Wednesday, November 15, 2006

My Final Post...

...on Blogger, that is. (C'mon...you didn't really think I was done yet, did you? I'm just getting started!)

I've made the transition from Blogger to the more robust WordPress.

Please update your bookmarks/links so you can keep abreast with all of my drivel.

mmm...drivel.

The new link is directly at http://jerseymike.org

This message will self destruct in 5...4...3...2...BLAMMO!

Friday, November 10, 2006

King Reed and Dragonfly

About a dozen shots were fired near Second and Pine streets in Harrisburg early Thursday morning.

No one was shot; nor were any arrests made by police.

According to the story, three separate guns were fired.

Randy King, spokesman for Mayor Reed (heretofore referred to as King Reed) implied in a statement to the Patriot News that the shooting incident was somehow related to a concert at Dragonfly Nightclub by rapper and Wu Tang Clan member "Method Man".

The fact that this man can make such a ludicrous accusation should be reason enough for him to be removed from his position.

It's merely a diversionary tactic to cover up the horrible job that the city has done in policing the streets.

If the thugs in Harrisburg felt that there was the possibility of being caught and punished for crimes like this, the crime rate would certainly decrease and we'd see less shootings/robberies/etc.

But the climate seems to favor criminal activity--very few patrols, antiquated and non-working equipment, political upheaval and general shakiness within the administration.

King Reed--it's time to bite the bullet and face not only the public, but also the real problems in Harrisburg.

As a promoter, I'm offended and insulted that you would imply that an entertainment event (that you forcibly take ten percent of the gross of) would invite a criminal element or activity into your precious downtown.

The crime is already there, King Reed...and you will not fool the public as to the true reasons for the crime.

I sincerely hope King Reed issues a statement apologizing for the misleading information they put out there this time...

But I know as well as you that won't happen anytime soon...

Monday, November 06, 2006

More from Harrisburg's New Media (Part I)

Thursday, November 02, 2006


From the forums at http://floor9.com (no dash)

i don't usually promote other people's shows, but this one is going to be off the hook. sparky quano is a japanese one man sonic youth that will be playing one show in hbg this friday at smalls. if you caught him at last year's mmc (which, by the way, you didn't... and i know because i was there with probably 25 other people), you saw zembie's get annhilated by walls textured guitar terror.

his set up is this: dude plays his guitar run through an array of effects processors into a loop module. he'll record one loop, play it back in real time, then riff over that loop, then record that riff. once he's five or six or seven layers in - it's an absolutely stunning sound.

fans of experimental rock, shoegazer, and no wave CANNOT miss this. quano is playing at cmj in nyc this week and is making a trip down for who knows what reason - the last time he was in harrisburg was his only american date while on tour, he flew back to london after his show at zembie's.

10pm, smalls (former mars, second street, look for the queen mother), raging sound.

Click Here for Sparky Quano's Homepage
http://kobe.cool.ne.jp/sparky/

Click Here for Sparky Quano on Myspace
http://www.myspace.com/sparkyquano


Sunday, October 29, 2006

MuseumGate

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Township Rebellion

The axe fell today and an undisclosed number of City employees were given pink slips and laid off indefinitely.

The fact that our current administration cannot effectively manage the safety, well being, best interest and finances of our City of a mere forty seven thousand (and dropping) demands a formal investigation into the how's and why's of the current state of affairs.

Additionally, each person who feels the same way or remotely agrees should feel they have the civic duty to rally in front of the MLK building on 2nd street and let their voices be heard.

Don't wait for someone else to do it.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Camel Lights and a 9MM handgun

If I said I had an “interesting night tonight”, that would be the understatement of the year.

It did really begin like any other—I had a night off from The Brewery; there were a few good spots to hit and lots of people that I wanted to run into were going to be out.

I met up with the Three Amigos earlier in the night, made a game plan and dispersed to the initial meeting spots.

Good people were around, good times were being had, and meaningful conversation was flowing.

After hitting three venues and seeing just as many bands, the lights came up halfway through the last song of the third set and everybody started heading for the doors.

And the rest of the night would undoubtedly change my life as I knew it…

We hopped in the Saab and rolled across Cameron to the Hess Station to grab a pack of smokes. Camel lights are $4.18 at the station across the street…at the time, it seemed like a great deal compared to six bucks at the machine in The Brewery.

I hopped out of my car like I have countless times before and walked to the back of the line at the bullet-proof glass cage that the employee of Hess sits in; disbursing gasoline, cigarettes and junk food during the overnight shift.

And then I went to get smokes.

(Mind you, I’m in very jovial spirits at this point. I ran into more great people tonight than I have in many moons. Seemingly, every social circle that I run in convened tonight…in perfect harmony. )

The kid in front of me looked not much different than I did. He was Caucasian; probably 5’10; likely of Irish decent. His black hooded sweatshirt wasn’t too oversized…in fact; it was probably around the same size that I wear my hoodies.

But something about the fact that I was standing around three and a half feet behind him disturbed him to the point that he turned to me and instructed me to “step back, son”; without any provocation or instigation.

I stood there, patiently in line, while he purchased his Pepsi and waited my turn to save a few bucks on a pack of smokes.

But this kid insisted that I “step back ‘cause I don’t like you being that close” to his apparent sacred personal stake of the sidewalk in front of the bullet proof cage of the Hess Station at Cameron and Market in Harrisburg.

There were two very nice, very presentable and extremely respectable women sitting in my car waiting for me to return. They trusted my unspoken promise to get them to their final destinations without incident or any apparent danger.

But the Caucasian kid in the moderately sized black hoodie driving the older (probably 92-94) black blazer with chrome pinstripes decided to prove to his passengers (three black males) that he was such a tough guy and bad ass that nobody…not even some kid in a red Saab leaving a night of rock and roll with two great people…was gonna invade HIS space.

No, this fucking kid had the audacity to turn to me again and say “yo..step back son”

And my immediate reply was “Pardon me?” with a big smile on my face…

He said “yo, step back son…or we gonna have problems”.

[If you’ve read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, you’ll understand the next thirty seconds of my life]

The look in that poor, confused kids’ eyes told me that he was obviously in a proving point of his social relationship with the three passengers in his car.

Something in my gut told me that he was no different than a dog growling at a foreign dog attempting to establish dominance and some miniscule form of control of a situation that is normally a passive exchange at a Hess Station at Cameron and Market streets at two AM on a Saturday morning.

Although the minutia of the next thirty seconds is escaping me at this moment, what I do remember is this Caucasian kid of Irish decent in a black hooded sweatshirt forming his pointer, middle and thumb fingers into the shape of a gun and pressing them against the temple of my head while informing me “next time I tell you to step back, you step the fuck back, son”.

“Dude, listen man…seriously…you got me all wrong…I’m most likely going to do the same thing you’re going to do right now. I’m just getting a pack of smokes man. It’s really all good. We’re cut from the same cloth, brother. We’re just people.” I said calmly.

And then he took his Pepsi and went to talk to the girls in my car. What was said was, no doubt, rude and disrespectful,, but given the circumstances and knowing what kind of riff raff leaves Second Street in Harrisburg at two AM on a Saturday morning, I wasn’t all that surprised by the exchange.

And I was ready for it to be over; my passengers and I to laugh about it and for us to continue our fun night.

But as I backed my Saab around the row of cars parked in front of the Hess Station at Market and Cameron, the kid in the moderately sized black hooded sweatshirt of Irish decent reached into his older black Chevy Blazer with the chrome pinstripes and pointed what looked to be pretty damn close to a 9MM automatic handgun at myself and the passengers in my car.

Apparently because I stood too close in line to him at the Hess Station at Market and Cameron.

Something, in the Blink of an eye, told me that this boy was not a threat to me or my passengers, so I calmly exited the gas station and drove to our original destination.

The girls were obviously shaken.

And it spurred a conversation.

A dialogue about what the fuck is going on in the world we’re living in…

A discussion about where we’re all from and why we decide to do the things we do…try to impress the company that we keep…while most of the time, not even considering the ulterior values and motives of those we assimilate with.

Years ago, I remember reading about the “new world order” and how it was such a horrible thing…how can each nation keep it’s identity?

But recently I’ve been thinking that maybe a World Order of Humanity isn’t such a bad thing.

Maybe all of the oppressed people of every nation can band together and form a sort of universal consciousness to just be good people.

Respect each others backgrounds and beliefs; while at the same time forging our own ground towards global unity and a higher level of conciousness and working together as a species rather than a country or company or organization or religion having a giant circle jerk about who is better than the other.

But that’s just what I thought about after having a gun pulled on me for standing too close to someone at the Hess Station at Cameron and Market Streets.


I did call the police to report the incident. The dispatcher seemed quite responsive to my call as well. But I didn't want to talk to the police; I just wanted to make sure the incident got logged--because I know that the kid likely wouldn't have been found. And if he did, what would happen? He'll get another item listed to his permanent record? Maybe a fine? And even if he was on some sort of probation and got locked up again, he'd just wind up back on the streets in less than six months and what would that accomplish?

I'll never forget what that kid looks like and believe that Karma will catch up to him sooner than later.

Something tells me that this blog will make more people aware of the fragility of encounters with strangers at gas stations than a police report ever will.