With Christmas a little over a week away, almost everyone is caught up in the holiday rush. Calendars are full as everyone is in the final sprint to finish the year by wrapping up Christmas shopping and rushing to Christmas parties. There is even a final rush of Christmas concerts upon us, but we'll address that elsewhere.
Fundamental to the Christmas holiday, though, is the spirit of giving and as we've seen repeatedly, the Tulsa community is one that is compassionate and supportive to those in need. Over the past few weeks, we've seen great turnouts for shows supporting local musicians with the Tom Skinner and Greater than Cancer shows at Fassler Hall.
This Monday night, that spirit of charity continues with an eye on helping those less fortunate in our community as Rock For the Homeless hits Cain's Ballroom on Monday evening, Dec. 19. Organized by Chase Stites and headlined by Stars Go Dim with direct support by RadioRadio and Stites, it's a show that has been designed to raise awareness and help others -- not only financially, but with volunteer efforts as well.
When asked how the idea came about to put together this event, Stites explained that he and his family had volunteered to serve dinner at John 3:16 mission earlier in the year, which got the wheels turning in his head. "I wanted to do something more and thought surely there's some other way I can help with my talents and abilities," Stites said.
After bouncing the idea around with others, both within his family and the music community, the Rock For the Homeless benefit show began to take shape. Right from the beginning, Stites knew that he wanted Stars Go Dim to be part of the event and when they were excited to sign on, the wheels were in motion.
'Tis the Season.
Initial plans were to organize the show for the Monday before Thanksgiving, but when Stars Go Dim weren't available due to prior commitments, the show date was changed. "Stars Go Dim is such a good band and are such great guys, we just didn't want to do it without them once they initially agreed to the idea," Stites said.
The push to December also allowed more time for planning and getting the community involved, with Classic Chevrolet owner Keith Haney stepping up to help underwrite the show so that proceeds from the event could go to the charities instead of being eaten by operational expenses. As such, all proceeds from the evening will be divided to benefit four local charities: Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, John 3:16 Mission, Iron Gate and Youth Services of Tulsa.
Representatives from each of the charities will also be on hand with informational booths and volunteer opportunities during the concert at Bob's (next door to Cain's Ballroom). Event organizers will also be collecting donations of items ranging from canned goods to blankets, socks, underwear, gloves and toiletries for distribution through the appropriate charities.
Of course, the music will provide a full night of entertainment as a trio of Tulsa's best pop/rock acts takes the stage over the course of the evening. Doors open at 6pm and the Union High School Jazz Band will be playing as people arrive to set the mood with a special pre-concert set. RadioRadio will then take the stage at 7pm with a high energy set of originals that will highlight the band's Esprit de Corps CD, which was released in March and has seen the band really begin to hit its creative stride and show even more strength in its live show.
Stites will then take the stage at 8pm with a set that not only touches on the pop singles that he released earlier this year, but also delves into new material that he just finished recording over the fall for release in 2012. Initial demos that I've had the privilege of previewing show a growth in his writing as he steps out with a more mature sound that will appeal to an ever broader demographic than his earlier work.
Finally, Stars Go Dim headlines the Ballroom stage with the band's first Tulsa show since opening the State Fair in September. The group has continued to tour and gain airplay for its latest EP, Between the Here and Now, with the single "Hesitate" launching the disc and the title track following in its footsteps with a recently released video for the song helping raise funds for Convoy of Hope -- another charity based in Springfield, Mo. that focuses on feeding children worldwide and disaster response.
With the band focusing on road work, this makes for a great homecoming gig to wrap up the year before Stars Go Dim goes overseas in January 2012 on a tour of the Philippines -- where both CDs have gotten airplay and a great response, making Stars Go Dim a top selling band and radio staple. While the Tulsa show will feature most of the new EP, you can be sure that the band will also dip back into its older material and likely feature a new song or two.
Overall, it will be a great night of music and an opportunity to help others in the process. Tickets are available for $15 in advance or $20 at the door.
Even though the cold is upon us, that doesn't mean our festival spirit has to go into hibernation. Cheese Factory Radio (the same organization that operates the annual Easter Island Festival) steps up this weekend with Winter Rebirth: "a summer festival in the heart of winter."
The group has scouted out downtown Tulsa and located the perfect location for an all-night warehouse party at the John Rucker building, 1227 S. Detroit Ave. Essentially, this is a one day festival with 12 bands, arts and crafts, food vendors and art installation, creating its own little indoor microcosm for the weekend.
Admission is only $10 in advance (online at winterrebirthfestival.eventbrite.com) or $15 at the door, with the event opening at 4pm and music beginning at 5pm. Bands will alternate between two stages with next to no down time, so the music will be continuous throughout the night before wrapping up around 4am for the 18 and over crowd.
Meandering Orange kicks things off at 5pm, followed by Numdmind, Captain Comfy, Grazzhopper, Desi & Cody, Vibesystem, Gogo Plumbay, Heady P, Dead Sea Choir, Moai Broadcast, Monad Turk and Wookie Disco. If that's not enough to make your head spin and keep you dancing all night, I can't keep up with you.
More details on the event, including bands, set times and directions can be found at winterrebirth.com, so go check it out.
Just those two shows alone are enough to make me exhausted, but they don't even begin to touch on everything we've got going on this weekend in Tulsa. We can't get to everything here, so we've distilled it down to the highlights to get you started out the door to get your music fix before Christmas hits.
• Thursday, Dec. 15 -- Flatland Travelers reemerge after staying relatively quiet with a gig at The Colony while Stoney LaRue returns to town with a headline gig at Midnight Rodeo in Jenks. A late add brings a free show to Friction at the Hard Rock Casino as well as Saving Abel makes an appearance that will undoubtedly pack the house. (Don't be surprised if prior tour mates Taddy Porter make an unannounced appearance as well.)
• Friday, Dec. 16 -- On the club side, Whistle Pigs play Mercury Lounge while Dante and the Hawks appear at Hunt Club and Broncho headlines Soundpony with Lizard Police for a punk rock explosion. The Christmas shows hit full stride with Peter Mayer playing Venue 68 and Trans Siberian Orchestra returning for two shows (a 4pm matinee and 8pm show) at BOK Center.
Perhaps the most exciting local show, however, is the dual CD release for And There Stand Empires and Panda Resistance at Fassler Hall. This one's a can't miss for local music fans.
• Saturday, Dec. 17 -- Red Dirt Christmas continues in its 16th year with Red Dirt Rangers, No Justice and Mike McClure rounding out this year's lineup. Meanwhile, Caroline's Spine returns to CJ Moloney's and Mercury Lounge hosts Devil Christ and Bloody Old Mule while the aforementioned Winter Rebirth Festival fills out the night.
• Sunday, Dec. 17 -- Rev Theory headlines Cain's Ballroom while The Marquee hosts Now, Now with Deas Vail and Sick of Sarah to wrap up the weekend.
Send all comments and feedback regarding SoundCheck to email@example.com
Share this article: