there are a lot better things to do with your money than buy a t-shirt

01/26/2010 § 4 Comments

seriously, there are. think about that first. here’s a few places that could use your money for something really wonderful.

worldvision.org (my sponsor child’s name is Jael, he turns 3 years old on February 8th)
redcross.org (doing great things for disaster relief all around the world, read for yourself!)
feedingamerica.org (help end hunger in your community, it’s a bigger problem than most wish to believe.)
wellhousegr.org (yup, we’re gonna push this forever, they’ll do great things with your support.)
graceoffice.org (help house the homeless in grand rapids.)
oxfam.org (organizations working together to end poverty.)
pih.org (partners in health is doing so much for haiti right now.)
unicef.org (helping underprivileged children all around the world.)

please click the provided links and explore what these incredible organizations are doing for our world. these are just a few that jordan and I came up with, but please, suggest some more! we’d love to hear what you’re involved in or excited about.

I also encourage you to look around in your own community for ways to offer assistance. there are often times smaller organizations in one’s own backyard that could use your time and money in a very positive way.

if you still feel like a new t-shirt or hoodie, you can check out our brand new store at hellfishfamily.com (scroll down to the “L’s”)
vass has been busting his ass lately working on designs and ideas (thanks for your hard work buddy) please give them a look.

cd’s and LP’s are still available at nosleepstore.com

and all our out of print albums and oddities (along with the recently released here, hear III) can be downloaded for donation at ladispute.bandcamp.com

more announcements and updates in the days to come.

thanks everyone, we’re all in this together.

-bradley

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thank you.

01/18/2010 § 3 Comments

thank you.
thank you.
and again, thank you.

like jordan mentioned before, the two weeks prior to 2010 were spent working on here, hear III and setting up a proper system to donate its proceeds to wellhouse grand rapids. we left for tour shortly after and weren’t quite sure what to expect.

we’re very happy to report that with your generous donations $1,915.44 was collected for wellhouse.

please take a moment to check out wellhousegr.org and see where your money is going. they’re doing amazing things.

the folks at wellhouse and ourselves appreciate these donations more than we are capable of putting into words. it’s incredibly  humbling to see a community of people come together in a time when money is so tight, and still manage to give. so thank you. so much.

now:

I feel as though another thank you is in order to our friends in grand rapids.
it’s been a long time hasn’t it? yup, it has. too long. thank you for your patience and understanding while we sorted out a space to play. so now, at last, here we go:

March 5th, 2010 at The Ladies Literary Club in Grand Rapids, MI.
61 Sheldon Boulevard Southeast
Grand Rapids, MI 49503

tickets are available through the calvin box office.
we’re going to get a lot of people involved and make this thing very special for you all. you deserve it. lots more information in the next couple days, stay tuned.

like vass mentioned below, one song is complete for a split we’re doing with our dear friends in touche amore. started on the second tonight. feels so good. hello 2010.

love you all.

and again, thank you so much.

-bradley

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.

yrs, Jordan.

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