Seattle band Who is She? disputes Kraken statement on being fired after Jeff Bezos lyrics
Members of the indie music group Who Is She? expressed his disappointment at the Kraken on Monday, implying that drinking and unprofessional behavior led to a decision to “disinvite” them after the first night of a scheduled three-game performance.
The three-piece band played sets before and during Wednesday’s Kraken win over the Vancouver Canucks at Climate Pledge Arena. In one set, during the game’s second break, the band played a song with modified lyrics that said Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was “a total jerk” and responsible for closing local bookstores.
Amazon holds the naming rights to the arena, and its CEO, Andy Jassy, is a minority owner of Kraken.
After the group posted on social media that the Kraken had kicked them out of the “Jeff Bezos’ Climate Pledge Arena,” the team — which has been paying various “house bands” since last season for pre-game performances and during breaks — quit has – a statement from:
“The Seattle Kraken welcomes a wide variety of artists to play at our games and we do not believe in censoring these artists, as reflected by the diversity of acts performing at the Climate Pledge Arena.
“However, we reserve the right to terminate an act early if its conduct does not meet the professional standards that we expect. We also need to ensure that the storyline is appropriate for the family audiences that visit our games.
“This decision had nothing to do with the band’s song choices. We require our artists to be professional, punctual and not to consume alcohol during their performance. As such, who is she? did not play the following two games. We wish you all the best.”
Who is she? consists of Julia Shapiro, Bree McKenna and Robin Edwards of indie bands Tacocat, Chastity Belt and Lisa Prank and has a significant local following. A fourth musician, Tacocat singer Emily Nokes, also performed harmonies during the arena engagement.
All four musicians wrote together in response to questions from the Seattle Times on Monday, saying, “A Kraken employee pulled us aside after our second set of playing this song. Then they told us we were not welcome back. They didn’t give us a specific reason other than that we were “not a good fit for hockey.” When we asked if it was the Bezos line, they said, “That didn’t help.”
They denied being drunk.
“We weren’t drunk, and to say we were would be a lie,” they said. “We imagine that the Kraken’s carefully worded PR statement therefore only implies that we blame ourselves, rather than actually blaming us.
“However, we have to admit that upon our discharge we drank the 5 Coors Lights that we previously avoided in the ‘green room’ fridge.”
The Bezos lyrics used that night were part of a modified version of the 1999 song “My My Metrocard” by Le Tigre, which poked fun at then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. The modified song that played Wednesday was changed to a localized “My My Orca Card” with the Bezos lyrics added.
The lyrics said:
He is like that
a total idiot
do not work
“Since this is a cover song, we wanted to come up with a few lines to replace the lyrics from 1999’s Le Tigre to make it more Seattle-specific,” the group said. “Replacing Rudy Giuliani’s name with Jeff Bezos made sense to us, and his arena seemed a great place to say it. We thought it was funny and got on well. We doubt that any actual billionaire – or anyone paid or sponsored by that billionaire – believes 4 women performing a cover song containing a tame joke are capable of any harm.”
The group added: “We even eliminated the few swear words from our set, although we were never asked to. I think something to keep in mind is that we were really looking forward to playing these shows, practiced a lot beforehand, changed some of our lyrics to be about hockey, invited friends and the Parents of a band member flew in for Saturday’s game.”
They said they’ve all been professional musicians for more than a decade, playing festivals from Bumbershoot to Coachella and touring the US, Europe and Australia. They’ve also played at Sounders games and Husky Stadium, adding that last week was “one of the most chilling experiences we’ve ever had”.
They said communications from Kraken employees that night were “disorganized at best,” but they tried to roll with “changing expectations” whenever they could. They said their stage persona was “women who laugh a lot and like to have fun,” adding that portraying it as intoxicated or lacking in professionalism boiled down to the kind of “coded, sexist language” they’d dealt with earlier in their careers and thought they were over it.
You’re definitely not laughing now.
“We’re not sure why someone drinking at a hockey game of all places should be such a problem,” they said, “but the fact that we really weren’t drunk at all just makes ourselves all the more exhausting defensively.” “