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Five Reasons To Boycott Stars' New Album

First let me say right up front that I don't agree with SB 1070. I think it is veiled racism that is self-serving for those bleeding-heart, Arizona-bred conservatives out there who sit at home scheming up ways to make the state, at least by their standards, "perfect." It is soul-crushing to know that SB 1070 will become law in a month's time.

That being said, there is no reason for a Montreal indie pop band to boycott the entire state of Arizona because of SB 1070 -- especially if that band hasn't bothered to show their faces in the state for some years now.

However, on April 27 Montreal's Stars announced, via Twitter, that they are boycotting Arizona. They lobbied for the cause then, but the band didn't have a tour or a new album in April. Such is not the case today, as Stars' latest album is now out. I called for an Arizona-wide Stars boycott two weeks ago, and now I have prepared five reasons to boycott the band and their new album.

The manner in which the band opens their albums: Stars always opens their albums with some dense, self-penned poem read aloud by one of the band member's parents -- recorded from a phone call. This was original the first time they did it on their third album, and it didn't get any more so on their fourth one. It's a quirky, self-serving way to start an album that all of probably ten people actually get and understand, and those people are either in the band or related to members of the band. 

The song "What The Snowman Learned About Love:" This song, from their first album, is a sterling example of another annoying way to open an album coupled with perhaps the band's most trite, smug lyric, "I am (insert band member name here) and this is my heart," ie "I am Evan and this is my heart." This lyric is repeated four times so every band member can have a turn reminding us that the album titled Heart is, in fact, their heart. 

The fact that the band is from Montreal: Nobody likes France. The current debacle that is the team France assembled to play in the World Cup proves this -- while these snooty Frenchmen bitch, moan and point the finger at each other because they are underachieving and playing like shit, every other nation in the world tacks on another reason as to why they despise France. Montreal is the heart of Quebec, the French province of Canada. Quebec, at one point in 1995, wanted to secede from Canada to become their own sovereign nation. No one in Canada found this to be cute or funny and the idea was soon shot down, not before Quebec was able to prove to the rest of Canada that they thought they were above Canada and better than the other provinces in the country. Stars call Montreal their hometown. Stars also think themselves to be above the state of Arizona. Coincidence? Hardly.

Lead singer Torquil Campbell's whiny singing voice: If ever there was a lead singer of an indie rock/pop band that sounded like the epitome of slightly wussier Little Lord Fauntleroy, it would be Stars' Torquil "Torque" Campbell. The way he sings makes Jermaine Stewart sound butch. I know indie rock has a problem with nasally, high-pitched singing styles, but Campbell is on a level all his own. The fact that he sings about snowmen, elevators, ghosts and calendars doesn't help much, either.

The band's false sense of activism: Boycotting a state in which you haven't bothered to play in three years isn't doing shit about whatever it is you're fighting against. It's perfectly fine to hate SB 1070 -- a lot of people in Arizona despise the bill and are embarrassed that it was passed. Simply boycotting a state and not offering some sort of way or method for your fans to voice their disgust and to actually do something to combat SB 1070 is the easy way out. If you really cared about fighting SB 1070, Stars, you would do the difficult thing and actually show your faces in Arizona and either play a show or educate your fans as to how they can actively fight against SB 1070. But you don't give a shit, and you took the easy way out -- boycotting Arizona over SB 1070, effectively telling your fans in Arizona, "sorry, we don't care enough about you right now because of your shitty, clueless governor." 

It's okay to be angry at Arizona over SB 1070, Stars, but I expected more out of you. You lost a fan who had been with you since 2001 -- a fan that used to cherish your music before he knew how flimsy and self-serving your ideals truly are.

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Michael Lopez