Thursday, June 23, 2005

projects in the works

Just a quick one.. although a longer post is brewing..

I've got a few fun gigs coming up.
July 1 in Los Angeles, hopefully.. news is changing every week but SoCal people take note..
July 16th at the Elbo Room, in San Francisco

possibly another one in July at our local Kingman's Lucky Lounge - hear Ripley play a rocksteady, dub and glitch-hop/dancehall set!

and the other project will come out of the following thoughts.

My pal and colleague Wayne caught some ignorant flak recently for posting against homophobia, and also in support of Stacyanne Chin, poet, Jamaican, lesbian (other descriptigves abound), and on like issues... So much flak, and directed hostility, and violent terms... that it motivated several of us to move a bit faster on our similar thoughts.

In case there is doubt.. Ripley = not down with homophobia, gaybashing, in the reality or the lyrical content. Stupidness. And as a moment's thought should tell you - when violence against the targeted people is still so terribly common (and by no means am I only talking about Jamaica), then hostility and violent talk take on more power, and silence legitimates it.

Your ability to trust that silence about homophobia (or whichever hatred and threat of violence) means you'll be safe depends more on the privileges you have access to, like your distance from the target identity.

With respect to djing: if you like, you can go over the metaphor/literal issue, and the crosscultural questions only so many times before the "what atmosphere do I want to create, and for whom?" issue, and the "what do I personally not want to support?" issue comes up. I know I'm not the controller of events I play or of people's actions, but I am communicating an idea of the event and vibe I want to happen in the space. Anyone who knows ripley sounds knows I don't shy away from harsh or aggressive sounds, and I'm not one for dictating to people, especially about musical experience. But I'll speak against any attempt to align ripley sounds with this bullshit.

I've thought about it a lot in my choice of records, since I play a lotta dancehall and tunes that sample it. I try not to play songs that are exclusively "kill batty bwoy" songs, but it's hard to edit out the few lines or verses or exclamations in every song, so sometimes I don't (I know they go by too fast for most non-patois-speakers), or I try to cut away at crucial moments. But it's still an uneasy truce sometimes.

Atmospheres and environments can be hostile to people (obviously). Sometimes they may seem neutral, but that might just mean unrevealed - as many can tell you, just because you haven't heard someone make an ignorant, hostile or threatening statement doesn't mean they someone won't in the next moment. Silence doesn't communicate safety or support. This means folks who feel threatened may stay away, feel unsafe or that folks who are actively hostile feel they can behave as they like. None of this is a scene I want to support.

So I hope people continue to speak up. Don't support this gay-bashing, queer-fearing fuckery! there's real enemies out there, enemies with power, to work against.

Wayne and my and Kid K and many others' conversations on this overlapped with Dj C and in discussing a project Wayne and I are working on, DJ C motivated to set this up for y'all who want to buy it.. which fucking rules and is a nice counterpoint to the general chest-thumping atmosphere of shouty jungle.


  1. check: dancehall fans against homophobia

  2. those shirts rule... i may have to pick one up