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Nora Barrows-Friedman | Electronic Intifada | 8 May 2015

Primus latest band to cancel Israel show

Legendary San Francisco Bay Area-based prog-rock group Primus has become the latest band to cancel a planned performance in Israel.

Ynet reported on Friday that the band “called off” its 10 June headlining gig at the Rock in the Park Festival. “The show’s producers have yet to provide an official reason for the decision,” the report added.

Primus’ cancellation comes just days after US singer Lauryn Hill canceled her 7 May concert. Activists and Palestine solidarity organizers had led creative social media campaigns and more than 11,000 people had signed a petition urging the singer to cancel her show.

Primus and Lauryn Hill join a growing list of artists and performers who have pulled out of shows in Israel. As The Electronic Intifada noted earlier this week, the director of the Israel Festival recently revealed that the flagship government-backed cultural program has had to curtail its 2015 schedule due to the growing impact of the boycott, especially in the wake of Israel’s killing more than 2,200 Palestinians in Gaza last July and August.

Growing impact of boycott

Announced as part of the lineup in April, Primus was scheduled to join other US bands Incubus and The Voidz in the three-day festival. Primus’ website currently does not list the Rock the Park festival on the band’s tour schedule.

Formed in the 1980s, Primus has been a mainstay of the prog-rock scene. The band has released more than a dozen albums and EPs, including its most recent, Primus and the Chocolate Factory. Primus’ 1990 single “Too Many Puppies” is a well-known anti-war anthem.

I went to my first Primus show at 13, and am particularly thrilled to hear that the band has canceled its Israel gig. Watch Primus perform one of my favorite songs, “Those Damned Blue Collar Tweekers,” from the 1991 album Sailing the Seas of Cheese, below.

Posted on 09-05-2015

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