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We just heard some great news from Vic Bondi and J Robbins of Report Suspicious Activity: RSA will be playing some shows in November! They have confirmed shows in Baltimore and Chicago. They are working on a DC date as well. The Chicago show will be extra special, with Vic and members of Pegboy playing a short set of Articles of Faith songs. Don't forget to check out RSA's new album Destroy All Evidence, and visit the RSA MySpace page for their Palin anthem "Lipstick on a Pig" which is unavailable anywhere else.
Report Suspicious Activity
11/13/2008 Fletcher's Baltimore, MD
Don't call him a poseur! This sexy, green mohawk-sporting beast is a Mary River Turtle from Australia, an endangered species. If we didn't already have the AT Bat, we so would declare him the Alternative Tentacles mascot. More photos and an article at the Daily Mail site.
Our table will be next to 924 Gilman Street's again, so stop on by! We'll have a ton of old & new AT music & spoken word, not to mention some of our ace new dvds. Dolores Park is very close to 16th/Mission BART, so there's easy access from anywhere in the Bay Area.
Inspired by the McCain/Palin ticket, Report Suspicious Activity wrote "Lipstick on a Pig" and made a video to go with it. This song is so brand new that it isn't available on their latest album Destroy All Evidence (Virus 389). Peep the video below!
Lipstick on a Pig
"It's hard for me to stay silent when I keep hearing peace is only obtainable through war. There's nothing more scary than watching ignorance in action. So I dedicate this Emmy to all the people who feel compelled to speak out and not afraid to speak to power and won't shut up and refuse to be silenced."
--Tommy Smothers' Emmy acceptance speech
This Onion News Network piece seems mighty appropriate for us. But then again, we are still selling "Newt Hates Me" shirts so the anti-Bush/Cheney merch market won't collapse just yet? In any case, we still have our Cheney "Evil Dead" shirts and other Bush apparel like this and this.
The Star Fucking Hipsters have posted the following on the SFH myspace blog:
Sturgeon Arrested for Assault with Deadly Donut !
While many of you may have read about this online already - I'd say that most of you also did not get the full scoop on the importance as to why the protest even happened. Unfortunately, the simple story/headline you might get is that Sturgeon acted like an idiot & got arrested for satirically lobbing donuts in the direction of police officers. Clearly a popular immediate criticism of this action is a sarcastic "Great , that's really productive" or at least something along those lines. And ...that criticism is accurate to that extent when held upon those actions but that's not the whole story. Sturgeon may of had the spotlight on him as he was the entertainment/ 'the clown' - but the issue here is constitutional rights. His role was to draw attention to it. And you're reading this now - so there you go.
This is not simply an issue about an arguably politically juvenile punk band & their lyrics or their sound decibel debate -- this stretches past all that now. While it may not be directly related - it also gets tied up to the ongoing pattern of targeted harassment by members of the NYPD where they have been blatantly targeting Sturgeon and his bands (most recently being Star Fucking Hipsters this past May) where they have actually, on numerous occasions, threatened to close venues permanently if they let his band perform in the following days(as in pre-event). At a club in Greenpont - they promised that if the band was let to perform the next day - that they would find a code violation to shut down the venue. On top of that - during the incident last May - they flat out refused to give their badge numbers & took down the information of every kid that walked up to the venue. No matter what inane ramblings the man says - its punk to challenge authority (at least - the last time I checked) & its now an issue about the violations of free speech. Quoting an officer from the 9th precinct on the behavior of these Brooklyn Cops : " these people are no longer cops, they are criminals."
Now back to the issue as to why the protest ocurred as it did:
So maybe this was a coincidence & the rule just happened to start being put into effect during our 20th Anniversary Police Riot Anniversary gig - but since then - there has been zero enforcement on sound levels in the park for other events, including Street Life Ministries Christian Rock Concert, the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival, The Theatre for the New City play along with various other concerts, movies, etc. This pretty much displays a pattern of selective enforcement. By letting you gather, perform or rally - they are letting you keep your right to freedom of speech - but if they dont like what is being said - they can make that speech inaudible....and legally less audible than the traffic passing behind the event. Again, what is more important than a decibel debate for a targeted borderline juvenile punk band like Leftover Crack - this is a standard that can be forced upon ANY group protesting or rallying in the entire city of New York. To further this - they gave the permitted protest a decibel limit for amplified sound capping at 70 db at 50 ft (due to being in a residential zone).
The entire protest concert/ rally was really a big rouse to get the entire debate of sound levels into Federal Court (where the Judge stated that there is a strong merit to further a selective enforcement case). The reason this is all relevant is that there is NO law that restricts decibel limits to political rallies & any precident set would be historically significant. The police cling to article 10-108 , where it basically says they can come up with any number. But without standards & regulations .....there is no way to fairly monitor this as you have to read both ambient sound with the amplified sound. The crowd size, passing traffic, a plane flying overhead - these are all factors to take in.
The closest thing the NYPD 's legal team had to argue in court was a 45 db restriction of commercial music in bars from 15 ft outside the door or to street performers in time square. The threat of arguing to challenge the arbitrary numbers that they gave us was made more of a big deal with the promise of punk bands playing in residential streets instead of just the usual gang of local activists yelling at the wall. Instead of yelling at the wall, lets move the party, make our point and play some loud punk music to that wall. It's not going to fall but we do what we do to watch our watchmen and to keep them in place. In a neighborhood where 'punk' as a culture has been pushed out due to gentrification and rising rents (see: CBGB) - we need these places to to unify and for that culture to continue to thrive.
If they hold us strictly to these sound levels - they have to hold everyone accountable & piss everyone off - city wide. We ABSOLUTELY DO NOT WANT anyone else's party to get turned down but need to point out this incident to show that we cannot be pushed around. Just because we publicly called them out - they challenged the HOWL festival the very next day (where Star Fucking Hipsters were also scheduled to play) . This is surprising because not everyone is as easy to push around as the squatter/hippies/inane ramblers...other events, like these, have large corporate sponsorship back them. As there is no precise law, rule, or even a way to accurately measure outside political rallies, concerts, protests, or neighborhood block parties ESPECIALLY ones against the misuse of authority.....it should be brought up that as a biased party, the NYPD had to sign off on these sound permits, creating this arbitrary number with other officials. If threatening to bring the party & the political debate - along with the promise of punk music - isn't seen as challenging a 'sloppy law' then i dont know what to say. The donut flinging - i can't back - and neither can Sturgeon really , but there is an issue of greater importance. No matter how dumb that particular part of it may of been - the issue is free speech and the power for the authorities to selectively quiet any rally or protest they want and still let other corporate-backed events or block parties get away with significantly louder sound.
The HOWL Fest was able to get by at 75 dB at 150 feet, which is where ours was let to go. Their crowd at the mainstage was almost as big as the Leftover Crack crowd. Even though they let both of these events slide at this reading - they said they will continue to legally give events 70db at 100. These numbers are total bullshit & whats more important is that these levels are what they can now assign ANY protest, which is even more bullshit.
Decent coverage of this (why would you want to read any more at this point??) can be found at http://www.neithermorenorless.blogspot.com/
p.s. - www.myspace.com/thedonutsocial
Leftover Crack singer/guitarist Stza was arrested in New York at the Donut Social, an event marking the anniversary of the 1988 Tompkins Square Park Riot. Punknews has a news item with videos of Stza's performance (in the Star Fucking Hipsters) and his arrest. The Neither More or Less blog has a detailed post with photos from the event.
"Though May 1 became an important day for Socialists and Communists, state governments and less radical labor leaders feared that the date was too emotionally charged. In 1894, after President Grover Cleveland ordered the brutal suppression of the Pullman Strike, he realized that he had to do something to curry favor with the labor movement, which viewed him with contempt. Worried that a May 1 holiday would encourage rabble-rousing in commemoration of the Haymarket Riot, he followed the lead of several states and made the first Monday in September a federal holiday in honor of the workingman."
Deja vu, anyone? Wired's Listening Post blog reports:
"You can't call yourselves The Doors because you can't have The Doors without Jim Morrison," argued Densmore's attorney S. Jerome Mandel, summing up the legal conclusion of the disagreement that has torn the already fragmented legend into further shreds.
Nat Damm, poster designer and drummer extraordinaire of Akimbo, will be selling his posters at Flatstock during Bumbershoot. He will have silkscreened concert posters, including the Biafra Five-O poster he designed, pictured above. (Sorry, we can't ask Nat to reserve a poster for you...)
Here is Nat's press release with all the info about the event:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
I will will be participating (i.e. drinking beer and peddling my wares) in Flatstock 18 this year at Bumbershoot. From August 30th to September 1st, I will be selling silk screened concert posters, offset posters and other art prints. Flatstock is an international concert poster exhibition that is organized by The American Poster Institute which sounds fancier than it really is.
Some of the notable posters (going aaaaalllll the way back to 1999) that will be available are: Jello Biafra, Blue Scholars, Sheryl Crow, Stephen Malkmus, They Might Be Giants, Mates Of State, Danzig, Bloc Party, Tokyo Police Club, Les Savy Fav, The Fire Theft, Robyn Hitchcock, The Melvins, Pissed Jeans, The Paper Chase and tons more.
SATURDAY AUGUST 30TH, 2008 - MONDAY SEP 1ST, 2008 @ BUMBERSHOOT
* Saturday, 11:00 AM - 8:00 PM @ Pavilion
A wee bit about me......
Twenty Seven and a half year old, independent poster designer and musician, Nat Damm has been involved in the Northwest music scene since he was 14 years old. A Seattle native, he began designing posters at Ground Zero in Bellevue, Washington at the age of 16. Nominated in the Seattle Weekly's "Best of Seattle" for Seattle's best drummer, he has played drums in Akimbo, The Tight Bros From Way Back When, Automaton Adventure Series and numerous other projects. Under the name Damm Damm Damm Design, he has designed over 1300 posters, countless record covers, T-shirts and the like over the last 9 years. He has been commissioned by clubs and production companies all over the U.S. such as; The Vera Project, Graceland, Monqui, Thrasher, The Sit & Spin, Emo's, The Wonder Ballroom, The Seattle Theater Group, The EMP, The Crocodile Cafe, The Elysian Brewery, Hell's Kitchen, The Catwalk, The Paradox Theatre, The Showbox, R5Productions, El Corazon, The Doug Fir Lounge, The Breakroom, Chop Suey, Dantes, Smash Presents, The Avalon Theater, 007, Modified Arts and many others.
Check out Loto Ball Show's appearance on Chic-a-Go-Go. Loto Ball used to be in The Phantom Limbs from Oakland, CA, who released two amazing albums on Alternative Tentacles. The Loto Ball Show has a new album out, so if you were a Phantom Limbs fan, definitely check it out! (We also carry the Loto Ball Show EP in our mailorder.)