Thursday, July 28, 2011

My 2nd Phoenix Fundraiser

On Sunday, July 10th I hosted my second fundraising event in Phoenix, this time in the form of a concert and dinner party in the courtyard of my friend Kimber Lanning's record store, Stinkweeds. I wasn't sure how it would go--for those of you not from Phoenix, I would say that it is often hard to get the locals to come out of their air-conditioned hiding places until the sun goes down for most events, and also hard to get them to make the extra trek of a few more miles out of their normal routine circles of places they frequent, but I was both surprised by the turnout and the amount of donations I raised.
I made a bunch of food which was all vegan and gluten-free, which included chickpea curry with rice donated by Angela Riccobono at the last minute when I realized I'd misplaced the guts of my rice cooker, chips with fresh salsa I made, and also my usual moneymaker, my gluten-free, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. My friend John Sagasta from Jobot Coffee was also kind enough to donate a bunch of iced toddy, and my friend Alia Souissi was my savior of the day who drove me all over the place to trek everything there and get last minute supplies.

First up to perform was Green Light District, who I had only just met a few weeks ago on First Friday at the Longhouse, where I normally sell cookies.

Their upbeat youthful energy continues to steal the ears of passerby and no doubt is earning them a bunch of youtube videos from strangers, and their re-imagining of some other artist's songs is the first time I've enjoyed listening to them in years. (i.e.- MGMT) For the record I still like their original song, something about rock and roll (?) the best. I am glad that more people got to be introduced to them.
Next up was another of my Scorpio friends, Daryl Scherrer who practically allowed me to write the whole setlist, which is a rare honor considering the sheer size of his catalog of songs he has to pick from, normally plucking songs at random from a coffee can for 3-4 hours sets when he plays regularly at Carly's Bistro downtown.
It's kind of ironic. Though Daryl has informed me that his own teeth are far from perfect, in the past he has been a perfect example of the sort of confident, open screaming mouth I wish I could have one day if I ever write and perform music in public. You hear that Daryl? I just said I wished I had your mouth. Haha.
Daryl makes the darnedest faces.
One of the seemingly rare pictures snapped of me in public in a while. Thanks Robyn Kingsley. That's my friend Jeremiah in the white with the sunglasses who also was nice enough to share some of his drumming skills between sets as Porches was setting up. He is an amazing djembe player if anyone is looking for one for back-up or anything. Message me for his info.
Local celebrity Ben Gallaty of Andrew Jackson Jihad shows off his new food baby. What a proud papa! And what a silly awesome stenciled shirt. "RUBBLE RUBBLE!"
It was Chris Cranny however, who won the awesome shirt award for the day with this thrift store score.
Next up was the band Porches, who I had mostly only ever known as its acoustic singer/songwriter/audience heckler Ben Horowitz. Tonight he was backed by friends Tristan Jemsek on drums and John Martin on bass closing out the evening with the loudest rockin' set of the night.

Thanks to all who came and stayed for the duration and helped me make this event a fun success for all on a hot and sweaty Phoenix evening. Thanks again to Kimber for offering the space and Dario who did everything possible to make the show run smoothly AND still man the store. Thanks John for keeping us all caffeinated, everyone who reposted the event and braved the heat to come out and play with friends. Thanks to all the bands who offered their talents for free in support of my cause, and for all of you who kindly and generously donated, making this my biggest fund-raising event yet, raising over $411 without even having a single set price on anything! I am hoping to organize one big event like this one once a month, so watch for that on facebook. More dinner parties, more concerts, possibly some movie nights and bake sales. Next up, an open mic/poetry event at local used bookstore, Bard's Books on August 20th. I will be reading selections from my blog and inviting everyone to share writing and stories of their own secrets, fears and confessions over vegan snacks and refreshments for donations. It may also be a book drive. Will post a flyer real soon. Thanks again, everyone, for all of your continued support and openness to work with me pulling events together. I'm excited to see you all again soon!

Just another summer night, hanging out in the Stinkweeds parking lot after hours.
For more info on any of these bands and businesses, please follow the links below. Thanks!
Green Light District
Daryl Scherrer on facebook and on the web.
Jobot Coffee Shop

And also check out another of Kimber's projects, Local First, "a non-profit organization working to strengthen communities and local economies through supporting, maintaining, and celebrating locally owned businesses throughout the state of Arizona.
We educate citizens, stakeholders, business leaders, and legislators about the significant environmental, economic, and cultural benefits of strong local economies. We build vibrant communities that make residents proud to call home."

Thank you!

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