alice glass objects to crystal castles performance at feminist sxsw party

Party host Tumblr has now dropped Crystal Castles from the lineup. "We don't want the band's presence to distract from this important mission," read a statement.

by Hannah Ongley
04 March 2016, 4:11pm

Following backlash over Crystal Castles headlining their feminism-themed SXSW party, Tumblr has (rightly) removed the band from the official lineup. The blogging platform's "79 Cents" showcase is intended to put women in the spotlight while highlighting gender disparity issues. Which, for reasons that will be obvious to anyone who's followed the public back-and-forth between the band's founding members Alice Glass and Ethan Kath since Glass left the group in 2014, makes it a wildly inappropriate event for Crystal Castles to perform at. 

For anyone who hasn't been following Glass and Kath's quarrel: Glass exited Crystal Castles in October 2014 citing "a multitude of reasons both professional and personal." Kath then tried to claim that Glass was exaggerating her creative role in the band and "didn't appear on Crystal Castles' best known songs," at which point Glass fired back over Twitter that she wrote "almost all" of their lyrics and "the vast majority of the vocal melodies." Last year Glass released her first solo single "Stillbirth" and got real about a past abusive relationship. "Abuse isn't always obvious and it doesn't have to involve black eyes, blood and broken bones," she said. "Emotional and psychological abuse can be just as damaging, and it is extremely difficult to remove yourself from." 

Which brings us to the question over Tumblr's decision to tap Kath and new frontwoman Edith Frances for a feminism event: WTF? "The artists I was most excited about were pretty much all female-fronted bands," Nate Auerbach, Tumblr's head of music, told The Verge earlier this week. "We're celebrating the female voice in many contexts." Glass, who earlier this week posted on Facebook about her wish to be disassociated from the band, told the site: "As someone who knew Ethan Kath on a personal and professional level, it is my opinion that he is not an appropriate artist to be performing at a feminism-centric event."

Tumblr has now wizened up, and removed Crystal Castles from the 79 Cents party lineup. "We don't know the facts around comments made about a member of the band, and we're not going to engage in an investigation around it," they said in a statement. "We're hosting this event to highlight gender disparity issues, something that Tumblr and our community cares deeply about, and we don't want the band's presence to distract from this important mission."

Jhene Aiko, Empress Of, Little Simz, and Tacocat will perform at the 79 Cents party. Glass, meanwhile, is hard at work on her solo career. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Image via Facebook

Crystal Castles
Alice Glass
ethan kath