"Letter to Lady J" was written in the name of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, and all the other innocent people killed by overly violent law enforcement.
The song starts off with the idea of a friend writing a letter to Lady Justice, asking her to please come out from her isolation and out into the streets where she is so badly needed.
Not only are people dying, but there is largely no accountability for this lethal action taken by the police. It makes us wonder, how far have we really come since the days of Dr. King’s marches when there is still racial profiling of this magnitude that results in the death of an innocent man or woman. It keeps happening. We've got to stand up, nonviolently come together, take pride in our differences, revel in our connection to each other, and fight for civil rights, for love, and justice for all.
We've been rolling out songs from Location 13 since the beginning of the summer, and we've still got a few more to go, but we've launched pre-orders for the vinyl LP today. Every copy pre-ordered before the release date on November 16th will be signed by the band!
For those of you who haven't been following along, Location 13 is a collection of 11 songs written and recorded during the America, Location 12 sessions and this past winter. Think of them as additional stories. One of those stories, "Letter To Lady J," just came out today. Some of you may have heard it on the Colorado Live EP that we posted on our website last month.
Everyone who pre-orders Location 13 will get an instant download of "Letter to Lady J" and the six other songs we've already released.
All Location 13 vinyl pre-orders will be signed by the band. You can get a standard black LP version or a limited edition deluxe farmhouse red vinyl LP version. The deluxe LPs are limited to 1,000 units and each includes a 7" with two additional songs and a 24" x 24" lyrics poster with all of the unique single cover art.
When we hit the road this summer we'll be supporting Native youth activists at Pine Ridge Reservation, seeking to reduce gun violence, creating a safer and greener tour, supporting mental health initiatives and more. But we need your help! We’re looking for fans who want to lead service projects and volunteer at our shows.
In the wake of the Parkland shooting, and the Students Stand Up and Never Again movements, we've released "Dear Congress, (17)." The song was born on our last tour, and it was written to raise awareness of these tragedies and urge reform. Text DISPATCH to 877-877 to demand lasting change from Congress.
Written from the perspective of someone who just buried their loved one, "Dear Congress, (17)" is the personal side of observing Washington throw empty condolences to grieving families while accepting NRA campaign money.
How is it possible our "elected" protect the gun lobby more than the human lives they represent? How many more people have to die? How many more kids’ lives have to be erased before we pay attention and make simple common sense changes to how we buy and use guns in our country?
Contact Your Rep Through Brady - You can reach out through the link provided to create a letter to your Congress members and ask them to expand background checks to all gun sales, ban assault weapons and large capacity magazines, and support state-level extreme risk laws.
Contact Your Rep Directly - All Congress members have contact information publicly available, and twitter handles are easy to come by. We encourage you to reach out directly or tweet at them, beyond the Brady Campaign form letter.
March for our Lives Sign Up - Sign up to receive more information as marches across the country, planned for March 24th, get organized over the coming weeks. Another tab on the site for "Sister Marches" will take you to a listing of Facebook events to RSVP and talk with other people in your community planning and looking to attend your local march.
Much like last summer, we’ll be hitting up a bunch of new cities on this tour. We’ll be playing some new songs that we haven’t tried live, as well as some songs that we recorded, but didn’t go on America, Location 12. We played some of them in Europe in 2016 and they'll be making their way back into the fold. Bringing back some old tunes too that haven’t seen the light in a while.
There will be a handful of special tour dates on this one...
Colorado Weekend - The weekend of June 15th-17th will be a special Dispatch Colorado Weekend, with two concerts. One in Vail on the 16th and one at Red Rocks the 17th.
Rebelution & Stephen Marley - on July 14th we'll be performing a unique show in Bangor, ME at Darling's Waterfront Pavillion with Rebelution and Stephen Marley.
Two Night Stands - There will be a few back-to-back shows this summer featuring different sets. First will be two shows in NYC's legendary Central Park at SummerStage on July 18th and 19th and two nights in Boston at Blue Hills Bank Pavilion to close out the tour.
Thanks always for making the drives and effort to come see us, and any live music for that matter.
In college, our friend Andrew Mudge made a black and white, 28 minute movie on 16 millimeter film about a can-collecting kid on the hunt for an illusive misprint of the soda pop Mello Yello. His name and the title of the film is Henry Hinkle. When we were trying to decide on a possible video direction for the song, I thought of this film I’d seen as a 17 year old. It was brought back from Colorado Springs by my best friend Weej’s older brother Andrew on VHS tape... I thought, it’s possible that this video we’re looking to create already exists within that short film.
I remember loving it, but after so many years, I didn’t know if my memory had made it better than it was. I emailed Andrew (now an established filmmaker). He loved the idea of editing the film down for a 5 minute long song, but he’d have to go up to Vermont to his parents’ farm to see if he still had a copy of the VHS lying around, or if he could find the actual film canisters. He also warned us and threw out the disclaimer that it was a long time ago. We persisted, and he found the tape and sent it to me and Brad in Ashland, Oregon, where we had the day off on our winter tour. Bradley and I were stunned by the raw beauty, the longing, the incredible script and performances of all involved - especially my old friend as a 19 year old behind the camera... and of course the painted yellow lines.
To watch the full film, please send an aluminum can tab along with a one-dollar bill and your return address to the below recipient:
The 20th Anniversary edition of 'Bang Bang' is now available over at dispatchmerch.com. We made a super limited quantity this time around, which includes a bootleg 7" containing original missing songs and a special 7" square flexi.