Sometimes it’s amazing what a little time off your feet will do.
For Jason Dunn, the opportunity for deep thought came while recuperating from a broken ankle suffered in February. The singer/guitarist of The Luxury had injured himself on Valentine’s Day while trying to wrangle one of his three cats back into the house. But rather than focusing his ire on the mischievous little scoundrel, Dunn got to thinking about an old friend: his dearly departed cat, Siva.
“When Siva was alive, he would sit on top of my huge, old CRT monitor while I was recording and mixing,” Dunn recalls. “If I made an egregious enough mistake, his head would pop up over the monitor and he’d give me a very, very stern look. I wanted to do something big, fun, awesome, and for a great cause that literally saves kittens and puppies.”
That big, fun, awesome project became Boston Does Boston, Vols. 1 & 2, a double album of 26 Boston-based acts playing and recording covers of each other’s songs to benefit the Animal Rescue League of Boston. In addition to curating the record, Dunn has organized release shows at Brighton Music Hall and Great Scott on December 13th, 14th, and 15th featuring 15 of the participating artists. Many of those involved in both endeavors have soft spots for animals themselves.
For Edrie of Walter Sickert and the Army of Broken Toys, a fenced-in yard in Dorchester–adjacent to a working home studio space she shares with Sickert–allowed her to reconnect with her North Dakota roots.
“I grew up on a farm and was surrounded by a constant menagerie. I can’t really have that here in Boston,” she says. The fence did allow for some leeway, though. “We decided that we would be able to adopt a dog in addition to the two rescue cats we already had.”
For these musicians, rescuing animals seems to be the norm. I, Pistol bassist Dave Stoops is the proud owner of four domestic short-haired cats, all whom arrived via a virtual Ivy League of rescue affiliates.
“Nibbles and Bobby, a bonded pair of litter mates, we found through Pet Finder,” he says, recounting his extended family. “Mr. Pibb came to us from a classmate; she found him as a stray. And PigBear, we fell in love with at MSPCA-Angell’s adoption center.”
Similarly, singer/guitarist Will Dailey feels he has been blessed twice with animals cast off by others. He met his current dog, Tonka, at the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem when he was just eleven weeks old. That after having already found a companion in even more dire circumstances.
“My last dog, Pasha, [who] I found in the streets of Somerville, is the center piece of a song on my new album that we just finished,” he says before returning to the current Lord of the Dailey Manor. “Tonka provides a strong sense of security that everyone is safe at home while I’m on the road. His dream job is to be guarding the sheep from the wolves.”
Even Dunn, the ringleader, found his friends far from the corporate confines of Petco.
“My current brood of siblings were found together behind a garage in a friend’s neighborhood, so I decided to take them in and foster them for a while until they got used to people,” he says of his initial plan. “Of course, I soon discovered that they worked so well as a unit, watching out for one another, and so I eventually just decided to damn the financial consequences and keep them all. They’re awesome.”
BOSTON DOES BOSTON
W/ 15 LOCAL ACTS
1222 COMM AVE.