No Age

L.A. punks No Age have long walked the uncomfortable line between punk rock and commerce — playing shoe company parties but making sure they also play DIY all-ages loft shows in the same cities, that sort of thing. But now they’ve apparently pushed that divide past the point of absurdity. During a recent Converse-sponsored show in Barcelona, they dedicated a chunk of their set to a video that decried the conditions of the factory workers in Nike and Converse facilities, while Randy Randall’s guitar fed back over it. They kept playing the rest of the show, then signed off by chirping, “Thanks, Converse!” The Spanish website Indiespot has a full account (translation here).

Comments (10)
  1. I’d probably put No Age at the top of my list of my favorite bands from the past five years, and maybe they’re on to something with taking advantage of the money or whatever from corporate sponsorship at shows, then throwing it right back into their faces. You have to put a lot of responsibility onto the sponsor in that they should know who they’re getting on stage with, so if it comes back to bite them, shame on them.

    If you’re still looking for that perfect gift, don’t forget about the $275 No Age sunglasses:

    • wowzers…

      “All sunglasses are hand made in Japan. The quality of ‘Made in Japan’ eye wear is now aligned with the more commonly known ‘Made in Italy’ or ‘Made in France’ eye wear found throughout the world. The materials we use are all of highest quality, made with either the best acetate or metals. Also, all of our lenses are UV 400. Another selling point we have is all the designs this season are made so you can take the lenses out to use the frames as eye glasses (Zero/Maria Cornejo’s designs are none detachable) . This is usually not possible with sunglasses of this quality”

      hey No Age – kiss my acetate, you whores.

  2. If you don’t like Converse, then don’t take their money and play their shows. This whole ‘throw it back in their faces!”-type statement is a bunch of hot air to make the band seem less complicit, and it’s become a fairly standard indie trope. If No Age, or LCD Soundsystem, or whomever want to do something different that matters, then get to doing it. But don’t make me funnel the dollars through the system just so you can waste stage time making a statement about it.

  3. any publicity is good publicity, regardless of the actual conditions of the factories its got all of is talking about Converse right before the holiday season, and i think that makes them happy.

  4. I went to a free Converse show earlier this year here in Brisbane – Royal Headache and Kitchen’s Floor in a boxing ring – and after that one I’m pretty sure Converse don’t give a fuck what happens as long as people talk about it.

    They gave everyone free beer for 1.5 hours before the show, people were apparently doing coke off the windowsills, and a mosh pit surrounding a boxing ring with broken glass on the floor is a nightmare. No Age taking some pot shots at the company just ‘proves’ that Converse books the real edgy bands, even if it’s to their own detriment because they care about the music, man.

    They were playing in the first place and that’s all Converse wanted. And hey, free Stereogum feature. No Age probably got a bonus.

  5. People are going to buy their chucks anyways.

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