Razak Solar System goes green for the Green Party at Speak In Tongues in 2000


Wow we sure fucked up this election up, didn’t we?

The Green Party Of Ohio called and asked us—Razak Solar System—to join the bill at Speak In Tongues along with The Perfect Guy, Viva Caramel, Brian Straw and a band aptly named “Bullshit” (sounds like a Kuchna band but I cannot remember) to raise money and awareness for Ralph Nader in his run against milquetoast Vice President/husband-of-PMRC-lady Al Gore and evil imbecile George W. Bush.

Listen to the Razak Solar System Phantom Power EP while you read my tale & look at the photos:

Of course we said yes. One month later, I wished we hadn’t. Ohio went to Bush by the slimmest of margins (if every Green voter had held their noses and voted for Gore the Dems would have won). The USA got hanging chads and lawyers and Florida up the wazoo, and the Supreme Court decided the election… basically setting the stage for the Iraq War, the Great Recession and Trump all at once.

Fuck.

I just remember that at this particular point in time, our awesome band (Razak SS) was sadly going to shit. Kevin had joined Steve in the far more successful 9 Shocks Terror, and I was messed up gravely (for the first—but not last—time) on drink, drugs and despair over crashing U.S. Rocker the year before (the publication went out of business on my watch after ten years of struggle). As an undiagnosed addict/alcoholic, I was making all the classic (not) great choices about how to (not) express pain and (not) deal with reality.

I remember I got to SIT on the RTA bus as I had lost both my ride and my job. Without a doubt this was one of the lowest moments of my life.

To stave off the Razak’s demise, we switched up instruments for this show. Which sounded fun but ended up being chaos. Which was okay. At least it matched the way we were all feeling.

I even painted myself green for the Green Party as you can see below! However my first strum on the old Primitive guitar (normally I played bass in Razak), and I sliced my fingers open so bad I was soon covered in blood.

Double fuck. And, ouch!

I wish I had photos of the rest of the bands as they were all buddies. I remember we drunkenly heckled some dude who identified “Cleveland’s Poet Laureate,” joylessly intoning a list of grievances between each set. I regret that too (sorry, dude).

Maybe you have more photos or even video that documents this train wreck?

I’m still super proud of Razak Solar System’s music though. Stay tuned: unreleased tracks possibly coming soon on Spotify and Apple Music.

Razak Solar System (Steve Peffer, Sean Carnage, Kevin Jaworski) perform at the Speak In Tongues Green Party benefit in Cleveland, October 2000.

Razak Solar System—Steve Peffer, Kevin Jaworski & Sean Carnage (pictured playing guitar, dripping blood!) perform at the Speak In Tongues Green Party benefit in Cleveland, October 2000. Note resident artist Jake Kelly on the left, former SIT dweller & Viva Caramel guitarist/singer Brian Strazek in the back.

Razak Solar System (Steve Peffer, Sean Carnage, Kevin Jaworski) perform at the Speak In Tongues Green Party benefit in Cleveland, October 2000.

Razak Solar System singer Steve Peffer ditched the synthesizer this night.

Razak Solar System (Steve Peffer, Sean Carnage, Kevin Jaworski) perform at the Speak In Tongues Green Party benefit in Cleveland, October 2000.

Lean Steve leans in.

Can you help me with details about these other SIT photos?

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