by Daniel Vila
Occasionally, an olive branch is handed to you when you least expect or even deserve it. This Friday past, I co-organized the last Extermination Music Night of the year, which is a series I put together with a friend of mine in which music and other things are performed in abandoned spaces around the city. This past one went down in a warehouse up in East York . When we were done setting up around 11:30, a call came in from one of the performers just arriving. “Cops are here,” was the gist of it. We quickly turned off the generator and blew out the torches and stood around, anticipating the inevitable. After minutes of deliberation, the door finally opened, and some flashlights peered in. I walked over and began the dreaded talk. “What are you guys doing here?” one of the officers asked. “Just playing a little music.” “Kind of funny to be doing it in an abandoned warehouse, isn’t it?” “It’s beautiful.” “It’s romantic,” chimed in Owen Pallett (aka Final Fantasy), who was standing next to me and was to play that night. “But you don’t have permission to do this, do you?” “Well…” “In a word, no.” “That’s right.” He looked into the room, at the rows of tea lights leading the way to the stage area (which were laid down with symmetric perfection by members of the Huckleberry Friends, (who were also to perform that night), and I think he couldn’t do it. Did I mention that the officer doing the talking was 60+ and infused with a grandpa-like sweetoldguyness, with not a whit of the stock cop-ly antagonism? “Well, you’ll probably get some noise complaints, but I don’t want to be the one to break this up.” And they walked away. I uttered several of the most gracious thank yous ever, and shut the door. Following this pants-shitting episode, the show went down without incident and I ended up getting home around 7:30 AM, filthy and sore. This story actually has no lesson.