Sunday, September 30, 2007

TIMES-UP 20th (team spider/ japanther)

last night an amazing night,
(featuring TEAM SPIDER and our pals JAPANTHER).

this was a special night in many ways because we got to honor the amazing organization Time's-up, and finally rock a gig with one of our favorite bands: JAPANTHER.

first off, why japanther rules, because they are a minimalist 2-piece, that seems equally influenced by punk rock as fine art. oh,,, and crime.

their microphones are clipped payphone receivers, their riffs, sometimes stolen Iron Maiden bass lines & massacred Misfit tunes, and a sound theat seems lifted from 80's high school movies! It's so rockin' that John Hughes wishes he could go back and rescore all his films with a Japanther soundtrax. All the while they are playin' along with mangled cassettes that contain samples, and extra drum lines in case IAN's manic playin isn't enough for your ADD'd self. In other words... they could be my favorite band ever, but it's over before i can ever decide!

So, the night started biking over to the gig pullin all our merch in an old lady cart behind my bike. Just tied w/ rope to the little rack on my beater, it really works amazingly well. The old lady cart even pivots so nicely at turns, you can often forget your pulling 50 pounds o merch, samplers, lights, and banners behind you. i reccommend the old lady trailer over a cab anyday.

All the TEAM arrived by bike, even violinist BIG BENN who has been very busy on his disertation, but made time! Who can say no to the non-profit organization that helped both XRIS, BENN and so many other cyclists stand up for their rights after being cycling and harrassed by the city and the NYPD.

The TEAM were kept on a tight schedule by volunteer LINCOLN, who had the unthankful position of drill sargeant/ stage manager. I was worried about he and i having a major conflict when the T.S. was given what i considered a short ( 1/2 hr set ) with a fairly inflexible start time...
Whenever T.S. plays the last friday of a month, i insist we dont start playin' unil Critical Mass riders have had their fill of riding and start arriving at the party/gig. For better or worse, the participants in the beaten and bruised ride kept it short in order to spend more time partying and less time battling facism. Tenaciously proving that harrassment and persecution is not going to kill the spirit of riding en masse with your friends, yet still having time to party afterwards! Talk about multi-tasking.

The night was rockin', as we played w/ samples of the now infamous NYPD loudspeaker announcements ( "It is dangerous, and illegal to ride a bicycle, if a permit has not been issued..." ), the team also resusitated the "SMOLKA POLKA", not heard since the FREEWHEELS Revolocity party ( MAY? 06) featuring our good pal and auxilliary spider BEN ICKIES ! Mr Ickies is a great according player who touches the core of partial Pollocks DAYV "Satkowski" Spider, and $ammy "Palubniac" Spider. Also making an appearance during that tune was racing champ / spin class master KYM, who danced sang, and helped demostrate the SMOLKA POLKA's many dance steps ( pulling girl's hoods over their heads and cuffing them. etc )

So, a good LOUD time, with our old buddy Seam Kershaw from BLIND PHAROAHS rockin the PA / Soundsystem. Somehow we supposedly ended up trashing a drum stool that co$t us a hundred bux. oh well, no one said helping non-profit was cheap!

XRIS ts.hq

ps. Times-up will soon findthemselves homeless... can you offer any assistance getting a new space? visit ;)
times square photo: tomas melchor


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Cops Tazer.. the Blind Defend

Why do people jump to justify the police and their actions… it’s like a smoking habit, both cancer causing and uncontrolable…

Is the blind defense of power abusing scum any worse than racism, lumping a group together and treating all the same based upon their skin / uniform color. Why can’t we be angry at how these kids were treated? Why should we look for ways in which they, the victims, were in the wrong?


Against my better judgement I have found myself reading some of the ‘youtube comments‘related to these videos, they seem to be full of people always looking to point out that “Yeah… who you gonna call to save your life after a crackhead stabs you 10 times?!,”
as if pulling a cat out of a tree justifies treating innocents ( or guilty people for that matter), like human garbage…
abusing power, threatening to ruin people, beat people, take their vehicle or even worse… tasering people without warning… Why? for asking a question!

It reminds me of society’s tendency to blame the rape victim.. “What was she wearing..” “ oh she was asking for it..” “what was she doing out all alone.. etc.. that is why I am surprised when I have Women say things to me such us, “They could have left peacefully” “He was baiting the cop” “Why does an innocent man have a camera running in his car?”


I pointed out to some people that when the police pull you over in NYC for bicycling w/out a bell etc. they are usually looking to run your license for outstanding warrants.
“Why would you or your friends have outstanding warrants?” I am accusingly asked…
“Because of the previous time/times we were pulled over, harassed, & not even given tickets, but given court appearance dates, and my friends don’t carry blackberries, stay in towns for too long, have jobs that require you to be in the same office for 40 years etc… We do not fit into a selected mold… and we are not good at keeping up with the state, and their constantly changing court dates”
“well, if you are an adult, you can make your court date.”

I’d rather talk existentially about what patterns of behave cause people to think, type, and defend points like that rather than discuss the cases of specific people harassed by police, but some people seem to enjoy conflict more than discussion. Maybe it’s comfort. Maybe conflict is comfort in their minds. I prefer logic.

The truths, myths, and realities struggling to survive in these people’s minds seem to completely overshadow the fact that there should be no court dates, no tasering, threats to civilians in the first place. The state and their actions do not determine how adult I am.
I define myself…*

*and yeah, who wants to grow up?

Ps. I heard the parking lot cop was fired,,, thank you video justice!

come to this party and rock out w/ times-up! the people who NYPD sued for "promoting" critical mass, they been helping build community for 20 years,.,, and it's time to party!