April 22, 2013

The Boston Music Community Responds, And The Hush Now's "Marathon Day"

The Hush Now -- Marathon Day

There's a story we think of often, when, in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, Bruce Springsteen was apparently out and about and someone driving by spotted him and shouted from their truck, "Bruce, we need you!" Such is the power of music, and people's visceral, often umbilical, relationship to it. Music comforts. Music uplifts. Sometimes it does the best it can to solve problems. And of course it can bash and pop and do all those other things we love about it. The whole of Boston and the immediately surrounding region was shaken badly last week by the marathon bombings and the desperate manhunt that followed four days later. But the city and its people responded with dignity and resolve, especially Friday. Especially Friday. Boston has responded in other ways as well. As we've already mentioned on Facebook, we were awed by the Boston music community's immediate and powerful response, its willingness to offer comfort and aid to the families of the fallen, to the wounded, to one another. To the soul of the city. There was Tuesday night's amazing benefit at TT The Bear's, planned and staged in only a handful of hours, that raised almost $8,000, money that was walked in to Mass General Hospital the next day and donated by Richard Bouchard and Michael Marotta on behalf of the music community. We can't really think of anything more DIY and punk rock and, well, awesome than that. Problem identified. Plan made. Plan executed. All in about 24 hours.

That show is but one of many efforts made by the Boston music community. There is a cascade of announcements of benefit shows. Everyone is pitching in, from Anngelle Wood and AudioCotton's We Are Boston t-shirt (which, we think we saw this morning, have already raised thousands for One Fund Boston), to Allston Pudding's goliath digital mix tape, from Dan Blakeslee's heart and bridge design (which ended up behind the stage for the Fleetwood Mac show, amazingly), to all the merch sales from individual bands put toward putting Boston back together. We are amazed at the depth and breadth of the will to give, the drive to help, individuals looking for ways to do what they can. The terrible events of last week drove The Hush Now to write a spare, affecting ballad about the resolve of Boston and its inhabitants, titled simply "Marathon Day." "I was honestly at a loss, so I did what made sense to me," guitarist Noel Kelly told us in an email. The initial demo, which we first heard Thursday, was so intimate you could hear the high harmonics coming off the acoustic strings as Mr. Kelly strums his way, picking over how to process the tragedy that took place across town. A fuller of the song was recorded yesterday, and the process by which it was done is quite interesting to us. But we'll save that for another time. There is a moment of silence today at 2:50, one week after the bombs exploded on Boylston Street. Two victims are being memorialized today, and laid to rest, too soon, too young. Our thoughts are with them and with our city. The Hush Now and Clicky Clicky Music Blog strongly encourage you to donate what you can to the newly established One Fund Boston if this song moves you, or if it doesn't. You can stream and download "Marathon Day" via the Soundcloud embed below.