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Comment Archives: stories: Music: Music

Re: “Reflections on the 15th Street Tragedy

Growing up in a setting of poverty and hopelessness can torture a person's psyche and make them feel like there's no way out but violence. But poverty didn't force these kids to pocket their pistols when heading out to the party. They made that decision. This was no accident.

This isn't a case of robbing a store to feed a starving family. This isn't a case of desperation or necessity. This is a case of hot-headed kids with guns they shouldn't have, whose value for human life has been crushed so low that being "disrespected" (or whatever other bullshit happened in that argument) is enough cause for them to murder without a second thought.

The gun-packing kids could probably be considered victims on a societal level and their social setting certainly helped to corrupt them this way—but there is also an inner evil here that must be considered if we ever hope to expunge it and end this random violence.

Posted by Max Chanowitz on 08/25/2016 at 11:42 AM

Re: “All Hail Jasmine Infiniti, the Self-Proclaimed Queen of Hell

My wife <3

Posted by Kim Smith on 08/05/2016 at 2:00 PM

Re: “Bay Area R&B Singer Illa Gets Ready to Boss Up

⭐ in the making!! I love this! Only up from here 😘

Posted by Jamese Victoriano on 08/03/2016 at 3:38 PM

Re: “Bay Area R&B Singer Illa Gets Ready to Boss Up

She seems like a cool fresh artist to check out. Dope article.

Posted by Tonithy on 08/03/2016 at 1:22 PM

Re: “Bay Area R&B Singer Illa Gets Ready to Boss Up

Epic do your thing Boss....

Lennel Cortez Omaha, Nebraska

Posted by Hooky on 08/03/2016 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Bay Area R&B Singer Illa Gets Ready to Boss Up

Sis wow!!!

Posted by JessiLew on 08/03/2016 at 11:31 AM

Re: “Sharmi Basu Is Decolonizing Noise

Beast Nest "Taste Of India" cassette/download is OUT NOW on RATSKIN Records!
Ltd. ed. 150 Chrome Hi Bias Cassettes with download codes!

You can order the cassette here:
https://ratskinrecords.bandcamp.com/…/beast-nest-taste-of-i…

come out tonight to Voltage Drop: Industrial / Electronics Danceclub and pickup a copy in person!

recent East Bay Express writeup :
http://www.eastbayexpress.com/…/sharmi-basu-is-dec…/Content…

"Taste Of India" is the third album from the ever prolific artist, musician, teacher and healer known as BEAST NEST (aka Sharmi Basu) . "Taste Of India" continues in the vain of her sophomore release "Songs For Puppies" but focusing even more on the drone, ambient side of her practice leaving behind the harsher cuts for future considerations. "Taste of India" is a nearly forty minute journey through lush, harmonizing tones, breathing, humming synthesizers , hissing, spacious dripping oscillators pulsing a pleathora of micro tonal structures of healing, relaxation, trauma, horror and so much more. Beast Nest is one of the most underrated projects in the bay area and it's time you got hip to it. We at RATSKIN are more than honored to release this beautiful, complicated, cavernous sound work into the world.


BEAST NEST is Sharmi Basu's primary performing project. She utilizes an unwavering depression & restrained horror to channel left-eyed spirits. While simultaneously clearing and entering, the sewage pipes of the body and the patriarchy congeal into watery soundscapes as a vehicle for achieving liberation through the darkest of fears.
All music composed, produced, and performed by Sharmi Basu

www.ratskin.org/releases/rsr062.html
www.sharmi.info

CASSETTE IS $8 PPD US / $13 PPD CAN/ MEX $18 WORLD
(Wholesale / Distro / Reviews get in touch)

Posted by Michael Daddona on 07/29/2016 at 9:39 AM

Re: “All Hail Jasmine Infiniti, the Self-Proclaimed Queen of Hell

I love you forever and a day Jasmine!!!

Posted by Maya Ivy on 07/23/2016 at 6:42 PM

Re: “All Hail Jasmine Infiniti, the Self-Proclaimed Queen of Hell

Jasmine Infiniti's artwork, organizing, love and aesthetics have made it fun for the freaks again after the "queer nightlife" became a nightmare of gentrification and the recentering of wealthy white cis men's desires. WE LOVE THE QUEEN OF HELL

Posted by Oscar Io on 07/20/2016 at 12:43 PM

Re: “LoBot Gallery, Mainstay of Oakland's DIY Art and Music Scenes, to Shutter at End of Month

As an artist and a former resident of Oakland, I'm sickened by what's happening to the rich culture and the creatives that are being displaced by gentrification.

Licita Fernandez

Posted by Licita Fernandez on 07/06/2016 at 8:15 PM

Re: “Techie Blood: The Sound of the Capitalist Apocalypse

Where can I find out about shows in San Ramon? I'd love to check one out sometime.

Posted by Diego Canabal on 06/15/2016 at 3:20 PM

Re: “Boycotters Accuse 924 Gilman St. Project of Ethical Backslide

There are sexual predators participating in the shows this weekend. Gilman staff was notified and they did nothing. I hope the parents who drop off their young children are aware.

Posted by Jennie on 06/02/2016 at 3:25 PM

Re: “Boycotters Accuse 924 Gilman St. Project of Ethical Backslide

And not only does one poster who refused to participate in the article now post often, he also demands the story be edited. If you refuse to be interviewed, then don't expect to play the role of editor after the story is published. You had your chance.

Posted by Gene Nelson on 06/02/2016 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Boycotters Accuse 924 Gilman St. Project of Ethical Backslide

So interesting that people who refused to be interviewed for the story, now can't shut up and stop posting comments.

Posted by Gene Nelson on 06/02/2016 at 2:13 PM

Re: “Boycotters Accuse 924 Gilman St. Project of Ethical Backslide

Earlier this year in February, my band (which contains rapper vocalist's) an another local rapper played a festival at the Gilman thrown by our friends band. After the festival was over members of the gilmans volunteer club expressed how "offended" they were for our and the other rappers use of "the n word", as well as how they were going to vote on getting us banned for doing so. Everyone else who attended the concert enjoyed our performance, not to mention 80% of our set was a mellow indie rock style performance. Other "traditional" punk bands that played the festival expressed much harsher lines like "fuck my dad I want to fuck my mom" and recieved no comments or criticism. No one had directly come to me or any of my other bandmates about this, not to mention every person who said "the n word" was of the African American decent. Yet we hear that we're going to be banned from the venue via social media? I personally was extremely excited to play the venue, as I finally felt an in to the Bay Area punk venue I long felt alienated from for being African American. I was only to find out that my style of music is not only offensive for attempting to reclaim a word long used to opress me in the form of art but that I would be banned upon my first gig. I have no wrong feelings towards the venue itself but I do feel as if the volunteer staff has gone extreme with implementing these rules so much to the point that it only caters to the said staff and friends. So much to the point where members exclaim "come to one of our meetings and talk to us", I only feel as if this would lead to them justifying themselves in a group manner. This level of alienation does not create a "safe space" it truthfully does the opposite and establishes an environment not open to people of all walks of life. I and my bad fully support any boycott of the gilman's volunteer club, and would love to play along with bands that feel the same way, in a true, uncensored punk manner! One that is actually inclusive and inviting to all regardless of what you say or your skin color!

Posted by Taifa Nia on 06/02/2016 at 1:51 AM

Re: “Boycotters Accuse 924 Gilman St. Project of Ethical Backslide

What this 924 drama says to me is that punk is probably quite dead and all that remains is a scene dominated by a dry, sober parody of life on the edge of rock... where censorship rules. I hope the boycott spawns a new club where punk can thrive in whatever twisted manner that fits the audience, and the 924 cult can maintain their harmony without being offended.

Some people who appreciated punk used to go to shows to hear and see the band they liked or who they identified with. Although I went to hear the Dead Kennedy's, I was afraid to attend Black Flag shows. Looking back on this it was silly because people threw bottles at DK shows too. Offensive language did not put me off as I was a punk rocker after all. What is punk without offensive language anyways? Nirvana? Green Day? The Go Go's? Chipmunk Punk? These were chart topping pop bands, not punk bands.

p.s. I heard and saw Ovarian Trolley at Continental in NYC around 1990. They were awesome! The guitar player smoked a cigarette on stage while he played and he looked so cool and dangerous.

Posted by Vince Rubino on 06/01/2016 at 10:29 PM

Re: “Boycotters Accuse 924 Gilman St. Project of Ethical Backslide

My punk years preceded Gilman's heyday, and as I never much cared for hardcore (Circle Jerks was about it for me, maybe a little Black Flag) I've not had much cause to go there (though I have been to a few shows & have a membership card). That said, I have always appreciated its all ages/straight edge policies and wish there had been such a place for me when I was a teenager.

I sincerely hope the club can work through these issues and continue doing its most important job - providing a home for the outcasts, losers, and punk rock geeks (such as yours truly).

Posted by John Seal on 06/01/2016 at 3:36 PM

Re: “Boycotters Accuse 924 Gilman St. Project of Ethical Backslide

Different. Just like everyone else.

Posted by Edward Stanaway on 06/01/2016 at 2:35 PM

Re: “Boycotters Accuse 924 Gilman St. Project of Ethical Backslide

On its face, there appear to be a bunch of legitimate issues raised by this boycott. The need for gender neutral bathrooms is a perfect example. Concerns with the booking of bands with lyrics and that have exhibited behavior clearly restricted by the Gilman's rules is another. My main issue with the boycott is that it appears to be an end route around what for me is the foundation of what makes Gilman so great. The open transparent democratic process of decision making at membership meetings.

The boycott statement includes a lot of calling out specific people for their opinions, but fails to acknowledge the concept of people having the right to offer differing opinions in a democratic process. Jesse Luscious, one of the people called out for his opinions, has commented above with a very thoughtful and detailed response which includes sharing that he rarely votes at membership meetings on the issues raised by the boycott. I could potentially understand calling him out for specific votes on issues that the boycott is specifically trying to address, but are we to believe that people are not entitled to voicing their opinions at membership meetings? I hope not. Jesse went on to say that he supports the idea of an outside organization such as Bay Area Women Against Rape to do trainings on recognizing and dealing with abuse which appears to be another central issue of the boycott.

Longtime member and co-founder Kamala Parks has responded here with several equally detailed and thoughtful comments/responses by suggesting that online forums are poor formats for discussing these types of complex and sensitive issues. I share that view and wonder if the Boycott organizers and supporters have either failed to truly participate in the membership process which admittedly can be arduous and frustrating, or if they gave up on it far too soon.

From what I have seen, there has been no response from the boycott organizers to these responses from people who have been specifically called out. If true, I find that troubling because these are folks who I believe deserve at the very least respectful engagement. Don’t’ we all? With that said, I do understand people may feel unsafe and possibly even threatened for speaking out. I would suggest that this dynamic of feeling unsafe is especially exacerbated when trying to discuss all of this via an online forums. Membership meetings provide a process to achieve decision making with clearly understood rules that include rules of conduct towards others. I can’t stress enough how important the membership meeting process is to the survival of Gilman. As someone who has been around for the venue’s entire history, I can honestly say that there is not one instance that I can recall where going outside of the membership process has achieved a desirable outcome for anyone. I wonder what would happen if all the folks behind the boycott organized all their supporters and attend a membership meeting all together as a unified voice to openly address all of this? There is an accusation that Gilman has failed to do the work on these issues of equality, but given that the venue is run by a democratic process, I wonder if it is the people making this claim who not done the work? After all, it is their venue as much as anyone else’s.

Posted by Ryan Sullivan on 06/01/2016 at 2:11 PM

Re: “Boycotters Accuse 924 Gilman St. Project of Ethical Backslide

People keep saying that the boycotters are “cowardly”, “pc pussies” and any other number of insults among the threats of death, gang rape, and other attacks. Since when did either punk or being strong become about sitting down and letting other people run you over or push you to the margins?

“PC” was an idea invented by people with power to turn the idea of basic respect into something political and controversial so they could make it look like a conspiracy instead of a real conversation. Issues of gender, race, abuse, sexuality, bodies, and safety aren’t intellectual political debates or games.

For many of us those issues are our LIVES and about actual fucking daily survival. But if some people get asked to learn what even a dozen new words mean, it’s like the world is ending.

Kamala Parks said that electronic forums are inappropriate for these kinds of conversations but she declined to be interviewed for this piece. How many people read the violent comments her words were placed in before jumping to say she wasn't inciting violence. Kamala didn't, and she refused when I asked her to after it was posted.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I heard from a reliable source that Jesse Townley also declined the request. Still, he's first to come in with a long, balanced-sounding criticism about the article and the boycott. Why would that be the case?

I wasn't there for the Green Day issues, but those are probably the most public and well known of the boycott complaints, so I'll let others speak to those.

I was there and heavily involved since 2010 for the others. And I've talked to every single person involved firsthand in the abuse incident in depth.

Like hundreds (or thousands at this point, who knows) of others I still support the boycott.

I agree with Jesse Townley’s comment above about something. I personally wouldn't call Jesse's speech at the May 21st meeting "a tirade", though it would be easy to read the content of what he said as a tirade. No, it wasn't loud, he's right about that. It was worse than loud, because it was calm, even, and full of doublespeak. Then as he was finishing, he said he had somewhere to be so he left immediately after finishing his speech and there was no further discussion or back and forth with him about some incredibly faulty points.

Yes, he spent a lot of time talking about how we can't read minds or know people's beliefs so he gets “nervous when people start talking about things that happen outside the walls" of Gilman. I get nervous when people DON’T do that, and I said so. Like when the abuser in the incident was partially defended before being 86’d because abuse didn't happen in the club (except some did). If that's what you want Gilman to be like, you can have it. I’m doing my work outside the walls for now after exhausting myself trying twice now in two years.

The problem with Jesse's point is *WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT WAS NOTHING BUT PEOPLE'S ACTUAL ACTIONS, NOT THEIR BELIEFS*. He used doublepseak to derail the conversation and then left, making it sound like any of these issues are about some liberal thought police conspiracy instead of about actual concrete behavior. Look long enough with enough context of the issues and you’ll spot patterns of doublespeak no matter who they are coming from.

A boycott means people did all the showing up they could, some for decades, some for years, some for months and then left. Criticizing not showing up is missing the ENTIRE fucking point of a boycott. So maybe drop that erroneous argument and focus on the real issues, which plenty of people and witnesses are talking about and plenty of Gilman supporters are ignoring.

Maybe more folx need to speak up, but that’s a personal decision nobody can make for them.

Regarding the board and bylaws: no, it is not stated in the bylaws that the board won't interfere in the day to day running. But Jesse doesn't acknowledge that it absolutely was promised to be or why it wasn't included. The last draft of the bylaws was written by Obadiah, one person, not a committee or a group..

Obadiah is actually my good friend, despite all this. I feel closer to him now than when I quit in 2014. He didn’t/doesn't have ties to the board, and the board mostly stayed back from daily running before Gilman's reputation was publicly, legitimately called into question by the boycott.

He didn't realize it was necessary to include that rule, and that's because once again the entire club dropped the ball when it happened and assumed the issue was finished and everybody was on the same page, so it hadn’t been talked about for a while. I assume it was never really talked about how it would be written into the rules. It happened after I quit in 2014 or I would have fought for it to be included.

Jesse "I'm Going Prioritize Telling People How to Spell my Name Correctly Before Any Other Point" Townley conveniently left that part of the story out. Let’s be realistic and fair, maybe he didn't even know about the promises. If so, THAT’S another big problem that illustrates the lack of perspective, communication, organization, and priorities that the majority of membership has had for years.

I believe Obadiah, even as a member of Fang, has good intentions. I think his heart has been often misunderstood throughout the boycott. I think it’s happened mostly because he's usually a man of few words and often sees the best in everybody. I truly feel like he cares about many people and wants everyone to get along and be happy.

My personal take is that, like that vast majority of members with elected positions (Obadiah and I were co-heads of sound last year and this year until I quit) and other voting members, he doesn’t have much experience with the “accessibility-oriented political discourse that characterizes the subculture today”. Still, he listens better than most others I’ve talked to, and is willing to discuss long past the time others have become defensive or petty.

In times like this, when more and more people are involved, it becomes even more clear that actions are about our impact and not our intent. This is true for everyone on both sides of the Gilman issue and nobody is perfect; though in my experience, many of the boycotters are more practiced and comfortable with looking at their impact and doing hard work to listen to people and grow. In fact it’s one of the main divisions.

If somebody runs over me with a car but didn’t mean to, that doesn’t heal any bones. If somebody is abusive or manipulative but didn’t mean it, that doesn’t necessarily mean people aren’t hurt, sometimes quite badly. Owning your shit means owning all its effects, forever. It means having the strength to face yourself and the world and learning to do better without blaming others when your actions get you backed into a corner you didn’t want or see coming. A lot of us are being called to accountability in ways we didn’t expect. Now our choices are about how to react and what to do about it.

Being accountable doesn’t mean putting yourself out there to be hunted down without thought. If people think the boycotters put people in danger at anywhere near the level of threats of death and gang rape by naming issues and people, then those people have a lot to learn about the issues and the kind of people who want Gilman to evolve with the rest of the punk community.

Kamala Parks publicly suggests mysterious corporate conspiracies and wants people to track down the people who actually started the boycott. She calls the boycott “cowardly” and anonymous - even though many many people who know the incidents and issues in the boycott statement are supportive of the boycott - even though they are talking about it regularly and are NOT anonymous. If she wants people to track down the people who "started" it and is willing to say so in a post full of a thousand aggressive posts and dozens or more violent threats and refuses to reconsider re-wording her statement when privately, directly asked to. She and Jesse (who are also roommates, again correct me if I'm wrong, I have not heard it from them) both declined to be interviewed here and yet continue to pop up and be quoted with rhetorical doublespeak.

Maybe while people are busy personally tracking down the people who started the boycott, they might ask themselves how the side *defending* Gilman would look like right now if it didn't prominently feature two community members with huge amounts of social capital. They are members who live together, admit freely that they are long removed from the daily running of the club, and (speaking of agendas) it is their job it is to try and keep people interested in Gilman enough to raise at least $1 million dollars to ensure it continues and to secure its legendary status - a status their own local fame is built on.

I can’t speak for any other people boycotting, but I know the bottom line of what I want to see is a lot more people communicating HONESTLY and thinking critically. I have no fear about what things would be like if that started happening more.

And if I or anyone else is physically attacked for continuing to talk about it, I’ll be sure that as many people as possible hear about it. I’m not too worried about that - despite major people players defending the club with questionable tactics and refusing to renounce violence when asked to. Anybody with a bit of foresight can see that following through on the threats would be infinitely more damaging to the club’s future and existence than anything that has happened so far. Hopefully people are at least thinking critically enough to know better.

Posted by J. Holland on 06/01/2016 at 12:53 PM

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