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Friday, March 26, 2010
On Thursday, May 6th, 2010, Le Poisson Rouge, Wordless Music and WFMU will be hosting a benefit for New Zealand musician Chris Knox, who suffered a series of life-altering strokes last year. The show comes on the heels of Merge Records’ release of Stroke, a double album compilation of artists covering Knox songs with the proceeds going to benefit him and his family. All money raised for this event, save for circa $2,500 base costs to cover direct club expenses, is going straight to the Knox family.
Chris Knox’s presence and influence on New Zealand music can only properly be compared to the relationship between Caetano Veloso and Brazil, and Ali Farka Touré in Mali. He started as one of the first and most highly regarded Kiwi punk rock musicians in the late seventies, and went on to be known for his work as a comic artist, television host, film reviewer and music producer for releases on the illustrious Flying Nun roster. His work as Tall Dwarfs (with Alec Bathgate) and as a solo artist has influenced musicians far beyond his country’s borders, as evidenced by the lineup for this show.
Artists, all of whom will be performing shorter than typical sets, at Le Poisson Rouge include Yo La Tengo, Portastatic, Kyp Malone (TV On The Radio), Claudia Gonson (The Magnetic Fields), comedian John Mulaney and Sharon Van Etten. Additionally, New Zealand will be represented by one of the only bands who can be considered a rival to Knox’s influence, The Clean, solo sets by Clean members Robert Scott and David Kilgour, as well as Dimmer, whose leader Shayne Carter is best known on these shores from his years of fronting the seminal Straitjacket Fits. In addition, we are pleased to announce the night will include a very short acoustic set by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel, his first public performance in over a decade. The event will be partially recorded to broadcast on WFMU at a later date, as well as on New Zealand community radio stations like Radio 1 in Dunedin.
Tickets will be made available via Kickstarter.com next Tuesday, March 30th. Kickstarter is a great new website where people can directly support projects they love. All tickets purchased will be for the person who bought the ticket – i.e. there will be no way to scalp. If a ticket buyer is purchasing the tickets for somebody else, they will be required to provide the name of that person upon purchasing to secure the spot. We will be holding a separate fundraiser on Kickstarter to cover transport costs for the artists; people who donate will receive the Stroke 2xCD comp. Keep watch on Kickstarter for information like ticket price (they won’t be cheap – it’s a benefit!) and other salient details. There will be no guest lists whatsoever.
In addition to the music, New Zealand goodies will be on hand thanks to contributions from various organizations. For instance, we’re going to have meat pies from Dub Pies in Park Slope!