Watch Teamster in Congress

March 17, 2023

Last night I went to the Cisco Bradley book signing for his latest your tour de force "Williamsburg avant garde." The book chronicles the underground music scene in Williamsburg that will go down as some of the best music created in America during the years 1988 to 2014. 

Even though the book applauds the creativity of the Williamsburg Art Scene it is also a cautionary tale of gentrification whereby the artists can no longer afford to live in the neighborhoods where they practiced and studied their craft. 

I was left nearly speechless after Cisco Bradley detailed the changes Williamsburg has been through. For my part I was an active participant in the Williamsburg avant garde music scene  from 2000 to 2009 before I began to make changes in my own life. 

I played in Williamsburg during the years 2000 to 2009 with the bands "Kalaparush and the Light", "Stumblebum Brass Band," and "Burnt Sugar with Greg Tate" "Yen Pox with Brandon Seabrook" and "Kenny Wollesen's Himalayas." 

I also played music in Williamsburg with ad hoc groups that included Matthew Welch, Matt Bua, Ladislav Czernek, Fritz Welch, Blaise Siwula, Darius Naujo, Tamio Shiraishi, and Adam Kriney. 

It was a glorious time, hipsters were all over the place and ran Williamsburg. There was no shortage of 50 to 100 dollar music gigs. And with that money plus what I made playing music in the streets and subways I was able to afford rent in the Bronx and seriously be a full time musician and wake up at 3pm and go to bed at 5am sometimes later if I went to an after hours club. 

Unfortunately everything changed. The hipsters no longer ran Williamsburg and  by 2014 they were replaced completely by venture capitalists. The book chronicles this. 

Now for my part I quit playing music and became a teamster. Now instead of going to bed at 5am I wake up at 5am. But my life and entry way in to the teamsters union is a story for another day. God bless Cisco Bradley for writing "Williamsburg Avant Garde."