Strange Famous Records

Apologies to Switzerland, Australia and New Zealand

Unfortunately, tonight’s show in Amsterdam will be the last on this tour for me.

I’ll be unable to join Sage Francis on the remainder of his tour dates this fall, and will be flying home tomorrow to be with my family.

In March of this year, right before I embarked on the most continuous touring schedule I’ve ever attempted, my father was diagnosed with a rare form of germ cell cancer in his lungs. For the past 6 months, he and my family have been undergoing a torturous regiment of chemotherapy, radiation, and various procedures. Nothing’s worked, and the cancer has since spread to his lymph nodes and brain. I received a phone call today from my mother and sister, who informed me that it’s time to come home and say goodbye.

My apologies to the Australian and Switzerland shows. Hopefully you’ll understand and take a rain check.

My thanks to Sage Francis, who’s been a constant friend and my fiercest support in all things. He’s made the opportunity to open for him available to me all year on both of these tours, understanding the risk that I might have to leave to deal with the home situation at any time. It’s meant the world to me to be part of Sage’s final touring year. I wish I could be there to see it through to the end with him… but all the journeys seem to be ending at once these days.

Thanks for understanding. See you on the next go around,

b

Oct 08

All the Sage Francis updates you may have missed.

Hello SFR peops!

I was slow to update this blog. Apologies! For more info on what I’ve posted below (plus more) please visit www.SageFrancis.net

Currently, the most important thing I want to bring to your attention is the fact that B. Dolan and I are about to tour the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Get all the dates and info on this tour at our FB events page by clicking here!

That being said, here are the other major Sage updates you may have missed in the past few months if you were unaware of that site…

1 – My music video for “Love the Lie” directed by Jim Foltice:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjirFBpp7ho&feature=player_embedded

2 – My interview with the legendary NARDWUAR!

3 – My interview with AndPop.com where my comments on Underground Vs. Mainstream created a lengthy discussion at the SFR forum.

4 – My live acoustic performance on BBC radio

5 – The video for “Best of Times” directed by Kyle Harbaugh!

6 – Full audio break-down of my LI(F)E album

7 – My incredibly awkward interview with Russia Today (broadcast worldwide.)

If any of these links entertained you then be a pal and entertain your friends by sharing them!
Best wishes,
Uncle Frank
Aug 29

Dissatisfied Customer vol. 1


To whom it may concern;

I am writing in regard to an air conditioner produced by your company, the Goldstar M8003R.

Sometime last summer the people across the street gave us this air conditioner, which had previously been sitting in their garage.  We were talking in their driveway and I mentioned the heat, and that we didn’t have an AC.  Then I said I’d probably head out to buy one tonight.  Then Rick, who’s from Georgia, started telling me about the one in his garage and insisting I take it.

So Rick takes me into his garage and unveils this AC for me.  “Works fine, should cool down your whole house.  Only thing is it’s noisy, but if you don’t mind that it’ll do just fine.”

Grateful to be spared the $300 expense, I dismissed his warning.  “We shouldn’t mind the noise.  Thanks!”

And that’s how your Air Conditioner came to be sitting in my window.

And I am writing to you now, one year later, from within the icy sonic oblivion this object has created in my home.  This machine is literally the loudest and most persistent noise I have ever encountered.  It is all encompassing.  It is a womb of rattling plastic racket.

It cancels all thought and conversation within 20 feet of it.

It causes us to listen to our TV at maximum volume, and then–when it suddenly clicks off–to be assaulted by the loudness of the TV and have to scramble to find the remote and lower it, just so we can enjoy 10 minutes of normal environment before the jet thruster in the window roars to life again, swallowing important bits of dialogue and critical plot points.

We have been forced to basically give up on the TV.  Conversation is also useless because the machine has reduced us to agitated gesturing cave people.  After you’ve said “WHAT?” to someone 4 times in a row, whatever they were trying to say becomes “FUCK YOU.”  So now we’re pretty much left to stare at each other blankly inside the blast chamber that is our 12 x 12 living room, knowing that we are trapped inside this box with your H-Bomb for the next 3 months because outside the temperature is 102, due no doubt in part to global warming and the massive amounts of freon your howling nightmarefuck murder engines have pumped into the atmosphere over the past 30 years.  They say if you can’t hear your own pulse you’re deaf.  I’m happy to report that at this moment I can hear neither my own pulse nor the sound of myself screaming inside my own mind.

Imagine for a moment the kind of sleep one gets in a house that contains an air conditioner like this.  I can only assume it’s identical to what prisoners experience while undergoing sleep deprivation torture.  What I’m saying is that your machine is a human rights violation, which you are currently charging $299 for on Amazon.com.

The cat is terrified of it.  The dog stands in front of it and barks every time it kicks on.  That is, I assume the dog is barking because I see its mouth opening and closing.

Your machine is the Nothing that strives to swallow all things.  Your machine is a constant reminder that death is waiting for me and everyone I love.  Your machine is absolutely watering secret tumors in my body every single day.  Your machine is a retarded orphan that you sent into the world to die slowly and mutilate all beauty in the meantime.  Don’t bother sending me a coupon, because I believe you are the source of all suffering on earth.  May your children die before you.  May a superior model AC drop out of a window and crush your body on the way to your office tomorrow, and may it fall soundlessly through the air on the way to do it’s work.

Sincerely,
Benjamin Dolan
Dissatisfied Customer

Jul 09

Prayers For Atheists SUMMER TOUR 2010: 6/24-8/18

6/24 – thu Brooklyn @ Bushwick Studios w/ Metermaids & People With Teeth – 8p/$5
6/26 – sat Pittsburgh @ The Fallout Shelter w/ The Fuzz – 8p/$5
6/28 – mon Toledo @ Black Cherry Info Shop w/ Am Rev – EARLY SHOW! 7p/$5
6/29 – tue Detroit @ Division Gallery w/ Bike Tuff – EARLY SHOW! 6:30-9:30p/$5)
6/30 -wed Coumbus @ Thunderpussy Record Shop – EARLY SHOW! 6p/$5
7/1 – thu Bloomington @ Rachael’s Cafe w/ Jet1 – 8p/$5
7/2 – fri St. Louis @ 10 Mile House w/ Phamily Business & Agents of Change
7/3 – sat Chicago @ Locked Out Collective with Agents of Change
7/5 – mon Iowa City @ Public Space 1 with Rolling Blackout
7/6 – tue Minneapolis @ 7th Street w/ Building Better Bombs
7/7 – wed Omaha @ The Hole w/ Idle Minds, Youth & Tear Gas, and Eastern Turkish
7/8 – thu Colorado Springs @ Black Sheep w/ TBA – Early Show! 7:30pm/$5
7/9 – fri Denver @ Summit Music Hall w/ The Pirate Signal
7/10 – sat Salt Lake City @ Utah Arts Alliance w/ Babble Rabbit
7/11 – sun Salt Lake City @ the Green House Effect – Jared Paul Poetry Set!
7/13 – tue Boise @ Red Room
7/14 – wed Spokane @ The Empyrean
7/15 – thu Bellingham, WA @ Plan B w/ Sisturn Moth
7/16 – fri Bainbridge Island @ TBA
7/17 – sat Portland @ Union Hall w/ The Eiger Sanction, Lung Collapser, & Start Fires
7/18 – sun Tacoma @ The New Frontier w/ Revengers
7/20 – tue Bend @ TBA w/ Target For Tomorrow & The Horns of Destruction
7/21 – wed Sacramento @ The Den w/ Aquifer
7/22 – thu South Lake Tahoe @ Whiskey Dicks w/ Aquifer & Fair Weather Sky
7/23 – fri Reno @ Studio On 4th w/ Aquifer & Fair Weather Sky
7/24 – sat Ione @ Clark’s Corner w/ Aquifer
7/25 – sun Stockton @ Plea For Peace Center w/Final Summation & Aquifer
7/27 – tue San Francisco @ Thee Parkside w/ George Watsky & Aquifer
7/28 – wed Santa Cruz @ TBA
7/29 – thu Cuppertino @ Britannia Arms w/ Lucky Loosh & Aquifer
7/30 – fri Long Beach @ Open Books with Aquifer
7/31 – sat Pomona @ TBA
8/1 – sun San Diego @ Kava Lounge w/Aquifer, After School Special & Concrete Project
8/3 – tue Phoenix @ TBA
8/4 – wed Tucson @ Dry River Collective
8/5 – thu El Paso @ Hideaway Lounge with Push Back
8/6 – fri Austin @ Red 7 w/ Blacklisted Individuals
8/7 – sat San Antonio @ TBA
8/8 – sun New Orleans @ TBA
8/10 – tue Gainesville @ TBA
8/11 – wed Orlando @ TBA
8/12 – thu Jacksonville @ TBA
8/13 – fri Charlotte @ The Milestone Club w/ Thought Criminals

More dates added soon!

Full info for all shows available at:
www.Myspace.com/PrayersForAtheists

Jun 24

The Good Cowboy

As I write this it’s 4 a.m. in Louisiana, and we’ve just checked into a roadside hotel after our show in Houston.  Tomorrow is a drive day, during which we’ve got 16 hours to go, en route to begin the final leg of the L(i)fe on the Road tour in Orlando.   The show’s have been incredible, and it’s been an emotional trip to say the least.

Checking my email before bed, I found this waiting in my inbox:

“Hello B,

This email address was the only one I could find for you, I hope you don’t mind. But I thought this would be something that would touch you…help you realize your affect in the world, if only on what would be considered a small scale.

About six months ago my four year old son and I were driving cross country. It was the middle of the night and I thought he was sleeping, my iPod was on shuffle and your track Still Electric played. When it was over I was surprised to hear a little voice from the back seat asking to hear it again. I obliged….three more times. I asked him what he thought about it, and he replied, “The robot is sad because he is breaking.”

So I decided to play The Failure for him, a very edited version of it. And he was completely enthralled. When we got home I made him his own playlist of your work that had, for the most part, age appropriate language. (I might be a terrible mom) But as a result when it’s dinner time and his turn to pick the music we listen to you, when he cleans his room, when he plays and colors, when he gets ready in the morning for sure you are playing somewhere in our little apartment.  He loves the tracks where you, whom he calls “The Good Cowboy”, and “The Sad Robot” sort of duet and interact.

I wanted to thank you for inspiring Ben the way you have, what you have created has become his first love and inspired countless games and imaginary adeventures for The Good Cowboy and The Sad Robot. I’m not sure what you’re hoping for or expecting out of you career as a poet or hip hop artist but I think you’re a complete success.

I attached a photo of a painting Ben did in class…”

Click to Enlarge:

The years only halfway over and already it’s been an incredibly long haul that’s required a number of difficult personal sacrifices.  I can’t really describe what this message meant to me, and the many like it I’ve received from you all in the course of the year.

Just this morning I was thinking about a similar story a friend told me about her son’s connection with ‘The Failure,’ and trying to wrap my brain around the idea.  I remember being that age and having a wooden spoon for a microphone, with a sequined glove my grandmother made me, pretending to be Michael Jackson.  The idea that the deeply personal things I’ve made could be occupying that place in someone else’s life is totally unexpected and overwhelming…

Anyhow.  Just wanted to take a moment to appreciate all of your appreciation and show you this.

See you soon,

The Good Cowboy

B. Dolan will be joining Sage Francis on the following upcoming Tour Dates:

US:
Orlando, FL – Club at Firestone – 6/18/10
Atlanta, GA – The Loft – 6/19/10
Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle – 6/21/10
Washington, DC – Rock and Roll Hotel – 6/22/10
Baltimore, MD – The Ottobar – 6/23/10
Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero – 6/24/10
New York, NY – Webster Hall – 6/25/10

Europe:

Sage Francis with B. Dolan:
Sept 15th – Bristol, UK – The Fleece
Sept 16th – London, UK – Scala
Sept 17th – Brighton, UK – The Freebutt
Sept 18th – Manchester, UK – Roadhouse
Sept 19th – Glasgow, UK – Stereo
Sept 21st – Lyon, France – Ground Zero www.grrrndzero.org
Sept 22nd – Poitiers, France – Confort Modern
Sept 23rd – Nantes, France – Pole Etudiant (FREE SHOW!!!)
Sept 24th – Marseille, France – Marsatac Festival http://www.marsatac.com
Sept 25th – Metz, France – ZIKAMETZ FESTIVAL METZ
Sept 26th – Paris, France – La Machine http://tinyurl.com/2flzkm2
Sept 28th – Copenhagen, Scandinavia – Lille Vega http://www.billetlugen.dk/
Sept 29th – Lund, Scandinavia – Mejeriet http://www.kulturmejeriet.se
Sept 30th – Oslo, Scandinavia – Living Room http://www.billettservice.no/
Oct 1st – Upsalla, Scandinavia – Ordsprak Festival (POETRY SHOW)
Oct 2nd – Stockholm, Scandinavia – Södra Teatern http://www.sodrateatern.com/
Oct 5th – Brussells, Belgium – Botanique www.botanique.be
Oct 6th – Hamburg, Germany – Uebel & Gefaehrlich http://tinyurl.com/35doa58
Oct 7th – Berlin, Germany – Cassiopeia http://tinyurl.com/3a83m7f
Oct 8th – Amsterdam, NL – Sugarfactory http://www.ticketmaster.nl/
Oct 9th – St Gallen, Switzerland – Palace http://www.palace.sg/programm/tickets
Oct 10th – Lasaunne, Switzerland – Le Romandie http://tinyurl.com/265oxq5

Australia:
Dates will be posted soon.

Jun 17

Prayers For Atheists win BreakThrough Act of 2010 in the Providence Phoenix!

pfa prov phoenix

Strange Famous Records CEO Sage Francis wisely scooped up ardent political and human rights activist Jared Paul and his Prayers for Atheists crew, who stormed the scene last summer behind their outstanding self-titled debut EP and its leadoff single “Psalm for St. Paul,” documenting Paul’s arrest in Minnesota outside the Republican National Convention (a grass roots fundraising effort eventually led to all charges getting dropped). Edutainment is in effect when catching Prayers for Atheists in action; in July, the foursome embark on yet another cross-country tour, and Paul will pounce on the opportunity to drop some knowledge nationwide (think Chuck D. disguised as a 5’5″ bike messenger). Guitarist Alan Hague’s chugging, neck-snapping riffs complement Paul’s fiery, slam-poet insight. PFA’s live show is not to be missed, as evidenced by sold-out gigs at Firehouse 13 and AS220.

Runners-up
2. Big Tall Buildings
3. The diePods
4. Fairhaven

*PFA’s “Psalm for St. Paul” & B Dolan’s “Border Crossing” were also nominated for “Song of the Year,” both made solid showings behind the eventual winner:

1. Deer Tick, “Easy”
2. Prayers for Atheists, “Psalm for St. Paul”
3. B Dolan, “Border Crossing”
4. Six Star General, “One-Sided Walkie Talkie”

(http://thephoenix.com/BMP/Providence/2010/BreakthroughAct/)
———————————————————————————————–

We accepted the award last Wednesday at the RI Music Award Show and gave the longest acceptance speech of the night. In our speech PFA denounced the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan, plugged RI community action groups (including the RI Mobilization Committee), encouraged participants to check out the independent news program “Democracy Now!” and then led the audience in anti-BP/Big Oil protest chants.

It was the kind of speech we felt those who voted for us deserved to have representing them.

We are putting the finishing touches on our new album now and will be taking off on a 40-city, nation-wide tour starting June 24th. Winning a 2010 RI Music Award is the perfect way to start off the trip and we thank you for taking the time to vote.

We’re dedicating this award to Sage Francis, Strange Famous Records, and Dan Sawyer Studios for their unwavering support and advocacy. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them.

Thanks Again!

Brand new album soon!

Sincerely,

Alan, Jared, Marco, and Cousin Tom

Jun 15

Dying Art

My dad is a lost wax castor and his business, started by my great grandfather, was severely damaged by the flood that occurred in RI on March 30th. So far he has received ZERO help from the city of Cranston or from the state of Rhode Island. FEMA does not give grants to businesses, only residences. So, don’t believe the hype on the news that FEMA is solving everyone’s problem, I assure you that they are not. It has been an ill past couple of weeks. Ankle deep in sewer water, the smells, the shoveling, the news reporters, the reporter who wanted my dad to bash Obama, the out of state disaster crews from Detroit, the assholes that run the disaster crews who were drooling at the mouth, the lack of help, the vultures who found their way to may dad’s place trying to sell him crap, small businesses in the community helping out, the bigger businesses not helping, the ups and downs. I’ve learned a lot and have lost more faith in my government but gained some faith in my community.

Prior to the flood, my fiance and I were working on a short doc video about my dad’s art and his business. So, what I have done is compiled a video with footage of my dad’s business before and after the flood. I am trying to get his story out there, so please spread the word and this video if you can. My dad and parts of this video will be featured on FOX NEWS, of all places, Thursday April 22.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSN8W9hSDDE[/youtube]

Facts I’ve Learned:

1. Basic Flood Insurance only covers the exterior of the building, nothing on the inside.
2. The SBA (Small Business Association) low-interest loans for RI flood victims are from 4 to 6% and you have to to put up personal collateral, ie: your house.
3. Once it was announced that the flood was a “federal disaster”/Act of God all insurances became null and void.
4. FEMA only offers grants to residences not businesses.

Apr 20

AN OPEN LETTER OF RECONCILIATION & RESPONSIBILITY TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE

[url]http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5966/t/9615/p/salsa/web/common/public/content?content_item_KEY=2491[/url]
“[b]AN OPEN LETTER OF RECONCILIATION & RESPONSIBILITY TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE

A newly released Wikileaks “Collateral Murder” video has made international headlines showing a July 2007 shooting incident outside of Baghdad in which U.S. forces wounded two children and killed over a dozen people, including the father of those children and two Reuters employees. Two soldiers from Bravo Company 2-16, the company depicted in the video, have written an open letter of apology to the Iraqis who were injured or lost loved ones during the attack that, these former soldiers say, is a regular occurrence in this war. You can view the Wikileaks video here: http://wikileaks.org/ and you can view the Press Release here:[/b]
[url]http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5966/t/9615/p/salsa/web/common/public/content?content_item_KEY=2491[/url]

Letter:
AN OPEN LETTER OF RECONCILIATION & RESPONSIBILITY TO THE IRAQI PEOPLE
From Current and Former Members of the U.S. Military

Peace be with you.

To all of those who were injured or lost loved ones during the July 2007 Baghdad shootings depicted in the “Collateral Murder” Wikileaks video:

We write to you, your family, and your community with awareness that our words and actions can never restore your losses.

We are both soldiers who occupied your neighborhood for 14 months. Ethan McCord pulled your daughter and son from the van, and when doing so, saw the faces of his own children back home. Josh Stieber was in the same company but was not there that day, though he contributed to your pain, and the pain of your community on many other occasions.

There is no bringing back all that was lost. What we seek is to learn from our mistakes and do everything we can to tell others of our experiences and how the people of the United States need to realize what we have done and are doing to you and the people of your country. We humbly ask you what we can do to begin to repair the damage we caused.

We have been speaking to whoever will listen, telling them that what was shown in the Wikileaks video only begins to depict the suffering we have created. From our own experiences, and the experiences of other veterans we have talked to, we know that the acts depicted in this video are everyday occurrences of this war: this is the nature of how U.S.-led wars are carried out in this region.

We acknowledge our part in the deaths and injuries of your loved ones as we tell Americans what we were trained to do and what we carried out in the name of “god and country”. The soldier in the video said that your husband shouldn’t have brought your children to battle, but we are acknowledging our responsibility for bringing the battle to your neighborhood, and to your family. We did unto you what we would not want done to us.

More and more Americans are taking responsibility for what was done in our name. Though we have acted with cold hearts far too many times, we have not forgotten our actions towards you. Our heavy hearts still hold hope that we can restore inside our country the acknowledgment of your humanity, that we were taught to deny.

Our government may ignore you, concerned more with its public image. It has also ignored many veterans who have returned physically injured or mentally troubled by what they saw and did in your country. But the time is long overdue that we say that the value of our nation’s leaders no longer represent us. Our secretary of defense may say the U.S. won’t lose its reputation over this, but we stand and say that our reputation’s importance pales in comparison to our common humanity.

We have asked our fellow veterans and service-members, as well as civilians both in the United States and abroad, to sign in support of this letter, and to offer their names as a testimony to our common humanity, to distance ourselves from the destructive policies of our nation’s leaders, and to extend our hands to you.

With such pain, friendship might be too much to ask. Please accept our apology, our sorrow, our care, and our dedication to change from the inside out. We are doing what we can to speak out against the wars and military policies responsible for what happened to you and your loved ones. Our hearts are open to hearing how we can take any steps to support you through the pain that we have caused.

Solemnly and Sincerely,
Josh Stieber, former specialist, U.S. Army
Ethan McCord, former specialist, U.S. Army”

*To cosign letter:
[url]http://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5966/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2724[/url]

Apr 19

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