Women Implode Onstage in BC, Allegedly Break Up

> Oct 30 2010

Women Implode Onstage in BC, Allegedly Break Up
By Exclaim! StaffDespite releasing one of the best records of 2010 with Public Strain, the pressure of international touring may have taken its toll on Calgary-based experimental indie rockers Women. According to various reports, members of the band erupted into a fist fight during their Victoria, BC performance on Friday (October 29), allegedly saying they were "breaking up" and that it was their "last show."

Exclaim! reader Arynne McMurray sent in the following account of the experience:

We were just at a show Women were headlining at Lucky Bar in Victoria, BC. As they initially came on stage the band members seemed to be struggling with Patrick [Flegel, guitarist] and a fight almost broke out. They went backstage again for several minutes. The band came out again minus Patrick and were making small talk with the audience. Patrick came out acting really erratic and said something to the effect of "we're breaking up right now, you're all going to see our last show."



They played about five songs, which sounded pretty awful. At one point Patrick said (into the mic, during a song) "you fucked that up" to Christopher [Reimer, guitarist]. Christopher and Matthew [Flegel, bassist] left the stage at the end of the song. Michael [Wallace, drummer] left after another minute or two or later, saying "my music career is over." Lucky turned the house music on while Patrick continued "playing." Security tried to talk him off stage. He left, and then came back and started smashing Matthew's guitar against an amp. This was all extra comical in Halloween costumes (Mr. T, a sailor).


Victoria-based singer-songwriter Aidan Knight, who also attended the show, reported a similar situation in an email to Exclaim! "Pat started throwing punches at his brother [Matthew Flegel] during their set-up and soundcheck. Full on 'break it up' brawl between the brothers," Knight wrote. "Chris announced onstage that it would be their 'last show as a band' and they were planning to play without Pat. Not sure how that would've worked.

"Anyway, they played four songs and the band walked off leaving just Pat and Mike. Pat suggested that they play 'sloppy metal' and some random bro jumps up for a three-minute-long version of 'Reign In Blood.' Mike apologizes again and leaves the stage. A guitar gets smashed to pieces. I buy a T-shirt."

The band's Wikipedia page has already been updated, saying, "The band reportedly broke up on October 29, 2010 after a fight on stage at a show at the Lucky Bar in Victoria."

Requests for confirmation from Exclaim! to the band's label Flemish Eye and publicist have been received, and we will update the story as it develops.

Women are scheduled to play a Halloween show at the Biltmore in Vancouver tonight (October 30), and as of press time, there has been no announcement that the show has been cancelled. All Women's scheduled dates are below.

UPDATE: Women have cancelled tonight's show in Vancouver, as well as the upcoming dates in Ymir, BC and Edmonton. Refunds are available at points of purchase.

In a statement from Flemish Eye, the label says, "The band has been under a lot of stress on this tour, and are pretty exhausted from the intensive schedule of the last two months. We are cancelling the next three shows so they can get some sleep and work things out. There are no plans to cancel other upcoming dates." As to whether Women are officially broken up, that appears to still be very much up in the air.


UPDATE 2: Via Pitchfork, Flemish Eye label head Ian Russell has provided this additional statement: "With a heavy heart, we regret to say that the band Women is exhausted and are in need of a break from touring. They have experienced a lot of stress recently, and this culminated in a disastrous public conflict on Friday. Band members have been suffering from poor health, and are in near-exhaustion; as of today, all upcoming shows [including a European tour] have been cancelled.

"We feel that it's necessary to emphasize that this is a very difficult time for the band, and is not a trivial decision for a group that has spent as much time touring as they have. The band is a close-knit group of friends that have known each other since elementary school, and the personal health of these individuals forces this decision.

"The band would appreciate some privacy as they sort things out and recover."


Tour dates:

10/30 Vancouver, BC - The Biltmore
10/31 Ymir, BC - Fon's Church
11/6 Edmonton, AB - The Pawn Shop
11/13 Karlsruhe, DE - Carambolage




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NOOOO! Public Strain was one of the best albums of 2010, this is a damn shame.
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Stay together for the kids :(
I've been waiting for the Vancouver show for so long now...
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easily the best of 2010 but still in the rumour stages. so have some hope
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It will be a shame if they actually break up, they're probably the best band to come out of Calgary in recent memory.
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This is obviously fake, "Michael [Wallace, drummer] left after another minute or two or later, saying "my music career is over."... come on guys noone would ever say that haha.
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Mike would say that.
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These guys are, hands down, my favourite band. Seen them play five or six times. This just totally crushed my heart. Fuck.
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Overrated band, boo hoo. Sounds like a fun time to watch though.
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One of the best bands in the world right now. I really hope this blows over and they have several more albums in them.
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Its pretty likely they will get back together, the fight was kinda just an extreme brotherly fight..BROTHERS DO THAT! but it was pretty crazy...also Pat was smashing his own guitar. It was a Telecaster and a bit flew into the crowd. FUN!
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A bunch of pussys. So hard playing music.
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Would be a waste. It seems like they only get started.
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DONT BELEIVE THE HYPE
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Smells like Andy Kaufman to me
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I like the band "Women."
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So many Nameless Poseurs.
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Used to like how these guys seemed really low-key, weren't prone to any Wavves style meltdowns, and were just in it for making fucking awesome records...*sigh*
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it seems really uncharacteric of them to do something like this. its very unfortunate. hope they can pull it together
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i was there, it didnt go down exactly like this. lots of external factors. they probably wont break up.
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how many months could anyone spend day in, day out, in close quarters with the same people without eventually having a blow-out? it's a shame it had to happen on stage, but that's obviously when the pressure mounts. i think it's unfair to write them off as "pussy's" or attention grabbers for this, it's just a realistic part of band/human dynamics playing out. it takes strong personalities and passionate people to make good art. hoping it was just a bump in the road.
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This is the worst thing. Women are the best band. I hope it works out
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Tempers get hot. Still I can't believe they'd go out with this kind of Babyshambles antics - they seemed to have a lot of class in interviews.
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can someone who was there share more details of what actually went down? i'm really nervous about them actually calling it quits
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I was at the show and the above is pretty much true, even the minor metal set. As far as the music being bad, it was awesome while it lasted. I went out and bought the CD first thing next day. It kind of all seemed like strange performance art at the time...but like a bad joke it went on too long and it became apparent that something was really wrong.
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yikes..what was the extent of the physical fighting? how did that play out?
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It was a scuffle at the side of the stage where one member was being restrained. This occurred before their set started. I don't recall anything other than pushing and screaming. Having never seen them before I was unaware they were band members at the time.
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let me clarify... by the music sounding "awful", i meant it sounded bad in comparison to past times i've seen the band, in which they've been amazing. there were definitely a couple of good moments in there.
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They're one of the best bands out there nowadays it would really be a shame to see them break up. Did it really seem like something final or just a passing feud?
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It was very worrying to see, but I suspect they will work it out after some pretty heavy soul searching. Those guys are all tight bros from way back when and have been through a lot together.

Pat and Chris stayed at my place the night prior and I spent the day with Pat leading up to the gig... He had been suffering from serious insomnia since they played in San Francisco and must have just reached the end of his rope. Women are a special band who play dense and intensely personal music. To do this night in and night out after sleeping on floors and driving all day in a cramped van has to take its toll.

Its kind of lame of Exclaim to draw a comparison with Anton Newcombe. Pat is a sensitive guy and a fantastic artist not a poncy asshole egomaniac - as anyone who knows him will attest.
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yo. some pics here of the show
www.papercubs.com/women-infamous-lucky-bar-implode-session/
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It's an impossible situation for the band. A personal conflict goes under the microscope because it had to explode on stage. Meanwhile our media can't see the damage they do by amplifying the situation, and Exclaim is ecstatic because their traffic stats are "hot". Good luck guys. Your friends care about you.
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Another loss in the world of indie music. Another band will be along to replace them and the media and hipsters will have forgotten just as fast. True fans will miss them but that will be all..
On another note I saw another Kurt Cobain interview posted today.. why can't we just enjoy bands who play good music and have no drama.. there are plenty of them out there.

Best of luck to the band on working it out, hope you figure it out.
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Not sure Exclaim! is "amplifying the situation" in some bad way. They're just doing their job. Should they just ignored this and not report it? As a fan of the band, I kinda think this is something I should know about. Especially since I was planning to go see Women on Halloween, and without this story giving me the heads-up that the show was cancelled, it would have made for a bad surprise when I showed up at the venue.
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cocaine is a hell of a drug
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oh, come on, these guys aren't into that. there's nothing about them that deserves that sort of conclusion. all of this is... so silly. 3rd album Women! you're so great. what you're doing is so great. continue!
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I blame the notorious Jenkem habit
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Fuck these fagsss... If they can't get their shit together then fuck em....
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"victoria-based singer-songwriter aidan knight, who also attended the show"

jesus
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yeah i agree with above poster. totally off the cusp and irrelevant to article. i'll assume that you are friends with the fellow, which is fine. but still: if you're gonna use it once, use it throughout the whole article. Example:

"Nanaimo-based student/waitress Arynne McMurray reports that..."

In the future lets keep the writing focused on the article at hand, not the occupations of the reporters. Nobody gives a fuck.
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"He left, and then came back and started smashing Matthew's guitar against an amp."

Dick move or elaborate Hard Core Logo Halloween prank?
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i saw them in austin 2-3 weeks ago and it was probably the best show of 2010 -- for me at least.
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WOMEN are a fucking hipster band, and all you poor hipsters who are crying yourself to sleep every night can go to hell. They aren't the best band to come out of Calgary in a long time. They rode on the Chad VG wagon and got their fame by hooking up with his label. BORING. I hope they call it quits.
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dirty sults don't die never get any credit they are the real deal from calgary 13 years annoynmous shows and an undeniable sound fuck women dirty sults don't die forever!
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These guys aren't hipsters. I've hung out with them...some of the nicest, most genuine POEPLE (let alone musicians) I've ever met. Super talented, and their problems have nothing to do with music or bands (like being in a band means shit anyway). So, have a heart and quit talking shit about them- you ravenous internet creeps.
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My cat's breath smells like dog food.
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i just want to know if pat actually broke matts bass?
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this is horrible news. HORRIBLE. I guess I'm gonna have to save music now.
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Too bad Women will be remembered for acting like a bunch of girls.
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definately not hipster assholes by any means. mike wallace started comrad sound in calgary which essentially restarted all ages in calgary. not to mention theyve created some of the most intelligent music of the day. all some of the nicest people ive met
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"So, have a heart and quit talking shit about them- you ravenous internet creeps." HAHAHA! Best line of this whole article. Boo hoo, someone doesn't like this boring ass band. What a bunch of babies this band and their nerdy fanbase are.
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Public Strain = Best album of 2010.
Don't fuck up boys.
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RIP WOMEN
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"'So, have a heart and quit talking shit about them- you ravenous internet creeps.' HAHAHA! Best line of this whole article. Boo hoo, someone doesn't like this boring ass band. What a bunch of babies this band and their nerdy fanbase are."

No. I totally agree with the initial commenter.
Women have always felt like an almost anachronistic band in the internet age, and I've loved them to death for. They're authentic and serious in and about their music, and it has been sad to see this debacle blow up (on the web especially, given that they've worked so well to keep a "low drama" profile previously). I think the term "ravenous internet creeps" is suitable for the way that we prey on these groups for intimate details about their problems, etc., without knowing even the slightest of the matter (probably). The reason the original commenter responded so viscerally is because the band IS so special - 4 childhood friends, down to earth people, seemingly above hipster BS, with cool music tastes that put real care into the sound of their records. I'm from Western Canada, and I've seen the guys play about five or six times. I've always appreciated the commitment that they've made to continually touring my area - even after verging on "indie-stardom". In my mind they've proven that you can make vital music even if you aren't from T.O., Montreal, or Vancouver. These guys honed their craft in Cowtown, and that's inspiring to me as someone also from the often culturally-maligned prairies.
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^^^^Good post
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sorry, up above i meant :
"and I've loved them to death for *it*"
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Women are great. This is Tomas from DDMMYYYY and we toured with them in the eastern USA recently and they were all charming amazing guys. Something like this is pretty hard on us because we were supposed to do their europe tour with them. Now we go alone and really miss them boy WOMEN. Hopefully they know we still love them as people even if they left us out here in Europe on our own. WOMEN played the best devo cover of BLOCKHEAD I HAVE EVER HEARD!
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that's my high school grad picture on the left
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Nooo...My favorite band right now. I heard a rumour that they were maybe coming to Australia...my friends and I were so excited. This sucks.
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this is very sad news. Women is clearly one of the best bands around right now, none of that hipster garbage that some of you speak of. They are easily a step above all other indie bands. I really hope they work things out. so happy that I was able to see them a few weeks ago in santa cruz and sf, both shows blew my mind.

for anyone who thinks this is a publicity stunt, go fuck yourself. They really aren't another generic internet band trying to get you to check out their myspace or some shit like that. they are just cool dudes that like to play music and happen to be really fucking good at it.
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the crossed out tour dates was pretty cheesy
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y'know the funniest thing about the comments from people at the Victoria show is how much they either left out or completely embellished. Chris came out dressed as Mr.T and the rest of the band (including Pat) followed. This is post fist fight. Chris said sorry to the crowd and said even though this might be their last show they would play one song for us even though (and i quote) "I got punched 6 times in the face by my brother." I don't know what Pat was on but he was fucked up. The band played three songs that were amazing and then shit started to go south. Pat was pushing his mic into Chris's face and then Chris 'bass-slapped' Pat in the face! Pat continued to sing and the band stayed tight and solid. Pat's (i'm assuming) drug-induced antics continued and finally Chris and the boys had enough. I have heard a ton of rumours about the show but my conversation with the guitarist outside post-show was heart-breaking. His band just did an Oasis and while we might lose a great band to listen to...he might lose his future
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^^This is very sad. I love Women. I hope they work things out.
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Thanks for the report (2 posts above), interesting to hear these new details. Funny that people on here got all sad when someone suggested cocaine was involved, reality is it's probably much harder stuff than that being used by the dork in question. Too bad. Band had a lot of potential despite me personally thinking they're quite awful.
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I heard it was ridiculous insomnia (something like 6 full days without sleep) that made him breakdown-not drugs
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Then just take some time, get some rest, tour less, whatever, but don't just call it quits (I haven't even seen the band yet and have been listening to their record daily since I got it)
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Pat told the crowd at the Portland show on the 25th that he had accidentally smoked crack with a bum the day before after the guy claimed it was weed.
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Hmmm...Well, there's that!

Getting a hobo to share his crack...an accomplishment in itself.
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I hope Pat's ok. He's a good guy.
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The account eight posts above sounds detailed enough to be accurate, except that it sounds like he mixed up the names. Chris is usually a guitar player, and Matt is usually the bassist. Matt and Pat are the brothers. I know these guys personally and am sorry to hear about their troubles. I'd wager that the band isn't over.
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www.ssgmusic.com/women-were-at-the-vera-project/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=women-were-at-the-vera-project
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Is that third song from Vera Project on their 7". Haven't heard that one...sounds good.
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Im pretty sure its a cover, although Im not sure what of
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Yeah, considering they've managed to remain friends since elementary school, I think they'll probably find a way to work things out.
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Women are a very special band. Beautiful, dark and hooky songwriting. And they actauly kick ass on their instruments.
I really hope they're not done.
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Newsflash: No one gives a shit! Move on!
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^^^Then there's heros like this guy, reminding us not to care about what we like. Thanks for the tip, genius.
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"Newsflash: No one gives a shit! Move on!"

The volume of comments seems to suggest otherwise.
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first
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Shitty to break up when your record has been number 1 on the charts for the last six weeks.
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i can confirm that these dudes do massive amounts of cocaine.

my friend sold pat a bunch
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I can confirm that they don't. I hang out with them all the time. They are beer and weed folks.
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yeah. you hang with them 24/7 and can confirm that i have never seen pat dropping $500 on cocaine, bro?
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i don't think these dudes ever have $500. if they did, they'd spend it on an alligator and 12 pack of black label.
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The last time I saw any of these guys with $500 it immediately disappeared in a smoke bomb of their friends all getting drunk.
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"yeah. you hang with them 24/7 and can confirm that"

What kind of fucked up weirdo are you bringing this shit up publicly at this point? You hate these guys and this is your chance...get em while they're down?...fuck I despise people like you. Like someone said earlier: "Way to go hero." And like I say now, "Go fuck yourself, you gossipy grade 11 cretin."
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Diamond Rings fucking sucks. Long live Women.
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Long live Women is absolutely right, really hope these guys can sort things out
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Agreed
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they have a pretty large following but I personally don't care for their music. also know them to do drugs, more than just weed, and it's true that some of the band members try to do good in Calgary, but they usually eff it up by "accidently" screwing ppl over. hope they figure out their shit.
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what band members are involved in drugs? and what drugs?
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i heard from a friend of a friend of a friend who's friends with someone who listens to women that the second guitarist was into children's dimetapp. true story.
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I heard two of them are homosexuals AND they use drugs. Gays with drugs.
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Ah cripes! Drug gays?
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Aha hahaha. I bet Matt Flegel just wrote that post two up.
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Somebody's got to keep these faggots away from those drugs! Talk about a letdown!
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Shit wouldn't have gone south if the bassist had just played root notes. Fuck.
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I know..how flamboyant (aka gay) to play anything but root notes on a bass. It's perverted...watching his magical, naked, delicate fingers stroke all over the place on his fret board. I mean, for him to come, like he does, all over the place when he's touring so much and slipping so easily in and out of the root, clearly an unnecessary, lord of the gays, type of exuberance, and a fingering style akin to someone looking for the smallest hole of opportunity to show us all what could be inside us. What he needs is to stop playing the bass, and be more like the man behind the man, advising us all about drug use and blowing jobs onto dicks.
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Well said, NP.
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Fuck yes!
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In a world where so many dicks have been left behind. . . . convulsing in the spiritual gutter. . . . we can find solace in the fact that there are two harmonically courageous mitts out there; hurtling their callous wisdom into the shaft veins of tomorrow.
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Well, if it takes a bunch of drugged out faggots to make my favourite record, then consider me Freddy Mercury, and consider my dick Ellen Degenerous!
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Wow. Cut and print!
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NP, you da man!
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NP...confused faggit.
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Also...long live WOMEN!
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Long live NP!
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More like Pubic Starin' !
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More like Poorly Constructed Anagram!
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www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vkbygh4qQ0A
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Bygones, bygones..just get back together already.
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They are all top notch gents. Not even one hint of egoism. I wish them the best.
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Drug'd up faggots...

Best albumz EVAH.

Better then the kurdtz
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Dude, when I was three, I drank a whole bottle of dime-a-tap and had to get emergency assistance. Now, I'm gay. So please, let's all just have peace.
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I have a STATS exam at 8:00 in the morning, and all I want to do is listen to WOMEN.
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Don't worry maine STATS is easy, Sigma nd shit
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