Strange Famous Records

Jared Paul beats his case. ALL CHARGES DROPPED!

Jared Paul, one of many civilians who were unjustly arrested during the Republican National Convention, has finally beat his case.

All charges dropped.

Jared Pauls unjust arrest

Jared Paul's unjust arrest

In early September of 2008, Jared Paul had the option to plead guilty and avoid this costly legal battle, but that didn’t jive with him and it didn’t jive with his supporters. An attorney was hired (with the help of money donations via and we fought the case to the very end. It’s been a 5 month ordeal but victory is finally ours!

On Feb 9th, at12:43 pm, our attorney informed us that the dismissal requests
he filed to MN’s Ramsey Court were received and the case has been been
dismissed without prejudice due to insufficient evidence. Go figure.

For a full break down of what Jared Paul has been put through, check out his blog entries on

Read about this miscarriage of justice. Stay informed.

Read about this miscarriage of justice. Stay informed.

The Feb 27th show at the Grant in Pawtucket, RI is still going to act as a fundraiser (as we are still in the red) but this show is going to be more of a celebration of our victory than a request for money. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS SUPPORTED OUR CAUSE.

This victory is for all citizens who are fed up with a system that bullies them into submission. There are many innocent people serving unjust time in American prisons and all over the world. Our struggle continues and we plan to keep fighting the tide. Stay aware, stay informed, and stay involved.

We’ve decided to leak a couple songs from the upcoming Prayers for Atheists EP on the new PFA myspace page:


Jared Pauls band

Jared Paul's band

One song that marks this victory in a special way is the “Psalm for St. Paul” track, which has Jared Paul chronicling his arrests at both the DNC as well as the RNC. No, we did not know he would beat his case. Yes, we are beyond thrilled.


Look at this Christian Slater lookin motherfucker. Pump Up the Volume!

Thank you, Jared. A lot of other people would have folded.

Feb 09

Beirut review, Christian Bale, Dane Cook and football

The Beirut show was beyond impressive. It took place at the Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, NY on Feb 6th. I paid an embarrassingly high ticket price from an internet scalper (one of the wackest hustles known to music lovers everywhere.) I had no idea that Beirut was popular enough to sell out this place two nights in a row.

After the 4 hour drive, my girlfriend and I found our way to our seats on the 3rd floor. I damn near suffered vertigo when looking down onto the stage. We were high up…and the seating section in the balcony area is dangerously steep. This was a strange setting for this type of show. Thankfully the singer, Zach Condon, motioned for the seating section on the floor to get up and crowd around the stage. He didn’t verbalize this request, as I’m guessing the Opera House has stern rules about people staying in their seats, but it enhanced the show despite all of us in the balcony section suffering through fits of jealousy.

If you’re not familiar with Beirut you can check them out at (let them know Sage Francis sent you…maybe we’ll score a collaboration from it. heh.) It’s not hip-hop, but it’s beautiful, original and kick ass.

Half-way through their show they had a middle school orchestra join them on stage. It was one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen happen at a live show. I don’t know what kind of preparation goes into organizing something like this, but we sure as hell appreciated it. So thank you.

Amanda was able to sneak these two photos when the balcony guards weren’t breathing down our necks.

photo by Amanda GossPhoto by Amanda Goss

Unrelated end notes:

1) Dane Cook is the new Carrot Top. I’m glad the comedy world has come down on him for being a fraud.

2) The AFC-NFC Pro Bowl needs to not happen anymore.

3) By this point most people have heard the audio of Christian Bale going off on a stage hand during the filming of the new Terminator movie. Then came the youtube mash-ups…my favorites being:


Today Christian Bale released an apology stating this: “The thing that I really want to stress is I have no confusion whatsoever. I was out of order beyond belief. I was way out of order. I acted like a punk. I regret that.”

The correct press statement should have been this:
“I’m Christian Bale. Don’t interrupt my fucking awesome Terminator scene, you amateur TWAT!”

Don’t go soft on us, Mr. Bateman.

Feb 08

New Sage Blog! First Post

Watch out blogosphere….I’m coming with daily updates, video links to stupid shit, and whatever else I bloggin’ feel like. I will give updates on SFR stuff as well as non-SFR stuff. Just stuff in general type stuff pretty much. Just bloggin’ in it up. Bloggin’ with the homeboys.

For right now, how about you enjoy the features of this new website. Read about the new artists, check out the podcast, download the free music or purchase something if you want us to live and for us not to die. Actually, we’re currently transferring store items from the old website into this new website, so not everything is up and available just yet. If you purchased something before the switch was made DON’T WORRY…we got it all under control. Orders will be going out as usual.

There’s a “comment section” on my blog so you can post suggestions on what you’d like to see on the website. Until then, it’s time for daddy to go sleepy. I’ll be back to blog something new and fresh later on.

Blog out,

Sage Francis

Feb 04 Rage Against the Machine vs. the RNC

Firing this off before heading out for Knowmore representing at the Web 2.0 conference in NY tomorrow… after which I’ll drive back home and take off for Madison, WI. Tour starts wednesday!

Rage Against the Machine and Ripple Effect:
Eyewitness Report & Interview With Organizer Jim Forrey

Report by B. Dolan
Photos: Jonathon Hoffner
Special to the Blog


Jan 13

Sage show review from Hamilton, Ontario


“Offering my judgment and reason a chance to rest before Thursday’s direct support set was Sage Francis, a lone conscious hip hop MC. It takes a lot of charisma and energy for one man to fill a stage the size of that Rise Against would soon pulverize, and so credit is indeed due to the lyricist. He was funny, entertaining, and an extremely talented MC. I was unfamiliar with every song he performed, and yet still had my arms waving and feet tapping to his beats while he spewed lyrics on topics from the late Johnny Cash and social injustice to not being able to get it up. This guy is a hell of an entertainer, and added a nice new dimension to this show that really foiled well with the other two acts.”

Full review at:

Dec 30

Sage interview with Uptown Magazine

Personal politics

Rhode Island rapper Sage Francis isn’t afraid to speak his mind

Mike Sherby
from Uptown Magazine

The first piece of advice any budding writer will likely hear is ‘write what you know.’ It’s hackneyed, but there’s truth behind it. Take Sage Francis, for instance. The Rhode Island rapper has made a career of airing his personal demons onstage and in his music.

Opening up your life to a crowd of strangers would be enough to scare the pants off of most people, but Francis says he doesn’t think twice about it.

“It’s very easy for me. I started writing in the fourth grade, and even back then it was just a lot of confessional stuff,” he says. “The kind of stuff you wouldn’t speak openly about in any kind of normal circumstance, and that’s why it went to the pen, because it seemed like that was the place for it.”

Apart from examining his own life, Francis also focuses a critical lens on the world at large. In his hands, words become weapons he uses to attack the hypocrisy, greed and corruption that he sees in the world around him.

In September, Francis released the song Conspiracy to Riot over the Internet. The track is part of a fundraising campaign for Jared Paul, a journalist who was arrested during the Republican National Convention, which was held in St. Paul, Minn., earlier that month.

Francis says Paul, as well as hundreds of others, were arrested and held without reason by overzealous police officers.

“It got minimal press, definitely not the amount of press it deserved,” Francis says. “The fervor being about the political candidates, people’s rights took a back seat. And that’s really unfortunate, but expected at this point.”

As a student at the University of Rhode Island, Francis studied journalism. He credits this with helping open his eyes to the inner workings of news media – a medium he has an uneasy relationship with.

“You’re not really getting a bunch of information. It’s just a lot of people recycling the same stories, and repeating it over and over for weeks at a time,” he says. “It’s just what they all decide and they keep reeling people in, chained in, and that’s having a negative effect on their purposes. As media outlets, they should be there to keep the government in check and to inform people in order for us to make appropriate decisions as citizens of a capitalist country.”

Francis is currently crossing Canada with political punk act Rise Against as part of its Appeal To Reason tour. This will be his first time touring Canada, and he’s curious to see how fans will respond to his music.

“If they’re politically active, then they’ll take to the material I talk about in my music,” he says. “But if they’re so insular as to reject anything that isn’t in the punk rock medium, then we’ll have a problem. But I’ve had the same problem with hip hop crowds before.” Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 05

Sage Francis video interview w/ Art H

[youtube][/youtube] [youtube][/youtube]

Nov 14

Interview conducted by Ignacio Reyo, journalist from Popular1

When you begin to write songs and singing? What artists were your first influences to write and make music?

“A lot of hiphop artists from the mid 80′s to the early 90′s were my major influences. The most obvious might be Public Enemy, but other big influences growing up were Ice T, Run DMC, Beastie Boys, Too Short, De La Soul, Rakim, KRS, and many others. Those are artists I imitated when I first started writing and recording myself. I wasn’t even a teenager yet, but I still have a lot of those recordings. You can hear some snippets of these recordings on my Personal Journals album as well as the intro of Human the Death Dance.”

Before life of music, you worked in an ice cream shop, etc…Do you learn from this works to be more social and real in your lyrics? I asked you because, for example, I study in the university but also work some periods of time in supermarkets, and in some aspects I learn more from the Supermarket than the university.

“Hahaa, well…no. I don’t think it helped me learn to be more social or real. I was operating under other people’s rules and guidelines. I liked the job because it gave me a lot of freedom, but I was a servant of the customer. I did just fine with that. Never got any complaints. The only trouble I had was with the manager of the joint and that was only toward the end of my career as an ice cream scooper. She insisted that I remove my headphones while I swept the floor at the end of the night. It enraged me. I still think about the look on her face and the feeling I had. I was listening to my own demo tape while cleaning the floor at the end of the night. ‘NO HEADPHONES!’ Yeahhhh, go fuck yourself. I have plans, lady.”

How you broke into the industry and the pretty unique DIY approach to how you made a name for yourself?

“It was unique, yes. Because it happened while all the rules were changing. It’s only been about 9 years since this happened for me, but when up-and-coming artists ask me how they can do the same thing I have a difficult time answering the question. The music industry changes at such a rapid pace, that if I had to start from the bottom up again I’d probably have to do things differently. I’m still interested in what it takes to break a new artist these days because I run a record label. What’s important to remember is that work ethic accounts for at least 50% of success. If you have all the talent in the world but little work ethic then you will drown in the sea of myspace musicians. This is a non-stop job that does not allow much room for fun or leisure. If you find yourself chilling and having fun a lot, then be happy about that. But don’t get upset when those who are working all the angles non-stop develop a career while you are still opening for the openers of an opening act.”

What do you think about your first record with a label now? Do you think your previous works; Sick of waiting, Sick Again… were training for “Personal Journals”?

“The mixtape releases were not practice for what I knew an official album needed to contain. That being said, I still think that Sick of Waging War holds a candle to Personal Journals. But when it was time to do my first official album, I did my best to cram in everything I ever wanted to say to anybody in my life. Because this was the one that counted. And if I died after making it, this would be the album people could look back on and get a good understanding of who I was as a person. I don’t even know why that was my train of thinking, but it was. In retrospect, I’m not sure it matters if people know me that well. Haha. But what people seem to have connected to is the mortality and humanity of the content. So it all worked out. Heh.”

Why Sick?

“I was sick of waiting for things to happen. Sick of waiting for people to come around. Sick of waiting for the industry to pick up on what I had to offer. That’s where it came from. Sick of waiting. Sick of waiting tables. Sick of waging war. I just kept it running. It’s a little trick I learned from EPMD.”

What can you tell me about your record label, Strange famous records? What’s your label philosophy?

“I guess it kind of relies on my taste for now. I like politically minded artists with a poetic twist. But that’s not all we deal with. As long as artists have something unique to offer, and their work is good quality, then we like to stay in touch with those people and hope that something interesting comes together. This doesn’t just apply to rappers, producers and musicians. I’m talking about artists of all sorts. From web designers to landscapers. I don’t care what it is you do. If you’re a good person with a sense for craftsmanship and hard work then we want you in our circle. Musically our styles can range from heavy to funny, serious to absurd, but we do our best to stay away from material that promotes sexism and homophobia (which are both very popular in the music world.) We break new artists, invest in their career development, and show them the ropes of the industry if they are interested in learning. We take risks with certain projects, but overall we intend on maintaining the quality of output that people have come to expect from us. When operating under these guidelines the pickings can be slim, but there are talented people out there and we always keep our eyes open.”

A Healthy Distrust was your first album with Epitaph. How do you feel with them?

“Epitaph raised my profile in the media. They gave me special treatment and I’m happy I decided to work with them after having a couple poor relations with other labels. Epitaph is professional and on top of their shit. I consider myself good friends with the president, Andy. There’s no one better to talk about music with.”

You mention Bukowski in Human The Dance Death, and I love Bukowski stuff, but for some artist in USA he was only a drunken. Why do you think Bukowski’s literature is look down for some persons?

“He broke a lot of traditions. For some reason poetry is viewed as an academic type thing in America, but Bukowski was the original poet rock star as far as I’m concerned. He let it all hang out. He let people know how much of a dirtbag he is, and if people can’t relate to that then I don’t know anything about their understanding of life.”

What’s your favorite literature authors and why?

“Bukowski of course, for the reasons stated above. Hunter S. Thompson is high up on the list, because his style and content interest me as much as they amuse me. Stephen King, because he taps into raw human conditions. George Orwell, because he was so in tune with the direction and flaws of humanity. If I read more books I’d have a longer list.”

How was your collaboration with Wild Oldham?

“We never even met. We spoke to each other through email. He sent me a recording of him playing guitar and singing the chorus. A producer friend of mine named Alias then re-worked those recordings into the beat that is now the backing track of Sea Lion. I never really rapped to a rhythm like that before so it took me a while to adjust. It ended up being one of my favorite songs, so I’m glad limits were pushed by all the parties involved. Sometimes it doesn’t work out quite so well.”

What do you think about Obama? I prefer him than a republican president again, but I think, in general, all the politics are false.

“Well, if you feel that way then there isn’t much I can say that wouldn’t sound foolish to you. It’s easy for us to discount all politicians. But the fact of the matter is, our lives are affected by the people who are elected into high positions. If that process is broken, and that’s what people feel, then they should investigate it and change it as best they can. Otherwise, you’re being policed by the powers you think are false. I like what I’ve seen from Obama. I’m glad that he is someone I get to vote for in the upcoming election. No one is perfect, and no one can please everybody, but Obama is the first politician in my lifetime who inspires me on certain levels. If he becomes President then he has a lot of things to fix and I think we need to constantly remind him that we expect to be represented well.”

You studied journalism. Why do you think the mass media are so corrupted?

“I guess I could give the simple answer. Money corrupts. Advertising corrupts. Advertising money corrupts. Political affiliations corrupt. Goverment should never be allowed to intervene with the media’s content as it is the media’s job to inform the public whether it is to the government’s liking or not. A lot of mainstream media outlets have lost their way for many of the reasons I’ve stated.”

What do you prefer, CD or vinyl, and Why?

“I guess I prefer CDs because I use them most often. Vinyl is special though, and I have a tough time not owning an album I love on vinyl. I like playing records, but CDs are easier to store. By that mentality I should love MP3s, but I don’t really have an attachment to them.”

Do you think Rap was, in the beginning, the punk of the afro Americans?

“Hahaa Afro-Americans. I haven’t heard that term in a long time. But nah. I think punk was the rap of whities.”

You are white. For me, of course, it’s not important the race, the important is the person but, do you have any problems with a racist audience like, for example, Little Richard had in his first steps in music.

“It’s interesting getting race related questions from you as Spain has come under considerable scrutiny lately for being racially insensitive. As you may know, us Americans are very on edge about such matters. Yes, I have been hated on by certain audiences because I am white, but I’ve also been accepted by certain audiences because I am white. As for Little Richard, he had to play up his flamboyant side so that white people wouldn’t get too uncomfortable when a black guy sang to white women. I never had to do that.”

What’s your opinion about mainstream Rap? Artist like 50 Cent…

“Mainstream rap is background music for the status quo. There are some exceptions to that rule, but most of the mainstream rappers are dispensable and recylable. As for 50 Cent, he began in the underground and he forged an empire of his own. I think he did everything he could in order to make the most money possible with the talents he has.”

Why do you think some Rap change the rebellion for the money?

“Because money is the quick and easy answer to a question most people don’t want to be bothered with. Some people just need money. Some people just want money. If they see rap as a way to obtain that money, then you can’t expect them to rebel against anything except for whatever it is that keeps them from getting money. Other people see beyond money, and those artists are easy to pick out I think.”

I read in your blog you have a photo album to tattoos that have a connection to your music. Do you have fear of fanatics or stalkers? Why do you think about the adoration of persons?

“The only time I get uncomfortable is when people try to wedge themselves into some personal aspect of my life. When people who I’m not familiar with act very familiar with me. I don’t like that. There are very few people who I’m comfortable with on that level. It’s like people who want to call me Paul. I mean, right…yes…Paul is the name my parents gave me when I was born. It’s on my license. But I don’t understand the need certain people have to let me know that they know my name is Paul. Haha. It’s such a small thing, but if someone I don’t know calls me Paul it is a clear sign that I don’t want to be around them. Call me crazy.”

Chuck D. did you an interview. How was it? Do you think Public Enemy change everything in popular music?

“We have the audio of that interview available at if anyone wants to check it out. I sound a lot calmer than I felt inside. I mean, hell…it’s motherfucking Chucky D. As far as I’m concerned there is not a more powerful voice in hiphop. Public Enemy changed the game in ways that it practically made whatever came before them seem obsolete. In the late 80′s and early 90′s it just seemed like they had an unstoppable movement behind their music, message, image, visual media and stage show. They were the full package. It still boggles my mind how the various elements of what they did all came together and worked.”

About Rock. Do you like Rock? And if its yes, what’s your favorite rock bands and why?

“Rock and Roll is great when it’s done great. Same with any genre. It’s probably what I listen to most these days. I’d rather not list my favorites. I tried three times and ultimately decided it was a bad idea.”

Tom Waits mention you in interviews. Do you like his music?

“I love Tom Waits. He’s made some of my favorite songs. I’m constantly humbled by his output and the way he goes about his material.”

The last question. What can you tell me about your new album? Do you begin to write it?

“I’ve been writing and recording a new album for a while now. We are about to release a free song called ‘Conspiracy to Riot’ which will be available at by the time this article hits the press. There is a full back story to the song. All the info will be available on my website if people want to check it out. That one song has consumed my past week, and now I’m about to work on the rest of the project. There are only a couple people involved in this album as opposed to having multiple producers like I did with my last couple albums. A fire has been lit. Tick tick tick. Hope you like it.”

Sep 28

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