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Mark Ryan

On Monday night, esteemed colleague and damn-near legend Mark Ryan celebrated his birthday at Motor City, one of our favorite watering holes. Fêted yesterday, we thought why not keep the party going by posting our now year-old interview with the man. Ryan, who grew up in New Jersey and spent a good chunk of his teenage years in the Lower East Side, sang for (in order) Death Before Dishonor, Supertouch, Steady Roosevelt and currently, Foreign Islands.

Mark, 15 by Drew Carolan

Mark, 15

What’s your favorite Bad Brains story?

I don’t know. Probably every single time I saw them in the early ’80s. Life-changing to say the least. We actually played with them in the mid-80s. Jimmy G. from Murphy’s Law hooked us up with the show — I still thank him. I fucking lost it [You lost it? — Ed.]. I was bouncing off the fucking walls. They were the one band i didn’t want to meet though, I was pretty intimidated, I mean how could you not be? But years later, Mackie and Chippy Love [who's this old boy? He sounds cool — Ed.] told me they were gassing me up at the show. I was rocking some crazy gear that show, I think. Georgetown Starter jacket, full Le Coq Sportif tracksuit, and probably Adidas Ewings or orange Spot Bilts or something.1



  1. Yo, best style ever.
  2. Of course? Yeah?
  3. Not a typo, son.
  4. Nice going, Pete. Real nice.
  5. You know that "The '70s was smack, the '80s was crack, '90s grimey"? Right?
  6. I guess Mark was in a Converse ad, in which he levitated.

Jerkin’ for that Nut


I’m not saying it was right, but I clicked on a link in a Chris Brown tweet a few weeks back. What I saw on the other end of that morally pretzelled wormhole was a street level view of young kids dancing. I wanted to know where, and who they were, and what it was they were up to with something they called “jerkin’.” The McGowan/Porter Productions film crew, documentary authoritarians of that West Coast dance movement, kindly filled us in.

What is McGowan/Porter Productions? What and where do you represent?

McGowan/Porter Productions is a production company that we accidentally started while filming friends of ours skating. We went home, started editing and grew a passion for production. We represent the people in the “hood” that actually want to be productive and not just represent the stereotypical natures of the ghetto.

Did you invent jerkin’? Does jerkin’ have an apostrophe?

Ha Ha, No we didn’t invent jerkin’ but we do play a major role in jerkin’. We were responsible for starting the YouTube jerkin’ movement. Its started with a crew called Hi5ive and expanded to crews such as the Action Figures, LoL Kids, Fan 4, Teen Titans, In Living Color, Vintage Bros, Etc.


Beb on the Street Pt. 2: At Central Park Summer Stage


What is your name?




Nice headphones. Is pink your favorite color?


What’s your favorite color?

Light pink.

Do you like Dinosaur Jr.?

They are loud!

They’re not very loud today…


I said…Hey, where’s your mommy?

My mommy is at home. She let me use her MetroCard.

You’re here alone?

We’re having pizza tonight.

I love pizza!

You can’t come.

Why not?

Because you’re a stranger.


Dear Jon, Pt. 3

Jonathan Lee RichesOur friend Jonathan Lee Riches gets personal about pranks, hacking, and his mania.


Mr. Owen,

Hello, responding back.

I got a lot of thoughts running through the head that I have to produce on paper. I’m writing on top of a Wired Magazine. This pen is made by Bic, and this is Government typing paper.

When I think of your name, two thoughts come to mind. Owen Wilson & Conrad Black. Mr Zazi just got sued, “Riches v. Zazi.” I’ve sued Conrad Black, “Riches v. Black.” I have visions of people watching a Bronx Yankees playoff game (Oct 2012), when a streaker jumps the stands without a shirt, with marker on his back,, running to Derek Jeter to serve him legal papers.

I did have a dog, a 1.5 lb Pomoranian [sic] named Chops. I bought a home, fully paid for in 2001 with stolen credit card & identity theft money in Holiday, Florida, with my [girlfriend] at the time Stefanie [full name withheld]. CNN did a program on me called CNN presents: “How to Rob a Bank,” this can be viewed online, as it shows everything about my story, houses, cars, boats, etc.

Mr. Owen, I love to run. This is equally important to me with the lawsuits. If I miss a day, I go nuts. Let me re-say this, if I miss 1 out of the 3 runs I do daily, 1 hr each shot, (3 runs = 3 hrs) then I go nuts! Call it obsessive compulsive behavior, I call it driven borderline crazy.



  1. My archives: a stack of ZooBooks, some drawings of some naked chicks, three $2 bills, a few riffs I've collected over the years, and a bunch of birthday cards from my grandmothers.
  2. A couple pieces of trivia on Mr. Wynn: He once paid $1.45M in ransom for his daughter Kevyn. He also married and divorced the same woman twice (most recently divorced this year).
  3. Pause.
  4. Not so much, but I got this.

TOY: Pro-Teens

Jørgen Traen and Alisdair Stirling

Jørgen Traen and Alisdair Stirling

I first became aware of the British/Norwegian duo known as TOY on Annie’s 2005 DJ Kicks record. “Rabbit Pushing Mower” was the leadoff track, and part of me never came back from the cartoon world their baby brand of Dada-esque electronic (and analog) music transported me to. There I remained, guarding the Easter Egg they left me with, awaiting their return. I grew anxious. I found a few more emps in some nonnative corners of the Web. Then, finally, their self-titled LP arrived in 2006. It truly was the masterpiece I had been waiting for. Last year, when I got in touch with these fellows, their Half Baked Alaska EP was still hot and fresh on store shelves.

1. What other projects were each of you involved with when the duo began, and how did this lead to TOY? What was your goal with the group?

Alisdair Stirling: I was in Bergen making a House of Hiss record and met Jørgen through that. He was wearing a rabbit suit, which kind of suggested a humorous approach. Our goal with TOY was just to make more music for Pingu to listen to. He only had that one great record, “Woodpecker in Space,”1 and we thought he should have some others.
Jørgen Traen: I was doing my own project called Sir Dupermann, and also producing other bands. I did some mixes for House of Hiss. I also had this ongoing project to show everyone that it is OK to walk around in a whole knitted suit. It was fun/difficult.



  1. Actually "Woodpeckers from Space" (by VideoKids).
  2. Why 2? Well, this is /toymusic.

Dear Jon, Pt. 2

Jonathan Lee Riches checks in with Trumbull again.

jonathan lee riches2-web


Responding back. I’m at a medical facility for 2 reasons.

(1) I’m participating in the Bureau of Prisons RDAP drug program, [which] if I complete by next Spring, then I’m eligible to get a year off my sentence. That means by this time next year I will be home.

(2) Before I got here, I was at FCI Williamsburg1 in solitary confinement (SHU2) 24-hour lockdown for 8 months. This was because I was [such] a burden on prison staff because of [my] filing lawsuits, which brought media & people’s attention, calling the prison, etc. It didn’t thwart me, as I continued to file suits while in lockdown, also going on a hunger strike. I lost a lot of weight Owen. Skinny like Mary-Kate Olson [sic]. I’m 5 ft 10 inches, and went to 105 lbs, so they sent me here to get medical treatment/psych treatment.



  1. Not in the boroughs but in Salters, S.C.
  2. Special Housing Unit
  3. Featured last week.

Beb on the Street Pt. 1: At the Skatepark


1. What is your name?


2. How old are you?




  1. I recall the translator amusedly remarking that it was a mutt name, as in a name that was created with the beginning of one name and the end of another, a phenomenon he attributed to indecisive/ creative parents.
  2. I would've followed up by asking her, "I'll teach you how to stunt"?

Dear Jon, Pt. 1


Jonathan Lee Riches is a famous man. But he is on a very short list of men who became famous while imprisoned. At the top, I’d say. Jonathan is currently at a federal medical center in Kentucky, serving the remainder of his 125-month sentence for a charge of wire fraud. Why is he famous? Jonathan claims to have filed over 4,000 lawsuits worldwide. He said this in, of all things, a case against the Guinness Book of World Records, who he sued in response to their intentions of glamorizing and falsely representing his achievements as a record-setting plaintiff.1 I really don’t know how many suits he has filed — Justia.com2 coughs up 1,993. He once sued Bruce Willis for causing the deterioration of his teeth while in prison. I sympathize with anyone who stresses about their teeth. I myself suffer from recurring, abrasive, teeth-destroying nightmares. I’m going to set aside my appreciation for Mr. Willis — it would be challenging to think of names and entities within the collective awareness to which Riches hasn’t devoted an hour or more of carefully phrased handwriting in his cell  — and get to appreciating Jonathan. As an admirer of his…style, I decided to reach out. The following is his response to my first letter:



  1. Riches told ABC News earlier this year that Guinness' distinction caused him "iminent (sic) danger and bodily harm..." to say nothing of the nicknames he wanted to bar them from using: “The litigator crusader,” “Johnny Sue-nami,” “Sue-per-man,” the “Patrick Ewing of suing,” etc. It remains to be seen if the lawsuit surprised anyone at Guinness, or if the resultant publicity earned someone a raise.
  2. The peerless legal search site. More about it.
  3. A five-season deep reality show on TLC about a couple raising sextuplets and pair of twins (2 x 2). Could not find the full document on this one.
  4. Among the defendants named: Childwit, Unknown child prostitutes, Peeping Tom
  5. I think we all would have co-signed this one.
  6. Refers to himself "a/k/a Jonathathan Lee Riches, d/b/a Bernard Madoff, Investment Securities LLC."
  7. Prison must be so dark, that even the bright, healing light cast from "Beavis and Butt-Head" reruns cannot penetrate its murk.
  8. Went to Montana District Court?