Monday, September 12, 2011

Why people are calling for a boycott of The University of the Streets


There's a story making the rounds about a fight at The University of the Streets, the 40-year-old-plus arts-community space on Seventh Street. As Brooklyn Vegan first reported on Friday, musician Tom Blancarte sent out the following message:

"Breaking news to all musicians in NYC who might be playing at University of the Streets in the East Village:

I just played there with Talibam!, Tim Dahl and Moppa Elliot, and when we were finished, the owner and her son told us that we owed them 50 dollars. When we told them we didn't owe them anything, her son punched my friend Kevin in the face with keys in his hand! He came close to losing his left eye! Please boycott this place, they are bad, bad people."

The photo is of Kevin Shea of Talibam! via his Facebook page. The University of the Streets folks haven't addressed the issue. So we haven't heard their side of the story. Meanwhile, people are filling up their Facebook page with ugly comments.

12 comments:

nygrump said...

The curator of this month's series, Steve Dalachinsky, made the venue's policy clear to the performers that they would need to get 5 paying people in the audience or they have to pay $50 or what it takes to make up $50. No one forced talibam to play under this agreement, but for whatever reason, they can't get 5 people to come to one of their shows. I've seen a dozen shows there this year, some great talent like Sabit Mateen, Connie Crothers, Daniel Carter, Steaphanie Stone, Ras Moshe and many others. You mouth off to my mother and I might knock you in the face too.

Anonymous said...

saadia? is that you?

Anonymous said...

saadia? is that you?

nygrump said...

NO, its a local who has seen at least a dozen shows at this space this year. Its funny, when I make an agreement I stick with it. I guess the talibam duders don't feel that way. They agreed if they couldn't get 5 paying customers to attend their gig but I guess for some reason they don't feel that they are obligated to fulfill their agreements. Y'all forgot pretty quickly how Bowery Presents beat up Todd P for passing out flyers on the public sidewalk outside the Bowery.

Anonymous said...

@ 1:34 saadia?

Anonymous said...

disclaimer: if you agree to the terms, you live by the agreement and don't bitch about it after the fact.

that being said, pay-to-play is a bunch of certified bullshit and i'm happy to boycott spaces that operate this way on the strength of that alone.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

What "monthly curator" would dare book bands to play this venue now? And what band would agree to play it? It's over, Johnny. IT'S OVER! The son's temper just killed the business.

Anonymous said...

nygrump, are you really suggesting that whatever dispute took place over the $50, whether Talibam! were in the wrong or not, that violence like this was justified?

Anonymous said...

Yah, beating up musicians after a gig is pretty much the end of any performance space, I'd say.

nygrump said...

I'm not promoting violence, but I'm curious how quickly poeple are attacking the venue for the actions of a single employee. And you know what, we only have one side of the story. There has been nothing but that post on the one musicians page and then 100's of messages of hate against a longterm DIY venue. I had to listen to Dalachinsky bitching to me once "why can't people just talk things over" - yet he immediately "disassociating" himself from the venue based on a picture posted to the internet. Since EVERYTHING progressive in our culture is under attack, and this venue was created by muslims, perhaps there is another agenda going on here. Bowery Ballroom seemed to have survived quite well when their employees beat up a citizen on the sidewalk. I think the band was just pissed off that they couldn't even attract a single person to their gig and mouthed off to the venue.

Anonymous said...

@11:44 AM. give it a rest saadia! we all know it's you!

Anonymous said...

@nygrump

this ALSO is not the first time here have been complaints about the venue either. Stories have been circulating amongst musicians for a while now. There was at least one musician several months ago, who HAD a crowd, and after the show (after people had left) the venue claimed there were about half of what actually paid and told the musician to "go find the people and bring them back to say they were here and we'll pay you". Regardless of whether the musicians mouthed off, over 50 bucks, you can ban them. But to punch somebody with a handful of keys (which is essentially a weapon at that point) is inexcusable, regardless of what was "said"