Now that we’re three months (shudder) into Trump’s presidency, chances are you may feel like a lot of the rampant response activism has died down. It turns out plenty of support groups and positive organizations are not only going strong, but their commitment to helping justice move forward has yet to falter. Just look at Boston Stands.
The newly created series of benefit shows is organized by an ad hoc group of Boston musicians with the intent of donating all proceeds to the ACLU. Shaun Wolf Wortis, Jed Parish, and Ed Valauskas—the folks who spearhead Boston Stands—plan to organize one benefit show a month. They keep hosting stacked shows, crowds keep showing up, and the series keeps letting musicians participate in any way they choose. A dark cloud swells over our country in 2017, but Boston Stands keeps cranking the volume to dissipate it.
Its efforts are off to an undeniably successful start. February’s show—which brought Rick Berlin, Amber Casares, Chris Cote, Ad Frank, and many more to ONCE Ballroom’s Mardi Gras celebration—raised over $7,000. That pretty penny suddenly seems even prettier when you realize it all went to ACLU to help fight for legal rights for people like the immigrants held at Logan.
Cue its next event: a benefit show straight out of the ’90s. On March 18, Boston Stands is hosting a benefit show at the Paradise Rock Club where Nada Surf, Juliana Hatfield, Belly, Evan Dando, the Gravel Pit, Buffalo Tom’s Bill Janovitz, and host Ken Reid will perform for audience members throughout the night. It’s hard to believe all those people are on one bill. Then again, it’s hard to believe the state of our country.
“Many musicians feel the core of American civil society is now under attack,” Wortis said in a press release. “We felt the need to do something to help protect our shared values, and to do something which brings people together.”
So instead of spending the day after St. Patrick’s Day curing a hangover, gather your pals and head over to the Paradise. Combating the hatred our president pushes and defending human rights for all should be at the top of your to-do list. With a concert like this one in place, fighting the good battle becomes that much easier. Just listen to the bands onstage—and not just what they’re singing, but what they’re saying.
“Number 45 and his cabinet of horrors are a deadly serious threat to every hard-won battle for equality and justice fought by generations of people here,” said Tanya Donelly of Belly. “They are a threat to our country’s evolution. The ACLU has made it clear in a public statement to him that he will not succeed in undoing the good work of decades and that his administration will not drag us backward in time. The ACLU is one of our most powerful instruments of change.”
NADA SURF, JULIANA HATFIELD, BELLY, EVAN DANDO, THE GRAVEL PIT, AND BILL JANOVITZ. SAT 3.18. PARADISE ROCK CLUB, 967 COMM. AVE., ALLSTON. 6:30PM/18+/$35. CROSSROADSPRESENTS.COM