Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Middian Benefit

This Saturday February 2nd there is a benefit show for Eugene doomsters Middian at the Alibi in Arcata. The show features thirtythreeandathird and Fire Demons (ex-Hitch), two Humboldt County metal bands that I am yet to check out but am excited to see this weekend. For those of you who haven't heard about Middian's current situation, I provided some background information below taken from an email sent to me by Ian at Humboldt Free Radio Presents.

When international cult doom metal act YOB broke up, singer, guitarist, and visionary Mike S created Middian from YOB's ashes. Before the name was chosen, a careful online search was done, proving that no other active unit had the same name. The band worked hard, released the highly acclaimed album Age Eternal on Metal Blade Records, and toured the US.

In the Fall of 2007, Middian, their label, their booking agent, and a peripherally related online merchandise company were sent cease and desist orders from a seemingly defunct nu-metal band from Milwaukee, WI called Midian of Milwaukee LLC. At first, this seemed like a ludicrous joke. However, the Midian with one "D" were serious about defending their name, even though they hadn't released any proper albums or played outside of Wisconsin in this century, and hadn't updated their website in several years - making the validity of their trademark highly questionable. At first Middian sought an agreement to co-exist peacefully. But Midian of Milwaukie LLC didn't want to co-exist (to the extent they even existed). With increased legal threats came the sad reality that it's very expensive to fight these kinds of lawsuits, even when the law and the facts are on your side. So Middian from Eugene agreed to give up their name, stop selling all merchandise that bore the mark, and begin again under a new name.

Unfortunately, Midian of Milwaukee were not satisfied with a peaceful agreement. Neither were they satisfied when Middian's label Metal Blade dropped them in an effort to avoid legal hassle and expense. No, Midian of Milwaukee were after money--and a large settlement at that (we're talking tens of thousands...). There's a big problem though. Middian don't have that kind of money. They are three humble artists from Eugene, OR that write twenty-minute long doom metal epics that will never be played on the radio. Mike S has three children that he's supporting. Neither do the other members of the band have anything but cheap rent and low-paying jobs in a small town.

Given the choice of giving up to these unreasonable demands, or fighting on their own, Middian, their lawyer, and Nanotear Booking have decided to go to court and win this battle. It's a clear case of greed that must be squashed. But it will not come cheaply. That's why your donations are so desperately needed. Any support you can offer will go towards Middian's legal fund via this paypal account found at http://middian.org/donate/.

I find it quite disconcerting that there is such backstabbing greed in underground music and have fought the temptation to email Midian of Milwaukee and blast them for their ignorance. However, those anger management classes have convinced me that I should bank some karma points and simply contribute to Middian's cause.

Doors are at 10:30. Bands start at 11:15. $4 cover.

FYI, Middian are currently scheduled to play the Alibi on March 30th. Here's some footage from a show last year in San Francisco:

No comments: