It seems that while I was judging the Band Scramble last night, one of the best bands in the area might have been getting screwed. The following is an excerpt from an email I received from frequent Pitch contributor and Lawrence dweller April Fleming. The author would like you to remember that this was written late in the evening, spontaneously, angrily and not a little inebriatedly.
What happened to Ad Astra tonight?
oh, the commotion brewed among us... I spoke briefly with a lady I do owe much respect for bringing to us some excellent shows in lawrence and kansas city, Jackie Becker, and she pointed me to a hurried girl, Julie, who kinda gave me an answer... sorta. I saw Robert Moore leave the show early... what does that mean? I also spoke with Kurt and Julie from Ad Astra, who graciously didn't place blame but were bummed not to have played the show tonight. I guess no blame was deserved but something in me doesn't sit right. Who cancels a local band the caliber of Ad Astra? To be fair, this isn't unheard of, but it seemed a bit post-haste. Huh?
I sent what I hope wasn't a terribly rushed email to the Clap Your Hands site. God, I do this. What's my problem? Who reads this now? Does the hype robot work nights to keep me in check?
Here's what I sent:
confused... thank you for playing at one of our local venues in lawrence, kansas... it was fun, but, i can't help but be confused... what happened between you and our local act, ad astra per aspera?
the word was (and i understand, word be what it is) that your agent told you and the sheisty venue (bottleneck) to cancel the ad astra because you were unaware you were playing with a local band. is that what happened? Is this normal? that seems odd, considering you owe your entire success to Pitchforkmedia.com and the internet community as a whole -- which is the same community (at least here) that supports local music.
this may be one of many stops along the way, but it left tens of us wondering if your management (who you chose to represent you) isn't interested in indie bands that like you, started from a humble place...
please help me understand. lawrence and kansas city, like many other towns and (sometimes) like new york city, is a town that absolutley thrives on local music and the creativity which flows through the people living among us. we love touring acts, but 30K in national album sales doesn't necessarily warrant that kind of attitude, especially in that dirty, cramped green room.
i do appreciate your music and your coming here but i can't help but be turned off by what truly seems like an unfortunate, coincidental slight. please prove me wrong. i truly want to think more of you as a live act. Too many excellent bands are destroyed by one hell of a hype machine. i want to think you're not one of them.
This reeks of something I'll totally regret having sent by tomorrow, but it bothers me... I adore Ad Astra and wanted to see them play along with a great national act (who, all issues aside, was enjoyable, but not what I was hoping for, their show standing alone). What happened?
Alas, April, I wish I knew.