Just throw money

I need not go into the details. Suffice it to say the disaster in Louisiana and its neighboring states is massive and devastating. That a supposedly technologically advanced and politically progressive nation like the United States has displayed such stumbling ineptitude in dealing with this event only shows us that we’re not nearly as self-reliant as we like to imagine. Fortunately, we can all turn on our televisions and watch people like Julia Roberts shed real tears and periodically embrace the grief-stricken residents of New Orleans at the behest of Oprah Winfrey. The gulf between helpful activity and the crass, self-serving activities of our American media gods is a wide one indeed. The worse our disasters, the better the backdrops for photo ops.

As for local music and musicians, we do what we can, and that means throwing money at the problem in the great American tradition. It’s not as ridiculous as it might seem; aid groups do need funding, and, as Americans, we always like to feel like we’re getting something for our money.

A variety of benefit concerts have hit local stages in recent weeks and will continue to roll in the weeks to come. As of this writing, fund-raising totals for the Concerts 4 Charity benefit held last Wednesday at Harlow’s are not yet in, but with such a huge lineup (including Deathray, Jackpot, Milwaukee, Chelsea Wolfe, Justin Farren and Louisiana native Estereo), it’s bound to have done quite well. I can tell you, however, that the September 6 benefit show at HQ (featuring poet Robert Roden, Instagon, Las Pesadillas and many others) brought $890 to the Red Cross.

If you missed those, you can still hit Ferocious Kitty Media’s benefit show on September 25 at the Fox & Goose. There are 15 bands playing, including Anton Barbeau, Ghetto Moments, Bobby Jordan and the Cassidys. The Fox & Goose will donate the evening’s bar sales to the Red Cross as well. Good for them. If only Julia Roberts would show up and hug us all, her eyes welling up with bright tears as she thanked us for our potent rock ’n’ roll contribution.

This seems as good a time as any to break a story that most people seem to know already: The True Love Coffeehouse will reopen in a new location sometime in the next few months. Kevin Seconds signed a new lease on August 31 for a location at 2315 K Street. Drive by and check it out or follow the opening process at http://truelovecoffeehouse.blogspot .com. With the new True Love and Charles Twilling’s soon-to-be-open Junta, all-ages music is about to return to Midtown in a big way. Speaking of Seconds, he’s one of the few local musicians who has embraced the phenomenon of podcasting. Seconds’ podcast essentially consists of him rambling about his life while driving around Sacramento, but it’s surprisingly more interesting than such a description might suggest. You can listen to that by linking out from www.kevinseconds.com or by searching at www.apple.com/iTunes. Dana Gumbiner of Deathray has a podcast, as well, which you also can subscribe to via iTunes. Just search for “Dana Deathray.” Gumbiner offers a song or two per episode (mostly weirder material than his Deathray fans are accustomed to) and occasional rough mixes of songs he’s producing or mixing—a little glimpse into his creative process.

I’ll try to get something into the next column about a superb and frightening performance by local weird-beard freak Dead Western. You need to hear about this. Until then, beware of celebrities bearing tears and cameras.