Cops Posing as Punks Online, F*** Off!


Hilarious account from Slate this morning about some of the dumbest attempts at enforcement of some of the dumbest laws imaginable: cops pretending to be punks online to ferret out info about illegal unlicensed punk shows in private homes.


This week the St. Louis band Spelling Bee posted a screencap of emails from an account that they believe was used by the police in a sting before their recent Boston show. It reads like an amazing parody of what you might imagine a cop trying to pose as a young punk would look like.

"Boston Punk Zombie," reads the crudely-scrawled avatar of a green-mohawked punk with the address That name is apparently a generic-brand knockoff of an infamous Boston hardcore gang. Cred achieved. "What's the point" reads the tagline under the profile pic.

"Too bad you were not here this weekend," "Joe Sly" wrote. "Patty's day is a mad house I am still pissing green beer.  The cops do break balls something wicked here. What's the address for Saturday Night, love DIY concerts." He might as well have written "Just got an 8 ball of beer and I'm ready to party."

Is it possible that Joe Sly is a real Boston punk? Sure, though if so he's the first Boston punk in history to brag about drinking lame St. Patrick's Day green beer….

The Massachusetts band Do No Harm also tweeted about receiving an email from Joe this month. "whats the 411 for the show saturday?" he asked, apparently using some sort of slang-filter translator from the turn of the century.

Then there's the case of Donna Giordano, a hip youth who's recently been reaching out to local show promoters from her Facebook account. "Is the show still going on Friday in JP? If so where. Thnxs," she wrote in a Facebook message to another local promoter, who also asked to remain anonymous.  When he asked her to make him feel comfortable that she wasn't a cop, she replied, "that's a new one. How? Flash a boob Ha Ha Ha how do I know your not some sketchy creep who lures girls to your basement for some Hostel like horror show on the guise of a music show"

Details like that are among the typical warning signs you might find when dealing with an online scam—it's a recently created account with very few friends, almost no interaction with anyone, and generic-looking pictures. Her cover photos include a snapshot of the No. 66 bus in Allston (so you know she's repping Allston hard), and a generic Boston skyline photo, you know, like most twentysomething girls into the punk scene will always post on their walls.  In this light, her "I love the pit!" photo of a mosh pit, obviously taken from an Internet thumbnail, looks like one of the saddest feints ever….

You don't have to be a local-music Agent Smith, though, to tell that some of these emails smell pretty fishy. "Hey there, local P native here," wrote one probable imposter to a local band, (who probably meant to type JP, slang for Jamaica Plain).  "What is the Address for the local music show tonight?"

The local music show tonight? Who talks like that about a DIY show? Someone not used to talking about music, that's who….

Boston cops would not admit to the reporter that they are using these techniques. But:

As a result of efforts like this, promoters and houses have become much more cautious when they receive requests out of the blue for information about shows. And this kind of caution may be, in its way, a kind of success for the BPD initiative. It's kind of hard to put on a show when you can't tell anyone ahead of time where it's going to be. In that sense, the cops seem to be succeeding through another tried-and-true Internet tradition. Trolling is almost always transparently obvious, but when it's unflagging and endlessly annoying, it can be extremely discouraging. Troll a group of people hard enough, and they may end up saying, like famed Boston Beat Gang punk Joe Sly, "What's the point?"

Boston punks to cops: We are not amused! The truly punk thing to do, as practiced by old South Florida punk rock band F (and I'm sure dozens of others, they are just the ones I'm acquainted with, having lived with and done business with members of the band) is to call the cops on your own show.

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  1. The only people hipsters can trust not to be narks are the ones who call themselves narks ironically.

    1. From now on if hipsters ever hear someone say “What is the address for the local music show tonight?” they can almost be certain it is being said with irony. Perhaps this will turn out to be a brilliant policing tactic in the long run, with the cops operating one meta level ahead of the hipsters.

      1. ‘Course none of this helps the *punks*.

  2. This is wierd. Middle aged policemen pretending to be young anarchists. Sounds like a Fox sitcom pitch.

  3. “I love DIY concerts”


    ‘bostonbeatgang’ sounds like someone has been watching FSU videos.

  4. That really makes sense when you think about it.

    1. Sounds like a good plan to me, dude! lol

  5. Hello good gentlemen.

    Would any of you cool cats be interested in discussing violently overthrowing the government?

    1. The government has to have a sockpuppet monitoring H&R’s comment board.

        1. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

          1. J’accuse!

            1. I don’t speak Japanese.

              1. It’s not Japanese, it’s Italian. Get a brain morans.

                1. Well, maybe I would have known that if SweatingGin had spelled Jacuzzi correctly.

          2. You’re all undercover government agents unwittingly monitoring other undercover agents posing a libertarian “potential terrorists.”

        2. Dunphy’s too obvious. It’s going to be someone you least expect, like Epi.

          1. Not sure I’d really put anything past Epi.

            1. Epi is the worst. He’s the Britta of the board.

              1. Is Nicole not around to defend her tiara?

            2. Put?!?

    2. Are there any women involved in your organization? If so, please send a photo of them wrapped in a Gadsden. It’s hard to know who to trust around here with all the trolling narcs.

    3. “Would any of you cool cats be interested in discussing violently overthrowing the government?”

      That’s really rad. Would you like to purchase some illegal exlosives for the violent overthrow of “the man”. Just send me a texting message on aol.

    4. Sure. When do you want me to start?

  6. We already talked about this, Doherty. Get with the times.

    1. With nary a hat tip.

      1. I (almost, sometimes there is a slip) hat tip when someone is the first person to point me to a story that I hadn’t seen myself either through social networks or my morning reading. I don’t know why anyone thinks they deserve a hat tip for this, or for various other things in which people accuse me of robbing them of hat tips, which i found by going to Slate this morning, like I do many mornings. I assume in some comment thread on some post not by me, someone mentioned this. However, for the most part, staffers aren’t necessarily reading all comment threads on posts not their own, though I do try to keep up with my own.

        1. Ooh, mate, I was just teasing. It wasn’t even I who mentioned it in the first place. Nobody seriously expects you to have read all or most of the comments. No offense was intended.

          1. A hat tip to then! I recall this issue coming up a lot and thought I’d address it finally. I am never deliberately–tho undoubtedly sometimes accidentally in the fog of opening browser windows and reading 20 things at once–not expressing gratitude to a specific person for specifically pointing me to something I hadn’t otherwise known about.

            1. well put.

        2. Well then what the hell are we paying you for?

  7. What the fuck?

    How can anyone even find the motivation to give a fuck about this shit, let alone allocate “stretched” (their term, not mine) police dept. budgets?

    1. No kidding. How about waiting for a noise complaint or something?

    2. “”stretched” (their term, not mine) police dept. budgets”

      We’re one thin thread away from complete anarchy.

  8. Has anyone who has been to a so-called punk house lately happened to notice how lame and not punk like they have gotten?

    1. When were 90% of punks anything but whiny leftists?

      1. I vaguely remember apolitical kids who worked at grocery stores and were punks so they could play obnoxious music and fuck shit up. Most of them never went to college, so they can’t be the film major grad student hipsters that do it now.

        1. I’ve never met a “punk” who was anything other than a Marxist with a Mohawk. Never. I know that supposed, actual “anarchist” punks exist, I’ve just never met one.

      2. I did try to mosh at a “punk house” a couple years ago, and everyone else behaved as if I had offended Gaia or something.

        1. Yeah. Fugazi started making everyone stop moshing in 1988, and the pits started to die. Although I saw D.O.A. here in Long Beach last year and the pit was pretty violent and fun. My wife was impressed that I could mosh it up (for an old guy).

          1. Joey Shithead played at my house in 1986. Cops showed up about 20 minutes after he started playing.

      3. When were 90% of punks anything but whiny leftists?

        Yeah, it’s weird that alot of late ’80’s punk really turned Left. I specifically blame the influence of MaximumRockNRoll on Green Day and other Bay Area bands for delivering their lefty message when “punk” went mainstream. Even listening to Henry Rollins’ radio show last week made my heart break; he’s turned into an Obamatron as well.

        As for liberty-minded punk, stick with Naked Raygun, and any Dave Smalley bands (DYS, Dag Nasty, ALL, Down By Law).

        1. Henry Rollins has always been, at heart, a TEAM BLUE dipshit. Have you ever listened to his spoken word garbage? Someone made me listen to some of it once and his pathetic, soul-crushing insecurities and pathetic-ness almost made me have a seizure. It’s really, really pathetic.

          1. Rollins has always been up toward the top of my list of overrated hacks. Hell, Black Flag was better before he joined. He is what passes for a deep thinker in some circles.

            1. The really sad thing is, in his original tour diaries, he is constantly complaining about the cops beating down kids for no reason.

              And now he’s an Obamaite drug warrior. Fuck you, Hank.

          2. I went to a Rollins spoken word show that was immediately prior to the 2008 elections and almost the whole fucking thing was: “Even if you have absolutely no clue what the fuck is going on, go and vote anyways!”

            Gee, I wonder who he was trying to help out with that little message.

        2. I’ve always felt that Rollins ruined Black Flag.

          1. Dammit, everyone’s getting the jump on my original ideas.

          2. Dez Cadena was Black Flag’s high water mark. Rollins was never anything more than the dumb jock that hangs out with the cool kids on weekends.

        3. Hell yes Naked Raygun.

      4. When were 90% of punks anything but whiny leftists?

        Prior to Reagan. On the first Dead Kennedys album, Jello Biafra goes after Jerry Brown, east coast limo liberals, and commies.

        Then Reagan got elected, and he never criticized another member of TEAM BLUE or the left in general again.

        1. I rest my case.

        2. He still did some good work in Lard after that, but as far as I can see the presidency of Bush II unhinged him so severely that I don’t hold out any hopes for further quality artistic output.

    2. Yeah, modern “punks” are most just hipsters that have rat tails, dumpster dive and don’t bathe. They have bands that aspire to sound like the Moldy Peaches.

  9. Nice shoutout the Straw Dogs, Doherty. Great band. Also, thanks for the link to the info on F. Never heard of them, but they seem like they would be fun to party with.

    Also, cops are stupid.

    1. I grew up in south Florida and me and my buddies all loved F. I’m a bit stunned to see them mentioned here. Or anywhere really.

      1. Southwest or Southeast FL? The Belching Penguins (no relation) were from Bradenton.

        1. Southeast. 100 miles north of Miami. There was an old timely movie theater that hosted hardcore shows. Saw F there once I think. F also played up near me at a VFW hall in Port St Lucie.

        2. Unclear: the old timey movie theater was in Miami beach.

  10. So “illegal unlicensed punk shows in private homes” are a pressing law enforcement issue? Why? If it’s noise, why not just respond to noise complaints?

    1. Of course. It’s right up there with the dangers of unlicensed masseuses, interior decorators, and dog walkers.

    2. So they can bust for drugs and alcohol without having to go through a lot of trouble. There is no money in busting noise complaints.

  11. Also, the bass player in the photo is Reason‘s own Brian Doherty. Way to self-gloss, my man!

    1. I knew we had repro rights on it…

  12. We start legalizing pot, and I guess 10,000 new cops on the street literally have nothing to do now.

    1. Mr. Smalls is a fun place to see a show.

      threw him around, breaking his knee and spraining his shoulder.

      Even if “breaking his knee” means a cracked patella, that barely even counts as being hurt. Man up, pussy. IT’S STILL YO MOTHAFUCKIN’ SET

      1. I don’t think I have enough scorn and ridicule for this guy. Man the fuck up.

        1. Pignatiello Pompton Plains Pequannock: Pussy


  14. That name is apparently a generic-brand knockoff of an infamous Boston hardcore gang.

    Hey!!! I resemble that remark!

  15. It’s really appalling how many people posing as hep cats are really finks.

    It makes me want to smoke some reefer and shoot some guns into the air. Say, do any of you dudes know where I can score some weed and buy some illegal guns? If you do, just drop me a line at Just leave your name and address so I can get in touch with you.

  16. 1st pic – Brian, Ivan, & Andy at the Hardback Cafe, Gainesville. Think the band’s name was The Jeffersons, but I drank alot of King Cobra back then. F’ed up my memory.

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