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Falling in Reverse’s Ronnie Radke: ‘FUCK @ArmoryMn in Minneapolis’

Plus Lindell's stolen election data is a Word doc, locking up merch is bad for shopping, and folks hustle to extend Camp Nenookaasi's eviction date in today's Flyover news roundup.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Why There Were No Merch Sales at The Armory on Saturday

In the age of low-ball streaming, merch sales can be major revenue generators for touring musicians. The music industry has noticed. These days, many contracts require acts to give a piece of that sweet, sweet T-shirt sales pie to venues; New York rocker Jeff Rosenstock recently inspired a reckoning over those commissions. Ronnie Radke, lead singer of metal band Falling in Reverse, also thinks merch cuts are bullshit. His band opted not to sell shirts during their 93X Nutcracker show at The Armory this past Saturday, and he took a moment during the concert to let fans know why. "We'd have to charge you guys way more just to make any money," said Radke, who, it should be noted, is an allegedly bad dude.

The drama continued the next day on Twitter. “Last night I told @armorymn to go fuck themselves on stage and if any of you bands play this venue I’d advise you do the same,” Radke said in a lengthy post. “The only way this bullshit is gonna change is if we as bands all stand together and fuck their bottom line up.” He said the terms of his band's contract would have required them to fork over 25% of sales to The Armory, which is independently owned by Twin Cities mega-developer Ned Abdul. Venues taking a cut of merch sales is standard practice these days; according to Chris Riemenschneider at the Strib, First Avenue venues generally take a percentage of sales while Live Nation opted not to collect merch money in 2023, but could return to the practice next year.

Lindell’s Data Challenge Winner: “I Realized What I Had Was a Word Document.”

Back in 2021, pillow magnate/Trump crusader Mike Lindell claimed he had irrefutable proof that China had hacked U.S. voting machines. So, during a symposium in South Dakota, he offered anyone who could disprove his data a $5 million reward through the "Prove Mike Wrong" challenge. Cyber forensics expert Bob Zeidman, who says he voted for Trump in 2020 but doesn’t like him now, took Lindell up on the offer. In this hilarious chat with Deena Winter at Minnesota Reformer, he details what he found (“It was just a Word document perfectly formatted with gibberish in it”), explains that Lindell’s staff doesn’t get tech (“Why are you hiding evidence with all kinds of fancy encryption?”), and believes he’ll never see his prize money (“I never really expected $5 million.”). Another funny takeaway: According to Zeidman, the guy who vets Lindell’s conspiracy theory data, Conan Hayes, is a former surf shop owner with no background in computer science.

Camp Nenookaasi Has an Eviction Notice for Thursday

Thanks to an online fundraiser, Camp Nenookaasi volunteers were able to purchase/build 15 yurts inside the Minneapolis homeless encampment this summer. These structures house 10-15 people each, and the wood-burning barrel stoves inside keep people warm. But that could all be gone soon. Cleanup crews have been authorized to clear Nenookaasi, which located on 23rd Street near 13th Avenue S., this coming Thursday. 

City officials cite safety concerns and support from two tribal organizations as reasons they are moving forward with eviction. Meanwhile, eight City Council members are trying to delay action until February 16. “It’s impossible to transition the remaining 180+ residents to a permanent home or long-term shelter in a week,” a statement warns. “It takes forever to get into housing,” camp organizer Christin Crabtree tells Katelyn Vue at the Sahan Journal. “That process is disrupted by the evictions that our government does.” 

Locking Items Up Discourages Shopping as Well as Shoplifting

Nothing says convenience and dignity like having to page a Target employee and ask them to unlock tampons/adult diapers/condoms/hemorrhoid cream kept behind plastic. And, in addition to inconvenience, those plexiglass cases could also have a greater impact on the store. “For consumers, [plexiglass barriers] are telling me this is not a safe place,” risk management expert Mike Olson tells Tina Nygen at Twin Cities Business. “Am I safe in the parking lot? Am I going to get carjacked? What about the adjacent stores or restaurants?” There’s data to back that up, too. A 2023 survey from the National Retail Federation found that locking up shops is basically a slippery slope to restricting store hours (45% polled reported doing so, too) as well as closing problematic locations (28%). It also doesn’t address some of the bigger issues under the inventory “shrinkage” umbrella, such as employee theft, e-tail fraud, and organized crime.

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