Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday, September 30th 8:37pm

For the last week Neil "the real deal" has been working like crazy to shape our super shitty practice room into the place where we'll record our next batch of songs. Neil, along with Justin's dad, Marc Code and Jesse Jones have done a pretty awesome job. I took some photos today as we finished up carpeting our very own studio/insane asylum, and started moving some equipment in.

We plan to go full out once we start next week, were talking blogs, video blogs, and even a live streaming web cam, technology can be our friend, but it will most likely just kill us all.

Here are some photos, much more to come...

take it easy, but take it....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Joe Hill

If we workers take a notion we can stop all speeding trains.
Every ship upon the ocean we can tie with mighty chains.
Every wheel in the creation.
Every mine and every mill.
Fleets and Armies of all nations.
Will at our command stand still.

September 23, 2008 8:07pm

Do you ever wonder if this will end?
Do you ever ask why can't everyone smell the bullshit?

1 David.
1 Million Goliath's.

Will people in the future tell our story of triumph?
Will my fingerprints be anywhere near the history books?

Yours will.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday, September 18th 2008 12:01pm

Home from Canada.
Some great shows.
Some not so great.
Sitting at A-F Records.
Jorge has just pushed play on The Ramones NYC 1978 Live Album.
Countries to be visited in the next 6 months: New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, perhaps Russia, Finland.
We are going to begin writing and recording new songs.
We will be recording ourselves in Pittsburgh, similar to how we made "The Terror State".
I am unsure of how we will release the next album.
These days of uncertainty are quite inspirational.
Death of a tyrant.
Birth of another?
"I have tried to behave decently without expectations of rewards or punishments after I am dead." -Kurt Vonnegut

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday September 4th 2008

*** At the DNC, only 16% of the delegates were under age 35.
*** The RNC doesn’t even keep numbers for that stat, but the NY Times estimates it’s 3%.
*** At the RNC, 37% of delegates are over age 60. .
*** Of Republican delegates to the RNC, 77% say it’s more important to hold down taxes than provide health care for ALL Americans.
*** 7% say providing Health Care is more important.
*** The top 1% wealthiest Americans have more cumulative wealth than the 150 million Americans defined as middle class.
*** One in every five Americans is uninsured, and one in every four is either uninsured or underinsured.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Anti-Flag at The Republican National Convention, Day 1 Ripple Effect

The following is a first hand description/reporting of what went on Tuesday, September 2 on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, approximately 1.5 miles from the Xcel Center, site of this week's Republican National Convention. The event we played was called THE RIPPLE EFFECT (www.rippleeffect08.com) and was put on by 3 enterprising young college students who run an organization called SUBSTANCE (http://livewithsubstance.org/), which merges music, art and activisim. The purpose of the event was two fold: 1) to offer a counter event to the corporate-fueled, undemocratic, lack of interaction with real people and real problems of the RNC taking place this week in Minneapolis-St. Paul; and 2) to celebrate Substance's one year of doing strong work in the Twin Cities of combining music, art and activism.

We had planned on being a part of the RNC disruption festivities since before the calendar turned to 2008. You don't spend the better part of 3 months creating a record like "The Bright Lights Of America" without thinking about the future and what additional ills politicians and corporations of all stripes might be preparing to sell us in an election year. In April that disruption was made easier when the Substance organization reached out to us about The Ripple Effect show, which we promptly agreed to join.

As the Spring and Summer election story developed, on our European dates with Rage Against The Machine we began discussing how to incorporate them into the musical discussion we were having in St. Paul on the Capital lawn. The plan was, backline both of our equipment at the same time, our crews would work together to make the transition from the end of the Anti-Flag set to the beginning of the Rage Against The Machine set.

The following is a chronicle of the days events:
Anti-Flag at The Republican National Convention, Day 1 Ripple Effect

Its 1:10. Tuesday September 2nd.
In the Van, left the hotel which is about 20min from St. Paul, the closest we could get.
Direct action gets the goods, as all the front pages sing of the protesters disrupting day one of the RNC festivities. As the people
Inside Excel Center use Gustav as a do over for Katrina, the people outside demand accountability.

We're almost there. We enter the State Capitol parking lot at 1:15.
#2 is more anxious and nervous than usual.

Watched Wookiefoot and Matisyahu bring the good vibes, police perimeter is interestingly frightening: snipers-observers on the roof of a building about 400 yards from the stage; battalions of St. Paul police on bikes; State Capitol police/troopers mingle within the crowd and linger on the edges; riot police are suited up, holding their helmets sitting on their unmarked mini-vans. Around 1000 people have made their way through the lines, been searched. Approved to participate in free speech.

The back drop is pretty great. Right on the capital lawn, centered at the bottom of the Capitol building steps, American Flag snapping in the stiff wind, statues of Minnesota heroes of 19th Century public deed as the entry gates to the stage.

In communication with Rage Against the Machine. Looking like they're going to bring their songs to the Ripple Effect. We'll play then hand them the stage, should be a cluster fuck, but an exciting cluster fuck.

They make an announcement Dead Prez is on next. They taunt the extended and now growing collection of police, laughing at their intimidation efforts. In the crowd a giant appears. Michael Franti is now here. So are the mounted police.

Michael Franti brings 12 members of The Iraq Veterans Against The War on stage.
To say it was powerful is an understatement. www.ivaw.com

Rage's gear arrives. We'll see if they pull the plug on this. We heard some grumblings of our little secret in the crowd while walking
around, but we don't think many know what's coming.

Rage's equipment arrives, so does the rest of the riot squad.

In between each band are speakers: quick and to the point; railing against the stupid war; criticizing the establishment for their reaction to people wanting health care and a way out of poverty; general equality. 1200 miles away in New York Harbor the Statue of Liberty rusts a little more.

Our set is over. Went well, as did the whole day. Extremely peaceful. Its days like today that give hope in humanity. It's also days like today that show how much work is still left.

We had it set so that we would end and Rage would go on immediately. They got out of their car and 7-10 police officers blocked them from making it to the stage--not even allowed to watch us play. An argument/debate ensued whereby Rage, us, the event organizers and others argue that the police have no authority to keep Rage from performing. Timmy C, bass player of Rage Against The Machine, suggests very cleverly that the "meeting" with the police move into the view of the audience assembled at the show, this leads to cheers from the audience who start getting involved.

After about 15-20min of the crowd chanting "let them play" and a spontaneous singing of "The Star Spangled Banner" (which was an absolutely moving rendition of the National Anthem), we devise a plan. We gave Rage one of our bullhorns, and they walked into the audience. Everyone at the show was awesome, sitting so that others could see, being quite while Zack and Tom from Rage spoke. Singing guitar lines, Timmy C and Brad Wilk of Rage kept time while a cappella versions of "Bulls on Parade" and "Killing In The Name Of" sang out through the crowd.

Post show a few hundred joined a poverty march, that we hear ran into police near the Excel Center, we hope everyone returned safe from that endeavor.

We would like to send a huge thank you and debt of gratitude to Substance, all the artists and musicians at the Ripple Effect, and
Rage Against The Machine.

They are not afraid of any song, any record, any band.
They are afraid of the relationships we create, the community we build, the strength in our unity.



Anti-Flag and Rage Against The Machine Ripple Effect Show at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Yesterday we played a show on the steps of the Minnesota State Capitol in opposition of the Republican National Convention.  Before our set we had planned with Rage Against The Machine to have them come onto stage directly after our set and play a set of their own on our equipment.  As is often the case at such events, all was proceeding peacefully and without confrontation until the police got involved.  As RATM made their way to the stage, without reason or prior notification the police surrounded the band and informed them that they would be arrested if any of them set foot on the stage. As the crowd chanted, "Let them play..." a plan was formulated. Rather than bow to police oppression and law enforcement's blatant disregard for free speech and the Constitution, it was decided that RATM would walk around the stage into the audience and issue a statement. From there things took on a life of their own...

Check out the video below by Minnesota Public Radio for an account of the events that took place after Anti-Flag's set.

*Note Justin Sane of Anti-Flag in the Pink Scarf which he wore in a show of solidarity with the anti-war group Code Pink. Check out Code Pink at www.codepink4peace.org

*FYI- It has been reported that Anti-Flag and RATM did not have a permit to play at the Capitol. These reports are NOT accurate. This event was granted a permit which allowed any and all artists to perform at the discretion of the event organizers. Both Anti-Flag and RATM were invited by the event organizers to play this show.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Monday, September 1st 2008 Labor Day

"As the Democrats finish and Republicans begin their respective conventions, its probably an important time to remind ourselves that Presidents or any politician for that matter, will not be the writers of our history. It has been proven time after time that we as citizens of the world shape our stories. We must be scripted in the history books as the paradigm shift and generation that ended the illegal invasion of Iraq, shut down Guantanamo Bay, saw equal gay and lesbian rights achieved, ended the genocide in Darfur, we're progressive and aggressive while protecting our environment, brought accountability back to our democracy and demanded health care and education for all.

Which ever celebrity wins this election should not be the exciting part. The excitement should and will come from us seizing our time. The realisation that the world is on our side. Thankfully, the George W. Bush era is soon over, let the silver lining of his very dark cloud be our mobilization. More of us are paying attention to global politics than ever. Accountability must be returned to our governments. Once again, WE HAVE NOT BEGUN TO FIGHT. "


Ps We're in St.Paul/Minneapolis. Free show on the capitol lawn. www.rippleeffect08.com
Huge surprises await tomorrow, be there!
More to come.