"Half the band woke up with guns in their faces," the Coup leader recalled.
Riley's experiences in and out of our enlightened for some city bring home the ugly, everyday reality behind the entertaining anecdote with which the Arcade Fire's Win Butler regaled the Greek Theatre crowd June 2: he was almost arrested for the first time that day when Berkeley police dragged him out of a rec facility for arguing over the use of a public basketball court. "They called for backup and everything," Butler marveled onstage.
"There are stories all the time," Riley offered matter-of-factly. "Everyone knows you used to get fucked with in San Francisco and Berkeley."
"Usually it's not anything with me specifically being a rapper," he continued. "I might have even more protection because of that. Like at this get-together, somebody came up and said, 'Don't you know who this is? This is Boots Riley.' They might not have known who I am, but they realize this isn't the regular case where they can do whatever they want." *
ALIGN YOUR CHAKRAS, CAMPERS
Talk to underground trance DJs, and they'll point to the Harmony Festival as the hot spot forest ravers will be orbiting. Indeed, one of the main organizers, Howard "Bo" Sapper who, along with Sean Ahearn, Scott McKeown, and Jeff Kaus, is putting on the 29th music and camping fest agrees that a healthy, fire-breathing portion of the expected 40,000 at the three-day event will be die-hard burners drawn to the seven-year-old techno tribal night. Sapper also points proudly to the diversity of the musical lineup, including Brian Wilson, Erykah Badu, Rickie Lee Jones, the Roots, Common, moe., and Umphrey's McGee. "I'm not sure if we're going mainstream or the mainstream is coming to us," Sapper said, listing the green exhibits and this year's theme, Promoting Global Cooling. "It's part of the paradigm shift going on in America."
•Plenty of water
Sonoma County Fairgrounds
1350 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa