Aftermath of Bands, Fans & Cans

Using ones area of expertise as a benefit platform is both a generous and convenient effort. Aspiring to help hungry Houstonians during the holiday season, Houston-based band The 71’s used music as the gateway to entice a charitable deed. The Deal—Bring 5 canned goods to the show and get a free CD. As the instigators of last Saturday night’s event at Fitzgerald’s, The 71’s had the freedom to name it “Bands, Fans & Cans.” Furthermore, they proposed and produced the line-up, electing four local indie-rock contributors known as Amber Skyline to set things in motion.

Graceful piano chords, emanating dramatically upon the fade-out of other instruments, frame the beauty that is Amber Skyline. Melodic vocal harmony and slow southern guitar solos are also present in songs such as “Fall.” Members of Amber Skyline share The 71’s openhanded approach to fighting poverty as they too have a benefit of T-shirt sale proceeds entitled “Can’t Ignore the Poor.” Keep an eye open for the record soon to be available on iTunes and CD Baby.

The evening was full of uplifting lyrics. I find it difficult to be moved by words while tackling the task of deciphering them live, nevertheless, the lyrics of The Canvas Waiting did move me. Unlucky in love, the desire to relay hurt to the inflictor of one’s pain is vexed when “Mercy finds its way” and forgiveness comes. Augmented by the percussive finesse of Josh Rodgers, the excellent falsetto-capable voice of frontman Nathan Medina croons the former phrase from the song “Mercy.” The album A Seasons Change is available on iTunes.

Dallas commuters, Air Review, came prepared with their mood-lighting props and two laptop computers, assumingly containing supplemental overlies. The continuity of four simultaneous guitars combined with ambient, melancholic vocal blends and the drum beat clap-along of “House of All We Left Behind,” had my head spinning in awe. Furthermore, I experienced an immediate liking to the catchiness of “Chasing Corporate,” a song about seizing an opportunity to escape routine and boredom. With the coordinating band next on the agenda, Air Review thanked The 71’s and concluded with the sweet-sounding “All Because You’re Mine.” The album Landmarks is available on iTunes and Amazon.

Chasing Corporate Acoustic Performance from Air Review on Vimeo.

They always begin with “Stretch Out Your Love” and Saturday’s performance by The 71’s was no exception. The song is full of power and vigor allowing Keeton Coffman to transform into the exuberant frontman that he is. Introduced during “Start Again,” the young photographer, Jackson, was asked onstage to snap a few invited shots. Jackson is the son of The 71’s album artist for We Are Locomotive available on iTunes. Keeton offered the Tears for Fears cover of “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” to those of us who love the 80’s and still “wish Charles In Charge was on the air.” With a cue to “The Captain,” Ryan Cecil began its familiar introduction. They played “Ready For My Love” as well as two other new songs waiting to be recorded.

With an array of bands this brilliant, sincere, and geographically desirable it’s no wonder I planned weeks in advance to catch them all in action. I too would like to thank The 71’s for opening my eyes to more home talent, giving me a number of neighboring bands to track in the future. My selfish thanks aside; I also commend their heartfelt outreach to help those in need. With Thanksgiving Day approaching, The 71’s gift to the community will remind a few downtrodden individuals that “the God of Surprises always strikes again.”

“Heaven Can Wait” by Charlotte Gainsbourg Feat. Beck

I’m not even going to try to analyze this video or figure out what it means to me. It’s just wierd! Buuut, I do like the song and am looking forward to the album, IRM, set for a January 2010 release via Because/Elektra. In this album (her third studio album) Charlotte Gainsbourg has teamed up with Beck.

“Meet Me On The Equinox” by Death Cab For Cutie

Sorry, I can’t help it. For the second day in a row I am posting something related to the Twilight Saga: New Moon. This song by Death Cab for Cutie kicks off its kick-ass soundtrack. If you tuned in to the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards on September 13, 2009 you saw its debut.

The truth is I have my tickets for the midnight showing on Thursday and I bet all you snide commenters are secretly jeolous. Furthermore, I plan to create my own double-feature by watching the first one before I go.

“Wicked Blood” by Sea Wolf

Sea Wolf now has a video for “Wicked Blood” from the new album, White Water, White Bloom, released on Dangerbird. The band has deservedly gained some momentum thanks to their contribution of “The Violet Hour” to the Twilight saga’s New Moon Soundtrack.

The 71’s to Headline “Bands, Fans & Cans” November 21st at Fitzgerald’s

Submitted by Keeton of The 71’s.
View event poster here.

Saturday November 21st – The 71’s are hosting and headlining a benefit concert that they put together in an attempt to help the hungry during Thanksgiving. They are calling the event “Bands, Fans & Cans” and are asking fans and friends to bring out canned goods to the show that evening. At the show they can trade 5 canned goods for a free cd at any of the bands merchandise tables. The cans will go to The Houston Food bank to be distributed to less fortunate families during Thanksgiving.

The show will take place on November 21st at the famous Fitzgerald’s in The Heights and will feature the music of The 71’s and 4 other Houston bands, including The Canvas Waiting, Amber Skyline, Wonderful Future, and Air Review.

Just a bit about The 71’s— they released their first record last year around this time and since then have had their music featured on
– The Real World: Cancun on MTV
– The Real World: Brooklyn on MTV
– The Duel on MTV
– The Stylist on MTV
– The Khardashians: Khloe and Kourt Go To Miami (E! Channel)
– The Bad Girls Club

They have also become a favorite band to see by DJ’s here in town. It’s not uncommon to see AD from 94.5FM or Liz Jordan from 89.3FM at one of their shows.

Music to this band is more than entertainment, it’s a means of influencing their community. Here’s a word from the band about the reason behind the show: “It’s about finding purpose. We know that there are hungry and hurting people in our community and we want to keep our eyes open to ways that we can help them – if The 71’s music is the best tool we have to do that, than we want to use it. Lately, we have had the privilege of meeting some very interesting bands throughout Texas, and especially Houston – talented, serious about making good music, and also determined to influence and help people. When we put this show together, I just called the bands who I was a fan of – after it was put together, the idea of using the show as a means to feed people came second. When I pitched it to the rest of the bands, they loved the idea. Before I knew it, I had a benefit concert without even meaning to. I love the idea of turning music into something substantial… like canned goods to feed people – so as this event began to take shape, I became more and more excited. With the date being the Saturday before Thanksgiving, it seemed to me like the question was “Why NOT use it as a means of helping hungry Houstonians?” There are so many people in Houston who are working to meet the needs of less fortunate people (like The Houston Food Bank) I feel like in a very small way, we are just joining what they are already doing.

“My greatest hope for this event is that people will come to the show and see that helping people is not as difficult as it may seem. Small efforts can combine into wonderful acts of mercy and generosity. Many times the only things missing are motivation and organization. We hope with this concert, people will find great motivation through our music and the music of the other four bands.

“Helping people, I am learning, does not always require you to travel to great lengths or even travel great distances. In this case, all you have to do is go into your pantry, get 5 canned goods, come to Fitzgerald’s to see The 71’s, drop your cans off and leave with a free CD… what could be easier?” – Keeton, front man for The 71’s.

Exerpt adopted from HCN Online.

Click here to learn more about the 71’s.