will rock for food can't believe it but it's true update
along the way i've received some incredible assistance. jay moore made this amazing website, and accompanying promotional graphics, that have everyone who sees them wistfully expressing their regret that they can't have such things for their band or their cause or their business, (to which i immediately remind them that, YES! they can, and all they have to do is click on the "haunted hillbilly" link on the site to get in touch), and for the crowning glory, you should totally come to the event (nods to melvern) to see the t-shirts. it's been the face of the event right from the start, and it's an incredible privilege for us all to have it be that way.
and it should be pointed out that, without kevin and brian and eric and sean, and the whole team at brian's ivy hall, this event would have no home, and no place to grow. all the folks at brian's ivy hall could not have been more welcoming and more supportive, right from the start. you need the room? done. you need some lowell-themed drink specials to get people in the mood? done. you need promotion? how about we get 102.5 wklb to talk you up. done. you need to set up early? stay late? done and done. there are a lot of places that have been open longer in downtown lowell, but there are none who are doing it better for the neighborhood than brian's ivy hall.
and speaking of the stage where this will all take place, let's take a step back to give a shout out to the bands, who are all dedicating their time to "rock for food", as it were, and give us an experience that money couldn't in any other way buy. jen kearney and the lost onion (claire finley, carl johnson, peter maclean, mark mullins) had me from the moment i saw them first at the lowell summer music series, opening up for daryl hall. that a guy could walk up to talent like this at lelacheur at a spinners game and say "i am SUCH a fan", and be welcomed so warmly into everything that has happened since, is truly a blessing. and it's from there that i ventured two birthdays ago to the lizard lounge, to see them again, and first saw a ukulele truly fulfilled, and melvern taylor and his fabulous meltones (dave livingston, bob nash and johnny grant, since so admirably amended by matt berlin, AND, because it was the trumpet wafting like magic in the air that fell me such in love, sarah grant, too). from which, as much to see carl and bob as to ever guess it would turn into such joy, it was on to then-mickey's to see peter lavender for his "never now" cd release party, and the ride of my life that's taken me to not just listen to music, but the BE it, such as a poor beginner like me is able. (i still can't believe one man could ever be so lucky). and that's all not even beginning to consider the lifelong passion that follows the "low rock" sound of treat her right. if you have never, YOU MUST. sunday. (they go on at 8:30pm).
but it's not just music. the loom press (thanks, paul marion!) and the bootstrap press (thanks derek fenner!) are sharing their authors and their books. (one of whom, steve o'connor, is a soccer teammate, whose characterizations of the rest of the guys on the team in his short stories of lowell are classic, and i'll tell you all about them if he won't!) linda mccluskey and emily schroer are sharing their art. (i met linda with her paintings in a back corner of a parking lot three folk festivals ago, which is a short way to say that it's so completely fitting that she should be so much more prominently featured these days with her art inspiring the event logo in addition to me, and even though she can't be there in person, her art will be, and that's great all by itself). sarah grant is sharing the most amazing earrings you can make from bottle caps, and you heard it here first that you're going to have to get there early before they sell out AGAIN. local businesses are contributing items for raffles and auctions. it's a group effort, and it's GREAT.
but this is all a (typically) round-about way to get around to saying that what i experienced last night as i was walking on my way from downtown over to voices rock club over the river in centralville, was even more than all this. teddy panos at the athenian corner restaurant stopped me as i was walking by his patio and asked unsolicited if he could join the support for the event, and contribute a gift certificate from his restaurant to add to the cause. i have to tell you, it can be exhausting to spend so many weeks always having to ask for everything. i mentioned how GREAT the downtown businesses have all been, because they've all said yes the moment they were asked, and they've made it as easy as i could possibly be, (THANK YOU!), but teddy's reaching out because i hadn't had time to get around to the athenian corner to ask, and pressing the goods straight into my hand, that really shows off the spirit of lowell, and how lucky and blessed i've been to have this kind of support for something that could have never been without it.
i first went to the athenian corner a couple of days after moving in across the street. i was blown away by even the simplicity and sublimity of the bread they serve before the meal. the (warm!) grape leaves and the feta and the kalamatas? oh, you are only getting started. and i have to say, right up there with the philippinos and their inimitable take on teriyaki, the athenian corner outdoor barbecue during folk fest is the MUST GO food table in all of the city. (lamb kabobs... MMMMMMMmmm). but i had no idea until my neighbor, in one of those "pssssst" moments, clued me in about the music on thursday nights, and i first experienced greek, turkish AND armenian folk songs all played by a trio of greek, turkish and armenian musical masters, what it is all about. (and i got to dance with eleni, too!) and now there he is, teddy panos himself, asking me if he can do more for me and for lowell by adding yet another gift certificate into the raffle collection.
i can only say that it's my life and experience and belief that these sorts of things can only happen in the city of lowell. you may have stories of rumors where they have happened somewhere else, but i'll tell you that i have the proof right here in my hand, and i cannot wait to share it with all of you on sunday.
melvern and his fabulous meltones go on at 4pm, SHARP. (matt's telling his mother he's going to be late for her birthday party so he can be there with us, which is yet another story of generosity and support that would take more time than i'm sure for which you have patience, so let's just say yet another THANKS!!!). peter lavender plays new stuff from an upcoming CD at 5:30. jen kearney and her lost onion lay it down at 7pm. and treat her right, the crowning glory of the self-indulgence that has required so much grateful effort, goes on at 8:30pm, and i cannot WAIT to share the experience with everyone who is making this great thing happen.
for the new entry sustainable farming project. for their local entrepreneurial and indomitable farmers. for the merrimack valley food bank. for everyone in need who is helped through their efforts, and for all of us who are all the better for it--
WILL ROCK FOR FOOD.
please be there. please join in. please discover what i've discovered:
shangri-lowell--it's the best place on earth.
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