Monday, January 14, 2008

Musicians Help New Orleans Musicians


Last week, FMC and Air Traffic Control got their indie-rock on at two concerts to benefit New Orleans musicians still struggling to secure housing after Hurricane Katrina.

The first show, "Musicians Bringing Musicians Home III," took place in the Parish Room of the New Orleans House of Blues on Thursday, January 10. Performers included Nellie McKay, Jon Langford & Sally Timms of The Mekons, Patrick Hallahan of My Morning Jacket, Charles Bissell of The Wrens, Kimya Dawson, Timothy Bracy of the Mendoza Line, Janet Bean of Freakwater and members of Bonerama, who provided sure-footed backup during several artists' sets. Need we say it rocked?

Here are some cool shots of the evening's festivities from

The concert came at the end of FMC & ATC's annual Artist Activism Camp, which brings musicians together to discuss best practices for artist advocacy. During the two-day meeting, attendees went on a tour of New Orleans, checking in with Ninth Ward musicians about efforts to revitalize their community. Thursday night's show was a benefit for Sweet Home New Orleans — a coalition of non-profit organizations that helps find affordable housing and provides rental assistance for artists scattered by Katrina.

The following night, January 11, saw infectious pop-rockers OK Go join up with New Orleans funk faves Bonerama for a show to benefit Crescent City music legend Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, who lost everything in the hurricane. The two groups have also collaborated on an iTunes-only EP, You're Not Alone, which features Al on a cover of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released." The mini-album will be released on February 5, just in time for Mardis Gras!

Check out pictures from the gig here.

Bummed you missed the NOLA show(s)? You can still catch OK Go and Bonerama when they perform at the 9:30 Club in Washington, DC on February 2 — which will be streamed and podcast by NPR. It, too, is a benefit for Al Johnson and SHNO, so don't miss this opportunity to help out Big Easy musicians in need.

Stay tuned for more info on this exciting event.

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