December 2, 2012

On Giving

Giving -- 2012

It's folly to even attempt to make a comprehensive accounting of all the good, as in altruistic, things people are doing to help others within and without the Boston music scene right now. While it isn't played up so much as to be in your face, and while we have very mixed feelings about awards shows, even tonight's Boston Music Awards serves a charitable function: proceeds from the event go to a local car salesman's Music Drives Us Foundation, which provides funding for music education programs. Music education: that's certainly something we feel is worth-while, something that pays dividends for kids long into the future (and something we support through an annual gift, in honor of our aunt, to the Chester Children's Chorus). The Boston Music Awards is a big, high-profile production with lots of media support, but there are smaller efforts here in Boston as well. Take the grassroots effort to help Cambridge-based electronic music luminary Andre Obin get back up and running after an electrical fire at his apartment left him homeless and without a lot of his gear. Vanya Records is selling an 18-song comp, a tidy documentation of a slice of the scene here in Boston, with all proceeds going directly to Mr. Obin; stream the comp Friends Of Andre via the embed below, and click through the purchase. Another local effort is Sleepover Shows' annual charity auction, that ends today, making our reference to it here something of a "day-late-dollar-short" situation. But theirs is an *annual* charity auction, so remember to look for what they've got on offer when next year rolls around.

There's Boston Band Crush's Holiday Spectacular, which plays host to four bands Dec. 14 at Brighton Music Hall. The event includes a toy drive being run by Boston Emissions' Anngelle Wood. As the esteemed Richard Bouchard of BBC states here, "[The toy drive's] biggest need is presents for teens, so gift cards, music, stuff like that, and they serve people of all ages, so toys and games are good too. Please, if you can, bring a new, unwrapped gift to the merch table, Anngelle will get it where it needs to go." So, instead of buying that extra round of drinks this week or next, why not put the money toward a toy that will give a kid looking at the prospect of a sub-optimal Christmas a reason to smile. Here's the Facebook event page for the Boston Band Crush Holiday Spectacular.

As we mentioned supra, good deeds are being done everywhere, you needn't look hard, although perhaps you'd have to look a little further afield to find this one. Turn your focus for a moment, if you will, to our friends at the classy disaster of a record label Audio Antihero. We will bet you whatever you'd like to bet that the proprietor of the esteemed London-based indie label has donated over the last few years 10 times more money to the various charities he supports than the label has taken in as revenues. This year proprietor Jamie Halliday has put together a compilation titled The Hüsker Doo​-​wop EP. The short set is available here for a limited time only and features exclusive and rare music from the Audio Antihero stable of artists. Proceeds from the sale of this collection go toward Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The comp opens with Nosferatu D2's Ben Parker talking about eating glass and pissing the bed, and it gets even better from there. The EP also includes a creaking freak-out from the equally genius Benjamin Shaw (whose record There's Always Hope, There's Always Cabernet was our second favorite album of 2011), as well as a throbbing rocker from Watford, England-based grunge messiahs Wartgore Hellsnicker. Stream the entire EP via the embed below. And while you're doing that, take some time to think about what you might be able to do this winter to help people in your community who are struggling to get by. Whatever you do or don't do, our larger point is this: if you've got the gumption, you don't have to look far to find opportunities to help out while getting your rock fix this year. So come on.

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