Turn It Around

(see scans of the booklet)

Turn it around... and by that we're referring to the punk scene. At a time when the scene is plagued by mindless violence, intimidation, vandalism, and general stupidity, at a time when bands and promoters are getting "profession" (meaning greedy, selfish, and cut throat) and, at a time when it's all becoming more like the mainstream than an alternative, there are groups of dedicated people who are determined to fight back and revitalize things. One such group is the ever-growing crew at the Gilman Street Project. Both old scenesters, young scenesters, and non-scenesters have banded together to implement their ideals, to create an example of how things can be, and then try to spread this practical message to others who feel the same elsewhere.

Gilman Street has but a few guiding principles: no alcohol or drugs in or around the warehouse, and no violence or vandalism, in or around the warehouse- dealing directly with the causes of many a club's downfall. It's a membership clubhouse, one where all decisions get determined by those who attend shows, where people come to see Gilman as their refuge, where people come to shows and events because they like the feelings as much as they like the bands.

In a nutshell, we're reestablishing a sense of community in the scene. Our feeling has been that if the majority of those going to shows don't like the stupidity, that they, along with those organizing events, and the bands themselves, can control their environment. We don't have much in this hideous world, but we can at least care for/about each other, can engender an inspiring, creative space, and can, non-violently, kick ass on those mainstream, parasitic values which have nothing to do with punk whatsoever.

This record is dedicated to those who care, bands and fans alike, a testimony to the fact that if enough people try, that scene unity can be realized and is not just a hollow slogan. And to those who live elsewhere, we send a simple, realistic message to you: Turn It Around! - Tim Y.

As in the general punk scene, the music and ideas expressed through this record only represent half of what Gilman Street has come to be. The remainder is equally as catchy but a lot harder to document. This half is made up of the people who actually make the shows happen, from beginning to end. They volunteer their time to set up the shows, make and post the flyers, sign up new members, take money at the door, coordinate the events on the stage, do the sound, operate the store, create and enforce the club policies inside and out, clean up, fix up and just keep the place in one piece. This slowly growing group of people are much more than fans, they are participants.

Gilman Street has had some great effects on the local scene. It's a place where old and young bands can communicate with an equally diverse audience who in turn can do the same with the bands. It's a place where assholes are dealt with non-violently by a force comprised of club members who stand their ground. It's a place where paying and working members will stick around til 3:00 am, after an exhausting six hour show to join in a meeting to voice their opinion concerning a club problem. It's a place where people can be themselves.

Although the project (at the time of this release) is nearing it's one year anniversary, in many ways it still has a lot to accomplish. The first step of establishing a friendly (at times completely silly; hence the tag "Geekcore") atmosphere has been achieved. Now, the club should gain a stronger hold on a serious political side and the 'Mind Fuck' department deserves a lot more attention. The participation level is high enough to keep the club going without everyone burning out, but participation in key decision-making is always in the need of more input. Gilman Street is not Utopia and it never will be, but it does have a lot of the necessary ingredients for something very close.

The ideas behind this record are an accurate reflection of just some of the goals that the bands, participants and members of Gilman want to fulfill through it's existence. Hopefully the inspiration here will spread, moving all of us who care one more step forward and creating a need for another compilation who's title should be "Turn it Inside Out." - Martin Sprouse

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