January 16, 2008|
The News Record
Bands and musicians are sometimes admired for their sick guitar solos, amazing voices or incredible albums. Other times, fans get caught up in the whirlwind of what (or even whom) their favorite artist is doing in Hollywood. Not very often are musicians recognized for doing something meaningful, like teaming up with the disaster-relief organization Music for Relief.
Nu-metal rockers Linkin Park established Music for Relief in January 2005 when they decided to do whatever they could to send aid to the victims of the tsunami that devastated Southeast Asia in December 2004, according to Whitney Showler, director of Music for Relief.
Initially, the band's idea was to make a monetary donation, then ask fellow musicians and their fans to donate to bring forth additional awareness and money for those in need, Showler said.
Most recently, money raised by MFR was sent to victims of the California wildfires in October 2007 and the cyclone that devastated areas of Bangladesh in November 2007.
The idea for the organization is innovative, but one of the most phenomenal things about MFR is the variety of artists who have contributed to the cause.
Hip-hop artists like Jurassic 5 and Jay Z have been involved, along with rockers like Staind, Mudvayne, Static X and Taproot. Funnymen Chris Rock and Will Ferrell have contributed as well.
"We're lucky that we've got support from all genres," Showler said.
Though the organization boasts a rather large list of contributors on their Web site, it is hard to say who is more involved than others, according to Showler. Some artists simply donate money, but others donate merchandise for MFR auctions.
Past auction items included items such as Xbox consoles, signed guitars, VIP ticket packages to concerts and even DC shoes (so comfy).
Of course there are some college students who are broke with a capital B, so bidding on high price items may not be an option for everyone. However, MFR offers some sweet, affordable merchandise for sale for those who still want to help out.
One item in particular worth checking out is the art book, Revolution Unseen: The Hidden Art of Projekt Revolution. The book features art from Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda, Chester Bennington and Joe Hahn, as well as selections from other artists who appeared on the 2007 leg of Linkin Park's Projekt Revolution tour. Shinoda and Hahn are incredibly talented artists, so it's easily worth the $25.
Save your lunch money and buy a copy or bid on an all-access VIP package for your favorite band. You won't feel bad dropping the extra cash, as all proceeds from auctions and merchandise sales are distributed for disaster relief.
Keep an eye out; since there is more to come in 2008, including new merchandise and new initiatives to spread the word about disaster relief on college campuses nationwide, according to Showler.
"Being that Music for Relief is a disaster relief organization, we need to gain awareness," Showler said. "It's hard to raise money for disasters when there isn't a big one. So, we'll continue to respond but the best thing is to be prepared."
Sure, a majority of fans probably can't match what our favorite bands or celebrities are donating, but we can all give something.
It sounds like it's time for the rest of us to dig the change out from the couch cushions and donate to a good cause. It's not the thing to do because we're music fans; it's the thing to do because we're human.
For more information on Music for Relief or to make a donation, visit www.musicforrelief.org.