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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.

05/02/05: Skarp Van Found in Seattle!
Breaking news that's great! One of AT's newest bands, Skarp, had their van ripped off in Seattle. However, the van was quickly recovered, meaning a happy ending for an all-too-common crisis... phew!

03/23/05: Right and Left unite against Patriot Act
From 9/11 Citizens Watch:

"Conservative group forms alliance, urges Bush, Congress to modify sections of the anti-terrorism law

Conservative libertarians launched a campaign yesterday to persuade President George W. Bush and Congress to fix the sections of the anti-terrorism Patriot Act that they say intrude on privacy and harm civil liberties.

Long wary of the act's enhanced police powers, the conservatives announced they had formed the organization Patriots for Checks and Balances with the liberal American Civil Liberties Union in time for hearings in the Republican-controlled Congress next month on whether it should renew 16 Patriot Act provisions that expire at year's end. At a news conference yesterday, ACLU Washington director Laura Murphy underscored the importance of raising the profile in the debate of such prominent conservatives as Grover Norquist of Taxpayers United, David Keene of the American Conservative Union and Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation...

Bob Barr, the group's chair and a former Republican representative from Georgia who voted for the act in 2001, said the sunsetting of the provisions and the hearings in the House and Senate provide a "unique opportunity" to add checks and balances to the act. In a letter sent to the president yesterday, Barr and his group asked Bush "to reconsider your unqualified support" for three specific provisions, only one of which is set to expire without reauthorization.

Those are the so-called "sneak-and-peek" Section 213, which allows agents to enter a place without first notifying the owner; Section 215, which permits agents to get business and library records more easily; and Section 802, which broadly defines terrorists and terrorism. Section 215 is due to expire at the end of the year..."

03/15/05: Brandon Chevalier-Kolling Benefit Show in NYC on St. Patrick's Day
Saint Patrick's Day Benefit Show at CBGB's Downstairs Lounge

New York, NY –CBGB's, Forward Face, friends and family of Brandon Chevalier-Kolling (aka Brandon Possible) are teaming up to present a Memorial St. Patrick's Day Benefit show at CBGB's downstairs lounge, 313 Bowery.

ph: (212) 677-0455. The event will be held March 17th, 2005. Doors@7:30pm. Tix: $5 at the door. Proceeds will go to Forward Face.

Bands will include: Death Mold, Eyes of Hate, The X-Possibles, Low Flying Jets, Stockyard Stoics, and Disassociate.

Forward Face provides children and their families with immediate support to manage the medial and social effects of craniofacial conditions. We work to educate, advocate and raise public awareness about facial differences.

X-Possibles and Leftover Crack drummer, Brandon Chevalier-Kolling died in his sleep, on tour in Texas late December 2004.

03/14/05: Alternative Tentacles SXSW Showcase 2005

AT SXSW Showcase 2005
Saturday, 3/19
The Jackalope
406 East 6th Street (at Trinity)
Austin, TX 78701-3740
(512) 469-5801

8pm - Yuppie Pricks
9pm - Harold Ray Live in Concert
10pm - Dash Rip Rock
11pm - Metal Urbain
12am - Blowfly
1am - Munly

02/14/05: Read Ward's book for yourself!
Alternative Tentacles now has Ward's controversial book, "On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of US Imperial Arrogance and Criminality," from our pals over at AK Press, for sale on our site here!

Now's your chance to read his actual words and make up your own mind about what he wrote. Dig in!

02/11/05: Alternative Tentacles signs comedy legend Blowfly!

Alternative Tentacles is proud to announce the signing of Hip-Hop legend Blowfly! Before there was Kool Keith, Old Dirty Bastard, or 2 Live Crew- in fact before there was hip-hop for that matter- there was Blowfly. Sampled by Jurassic 5, Ice Cube and Puff Daddy, sued by the head of Publishing giant ASCAP, and the first rap artist to have a record banned ("Porno Freak" in Alabama- 10 years before 2 Live Crew), this 60 year-old caped, masked black superhero / music genius has been credited with everything from inventing rap music and the Miami sound to outraging public decency throughout the South and the world with trash classics like "Shittin' on the Dock of the Bay".

His new album, Fahrenheit 69 is an election piss-take of epic proportions. Tackling issues as far-reaching as R. Kelly, terrorism, G. W. Bush, ugly people, and um... boogers, this album fits perfectly with the independent, irreverent spirit that Alternative Tentacles is synonymous with. Featuring guest appearances from rappers Afroman , Slug (the MC for Atmosphere) and Electroclash freaks Gravy Train, Fahrenheit 69 is Blowfly's first album of completely new material since 1988's Blowfly For President. One listen to Fahrenheit 69 is ample evidence that new material has been long, long overdue.

Alternative Tentacles is thrilled to be responsible for unleashing the legendary Blowfly on a new generation of unsuspecting freaks!

For more info on Blowfly, visit

02/03/05: Tribe 8 Saying Goodbye
From comes this sad sad news:

"The Saddest Poem Of All: Tribe 8 Is Ending.

January 21, 2005 - That's right. It's been a great ride, but it's time to move on. We'd like to thank all of you for your love and support over the fifteen years.

Don't despair just yet, though—if you never seen us live, or want to for one last time, you can! We're lining up some farewell gigs, the first of which will be on Wednesday, February 16th at the Elbo Room in San Francisco. (See Show Dates for more details.) We're also hoping to do one big everlovin' blowout of a last show, at a swanktastic place like the Carnegie or the Fillmore or even good ol' Michigan."

Alternative Tentacles wishes all the members of Tribe 8, past and present, great success with their various writing, musical, and other artistic projects in the future. You will be missed!

02/01/05: Ward Churchill under attack by the Right
Ward Churchill, American Indian radical activist, professor, author, and lecturer, has been the target of the right-wing press in the US for the past few days. As a long-time AT spoken word artist (with our friends, AK Press, who also publish many of his books), Alternative Tentacles strongly supports his right to publish his always challenging writings, and we are proud to offer the 2 Ward Churchill spoken word cds we've co-released with AK Press. We also carry some of his AK Press-released books

Here is a statement released by Ward Churchill yesterday:

"In the last few days there has been widespread and grossly inaccurate media coverage concerning my analysis of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, coverage that has resulted in defamation of my character and threats against my life. What I actually said has been lost, indeed turned into the opposite of itself, and I hope the following facts will be reported at least to the same extent that the fabrications have been.

* The piece circulating on the internet was developed into a book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens. Most of the book is a detailed chronology of U.S. military interventions since 1776 and U.S. violations of international law since World War II. My point is that we cannot allow the U.S. government, acting in our name, to engage in massive violations of international law and fundamental human rights and not expect to reap the consequences.

* I am not a "defender"of the September 11 attacks, but simply pointing out that if U.S. foreign policy results in massive death and destruction abroad, we cannot feign innocence when some of that destruction is returned. I have never said that people "should" engage in armed attacks on the United States, but that such attacks are a natural and unavoidable consequence of unlawful U.S. policy. As Martin Luther King, quoting Robert F. Kennedy, said, "Those who make peaceful change impossible make violent change inevitable."

* This is not to say that I advocate violence; as a U.S. soldier in Vietnam I witnessed and participated in more violence than I ever wish to see. What I am saying is that if we want an end to violence, especially that perpetrated against civilians, we must take the responsibility for halting the slaughter perpetrated by the United States around the world. My feelings are reflected in Dr. King's April 1967 Riverside speech, where, when asked about the wave of urban rebellions in U.S. cities, he said, "I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed . . . without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today - my own government."

* In 1996 Madeleine Albright, then Ambassador to the UN and soon to be U.S. Secretary of State, did not dispute that 500,000 Iraqi children had died as a result of economic sanctions, but stated on national television that "we" had decided it was "worth the cost." I mourn the victims of the September 11 attacks, just as I mourn the deaths of those Iraqi children, the more than 3 million people killed in the war in Indochina, those who died in the U.S. invasions of Grenada, Panama and elsewhere in Central America, the victims of the transatlantic slave trade, and the indigenous peoples still subjected to genocidal policies. If we respond with callous disregard to the deaths of others, we can only expect equal callousness to American deaths.

* Finally, I have never characterized all the September 11 victims as "Nazis." What I said was that the "technocrats of empire" working in the World Trade Center were the equivalent of "little Eichmanns." Adolf Eichmann was not charged with direct killing but with ensuring the smooth running of the infrastructure that enabled the Nazi genocide. Similarly, German industrialists were legitimately targeted by the Allies.

* It is not disputed that the Pentagon was a military target, or that a CIA office was situated in the World Trade Center. Following the logic by which U.S. Defense Department spokespersons have consistently sought to justify target selection in places like Baghdad, this placement of an element of the American "command and control infrastructure" in an ostensibly civilian facility converted the Trade Center itself into a "legitimate" target. Again following U.S. military doctrine, as announced in briefing after briefing, those who did not work for the CIA but were nonetheless killed in the attack amounted to no more than "collateral damage." If the U.S. public is prepared to accept these "standards" when the are routinely applied to other people, they should be not be surprised when the same standards are applied to them.

* It should be emphasized that I applied the "little Eichmanns" characterization only to those described as "technicians." Thus, it was obviously not directed to the children, janitors, food service workers, firemen and random passers-by killed in the 9-1-1 attack. According to Pentagon logic, were simply part of the collateral damage. Ugly? Yes. Hurtful? Yes. And that's my point. It's no less ugly, painful or dehumanizing a description when applied to Iraqis, Palestinians, or anyone else. If we ourselves do not want to be treated in this fashion, we must refuse to allow others to be similarly devalued and dehumanized in our name.

* The bottom line of my argument is that the best and perhaps only way to prevent 9-1-1-style attacks on the U.S. is for American citizens to compel their government to comply with the rule of law. The lesson of Nuremberg is that this is not only our right, but our obligation. To the extent we shirk this responsibility, we, like the "Good Germans" of the 1930s and '40s, are complicit in its actions and have no legitimate basis for complaint when we suffer the consequences. This, of course, includes me, personally, as well as my family, no less than anyone else.

* These points are clearly stated and documented in my book, On the Justice of Roosting Chickens, which recently won Honorary Mention for the Gustavus Myer Human Rights Award. for best writing on human rights. Some people will, of course, disagree with my analysis, but it presents questions that must be addressed in academic and public debate if we are to find a real solution to the violence that pervades today's world. The gross distortions of what I actually said can only be viewed as an attempt to distract the public from the real issues at hand and to further stifle freedom of speech and academic debate in this country.

Ward Churchill Boulder, Colorado January 31, 2005

01/21/05: Bat Yard Sale Saturday the 29th!
That's right, it's another Bat Yard Sale, along with our buddies @ Little Type and Astropitch! We'll have music, computer parts, office items, and who knows what else for sale @ our warehouse in Emeryville, CA. If it rains, we'll be inside, if not we'll be catching some California sun while cutting deals on the neatest bits this side of the Caldicott!

Where: 1501 Powell Street- under the overpass on the same street as the Emeryville Amtrak Station.

When: Saturday January 29, 10am-3pm

01/04/05: Help Tsunami victims today!
Like most people, we've been shocked and saddened by the immense devestation and loss of life around the Indian Ocean. We've finally gotten ourselves together enough to offer you some of the staff's choices of non-profits who are working to restore some semblance of a sustainable existance in the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami 12/26/04. This is not a complete list (we'll be adding to it over the next weeks), and always check Charity Navigator for consumer information about various charities.

1. Oxfam America for US donors, or Oxfam International for the nearest Oxfam to your country. According to Charity Navigator, 76.9% of donations to Oxfam America go to relief efforts.

2. Seva Foundation, an international health organization focusing on eye care in South Asia and other places.

Seva is working initially with two organizations to respond to emergency and reconstruction needs:

In Sri Lanka, Seva is working with IMPACT Sri Lanka which has set up five "health camps" in the worst affected regions of Hambantota, Matara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee where most of the hospitals and health centers have been destroyed or washed away. Funds are being utilized to purchase medicines, drugs, dressings dehydrating salts and vaccines.

In India, Seva is working with the Aravind Eye Care System and its hospital in Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu, where emergency relief measures are under way. Aravind is concentrating on rebuilding communities destroyed by the tsunami. Specifically the focus is on building or rebuilding homes in Cuddalore district, one of the worst affected areas around Pondicherry. According to Charity Navigator, 78.8% of donations go to relief efforts.

3. Direct Relief International focuses on health-by providing essential material resources to locally run health programs in poor areas around the world and during times of disaster. Direct Relief International is a non-political and non-sectarian organization that provides assistance without regard to race, ethnicity, political or religious affiliation, gender, or ability to pay. According to Charity Navigator, 99.1% of donations go to relief efforts.

Don't forget, the % of donations going to relief efforts encompasses all of the charity's operations, so the South Asia Tsunami/Earthquake Relief efforts may have a higher % of donations going to relief. Also, the % depends on how large a charity it is.

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