(CBS SF) — Working in the music business often means having to make tough calls to maintain integrity.
Richie Panic and Corey Sizemore, DJs running a production company called Lights Down Low in San Francisco, found themselves in just that sort of situation this month, after Ten Walls, the headliner for their July 31 show at SF’s Mezzanine went on a (graphic) homophobic rant likening gay men to rapists and calling members of the LGBT community “people of a different breed.”
There was some major backpedaling on Ten Walls’ part, but the damage was done. Opener Jimmy Edgar dropped out of the bill, and Lights Down Low decided it didn’t want to work with Walls. “As soon as we found out about the rant and saw what was said we were saddened, disgusted, and knew immediately we didn’t want this person attending our parties much less playing or getting top billing,” Panic told CBS SF.
“The only response to Ten Walls is that his statements were completely unacceptable to us and what we believe in,” Panic said. “We encourage people from all walks of life (unless they are boring) to attend our events and feel safe and free.”
Once the company canceled Ten Walls’ set, Edgar was willing to play, but the LDL crew needed a new headliner.
“First and foremost we wanted to counter whatever Ten Walls had said in our way,” he said. “We were full of rage ourselves, pissed off and disgusted.”
“We wanted to replace [Ten Walls] with someone that would bum him out and stoke everyone else out; to sort of draw up battle lines as it were.”
Soon enough, the perfect replacement came to mind: Mykki Blanco. Blanco, as a gender fluid performance artist and rapper is known to sometimes dresses as a female, was the perfect act to replace Ten Walls, especially due in part to the artist’s history living in San Mateo as a child. It was, as they wrote in a Facebook post about the ordeal, “poetic justice.”
“We love Mykki and just thought her energy, vibrance, and humanity would be the perfect antidote to Ten Walls boring intolerance.”
“There is nothing more boring than bigotry,” As Lights Down Low states. “We hope that love will save the day and that everyone knows that we worked really hard to turn a negative situation into a positive for all our fans and friends in the Bay Area and beyond.
Blanco and Jimmy Edgar will be playing the Mezzanine in San Francisco July 31. Get details on the show here.