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Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents respond to fallout from Rumble diss, still playing Captain Carlo's tonight

Perhaps you noticed the shitstorm that rained down after the Phoenix revealed that Jenny Dee & the Deelinquents had withdrawn from the semi-finals of the Rock And Roll Rumble. Perhaps you noticed Jenny Dee herself accusing us of getting our facts wrong, and her fans following suit. For the record: the fact remains that JD&D blew off the Rumble for a one-off gig in Gloucester.

While that fact isn't in question, the band wanted to explain how, exactly, they came to bail on Boston's most hi-falutin' battle of the bands contest, just a few days out from what would have been their semifinals spot at T.T. the Bear's Place tonight. (While Jenny Dee will indeed play Gloucester tonight, they will be replaced at the Rumble by Old Jack, a Night 1 blues/Americana performer that seemed to have won the crowd but not the Night 1 judges. Last night Spirit Kid upset Rumble favorites Sidewalk Driver and Mellow Bravo during the first semifinal.)

And so it came to pass; after a couple 100-post Facebook threads and dozens of comments on the original blog post, I called Ed Valauskas of the Deelinquents to see what was up, and how a Friday night show at Captain Carlo’s up in Gloucester could become the biggest Rumble controversy since the Indefinite Article punk’d Harper's Ferry with a night-winning white-boyhip-hop show a few years ago.

Valauskas said that the band booked this Gloucester gig as long as six months ago, and knew of a potential conflict heading into the Rumble. But he also didn’t seem confident in his band’s chances of moving on in a rock competition while playing a retro-pop girl-group set. So they rolled the dice, hoping that on the off chance they made the semis, they wouldn't have to play the night of their already-booked gig.  

“Don’t get me wrong, we fucked up,” Valauskas said. “But you [meaning the Rumble] can bend to make it work. The easy thing would be to make our show Thursday[instead of Friday]. We just figured, if it comes up as an issue, I’ll bring it up to [organizer] Anngelle Wood. I know it sucks, but we had this gig for six months and we hoped it would work out. My point is, there were ways to work around this stuff.”

After the preliminary round, Wood had the Deelinquents slated for Friday. Judging from the schedule, the groupings are obvious: Winners of Nights 1, 2 and 3 would play Friday, with the second wild card, and winners of Nights 4, 5 and 6 would play Thursday, with the first wild card. The wild cards were assigned their night as to not go up against any of the same bands as in the prelims. This is sort of how the Rumble works.

Wood said The Deelinquents only brought up the Gloucester gig after the Rumble began. When they asked to be moved to Thursday, instead of Friday, Wood declined, in part, so as not to show any one band preferential treatment in the 24-band competition. Had Wood moved the Deelinquents gig, and had Jenny Dee gone on to win it all, you can bet a year's worth of Noise Board posts that someone would have declared that they did so with an assist from the lead organizer.

"I wasn't going to be strongarmed," Wood said last night at TTs. "I wasn't going to give one band preferential treatment over the other seven."  

As many bands have pointed out in the On The Download post comments section and online forums, all bands were told to essentially keep April clear of any conflicting gigs. And some bands have claimed they cancelled existing gigs in order to clear out the Rumble dates. "They got the same email, they agreed to the same terms [as everyone else]," Wood added. When it was clear the Deelinquents were not to be accommodated with a new night and were locked into the Friday slot, they bailed.

The second half of the semis continues tonight at TT The Bear’s with John Powhida International Airport, Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys, wild card Black Thai, and Dee’s replacement, Old Jack.

ALSO: If anyone happens to take photos or take notes at tonight's Captain Carlo's gig, please tweet us at @bostonmusicblog.

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  • Michael J. Epstein said:

    Thanks for the clarification.  Now we can relax and remember that everyone involved in this has a perspective/side that is reasonable and it just wasn't possible to make it work out and resolve all those sides.  It's a bunch of awesome people doing great things around here and they all deserve support - Anngelle, Marotta, JD+D. Onto the music!

    April 15, 2011 6:32 PM
  • joek said:

    what im surprised no one has mentioned yet in all this hullabaloo (meaning the 3 or 4 players and organizers that could )is that there was ANOTHER BAND in this year's competition who could not play a certain night in the preliminary round DUE TO A PREEXISTING GIG. (this has happened in previous years as well. angelle just wasnt with BCN then) id ask angelle directly: Is this preferential treatment? she ok'd that band's schedule conflict and she didnt schedule the band  the night they had a show. If all 24 bands have to keep all 9 nights clear WITHOUT EXCEPTION (rulez are rulez) why was that band allowed to participate and a spot not immediately given to the next band on the list?

    not taking sides here, only klnow what ive read on here really and a few whispers in that not bathroom in the back of tts. and what that shakes out to is: both the band and AW could have been better at communication and felxibility.  

    AND... some more rulez, guidelines or just plain common sense that were clearly ignored. why did ANOTHER BAND get to play KNOWN (to A and others) intown gigs after March 20? and arent judges only allowed to judge one night? didn’t you mr marrotta judge two? why were some judges allowed on a night where they were friends with a band (judge and band names withheld)? arent judges supposed to keep their identity "secret" until the end of the night? Arent judges supposed to be IN THE ROOM and maybe IN THE BUILDING when a band is playing (judge and band names withheld)? are judges (names witheld) told they shouldnt get totally blasted and maybe remin somewhat sober?

    everyone seems to be about the rulez so... Lets get all these not followed rulez out there, yah? theres your can worms, stereogumshoe marotta. get to the dirty bottom of it

    me? Id prefer to get back to the one big happy family vibe that started this hwole thing off

    >>>>>> bless angelle for putting this whole thing together and all the hassle it must be/obviously is, to ZLX, all the sponsors and TTs for help making it happen, to all the bands that played and to all the bands that remain.

    April 15, 2011 7:00 PM
  • JesseVonKenmore said:

    First off- I personally like Ed and Jen as people very much and I respect them as artists. But, this is bullshit and the responsibility for this is solely theirs. They are local "industry" veterans with a bunch of Rumbles under their belts. Hell, Ed has won it (with The Gentlemen) and Jen almost did (The Dents wuz robbed). They , of all people, know how this works and what the rules are. Had they gone to Angelle BEFORE accepting the invitation with this issue, it would have been addressed one of 2 ways. One being "Fine we will put you in preliminary night 4,5 or 6" (thus avoiding the potential problem-Like the scenario that joek is talking about above,  Or two,"Sorry but that qualifies as a local show, ya can't do both, so either cancel it or maybe play the rumble next year"( for example this year Tijuana Sweetheart had to cancel a show at a swanky wonton hut on the North Shore to participate, just as The New Alibis had to back out of the Boston Rules Fest 2 years ago..I think the year tThe Dents played, they were able to get a 1st round night that didn't conflict with a Marvels gig that Michelle was already committed to as she was in both bands at the time if memory serves.)

     I was not a participant in this years rumble, and I do not have a dog in the hunt  whatsoever. But, I gotta say I find Ed's explanation pretty annoying. On one hand he says that they never expected to win, while on the other that if by some chance they did  they expected special accommodation to be made for them. It strikes me as as  counterfeit humility followed up with a very contradictory sense of entitlement . I just rubs me the wrong way, and I don't buy it. A lot of people expected JD&TD to do very well in the rumble, possibly to win. Anyone who's observed the event over the years would. That was no big secret.

    It seems to me the band simply chose to play loose and fast with what they knew was a requirement of participation , hedge their bet on a show they were not willing to let go of, and when the bill came due it blew up in their face. Anngel's side of the street is totally clean on this and she did exactly the right thing with the hand she got dealt.

    April 15, 2011 10:34 PM
  • Carly Carioli said:

    @JoeK: I'm by no means an expert on this, but I did judge the Rumble for a few years. Not sure how it's done now, but in my time the judges' names were not secret, nor were judges asked to conceal their identity. It was an unspoken rule that judges should try not to judge nights where they had friends playing: but the reason it was an unspoken rule was because, for anyone qualified to be a judge, it was essentially impossible. In practice, judges work with the organizers to make good-faith efforts to judge the night where they have the fewest conflicts of interest. Finally, in terms of sobriety: if the Rumble scotched every judge who was half in the bag by the end of the night, there would be no Rumble. (On the contrary, in my day they gave us a couple of drink tickets to help get us started.)

    As an aside: how can anyone hate on good, clean Rumble drama -- the WWE of Boston Rock? As an early-and-often supporter of Ed V and Jen D'Angora's past and current endeavors, I hope everyone who reads this thread realizes that after this is over, everyone involved will be going out for beers and laughing at how ridiculous this shitshow is.

    April 16, 2011 11:26 AM
  • Mumble said:

    Rules were definitely bent for some but not for others. Who benefited the most from JD not being allowed to switch her night? Still benefitting? Any connection there? Just sayin'....

    I still think JD screwed up and should get most of the blame, and we all know rock and roll is mostly about following rulez, but let's not pretend everyone else should be sainted, or that Jen and her band hate everyone involved in the Rumble. Most of the complaining was done by third parties.

    In the end - we all saw a bunch of really cool bands and had fun. People worked hard, including Angelle and Jen,so we could have a good time.

    The funny thing is - I think that the Jenny Dee probably would have won the whole thing.

    April 17, 2011 11:17 PM

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