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Music News: Outcry follows revelation that Club Jager owner donated to David Duke

A drink token from Clubhouse Jager.
A drink token from Clubhouse Jager.Jenni Konrad/CC BY-NC 2.0

by Jay Gabler

August 29, 2017

City Pages made waves on Tuesday with an article reporting that Julius Jaeger De Roma donated $500 to the 2016 Senate campaign of David Duke, a prominent white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klan leader. For the past decade, De Roma has owned Clubhouse Jäger, a bar and music venue in Minneapolis's North Loop.

The venue's staff made a statement that read, in part, "We celebrate the diversity of our employees and we do not tolerate or endorse of any kind discrimination against anyone. Our focus remains on continuing our successful record of always providing our employees with a fun and positive work environment." Several members of the staff, according to reports, have now quit their jobs at the bar.

De Roma also owns properties occupied by Buffalo Exchange and HUGE Improv Theater. Members of the improv group promptly issued a statement saying, in part, that they "would like to formally tell Nazis and the KKK that they can f--- straight off."

Buffalo Exchange also made a statement that reads, in part, "While we do rent a space from DeRoma, we are not aligned with him or his views and he has no role in our company's values or operations. Buffalo Exchange is a family-owned business committed to celebrating diversity and individuality through inclusion and fashion. We stand against discrimination and hate in every way."

Perhaps the most prominent regularly scheduled event at Clubhouse Jäger was Transmission, a weekly dance night led by Jake Rudh. (Rudh also hosts a weekly radio show, with the same name and a similar new-wave playlist, on The Current.) After the revelation of De Roma's political donation, Rudh announced that Transmission would cease holding events at Jäger and seek a new venue, effective immediately.

De Roma was reached by WCCO, and described the donation as "basically free speech." He called the controversy "basically something that is blown up beyond what it should be."

Remembering Melissa Bell

Singer Melissa Bell has died of undisclosed causes at age 53. Bell was best-known for being a lead vocalist in the British pop group Soul II Soul from 1993-95, performing on tracks including 1993's "Wish." In 2008, Bell's daughter Alexandra Burke won a season of The X Factor. "We will never forget her unconditional love, support, charisma, strength, and courage throughout her life," said Bell's family in a statement. (Pitchfork)

Today's joint release news

Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett have announced the title of their forthcoming collaborative album. Lotta Sea Lice is expected to be released in October. A lead single, "Over Everything," will premiere Wednesday on Beats 1. (Pitchfork)

Meanwhile, the Flaming Lips and Mac DeMarco are planning a split EP on which each artist will cover three of the other's songs. Further details have yet to be announced, except that Wayne Coyne hopes the release will eventually be out on "vinyl AND cassette." (Pitchfork)

Beyoncé sends love to Houston, rumored to be in talks for Bond song

Beyoncé has shared a statement with her hometown newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, regarding the catastrophic flooding resulting from the storm Harvey. "My heart goes out to my hometown, Houston, and I remain in constant prayer for those affected and for the rescuers who have been so brave and determined to do so much to help," says the star. "I am working closely with my team at BeyGOOD as well as my pastor to implement a plan to help as many as we can."

Meanwhile, her rep has another statement to make: "It's a rumor." That's not regarding Beyoncés support for flood victims, but regarding her reported interest in recording the next James Bond movie theme song. The forthcoming Bond movie will be the last to star Daniel Craig as 007, but little else is known about it. Previously, Beyoncé’s strongest association with the franchise came when she co-starred with Mike Myers in the 2002 spoof Goldmember. (Billboard)

Robert Plant > Robert E. Lee

Yesterday we reported that a group of Minnesotans want to remove a State Capitol statue of Christopher Columbus and replace it with a likeness of Prince. Meanwhile, at the other end of I-35, a group of Austin residents have launched a campaign to rename Robert E. Lee Road, turning it instead into Robert Plant Road. The Led Zeppelin singer grew up in Worcestershire, England — but he has resided in Austin in the past. Or, as a video promoting the petition puts it, "The dude actually lived here." (Billboard)

Who's stealing Liam's clothes?

In July, Liam Gallagher had some parkas stolen from backstage at Glastonbury while he was performing. Now, a pair have sunglasses have gone missing while he played the Reading Festival. "I hope you die," he tweeted to the thief. "I guess it's karma for stealing the show." (Billboard)