March 25, 2010

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Haiti benefit at Milly’s
Local bands come together for a cause
By Michael Witthaus music@hippopress.com

Musicians often disagree on style. Metalheads keep folkies at arm’s length, while folkies scorn rappers, who themselves sneer at some vaguely defined notion of country music.

They’ll all unite around a cause, however. That’s the case this Sunday, March 28, when Milly’s Tavern and Manchester-based Jesus is the Way Ministry Worldwide Missions hold a fundraiser for Haiti earthquake relief.  The all-day show includes pop, rock, metal, acoustic and everything in between.

The show is Milly’s first with a new sound system. The purchase, along with new carpets, floors and other improvements, was necessitated by a recent local natural disaster, the Wind Storm of 2010.

Hip-hop crew Sons of Kalal, who perform the penultimate set of the night, are donating more than their time to the event. Two months’ worth of proceeds from online sales of their debut album, No Plan B, will also go to the charity.

Milly’s owner Peter Telge reached out to SoK, as fans know the band. Telge told the group that because former tavern employee George Morales is a now a minister for Jesus is the Way Worldwide Missions, he could guarantee that everything would reach those in need. This helped allay concerns about rumors of Haitian government officials diverting relief money.

In addition to cash, donations of food, clothing, water, blankets and first aid supplies are also requested. M.C. Mike Capone said Telge’s timing was good.

“He was interested in not just our band playing, but what we might like to do to help Haiti and get other bands on the bill and help promote it,” said Capone, one of four vocalists in the Manchester-based group, which has done shows at Milly’s since 2007. “We were going to do the Internet sales thing even before he asked us — that’s why we decided to put it all together.”

Their underground sound makes them a good band for the cause.

“We touch on religion, politics … sometimes I think we make music a little too political, where a lot of underground hip-hop is about the streets and growing up in poverty-stricken neighborhoods,” Capone said. “You’d kind of think we were Harvard graduates with some of the kinds of things that we get off on, but that’s where we’re at.”

Unless they’re on tour recycling hits from 20 years ago, musicians aren’t making much money these days.  But they’re always the first to step up when people are hurting.

“We all have a roof over our house. We can help out as much as we can,” Capone said of the decision to donate their receipts from iTunes and Rhapsody, which usually run between $60 and $100 a month. “It’s not a lot, but it’s better than nothing.”

Each of the bands on the bill (at press time there were 14) has committed to selling tickets, and Milly’s employees are also working hard to fill the brewpub. 

“It works similar to our Christmas benefit,” said Milly’s general manager Mike Kaminski. “Take a few tickets, help out a good cause.”

In addition to electric music in Milly’s front bar area, the Bo’s Riverside function room will feature acoustic acts, including Josh Logan, who also performs on the main stage. Kevin Laurencelle, booked to play solo in Bo’s, persuaded the rest of his band to join him for a rare unplugged turn. “This will be both a few songs with me and then we will rock a Streamline acoustic set for everyone,” the guitarist wrote in a recent e-mail.

Early afternoon performances on the main stage include alt metal from Mindset X, Kick the Ladder’s grunge pop and local songwriter Alli Beaudry performing with her Boston-based cover band, Incadence. Craving Lucy, playing Collective Soul-styled power rock, will make their first Milly’s appearance in a while. Lords of Audio, a.k.a. Project G, mix metal covers and originals, while Random Act play post-grunge covers from Buckcherry and Stone Temple Pilots, along with an accelerated version of the Doors’ “L.A. Woman.”

Not of this Earth, a hard rock band fronted by Milly’s waitress and Whisky Girl Melanie Stringer, will close out the show at midnight. 

Other performers include Dave Clark, Steve Sousa, Mike Spaulding and Red Handed Hoe.

 “What’s really great is that not only are musicians donating to the cause, but that the mix of talent is so varied, everything from rock to acoustic folk to hip-hop,” Kaminski said. “It’s a real melting pot.”


Music schedule
Milly’s Tavern
3 p.m. – Mindset X
4 p.m. – Kick the Ladder
5 p.m. – Incadence
6 p.m. – Craving Lucy
7 p.m. – Dave Clark
8 p.m. – Lords of Audio
9 p.m. – Josh Logan
10 p.m. – Random Act
11 p.m. – Sons of Kalal
midnight – Not of This Earth

Bo’s Riverside Room
3:30 p.m. – Steve Sousa
4:30 p.m. – TBA
5:30 p.m. – Red Handed Hoe
6:30 p.m. – Josh Logan
7:30 p.m. – Streamline
8:30 p.m. – TBA
9:30 p.m. – TBA
10:30 p.m. – Mike Spaulding

Haiti earthquake relief benefit
Who: Bands include Mindset X, Kick the Ladder, Incadence (featuring Alli Beaudry), Craving Lucy, Lords of Audio, Josh Logan, Streamline, Random Act, Sons of Kalal, Not of This Earth, Red Handed Hoe, Dave Clark, Steve Sousa and Mike Spaulding
Where: Milly’s Tavern, 500 Commercial St. in Manchester
When: Sunday, March 28, 11 a.m. – midnight
Tickets: $10 in advance, $15 at the door
More: Call 625-444 or go to www.millystavern.com