Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Where We Are


My piece on the state of musicians in New Orleans and the efforts get them home and working is up at One note - in the editing process, the reference was lost to ATC and FMC, Air Traffic Control and the Future of Music Coalition respectively. They organized the musician activist retreats that resulted in the Musicians Bringing Musicians Home benefits.

Update 1:58 p.m. - I asked Damian Kulash of OK Go for a comment for the piece, particularly on OK Go's efforts to help Al "Carnival Time" Johnson into a home. Their EP, efforts at fundraising and benefit concerts raised $44,000:

My thoughts on Al getting his home.... it’s wonderful. It’s incredibly gratifying to see something go right, one problem addressed. The sheer magnitude of the destruction and despair in the wake of Katrina were paralyzing, even for us — four guys who didn’t lose everything, who didn’t see our neighborhoods vanish, who didn’t lose close family or friends. So we decided to pick one discrete thing we could effect — in the middle of such a total clusterfuck, we chose one guy, one life, we could attempt to get back on track. As musicians we often have chances to spout off about our politics or our beliefs, but there’s rarely any demonstrable, direct outcome, and we wanted to be sure that whatever we did would make a real, measurable difference in someone else’s life. It was a way of making sure weren’t just easing our own anger and shame at the way our country and our government handled the disaster, but actually making a difference. And of course, as anyone who’s met Al can tell you, he’s an easy guy to be smitten with, an easy guy to look up to, and easy guy to want to help. So his house means a great deal to us.

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