Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted on Aug 10th 2010 4:00PM by Ashley Iasimone
Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images | Jordan Noel of GingerGroupDesigns
Devine was told that the T-shirt, designed by Jordan Noel of GingerGroupDesigns, violated the company's profanity clause. In fact, they went so far as to suggest the Brooklyn singer-songwriter tell two of his fans -- who both bought the item at the venue before the selling of it was shut down -- that if they were to wear them while visiting Disney's theme parks, they might be asked to take them off on grounds of the clause.
"I just found the whole thing really f---ing crazy, really disturbing," Devine, who also brought up about the incident on stage at the show and via his Twitter account, tells Spinner. "When I spoke to the people there, I kept getting sent up the chain of command. I got to the point that it was like, 'We can't do anything about it. If you want to talk to somebody, you have to speak to the head of Disney.' So it was kind of a jerk thing to say. Like, yeah, I'll get Walt on the line from his cryogenic chamber and ask him if he can lift the selling ban on our T-shirt."
What's more is Devine later learned that "the Goddamn Band" had actually been taken off of the flier that had been used to advertise the show. And of the lost opportunity to sell the item to concertgoers, Devine calculates, "On a more nuts and bolts level, they probably took $100 or $200 out of my pocket that night, too. "
"Not to be crass, but there are way, way, way more offensive things I could think of," Devine reasons. "Say if we were selling some shirt that had some super lewd sex act on it, or if we were some metal band with some super gross kind of visceral thing happening on the shirt, I could see the debate. Or, if our band name was something really profoundly awful -- like, you know, there's that crazy death metal band called Anal C---. If that was the name of our band, there you go. Our band's called Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band, and the shirt is like a Pac-Man ghost with that name on it."
Devine knows that in the big scheme of things, the matter at hand is just some guy selling a T-shirt at a punk rock show. "But the larger message is: There's no context," he explains. "It's just these broad brush strokes that are really, to me, it's troubling as a guy who writes songs."
On the other hand, Devine concedes that he appreciates that the House of Blues chain, with its impressive equipment, well-run rooms and comfortable backstage areas for performers, offers "a little more cushion for your experience" than smaller places that have booked him. Still, he feels that the vibe in those venues is always a little stale compared to that of others and says, "I don't really give a s--- if they don't have me back there, so I was trying to just be a little verbal about it and I told anyone that would listen."
"When you're making decisions like that, you're kind of taking away people's agency to be self-discerning," Devine says. "I don't know. Someone who's buying our T-shirt to titillate or piss off their teacher or camp counselor or something has really gotta step up their game, because our s--- is really not that offensive. Granted, I don't work for a multinational corporation [that's] packaging and filming some sort of weirdly, immediately nostalgic, broadly agreed-upon definition of what it means to be a kid or something, which is what they do."
Devine, after concluding his tour with Thrice and putting out a new EP titled 'She Stayed as Steam,' is scheduled to perform in Oregon and Washington as part of a Pacific Northwest residency in September, and will be releasing a record with Manchester Orchestra's Andy Hull under the band name Bad Books in the fall.