Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Some thoughts on the AIDS benefit, our D.I.Y culture, and a word about Bitchpork video coming soon...
image courtesy of TJ Superfan
This past Saturday, we held a show at Treasure Town. It consisted of six of some of our favorite bands. Call Me Lightning, Paper Mice, Lechuguillas, Unmanned Ship, Magic Milk, and Snacks. Snacks played their last show for a while, as their drummer Evan has moved. It was originally going to be filmed for the Echotone film project that we are constantly looking to get amazing footage for. Nathan Christ ended up having to go off to New York City to start filming the NYC chapter of that. I will find a way to somehow fit these bands in that goddamn movie! So, we ran with what we had going, which was a hell of a show.
Shortly after setting it up, Dave Reminick of Paper Mice called us up and asked if we would mind having his yearly AIDS fundraiser be a part of this. He said he had some good things in line. We immediately said yes, because hell, we love a good cause, and you all were so gracious in helping us with a fundraiser to help out the site. We also really like giving back to the community in any way we can. Big or small. Dave rangled up a bunch of prints by the ever-amazing Ryan Duggan, who also contributed a skateboard deck. Grimes chipped in a painting. Handlebar and Lula Cafe contributed gift certificates.
I had no idea how it was going to do, all I know is that we pushed it, and we pushed it hard. Believe it or not, the DIY culture here is really strong, and Chicago itself, loves social causes. However, in a dirty warehouse in the ghetto, you never know what you're going to get. 20 people could have showed up and scoffed at the idea of buying raffle tickets. You just never know. Our D.I.Y culture is strong, but sometmes the people just don't come. It's a long train bike and train ride out there, and those trains stop running at about the same time the shows start. Nobody wants to ride their bike home from a shitty neighborhood alone at 3 a.m.
...and you know what? Chicago rose up. We raised over $1,000 for funding of housing, employment, and prevention services for over 1400 Chicagoans living with HIV/AIDS. Over twenty people hauled countless amounts of gear, to the ghetto of Chicago, to do something good, on their own time. You took the time to come. Spent your money (even if it was to get cool shit in return). It could have gone the opposite way just as easy.
That makes us feel pretty damn good about what we're doing here. So, thank you, Chicago. A ton of really talented people chipped in, and it was more than worth everyone's time. We had FUN, too. A hell of a lot of it. Every band played for free, and left happy. This was before we knew what we even raised.
When Nathan Christ filmed an interview with the Mortville household for Echotone, they told us how much time they spend on their installations. How much effort goes into it. I knew somewhat the amount of time and effort, and money, these things took. To hear it come out of their own mouths was truly something special. These houses, be it Mortville, Ball Hall, or the venues of the past that are no longer with us....the people are putting their time, money, and effort to create something special. Whether you care or not, they're doing it. Often multiple nights per week. Often to twenty people. Often spending money out of their own pockets. This is aside from their "normal" day-to-day life. To most of us, the house-show scene is about more than just having a place to go to get fucked up on the cheap. It's about community, music, and about sharing musical experiences in an environment that's completely controlled by us. Free of the monetary and regulatory practices of normal venues, we are free to listen. Free to create. Free to, well...do it ourselves.
Are there shitty aspects to this culture? Of course, but there's even worse aspects and even more demoralizing aspects in the "normal" musical community. It's the way it is. This is something very dear to us, and we're extremely happy to be a part of it.
On that note, an entirely amazing, completely ear-obliterating music festival happened the other month.
It was called BITCHPORK, and it was the third installment.
We filmed pieces of every single band that weekend except for two. You all showed massive interest in the subject, and we don't want to keep you waiting on video for 6 months. Please realize that we do not receive any money for what we do here. Hell, we just now registered gonzochicago.com, and it will surely just forward to this shitty blogspot blog for half of it's first year in existence. We can justify spending hundreds of hours of time doing this, because we love to do it. We can't justify going deeper into debt than we already are.
Feel free to reach out : firstname.lastname@example.org