Sunday, July 15, 2001

We Who Are About to Pop Wheelies Salute You


Sunday July 15, 2001

So SoCal / Metropolis
We Who Are About to Pop Wheelies Salute You


"Fast Eddie" sails on his silver bike across Santa Fe Street, boxing-glove-and-broom-handle lance extending from his left hand. He thrusts to his opponent's chest, sending him into a whirl spin that ends on the asphalt. The crowd's roar celebrates the 23-year-old's 100th win as a "bicycle jouster." It's business as usual for the few hundred punks and pedestrians who revel every other month in live music, medieval era-inspired sports and other irreverent entertainment at downtown's 5IFTYBUCKS Gallery.

Other rites at the evenings organized by Punx of the Round Keg (P.O.R.K.) can include pie-eating contests, "flaming chariot races" (bikes dragging shovels holding flaming kerosene), skateboard jousts, raffles of punk rock paraphernalia and, of course, performances by local punk bands.

P.O.R.K. began when a group of L.A. punk veterans, including former L7 bassist Jennifer Precious Finch, decided it was time to resurrect downtown's punk rock scene. The event at 5IFTYBUCKS, Finch explains, is "meant to bring people together, both young and old--it's just fun, artistic energy."

But why all the shenanigans? Co-founder Cali Dewitt looks perplexed at the question. "It just makes intuitive sense," he says.


Event information: 8p.m.-midnight, first wednesday of every odd-numbered month, 5iftybucks gallery, 2055 e. 7th St., downtown los angeles. dates change and may be confirmed at (323) 663-9300 or