Sound Off

The One Where I Call For a Stars Boycott

It's no secret that Quebecois indie rockers Stars were one of, if not the, first bands to boycott Arizona over SB1070. They issued their boycott through Twitter on April 27, a few days after the law was okayed by Gov. Brewer. Their move was bold, timely and rather unexpected -- and I say unexpected because the band, most likely, hasn't played a show in the state of Arizona for a number of years now. Sure, Stars said that they "Love AZ," but I find that to be a load of shit. 

None of that really mattered on April 27. Stars didn't have an upcoming show in Arizona because the band wasn't on tour -- they just weren't relevant enough then. The band does, however, have a new album due out this month, and the video for the lead single is now available. All of these recent developments got me thinking: Arizona should boycott the band Stars.

First and foremost, while a move like boycotting the band Stars seems like supporting SB 1070, this is not in any way, shape or form the case. I couldn't disagree with SB 1070 more. It makes me question Arizona's leadership and actually makes me a bit wary of living in the state -- if you will note my surname -- with such laws and restrictions in place. A boycott of Stars means boycotting a band that took a cheap shot at Arizona in the first place. It means boycotting a band that could give a rat's ass about Arizona and its devoted, passionate music fans.

Hey -- if Stars doesn't care about Arizona, then let us, as taxpaying Arizonans, show that we don't care about Stars. The easiest way to boycott Stars is to not purchase their new album. The band wasn't very relevant on April 27, but when their new album comes out June 22, we hold the power. Stars can boycott The Grand Canyon State all they want, and we can show them the same dignity by not buying their new album. This call to boycott Stars is coming from someone who has listened to the band's previous albums and enjoyed them. Had the band not called out Arizona like they did on April 27, then I would have listened to their new album. But they went ahead with their boycott, so I am sticking with mine.

You might ask, "what is the point in all of this?" That's a fine question, and one that deserves an answer. I feel it is not in a band's best interest -- however much they disagree with Gov. Brewer and SB 1070 -- to simply boycott and, thus, ignore Arizona. If anything, these bands should show some support of the state by playing shows and providing some sort of service at their shows to help educate fans. Perhaps a table detailing how one can have a voice against SB 1070 and what they can do in the future to help prevent any other racist, fear-mongering laws from being ratified. Shunning Arizona and sweeping the state under the rug does nothing to combat SB 1070. Musicians boycotting Arizona penalizes their fans -- perhaps one of the larger groups of people vehemently opposed to SB 1070. 

For what it's worth, I had a very long, detailed interview with the well-spoken Damian Abraham, lead singer of Toronto band Fucked Up, about what bands can really do to voice their opinions and show that they care about certain issues. He was full of well-thought, ingenious ideas about the matter and his band played Arizona two days after we spoke. This course of action, I feel, is the proper way to have a say in certain issues, such as SB 1070. Simply boycotting Arizona does very little but show the world that you have a baseline opinion about SB 1070.

And yet, here we are -- SB 1070 is dangerously close to its July 28 date when it will become law and all Arizona has to show for it is a lot of pissed off residents who rightfully view the law as racist, a lot of smug, self-serving residents who couldn't agree with it more and the fact that Canadian indie rock bands won't be playing the state anytime soon, as if they had any future plans to do so in the first place. So join me in boycotting Stars and refusing to purchase -- and listen to -- their new album.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Lopez

Latest Stories