Mighty and Young No More

Plus: Time To Talk; Only Rock and Roll

"We love it over there," Waranch says. "Honestly, I have no idea why it hasn't leased. It makes no sense to us. But frankly, that whole area, I think it's truly about to kind of hit. My feeling is there is going to be a bunch of redevelopment in that area." --Zac Crain

Time To Talk

To those who think AIDS is a gay problem, the new statistics are shocking. In 2003, 83 percent of new AIDS infections among women across the nation were found in blacks and Hispanics, according to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among this subgroup, black women had an infection rate several times that of Latinas.

Dallas County has striking, and similar, statistics, too. In 2004 there were 779 new AIDS infections, according to the Dallas County Health Department. Though a majority of those infected were men--white, black and Hispanic; homosexual and heterosexual--149 were women, 112 of whom were black. In other words, of all new AIDS infections in women in Dallas County in 2004, 75 percent were found in African-Americans. Yet black women make up only 10 percent of the county's population.

The new reports were enough for Mayor Laura Miller last week to proclaim February 7 National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day.

It's a good start, Dr. Barbara Cambridge says, because information is what's lacking. Cambridge, in 1987, began the first support group for black women infected with HIV in the Dallas area. Today, she's an associate professor at the UT-Southwestern Medical School in Dallas and a once-a-week volunteer at AIDS Arms. She's amazed at how little things have changed.

"AIDS is something that is not talked about among African-Americans," she says.

To be sure, factors other than a faulty education in AIDS have driven up the infection rate among black women in Dallas County. Too many women trust their sexual partners and their histories, and too few trust the government that tests for HIV, she says.

Still, Cambridge says she doesn't see blacks confronting AIDS with the same intensity the gay community reached in the early stages of the epidemic. "I think there are programs out there that are working to put that information out, but on a large-scale effort? I don't see that. " --Paul Kix

Only Rock and Roll

The seven members of I, The Passenger, a hardcore metal band based in Plano, pride themselves on chaos they create in performance--twirling microphones, jumping on amps and violently hurling themselves around.

"We're very physical on stage," says drummer Jason Perez. "Always been this way, always will be this way. It's what sells CDs, man."

That's why it was a shock on January 20 when the manager of an Arlington club called Division One decided they were too rowdy and pulled the plug three songs into their set. The resulting confrontation ended in a bit of real-life violence.

Perez says that after their second song, the sound man broke in to ask the band members not to twirl their microphones and stand on the amps. "Well, the microphone and gear we were standing on was all of our own," Perez says. "Because of the chaos and violence, we always bring our own mikes and lots of duct tape to make sure nothing falls apart on stage."

Assured that the gear belonged to the band, the sound man said they could continue but that he didn't want any patrons hurt. The band agreed, but the vocalists were screaming the lyrics to their third song--and twirling--when manager Alan Ghreizi shut off the sound, jumped on stage and told them to get out. The pretend chaos gave way to real chaos, with beer bottles thrown on stage and a shoving match between the manager and vocalist Ryan Giesecke. After a band member called police, four Arlington squad cars arrived.

Promised $3 a head, the band got paid nothing, but Perez says what made the band really mad was losing the chance to sell CDs of their EP The Perfect Ending. "That's where we make our money," Perez says.

Ghreizi couldn't be reached for comment. Christy Gilfour of the Arlington police says the case was closed with no charges. What Perez doesn't get is why the club booked I, The Passenger, since its shtick is fake violence for the rich white teenagers. He put the word out to other bands warning them about the venue.

"We put on the same show at Trees and it was totally fine," Perez says. "If you know what you are getting into when you book us, it will be totally copacetic." --Glenna Whitley

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