Jules de Balincourt


Here I am looking tired and concerned, trying to juggle painting, a photo shoot and running a community art performance center in Bushwick. The night before, the center hosted its first big music event with ten bands in rotation. The upstairs and basement were suddenly transformed into a CBGB/ Knitting Factory–type place. Kids had their T-shirt and CD booths up, the bar was stocked, and the headlining band, the Slits, was using an apartment upstairs as a green room. We had discovered yesterday morning that this ten-band concert had just been moved to my space. It entailed an all-day makeover of soundproofing, installing fire extinguishers, lighting, stage assembly, etc. Three hours into the show, I had to deal with twenty police officers looking at me in disbelief, like, "Are you fucking kidding me, kid? You think you can just set up a club in Bushwick with all these white kids?" Then one of them asked me, "Where you from?" with his thick Long Island accent. I answered, "What do you mean? I told you I live here. This is my address." He looked at me and asked where I was really from. I skipped the France part and told him I was from California. Next thing you know we were taking group pictures with the cops and even convinced the Staten Island "Fightin' Irish" cop to go onstage. He grabbed the microphone, suddenly looking like Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat.