We get a lot of sketchy cancellations in South Florida. Being at the end of a 200 mile drive to nowhere has its drawbacks. But tonight's cancellation by garage rock act The Ettes is particularly disturbing/suspicious.
While The Ettes claim Nashville as their hometown, all three long-term members are from central Florida. One would imagine that they spent Thanksgiving at home with their families. So what exactly would a "family emergency" consist of that would necessitate cancelling Miami and West Palm Beach gigs this weekend? Did someone choke on a wishbone?
Or did the Ettes just wake up hungover from Tryptophan and not feel like driving to Miami today? I don't see them cancelling their Nov 30 gig at the Bowery Ballroom or the Hoboken and Brooklyn gigs that follow it.. Did that "Family Emergency" have a 3 day expiration date?
Or are the Ettes allergic to their fancy booking agency's routing? I know I wouldn't like driving 24 hours in 2 days with no shows in between to break it up. In 2005 I did the suicide run of NYC to Miami with just a gig in Raleigh,NC to break it up. That was with a 66 year old singer. Too bad these talented 20-something hipsters who sneered at Florida as "The Land Of The 90s" on their myspace page aren't as tough as a senior citizen with two bad knees.
The Vagabond will undoubtedly be packed to the gills tonight, and they would have enjoyed the Ettes. Of all the nuevo garage rock bands playing, they have one of the better singers. Their songwriting is in the upper tier, just below the Jacuzzi Boys and Davilla 666. But Road Warriors they ain't.
If indeed The Ettes do reschedule your South Florida dates at a club that buys this last second "family emergency" claim - perhaps they and their overpaid booking agent at Monterrey International can look at a map first and not book their next gig 1500 miles away.
Update: On December 1st, The Ettes responded to this post with a vitrolic, profanity-laced, non-denial on hipster webzine Blurt.
Among other things, The Ettes took exception to their booking agency, Monterey International, being described as "fancy" and wondered if I knew what I was "talking about". Monterey is the home of several multmillion selling acts including (but not limited to): Cheap Trick, Queensryche, Soul Asylum, and George Clinton. If you put "The Ettes" next to those names, you can play a nice round of the Sesame Street game "one of these things is not like the other."
It shall be noted that The Ettes responded after playing their NYC gig at Bowery Ballroom. After all, driving from Florida to New York in 48 hours is an "emergency situation."