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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.

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!

06/09/05: American Idol apologizes for using DK song!
This just in- the music supervisor from American Idol has apologized for the show using the Dead Kennedys version of "Viva Las Vegas" in an American Idol episode a few months ago. Many loyal AT fans sent us word of this happening, and thanks to a couple of alert folks we were able to get copies of the broadcast to prove that they had broadcast the band's version of the song. (The television show had asked the band, including Jello, if they could use the song for a hefty sum of $, but were turned down by all of the members of the band)

From: "Susan Slamer"
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 6:29 PM
Subject: Apology from American Idol

I wish to express our sincere apology to the Dead Kennedys' and their fans for the inadvertent use of their version of the song "Viva Las Vegas" in American Idol, Season IV.

Susan Slamer
Music Supervisor,
American Idol Productions, Inc.

06/07/05: Wesley Willis Art Retrospective/Concert in Belgium
From June 17th to September 17th, Mad Musee in Liege, Belgium is hosting a retrospective exhibition of the art of Wesley Willis!

There will be drawings, photographs, and films. The films and photos will cover Wesley's music as well as his visual art. The idea is to show many of Wesley's creations.

June 17th will be the opening of the exhibition as well as a Tribute concert with some 15 bands that will cover Wesley's songs. More information available on the Mad Musee website.

06/05/05: The new PMRC = PTC!
That's right, the descendant of Tipper Gore's Parent's Music Research Council (PMRC) is the Parent's Television Council (PTC), right down to the "liberal" figurehead of Executive Director Tim Winter, self-described "liberal" (6/1/05 interview on "Fresh Air" NPR).

More subtle than previous censorship efforts, the PTC calls for economic boycotts- er, scheduling restrictions, extending the FCC to cover basic cable- instead of basic government censorship. The PTC still relies on false information that blames teen sex and violence on television, not on biology. It refuses to call on parents to protect their own children, instead of demanding that adults sacrifice their artistic choices.

Please check out their website and tell 'em what you think about the censorious underpinnings of their initiatives! Their 800 number is 800-882-6868 feel free to call them on their dime.

06/02/05: Green Anarchy benefit led by ex-AT M-dawg!
There's a benefit for Green Anarchy Magazine Saturday, June 4th, featuring Myth Of Progress (with Michelle former AT Queen of Publicity), Doppleganger, Raum, and more exciting bands t.b.a.!

There will be a potluck at 4pm, followed by bands from 6-9pm, and a movie at 10pm. It all happens at Station 40, 3030 B 16th Street (@ Mission), San Francisco. $5 all ages!

06/02/05: The Sermon returns to the stage and the studio!
Alternative Tentacles recording artists, The Sermon, are back in action! After months of blistering rehearsals, founding members Matt Gabriel (guitar) and Mike Gabriel (vox and theremin), are joined by new members Greg Daniels (bass) and Dave Leonard (drums). Sacrificing none of the high-energy, over-amplified rock and roll dynamics of prior incarnations, the band has been sharpening its songwriting skills, fusing late ‘60s garage-punk with hard-hitting rhythm and blues.

The result is 6 new ferocious songs, charged with overdrive and distortion, that have snaked and swaggered directly from the black heart of rock and roll. Recording sessions at Studio 880 (Oakland) with Marco Martin and Louder Studios (San Francisco) with Tim Green, are tentatively scheduled for the upcoming months.

In the meantime, The Sermon will be performing in San Francisco and in the Pacific Northwest during the summer as well as Los Angeles in the fall. The Sermon are booked by Jason Cotter of the Chaka Kong Agency. See or write to for details. Contact for more information.

05/28/05: Another Controversial AT/AK spoken artist!
From today's East Bay Express comes this foreshadowing of the controversy that will erupt when AT and AK co-release the new Norman Finkelstein spoken word cd "An Issue of Justice" about the Palestine/Isreal conflict:

"When intellectuals attack: A forthcoming UC Press book has come under fire from Harvard Law School professor and O.J. Simpson murder-trial defense attorney Alan Dershowitz, who claims that De Paul political-theory professor Norman Finkelstein's 'Beyond Chutzpah' -- billed as "an exposé of the corruption of scholarship on the Israel-Palestine conflict"-- includes misinformation and defamation, some of it involving Dershowitz himself.

A sequel to 2004's 'The Holocaust Industry', Finkelstein's latest book, whose main section is titled "The Greatest Fraud Ever Sold," was originally set for publication by the New Press in New York. After Dershowitz wrote to the New Press leveling his charges, Finkelstein switched to UC. Now, with the help of a law firm, Dershowitz has leveled the same charges in missives to Arnold Schwarzenegger and UC. The book's publication date has been delayed. Enmity between the two profs is ongoing: After the release of Dershowitz' 2003 book 'The Case for Israel', Finkelstein accused him of having plagiarized a third writer's work. Moreover, he devotes a section of his personal Web site to what he calls "The Dershowitz Hoax."

05/26/05: Home Alive Auction Incredibly Successful!
From Carrie at Home Alive comes this wrap-up of last weekend's first annual Home Alive charity auction:

"The auction was a great success. Almost 200 people attended the event and we raised over $30,000. Home Alive can breathe easier now and not have to be so worried about money. Thank-you so much for your donations. Our Spring/Summer classes are starting so if people are in the Seattle area and want to check us out, they can go to our website..."

05/24/05: CBGB's Update
As many of you know, legendary NYC club CBGB's is thiiiis close to being shut down. It's a tangled web of owner Hilly Crystal, the landlord Bowery Residents' Committee (a well-funded homeless services non-profit), and a continuing legal battle over back rent and a future lease for CBGBs. Add in CBGB's very lucrative clothing/merch line and BRC's $23 million in government funding and you've got a classic case of misunderstandings and retaliation for long-term grudges.

Regardless of whether or not CBGB's is a great place to hang out, or if the bathrooms are really not THAT bad, or if Hilly is a saint, the club's still a rock and roll landmark on par with Sun Studios and Motown Studio A.

Here's more information about saving CBGB's, along with a fair amount of information about BRC.

05/21/05: TV Guardian Protects You From Naughty Speech, including "God"!
From the website of TV Guardian (endorsed by Gold Medal Gymnast Mary Lou Retton!):

"Q: How does TVGuardian® work?
TVGuardian® uses TVG® patented technology from Principle Solutions, Inc. to decode and monitor the hidden closed-caption text which is made available for the hearing impaired. Each word is checked against a dictionary of more than 150 offensive words and phrases. When a foul word or phrase is detected, TVGuardian® automatically mutes the offensive language. You can even set TVG® to show you the silenced phrase in text form, but without the offensive words. Simply set the CC Mode to On Mute or On Always and phrases like "move your @#$" will be muted and "move your tail" will be displayed. You don't miss a thing.

Q: Why does TVGuardian® mute the phrase instead of just the offensive word?
TVGuardian® mutes the entire offensive phrase instead of just the word and displays the modified text, by design. It's too easy to fill in the blanks in your mind when only a single word is muted. Displaying the profanity free text version of the muted phrase makes your eyes focus on the text instead of the lips. The TVGuardian® method makes it more difficult to know what word caused the mute.

Q: Does TVGuardian® work with all TV Shows, Videos and DVDs?
TVGuardian® works with virtually all pre-scripted TV shows and DVD and VHS videos. TVGuardian® will not work with live programs, such as news, sporting events, talk shows, and day time dramas.

Q: Does TVGuardian® filter 'god' when used as an expletive?
When the Religious wordset is turned on, TVGuardian® filters all vain references to deity. To watch a religious program, you may want to turn this wordset off."

05/18/05: We're proud donors to Home Alive's auction!
Home Alive is having its first annual dinner and art auction at 5701 6th Ave. S, 6-10pm, various ticket prices. Art work, travel packages, merchandise, and other unique items will be up for bid, including treats from Alternative Tentacles, Joan Jett, Mark Mothersbaugh, Gary Panter, Peter Bagge, and Margaret Cho! 

All proceeds will benefit Home Alive. For more information, please email Individual tickets are available, or invite your friends and purchase a table for 10!

Home Alive was formed in response to the brutal murder of Mia Zapata, singer of Seattle band The Gits in 1993. It is a Seattle based anti-violence project that offers affordable self defense classes, provides public education and awareness, and leads local community organizing efforts. Their work in self defense encourages everyone to recognize their entitlement to the basic human right to live free from violence and hate.

05/16/05: Zolar X back from the dead!!!
That's right, everyone's favorite space-glam-rock aliens are going to rock the party for the first time in more than a quarter century! This historic occasion will be at San Jose's favorite 21+ punk bar, The Blank Club, on Saturday June 18th, 9pm, $8. More info on the Blank Club's website.

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