04/30/07: More Taqwacore news!
From the Guardian UK, an article/interview about Muslim punk rock connected to Michael Knight's book The Taqwacores. This excerpt begins with a couple of questions put to Sabina England, Muslim-American playwright.
"What does taqwacore mean to you?
"It means being true to myself, having my own faith, and interpreting Islam the way I want to, without feeling guilty or being looked down at by other Muslims."
What is the future for taqwacore?
"It's gonna get bigger. A lot of Muslim kids are tired of being told what to do, how to think, what to believe in, and how to act, by their parents. There are 'the angry muslim kids' who wanna grow beards and pray five times a day, and then there are the OTHER 'angry Muslim kids' who wanna get drunk and say a huge big 'fuck you' to the Muslim population. Or maybe they just don't care and wanna sit at home and not think about Osama's video speeches about how America is the Great Satan."
How her words would fare with Michael Muhammad Knight, author of The Taqwacores and an unwitting idol to the young and restless, is anyone's guess. Knight, who is 29 and lives in New York with his dog Sunny - "not as in Sunni Muslim" - downplays his achievement of single-handedly inspiring this subculture that has produced artists such as the Kominas, Secret Trial Five, Vote Hezbollah, Al-Thawra, 8-Bit and Diacritical.
"There was a scene already," says Knight modestly, whose next novel will be titled Osama Van Halen. "I just gave it a name. There were kids out there, doing their thing. I don't think of it as a movement, though, just a group of friends supporting each other."
Knight wrote the book to deal with his own issues. He converted to Islam as a teenager and admits he "burned out" from being so religious. "I was so intense. I felt Islam was so black and white and there were no grey areas. These Muslim kids, who are punks, they are in these grey areas." The kids he refers to have all devoured Knight's work, some taking it literally.
"One kid," he says, "thought the book was non-fiction and thought that stuff in the book actually happened. He got in touch. He said if it wasn't real, that he would make it real." He sounds worried by the suggestion that his book will be a manifesto for Muslim punks. "If the scene develops, I don't want it to be based on my book."
The words stable, door, horse and bolt spring to mind. Some Muslims are deeming his book to be nothing short of a revelation. "When I read The Taqwacores," says Basim Usmani, frontman of The Kominas, "all my reservations about Islam melted away."...
04/27/07: Euro Bike against the G8 now!
From the Dissent G8 group: The 3rd protest bicycle caravan starts today in Gent/Belgium!
With the slogan "wheels for change- ensure capitalism becomes history" the western bycicle caravan starts as the third of the 5 caravans agasist the g8-summit in Heiligendamm/Germany today its actions with a critical
mass through Gent, Belgium. "We count on starting with around 20 people, but we expect that much more people will join!" Sida Singer said "Together we want to set a signal
against neoliberalism, exploitation, racism, pollution and everybody who shares our ideas is welcome. We want to raise awareness among the people and let them dream about a livable future for every human in this world, and
this is worth fighting for."
During their planned tour of around 1300 kilometers the activists will take part in bicycle demonstrations
("critical masses"), theatres, and other political actions.
On the route through cities like Antwerpen, Nijmegen, Gronau/Ahaus, Muenster, Hamburg and Gorleben they will deal with subjects related to the upcoming
G8 meeting. These are for instance the racist migration politics of Fortress Europe, genetic manipulation and exploitation of the earth, and the involvement of the G8 in wars all over the world, including in Afghanistan & Iraq.
The events and actions are prepared by supporters hosting the caravan at different stations."We want to use our time together for exchange and to build networks with various local groups from different backgrounds" Paula Farin explains. The cyclists do not want to take part in the whole neoliberal circus and the division of people along racist and economic criteria. They consider the caravan as a place for experiments where they can realize their ideas and
ideals (even if only temporarily). The aim is to create a non-hierarchical structure during the ride, allowing people to learn and act in a self-organized manner. The caravan wants to make it possible for all people to participate, regardless of money, bicycle, physical condition or papers.
Bicycle Caravan Info-Office Rostock, Knut Rassmussenstr. 8, 18106 Rostock,
More info here, here, and here!
04/25/07: Ward Churchill in the 51st State
From Punk News:
"Controversial professor and spoken word artist Ward Churchill has booked a speaking engagement in Winnipeg this weekend.
Churchill was pulled into the national spotlight after an essay he published following the World Trade Center attacks, where he referred to the victims as "technocrats" and "little Eichmanns." As a result of these comments, and a campaign by right-wing pundit Bill O'Reilly, Churchill was threatened and his career put in jeopardy.
He had originally been scheduled to appear at the University of Winnipeg, but his appearance was canceled. G7 has asked Churchill to deliver the keynote address at the Fort Garry Lectures in History V, Annual Graduate Student Conference on Friday, April 27th (admission is free). His presentation is entitled Kill the Indian, Save the Man: U.S. and Canadian Residential Schools in Context. The event will take place at Rudolph Rocker Cultural Centre at 91 Albert St."
04/19/07: Dave now a MRR Shitworker!
That's right, the stories of Maximumrocknroll and Alternative Tentacles continue to be intertwined as the latest issue of MRR (#288, May 2007) features the debut of the "Don't Try" column, written by AT General Manager Dave! Other AT/MRR folks include Mail Male Jesse Luscious (current MRR book reviewer) and Jello Biafra (early MRR Radio guest), as well as a host of other Bat-folks over the years.
04/17/07: Part 2 of Chomsky & Zinn on Democracy Now!
On today's episode of Democracy Now, you can hear Amy Goodman continue her conversation with Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. Here's Noam Chomsky talking about Alan Dershowitz attacks on author & AT spoken word artist Norman Finkelstein, and here's Howard Zinn & Noam Chomsky talking about Henry David Thoreau and Zinn's personal history of protest. Both links contain audio, video, and written transcripts of the interviews, so dig in!
04/16/07: Chomsky & Zinn on Democracy Now!
A two-part interview with Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky, moderated by Amy Goodman, is airing today and tomorrow on Democracy Now. You can read the transcript, see the video, and/or hear the audio for Part 1 here. Dig in!
04/09/07: Breedlove's "Godspeed" this Wednesday!
From Lynnee Breedlove/Tribe 8 & her film crew:
"We're kicking off our final fundraising push to complete GODSPEED at the opening night of the San Francisco Women's Film Festival. The SFWFF starts at 7 p.m. at 12 Galaxies, 2565 Mission (at 22nd St.), S.F. Admission is $10."
Local alt.weekly S.F. Weekly says:
"It's not that Guinevere Turner, famous actor and writer, is less than amazing. The star and co-writer of mid-1990s lesbian classic Go Fish is indeed awesome -- she's co-written hella major, good movies including American Psycho and The Notorious Bettie Page -- and yes, yes, she's gorgeous. It's just that (imagine yelling) a clip from Lynn Breedlove's Godspeed is showing at the San Francisco Women's Film Festival! This is huge! (End yelling.) So while Turner is great, local-feminist-punk-rocker-turned-novelist-turned-filmmaker remains our festival favorite. See, several years ago, the former frontwoman of all-girl punk band Tribe 8 wrote a novel about a butch speed-freak bike messenger, and depending on which review you look at, the book either makes you really want to try drugs, or never want to try drugs -- it's agreed that the writing is extremely powerful. The film version of this fine local product stars Breedlove herself and has a tease-premiere at today's opening-night
party, which also features an appearance by Turner and two short films she directed, Hung and Hummer.
The screenings and events also include an evening of children's animation by women, a Q&A with superstar Hollywood director Penelope Spheeris (who's trying to make a Janis Joplin biopic), and a documentary and activism panel."
04/02/07: Pansy Division Lives!
2 great pieces of Pansy Division news!
First, Pansy Division is playing with The Avengers (yes, THAT Avengers!) and Southern Girls (featuring ex-PD guitar hero Patrick), for the first time in more than a year! It's all happening Saturday April 21st at the Cafe Du Nord in San Francisco. It's 21+ and not wheelchair accessible, unfortunately, but you can get tickets at the Cafe Du Nord website.
2. Pansy Division is going into the studio to lay down a few new tunes! It's unclear where these will eventually end up, but rest assured they'll be rockin' a few of them @ the 4/21 show in Frisco.
03/26/07: Akimbo stomps all @ SXSW!
Check out a free live video of AT faves Akimbo at the recent SXSW festival in Austin Texas! Scroll to the bottom of this SXSW Live Page!
03/24/07: Leftover Crack interview on WRPI 91.5FM Troy, NY
WRPI 91.5FM in Troy, NY will air an interview with Leftover Crack between 10pm-12am EDT on the Prolefeed show. You can listen to it online at http://www.wrpi.org (click on Real Audio at the top). The uncensored version will be posted at http://prolefeed-wrpi.blogspot.com.
03/23/07: Taqwacores goes International!
One of our favorite selections of "Punks In Print," The Taqwacores, has just been published in the UK. We've carried it since the days that author Knight was printing copies of it at a copy shop. Here's an in-depth article about it from a mail order customer who helped get it published in the Guardian UK!
03/19/07: Christian Parenti on Oil & Iraq in The Nation
Journalist and author Christian Parenti (son of author/professor Michael Parenti) has just published a fascinating, in-depth look at the US's intentions for Iraq's oil industry in the March 19th issue of The Nation called Who Will Get The Oil?
It begins: "Iraq's postwar oil bonanza remains a mirage. The country has the second- or third-largest reserves in the world, making petroleum the heart and vast bulk of its economy. Thus in March 2003 did Paul Wolfowitz assure Congress that Iraq would "finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon." American planners predicted that Iraq's oil production would triple to a feverish 6 million barrels per day by 2010.
Instead war, corruption, sectarian slaughter and a massive crime wave have reduced the country's once mighty petroleum sector to an industrial zombie: still ambulatory, functional but essentially dead."
You will have to sign into the Nation's site or pick up a newstand copy to read the rest. It's well worth it!
03/15/07: Help fund Breedlove's "Godspeed"!
Lynnee Breedlove, leader of everyone's favorite all-dyke punk band Tribe 8, is wrapping up production of the movie of his novel, Godspeed. It's slightly autobiographical and a whole lot of fun! Music by Katastrophe, The Gossip, Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, Lunachicks, Scream Club, All The Pretty Horses, The Beastie Boys, Minor Threat, Black Flag, Blatz, and Joan Jett and more. Jesse Luscious, your AT Mail Male, performs Blatz "Fuk Shit Up" with local all-female band Fabulous Disaster, while Ad Roc of the Beastie Boys acts alongside Lynnee Breedlove and his gang of kick-ass actors! (the use of "his" is intentional, check out this page for details)
Lynnee Breedlove needs your help to put this bundle of insanity out into the world. Please donate and get cool thank you gifts! It's like giving to community/college radio, except you may get a bag of sex toys instead of some stupid coffee mug!
Tribe 8 music on AT? Of course- surf on over to here, here, here,
and here, and don't forget about the great Tribe 8 documentary!
03/05/07: Robert Fisk's extended Democracy Now interview!
You can hear an extended interview with award-winning British journalist Robert Fisk (we co-released his War, Journalism, and the Middle East cd a few months ago) on today's edition of Democracy Now. There are transcripts as well as video and audio version of the show on that page.
03/01/07: NYPD cancel 2 LOC shows ahead of time?!
Punk News reports that 2 of Leftover Crack's shows on their current tour were canceled after police officers showed up at their Brooklyn show forbidding the band to play and threatening to shut the club down for "code violations."
The band was scheduled to play a benefit for environmental and animal rights activist Daniel Mcgowen this Thursday and with Citizen Fish and Witch Hunt this Saturday. The band is promising to find a new venue for the Saturday show, and that information is expected soon.
From Leftover Crack's Myspace page:
"The NYPD & LOC. To protect & serve the censorship of punk rock.
Heads up. Apparently the NYPD cheif of police & the working stiff racist self-serving pigs of this corrupt murdering plunger-raping poice department have decided that if Leftover Crack is allowed to practice free-speech in the city of New york, they will threaten to shut down the venues that harbor our concerts. We only speak & sing about killing cops. This does not cotton to the "freedom" espoused by these pigs as the american way of life they claim to defend. Have you seen the billboards reading "support our troops at home and abroad" with a photo of a menacing army fatigue wearing baby-killer as well as one of our very own home-town pigs. What this billboard implies is that besides our "enemies" overseas, there is a war against the citizens of this country & the troops are the police that your tax-paying dollar supports. these blue-uniformed soldiers are our enemies & one day you will call them to report your neighbors loud music playing and the next day they will kick in your front door under the usual false pretenses. And when you have a bullet in your head because you were reaching for your standard identification card you'll be lucky if these fuckers even apologize to your loved ones. because after all, they were only following their standard procedures of shoot first ask the dead body questions later.
So, earlier today, when the NYPD showed up to club Europa with pictures of myself and my band members threatening to close down the club if we were allowed to perform our two scheduled shows, I think they might of scared the shit out of the club owner. Needless to say, at this point in time, none of the members of Leftover Crack happen to be wanted under any criminal charges or out-standing warrants, but under a facist government such tactics are fairly common when the the state feels threatened by artistic expression. I have not heard of this occuring in NYC before, but when the police feel like flexing some non-legal muscle, being above the law, they tend to do what they want.
And so we are scrambling for alternate venues for the two shows we have booked in brooklyn. If we find a place, we plan on honoring all of the pre-sold tix as well as accomidating those folks that wanna pay at the door. All I can say is please stay tuned to this myspace page as we will update it as soon and as often as neccesary to get this situation resolved and hopefully we will still get to play these two shows for you as well as and especially to make some money for the legal defense of our comrade Daniel McGowan.
Fuck the NYPD and their illegal intimidation tactics, if anything this will only serve to strengthen our resolve and our reasoning as to why we believe these foul pigs need to be put in check. Hopefully someday the winds of change will blow some sense into the people of this country and they will realize that our most immediate enemy is the officer that pretends to serve & protect you when they are in fact here as an occupying force in the charge of the rich & powerfull. Inseaed of sucking down the everyday lies of the government controlled media & the fast-food poison shoved down your ignorant throats, you can open up your fucking eyes to this "brave new world" of your sycophantic control. We're on the front-lines & the enemy is one-time.
Kill Cops, Save freedom, stizzzls"
Check out the brand new Leftover Crack/Citizen Fish split on AT/Fat.