24 July 2007

A DJ's Response

A case for cultural affluence

Art is not a crime. Music is not a misdemeanor. Peaceably assembling to cultivate culture through artistic means is not illegal. However, after reflecting on Saturday's events at the Shreveport Skate Plaza in addition to the lack of support given to the Shreveport-Bossier cultural community, my faith in reason and logic is slowly deteriorating. I stood helplessly by as the boys in blue effectively muted the music of youth and innovation, shutting down yet another outlet for creativity. I saw my fellow music devotee and cultural comrade Joe carried away in cuffs. Although police brutality and the seemingly escalating presence of harassment and corruption amidst Shreveport's fines MUST be combated at all costs, it would be unwise and even foolish for me to put my two cents in about the arrest. Joe Carstenson is one of my closest friends; therefore I am completely biased in this matter and am nearly immune to viewing the matter objectively. However, I do realize that Saturday's incident reflects a much bigger picture regarding the Shreveport-Bossier community. Why were the music-seeking youth of the Shreveport-Bossier area forced to go to an out of the way skate park to have a free, all ages show? Why isn't there a rock'n'roll-friendly venue for kids to enjoy the tunes of their time? Something needs to change. Such a change can only occur if all Shreveport-Bossier resident and officials recognize their responsibility and their privilege to preserve, nourish, and protect our cultural community. It's all we got.

All Shreveport-Bossier residents must take an active stand in keeping our cultural community productively alive in order to better the city, educate the public, and provide cultural sustenance for future generations. Culture is the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties of a community through education and artistic expression. An enriched cultural scene develops a community through both monetary gains as well as artistic growth (Look at Austin, New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta, etc.) Everyone from the yuppie to the neo-yuppie wins. Also, cultural rebirth replenishes and instills citywide pride in its residents. Who doesn't want to proud and educated public? Culture is the purest form of free education. It is our responsibility to feed the famished minds of today. I'm sure that the Shreveport Police Department nor any other city governing body would want to contribute to the delinquency and ignorance of its youth by getting in the way of their cultural education, would they? Let us hope not. Culture facilitates constructive changes. We as the living, breathing bodies of this community must heed the call of better things to come, for the times are a-changin'. But how can things change and progress if no one acts out of their empathy and frustration? The culture-hungry youths of this town are going stir-crazy, itching to strengthen their craft and to help the arts community here prosper, but we have nowhere to flourish and no viable support except ourselves. Therefore, a productive all-ages venue is needed terribly. Also, as active members of a budding arts community, people should attempt to familiarize themselves with the process of attaining legal permission to host shows. Red tape makes for more fun. Find out the how's and why's. Friction makes for more change. Change is inevitable. Therefore, if the patrons and cultural craftspersons of the Shreveport-Bossier area become but mere catalysts for cultural progression, we can change our city.

DJ AJ, Saturdays 2-4p

Rally for the scene!

No, yes, I'm not talking about the bloody scene, but about the SCENE. The music scene. Here in Shreveport. Sceneport if you will. On Saturday, July 21st the SPD shut down a live performance by the Noids. A member of the audience clashed with police and was taken away in a squad car, bruised and cuffed. While the music-goers that day do realize that they didn't have permission to perform at Stoner Skate park, they feel that the police response was hostile to their art.

In response, a group of fifty-plus met at Big D's BBQ to talk about what happened, and what to do now.
The main points from this gathering:
  • we should have the right to assembly
  • it's extremely difficult to get the proper permission to have live shows on public property (Stoner Park)
  • other cities have instituted "Copwatch" to stop police brutality, maybe Shreveport should follow
  • city council is hurting our group of music goers
  • you don't want to get "labeled" as a terrorist by videotaping police
  • "we have to be involved"
  • go to city council meetings
  • need a all-age friendly venue
  • use contacts and connections
  • "let's make Shreveport cool"

The Noids have a comment on their myspace here and Port City Punx have a response here.

22 July 2007

Parts and Labor, Spy in the Mes, & Astronautalis....not in the same night

Hell yes! for live shows.

The twelfth was Parts and Labor at Alec's. Here are some of the pics. The Brooklyn band was really nice and made sure that everyone had earplugs before they started. Nice, considering that a study by The Royal National Institute for Deaf People found that 9 out of 10 people who frequent clubs regularly experience permanent damage to their ears. Not a week before.
Y'know that ringing in your ears? That 'eeeeeeeeee'? That's the sound of the ear cells dying, like their swan song. Once it's gone you'll never hear that frequency again. Enjoy it while it lasts. -Julian Taylor, Children of Men (2006)
Scares me, anyway...maybe.
The nineteenth was Plök and Spy in the Mes. Ben and I only stayed long enough to hear a couple songs and snag a couple pics.

Then thanks to Susan and Big D! for the Astronautalis performance. I hadn't seen him yet, but boy-oh-boy, let's just say better than any other white boy rapping, cept maybe king hippo.

08 July 2007


SHREVEPORT, Louisiana–July 6, 2007: KSCL 91.3 FM General Manager announces that Los Angeles musician Adam Freedman will be on for interviews and live airplay on Monday, July 16th at noon. The interview is set to play again at 6:00p.m. He will be on air in anticipation of his performance at Courtyard Coffee, located on 7436 Youree Drive next to Michael’s. The show will be Monday, July 16th at 7:30 p.m.

Freedman grew up on a lake in Cape Cod listening to heavy metal, and fishing, while avoiding plaid and golf. He spent many of his nights playing Lynyrd Skynyrd covers at dive bars in exchange for beer and crawfish. Finally, in 2001, Freedman began to write his own music and in 2002 moved to Los Angeles to
study biology.

Freedman is currently touring through California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado to promote his debut album Best Laid Plans (Gone Wrong). Off-tour, Freedman spends his time studying for a doctorate degree in Biology at UCLA, living in mud huts in Cameroon, catching reptiles, and eating things best not eaten.

More information on Adam Freedman can be found at myspace.com/adamfreedman.

More information on KSCL 91.3 FM can be found at kscl.fm and kscl.blogspot.com.

photo credit to Adam Freedman

04 July 2007

"Let's hear some TEETH!"

"That's what I like to hear," replied guitarist/rhythm-man Aaron. After great performances by local Jaguar Shark and ever-changing Ghost Town Flood, the Philly group The Teeth went on to quite a [returning] crowd. There were tons of people dancing halfway through the high-pitched, fast-paced performance. I think I lost control of my own feet somewhere in the middle of "I Love You." It was a really amazing show and everyone was covered in sweat from all the musical chaos.

A BIG THANKS to the Body Electric Tattoo parlor for sponsoring this show. There aren't many all-age shows in this town. We're really happy someone cares.