Date: Fri, 24 Mar 1995 16:09:42 -0500 (EST)
From: "D.A.C. Crowell"
To: Matt mot Massive
Subject: Re: For Public Discussion.
After reading this, I've noted that it does tend to hit most of the
bases, save for one...and this is a dangerous one which partly relates to
the media's (mis)perception of the whole scene/phenom. The point that
certain out-for-a-buck types are also trying to co-opt rave, etc as a
selling point is a real problem; in my opinion, it perhaps draws too much
attention to something which need not have such attention drawn to it in
the first place. Now, in Europe, it's true that rave is much more of a
public thing, and as such, attention for it (perhaps save in England
after the Justice Bill) isn't all that problematic. But over here in this
so-called "free country", attention for something which so violently
tweaks the nose of authority...any sort of attention, whether that be a
tabloid "exposee", a Fruitopia ad, or some cheezy-assed "rave"concocted
by some Hollyweird suit-types for a TV show...is not a good thing. It
gives what should be an underground phenomenon the one thing which will
homogenize, sterilize, and co-opt it to doomsday: exposure.
Now, that may sound pretty stupid coming from someone who's
trying to make something of a living doing music for this
phenomenon...but it's true. And much as it would be _really neat_ to make
a bazillion buxx off of doing the sort of thing I do, it would also be
akin to killing the goose that laid the golden egg. Rave would become a
marketable, controllable _commodity_, with the reins of power removed
from the crowd who hold it now and placed squarely in the hands of a
handful of marketers, deisgners, and other faceless suits in myriad
office buildings somewhere. The real solution here is to follow the
advice laid down in the last "rule" in "The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle":
"Do not play. Do not give the game away". The underground is where it all
came from, where the best of the best still emanates from...and where
this all needs to go back to to get rave out of the all-distorting Public
"But what do we do when injustices are done?", you say...like the
recent Detroit bust, or other, bigger atrocities like Grave from a couple
years back? Well, there are plenty of tools that don't involve the
media. The ACLU should be one group that immediately should spring to
mind when the cops descend like blue-shirted flies on an event. When it
becomes clear that we are _informed_ as to our civil rights and that any
bust will logjam the court system of any jurisdiction where a bust
occurs, suddenly it won't be so fun to bust raves anymore...the exercise
will turn into a morass of legal hassles, angry judges, mountains of
paperwork, etc etc etc ad nauseaum for the police and legal system. Jam
the gears is the solution here. When it becomes very clear that the cost
involved in busting a rave is far too excessive, then the busts will
cease except in certain situations.
And what about those "certain situations"? Well, I think it's a
very clear and apparent thing that if you're going to mix a low-profile
career in drugs and a high-profile career in throwing raves, something
bad is eventually going to happen. Those promoters who insist on this and
who don't clue up to it are goiing to face the Wrath of Darwin
here...this is simply not behavior that's indicative of survival, folks.
If the cops _know_ you're dealing and want your ass in a sling, then what
better and more high-profile way to do it _and_ kill off your clientele
than a nice big public bust, replete with all scary accoutrements of the
Great Amurrikan Po-leece State? A real point to consider here...
However, most busts I've seen or read about are pretty much
unwarranted, as is the severity of action associated with them. At one
event I was at in Ohio, for example, several cars of _riot police_ were
called in even before the event had started! Riot police? For a rave?
Sure, the music might sound like a riot (especially if you're playing a
bunch of gabber or such), but crash helmets and body armor are a bit much
for a bunch of what's basically unarmed kids trying to have a good time.
A lot more busts could be avoided, also, by carefully dotting every "i"
and crossing every "t" as far as local jurisdictions are concerned. One
particularly nasty bust in St. Louis as of recent occured because, as I
was told, the promoter didn't feel like bending to authority and getting
proper permits for the event. Excuse me? That's like the Daffy Duck thing
where you stand up in front of Elmer Fudd and yell "Shoot me now! Shoot
me now!" Veeeeery stupid.
Sites can be a problem, also...this was a contributing factor in
the OH and St. Louis busts, as well, with both problems having trouble
with site owners. On this, promoters need to learn a bit of contractual
savvy. Write clauses in that guarantee that the site's owner will pay
_all_ event expenses in the event that they renig on the use of the site.
If they're made aware of how much this sum is (usually), you'll either
run off wack site owners or make damned sure that they don't back out on
you. Neither occurance is bad.
Which brings me to another point: business. Now, I know
everyone's going "oooOOoooooooohhhhh...the eeeevil B-word!"...but let's
face it, throwing raves, doing music for them, doing a smart bar, shirts,
etc etc etc is all _business activity_. To say it's otherwise is a total
lie. If we were to deal with our events in perhaps a less haphazardly
manner with respect to monetary issues, perhaps they would come off
smoother in certain aspects. We would look less like a bunch of kids
throwing another noisy dance party and more like a potential
revenue-generation engine if we all learned to work with business rather
than against the notion of business. And looking like potential revenue
is what makes other businesses happy...and when they're happy, the
chamber of commerce gets happy, then the city gets happy, and then they
won't want these events to be fucked with if it becomes known that
there's a potential of area businesses (especially restuarants...nothing
like a good breakfast after the all-night thud!) to become angry when
they lose an expecte revenue bump off of a rave being held nearby. _This
aspect_ is one which is routinely ignored over here in the US. There are
ways to make this work which should be explored, irrespective of people
whining that it'll co-opt the scene. This isn't co-opting, people...this
is using your community's fiscal resources as an umbrella to protect the
In closing, I will say that while there's a lot wrong over here
with the scene and how it manages itself, this is nothing close to an
irremedial situation. Like _Massive_'s motto goes, the underground is
massive...and with this level of activity, we're going to draw attention
to ourselves. If we all try to make sure that it's not _undue_ and
_negative_ attention, then our beloved underground thang will _stay_ our
beloved underground thang. The final level of responsibility really comes
down to us individually in the end, since we're the big visible mass.
Acting responsibly would be a prudent move in such times now...and yes,
this might mean not being in orbit around Neptune on whatever chemical
you can scarf or perhaps thinking how you might draw _less_ attention to
yourself and your scene...but neither is such a bad thing, really. I find
most chemicals obscure the biggest high of all, the one that comes from
the >BWOMBWOMBWOMBWOM<-ing wall of BEAT and BASS that lead you inside
yourself...and as for drawing attention, well, that's an ego-trip, and
much has been written about how the ego's nothing but an impediment to
self when it gets that overinflated. You don't need it when it gets that
big. We could all do with a good bit less alteration and a good bit less
'tude in the end, methinks.
Okay, I've ranted enough...next victim!
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><>\ "People usually think that the arts should
D.A.C. Crowell |only entertain, but that is not the role of
Audio Design and Programming |the arts at all. The role of the arts is to
The Aerodyne Works |explore the inner space of man; to find out
Champaign, IL, USA. |how much and how intensely he can vibrate,
firstname.lastname@example.org |through sound, through what he hears,
http://hyperreal.com/music/ |whichever it is. They are a means by which
artists/dac_crowell |to expand his inner universe.
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><>/ -- Karlheinz Stockhausen