Storm Front

In the wake of Katrina, clubs step it up with benefit shows

It seems like just yesterday that we were going to benefits for the tsunami disaster, and unfortunately, the benefit season is back in full swing. As usual, the club community's rallied. I went to a low-key affair at Nublu on September 6 where the crowd soaked in the ethereal, electronic jazzy improv of s e n d, with a special guest appearance by Kudu lead singer Sylvia Gordon, who was in a shy mood and spent the whole set with her back to the crowd while delivering gorgeous wails. Kudu were supposed to headline, but Kudu's drummer, Deantoni Parks, couldn't get a flight back from Atlanta because there was so much air traffic coming from and going to New Orleans.

Nublu Records manager Justin Carter's last-minute decision to hold the benefit pulled in $1,300 for Baton Rouge Area Foundation—a great amount for a Tuesday night with little fanfare and without big, flashy names (we'll see plenty of those benefits in the next few weeks). At press time, some will have already been held: On September 11, the Thing With Two Heads (Bazooka Joe and his gal Christine) spun at a party featuring ex-Cramps A-Bones and Kid Congo Powers and the Pink Monkey Birds, among others, at Magnetic Field in Brooklyn. TV on the Radioand Rockets and Carsrocked out on Sunday at Union Pool. DJ DB played with the Disco Biscuits on Tuesday at Spirit. Cielo had a benefit last week, and in October the club has two more tentatively scheduled with Junior Vasquez, Danny Krivit, and Louie Vega.

John Cameron Mitchell is set to participate in a splashy benefit you can't miss called NYC Loves Nola, thrown by Spin Cycle at Ace of Clubs on Sunday, September 18. The French Quarter–themed party features every downtown performer worth sneezing at— Charles Busch, Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, Flotilla DeBarge, Jo Boobs, Julie Atlas Muz Kevin Aviance, Penny Arcade, and the World Famous *BOB*, plus the casts of Fleet Week, Joy,Room, and Hercules in High Suburbia will all be on hand for the marathon seven-hour production to benefit the Red Cross.

Morgan Geist and Darshan Jesrani and their label, Environ, are putting together a party at APT for September 27. And you can buy "Renew Orleans" T-shirts made by Brooklyn record label and apparel company Ropeadope. Proceeds will go to the New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, run by Preservation Hall, which has teamed up with Ropeadope to release two New Orleans–related records: Sister Gertrude Morgan's tambourine-and-vocal recording Let's Make a Record and King Britt's redux of the same record with full instrumentation.

Award-winning hip-hop mix tape DJ Clinton Sparks launched Dare to Care. He's urging promoters around the country to throw events—at which he'll spin for free—and donate 100 percent of profits. He'll pick the top five promoters and push all simultaneously in a nationally coordinated advertising effort to raise funds.

Moby, Laura Dawn, and the Move On folks set up hurricanehousing.org—already resulting in 256,000 beds for the displaced. Moby donated a "couple hundred thousand frequent-flier miles" to the organization as well as money. Down in Miami, Danny Tenaglia is meeting with club owners to throw a benefit. "If they are not willing to donate 100 percent of the proceeds, then I am not interested," he wrote in an e-mail. "I personally donated $2,500 to the Red Cross yesterday. Normally I don't like to tell how much I donated and to whom, but I felt sometimes it's good to share info in the hopes that others will feel inspired to donate whatever they can."


tromano@villagevoice.com

 
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