JD Samson And MEN Are Also Playing OWS’ May Day Rally

You know, if subverting extreme capitalism doesn’t work out right away, maybe the folks at Occupy Wall Street should consider professional event booking. In addition to the impressive, existing lineup (featuring Das Racist, Dan Deacon, the Bobby Sanabria band, Tom Morello, a 1,000-person “guitarmy” and more), organizers have announced that queer, electro-punk dance pioneers JD Samson and MEN will be performing later in the day. The band is scheduled to play a 15 minute set when the march reaches Bowling Green, marking the end of protesting and the beginning of after-partying.

In 2011, Samson, one of the original co-founders of Le Tigre (with Kathleen Hanna), wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post explaining how an “emotional crisis” in searching for an apartment led her to a series of epiphanies on creativity, the economy, queerness and Occupy Wall Street. The conclusion that she came to? Fame as a “tattooed gender outlaw” has actually made Samson poorer, and even “successful” creatives are not exempt from struggling in tough economic times—all the more reason to come together and occupy.

“I’m so lucky to have gained so much from my life and my amazing career, but I’m ready to feel secure,” Samson wrote. “I’m ready to build my future and save money so that I can have a family, so that I can enjoy making art and not trying to create a product out of it, so that I can spend more time being present and less time being a workaholic, frantically searching for the profitable answer.”

Of course, one of the most striking aspects of JD Samson’s story is where she was looking for an apartment in the first place. Was she turned down by two landlords because she worked “freelance” in Mississippi? No. Texas? Naw. “I spent days trolling around Williamsburg,” Samson wrote, “looking at shitty apartments with cockroaches lining the doorways, fighting neighbors, rats in the ceiling, bedbugs infesting the linoleum floors, fifth-floor walk-ups and cat-pee-soaked carpets.” Yup, really—JD Samson was turned down in Williamsburg. A story all-too-familiar to many at their lease’s (and wit’s) end.


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