sex with your mum’s butt.”
“This one’s about your mom sucking my dick on public transit.”
“Last time we played Vancouver we played the Rickshaw to like six fucking people. The fucking bartender, his boyfriend, some other guy, it was all dudes with dicks.”
“Right now, tonight, this moment, is as good-looking as any of you are motherfuckers are ever going to get in your lives. This is it. This is as good as it fucking gets right now. Are you with me? So take care of somebody, love somebody, fuck somebody, do something crazy Vancouver, this is it. There’s no fucking part two, motherfuckers. Get your shit done. Have sex with a stranger, do some fucked up shit. Set a human being on fire. Do what you gotta do.”
So, here’s the review, as I sent it to the editors. Definitely not my most brilliant work, just a review that bothered a band so much that they forced the site to remove it.
Due to some ridiculous transit issues (I took a different bus, walked the wrong way and ended up across Gastown), I missed local bands Daddy Issues and The Skellys who opened the show. I caught the full Blood Moon set, though, and it was great – it really got the crowd pumped up. Blood Moon were over from Victoria and really impressed me. Also, their drummer moves like Animal, complete with hair flying up and down.
The Matadors are great live musicians. Unfortunately they’re also the sort of guys that think they aren’t misogynists because they fuck women. “We don’t call ourselves misogynists. We call ourselves ‘Snatch Marauders.’ We travel the country destroying vaginas.”
They’re also the sort of guys who don’t think performing in blackface is racist. “We live in a world where people can choose their gender, religion, etc…hell!! I FEEL like an African American person in my heart so I’ve decided to live out the rest of my days as one. That’s ok right?”
Look, I love the old murder ballads, they’re a great cathartic release. No matter how perky it sounds though, I see a big difference between “Early one morning while making the rounds, I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down” and “rip your arms and legs and then beat you with the bloody end, cut your head loose and pretend your neck’s a toilet seat my friend, we’ll make sure they never find a trace of you though they may try.” It’s the difference between “this one has had a hard life” and “NEVER be alone in a room with this one”.
The thing about music is that a lot of it is made by some despicable people. The great thing about the profusion of musicians out there is that there’s just as much brilliant music made by people who aren’t irredeemable racist, sexist jackasses with inflated opinions of how edgy they are for spouting tired-ass tropes about “sluts” disguised as being real.
The musicianship was good, the technicality was excellent – the bassist in particular was really impressive. They put a lot into it, and sweat their asses off. I’ve got no issue with the music itself, and if Hooch had just not talked between songs I would have liked the show a hell of a lot more. It’s just a question of how much puerile bullshit you’re willing to put up with for decent rockabilly.
Robert Johnson may have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his music, but these guys seem to have sold their soul to a sleazier and much less well-connected devil. The sort of devil that would stand on a stage in a cheap-ass costume and hand their servant beers.