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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

She Said: GPN's Response

This just in from Grace Potter & the Nocturnals' Cado Burr: the official band response to former GPN bassist Bryan Dondero's claims on his blog earlier today. It reads:

Many of the statements made by Bryan about the facts surrounding his leaving the band are inaccurate. Since Bryan left the band, we have accommodated many of his requests for additional compensation which go above and beyond the original contract he, and all band members, signed upon joining GPN. That original contract clearly states all compensation any departing band member will be entitled to upon leaving the band. The additional compensation that we are offering him goes beyond any contractual obligations we have with him and we offered this in the hopes of continuing a positive relationship with someone that we have great respect for. We are surprised and saddened by Bryan’s recent show of public disdain for us, particularly since we believed that an understanding had been reached that was acceptable to everyone. Despite Bryan’s response, we wish him only the best in his future endeavors.

Well, that should just about cover it, right? (Cue chirping crickets)




Comments

Anon.

Well, this just makes me laugh. If the band truly thought that their relationship was "positive," then one of two things must be true:

1. They are full of crap. Bryan would not have written what he wrote if the relationship was positive and bubbly. I would be curious how they came to the conclusion that their relationship was still a positive one. Have they even bothered to call him and ask him how he's doing? I would place a lot of money on "NO." Bryan probably wouldn't have posted his blog if he felt respected by his former band mates.

or

2. Their management and lawyers are pumping them full of shit and telling that Bryan is happy with the terms of leaving, even though he isn't. And Grace and her fellow nocs are ignorant enough to believe it.

#2 might make some sense, except that Grace clearly crossed the boundary of appropriateness in her choice of words to Bryan. That part is not addressed in GPN's response. That is such a "Hollywood" response that it is laughable. I would like to hear what Grace's response was to all this, instead of "Cado's" response. Guarantee you the diva was piiiiisssssssssed!

dan bolles

Just to clarify, this is not "Cado's" personal response. This is the official response — albeit sent to me by Cado — from the band/band management. It was also sent to other VT media, including BFP.

That said, I have no idea how much input anyone from the band itself, including Potter, had in its creation.

Peter James Bond

I bet the band had as much input into the message's creation as they did into the new record. They need to stop listening to old men and start making THEIR own music. Signing with Hollywood was a huge mistake.

SOT

"Signing with Hollywood was a huge mistake."

Absolutely. There has been a noticeable change in attitude, appearance and songwriting by GP since the signing, all of which have only been to the detriment of the band in my opinion. She seems to have the opinion that what made the band popular in Vermont (i.e., integrity, class, humility, modesty, honesty, compassion, respect) need to be eradicated if she's going to make it to "the top". This includes walking right over anyone close to her to make it happen.

Sorry Grace, but all you're likely to do is alienated your current fan base. Sure you're cute, but you'll never make it on pop diva sex appeal alone--- quite frankly, you're too old and too chunky. The sexy, overpriced outfits as of late just accentuate this and make you look like a phony to your true fans who know where you came from.

The only thing GP&TN had going for them was good roots music and a down-to-earth appeal. With all of the (failed) attempts to go radio-friendly with the "Ooh-la-lah" crap lately, you're losing the former attribute and with the treatment of Dondero, you're quickly losing the latter as well.

GP&TN was all about camaraderie and fun, between both the band members and the audience. The heartless push to make it to the big time is quickly destroying all that.

msd3k

Hey Dan, where are all my Middle Eight royalties?

Taco

Grace never had "humility." Ever. The other guys, maybe.

Honey Rider

So true - commenter above. Grace feigned humility. She is one of the most full of s**t, cheesy, spoiled people I have ever met. All that crap she's been quoted saying about the band being "family" etc., etc., was obviously bull. She plays up to the VT media and its people, who look at her through "down home" rose-colored glasses. She's more into LA than Waitsfield. And, that's totally all right, just don't BS people. Lay it on the line, lady.

In terms of the music, I honestly haven't liked anything she's written since 2006. It really has gone down hill in my meager opinion. TIS was a horrible disappointment for me. I awaited its arrival with great anticipation and it promptly went into the "this will get NO rotation" section of my CD collection. I cannot believe they still play that song "Mastermind" at their live shows. Thank God they ditched the even worse "Mr. Columbus."

And regarding her "chunkiness," yeah - she's got some chunk. Don't get me wrong, she is definitely not fat, but she is also definitely not thin enough where those outfits. They are not flattering. Can't she tell that? She could totally rock those outfits if she hit up the gym. But, who would want to? Those clothes are cheap looking and gross. She looks like an Atlantic City streetwalker. She would look phenomenal if she just wore normal length clothing with, you know, sleeves and fronts and stuff. And, this is mean, but someone's gotta tell the new bassist that you need boobs to wear a dress w/an extreme neckline like that. Do these chicks not have mirrors? They look ridiculous. In fact, now the whole band is dressing like it's a retarded prom. Very hokey. Whatever... Who cares what they wear? It's just hard not to focus on it when it's so in your face and obvious; and when you're no longer digging the music.

shark

Grace has a lot of talent, no doubt about it. I do like TIS but now that you mention it, Mr. Columbus is a pretty cheesy tune. I do like most if it though... of course I didn't have the pleasure of seeing them or hearing them until late 2007, but really liked what I heard at a couple of Gov't Mule shows, where GPN opened up. It seems the Hollywood influence is making it's mark though, and not in an entirely good way. I don't like the fact that the Nocturnals are not present on the new GPN album (except Scott, apparently he is on a few songs). How can it be GPN album, without the "N"?

Ari

Say what you will about the music and attitude, but Grace is far from old and chunky. Is it possible to talk about a female artist without the conversation going in that direction (whether in a positive or negative way)?

James

I hear your point. However, that's not really a fair statement when you consider she's going up on a stage with her boobs and/or ass hanging out. Sorry, she's inviting comments and analysis by wearing extremely revealing clothing. It's not a male or female thing. If Matt played the drums with half his dong hanging out, or if Scott played guitar in a$$-less chaps people would comment on that too. I can hear it now..."wow, Scott needs to do some more squats if he's gonna keep wearing the a$$-less chaps on stage." Grace is the one making it about sex. People are just calling her on it.

It's hard to be supportive of Grace in terms of feminism, as she does not seem to support it or its artists. That's been made very clear in many interviews and articles. We are but animals with hormones. Sex plays into it. Grace is furthering that model. She's kind-of the anti-feminist.

Ari

Of course sex plays into it, of course that's part of her appeal and part of why she's signed to Hollywood. I just think it's lame to make decent points about humility/talent/whatever this whole thing is about, and then say "Oh, yeah, and she's chunky!" as though it adds any value to the conversation.

And I've been to enough shows and seen my fair share of fat, hairy, sweaty and shirtless male guitarists and drummers to know that the rules don't really go both ways. "God, that lead singer thinks he's so great but he sucks. And check out his man-boobs, right?"

James

I always comment on man boobs.

And, I'm not sure the point is lame or valueless (no, it wasn't me who made it). I think it was made to call out the fact that if she's going for the sexed-up superstar role, she doesn't fit the traditional mold (whether you agree with the traditional mold or not). Our society is hyper focused on aesthetics. It's disappointing to see Grace playing into that stereotype. Maybe she's not, though. Maybe she's playing shows in those outfits to further a secret feminist agenda. I think not, though. And, I've long stopped looking to Grace for anything beyond the obvious.

Justin Boland

This matters? Really?

The funniest part of this whole commentary was this James dude acting like Grace Potter needs to be rocking a Burka to be a "real feminist."

Maybe, since you have a dick and stuff, you're not really qualified to pass that judgement? Just a thought.

James

No. In reality, none of this really matters, not even their music. None of it puts air in our lungs or food in our bellies.

And, my penis aside, I definitely didn't suggest burka wearing. Did I? I'll have to go back and re-read my post. In the meantime, perhaps you should research some recent and historical Potter comments regarding feminism before dismissing the idea that she perhaps isn't the most informed or best advocate for women. Does the fact that I'm gay carry any extra weight with you? I ask since you made it clear that my genetalia prohibits me from having a non-bias view on feminism.

www.grcmc.org/radio/index.php?get_news_items_past_limit=5

Check out this link to an interview (a little before 6 mins into the recording). Maybe the sentiments won't resonate with you...but they did with some of my girl friends who pointed it out to me.


Ari

I think all this stuff should be between Bryan and the band. But I felt the need to put my foot down when it came to calling a chick "chunky" and "old" - I'm sure many of the female readers out there (anyone?) were also rolling their eyes. There are more constructive ways to criticize.

James

I hear, ya, Ari, and, I respect your perspective. I also really like your name! Thanks for the rousing discussion on a less serious topic.

Cheers, James (with penis, but gay, so kind of girly)

;-)

Tyler Machado

I don't really think it matters if you think she's too "chunky" to fit the sexpot role or plenty hot enough--anytime a musician tries to use sex appeal to sell themselves, it's cheap. And there's been a pretty serious, blatant shift in the "image" of Grace and the band since they went to a major label. If you can't be successful based on talent alone, and you resort to cultivating some superficial image, then find a different career. There are plenty of attractive and talented female musicians who don't wear super-revealing dresses or focus on taking sexy promo shots or hump their guitars.

Also, their music is pretty dull, anyway. Technically sound, yes, and Grace does have a great voice, but I'd rather them not deal so much in blues-rock cliches. Nothing special going on here.

Wants To Read The Original Dondero Posting

Can someone provide the link (or an archive somewhere) of Dondero's full blog piece?

SOT

As the person who originally made the "chunky" comment that got this discussion derailed through the misinterpretation of context, my thanks to Tyler for getting the true point I was trying to make across:

"anytime a musician tries to use sex appeal to sell themselves, it's cheap. And there's been a pretty serious, blatant shift in the "image" of Grace and the band since they went to a major label. If you can't be successful based on talent alone, and you resort to cultivating some superficial image, then find a different career."

The mention that she's "chunky" was just to accentuate the ridiculousness of the phony posturing and pandering that she's doing now doing for Hollywood.

Satchmo

Question: Why do y'all think T-Bone Burnett chose to work with Grace? Do you think her sex appeal influenced his decision? I'm pretty sure that dude is all about the THE SONG and THE MUSIC.

Stan

T-Bone is working with Grace because Hollywood Records is paying him. Simple as that.

The guy who runs Hollywood worships Grace and has wanted the entire band sacked since before he signed them. Don't kid yourselves kids.

Grace wants to be an actress and on the cover of People Magazine. That is fine, as long as she is HONEST about it.

PZeva

I used to watch Grace Potter at Halvorson's when she used to play for tips and wasn't even on Hollywoods' radar screen, so f*ck all ya'll!

Just kidding, I saw GPN once on the waterfront (by accident)recently and wasn't very impressed. I tried to avoid seeing her after reading all of the pandering from 7Days about her, especially that "date" article from 2007. I think she should become a celebrity and forget about Vermont.

DO

Wow, I started reading this blog on Google Reader and forgot I was missing out on fascinating comment threads. Are you all familiar with early Rock and Roll? Little Richard? Chuck Berry? Tutti Frutti? Brown Eyed Handsome Man? Anyone who thinks that rock and sex are distinctly separate must either have terrible taste in music or be a virgin or both.

Also, I agree 100% with Ari and can only assume the reason no other female readers chimed in is that this blog has no other female readers. Dan: you should start a column for women! How about "Fabulous Gems for the Fairer Gender?" Or go the Cosmo route--"Spice Up Your Listening Life: 10 Tunes That'll Drive Him Wild!"

bridgetb

I am a female reader (still. all the way in Maine.) and I was about to chime in when my publisher walked over and yelled at me for always being on the website of my previous employer.

But, yeah. You may think using sex to sell music is cheap, but insulting a person's body, regardless of how they dress, is pretty cheap as well. When and if she does make it big, the magazines will take plenty care of that critique for you.

SheWantsUToLook

I am a girl, and I am a feminist. I agree that for people to critique someone else's body is not nice... having said this, however, Grace disappoints me as both a woman and a feminist. I think that if she were to maintain integrity, throwing comments about her weight, looks, etc would be totally inappropriate and uncalled for. But she ASKS for it! You can be sexy, and not be over-sexual. A lot of beautiful wonderful female singers out there are SEXY, but not necessarily SEXUALIZED. I think of Gillian Welch, Emmylou, Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams (people that Grace has told people in the past she admires.) These women exude a beauty that shines. They don't need to flaunt their boobs and undies in order to feel successful. And they are MUCH sexier than Grace will ever be if she continues her trashiness in fashion taste. By Grace dressed up in clothes that barely cover her [email protected]# and nips, she is inviting criticism. I am sure that People Magazine will take care of the criticisms if she makes it that big, but in the meantime, I believe that by throwing away her sense of who she really is (I really did see the band back when they played Nectars and Halvorsons!), she deserves some of those comments about her appearances. She is the one who is making you look.
Too bad Grace never got the memo that you don't have to hump guitars on stage in barely-there dresses in order to be sexy.

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