New York Cares
It was reassuring that over Labor Day Weekend, we saw donation drives for Hurricane Katrina victims all across our new Catskills homeland – from ferociously left-wing Woodstock, where an eight-band all day concert at The Joyous Lake was set up almost as soon as the levees broke, through to the relatively conservative town of Windham, where the local church took on the leadership role. Americans are a generous people and though most of us believe that it was government’s job to provide immediate relief and care on the Gulf Coast, and while we remain furious that people died because of that government’s ineptitude, we realize that the fall-out from Hurricane Katrina is on a scale never before witnessed in America, and that the displaced victims will be needing our help, both financial and emotional, for years and years to come.
New York City residents, in particular, know what it feels like to feel like you’ve lost your city, and the sense of empathy between New York and New Orleans was the strongest emotional element of this year’s 9/11 ceremonies. In addition, both New York and New Orleans are famously musical cities. If nothing else, they are known as two of the four American capitals of jazz music (no prizes for naming Kansas City and Chicago as the others), but anyone who’s been down there will know that New Orleans thrives on any rhythm you can shake a tail-feather to. To that end, we’ve already started seeing our fair share of New York fund-raisers for Hurricane victims, including a stellar line-up at the Lincoln Center organized by New Orleans native Wynton Marsalis.
Next week, Brooklyn Responds. That’s the name of a two-night event at Southpaw, on Wednesday September 21 and Sunday September 25. The full line-up is still taking shape, with acts confirming and canceling on an hourly basis, and your best bet is to visit the Brooklyn Responds or Southpaw sites to get the latest 411. As of this moment, Radio 4, Eiffel Tower, Domino, Craig Wedren, Au Revoir Simone and Pela are confirmed for the 21st, and The Wrens, an acoustic Nada Surf set, Richard Buckner, Sam Champion, Eiffel Tower, Harlem Shakes and Morningwood are confirmed for the 25th. There will also be DJs, including myself and Mark Ronson on the 21st, stand-up comedians, and various items up for auction. All funds raised – the ticket price has yet to be set, dependent on the final line-ups – benefit the American Red Cross, America’s Second Harvest, and Humanity First. I will be back in Brooklyn for at least one of these events. If you live in the Borough, please come out and support them yourselves.
Today’s headline, by the way, should not be misinterpreted. New York Cares is the name both of Interpol’s finest four minutes and of a fine community charity.