Just last month the Canadian post-punks Viet Cong caved to pressures from the Vietnamese and indie rock communities surrounding their prickly choice of a name and announced their intent to change it, and now the Australian quartet Cuntz has begun to catch flak too. The Melbourne boys were supposed to play a gig in Seattle this week at Victory Lounge until the event's promoters DASWASUP GIG pulled the plug. The show's Facebook posting has vanished, along with what Stereogum touts as an explanation for the cancellation, which is said to have cited pressure from peers and other musicians to cease abetting sexism.
Whatever conversations inspired DASWASUP to cancel the show seem to have taken place behind the scenes, but the response to the flap has been very public. Nicole Yalaz of Cuntz' booking agency Strange Victory called out "rich youg college kids who think trolling a show into being cancelled is making a difference in the world" on her Facebook, and DASWASUP's page has been bombarded with retaliatory accusations that the company's name appropriates hip-hop culture and complaints about their willingness to book a band called Child Abuse.
Everyone's loud and kinda wrong.
In choosing a moniker that doubles as one of the dirtiest words in North American English, you'd think the band and its team would see reactions of this nature as par for the course. Yes, the word's used much more loosely around the UK and Australia, but it doesn't mean anything nice overseas either. If DASWASUP is saying women are offended by four men who've elected to go by a name best known here as the vilest available putdown for a woman, this need to be respected.
Groups that didn't used to factor into the music industry power structure now have formidably organized voices and online presences, and it's going to keep getting tricky for everyone until we all learn to make concessions. In a perfect world, this show wouldn't've been a big deal to anyone. In the imperfect one we have now, we strive to remain aware of each other's differences and willing to work around them. Cuntz' new album Force the Zone is out Friday, and they're on a quick tour of the States to support it. Bless em.