Alt-folk singer Michelle Shocked goes on homophobic rant, Yoshi's says she won't be back

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Shocked at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, 2007.
PHOTO BY SIGMUND/CREATIVE COMMONS.

UPDATE: now with audio of the incident. 

What is going on with Michelle Shocked? The Texas alt-folk singer-songwriter, formerly known as a leftist-feminist relic of the late 1980s/early '90s, apparently went on a homophobic rant at one of her two Yoshi's shows this past Sunday in San Francisco.

As the Bay Area Reporter notes, Shocked, who seems to have found religion in the past decade, told the Yoshi's crowd: “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization and Jesus will come back.”

As Queerty.com reports, “The singer has been open about being a born-again Christian, but was still active in progressive politics. (She was arrested at an Occupy LA event in 2011).”

Here's more from the Bay Area Reporter on the incident this weekend:
One woman shouted: "Don't say that shit in San Francisco."

Shocked replied, "Where do I go to say it?”

In response to audience reaction, Shocked offered a Spanish prayer that "God loves you. God loves us. God loves us all everywhere." Later, in English, she said: "God bless us everyone."

Many fans questioned the singer out loud: "What are you saying?"

With a broad smile, Shocked said. "You are going to leave here and tell people 'Michelle Shocked said God hates faggots.'"

By that point, much of the audience had walked out in disgust, and Yoshi's management later cut the mics and turned on the lights, as Shocked continued to perform.

The story blew up on Twitter, as audience members tweeted confused reactions to the singer's offensive comments.

Yoshi's SF director of marketing and public relations Lisa Bautista answered my call this morning and said she was not there when the incident happened, but she did get a phone call from Yoshi's artistic director Derek Hunter after Shocked's show. Hunter confirmed they did indeed stop the show. Bautista also got additional comments from people who were present.

In his official statement to Bautista, Hunter said, "This was Michelle Shock's third visit to Yoshi's San Francisco; her first was March 2009. She has never given any indication that she is anti-gay or racist in her previous plays. She obviously has some serious issues and unfortunately chose our venue to vent them."

Added Bautista to me, “[Shocked] won't be back.” Bautista also had venues nationwide calling this morning to verify if Shocked made such remarks.

Novato's Hopmonk Tavern sent out a release this afternoon canceling Shocked's scheduled show: “Due to comments made by Michelle Shocked at Yoshi’s in San Francisco last night, March 17, we have decided to cancel our show with Michelle on March 29. Refunds can be made at place of purchase.”

Truly, an upsetting incident for all those involved, especially ticket-holders and former fans of the singer.

**UPDATE: @yoshisSF_OAK tweeted this at 1:40PM today: "WE AT YOSHI'S SF DO NOT & WILL NOT EVER TOLERATE THE TYPE OF BIGOTRY & HATRED EXHIBITED LAST NIGHT BY @MShocked SHE WILL NEVER BE BACK."

**UPDATE 2: An anonymous audience member was recording the incident and sent us the file, which you can listen to below: 

Comments

and so activist judges should never move too far away from the consensus that confers on them such powers.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

That's Michelle Shocked. When I first started listening to her she WAS gay. Then she turned around and married a man and had kids. She just likes provoke - and given her audience, the way to provoke these days may be to spout out some conservative type crap. You can like her music or not.

Posted by Guest vevang on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 12:55 pm

It's got nothing to do with the music. People need to ligthen up.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 1:16 pm

Another chi fil a moment.
Heading off to show my appreciation by buying her music now.
Protect freedom of speech or lose it.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

I general avoid concerts, but have enjoyed seeing and meeting Ms Shocked on a couple of occasions -- and even met her Mom on the tour bus in Scottsdale. I recently saw Ms Shocked in an intimate show in Tucson. All that said, how sad for the person. I am sorry that I can't support her career any longer. And, all that said, I probably won't be thinking about this subject again.

PS Support the HRC!

Bob Huey
Sgt. 1st Class, U.S. Army (Ret.)

Posted by Guest: GonzoBobH on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

Proposition 8

In order to be completely unprejudiced and fair to both the yea-ers and the nay-ers on this subject I thought it would be interesting to look up the definition of a certain word in the 1911 version of the Unabridged Webster’s Dictionary (which came out many years before the current ‘hot topic’ ever was introduced into our modern day society). Now, the unabridged dictionary is usually considered to be a pretty trustworthy medium to use to find out a word’s meaning. The reason I chose the 1911 edition is because it came out before the current situation rose to such heights in our modern day society. In other words, this is the definition of the word as it has been used up to the year 1911:
MARRIAGE:
Webster’s 1911 unabridged dictionary---
The act of marrying, or the state of being married; legal union of a man and a woman for life, as husband and wife; wedlock; matrimony.
As our society changes, as people change, as time goes by, the meaning of words can be altered or modified to include colloquialisms, or a modern day usage. Example: For years the word ‘bad’ has meant:
1 a: failing to reach an acceptable standard : POOR b: UNFAVORABLE c: not fresh : SPOILED d: not sound : DILAPIDATED 2 a: morally objectionable : EVIL b: MISCHIEVOUS , DISOBEDIENT 3: inadequate or unsuited to a purpose 4: DISAGREEABLE , UNPLEASANT 5 a: INJURIOUS , HARMFUL b: SERIOUS , SEVERE 6: INCORRECT , FAULTY 7 a: suffering pain or distress b: UNHEALTHY , DISEASED 8: SORROWFUL , SORRY 9 a: INVALID , VOID b: not able to be collected
But along comes the 20th and 21st century, and suddenly the word ‘bad’ as in “hey man, that really looks bad!” takes on it’s opposite meaning. In other words ‘bad’ here really means ‘good’:
10. bad•der bad•dest slang a: GOOD , GREAT b: TOUGH , MEAN
— bad•ness noun
Look what the modern dictionary includes as a definition of the word ‘marriage’ today (#2):

Webster’s modern dictionary
1 a (1): the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law (2): the state of being united to a person of the same sex in a relationship like that of a traditional marriage
Now why was the change made in both cases? To accommodate a modern day usage of the word as an additional option to the standard, traditional meaning. Sometimes it’s called ‘slang’ or ‘vernacular’. Let’s look at another source of comment on the current topic. As a preface I’ll say that this statement is most probably a waste of time to mention. Anyone who believes in the source of the comment would be persuaded to change their attitudes and beliefs about the subject in question… but here goes: “Woe to them that call evil good and good evil.” The word woe means: Deep distress or misery as from grief. Wretchedness. Suffering. Those opposing passage of Prop. 8 and favoring same-sex marriage will eventually have to suffer the consequences of that. If they don’t believe in a life after this one, then they may not have to experience distress or suffering for their beliefs and actions here. For those who do believe in an afterlife, I strongly suggest that they do some introspection and consider altering their feelings and behavior. I maintain that, if they’re not at ease now, they will feel more peace in their lives. If they can honestly say they feel that peace now, then I suppose I am wasting my time writing this. If one feels that peace will come through the eventual altering of the law to allow what they are proposing to be recognized legally, I think they are gravely mistaken. Making it legal won’t affect your conscience. That is something every person is born with and, like it or not, it can differentiate between what is good or right and what is bad or wrong. This isn’t being written to try and convince anyone of anything. Only to persuade those who may question the position they are taking to do some introspection and then find more peace in your lives.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 7:49 pm

So much talk about gay rights. Now about the gays who are serving their country in the military. We are proud and grateful for all those who have and are serving in the armed services. Those who are willing to ‘put their life on the line’ for freedom’s sake, for justice’s sake…either here or abroad. Even though they may not agree with the ‘whys, who got us into this, who are we fighting for’ and etc., still they are willing to defend freedom and liberty as they know it. That precept is inherent in a good man or woman, gay or non-gay. We applaud and revere all those who are committed to this cause.
For me there are just a couple of issues…’we were born gay’ is like saying…’we were born murderers’…. Taking it a little further…’we were born with the desire to kill, to deprive another person of his right to live’. It’s a copout. One step further. Let’s bring heterosexual sex into the arena. “I was born with an excess of sexual hormones (or whatever), and I had no part in that preference… i/o it was done without my choice or without my knowledge, therefore I must be allowed the right to exercise that sexual drive wherever & whenever. Freedom to child molesters (both men and women), to adulterers (both men and women), to fornicators (both men and women).
One principle enters into our discussion here. Sexual drive, be it a. heterosexual or b. homosexual, is something that can be controlled. If we endorse and freely consent to homosexual sex, we must also endorse and freely consent to any sexual behavior, this I guess with both (or all?) parties involved. As I see it the issue isn’t really accepting the fact that there are homosexuals and that homosexuality occurs, it’s that homosexuality is a natural and in-born attribute, not a learned or preferred lifestyle.
What happens in the case of those who have (or inherited or were endowed with or had innately as would claim those thus involved) homosexual desires? Is it right to tell a young man replete with hormones and sexual drive that he must wait until he is married to have sex with a female partner? Is it ok to have heterosexual sex before marriage? Some say ‘yes’ some say ‘no’. So what does the argument really boil down to? Right and wrong. Is it right to have homosexual sex? Some say ‘yes’ some say ‘no’. Does any person want to feel that they are in the wrong or that they are participating in an ‘unnatural’ behavior? Of course not. So how to take away the feeling of guilt, or shame, for this practice which is not considered ‘normal’ in society? Why, lobby for its acceptance, for its normality. ‘Remove the guilt, accept the behavior’ is akin to saying basically that any behavior not considered correct in our society needs to be accepted as normal and standard. What would it be like to have thieves, murderers, extortionists and etc. free access to everything? Isn’t that a normal, acceptable behavior? Who determines what is right or wrong? What is our standard for right and wrong?
If we say that homosexuality is a correct, standard and acceptable practice among humans, then it must also be carried to all other animal species. Have we ever seen homosexual animals? I have seen a male dog occasionally trying to ‘make it’ with another dog (without sexual preference) because (evidently) of his desire to gratify that sexual urge that he was born with. But I defy the complete animal kingdom (including humans) to procreate and replenish their species with two like-sexed subjects. Two females could with the help of artificial insemination. Two males?
Were we created to just be subject to our sexual appetites? If homosexuals think they have the answer and key to life, then why not let them go to their own place of choosing, someplace uninhabited, somewhere afar off, and start their own society and see how they grow and flourish without some one or two of them ‘trespassing’ their ‘innate’ lifestyle and ‘cheating’ on their same sex partner and having a relationship with the opposite sex. I’m afraid that over the years their race and breed would die out just as many others have done.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 19, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

I saw her participate in a songwriters forum in Minneapolis back in the early 90's. I had actually gone to hear Joe Ely (of whom I'm big fan) and she happened to be on the bill as well. She was a total asshole back then too. She didn't make any homophobic remarks that night, but she said a lot of stupid shit and it was clear to me that she's the kind of person who doesn't feel comfortable unless she's provoking a reaction from people. Sad. Not only does her Yoshi's rant sound hateful and intolerant, she really comes off like a has-been attention whore. The good news is, now that she's a born-again bigot, she can move back to Dallas where she'll fit right in.

ps - I'm from Dallas

Posted by Snoozers on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 2:06 am

Dallas has grown much more circumspect over these things, she needs to head back to the Piney Woods of East Texas from whence she came.

Posted by marcos on Mar. 22, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

For the life of me, I thought Michelle Shocked was gay herself. Silly me!

Posted by Guest on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 11:06 am

She's done this kind of thing on stage for years. I think it's part acting, part mental illness, part genuine convictions (which are constantly in flux). I only saw her live once, in North Carolina in 1997. She took the stage late, rambled on for 90 minutes without a song, insulted the audience for being "too white", told long activist stories that went nowhere, then condescendingly explained the real meaning of "Kum Bah Yah" to us! And then, I swear to God, she proceeded to actually *sing* it.

I don't know if a concert actually occurred after that, because I joined the three-quarters of the (originally very friendly) audience that had already left, many jeering her on the way out. I don't think I missed anything... when a folk singer offers up "Kum Bah Yah" as her big opening number, you're in real trouble.

When I see all this stuff, I just feel sad for her. She has real talent, she's just so out of control...

Posted by Michael on Mar. 20, 2013 @ 9:16 pm

Wow....what a fruit loop. As a lesbian woman I was taken aback by the hateful statements that Michelle Shocked made. I started to believe her apology in the news as being true that maybe she "was" misunderstood. After listening to this....I know now for sure that she meant everything she said....the tape doesn't lie. Her hate has caused her entire career to tank...and probably put the people around her that get employed by her tour...out of work also. Sad. All that inner homophobia causing her to implode....it's also obvious she is off her meds. I'm going to share with you what JESUS said about Gay people...........................................oh wait.....he said nothing.
And I truly believe he looks down on all the hate and shakes his head in disgust at all the hate that his so called "followers" exude.

Posted by Guest Wanted to know on Mar. 21, 2013 @ 7:24 am

Well, I guess her 15 minutes are over.

Posted by Ian Cooper on Mar. 22, 2013 @ 12:29 pm

Marriage is right, Right?

Inalienable Rights. Unable to be taken away or given way by the possessor.

Rights are rights. Rights can not be legislated because they are rights, Right?

That is why the Right can never be right.

Posted by GFS on Mar. 22, 2013 @ 4:46 pm

Listen to the audio, folks. Was she rambling and confused? Sure.

Was what she said "a homophobic rant?" Only if you've never heard a REAL rant.

I listened to the audio because, while I am not a fan of Ms. Shocked's music (Not that I don't like it; I've just not heard it until now), I was wondering what all the fuss was about. Now that I've listened to the audio twice, I still don't see what the fuss is about. But I guess there are some issues that cannot be mentioned in public without ruining one's career.

Listen to the audio, because this article misquotes and misrepresents what Ms. Shocked said, and the sequence of her comments.

She did not say “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization and Jesus will come back.”

What she said was:

“Once Prop gets instated, and once preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the ho-mo-sexuals, I'm pretty sure that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back.”

"You said you wanted reality." [laughter and applause]

"If someone would be so gracious as to please tweet out 'Michele Shocked just said from stage that God hates faggots.' Would you do it now?" [laughter and applause]

Am I the only one who remembers logic and debate and the concept of hyperbole?

Hyperbole: "The use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It may be used to evoke strong feelings or to create a strong impression, but is not meant to be taken literally."

And while you are at it, look up "irony."

I mean, come on, does anyone believe that Ms. Shocked actually believes that preachers will be "held at gunpoint and forced to marry the homosexuals?" Get a grip, people!

And if she believed that the overturning of Prop 8 would bring the second coming of Christ, would she have then have asked to be associated with the Westboro Baptist Church (people who really ARE homophobic zealots) by asking people to tweet out that "Michelle Shocked just said on stage that 'God hates faggots?'"

And now, her decades of support for liberal and progressive causes (many of which I personally disagree with) has been undone by two sentences at one concert?

Meh.

Posted by Lee Keller King on Mar. 23, 2013 @ 4:27 am

You are all giving this has-been fool exactly what she requires and feeds on: negative attention. Just let her fade away and ride out the remainder of her declining career at the ignorant church she "attends". She was horrible in the 90s and she is horrible today.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 23, 2013 @ 12:33 pm

If Michelle Shocked is playing Yoshi's on a Sunday night, things are not going as well as they once were and she requires publicity. Just saying. Too bad it is moron's publicity. Don't give it to her!!! Let her f#$k off back to church.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 23, 2013 @ 12:50 pm

i was never a fan of michelle shocked. i still am not a fan.

But, i can tell you that there are plenty of people who agree with what she said and some of whom will not be bullied by the overly sensitive, vocal, and bullying homosexual movement.

i personally am so sick of seeing the loud mouth idiots bullying their way of life on everyone else.

these authoritarian liberals have ruined this great country with their spending of other people's money. they have destroyed our businesses especially in california with their over-regulation and taxes. they are grown up hall monitors. they teach our kids their marxist ideology and they have all the power in pop culture today.

where is the silent majority? where are the strong MEN and women who have let these loud mouthed idiots get away with forcing their gay, leftist agenda down out throats for the last few decades? why are we so scared to speak our minds? why do we cower to these mental and physical weaklings? when are we going to stand up and get out country back on track?

why do we allow the authoritarian democrats to indoctrinate our youth? why are these losers and dummies the role models? why are our strong traditional hard working men and women letting this happen?

lefties and gays: do you ever think that you may be the useful idiots that are being used to destroy our country from within? how do you think your lives will be when our country collapses from spending money we dont have to give to all of your feel-good causes?

LEFTIES have hearts made of other people's gold. all they want to do is tell other people what to do in every aspect of their lives. they steal money from hard working families and waste it. that is all they know how to do.

lefties and gay activists: you CANT have our money. you cant elect your marxist friends and steal our money anymore. go earn a living yourself. and be generous to your favorite cause with your own money. NOT OTHER PEOPLES HARD EARNED MONEY.

why do these san francisco bay area authoritarian get to ruin our country from within and they will never take the blame for it?

you cant bully me around. and i know plenty of the silent majority who will smack you around and teach you a lesson if you try to bully them.

big federal government and communist policies are bankrupting this country. we are becoming a joke of the world. you "empowered" gay marxists are a joke to the silent majority in our country but most are afraid to say anything.

just wait. you will not be able to bully around this country much longer. your stupid ideas and fart-smelling is getting old. who ever told you that you were smart anyway? just because the successful silent majority doesn't speak up doesn't mean we don't all look at you all as a bunch of spoiled brats spending daddy's money and rebelling against society because you are LOSERS!

the day is coming and you will have an adversary. trust me, most of you dummies aren't as smart, crafty, capable, or strong as you think.

you have pushed us around for too long. i for one am passed my limit and dont care about political correctness. you all are punks and i wlll not be bullied by you anymore.

god is against homosexuality. you cant rewrite the bible like you rewrite everything else that suits you. you cant tell us what to think. you cant tell us how to feel. you cant tell us what is right or wrong. you have NO moral highground. you have no special rights. you cant hide behind anything anymore. if you disrespect us we will disrespect you.

you are simple and self serving useful idiots. i hope you are proud of yourselves.

why dont you try to take away our freedom of speech so we cant tell the world how selfish and greedy you are? good luck with that. good luck taking our guns too.

our country is in a lot of trouble and the republican and democrats are on the same team against us. divide and conquer. problem, reaction, solution. order out of chaos.

do you bullies really think you can win?

THE SILENT MAJORITY IS OUT THERE. once a catalyst develops you will have to shut your ignorant mouths and stop bullying people who don't appreciate what you dummies have done to wreck our culture and economy.

i dont hate anyone unless they are ignorant authoritarian bullies who steal.

your gay rights agenda can go to hell. get a life.

read:
andrew breitbart: righteous indignation
saul alinsky: rules for radicals
michael savage: time for war
listen:
infowars, alex jones

Posted by San Fran Man on Mar. 24, 2013 @ 1:29 am

Christ never said anything against homosexuality. Homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible in the Old and New Testament, but by only Moses and Paul. Those were reflective of the laws of the land.

I am gay and I am a Christian. God loves me and everyone, and he even loves the haters and bigots as well.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 24, 2013 @ 11:38 am

And religion in general.

People make the bible fit their political and social agenda.

Science explains creation so there goes a hefty reason for the bible, When based on politics people pick and choose their way through it, there goes a lot more reason to take it seriously.

Posted by matlock on Mar. 24, 2013 @ 12:26 pm

Though he makes somewhat good points in doing so, his assertion that "Science explains creation" is nonetheless problematical.

(FYI, I don't believe in god... per se.)

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 24, 2013 @ 1:13 pm

yawn

Posted by matlock on Mar. 24, 2013 @ 1:18 pm

by what they write. Since I've come to the realization that matlock doesn't ever write what he *really* thinks, it results in a completely different assessment than otherwise would develop.

While matlock claims to be an athiest, I'd be more inclined to believe his is a budding messiah complex.

Posted by lillipublicans on Mar. 24, 2013 @ 1:35 pm

And all this time I was sure she was a lesbian....

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 5:38 am

This is the most press this woman has ever gotten. This is a mess. Michelle is spewing hate and she needs to get counseling. Clearly the woman is having a psychotic break or a midlife crisis. She was once bi-sexual so she hates herself. I wonder if all these bible scripture posting cats will book her unknown ass for a show. This is ridiculous. I hope Michelle goes to therapy. She needs it.

Posted by Guest on Mar. 26, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

Gays are becoming more and more totalitarian,and speaking of bigoted gays are some of the most white supremists going. There is real racism in the gauy community and they just might not like that little dark secret getting out. Getting back to rights. STOP HETEROPHOBIA! STOP HOMOFACISM! NOW!

Posted by Guest SandyLine on Jun. 25, 2013 @ 4:52 pm

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