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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11289
Location: ann arbor
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I met Sage through the old UGHH boards, circa '98 or so. We quickly became internet friends because the signal-to-noise ratio on that site was incredibly low and like minds tended to coalesce on the site and talk on AIM a lot. At that time, becoming friends with people exclusively through the internet felt, at once, really natural to me (relative to how it feels now) and also really exciting and novel. Anyway, he set up his own site (ostensibly a Non-Prophets site*, which was odd since 1) Joe Beats rarely participated 2) Sage Francis was, even then with no album, no "Sick of" even, IIRC, a bigger "draw" than Non-Prophets as a unit) with its own forum. I was glad to move to that forum, the old EZBoard, from UGHH. Sage blessed me with a ridiculous honorific I was to be the NP's "media assassin" i.e. their Harry Allen, though we were never clear as to what that meant. I wrote a ridiculous and generally misanthropic essay for the site about why I'm didn't believe in being an organ donor (basically, because I thought that, mathematically, the risk that my organs would go to someone truly despicable and would prolong their life outweighed the possibility that they would go to someone truly admirable and would enable them to continue their positive acts). It was dumb. I don't remember if I wrote anything else or did anything else is my "media assassin" role. I think there maybe a few more pieces but I don't remember anything about them.

At any rate, my participation on that forum and its later iterations was something like that essay. That is to say, I tried to work through my thoughts through a free-flowing and fun conversation with all these crazy personalities that came to the forum. At times my participation reflected (as I can see in hindsight) clumsiness with regard to showing respect for others and a cringing lack of self-awareness. Other times, I think I handled myself pretty well. In all cases, it was always a supplement to, say, my livejournal (early on) and other social media as time went on, and then onto other places where I wrote privately or professionally, trying to develop something like a writerly voice.

And the people! There was such a great cast of characters here that grew in a really cool way. For a time, it was basically curated: Sage would only let certain people in and only at certain intervals and would wield that banhammer (in addition to related "delete" and "lock"-hammers that were apparently based, at times, on whimsy and at other times on a never-exactly-public list of verboten topics [see that first footnote!]) like he was running a banana republic (or a Banana Republic). I'm really glad to know all the people I'm still in touch with** from the forum. I'm loving watching, say, Redball's and The Mean's families on Facebook. Or David Drake's writing career blossom. Emynd and Serg. Lants and Mancabbage making me want to visit their respective nations though I'm not sure if they'd even want to hang out if I did. Mary continuing to just be awesome. Sarah being, somewhat ironically, one of the least apparently changed people on here. And so on. It's always nice to see someone completely unrelated to the forum post about somebody on this forum's music. This has been happening more frequently with kHill and Jesse D lately, in response to the ethically ambiguous (but at least THEY'RE cool) nerd rap thing. And so on. Crash. Dan Shay. It's weird to say, but part of what I feel about you guys is, well, a sense of pride. I'm proud of you guys! I'm proud of Sage Francis! He's been able to cultivate a career and a rock-solid fanbase, and a prognosis for serious career longevity, especially relative to guys who, 10-14 years ago, one would have expected to have an equal or even greater claim to that longevity than Sage but have ultimately wallowed in apparently interminably precarious careers, or have moved past music. Some of those guys had as much talent and none of the label woes, some of them were even more photogenic, and less personally abrasive. And they lived in places that weren't Providence. Obviously, he's been able to do this by making the correct career decisions, almost impeccably so creative control, knowing how to bring in younger fans without alienating his aging fanbase, knowing when a collaborator is a liability (see that footnote again!). And, I would guess that part of his success has been in negotiating that boundary between social networking and social broadcasting. This forum has been really exemplary in that respect. Gradually, it seems that Sage, as have the vast majority of artists, has understandably shifted almost predominantly toward the "broadcasting" end of that spectrum: Twitter, a fan page (and no longer a personal one) on FB. To this end, the forum is very much a relic a relic of, among other things, the times (multiple!) that Sage (and others) literally rallied to save the lives of people who'd entrusted him (or the rest of us) with their possible, final cries for help. That's probably not happening on Twitter.

I still learn from this forum on my increasingly rare visits. And I'm going to do "site:strangefamousrecords.com" google searches for years and years to come. Though there's enough on here to probably disqualify me from any number of jobs and would derail my hypothetical political career in five minutes, I'm really glad it's here. And this year might be my best chance ever to actually win the fantasy football league.


* One thing I've always found fascinating about Sage is that, while he's clearly a lone wolf and not naturally predisposed to collaboration, and, at least in the early years, sort of prone to public spats with people he'd worked with, he's sort of always had an apparent strong urge especially w/r/t web presence to be identified as a member of a collective or group, even at times when he was the only member in the "collective," as it were, doing any heavy lifting, representing the group-qua-group, or producing anything of note and when the chasm of talent between him and his allies was river deep and mountain high. This has obviously changed in recent years as the label's grown.

** I wish i were still in touch with others. Like Shambhala where is he?!

ETA: I've probably edited this post like 7 times now.


Last edited by icarus502 on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:01 am; edited 1 time in total
Post Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:26 am
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icarus502
kung-pwn master


Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 11289
Location: ann arbor
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Also, remember when people's spouses would become semi-regular posters as "Ms (Original Forum User's Name)"? That was the sort of place this was.
Post Fri Sep 07, 2012 10:19 am
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T-Wrex
p00ny tang


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 6393
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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I was also Mrs.T-Wrex.
Post Fri Sep 07, 2012 2:23 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21555
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icarus502 wrote:
I met Sage through the old UGHH boards, circa '98 or so. We quickly became internet friends because the signal-to-noise ratio on that site was incredibly low and like minds tended to coalesce on the site and talk on AIM a lot. At that time, becoming friends with people exclusively through the internet felt, at once, really natural to me (relative to how it feels now) and also really exciting and novel. Anyway, he set up his own site (ostensibly a Non-Prophets site*, which was odd since 1) Joe Beats rarely participated 2) Sage Francis was, even then with no album, no "Sick of" even, IIRC, a bigger "draw" than Non-Prophets as a unit) with its own forum. I was glad to move to that forum, the old EZBoard, from UGHH. Sage blessed me with a ridiculous honorific I was to be the NP's "media assassin" i.e. their Harry Allen, though we were never clear as to what that meant. I wrote a ridiculous and generally misanthropic essay for the site about why I'm didn't believe in being an organ donor (basically, because I thought that, mathematically, the risk that my organs would go to someone truly despicable and would prolong their life outweighed the possibility that they would go to someone truly admirable and would enable them to continue their positive acts). It was dumb. I don't remember if I wrote anything else or did anything else is my "media assassin" role. I think there maybe a few more pieces but I don't remember anything about them.

At any rate, my participation on that forum and its later iterations was something like that essay. That is to say, I tried to work through my thoughts through a free-flowing and fun conversation with all these crazy personalities that came to the forum. At times my participation reflected (as I can see in hindsight) clumsiness with regard to showing respect for others and a cringing lack of self-awareness. Other times, I think I handled myself pretty well. In all cases, it was always a supplement to, say, my livejournal (early on) and other social media as time went on, and then onto other places where I wrote privately or professionally, trying to develop something like a writerly voice.

And the people! There was such a great cast of characters here that grew in a really cool way. For a time, it was basically curated: Sage would only let certain people in and only at certain intervals and would wield that banhammer (in addition to related "delete" and "lock"-hammers that were apparently based, at times, on whimsy and at other times on a never-exactly-public list of verboten topics [see that first footnote!]) like he was running a banana republic (or a Banana Republic). I'm really glad to know all the people I'm still in touch with** from the forum. I'm loving watching, say, Redball's and The Mean's families on Facebook. Or David Drake's writing career blossom. Emynd and Serg. Lants and Mancabbage making me want to visit their respective nations though I'm not sure if they'd even want to hang out if I did. Mary continuing to just be awesome. Sarah being, somewhat ironically, one of the least apparently changed people on here. And so on. It's always nice to see someone completely unrelated to the forum post about somebody on this forum's music. This has been happening more frequently with kHill and Jesse D lately, in response to the ethically ambiguous (but at least THEY'RE cool) nerd rap thing. And so on. Crash. Dan Shay. It's weird to say, but part of what I feel about you guys is, well, a sense of pride. I'm proud of you guys! I'm proud of Sage Francis! He's been able to cultivate a career and a rock-solid fanbase, and a prognosis for serious career longevity, especially relative to guys who, 10-14 years ago, one would have expected to have an equal or even greater claim to that longevity than Sage but have ultimately wallowed in apparently interminably precarious careers, or have moved past music. Some of those guys had as much talent and none of the label woes, some of them were even more photogenic, and less personally abrasive. And they lived in places that weren't Providence. Obviously, he's been able to do this by making the correct career decisions, almost impeccably so creative control, knowing how to bring in younger fans without alienating his aging fanbase, knowing when a collaborator is a liability (see that footnote again!). And, I would guess that part of his success has been in negotiating that boundary between social networking and social broadcasting. This forum has been really exemplary in that respect. Gradually, it seems that Sage, as have the vast majority of artists, has understandably shifted almost predominantly toward the "broadcasting" end of that spectrum: Twitter, a fan page (and no longer a personal one) on FB. To this end, the forum is very much a relic a relic of, among other things, the times (multiple!) that Sage (and others) literally rallied to save the lives of people who'd entrusted him (or the rest of us) with their possible, final cries for help. That's probably not happening on Twitter.

I still learn from this forum on my increasingly rare visits. And I'm going to do "site:strangefamousrecords.com" google searches for years and years to come. Though there's enough on here to probably disqualify me from any number of jobs and would derail my hypothetical political career in five minutes, I'm really glad it's here. And this year might be my best chance ever to actually win the fantasy football league.


* One thing I've always found fascinating about Sage is that, while he's clearly a lone wolf and not naturally predisposed to collaboration, and, at least in the early years, sort of prone to public spats with people he'd worked with, he's sort of always had an apparent strong urge especially w/r/t web presence to be identified as a member of a collective or group, even at times when he was the only member in the "collective," as it were, doing any heavy lifting, representing the group-qua-group, or producing anything of note and when the chasm of talent between him and his allies was river deep and mountain high. This has obviously changed in recent years as the label's grown.

** I wish i were still in touch with others. Like Shambhala where is he?!

ETA: I've probably edited this post like 7 times now.


I just liked the idea of having a "Media Assassin" and you knew more about things that I wanted to know about. Haha. Whether you were right or wrong, I liked the way you were able to put your thoughts together and draw from interesting sources. Thanks for playing along with that, even though it never became an actual thing.

"** I wish i were still in touch with others. Like Shambhala where is he?!"

We had an email conversation not too long ago. He seems to be doing well. I'd definitely love to have him back on the forum. Hopefully he weighs in on a couple discussions and brings us up to speed on what he's doing.
Post Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:01 pm
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mancabbage



Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 9256
Location: london
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icarus502 wrote:
Lants and Mancabbage making me want to visit their respective nations though I'm not sure if they'd even want to hang out if I did.


dude, whaaaat... crazy, i'd buy ya a pint if you popped over the pond to london no doubt
Post Fri Sep 07, 2012 7:09 pm
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21555
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I wish I had the time and opportunity to hang out with Lants and her sister more while I was in Australia. It's not easy traveling halfway across the globe, having to put on a performance and then chumming it up with internet buds. That would be nice though.

As for mancabbage, I'm not entirely sure if I've met him. I'm in the UK right now (but not London.) Maybe next time? If I've met you before, apologies. My memory isn't so hot these days.
Post Fri Sep 07, 2012 9:12 pm
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Lants



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 2234
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mancabbage wrote:
icarus502 wrote:
Lants and Mancabbage making me want to visit their respective nations though I'm not sure if they'd even want to hang out if I did.


dude, whaaaat... crazy, i'd buy ya a pint if you popped over the pond to london no doubt


wtf? why would you think I wouldn't want to hang out? of course I would. you're more than welcome to come and say hi at any time. it's a bloody long flight though!
Post Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:47 am
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Lants



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 2234
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Sage Francis wrote:
I wish I had the time and opportunity to hang out with Lants and her sister more while I was in Australia. It's not easy traveling halfway across the globe, having to put on a performance and then chumming it up with internet buds. That would be nice though.

As for mancabbage, I'm not entirely sure if I've met him. I'm in the UK right now (but not London.) Maybe next time? If I've met you before, apologies. My memory isn't so hot these days.


It would be awesome to catch up if/when you come out again. I will try to be less creepy next time. No promises though.
Post Sat Sep 08, 2012 12:50 am
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Lants



Joined: 07 Aug 2006
Posts: 2234
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I still feel like I am new school on this forum because I only started posting in 2006.

I have made a ton of friends here. Most I spent hours chatting to back in the day on gabbly and AIM, some I am buddies with on FB and twitter and some I eventually even met with face to face.

I miss IM chatting to people I used to talk to a lot like Bandini, Eltron, Sarah, Kayla, Frezz, Bobby, Gio, Mac Lethal, etc. :(

If anyone here is ever planning to visit Australia, make sure you get in touch!

You can also find me here https://www.facebook.com/atlanta.lants & here https://twitter.com/LANTS.
Post Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:23 am
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AdamBomb



Joined: 05 Mar 2004
Posts: 3183
Location: Louisiana
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I used to mess with the npforum....cant remember if I posted much then, but I definitely read the forum every day like a fiend. As a huge fan of Sage, I was kind of geeked out that you could have that kind of access to interact with artist you look up to. I found this to be the same way at Sage's shows, too...though I never know what to say. Holla next time you come to NOLA, Sage.

Both the npforum and this one have been awesome in the diversity and quality of posting...I have definitely learned (and laughed) a lot. The bullshit percentage is lower than any other forum i have found...and i love the old school scaled down style of this forum. Networked with some really good people on here, too. Even if the traffic and posting has slowed down, I still have enough invested to keep coming back.
Post Sat Sep 08, 2012 10:29 am
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zagadka
DARK PAST HAVER


Joined: 30 Nov 2004
Posts: 4932
Location: Hous of Gaga
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We all need more gabbly in our lives.
Post Sat Sep 08, 2012 2:25 pm
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T-Wrex
p00ny tang


Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 6393
Location: Detroit, Michigan
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zagadka wrote:
We all need more gabbly in our lives.


Post Sat Sep 08, 2012 4:25 pm
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breakreep
homophobic yet curious


Joined: 27 Sep 2004
Posts: 6627
Location: Fifth Jerusalem
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This forum:

1) Introduced me to some people that I consider friends, and whose advice I value greatly, even if I've never met them in person. Two of them helped me pick out a laptop recently, and one of them recommended a book for me to read just because they thought of me while reading it.

2) Helped me realize that being a jerk just to be a jerk is usually not the best course of action, regardless of the purpose of the dialogue I'm engaged in. Moreover, it helped me realize that, depending on the circumstances, people will think I'm being a jerk even when I am specifically trying to be the opposite of a jerk, and when this happens I have nothing to feel guilty about. These are both lessons I still draw from daily.

3) Showed me some very, very good movies, music, and books, including one of my all-time favorite authors, as well as many other artists from each medium who are still very important to me.

4) Allowed me to hone my debating skills, work out many logical kinks in my thought processes, and nurture a sense of internal intellectual scrutiny and honest reflection, all of which have propelled me years beyond where I would have developmentally otherwise been, not just in my personal life, but in my academic and professional fields as well.

5) Almost single-handedly catalyzed my interests in politics, social equality, and all broad-scale thought that stems therefrom. I've broadened, deepened, altered, and solidified most of the social and political values I held during the days when I actively posted (and vehemently argued) here, but many of the initial kernels I developed through participation in this forum half a decade ago still occasionally guide me, whether as warnings or beacons.

6) Gave me glimpses into a lot of varied, interesting professions--glimpses which I otherwise might never have gotten--and gradually showed me which topics I truly enjoyed thinking about and expounding upon to others, versus which were merely interesting or stimulating. Both of these opportunities--though they did not define it--certainly helped mold my eventual decision to pursue the paths of a physicist, an engineer, and a mathematician.

7) Was one of my primary teachers vis-a-vis being both honest and articulate in a crowd. It's astonishing how much that dual skill has helped me in most of my major life decisions for the last several years.
Post Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:20 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19356
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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Lants wrote:

I have made a ton of friends here. Most I spent hours chatting to back in the day on gabbly and AIM, some I am buddies with on FB and twitter and some I eventually even met with face to face.

I miss IM chatting to people I used to talk to a lot like Bandini, Eltron, Sarah, Kayla, Frezz, Bobby, Gio, Mac Lethal, etc. :(



This. I used to have these long chat sessions with people I'd never met in person, that were amazing and meaningful. That's definitely something I regret losing out on as the other parts of the web have grown out. It's just not cool to chat in that way anymore. Which is a shame, because I think there's something interesting you can get out of communicating in that way.
Post Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:25 pm
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futuristxen



Joined: 01 Jul 2002
Posts: 19356
Location: Tighten Your Bible Belt
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Oh this forum I think did give me the final push to start making my own comics(originally the collage comics). I used to just write them and couldn't get anyone to draw them--and then Erich in some random thread was an asshole to me about not being able to talk about something because I wasn't an "artist"--which hurt because I didn't have anything to point to and say "hey stoopid, look"--so between that and the trauma of another move, I got off my butt and just started doing the damn thing. I still have a long way to go, but I do consider that a primal moment in my growth as an artist.

But yeah I think for the most part my personality in terms of how I interact with other people was mostly already in tact when I started posting here.

I think moreso than charting changes from this forum, the most important thing is that I can say I'm still alive. Which I don't think I would have ever thought I would make it to 30. But this forum definitely helped me in realizing the extent to which my depression makes me think no one cares about me, and the reality that a lot of strange people I've never met in person, actually do.

That said, I will never not feel absolutely horrible for sending a suicide email to Sage. I can easily say that's the worst thing I've ever done to someone in my life. And it's not something that gets less worse with perspective, ha. What Sage has done for people, and continues to do for people, with little to no actual repayment is one of the more herculean things I've seen. And goes far beyond anything anyone can accomplish just being an artist. I am not sure that I've seen someone who does so much for so many people, who then turn around and willingly shit on his front door step. But it is a testament to him as a person, as much as it is an indictment of those who do it.

For me the benefit of this forum was never informational--it was that it was there.
Post Sat Sep 08, 2012 9:55 pm
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