Strange Famous Records

Sage Francis “makes it up” to Portland and Seattle

The Metermaids and Sadistik have been added to both shows! Details below…

Portland and Seattle...this kiss is for you.

In 2010 I was in the middle of my LI(F)E Tour when I received word of my father’s passing. Due to this horrible news, I cut my Seattle show short and canceled the Portland show in order to fly home and attend the funeral services. Since that time I haven’t heard the end of it from people in these territories, so a little more than a year later I’m coming through on a promise to do the make-up shows.

Sage Francis w/ the METERMAIDS Sadistik
$18 advance / $23 day of show
Click here for tickets!

SEATTLE, WA on Sept 22 at NEUMOS
Sage Francis w/ the METERMAIDS & Sadistik
$18 advance / $20 day of show
Click here for tickets!

For those who were unable to catch my Colorado shows last weekend with the Metermaids and B. Dolan, you missed some incredible performances. One of the shows had us performing in front of a rolling river. We upstaged the shit out of that beautiful river. The full list of my upcoming shows can be found here, but to ensure you don’t miss any updates please sign up for the newsletter on the homepage of

Sage Francis and the Metermaids performing "Bad Things" off their upcoming Rooftop Shake LP

Aug 02

The Matthew Rucker Incident

Briefly Revisiting the World of “Poetry Slam International” To Set An Old Record Straight

WARNING: There’s a strong chance this blog will be of no interest to 90% of you, as it involves a scene you likely aren’t a part of and have minimal interest in. I’m posting this here, however, because I feel a responsibility to call out a dude that’s been quietly allowed to harass people for years under the pretense of ‘art.’ My involvement with him has also becoming something of an urban myth in some circles, so I’ll use this blog to tell my side of the story one last time.


My first encounter with Matthew Rucker was in 2005, when the tour I was on passed through Minneapolis. The sequence of events that night becomes a little complicated and involves some detail, which I’ve laid out here “Deposition Style” if you’re SUPER interested.

The ultra short version of the story is this: After booking me for a show later in the year, Matthew followed myself and a group of friends to Pizza Luce for a post-show dinner. While there, we encountered a young girl in a crisis situation, who was 16 years old, bi-polar, and prostituting herself for drugs. She appealed to me for help, and I in turn tried to enlist Matthew as a resource from the city.

Instead, he made a comment about how nice her tits were, and dismissed her in a way that made me absolutely see red.

My solution? To take Matthew’s money, fly back to his city to perform in front of his audience, and hijack his show for a kind of ‘Asshole Intervention’. I appeared on his stage (The Artist’s Quarter in St. Paul, MN) that night as Bombzo Way, performed a 35 minute set of country music covers, and then told the crowd in dramatic fashion the entire story. It all ended with Matthew stopping payment on a check, threatening to sue me, attempting to blackball me from the Slam community, and spreading lots of myth about your boy.

Unfortunately, the members of his audience that night chose to go on the attack against me, even though Matthew was well known for this kind of behavior within their scene. I left feeling like I’d tried and failed, and kept it moving.

Matthew’s name had been all but forgotten to me until a week ago, when I was contacted by a number of people and informed that Matthew has received disciplinary action from the Executive Council of Poetry Slam Incorporated preventing him from participating in their events.

I had already given up Slam for a number of years in 2005 when the incident took place, and have only sporadically popped my head in since then to check in with friends; my knowledge of what’s transpired in the past 6 years is heresay at this point.

What I hear is that at least one female member of Matthew’s team has filed an official complaint, because of a multitude of incidents that may have included sexual harassment, and included wildly inappropriate behavior that took place while he was the Host City Chair for the 2010 National Poetry Slam. This team member claims to have been kept in her situation silently for years by Matthew’s perceived authority as the head of her team and local scene.

These things are heresay at the moment because Poetry Slam International has not made public the sexual harassment claim made to them against Matthew Rucker, and chose instead to discipline him privately and quietly. Matthew then posted a statement retiring himself from slam, stating that the decision was due to a surge in demand for his freelance work, and a desire to “go out on top.”

He still hosts an open mic, and still ‘privately tutors’ a number of people in performance poetry.

For whatever it’s worth, I’d like to lend my support to those asking that Matthew’s disciplinary action be made public. I believe it’s important that open mics and the slam community live up to the ideals put forward by so many of the artists within it, and it’s always rubbed me as a particularly gross hypocrisy when that fails to happen.

That night at the Artists’ Quarter, the same poets who were onstage rattling off bumper stickers about freedom and equality seemed content to know a callous at best and abusive at worst figure was representing them. They apparently continued to be content for 6 more years, and enjoyed the ride while Matthew Rucker gained influence and did more damage.

Here’s hoping that the Slam community takes the right steps to correct and prevent situations like this from arising in the future, and that we all continue the struggle to create welcoming and accepting environments for people with something to express; the kind of environment that the girl we met that night needed, and we all failed to provide.

Jul 12

The Bright Side of Witch Burning

Godcast II “The Bright Side of Witch Burning” can be downloaded for free by clicking the DOWN arrow on the SoundCloud player below. Continue to scroll down to view the tracklist and read the full story of what inspired this installment of the Godcast series.


Yesterday Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 05

Tour Rap

I wanted to make this interesting so I am writing about my tour the best way I know how…like a rap verse. Enjoy:

The night before June fourteenth
Pilks and I practiced our tour routine til 3 in the morning (echoing “3 in the mornin!”)
I had Geoffrey press the MPC during my set see
while I try to impress with intellect as an emcee
With 4 hours of sleep we bounced to our feet
Sandrine picked up the rental car and turned down a jeep (No upgrade neccessary)
A Ford B.O., that reeked of a B.O. so violent
So saturated and seeped in the seats, air fresheners couldn’t hide it
Mork. (It was also sittin on 2 Larry Davids, meaning the tires were balding)
We kept the windows opened and pinched our noses
Drove to the Lemon Grove hoping it would cure the B.O. of its odors
Met up with MC Homeless who set up the show for us
Ate dinner and waited, as the patrons began to show up
Peace Diane.
Good crowd good sound, then the roof got brung down
On the stunts and drunks when we set it off in Youngstown

I rapped on stage for the non-smokers
then opened up a window and rapped out of that for the smokers puffin butts
Real hip hop is over where…..

Peace to Homeless running red lights while we were following
To get to Bakers place so we could stay at his apartment
Peace to my man with the fur Kangol, but not to the boyband at the end
Peace Janice
and the Lemon Grove owner.
Crashed at Baker’s, respect.
Homeless and Baker took us out for cheap sushi, respect.
Then they took us to an amazing park in Youngstown with creepy sexual statues, spect.

Off to Pittsburgh, to spit words, we’re watchin out for Lizzzurds
Got to the spot, the doors were locked and the sound guy was dizzzturbed
He was a mixture of Woody Allen and Misterrrr Yankovic
and wouldn’t let us in, til I dropped some Strange Famous shit
He was strange, not famous, and I liked that about him
Nirvana slept on his couch, word? no doubt, I kinda like that about him
You cool.
Hip-hop still ain’t dead, except for kangol hats and shell toes
Not one person at the Pitt show had on “black and yellow, black and yellow…”
Cuz only 15 people showed up, but it didn’t slow us up
Fortified Phenix was dope, Fuck the koala bear openers
Sorry, saw Sami (Sah-me) and his truck
Got something to eat and Geoff got morked like the rest of us.
Worst customer service ever on the face of the Earth is
definitely in Pittsburgh at this place that serves burgers
“Do you order the hotdogs over here?” “What do you think?”
Off to Indiana, headed west then south
we had Thursday off and we stayed at a friends house
We ate lunch outside of Walmart on the grass
in Indiana Indie rappers eating tuna while consumers pass
Pilks was souped but learned the ugly truth
The hard way when he got burned with the dry fruit (Fruit from Walmart is no good homie!)
June sixteenth, my birthday was on that Thursday
And we sipped Hefenweizen when we were thirstayy
Mini-golf at Ben and Ari’s, I lost
By 4 strokes, but I still been feeling IRIEEE!
Thank you again Irina.
We were on the highway Friday….Rebecca Black
Driving in the B.O., better get the Axe
Speed stick, aerosol or Right Guard
Raid, pesticides trying to kill that shit tonight hard.
Peace to the wall flowers in Bloomington
Not enough people in the crowd to fill the room again.
About twenty, but still hungry
Had everyone in the place saying “Gimme my money”.
Plus my lady rapped and we had a party
Made Anti-Swag, the Anti-Gnarly
Enter Cas One, late as usual
Puffin butts, not beautiful
Thank you Rhino’s we made the best of it
Good sound, good crowd, we Reggie Miller’d it (I’m looking at you Spike)
Next day, Minneap, not Minne-ha ha
I paid for gas with a twenty dolla
But the shit was counterfeit, they almost called the feds
I smoothed it over excellent…Bill and Ted
So yeah, somewhere along the way we were paid with a counterfeit $20 bill.
Thanks. Just another hurdle making fountains outta hose spill
Mountains outta molehills
Mountains outta dirty clothes built
Now where was I…
Hip-Hop Against Homophobia, in Minnesota
Big Pro is sayin uhhh like no limit soldiers
I said the word slut, some people were offended
It wasn’t directed at them nor wasn’t my intention
So, I took off my shoes and rapped artist goes pop
in my socks, got that shit on video for hip hop
Thanks again to Guante
on this journey like Dante
Harry Be la Fonte
burned the shit down like Pompeii
Pete, Big Cats and Truth Be Told
Took me, Cas, Pilks and S into their studio
Shit was fresh.
A lot of people got dissed and some shit got vetoed
I found a dope record when I dug inside of Cheapo
Next morning
woke up
Ate the french toast…what
no donut, no po po stuff
pro keeps a low pro but
Went inside of 5th Element never been in it
checked for the hell of it, for my cd, they were selling it
I found in the discount bin, park benching it
It all came full circle starting where I ended it
I was hoping we could catch Kevin Beechum but didn’t see him
We rocked the Cause Sound Bar like it was a coliseum
Laura, what up
Big Cats’ fiance, what up
People that didn’t come, where were ya?
No love, so what, get the nuts
So dont say what up, just keep it shut….aiiiight

Cas was going to knock someone out across the street after the show because he thought I was getting into a fight. He ran across the street like Macho Man coming to Hulk Hogan’s rescue when they were boys. I wasn’t involved in the fight though and I wasn’t even across the street Cas, but I appreciate it.
Show ended, then we drove Sandrine to the MN airport and
Headed to Chicago, ate lunch with the Reanimators
Good people, heard some heat that Reanimator has that I’m gonna snatch up.
Thank you guys for your hospitality. You’re awesome.

Headed to Evansville to drop Cas off, laughed my ass off
Roberto, smoke stacks and smack talk
Winmills Imbeciles
Hog racing
More winmills, road kill
Shish kabob bacon
Jackie, dope stop animation
I tried to shower, theres was no soap
I tried to cleanse, there was no hope
Just dog shampoo so I went for broke
Pilks almost had a problem…it stayed a float
No flush, jiggle the handle
Don’t touch, had to plunge to wiggle the man poop

June 21st and then there were 2

Bone Lick or Bone Lake, we were told to visit
stuck in traffic for 3 hours, we both missed it
Trying get home we stopped at Max and Erma’s
Had waitress that was a stiff…taxidermist
Still gave her a tip…hope it served a purpose
Started driving through Penn, when nature Patty Hearst it

We drove through the illest thunderstorm that I’ve ever been in. Pilks got some footage of it. We couldn’t escape it because we were headed in the same direction of the storm. We drove until 3 am, stopped in the Poconos and got a room at a Comfort Inn where Pilks had to deal with 3 am hood politics…haha. What a term. Hood politics. Slept woke up. Drove the last leg home. We stopped at a vegan diner off of 95 in CT, which was refreshing. Very rarely can you find good food off of 95. Finally made it home. The Ford still reeked of the original B.O. and now of our B.O. You were a great car. Thanks to everyone who came out, performed, promoted and let us crash at their place. Big ups to Pilks, Cas and Sandrine for making the trip an interesting one. I’m sure there is stuff I missed, if someone remembers something please feel free to post it…but it has to be in a rap verse form.
The end.

Jun 29

Victoria, BC added to Sage’s 2011 show schedule!

Sep 23 – Victoria, BC – Sage Francis at the Sugar Nightclub for the Rifflandia Festival.

The other shows I currently have planned are in Sweden, Denver, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, and Provincetown. All info can be found here.

Jun 29

Anti-Swag and Sage’s interview with Scene Magazine

People often ask me about my writing process. It’s not easy for me to explain, and there’s no particular ritual to my craft, but I figure the best thing to do is just show you how I write.

Alas, that question wasn’t asked in the following interview Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 28

Busting a Luna Moth out of Spiderweb Prison

When I noticed this magnificent creature outside of my front door I took a picture of it and posted it on my facebook page to see if anyone knew what it was. As it turns out, it’s not a leaf bird. Also, it’s not a stingray-kite hybrid. It is, in fact, a Luna Moth (yes, the same one that Lunesta uses in their commercials to push their dreamy drugs.) However, I discovered that this Luna Moth was stuck in a spiders web! I bravely decided to be super courageous and film myself breaking it free into freedom. To liberate the Luna. Once the mam-moth was carefully placed on its freedom leaf I heroically transported it over to some safety shrubs.

The very next day I was surprised to see this lunatic back on the side of my house, stalking me in broad daylight. All the spiders were gone because they starved to death. The weather turned erratic and it became clear to me that I unwittingly destroyed RI’s ecosystem. Suddenly, lightning struck a tree and a branch fell on top of me. The moth swooped down, removed the branch and said, “We’re even now.” Then he vanished. The clouds opened up and a smiling sunshine double rainbowed my street.

That was my past 24 hours.


I'm pretty much a hero


P.S. I found your ‘electronic-spy-on-sage-moth.’ If you need it back, that will come at a cost.

Jun 25

Scribble Jam 2004 – “Jah” and “Buzzkill”

In 2004 I debuted two brand new songs at Scribble Jam. They were “Jah Didn’t Kill Johnny” and “The Buzzkill.” As they were fresh off the page I flubbed a couple lines but not too bad. Both songs ended up the book ends of my A Healthy Distrust album a year later.

I’m not sure the majority of the crowd knew how to react. I mean, this was Scribble Jam of course. Most people are expecting battle raps and punchlines so they can all go “Ohhhhh!!!!!” in unison. Regardless, Scribble Jam is an important part of indie-hop history. A history that is untold and unrecognized by most media outlets and music culture archivists, but some day it will be realized. “Thems was the good ole days, I tells ya!”

-Old Man Sage

BUZZ KILL (Reanimator RMX) – Sage Francis by Strange Famous Records

Jun 21

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From the mind of B. Dolan, The MAKE RACISTS AFRAID AGAIN Hat is meant to express solidarity with those opposing racism, homophobia, and fascism worldwide.  Anywhere they rear their head, we will combat them.  It's that simple.

BRAND NEW STYLE FOR 2016, available in Men's & Women's fits! The One Party System T-Shirt is inspired by lyrics from the Sage Francis classic "Slow Down Gandhi".

Because you demanded it: brand new FLEXFIT HATS! Click here to see them all.

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