union gas

6

April 17 2017 - Hundreds of antifascists disrupt a meeting by the fascist National Front in Paris, France. Cops got caught in their own tear gas and some members of GUD, Groupe Union Défense, a fascist student group tried to look for a fight and had to climb a fence and retreat behind the cops. [video]

Things I learned from watching the news in the 80s:

  • Union Carbide leaked gas from a plant in India in mid-80s and killed over 3,000 people
  • Geraldine Ferraro was the first female vice presidential candidate for a major political party (ticketed with Walter Mondale) and one of the major things that brought her down was a tax scandal
  • In 1985/6 NYC opened up trash collecting jobs for women, who really wanted it because they paid really well!
  • Heart transplant receivers were suffering from so many strokes that last I saw they were considering stopping transplants altogether; don’t know what happened there
  • Ronald Reagan once visited a cemetery in Bitburg, West Germany and caused major controversy because 49 Nazis happened to be buried there
  • Obviously bad things happening in South Africa, Lebanon, the Soviet Union, etc and with AIDS
  • Earthquake in Mexico City killed 5,000 people in 1985
  • 10 year old Samantha Smith became an unofficial peace ambassador to the Soviet Union and later died in a plane crash at the age of 13
  • In 1984, Bernhard Goetz, “subway vigilante,” shoots four black teens after allegedly attempting to rob him, causing major debates about self-defense, race + crime and became a symbol for New Yorker’s frustration with high crime rates
  • I had to watch Ronald Reagan talk about popping a pimple
  • S T A R  W A R S (Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative)
  • 1985: NYC opens a “Homosexual High School” (Harvey Milk High, still open today)
  • Reagan had the Queen over for tacos and enchiladas in 1983

Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to respond to the charges leveled this morning by the European Union that Gazprom has abused its market dominance by just saying…hold on…okay, so which one of these buttons turns off the gas to the entire fucking continent?

Sufjan Stevens

Singer, 30

“I grew up in Michigan and I eventually moved to New York to attend the New School for the writing program. I think I was always a musician even before I could play an instrument and I think I wanted to be a writer. Writing was more a sort of self-conscious desire through education, classes and reading. It was kind of a personal aspiration whereas music was my natural language from the beginning. It was an inherent inclination that I had. Writing was kind of a way to thwart music because I couldn’t really perceive of a way to be a musician as a vocation or practical way of life. I could see myself as a writer or journalist. But when I got here I started meeting lots of other musicians and they just coaxed me into playing and recording songs and participating in their shows. I did it kind of unwillingly at first and I kept saying ‘No, I’m a writer. I’ll do this because you invited me. But I’m working on my book and I want to get published and I want to teach.’ But eventually it took over and now I consider myself a failed writer.

I moved to Brooklyn about seven years ago. I first lived over by the Seaport across this bridge. Honestly I think I’d only been to Brooklyn once while I was living there. It was just across this bridge and I kind of saw it as this odd mysterious place that I’d never been to. It’s so dumb that I never visited it. I thought New York was Manhattan . And of course what a surprise when I actually moved over the river and I moved near East Williamsburg . The street I lived on was all Puerto Rican. There were those two big Purina Dog Chow buildings that the Brooklyn Union Gas Company owned. I wasn’t far from those. We used to say those were our Twin Towers because I lived near them in Manhattan and now I lived by these two large buildings. Then I moved pretty much every year to a different neighborhood, which was intense. I just didn’t have a lot of money and someone would move out and I couldn’t afford the rent. I had just quit my job. You know how it is. Now I’m in Kensington. It’s kind of like the suburbs of Brooklyn . It’s quiet and it’s not cool at all, which I like. But it’s a short bike ride to all the cool neighborhoods. It’s cheap. It’s like the last affordable neighborhood where you can buy stuff. There are houses with driveways, which is unusual here. And it’s really diverse. There’s no dominant culture there. A lot of Jewish families, Chinese Americans, Polish, Russians. It doesn’t seem like anyone is entitled to that neighborhood. It’s just mixed.

When I moved here first I dropped out of school and I was in a really bad college band. We thought we would make it big. We moved to Bloomfield , New Jersey because we couldn’t afford to live in New York . So of course we weren’t going to make it big. I think my perception of New York was very romantic, and very unreal and very naïve. And of course coming back again after finishing school and coming to grad school, and especially the year I moved to Brooklyn was the year I came to terms with New York for what it was and was able to encounter it full on as a living breathing city with many different moods and characteristics. I think once I came to terms with that I fell in love with it. More deeply than you just fall in love with a girl in middle school. I think the first time I moved here it was an infatuation just based on total fantasy but when I moved to Brooklyn it was a deeper love, kinda like a marriage.”

Photographed on the Brooklyn Bridge

Well worth the wait. ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ is out now! You know what to do 

Get it on 

- iTunes 
- Amazon
- Google Play
- Spotify 
- Apple Music 

Oh, and did ya hear? We’re going on tour with Weezer and special guest Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness this summer. Tickets go on sale January 22nd at 10am local time. 

June 10 - The Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
June 11 - Corpus Christi, TX @ Concrete Street Amphitheater*
June 12 - New Orleans, LA @ Bold Sphere Music at Champions Square
June 14 - Miami, FL @ Bayfront Park Amphitheater
June 15 - Tampa, FL @ Midflorida Credit Union Amphitheater
June 16 - Atlanta, GA @ Lakewood Amphitheatre
June 19 - Daniel Island, SC @ Volvo Cars Stadium
June 20 - Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion
June 21 - Raleigh, NC @ Walnut Creek Amphitheater
June 22 - Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
June 24 - Bristow, VA @ Jiffy Lube Live
June 25 - Canandaigua, NY @ Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands PAC
June 26 - Scranton, PA @ Pavilion at Montage Mountain
June 28 - Gilford, NH @ Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion at Meadowbrook
June 30 - Wantagh, NY @ Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
July 01 - Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center
July 02 - Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
July 05 - Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion
July 06 - Toronto, ON @ Molson Canadian Amphitheatre
July 08 - Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre
July 09 - Milwaukee, WI @ Summerfest - Marcus Amphitheater
July 10 - Tinley Park, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
July 12 - Noblesville, IN @ Klipsch Music Center
July 13 - Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater
July 15 - Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion
July 16 - Oklahoma City, OK @ Zoo Amphitheater*
July 17 - Rogers, AR @ Walmart Arkansas Music Pavilion
July 19 - Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
July 20 - Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre
July 22 - Brandon, SD @ Badlands Motor Speedway*
July 23 - Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Hotel & Casino Council Bluffs - Stir Cove*
July 24 - Englewood, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre
July 26 - Salt Lake City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre
July 28 - Burnaby, BC @ Festival Lawn at Deer Lake Park
July 29 - Redmond, WA @ Marymoor Park
July 30 - Troutdale, OR @ Edgefield
July 31 - Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre*
August 02 - Phoenix, AZ @ AK-Chin Pavilion
August 03 - Chula Vista, CA @ Sleep Train Amphitheatre*
August 05 - Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
August 06 - Irvine, CA @ Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre

* Weezer and Panic! At The Disco only