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09/28/05: In Other Tentacles News...

After centuries of lore from salty, seafaring folk, scientists from Japan had the first ever face-to-face encounter with a giant squid in the Pacific Ocean. Read the full story and see the amazing photos of the 59-foot creature in action here.


09/08/05: Indie art/music Expo in Frisco!
This Saturday September 10th, it's time for the annual Expo for the Artist and Musician- year number SIX of this great event. Not only will familiar faces like Re/Search, KALX, KUSF, 924 Gilman, HEAR, Manic D Press, Cartoon Art Museum, Creative Commons all have tables (with 110+ others!), but there'll be workshops, live music, and even a free critique-your-demo event featuring local music critics! See you there!


09/03/05: AT Bat Logo alarms US State Department
Michael Knight, author of "Taqwacores" (a great novel about Muslim punks in Buffalo), was just targeted by the State Department because of his Alternative Tentacles work jacket!

Knight is reporting on the annual Islamic Society of North America convention (ISNA) in Chicago, IL for MuslimWakeUp, the progressive Muslim news site, right now. Today (9/2/05) he attended a press conference featuring Karen Hughes, close advisor to the President and Undersecretary of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs to report on it. During the Q&A, a policeman approached Michael and his 2 companions and asked them to come outside. Once outside, a special agent with a State Department i.d. asked them why they were at the press conference and searched them and their bags. After ISNA staffers vouched for them, they were allowed back into the press conference.

Later, ISNA staff apologized to Knight and his companions and said that "your friend (Knight) had that Alternative Tentacles jacket and we didn't understand it." That is why the convention staff called the police on Knight! Instead of asking him what A.T. was, they sicced the police on him. It's even weirder because Knight had press credentials issued by the ISNA itself!

It's funny now only because Knight was not spirited away by our government, which is a possibility that has become a reality for many US residents (mostly non-citizens) who are Muslims. Luckily, Knight was born and bred in the US, so he is a citizen and therefore less of a target than many others.


09/02/05: Donate to Hurricane victims now!
Donate to Direct Relief International to help the Hurricane Katrina victims. Use Charity Navigator to evaluate aid organizations.


09/01/05: Dash Rip Rock Flood Report
From Dash Rip Rock, who just released 'Recyclone' on A.T.

"We played the Rail Pub in Savannah Friday Aug. 26 and it was a Luau/Hurricane Katrina party. It was windy and spitting rain, the storm was a Category 2 and had just crossed Florida. We joked about Katrina and the Waves all night long and it was one of the best gigs we've played in years. Next morning Leon had a serious look on his face and was fuming about Katrina. She had turned Cat 5 and was heading up towards New Orleans. That evening's show with Drivin n' Cryin would have to be cancelled. If they left Savannah that minute they would barely have enough time to make it home, board up and evacuate.

We decide to cut and run and they began the 12-hour drive home. On my way back to Nashville, I started calling all my New Orleans friends to offer them a place to stay. People were starting to head out and the contraflow was in effect through Mississippi. "Contraflow" is when both sides of the interstate run in one direction. It was still a nightmare; drive times from East NO to Slidell were about 5 hours (it's usually 30 minutes). Those who waited to leave would have to sit in traffic for 10 to 12 hours, just to reach Meridian, MS or Houston, TX. It wasn't until Sunday morning that Mayor Nagin declared a mandatory evacuation.

To my current knowledge, all Dash Rip Rock members, former members and email-listers loaded up and got out. Most thought they would be able to return within a few days and only packed lightly. Leon and Brian weren't able to return our rental vehicle as all roads into the city were closed. They got in the back way finally and Leon collected his fishing boats and chained them to a fence by his parent's Lakeview house. He called and said his father wanted to ride it out and they may stay. Brian met up with his family and headed west.

On the day of the hurricane, it appeared that New Orleans was not badly hit. Gulfport, Bay St. Louis, Waveland and Biloxi had been raked much as it had been by Camille in 1969. Nothing was left standing near the beach. Calls started coming in Monday night and most felt they had dodged a bullet. Tuesday morning, Katrina was a tropical storm and passed through Nashville. It was still a terrific storm, knocking down trees and cutting power. Our power was off for 12 hours or so and we didn't get to watch TV. Later that afternoon, a friend's brother called and told us a levee had broke. It was the 17th St. canal levee, one that had been recently repaired or reconstructed. More than likely, it was a poor patch job and 300 ft. of the wall sank into the lake.

Leon finally called from Pensacola and said they'd escaped with all family, friends and pets. But his house, drums, bike and car in Lakeview were under 7 ft. of water. Former sound man Mike Mayeux's house in Violet is completely covered to the roof. Peter Holsapple's (dB's) house in Arabi is covered by 20 ft. of water. In the 9 th ward, water is coming in to the second story of most houses. Uptown landmarks fared better, Crepe Nanou is high and dry, Jimmy's and Carrollton Station had some water - but inches, not feet. Currently: Kyle and Andy are in Lake Charles with their families, Leon is in Pensacola with his parents and 99-yr. old Grandpere (who wanted to stay and ride out the storm!) and Brian just texted us saying he was camping near Mandeville and was out of food. We will more than likely be able to do all our scheduled gigs with borrowed equipment. Ironically, Fred and Cowboy Mouth are playing Nashville tonight with Better Than Ezra. More than likely I'll go out and see them for some distant commiseration.

We haven't heard from members of the Swingin' Haymakers - Dave Clements, Mike Rouillier and Joey Torres, so those are our main worries at the moment.

As of now, it will be 2 months before anyone is allowed back into the city. People are beginning to look for jobs and schools in the places they fled to, trying to make a living and return to some normalcy. Imagine being ripped from your house for 2 months! Everyone is having to buy new clothes and crash on friend's floors. The biggest favor those of us in TN, AR and TX could do for them is offering them a place to stay for a couple of weeks. Everyone is displaced and confused.

Of course, all this Dash news is a cakewalk compared to the horrors the poor of New Orleans face, those who didn't own a car or couldn't afford a ride out of town. They had no other choice but to stay. These are the people on the rooftops, in the dome, looting, and floating face down in the street. The city will rebuild, but never be the same. It's become a lawless island like that in Lord of the Flies. Jello compared this disaster to Pompeii, he wonders if New Orleans will ever be able to be a viable urban area again. It's obvious we will be experiencing effects from this flood for the rest of our lives."
- Bill/Dash Rip Rock, who now lives in Nashville, TN, although his bandmates still live(d) in Louisiana. [9-1-05, 2pm EST]


08/31/05: Dash Rip Rock on Hurricane Katrina
Positive (though not good) news from Lousiana madmen and AT band Dash Rip Rock, about the effects of this week's Hurricane Katrina:

"It is truly horrible - most of my friends and band people got out. we're trying to track down a few missing folks - it's very worrisome. It'll never be the same - the city [New Orleans] has been destoyed.
Thanks, Bill"

The American Red Cross is one of many organizations accepting donations to help the millions of victims of Hurricane Katrina. Donate on-line here or call 1-800-HELP-NOW.


08/19/05: Randy Biscuit/Big Boys dies at age 56
From The Austin Stateman:
'Beloved punk icon Randy "Biscuit" Turner was found dead in his home Thursday afternoon [August 18, 2005], the same day a feature story about him appeared in the The Austin Chronicle. Marc Savlov, a Chronicle reporter who wrote the cover story about Turner, told a group of neighbors who stood outside of Turner's South Austin home that he was the person who went to house, looked inside and called police. "I opened the door, and it was dead silent," he said, his hand shaking as he held his cell phone. He said he had just come from giving a statement to police.

Nationally, Turner was best known as the frontman for punk-funk pioneers the Big Boys. With the Big Boys, Turner subverted the rapidly entrenching dogmas of American hardcore punk in the late 1970s and early '80s with humor, eclectic songwriting and outrageous costumes. With guitarist Tim Kerr, bassist Chris Gates and drummer Rey Washam, the Big Boys, which lasted from 1978 to 1984, became known for explosive and funky live shows. They slowed down punk tempos to allow for syncopated rhythms and played with nonpunk bands such as the Washington, D.C., go-go act Trouble Funk. The Big Boys can be seen as a direct precursor to funky rock acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Fishbone. The band's encouragement of audience participation made them iconic punk rockers.

"It's hard to overstate how huge they were in Austin," Butthole Surfers drummer King Coffey said Thursday evening. "They weren't just a punk band. A really wide spectrum of people would check out the shows. It was due in a large part to Biscuit. Everyone in the crowd would be dancing and having so much fun, and Biscuit was like the ringleader of this band that would sometimes have a full horn section on stage. The band's motto was 'fun, fun, fun,' and that was Biscuit to a T. People like Biscuit created an amazing community here. The Big Boys were the heart and soul of it, and he was the heart and soul of the Big Boys. He meant so much to the music scene here in Texas and to punks throughout the U.S."'

The initial medical result are that Randy died due to "gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to cirrhosis associated with chronic [alcohol] abuse" Welly of Four Letter Word, who toured the UK with Randy's latest band in 2004, posted the following on punknews.org:
"[Randy's death] would NOT be due to alcohol abuse as Biscuit didn't drink. The cirrhosis could've been caused by the fact he was a carrier of Hepatitis, which long-term can have the same effect on the liver and kidneys, as well as jaundice, coma and death. Biscuit also had diabetes. I wanted to point this out before people start assuming that he was some kind of alcoholic. He was also about 56 and had these conditions long-term."

Randy Biscuit had been touring and creating art through the present, and an art exhibition of new work at Austin's Pedazo Chunk is scheduled for Friday 8/19/05. This art opening is also now a wake for Randy.


08/16/05: Steve Chinn recovering from Aneurysm
Steve Chinn, long-time east bay band member (SOSA, Boom and the Legion of Doom, Fang) and recent AT t-shirt screener, is in the hospital recovering from a cerebral aneurysm. You can keep up to date on his progress here. We all hope he recovers fully and quickly.

You can make a donation towards his medical costs here.


07/26/05: KDHX 88.1 FM St. Louis hosts a show dedicated to Alternative Tetnacles
"When the Levee Breaks" hosted by BobEE Sweet on KDHX 88.1 FM in St. Louis, MO will air a two hour show dedicated to AT on Wednesday, 7/27 between 2-4pm central time. Tune in over the Internet here.


07/05/05: AT joins the My Space Masses!
It's finally happened. Alternative Tentacles has jumped on the My Space bandwagon! Stop on by, check out some free AT tunes, drop us a line, and/or just bask in the on-line glow of the Bat!

Heck, we promise we won't take any off-balance shots of ourselves in the bathroom mirror!


07/04/05: US Military = Big Brother (again!)
From our friends at Military Free Zone comes this July 4th news:

"Over the last month, military recruiters have changed their strategies several times and even created a database that further erodes privacy rights in America. Recruiters will now be able to target students by income and even by ethnic background! Keep reading - we are not making this stuff up....

Army recruiters have fallen short of their goal for the 5th month straight (lowered their goals to change perception!) learn more here!

Parents are mobilizing and taking action! - Read this news story of a mom miffed that military recruiters can talk to her 16 year old daughter but police can not under current government rules. Learn about the military's plan to get your information one way or another!!!

On June 23rd The Washington Post reported "The Defense Department working with a private marketing firm to create a database of all U.S. college students and high school students between 16 and 18 years old, to help the military identify potential recruits in a time of dwindling enlistment in some branches... The article continued " The program is provoking concern among privacy advocates. The new database will include birth dates, Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, grade point averages, ethnicity, and what subjects the students are studying." Read the article for free at the Philadelphia Inquirer .

Newspapers all over the country have reported on how bad this database is to America's civil liberties and even further erodes our Constitutionally protected rights!  A Florida newspaper writes: "The database likely violates the Privacy Act, which limits how much information the government can collect on its citizens...By outsourcing, the DOD is making an end run around those restrictions, a chilling precedent that opens the door for further unwarranted intrusion into the lives of private citizens."

Even the conservative Cato institute worries about our privacies being stripped through government created databases and even wrote in 2003, "If government is hell-bent on assembling and mining massive databases of our credit card purchases, car rentals, library books, airline ticket purchases, and so on, then banks, airlines, hotels, Internet service providers, and other private businesses we deal with have no choice but to routinely transfer our private information to the government against our wishes. They cannot promise to safeguard our privacy as they otherwise could." read this article for more info."


06/28/05: Minor Threat 1, Nike 0
Yesterday evening Nike released the following letter. Of course, if people didn't raise a ruckus this apology would've never have happened and the Nike corporation would've happily appropriated even more of the underground than it already has. Good work to everyone who responded, keep up the pressure until they start paying living wages to overseas workers and stop exploiting low cost labor in sweatshops and maquiladoras.

"June 27, 2005
To Minor Threat, Dischord Records and fans of both
Re: Major Threat East Coast Tour Poster
Nike Skateboarding sincerely apologizes for the creation of a tour poster inspired by Minor Threat's album cover. Despite rumors being circulated, Wieden & Kennedy and Odopod had nothing to do with the creation of this tour poster and should not be held accountable. To set the record straight, Nike Skateboarding's "Major Threat" Tour poster was designed, executed and promoted by skateboarders, for skateboarders. All of the Nike employees responsible for the creation of the tour flyer are fans of both Minor Threat and Dischord records and have nothing but respect for both.

Minor Threat's music and iconographic album cover have been an inspiration to countless skateboarders since the album came out in 1984. And for the members of the Nike Skateboarding staff, this is no different. Because of the album's strong imagery and because our East Coast tour ends in Washington DC, we felt that it was a perfect fit. This was a poor judgment call and should not have been executed without consulting Minor Threat and Dischord Records.

We apologize for any problems this may have caused, and want to make very clear that we have no relationship with the members of Minor Threat, Dischord Records and they have not endorsed our products.

Every effort has been made to remove and dispose of all flyers (both print and digital). Again, Nike Skateboarding sincerely apologizes to Minor Threat and Dischord Records.

Sincerely,
Nike Skateboarding"


06/27/05: Nike rips off Dischord and Minor Threat
Updated 6/27/05: Nike, the huge sneaker corporation that's infamous for both its dominance of the international sneaker market and for its habitual use of sweatshop labor, is using slightly altered images of 80's hardcore pioneers Minor Threat to sell skateboard shoes. The original ad for the skateboard events has been removed from Nike's site, but you see the images in this article in Transworld Skateboarding.

Here's what our friends at Dischord Records have to say about it:
"Many people have noticed that Nike has appropriated the Minor Threat artwork and logo for a new skateboard demo / ad campaign. To set the record straight -- Nike never contacted Dischord nor Minor Threat to obtain permission to use this imagery, nor was any permission granted. Simply put, Nike stole it and we're not happy about it. We are not yet sure what actions, if any, we can take to stop this campaign but in the meantime if you would like to direct your thoughts to Nike, that may be a good place to start.

Thanks to the many people who have written to Dischord express their outrage and support."

It's unclear whether Nike's use of the Minor Threat logo, Flex Your Head logo, and record cover constitute enough fair use to trigger First Amendment protections or if it is solely commercial speech and therefore regulated in other ways.

Regardless, please contact Nike via phone/mail or e-mail and let them know what you think about this latest corporate commodification of underground, anti-corporate culture.


06/16/05: The Sermon return BBQ Style!
In the tradition of great backyard parties everywhere, The Sermon return this Sunday afternoon in San Francisco! It's at The Attck, 24th and Mission, 3:00pm DJ Balls, 4:00pm The Sermon. Free, BBQ optional.

Let us pray!


06/11/05: Tribe 8 to Shock the Michigan's Womyn's Fest for the last time!?
That's right, Alternative Tentacles homocore superstars, Tribe 8, are continuing their series of farewell shows by rocking and shocking the Michigan Womyn's Festival one last year!

They're playing the Day Stage August 19th, during the 30th Anniversary Michigan Womyn's Festival outside of Grand Rapids, MI. In 1994, Tribe 8 first played the Michigan Fest, jumpstarting first ever mosh pit at the Fest and bringing fresh music and attitude to the venerable feminist gathering. This year, they'll be joined by fellow musical renegades Le Tigre, The Butchies, and Sistas In The Pit, as well as the more usual artists like Holly Near and the Indigo Girls. You can find out more information and purchase Fest Tickets here!


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