WATERTOWN, April 29, 2013 — “we got him !”

Photo: "We got him !"

April 19, 2013 — 

WELL PPL THAT’S IT. DZHOKHAR TSARNAEV IS IN CUSTODY, ALIVE (barely ?), and asking for a medic, which he will get quickly. Maybe now we can find out what the heck these two brothers (with both mother and father living back in Russia, so far away) had in mind and why ? 

Thank you to all the officers and SWAT guys who gave up sleep and all for this long and sometimes frustrating search and find.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- SUGGESTION to my FB ppl : follow The_MsDD on Twitter for quicker and completer info on this Dzhokhar Tsarnaev story.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- @ethanklapper tweets that a translator has been brought in to “coax him out” of that boat. Alive. Sincerely hope they also have EMT unit on scene with blood or it’ll do no good to “coax him out.”

APRIL 19, 2013 —- Boston Globe >>> “neighbors say the police have told them that the man in that boat is “covered in blood.” Yet is still alive after bleeding for 14 hours since morning shootout. Chechen fighters HARD TO KILL and not just a movie title.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- BOSTON SCANNER : “standoff continues. man is alive in the boat.”

Why standoff ? Because they’re afraid he might be wearing a suicide vest and they don’t want to lose him AND have a huge explosion in this totally residential Watertown neighborhood.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- TSARNAEV UPDATE : Pete Williams of NBC reports that police are beginning to move in on (assault) the boat. Over very soon. Maybe with a bang. Or a whimper. You choose.

UPDATE >>> Man in that boat in Watertown is now moving, says Boston scanner. OK, here we go again.

MAYBE UPDATE : Boston Globe tweets that the tarp is off the boat in that Watertown yard (Franklin St at Mt Auburn, next to Church of the good Shepherd) and that man in boat is not moving. Judge for y’self, ppl.

NO UPDATE : Is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev dead in the boat or alive. Half say alive, half say dead. as DD is now 22 miles away, she has no better info 🙂

UPDATE : Dzhokhar Tsarnaev may be dead. In the boat in yard of house at Franklin and Mt Auburn Streets, Watertown. Not sure yet. (An area DD knows well from many political campaigns. East Watertown. Largest Armenian community in America. With his dark black hair and chiseled jaw he would look very Armenian and so attract less notice.)

APRIL 19, 2013 —- UPDATE : Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seems to be hiding in a boat under a boat cover in somebody’s yard on Franklin St Watertown. SWAT team closing ion. Shooting has stopped.

*** Breaking news: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “is pinned down on Franklin Street” (Watertown). CNN reports. FOX reports that tear gas is being fired to hive him out of whatever dwelling he is in.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- am beginning to get very annoyed right now at all thus lockdown stuff. What happened to “terrorist can’t change our way of life cuz then they win”?

APRIL 19, 2013 —- NG —-> Watch interview with the Tsarnaev Brothers’ Uncle, Ruslan Tsarni :

APRIL 19, 2013 —- Amazing how many furry and/or cute DOG photos are on DD’s news feed right now. Comfort Dogs, DD is sure.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- News that younger brother 19-year old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is still at large, probably in East Watertown. Cannot post any details as BPD has requested no scanner info be published. Hopefully, ppl, this saga ends soon, and even more hopefully, with young Tsarnaev in custody alive. really d9o want to hear his story, if he chooses to tell it. Suspect it’s more complicated by far than the mere terrorist he has come t\into our view as. 

Which does NOT mean that DD is going wobbly. Punishment he has surely earned.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- Those who want to blame Islam for terrorists who happen to be Islamic have it backwards. Islam didn’t create the people. People created Islam. Blame the people, not the religion . Plus, Islam, like every man made thing, is what you make of it. Moral culpability goes to the person, not to what he makes.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- We newsies have been asked by BOD not to post info from the police scanner as to police tactics and whereabouts, and DD will honor that request. Next update will probably thus be capture or death of young Tsarnaev….

APRIL 19, 2013 —- No report yet if a capture of still at large Tsarnaev brother. Boston police scanner claims he is posting online that he “will kill all of you because you killed my brother.” (((Shrug)))

It is not clear that this post is n ot a fake. It does happen…,


WBZ : “policed report that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has assault rifle, bombs, is preparered to die.” Pretty sure that that will happen.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- Those of us, including MsDD, who identified the two as Suni Tripathi and Mike Muguleta now need to apologize. Please let DD now do so. Sincerely, guys.

Dead Chechen brother is named Tamerlan Tzamaev. A frightful first name ….


APRIL 19, 2013 —- Third arrest in Chechen brothers bombing : a woman, handcuffed, dragged out if the Tzamaev apartment on Cambridge, resisting arrest. Family member ?

Cambridge police or FBI now searching through the Tzamaev Brotherz’ apartment at 410 Or 40 Norfolk Avenue.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- Scene at 89 Nichols Street in Watertown. From friend Dave Wedge on Twitter. ID’d Dzhokhar A. Tzamaev – or whomever – holed up there ? Must be.

Photo: Scene at 89 Nichols Street in Watertown. From friend Dave Wedge on Twitter. ID'd Dzhokhar A. Tzamaev - or whomever - holed up there ? Must be.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- Dzhokhar A. Tzamaev, photo from his social network account. Thanks again to James Ciminera for identifying them as brothers 36 hours ago and to Francis Toohey for seeing them as Balkans and East.

Photo: Dzhokhar A. Tzamaev, photo from his social network account. Thanks again to James Ciminera for identifying them as brothers 36 hours ago and to Francis Toohey for seeing them as Balkans and East.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- From AP : surviving bomber suspect identified as Dzhokhar A. Tzamaev, age 19, of Cambridge. Chechen. If true, then by all Means DD approves the radical measures the authorities have taken.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- The AP is now reporting that the two Boston bombing suspects are from Chechnya, or Turkey. If true, it makes Francis Toohey in his discussion // which DD said then was very insightful — on an earlier DD post look pretty darn shrewd. But we will see. AP could be Wrong.

Watertown today. Front line in the war in terror. The new normal.

Photo: Watertown today. Front line in the war in terror. The new normal.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- Direct from Boston Police: search for suspect 2 continues.

Photo: Direct from Boston Police: search for suspect 2 continues.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- Workers at Target in Watertown watching the press cried gathered for upcoming press conference by police…sometime, not sure when.

Photo: Workers at Target in Watertown watching the press cried gathered for upcoming press conference by police...sometime, not sure when.

APRIL 19, 2013 —- Watertown seems to be loaded with cops. Residents are being advised not to open doors. One report RT’d by DD’s former Phoenix Chief editor, now @ Globe, says that people are being evacuated from area near where Suspect 2 is thought to be holed up.

APRIL 19, 2013 — Confirmed now that naked man arrested earlier in Middle of East Watertown manhunt was not Suspect 2. Wrong place wrong time !! corrected post that was put up by Moi earlier.

The scene in East Watertown right now. From Maria Sacchetti RT’d by Boston Globe reporter (DD’s former chief editor at Phoenix)

Photo: The scene in Estertown right now. From Maria Sacchetti rt 'f by Boston Globe reporter (DD's former chief editor at Phoenix)

APRIL 19, 2013 —- From Boston Scanner @ Twitter. ; “suspect has locked himself inside a conference room on Talcott. Motion sensors going off. Help coming.”

APRIL 18, 2013 —- Boston Bombing —> this nan, reports Jeff Gauvin @ twitter, saw the black cap suspect drop a bag right at his feet two minutes before it exploded, he saw and identified the. Man and thus enabled the FBI to focus on the two guys it now hasidentified as suspects. 

This man had both lower legs blasted away but bring do close to the blast probably saved his life because the metal on the bomb hadn’t yet expanded its field of blow.

Photo: Boston Bombing ---> this nan, reports Jeff Gauvin @ twitter, saw the black cap suspect drop a bag right at his feet two minutes before it exploded, he saw and identified the. Man and thus enabled the FBI to focus on the two guys it now has identified as suspects. 

This man had both lower legs blasted away but bring do close to the blast probably dz rd his life because the metal on the bomb hadnt yet expanded its field of blow.

—- Deedee Freedberg / The_MsDD @ Twitter and Deedee Freedberg at FB



Zubeida Tsarnaeva

St Monnica, mother of Augustine

It was reported recently that Zubeida Tsarnaeva, mother of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, was so worried about her son Tamerlan’s wayward behavior — drug dealing, disrespect for women, dropping out of school, odd jobs – that she begged him to bring religion into his life: her religion, Islam. 

When I read that, I immediaterly thought of St. Monnica, mother of Augustine: who, famously (thanks to the CONFESSIONS), lived a young life as unruly as Tamerlan’s, maybe more unruly. Petty thievery, pranks, gambling, whoring: Augustine was no boy scout. Monnica was sorely troubled by her brilliant, irresponsible son; and by his intellectual shopping trip s into this and that philosophies, some of them — such as Manicheeism — cultish indeed. Yet Monnica kept at him. Not for a week did she cease to beg Augustine to turn to the religion she thought as true as Zubeida Tsarnaeva thought Islam.

Nor was Monnica’s preacher of choice a “moderate.” Ambrose of Milan was a no-nonsense zealot. He condemned those who believe in religious toleration. He barred the emperor of the time, Theodosius II, from his church for not destroying the statues of old Roman gods. There was no room in Ambrose’s theology for the state unless it was a state that carried out Ambrose’s idea of orthodoxy. In today’s America he woulod doubtless have been seen as a dangerous right wing loudmouth. Such was the preacher whom Monnica besought Augustine to listen to.

Augustine did listen to Ambrose preach in his basilica in Milan (note: DD has visited Ambrose’s Milan basilica. It rings true.) But being the intellectual rigorist that he was, Augustine was at first not impressed.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev also listened to his mother; and betook himself to a mosque in Cambridge. Where he, reportedly, found the preaching far too laid back for his athletic liking. 

Both sons eventually accorded themselves to the preacher their mothers had led them to. Augustine accepted Ambrose’s rigor and took baptism of him. Tamerlan visited the Cambridge mosque often enough to decide that rigorous adherence to a passionate, militant Islam would be his calling.

Tamerlan, on the other hand, seems not to have had any great facility in language or thought; had a personal presence powerful only physically; and saw soon enough that the power of the state was ranked against him and his new-found commitment of faith. Augustine channeled his anger and tirades to a point of view, and an institution, backed by he powerful in the Roman state. Tamerlan channeled his body and his physical force against the powers that he saw hemming him in and wedging him out.

Augustine went on to found his own religious circle and, eventually, to accept appointment as a bishop (of Hippo, now Annaba in Algeria), from which seat he fought fierce intellectual and sometimes militant wars against Donatists, Pelagians, and Manichees. All of which he won, because (1) he was, and remains, one of intellectual and rhetorical geniuses of the mind and ideas (2) his personal presence was as commanding as his words (3) he was a social animal all his life, who needed friends around him all the time, to discuss and converse; and and (4) he had the power of the imperial state behind him.

Both had women in their lives; Tamerlan, a wife; Augustine, a concubine of 16 yeards duration. Both men fathered children; Augustine doted on his son. We do not know what Tamerlan was like as a Dad.

Had the situation and attributes of either belonged to the other, each might have found the other’s fate. This we only imagine. One thing, though, we do know. Both men loved their mother — she who had guided them to religion: perhaps too strongly ? For each man seems to have felt that he had not lived up to his Mother’s expectations.

Augustine — not yet baptized, still thinking and hesitating — wrote this upon the death of Monnica:

“I closed her eyes; and there flowed withal a mighty sorrow into my heart, which was overflowing into tears…and woe was me in such a strife.”

Tamerlan, just before the gunfight in which he was killed, did not grimly hunker to fight. Instead, he called Zubeida his cell phone and told her, even as the bullets were on their way toward his body, “Mother, I love you !”

—- Deedee Freedberg / “The Sphere”


Monday, April 22, 2013 >>>> Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is awake and responding in writing to questions posed. In writing because he can’t talk due to billet wounds in neck and throat.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> “Back at college, bombing suspects called bombing “crazy.” He nailed it.

Sunday, April 22, 2013 >>>> Your typical teenager. Not your typical teenager. Yup, both. As are we all. Most if us recognize the signs in us and stop; he saw the signs in him and said “go!”

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> SHARING Dave Wedge‘s suggestion. Moment of silence tomorrow at 2.50 PM in respect of the killed & the maimed — and their loved ones & friends — in last Monday’s Marathon Bombing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> MESSAGE TO ALL DD’s FRIENDS: 

Just had to shut down a thread in which ppl got totally bent discussing whether or not there was egregious overkill in the lock-downs imposed on Boston during the hunt for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. 

There was overkill. WAY WAY overkill. DD said so in her Huffy post blog. DD feels even more strongly today that there was overkill.

1. When Lee Harvey Oswald — and there could have ben more out there — was on the loos after assassinating JFK,l did the Dallas police shut down Dallas and send 1000s of uniformed armed police to invading people’s homes ?


When the Manson gang was loose killing people in LA, did the LA authorities lock down LA and send LA cop s-0- not known for their niceness about civil rights — invading people’s homes ?


3. when the DC snipers wee out there killing people at random, did area police lock down neighborhoods and invade people’s homes ?


So what has changed now ? We were hunting for one (1) person. Violent, yes. Crazed, we thought so. Still; ONE (1) person.

or this you lock down 1,000,000 people, close businesses, stop transport, shut down hospitals, fill the streets with eavily armed grim faced guardia civil (as in Spain you see all the time), and then make of East East Watertown martial law zone ?

f you want to declare martial law, say so. And be able to justify it. If not, 

DD has nothing but THANKS for the 1000s of officers who went without sleep and risked a gunfight for two days to help hunt for the one Tsarnaev. All should be thanked, and have been,

But for the authorities who gave them their orders and put all of us on ice in confinement, DD says “NO THANK YOU!” 

This was not “Boston strong,” it was “Boston scared.’ 

It wasn’t “the terrorists will never change us,” it was “the terrorists have imposed their way of life upon us. 

It should never ever happen again, especially to a city that wants to– presumes to — dares to — has the gall to — talk about “Boston strong.”

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> People : DD just shut down a thread on which people were yelling at and insulting one another. DD will not tolerate thus dirt if thing on this page. Discuss stuff intensely but civilly. And never ever insult another commenter. DD will NOT permit it. Thank you for your co-operation.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> MESSAGE FROM BOSTON 04/21/13 12.44 PM. Officer Sean Collier escorted home at least 100 strong….

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> MsDD says : “It is the highest duty of a lawyer to represent the most unpopular client. That is what we fought a revolutionary war to establish (as Charlie Pierce blogs at Esquire). Represent him in atrial involving fact, evidence, and argument. hat is how we do. John Adams represented British mercenary soldiers firing on our people (*the “Boston Massacre”). his defendant is a US citizen. No “public safety’; exceptions either.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> MESSAGE FROM BOSTON, 04/21/13, 10.33 AM —-

Life goes on, sees DD. The “conservatives’ are still talking / legislating nonsense, the President’s DOJ is still oppressing, and the progressives are still trying to reform a world going wobbly. Normal life. Time to get a grin on.


Horrible and ongoing as this bombing has been to all of us here — numbing and holding us in its grip — DD just has to say a kudo to all of us in the news biz up here. We have had the good fortune to chronicle it all; the violence, the miming, the rescues, the fear; the unanswerable questions; the might have beens; the timelineof it all, photos and events. 

None of us in Boston can ever forget an iota of what we know and/or feel about this Bombing, and we neswies have assured Boston — and continue to assure — that almost all that can be known about it will be there to remain unforgotten. For us newsies this been both duty and reward, trauma and salve, and as awful as the Bombing was, is, and shall be, DD just feels blessed to have had, and still have, a small part among news giants above moi, in reporting the event and many, many of our people in it — neswies included. 

Pray for us, and give us a fist bump too if you can.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> BOSTON BOMBING : THE RESCUED & THE RESCUERS —-> great story in today’s Boston Globe. Infinitely moving, read it over and over, with six lumps of OMG in the throat.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> Some news for you Party People: it appears that the Susanne Bartsch dress-up party that was to take place at the Revere Hotel last night has been moved to May 11 and will now be a benefit for those hurt in the Marathon Bombing.

Sunday, April 21, 2013 >>>> Can’t say enough about how eloquent and right DD’s old Boston Phoenix colleague Charles Pierce states the case here for according young Tsarnaev every right that a citizen has: to counsel, right away – as Charlie writes, John Adams, when defending the British soldiers who fired on a crowd in the Boston Masscre, recognized no “public safety” exception: so much the less should anyone suggest such an exception for a citizen ! As he says: this was a crime, and to great it as such and to have a good old fashion rd trial with fact, evidence, and argument is what we created a nation to be able to do !

Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> They DEFINITELY weren’t there to watch the race. Just look at Dzhokhar’s (Jahar’s) facial expression…

Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> Jahar’s last tweet  : “I’m a stress-free kind of guy” …..

Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> Feds to seek criminal charges against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as soon as Sunday. Assuming they can question him first ?

Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> “Donations exceed 360,000 for Boston marathon Bombing hero Jeff Bauman.” Jeff Bauman’s ID of Tamerlan Tsarnaev made the difference. Now, both lower legs blown off, he needs US to make a difference for him.

Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> Continue to be angry at the martial law conditions imposed upon an entire metropolitan city by an over -frightened “authority” yesterday that only a day before had boasted and puffed about ” we are Boston string. ! No terrorist can change our way of life.” Ya right. 

Don’t blame the officers who did the job they were told to do, although being intimidated by armed grim faced guys with weapons drawn is not fun, not something a free people should ever face. 

It’s bad enough that you can’t fly without bring searched like a common criminal; but flying is something you choose, so you consent to its conditions. Going about ones business on a weekday in the city is not a choice entailing consent, it’s a necessity and a right.

We are slowly becoming not free people but prisoners. This troubles DD enormously.

Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> 

New words to the English language as a result of the Boston Bombing :

“Presser” meaning “press conference”

“Shelter in place” = the authorities who rule us telling us we’re locked up in our homes without trial or appeal

Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> Sorry, FB friends, there is no such thing as a person with NO rights. Even in war there are some rights.

Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> 

HEROES —> Jeff Bauman – who had both lower kegs blasted off — just did what he could. Like The Greatest Generation, he’d probably be the first to say that. Just did what he had to do.
Meet Jeff Bauman, after losing both legs to the Boston Marathon bombings Jeff managed to identify both suspects for police.

Jeff is now recovering, and even got a visit from his favorite celebrity Bradley Cooper.

Jeff, you’re a hero. We wish you a speedy recovery.

Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>> The “public safety” exemption to a basic Fifth Amendment right is here explained and, as you can read. Is already being expanded by today’s DOJ. I reiterate my opposition to it. (captioning post “What You Need To know About Why Bombing Suspect Hasn’t Been Read His Miranda Rights.”)
Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> You will, DD is sure, notice that we haven’t posted a whole lot of music on this FB page recently. It hasn’t exactly been a music time here in Boston this past week. Nor will the music come back lickety-split quick. Give DD a couple of days to unburden. Next week will have a more musical sound.
Saturday, April 20, 2013 >>>> IT IS OVER —> probably DD should share the whoop of triumph, the self-congratulation, the parade pride that she hears – feels – booming through Boston these past eight hours or so. But I don’t. Feel only a sense of relief; of a great burden being lifted off me ; a burden of duty that justice shall be done. Justice , not joy. Justice, not vengeance. And sadness for the maimed and the killed, and for their families; and, yes, also fur the Tsarnaev family that has been blasted apart – for generations to come – by their two sons gone so horribly wrong. There are no winners here; only those who have lost and all of us who have done our duty. And life now gives on for Boston, not as strong as we are cheering we are but not as weak as we feared we might be. The future us ours to shape.

But before the future comes a settling of scores with the past, if possible. DD hopes that young Tsarnaev will speak; will tell us what he had in mind, what his older brother had in mind, and why; why unleash a firestorm of IED’s upon us in Boston ? What quarrel did the Tsarnaev brothers have with us ? we gave them schooling, and safety from the horrors they were born into in Chechnya. Hopefully we will hear from him. BUT — if he chooses not to tell us ? that is his right. DD doesn’t accept in any way the so-called “public safety exception” to the basic civil rights guaranteed to us by the Fifth Amendment and the Eighth, for that matter. here can be no such exceptions; for it is precisely in the most grievous of cases that the rights our forefathers fought for are most needed. If we are to shape the future better, and not worse, we must accord to young Tsarnaev the same rule of just law — including a lawyer provided at public expense, if needed ! — that Israel accorded to Adolf Eichmann 50 years ago. Let us show Tsarnaev that we are the very society that he had, maybe, come to feel we aren’t. Then and only then can we shape a future worth doing our duty for.

Friday night, April 19, 2013 >>>> “We got him !” Photo: "We got him !"


April 22, 2013; BOSTON, MA —  It appears that the US Attorney’s office here in Boston is moving, under DOJ directive, to question Tsarnaev extensively without reading him his “Miranda” rights. This, MsDD says, is an extremely wrong track to take.

1. anything he says under the “exception” is EXCLUDED at trial. thus the more he says pre-Miranda warning, the less will be available at trial. By pursuing this course the DOJ is granting Tsarnaev a kind of back-door immunity — and DD doubts that the Feds pursuing this course realize it. is troubling indeed to see our own DOJ — law enforcement arm of the government that WE elect — seeking to expand “exceptions” to a most basic, 5th Amendment right (against self-incrimination). Where will this end ? Every citizen should be troubles, at least, by this action on the DOJ’s part.

3.Keep in mind what the “public safety” exemption to the “Miranda Rule” seeks to qualify:

The “Miranda” rule holds that a person arrested, at the point of arrest, must be told that he or she has the right to remain silent and that he or she is entitled to the representation of a lawyer.

This notification is given because of rights against self-incrimination specified in the 5th Amendment.

These rights are no mere word game, no rote recitation by a student in civics class.

The Amendment enshrines every citizen’s right NOT to be “put to the question,” by torture in some cases, as was done throughout Europe from the beginnings of the inquisition (by Papal order in 1215) until the late 1700s. In Inquisitorial procedure the person questioned had no rights whatsoever to not answer a question, no rights to a lawyer present, no right not to be entrapped by questioning that often proceeded from intimidation. The rights thus specified in the 5th Amendment wee no mere word game. they were a real life response to real life cruelties.

The 5th Amendment is the bedrock of our system; that the accused is to be taken as innocent until proved and adjudged guilty by evidence, fact, and argument fairly gathered and fairly introduced. This is the opposite of Inquisitorial procedure, in which the accused was presumed guilty unless he could prove himself not — a thing devilishly hard to do.

4.The Supreme Court, in the case that first carved a “public safety” exemption to the “Miranda” rule was careful to circumscribe its limits as narrowly as possible. The Court also warned that the exemption should always be used as narrowly as possible. The situation had to be one of immediate, palpable danger; and the time limit to the danger occurring was to be 48 hours.

The Obama DOJ has taken a more expansive view of the time limit and of the “danger’ description. this is bad enough, and to MsDD it makes no difference that the c ase at hand — the Marathon Bombing — is a grievous one. in what way is the “danger” still pal;pable ? Tamerlan Tsarnaev is dead, and Dzhokhar lies bedded in Beth Israel hos[ital. the DJ responds that there might be other conspirators out there: but “might be” is highly speculative; and our law does not move by speculation, nor has it ever. It deals with facts, not guesses.

5.Along with the call to use the “public safety” exemption on Tsarnaev, and of a similiar bent, there has also been a call, from certain quarters, to “try him as an enemy combatant”; to which DD says, ” Hell no ! ( a ) he is a US Citizen, and whatever he may have done took place on US soul. ( b ) He is no less entitled to arraignment, evidence, and trial procedure than was Tim McVeigh or the Birmingham bombers, or Malveaux, Kaczynski, and Manson — not to mention the assassins of RFK and MLK Jr !

It is precisely for cases most infamous, with defendants the most unpopular, that the rule of Basic Rights must never be compromised. Basic rights don’t need defending for the popular or the famous. For them, rights protect themselves. Our rights are assured to us for those occasions when we — ALL of “we” — most need them.

Rights, however, do not easily survive attacks of public fear or public panic. Ever since 911, America has lived in fear mode, panic mode. To this extent the terrorists have won the battle. Must we let them do this / must we live as they want us to love ? In panic mode / in fear crave ? MsDD hopes not. fear and panic are DD’s enemies. They may not come into DD’s house or life. I will NOT live by the rules of fear or panic. Nor should any of you.

Let Dzhokhar Tsarnaev be arraigned and tried — if after the DOJ’s “exception” questioning he isn’t immune from trial ! — with the full assistance of an accomplished lawyer and team, and adjudged by the process that (as charlie pierce recently wrote in Esquire), we in Boston fought the British to be able to establish for all of us.

DJ Erick Morillo @ Ocean Club + DJ Stacey Pullen @ Good Life 07.02.12

Last Friday night, ERICK MORILLO, one of the major creators of house music’s second generation (1992 to 1999, when he was known as “Erick More”), dropped a 90-minute set at Quincy’s Ocean Club at Marina Bay. Morillo doesn’t often play the Boston area any more, yet by the huge number of mostly South American folks — Morillo was born in Colombia and always works his roots — who came to Ocean Club paying top dollar, it was clear that he still commands full loyalty from those who have sustained his music since he first founded Subliminal records, and before that.

The Ocean Club crowd loved him even though what he played only slightly resembled the sultry, 124 to 126 beats-per-minute house music that made him famous. From the moment he took the decks until this writer left, an hour later, to see Stacy Pullen — more about that gig down below — there was dancing and raising of hands, standing on chair backs, and singing the words of the vocals that Morillo fed into his mix. Today, his sound moves at 127 to 128 BPM and tends to the chorale-like, synthesizer surges of “progressive” and the ethereality of “trance,” both long favored as pop music (especially overseas). House music adepts expressed much disappointment at the ethereal version of Morillo — tracks like “If this Ain’t Love,” “Gravy,” “Live Your Life” (all of them big hits, though). Some even dismissed “Stronger” — which opened the second part of his set — despite its potent house-music texture and beat.

Yet to complain of Morillo’s Ocean Club set because it wasn’t what he was doing as “Erick More” in 1997 really is beside the point.

What Morillo did play, was mixed and shaped with an aggressive two hands working four CD players and an oversized mixboard. He never coasted. He tweaked beats, quick-cut tracks, overlaid melody on rhythm. He also jumped hurriedly from style to style and voice to voice. Usually this writer is annoyed by rapid-fire style jumps in a DJ set. Yet Morillo’s mix of reggae, pop voice, rap, “progressive,” the buzz of electro-house, and, yes, two overplayed dance hits — “Save the World,” by Swedish House Mafia, and Green Velvet’s “Flash” — spoke a definitive message: that Morillo will work his DJ hands off, even at the sacrifice of stylistic consistency — not to mention the house sound of “Erick More” — to honor his fans’ every taste.

Cultural diversity at 128 BPM may annoy the house music purist, and most DJs who attempt it sound embarrassingly unfocused. Still, no less an underground band than Parliament Funkadelic once proclaimed “One Nation, Under a Groove.” Far from this writer to chide Morillo for attempting to do just that at Ocean Club — and almost succeeding.

Having received the Morillo message, this writer joined a friend going to Good Life to see a very different long-time master, STACEY PULLEN. Pullen hails from Detroit and has worked that city’s “techno” style for at least as long as Morillo’s career. Unlike Morillo, however, Pullen remains an underground DJ — his ticket price cost less than a third of one Morillo tab. We descended a narrow tunnel leading to the “Vodka Lounge,” a quadrilateral room at the back end of which Pullen was DJ-ing with a PC Traktor program and two vinyl 12-inch discs.

is tempo was a funky 122 to 124 BPM, his sound a low growl. Into the growl he spliced chirpy samples and the tape-delayed voicings fans call “glitch” (cousin to the seance-like voices heard at the intro of early Funkadelic tracks). The room was so full you could barely squeeze through it. Heads were bobbing, bodies bending; hands were raised in the air as Pullen dropped various versions of the same bluesy low-register prowl. His rhythms had soft surfaces and soulful insides — techno in its depth and pounding, but house music in its sentimentality. Pullen played not one track that this writer recognized. Every minute of it was therefore a train to unfamiliar places, albeit on a route consistent with his long-time signature (no diversifications for him). The route never curved off. The message was “you can count on me.” No matter how many voices of tipsy, or delirious, mischief, or snark can be patched into a groove, and no matter how unexpected a quick cut from one upper-register flip to another, the groove is what it is and always will be what it is, you can count on it, trust it, even believe in it.

Pullen showed that he believed in it. He executed every mix or drop with a surgeon’s attention to detail — and a researcher’s knack for as yet unplayed possibilities. From the trusted familiar Pullen took his fans into new sound shapes and new ways of saying yes to things accepted as true. It was musicianship at its sublimest level, as true of Pullen’s turntabling as it was of classic jazz improvisation.

—- Michael Freedberg / Boston Phoenix

Fedde Le Grand and Zedd @ the Ocean Club in Quincy (06.12.12)

Photos by Michael Freedberg

At Ocean Club Sunday night about a thousand fans of the two sides of dance music — rave/rock and house/techno — took full advantage of superb weather to savor the work of young electro-rave star ZEDD and established house music masterFEDDE LE GRAND.

Zedd, whose real name, according to Wiki, is Antlon Zaslavski, hails from Germany but has a sound quite unlike that of any of Germany’s many top-name DJs. At age 24, however, he belongs to a generation whose roots do not lie in house music, soul, funk, blues, and jazz. Instead, Zedd plays speed riffs at a funklessly fast 130 beats per minute, with textures taken from arena rock and grunge. It’s a sound quite at home in rave culture, very much of a piece with his sometime collaborator Skrillex. At Marina Bay the dropped his best-known tracks, “Breakin a Sweat,” “Slam the Door,” “Shave It,” the aptly named “Shotgun,” and his own speed-riff haircut of Swedish House Mafia’s “Save the World.” Unexpected it was to hear that sentimental — and overplayed — track dressed up in speed riff, yet it was thus that Zedd showed just how strong he is at imposing his sound upon everything.

Using a PC program and furiously tweaking and editing his breaks and effects, Zedd made the music run fast, blare, blast, blurt, and make like a machine-gun. There were few pauses in his workout set, but one track, the almost house music “Stars Come Out,” took the place of a pause. He also reached back to the early 1990s to quote Reel 2 Reel’s “I Like To move It,’ and borrowed one of current dance music’s cutest nasties, “Internet Friends (You Blocked Me On Facebook)” by Knife Party. Brief however were Zedd’s quotes from house music tradition. Soon enough his set reverted to fast riffs and blurts on bang.

Le Grand wasted no time changing the tone of things. Zedd’s riffs and rave may be the trend of the moment in EDM ticket sales, but Le Grand demonstrated that he has enough respect in the dance music community to play beyond trend and make fans like it. Far more complicated is his sound today, as laid out in the complex techno of “Metrum” a trippy “Autosave,” and the Europop house music of “So Much Love,” then it was back in 2008-09, when he filled Boston’s Royale with fans of his anthem “We Don’t Take No Shhh…”

Then, the Dutch DJ favored a reggae-influenced take on classic house music. At Ocean Club, though, Le Grand spread out a multiplicity of sounds and feelings. There was synthy dream pop in his mix, and soft house music in his rhythms. There was the pounding of techno, and the meow of Europop. There were evocative abstractions and singsong lullabying.

Classic as well was his mix technique. He used no PC program, and he employed a powerful, shut-down version of DJ quick-cutting. He edited and tweaked and raised his hands in the air, exciting the crowd and toying with it, making the emotional intricacies of his music look easy. Which this strongest Fedde Le grand set I’ve ever seen most definitely was not.


— Michael Freedberg / Boston Phoenix


33 Restaurant & Lounge

The lounge at 33 Restaurant & Lounge on Stanhope Street in the Back Bay may just have Boston’s tiniest dance floor. The upstairs restaurant isn’t much bigger. So it’s no surprise to find both rooms filled — with a waiting line outside — for the venue’s weekly Thursday House Music night. But this is an even more special occasion: the 33 Lounge’s Valentine’s Day party, and there are at least 133 partygoers in the house, true house heads including several familiar faces from Rise Club late-nights. They’re shapely, their faces shine, and most are gorgeously dressed — some of the men wear suits and ties, no less, and the gals have brought out their spikiest heels and slinkiest black dresses.

The music, too, is slinky, spiky, suited, and black. DJs Evan, Sean Donnelly, and — doing the close-out set — Strict keep the tempo strutting, on tiptoes. The DJ booth at 33 Lounge is in the adjacent wine cellar, of all places, and as the dark red wine pours on and on, from the cellar to the bar, the music pumps up and into all of us.

Strict, who spins regularly at 33’s Thursday nights, is from Saugus — yet another suburban kid who, as he puts it, “at age 11 started listening to house, and then, when older, going into the city to buy the beats and hear the sounds” — and who now has committed himself to the spinning life. “I especially love the closing set. You can let yourself go, no holds barred!”

And so it goes. People are hanging at the bar, dancing in the aisles and underneath the stairs. Everyone is taking digital snapshots — scenester Maria D included. Maria is everywhere, greeting guests. Most come to 33 Thursdays via her guest list. Her co-host, Sam Sokol, is there too, attended by well-wishers. He looks as happy as a parent watching his child graduate from high school — except that, unlike a parent, he gets to do it all again next Thursday. As the old-school hip-hop saying goes, “You don’t stop!”

— Michael Freedberg / Boston Phoenix