Mash Down Babylon: Joel Schalit's Home Page
Joel Schalit has been a member of the Bad Subjects Production Team since 1994. He served as Bad Subjects' Co-Director for two terms, from 1998 to 2000, and 2001 to 2003. Now the Managing Editor of Tikkun Magazine, between 1997 and 2004 Schalit was the Associate Editor of Chicago's award-winning Punk Planet Magazine, where he was instrumental in helping shape PP's groundbreaking combination of political, literary and forward-thinking musical coverage.
Over the course of the last decade, Schalit has contributed to various publications including the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Alternet, XLR8R, Other Magazine, Suck, Stylus, Sound Collector, Gettingit.com, LiP, and Perspectives on Anarchist Theory. His work has also appeared in Let Fury Have The Hour: The Punk Rock Politics of Joe Strummer (Antonino D'Ambrosio, Editor, Nation Books, 2004) and We Owe You Nothing, Punk Planet (Daniel Sinker, Editor, Akashic Books, 2001.) Schalit's essays have been reprinted in undergraduate course readers at Harvard and Cornell, and translated into Korean, Spanish, Indonesian (Bahasa) and German.
The author of Jerusalem Calling: A Homeless Conscience in a Post-Everything World (Akashic Books, 2002), Schalit is the editor of The Anti-Capitalism Reader (Akashic Books, 2002/Plan B Books, Turkey, March 2006) and Co-Editor of Bad Subjects: Political Education for Everyday Life (NYU Press, 1997) and Collective Action: A Bad Subjects Anthology (Pluto Press, 2004.) He is currently working on his third book for Akashic, Israel vs. Utopia. Schalit reads manuscripts in Judaica and Israeli politics for independent publishers. He edited Danny Schecter's News Dissector: Passions, Pieces and Polemics: 1960-2000, for Akashic, and has written jacket endorsements for books published by South End Press, City Lights Books, Soft Skull, Seven Stories Press and Palgrave Macmillan.
Schalit attended elementary school in Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. He holds a B.A. in Religion from Reed College and an M.A. in Philosophy from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. Schalit did his PHD work, concentrating on Frankfurt School critical theory, at Toronto's York University. He has lectured and delivered papers at numerous colleges and universities, including UC Berkeley, UC Davis, Cal State Fullerton, New College, the University of Western Ontario, York, and UMass-Amherst. Schalit has appeared on the CBC, Pacifica and NPR discussing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Upon concluding his studies, Schalit went to work in the record business. Between 2002 and 2004, he served as the label coordinator for San Francisco's Asphodel LTD, for whom he managed publicity and distribution in North America and Europe, shepherding recordings by Iannis Xenakis, Mixmaster Mike, Ellen Allien, Rhythm and Sound, DJ Spooky and Broker/Dealer into the market. From 2003 to 2004, Schalit also supervised the distribution and marketing of Miami's Schematic label, working on releases by Richard Devine, Otto Von Schirach, 09, and Germany's DIN-ST. Schalit engineered both labels' transition to digital distribution.
A sound artist in his own right, Schalit plays his PowerBook in SF/Seattle dub-punk duo Elders of Zion. Their first full-length, Dawn Refuses to Rise (Incidental Music, 2002) is available from Forced Exposure, Apple's iTunes store, Emusic and many other retailers. In 2003, the Elders scored the soundtrack for the queer porno short, Damnaged, and remixed The Tight Bros From Way Back When's "Show Me" for Kill Rock Stars. Their Twilight War EP will be released to digital retailers by LA imprint Sounds From the Roof in July 2006.
Schalit was previously a member of the critically acclaimed 1990s anti-clerical prankster collective Christal Methodists. Their recordings include 1994's Scripture Lips & Filter Tips cassette (Goy Division), 1995's Grungicide 7", 1996's New World Odour CD (Candy Ass), 1999's Satanic Ritual Abuse CD (Kolazhnikov), and 2000's Keep the Faith, Baby 12" EP (Kolazhnikov). The entire Methodista catalogue will be reissued through digital vendors by SFTR beginning in June 2006.
Schalit produced one of the very first downloadable albums, Housequake, a collection of political hip-hop recordings assembled together with Aaron Shuman for the July/August 2000 edition of Punk Planet. Featuring tracks by The Coup, Aya De Leon and Black Anger, you can still download Housequake for free from the Punk Planet website: http://www.punkplanet.com/pages/listen/listen_housequake.html. Schalit also contributed music and performed sound design work for Kara Herold's 2001 documentary on riot grrl zines, Grrlyshow.
A citizen of both the United States and Israel, Schalit lives in San Francisco with his wife Jennifer, a big white cat called Judy, a miniature schnauzer named Pixel, and a standard schnauzer dubbed Dolph.