Here, Hear III and Well House Grand Rapids.
12/20/2009 § 15 Comments
As a sort of Christmas gift to everyone, the third installment of our Here, Hear experiment, along with Here, Hear I and II(both out of print), our Untitled 7″, and the 2 Christmas songs that accompanied the Holiday Tour Edition of Here, Hear II on CD-R will be available for free download from the 24th of December until the end of our Winter tour with Native.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Here, Hear series, a brief overview: Here, Hear is a series of songs written and performed by the individual instrumentalists in this band, accompanied generally by a spoken word recitation of some outside work (i.e. Bukowski, Tom Robbins, Wind in the Willows, etc) and recorded by Brad. The idea was to give a broader context to our typical recorded material by providing a direct representation of each individual’s influences, style, and personality, and to challenge our own creative selves in the process. If that’s all incredibly confusing to you (it is to me), I’ll approach it differently. By giving one individual complete creative control from beginning to end (writing the parts, playing the instruments, etc) an accurate portrait of that individuals preferences and personality is painted (alliteration!). Then, by quoting a piece of literary work on top, a more direct glimpse into the influences and themes of the lyrics could be given as well. Make sense?
Anyways, Here, Hear I was released on Mini-CD/R and accompanied the first 100 sales of the 7″ we released last spring. Here, Hear II was printed on 7″ and accompanied the first 300 sales of Somewhere.
Now, Here, Hear III is almost done, with some slight twists (new recording equipment so they’ll sound nicer, and original writing from myself so they’ll be less impactful and eloquent. self-zing!) and we want you to have it.
Here’s the thing: we also want to do our part to be a positive influence on our community and to encourage others to do so as well. For the large majority of all of us, there has never been a time in of our lives where more people in our own communities have needed outside assistance, both emotionally and financially. It’s probably getting old hearing about the housing crisis (especially for those of us in Michigan who’ve felt it for the last 5 years), but it’s getting even older watching a government that only acts within the medium of its own self-interest bicker about how to resolve it. The biggest problem confronting efforts to combat the problem is the apathy that trickles down from the belief that someone else is going to fix it when the only ones who can foster positive change, who can support a sustainable solution to the problem, are ourselves. So, here goes the important part of all of this:
Come December 24, all of the aforementioned recordings will be posted online for donate-what-you-can download with 100% of the donations going to benefit Well House Community Living of Grand Rapids, a non-profit outreach program in Grand Rapids that provides emergency shelter and permanent housing for displaced and homeless families. Since the 1970’s, Well House and its staff and volunteers have worked to provide homeless people and families with housing while helping them transition into a self-sustaining pattern of life. Presently, Well House is working towards switching to permanent community living as part of the greater effort of the Grand Rapids Area Coalition to End Homelessness, while organizing many important and powerful initiatives focusing on giving residents the tools necessary to be self-sustaining (i.e. microloans to stimulate steady financial stability, seed giveaways for vegetable gardens, etc). Earlier today I met with Tammy VandenBerg, a member of the board of directors, to discuss specific programs and such, and to figure out exactly where the donation money would be going should you decide to give, and I don’t even know where to start. I was excited by this before I talked to her, and I’m twice as excited now. Its amazing the things that people can accomplish with a strong drive and a good heart, and its amazing how many great things are going in the face of crisis.
As the week goes on, I’ll keep posting details about Well House, there’s too much to talk about after I’ve already overwhelmed you with information. Just one more note before I publish. The songs will be posted in some capacity with the option to donate as little (nothing, if you want) or as much as you’re willing or able. Tammy made sure to say that any amount helps (“If you can donate $10 dollars total, we’ll use it. I’ve worked at several non-profits and not one could stretch a dollar like Well House.”), so if you can only give a dollar, do so. And if you can’t donate anything, please don’t hesitate to download.
Anyways, all for me for now, but expect more. I’m going to be all sorts of annoying about this.
“To make a long story short, Well House has given me the peaceful focus and ambience I needed to regain stability and get back into the balance I need to survive this chaos and drama of the world, the economy, and getting older.” (excerpt from a testimonial printed in the Well House newsletter.)
Hope this finds you well. Questions? Ask.