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This Weekend, Part 2: Rock the Boat Ike Benefit (+ Bonus Where's-The-Love? Rant) [10/10/2008 03:49:00 PM]:
Okay, so a while back I got a very nice email from the folks at Nauset Concepts, asking us to list their upcoming "Rock the Vote" show slated for this coming Sunday, October 12th, during the run-up to the election next month. "No prob!," we said, cheerily adding the show to Ye Olde Grand List o' Shows and moving on, figuring we'd point to it and blather a bit as the date got closer.

Then, of course, Ike hit. Everybody's least favorite hurricane threw our fair city into such disarray that some areas still don't have power, even three(?) weeks on from the storm's actual landfall. (Glad to see the folks at Skyline are apparently back up & running for the 2nd(!) time...) There's no question that there're still a ton of people in serious need of help, in spite of all the generous stuff Houstonians have been doing to help out. To that end, the crew putting on the "Rock the Vote" deal decided to shift gears somewhat and focus not on the political crap everybody's getting sick of but on the real-live practical day-to-day stuff people right here need right now.

So "Rock the Vote" morphed into -- dum-da-de-dum -- Rock the Boat, a full-fledged benefit concert to help out victims of Hurricane Ike. And y'know, while I'm all for folks getting out to vote -- I do honestly believe it's a responsibility and not just a right -- right now the "Rock the Boat" plan seems a whole lot more critical.

Plus, on top of cool, goodhearted local folks like Pale, Morgue City (whose debut CD I bought a while back and still need to get into the CD player...argh), Deep Ella, Paris Green, Straightfork, and Laidlaw, the lineup now includes -- holy fucking shit! -- P.M. Dawn. As in "P.M. Dawn, one of the trippiest, strangest, mellowest hip-hop acts ever, who totally blew me away back when I was a kid." Yeah, that P.M. Dawn. Truthfully, it appears that it's only half of the group, Doc G, but fuck it -- half of a great band is better than none of a great band. Oh, and there's also auctions of Astros stuff, a guitar signed by Kid Rock, etc., to try to raise as much money as possible.

[Warning: Rant Mode Engaged]
And I have to say, by the way, that it does my heart good to see somebody who's kinda-sorta a big name (well, about a decade ago, anyway; I'll take what we can get) coming to town to support Ike victims. The whole time I was charting all the bands and shows that got blown away by the hurricane -- some waaaaay after the fact -- there was this little voice in the back of my head that kept saying, "hey, what the hell? Just because there was some damage to a venue or travel got difficult, does that mean we're not worth a show somewhere in this city?" Seriously; how hard would it've been for, say, Robert Plant & Alison Krause to shift down to Toyota Center or the Verizon or Reliant Arena or something, just to give us poor Houstonians a chance to think about things other than the big-ass tree poking through our roof or -- in a much, much, much worse-case scenario -- the fact that our home's been wiped off the map?

Stepping beyond that, even, why couldn't at least one of the big-namers who cancelled their scheduled Houston show to pass us by, even though it was long after the storm blew itself out (Nelly & Brad Paisley, I'm looking at both of you), say, "Y'know what? I know there're some difficulties with putting on the show, but these people need some help. So let's do this -- we'll still do the show, and all the proceeds go to help out people who've lost their homes and possessions in this tragedy. I want to help, even if it puts a teeny-tiny crimp in my tour profits." Would that have been that hard?

Houston, Galveston, and the surrounding areas just got whomped by the third-worst hurricane in history, and it feels like we've been kicked to the curb. I love New Orleans dearly, yes, and I'm glad the country rallied to help out the people hit by Katrina, but I'm a little bitter that the Texas Gulf Coast didn't get a televised benefit show -- where were Kanye and Faith Hill when Gilchrist got erased & the Strand got deluged head-high with water? There were Katrina benefits starting literally days after the damage was done; help for Ike victims, on the other hand, now seems like an afterthought.

George Bush may not care about black people, but apparently nobody gives a shit about Houstonians. Except us, that is (and P.M. Dawn, bless 'em). So, since it's up to us, let's get on out this weekend and help ourselves, our friends & family, and our neighbors out.
[Rant Mode Off]

Aaaaaanyway. The details you need: Sunday, October 12th @ The Meridian. The doors open at 4PM, and the show goes 'til 10PM, with tickets for $10. Oh, and all the proceeds go to the Bush-Clinton Coastal Recovery Fund, which started out back in '05 to help out people hit by Katrina and has now shifted towards supporting those on the Gulf Coast affected by Ike. If nobody else is gonna help us out, we've got to do it for ourselves.

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