17 May 2007

Tonic Update: Ribot to Jail

In a previous post, I told you that the fabulous Lower East Side club, Tonic, was -- very much against its will -- soon to shut its doors for good. Well, it seems that one of Tonic's most notable regulars wasn’t going to take this lying down ... or standing up. Whatever one doesn't do when one protests. I think he was seated when the police arrived, so I suppose that means he wasn't going to take it lying down or standing up. Whatever. What's important is that our hero wasn't going to take it ... in any position!

Details and interview here:

More A Semiotician Than A Guitarist: Marc Ribot Goes to Jail
By Jesse Jarnow
May 11, 2007

Marc Ribot went to jail so you could keep rocking. Or listening quietly, dancing, or however you enjoy live music. Though he wasn't dragged from the Tonic stage playing his guitar, the former squatter came awfully close, refusing to leave on April 14th, the day the new tenants took over the lease from experimental music's largest Manhattan home. Ribot and Take It to the Bridge -- an organization he co-founded with musician Rebecca Moore -- are demanding that the city provide a new venue to the Lower East Side avant-garde community that has occupied the neighborhood for a century.

Like many of Ribot's other projects, his musical sit-in also employed Tonic's red velvet curtain as a backdrop. Instead of angular jazz, though, Ribot played the trespasser. "I've always considered myself more a semiotician than a guitarist anyway," the frequent Tom Waits collaborator told JamBands.com in his matter-of-fact Zappa-like deadpan. Point taken. Playing Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness Of You" unamplified, police officers looking on, Ribot and Moore were soon hauled off.


Once a leather-jacketed/spiky-haired young lion of the New York jazz scene, Ribot has transformed into something of a still-restless statesman, now more often seen in a blazer and spectacles. Though he leads a half-dozen projects of his own (including Ceramic Dog, Los Cubanos Postizos, and ongoing collboration with bassist Henry Grimes), plays often with Tom Waits, John Zorn, Medeski Martin and Wood, and others, and has done session work with everybody from Allen Ginsberg to Trey Anastasio, Ribot is still exactly who he was when he started: a Manhattan jazz musician. And, right now, real estate developers are getting in the way of him making a living. Forgive him if he's pissed.

Click here for the rest of the story, including a length interview with the man himself. And his fascinating blog entry from last year concerning the downtown music scene can be found here. Finally, sign the protest here. Go on: sign it!

No comments: