As a companion to my list of Collaborators and Influencers, here's a list of bands, brands, businesses, and other artists that I've worked with or for that I recommend people in my network stay away from - for various reasons that will be stated with each blacklist instance.
This is my form of activism - word of mouth criticism to make a statement against individuals and corporations that run afoul of me individually or humanity in general. It does pain me to run a list of this nature, but ethical, reasonable, and humane treatment of people seems to be lacking these days, and I won't let certain shit stand.
I know this ultimately affects the great people that work at this businesses, even some of my former colleagues. Know that this has nothing to do with individual employees, but actions - either strategic or accidental - by a brand or business.
Please do not patronize brands, bands, businesses, or artists that are on this list. If you want more information or have an issue or complaint, email me at email@example.com.
Stay away from these bad actors if at all possible.
I worked for Deluxe from 2021 until 2023 and was laid off unceremoniously as the company "rightsized" (eg. sheds staff so the company meets their commitment to stockholders by downsizing the company, rather than growing and expanding). Since physical checks became passé, the company has tried to refashion itself as a business that helps businesses "pay and get paid". In some respects, they're doing great; in many others, they're a failure. In my case, I wasted two years of my professional life with them with little to show for it but a difficult time finding a new job. So, yeah, I'm bitter, but there are other companies that do what they do better. And I did my best to help them be their best with all of the talent that I have.
In 2022 I started collecting vinyl records. One record at the top of my collection list was Poe "Haunted" (2001). It is one of my favorite albums and was considered a must-have. Unfortunately, the minimum cost for the record over Discogs was at least $150. I even looked at Ebay for options. Then, in October 2022, Merchbar made the album available for pre-order with December 2022 delivery. The album was not delivered in December, and they continued to push the delivery date - blaming the supplier for issues with availability. Merchbar was willing to cancel my order, but was unwilling to figure out with the vendor when this product would be delivered to people that pre-ordered. Fast forward to October 2023: Tower Records made the same record available without pre-order. I immediately canceled my order with Merchbar, and received the album a couple of weeks after my order. Merchbar sat on my pre-order for a full year without any help or real timelines. I don't trust them as a vinyl vendor, will never order from them again.