Scene, Heard

In the wake of September 11ís tragedy in Manhattan

"The Coup has always been very vocal about their anti-establishment views, and I support their music," says Isabella, who reminds that the image has appeared on the Web and in myriad music publications since June with nary a peep of protest. "This was merely symbolic of that. People see [the World Trade Center] obviously as a symbol of American imperialism, the financial dominance of America--everything. It really is that, and artists have used it in the past merely as a symbol, a physical symbol. It was never meant to be literal in any way. It's just an unfortunate timing."

Isabella first learned of the attack when two employees called her shortly afterward. They were panicked, wanting to know what they were to do about the Party Musiccover, which was to go to press that afternoon. Boots was out of the country, so she made the decision herself to yank it. She also yanked the image from the label's Web site, but the band's publicity firm, Manhattan-based Girlie Action, wasn't open Tuesday or Wednesday, and the cover was left on their site for anyone to copy and paste and pass around the Internet. By Tuesday's end, Isabella was inundated with hate mail.

"It was just way too available for a day and a half for people to pass around, and that's what I object to," she says. "If you hate it so much, why are you passing it around? Everybody just wants to stir the pot...They just are angry, and who can blame them for being angry? But they have to throw it on us, and there's no response we can give or nothing we can do."

Except pull the image, which we've included here. Not that we're trying to stir the pot.

--Additional reporting by Robert Wilonsky

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