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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 3, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 18
Michelle shocks - again
Section One
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Michelle shocks - again

Controversial singer shows up at Seattle business owner's house

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

By now, you probably already know that alt-folksinger Michelle Shocked (Karen Michelle Johnston) made an impromptu speech March 17 against same-sex marriage during a performance at Yoshi's Nightclub in San Francisco. Despite having a large Lesbian following, she used homophobic slurs, saying, 'I live in fear that the world will be destroyed if Gays are allowed to marry.'

Then, putting her foot further into her mouth, Shocked continued, 'You can go on Twitter and say Michelle Shocked said 'God hates fags.'

Well, as you can imagine this didn't go over very well. The media, her fans, and - most importantly - concert promoters and venue owners crucified her. Michelle Shocked's tour came to a screeching halt as venue after venue cancelled her shows.

Meander's Kitchen (9635 16th Ave S.W.), in Seattle's White Center neighborhood, was one such venue. SGN told our readers about the change of heart by Meander's Kitchen owner Miranda Krone in the April 12 edition.

SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISER
Krone decided she would turn a bad situation into a good one. So, on the very night Shocked had been scheduled to perform in her venue, Krone threw a fundraiser cabaret for Camp Ten Trees and Queer Rock Camp. She even added a second night for good measure.

The April 26-27 event, 'You Are Loved,' produced by local burlesque entertainer Cherry Tart, was a success as over $3,000 was raised for the two camps.

Many in attendance wondered if Shocked would show up (since being dropped from music venues elsewhere, Shocked has shown up to protest). Krone told SGN that she, too, wondered if the singer would protest the fundraiser.

Shocked didn't protest 'You Are Loved.' In fact, she didn't even show up at Meander's Kitchen. She did something worse, however. According to Krone, Michelle Shocked showed up in her backyard.

A SHOCKING SURPRISE
SGN met with Krone after she contacted the newspaper to explain what took place April 26 and the early afternoon of April 28.

The original performance had been arranged by Village Green Perennial Nursery owner Vera Johnson who, on Facebook, said, 'In 100% support of CANCELLING this show. I apologize for this (and do realize this in no way is a reflection of me) I am not at all supportive of Michelle Shocked's Roadworks or her homophobic performance in San Francisco last night. Miranda Krone and Vera Johnson say NO WAY!!! I have called her (Michelle) and e-mailed her twice, she is not responding. I have informed her that we will not host nor support this kind of bigotry and hatred. Also, just to be clear, I told her many of her followers are Queer, and she is biting the hand that feeds her. I hope she gets the help she needs, as she clearly seems troubled.'

However, on the night of April 26, just as Cherry Tart and others were setting up for the Meander's Kitchen fundraiser, Johnson seemed to have a change of heart.

According to Krone, Village Green Perennial Nursery's Facebook page posted the following rambling comment, 'Michelle Shocked will play @7:30 p.m. here tonight.'

As more and more people began to comment on the post, many of whom sharing the same sentiment that they did not agree with Johnson's decision to host Shocked, Johnson posted, 'Hi all, in the midst of controversy about this, and with a genuine willingness to hear what she has said to me, eye to eye, as well as having the ability to listen to what my community has to say about this, AND for having been being completely misunderstood myself in the past, also having made mistakes with words that were taken COMPLETELY out of context, because it has never happened to me for sure, with no ears willing to even listen, or have a conversation, or to be met at the table to explain my word, having slanderous things said about me to others, where people make judgments off sound bites & I say, come to the show and listen to her or not. I'm just giving her a chance to have a conversation with anyone who wants to hear it directly from her.'

Krone, of course, took issue with this. But beyond that, the concert was held in Krone's backyard! As it turns out, Vera Johnson is Krone's landlord.

STRANGERS WANDERED IN
Village Green (10223 26th Ave. S.W.) is a two-acre plant nursery in White Center that also hosts events on the property. Krone rents a home from Johnson, where she and her 17-year-old daughter live.

Krone told SGN that, although the property is huge and there were any number of places to host the show, it was held close to her home. This has obviously caused a rift between the two women as Krone feels that she was stabbed in the back by Johnson (who, Krone claims, is seeking publicity from the stunt), but also because she says the show put her daughter, and her daughter's 15-year-old friend, in danger. Both were at Krone's home at the time of the show.

'You can mess with me all you'd like,' Krone said. 'But when you mess with my kid - or any kids, for that matter - that is when Mama Bear's claws come out.'

Krone said she got a call from her daughter after the two girls found a stranger - a man - walking into their home because he was lost looking for the bathroom. Krone also claims that the girls told her that people had gone into the basement area of the house as well. She says the teens were scared, though ultimately no one was harmed. Still, Krone says, that is not the point.

'You held a friggin' concert in my backyard!' she said. 'Who does that?' Apparently, Vera Johnson does. SGN has learned that after the show took place (attendance was said to be below 100), Shocked had a meeting with Krone at Johnson's house (also on the Village Green property).

Krone described the meeting as 'something I knew I had to remove myself from right away.'

Krone said she met with Johnson and the singer after she got a telephone call from Johnson requesting she come over and talk to them. Krone thought it best, and went to the meeting at about 1:30 p.m. on April 27.

TWITTER HATE SPEECH
'The first thing I thought was, 'Oh, you poor thing,' Krone told SGN. 'She just kept rambling on about YouTube trying to steal her music.'

Krone said Shocked did not appear to be intoxicated by drugs or alcohol. In fact, Krone thinks Shocked's behavior might stem from the lack of drugs. 'It is clear to me she is suffering from a mental health issue,' she said.

Nothing was resolved, said Krone, and after listening to Shocked 'ramble,' she left the meeting.

Communication between Shocked and her supporters then intensified - through Twitter. 'It has taken me all I can to not respond,' admits Krone who says she refuses to comment on Twitter to all of the vile things Shocked's supporters have been saying. 'But I don't want to add to hate speech.'

One man, in particular, continually sends Krone threatening tweets. He's even gone so far as to threaten her. Krone says that she is going to make a report to the police because 'you never know how serious someone might be.'

Krone says that she just can't understand why someone who at one time was an ally, and agreed with cancelling the Michelle Shocked performance at Meander's Kitchen, would think it was a good idea to change her mind at the last minute and - above all - use her backyard as the concert venue.

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