Best Dance ClubWhat do you get when you combine Run DMC, Metallica, a couple of hundred pairs of fishnet stockings, and a few heavy-handed bartenders? One hell of a morning after. Blame it on Bootie. The monthly mashup club loves to blur the lines - between Modest Mouse and Grandmaster Flash, say, or Devo and Destiny's Child - and our readers love it.
You may have noticed that the New Model Army show originally scheduled for tomorrow was cancelled, as they were denied visas by the US. Their web site doesn't give any details as to why the visas were denied this time around, but this is an increasingly common occurrence:
U.S. Repels British InvasionImmigration restrictions are stopping some popular U.K. acts from reaching U.S. borders. At least three anticipated tours by British artists scheduled for this month alone have been called off or pushed back because of musicians' visa problems. That is on top of at least 10 scuttled tours by buzzed-about British acts in the last year.
Part of the problem, immigration specialists say: The traditional visa system isn't set up to cope with the new face of popular music. To get into the U.S., many foreign music acts need to secure a document known as the "P-1"-class visa. This visa requires acts to prove that they have been "internationally recognized" for a "sustained and substantial" amount of time.
But in the current music scene, some of the most sought-after bands are ones that didn't exist two years ago and have risen rapidly thanks to exposure on the Internet. These bands, with huge fan followings but short track records, are finding themselves trying to prove to immigration officials that they are famous.
Before 2001, for example, tour managers were allowed to bring band members' visa documents to local U.S. consulates for visa approval. Now, each applicant must appear in person at a U.S. embassy for fingerprinting, a retinal scan and an interview.
New guidelines allow acts to submit visa applications up to a year ahead of a tour, but most clubs won't schedule shows more than a few months ahead. Bands often pay an extra $1,000 fee for speedier "premium" processing.
The "prove you're famous" part of that obviously doesn't apply to NMA, who have been together for a couple decades and have toured the US three times in the last three years, so who knows what the problem was there. We also had visa trouble with the 2004 Nina Hagen show, and the only way the 2005 Stendal Blast show was allowed to happen was that the German Government rented the club and let everyone in for free.
I feel safer already, don't you?
Free rabbit ears while supplies last!