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Love Gutter

blog_dirtLocal band challenges Unreasonably Disturbing Noises Ordinance
If you haven’t seen Love Gutter, you’ve probably heard them pounding away on their homemade barrel drum in front of New Leaf at the corner of Soquel and Pacific Avenues. For six years, street performers Brent Adams and Wireless have attempted to provide a heart-thumping soundtrack to downtown life amidst the slew of heavily enforced noise ordinances. Wednesday, the duo prepared to brave the waves of law enforcement officials and play their music anyway, as a means of objecting to what they perceive as the unfair use of the Unreasonably Disturbing Noises Ordinance. “Any kind of art that is frustrated by law or injustice, isn’t pure art,” says Wireless, who drums on kitchen pots using gardening gloves with safety pins at the fingertips. While the two are well versed in the ordinances and know they can only play for an hour in certain places and only at certain times, a single complaint about Love Gutter can cost them a $450 ticket. The ordinance in question forbids people from making noises “which are unreasonably disturbing or physically annoying to people of ordinary sensitiveness or which are so harsh or so prolonged or unnatural or unusual in their use, time or place as to cause physical discomfort to any person.” However, Adams and Wireless feel that the problem is much larger than simply annoying downtown visitors.  “We believe it’s a free speech issue,” says Wireless. “Our intention is to make beautiful music and to make people happy—we don’t want to disturb people.” In their defense, the duo claims to be respectful about the many unwritten rules of street performers, such as maintaining distance from houses and giving other musicians their due space. Wireless’ only hope is that whomever the complaints are coming from will step forward so he can “take that person out to tea” and explain what Love Gutter hopes to communicate with their art. “If it’s unfamiliar noise and you don’t understand it, of course you’re going to have negative feelings about it,” he says. “But if you find out that those noises are coming from a beautiful place, you might feel differently.”
Comments (2)Add Comment
...
written by PBJay n Hunny, October 01, 2011
The only violent reaction we've ever received as street performers has been from the Police.

The towns people are all very appreciative, tho sometimes they have to walk around the crowd we attract.
Playing music in the town is a world wide practice that is the only thing making the downtown "mall" areas of the US diverse. Get a clue folks, we aren't all rich and white. Some of us have a culture beyond our television sets.
Sgt. Harms threatened Love Gutter after this reporter left the scene.
written by brent, July 01, 2010
After Jenna Brogan (who wrote the blog above) left the scene
Sgt Harms of the SCPD threatened Love Gutter with a Misdemeanor charge and up to 90 days in jail.
Here is the law he threatened us with.. kicking the inappropriateness way into high gear.
California Penal Code § 415

§ 415. Disturbing the Peace

Any of the following persons shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than 90 days, a fine of not more than four hundred dollars ($400), or both such imprisonment and fine:

(1) Any person who unlawfully fights in a public place or challenges another person in a public place to fight.

(2) Any person who maliciously and willfully disturbs another person by loud and unreasonable noise.

(3) Any person who uses offensive words in a public place which are inherently likely to provoke an immediate violent reaction.
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