Super Pal Universe at Auditorium Shores/Saturday, March 15 and Bad Words…

Posted on March 17, 2008 by Sara Hickman. | 2 Comments


Super Pal Universe was superfly superfine super-super on Saturday!

When I saw the gianormous stage, the first thing I said to the kids in the band was, “Oh, I’m sorry the stage isn’t BIGGER!!!”

The kids rocked in the morning sun to about 350 people, many dancing and boppin’ to the pop driven activism music, the fun bantering, and the utter electricity of watching teens make music on stage. And a big shout out to BORIS, our keyboard player, who may have hairline fractures in both feet!, and still managed to show up, play the gig, dance around, rock the crowd, wow ’em with his smile. INCREDIBLE!

The crew thought the kids were great, too…and, right now, right this second, I’d like to THANK THE CREW for being courteous, professional and patient. What a great group of stage hands, sound men (stage and front of house). They made the kids sound ENORMOUS with the delays/reverbs and I had HUGE tears of PRIDE in my eyes, watching Sam (drums) pound it out with all he had, Julee singing/playing guitar/jumping over to bass (!!!), Nadia calm and confident on bass and vocals, jammin’ away with Boris on his song, “What You See is What You Get” and Evan, keeping his cool, playing solo after solo, smiling his mysterious smile. What a super-duper group of hard workin’ kids!!!

The cds are supposed to arrive today for our CD release party this Saturday at Rutumaya, South Congress, 4 pm….I CAN NOT WAIT!!!!

Stingray (the design group Lance, me, Todd and Neil own) did the design for the packaging, and, of course, Marty Lester did the engineering and co-producing with me….I am so proud of this project!!!! If you want to sample the kids/their music, go to

AND NOW…THE BACK STORY ON SATURDAY’S GIG: Things a manager must do!

Our sound check was supposed to be at 11 am, but Ice Cube’s folks went on…and on….and on….and we were all patiently waiting, so at 11:30, I walked up the catwalk to the head
stage manager, Chris (super nice) and asked what was up and that we needed our check before doors opened at noon….He said he thought Ice Cube’s dudes were almost done.
They were singing to tracks and a DJ, so really, it sounded done to me, but at 11:40, I walked over to two large (and I mean SUPER LARGE) dudes with the Cube clan, (complete with
giant bling and one in a Lakers shirt) and I introduced myself:

“Hey, there! I’m Sara Hickman, and I’m manager for Super Pal Universe…our sound check was supposed to be at 11…and doors open in twenty minutes…could you ask your
artist to wrap it up?”

Big smiles from the dudes. Sure, sure, they said.

Again. Nothing. Just more SEVERE, and very loud, musical cursing about BITCHES and “Muthaf*****” this and “Muthaf*****” that and I was just feeling my skin peel off my face.
And my blood boiling. But I stayed calm. Ya gotta stay calm!

So, at quarter to noon, I walked back up on the stage, right up to the Ice Cube poser (Ice Cube wasn’t actually doing his own sound check), stuck out my hand, shook
Ice Cube imposter’s hand and said,

“Hey, thanks for ending your soundcheck so my band can come up and do theirs now!”

And he said,

“Yo, baby, what’s your name?” as he picked up my SXSW tag and studied my name.

He continued with, “Hey, Sara, this your band? You got records out?”

And I said, “This week their first cd comes out, and this is a big gig for them, so I’d like to get them on stage.”

Then he said, “Yo, maybe I’ll see you at the Grammys…”

I said, “Are you on the board?”

And he said, “No way they letting someone like me on the board!”

And I said, “Well, I’m a board member, and you could get on the board. We have Beyonce’s dad on the board. He’s quite a gentleman!”

And he says, “No way, we say “F*** the police” and s***!”

And I said, “I think, perhaps, if you didn’t say BITCHES so often, it would help getcha on the board.”

And he just grinned and I reiterated that I thought the word BITCHES should go.

Then I called down to my gang and told them to start on up to the stage.

I never felt like anything but a woman taking care of her clan. I’m so tempted to make a shirt that says:

I don’t call you a****** so don’t you call me b*****

Or I don’t know. I have to think about it. I just don’t get it, though, how people understand that using the “n” word is
demeaning/refers to slavery/refers to another time/refers to oppression, but this African American male using the word “bitch” is ok/not harmful/cool/musical and he is
making millions of dollars off of demeaning women/oppressing women/encouraging others to belittle women/little girls.

It is NEVER alright to demean ANYONE, and on behalf of my gender, it is NEVER ok to call us bitches.


2 responses to “Super Pal Universe at Auditorium Shores/Saturday, March 15 and Bad Words…”

  1. Sara;
    As the site manager for Auditorium Shores I would like to say thank you for not only the great performance Super Pal Universe put on but also on your patience with the other performers and your appreciation of the crew that made it all happen. I was sweating the whole sound check with the kids lining up outside the gate. SXSW firmly supports freedom of speech from the artists that play. I just wish everyone knew when it was appropriate and called for. One correction. The lead stage manager down there was actually Rusty and he did a fantastic job. Thanks again
    Catlin Whitington

  2. Devin Pike says:

    I’m reminded of the Sly & The Family Stone track, “Don’t Call Me N***a, Whitey.” It’s a pretty mixed up world we’re in now, where Sly could just as easily be singing to white AND black people at the same time.

    Love and peace to you and the whole family.

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