So it may seem like we’re giving this Sudan Benefit concert in Brooklyn that went down last night a lot of attention, but hey, good deeds can’t get too much press, even from music industry doofuses like us. If you’ve been checking your Tripwire news, you know the gist of what was going down last night at Northsix. A group of musicians joined ranks to gather their fans together to learn about the genocide happening in the Sudan and become involved in a small way in the relief efforts put forth by the Save Darfur Coalition and International Rescue Committee. Interspersed between sets from some of Brooklyn’s finest musicians, speakers from Doctors Without Borders and the Human Rights Watch told their own movingly personal stories of their experiences in seeing the devastation and violence that has affected Darfur region of western Sudan. It is a situation that is being roundly ignored and minimized by both the Sudanese government and much of the worldwide community, while the fighting has escalated and several relief organizations, unable to protect their workers, have pulled out of the region. The U.S. Congress declared that the killings in Darfur amount to "genocide," while also urging U.S. President George W. Bush to call the situation in Sudan "by its rightful name – genocide,” but thus far, no action has been taken to aid in this cause.
Some of Brooklyn’s coolest bands came together last night to offer their help. The Fatales opened up the night with dark, atmospheric tunes from the Tripwire-loved release Pretty in Pixels. Jeffrey Lewis and his band of two played a handful of tracks from his Rough Trade release, It’s the Ones Who’ve Cracked That the Light Shines Through. His cleverly simple songs and sharply witty lyrics led nicely into Kevin Devine’s set. Kevin Devine put out one of my favorite records of 2003 with Make The Clocks Move and he played a mix of old tunes and new stuff from his third solo album Split The Country, Split the Street. Closing out the night musically was Montreal’s Stars. Wednesday (tonight) the Stars play a sold out show at Bowery Ballroom, but hopped into the headlining slot last night to lend a hand to the cause and draw their fans out to experience their show in a more intimate setting while giving them the opportunity to learn about the Sudan crisis. Cool music and an important message combined to make an amazing night.