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Friday, March 29, 2013

Spelling Bee Outs "Joe Sly," Alleged Undercover Cop Posing as Punk Fan

Posted By on Fri, Mar 29, 2013 at 11:44 AM

Page 2 of 2

Check out the emails from "Joe" below, they are hilarious (click to enlarge):

click to enlarge COURTESY SPELLING BEE
  • Courtesy Spelling Bee

"I looked at the name, I looked at the picture, and thought, 'This is it, this is our fault,'" says Suen. "We read it over and were like, 'Wow, we are stupid.'"

Let's stop and take a moment to dissect this awesome artifact, which Suen screen grabbed and posted to her Facebook wall. What punk is this stoked for St. Patrick's Day or refers to a DIY show as a "concert"?

Not to be discouraged, the show was relocated to a venue about 20 minutes away. When Joe Sly popped up again to lament the show's cancellation, Suen confirmed that it was off.

"They emailed us again, I said, 'Oh no, yeah, it's cancelled, fuck off,'" she says.

Spelling Bee played at the new venue without incident.

"It was really great. They never caught on to us," she says.

Slate wrote a long post on this trend here. Apparently, things have gotten particularly hairy for DIY shows in Boston since the passage of a new nuisance ordinance, but Suen and Hess both say they've heard rumors the crackdown is courtesy of bar owners who think the shows threaten their business.

The bandmates understand the concerns about DIY shows -- there are safety issues and fears of underage drinking. But to their mind those worries are overblown.

"You'd be shocked and amazed at how self-policing these types of things are," says Hess. "These shows are so about the music and nothing else. The idea that the cops view this as this total gathering of debauchery is completely ludicrous to me."

So is Joe Sly really an undercover officer? RFT Music called the Boston police to find out, we'll update when they get back to us. Joe Sly's Google+ account (very punk) has gone dark but the email address still works -- we sent him an email and we'll post a response if we get one. Though if anyone is still checking this account they are likely being inundated with crazy spam. From the comments on Suen's Facebook page:


"This shit would never fly in St. Louis. The St. Louis police have a lot more things to worry about than busting up our shows," says Hess. "I would imagine that the Boston police could like, be out there actually protecting and serving rather than being grumpy old men ruining our good time."

Update: Evidence that Joe Sly is fake is mounting. Gawker just pointed out that the avatar Joe uses is one of the first images that comes up when you Google "punk rocker." 'A' for effort, guys.

Follow Jessica Lussenhop on Twitter at @Lussenpop. E-mail the author at

See also: -Ten Bands You Never Would Have Thought Used to Be Good -The Ten Biggest Concert Buzzkills: An Illustrated Guide -The 15 Most Ridiculous Band Promo Photos Ever -The Ten Worst Music Tattoos Ever

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