Solidarity Rock had a great show in Vancouver last weekend at the Biltmore Cabaret. The Vicious Cycles, Slow Learners, Radii and Previous Tenants came together to raise some money and possibilities for our friends in Cuban rock bands. The show was well attended and in the end, we raised just about $1000. A big thanks needs to go out to everyone involved, including bands, the venue and Steamwhistle.
This money that was raised is going to Cuba to help with our work. Friday night, Drew McIntosh, Jesse Gander and Barry Higginson will be flying into Varadero to be met by our steady partners William Garcia and crew. We’ll be taking up residence in Trinidad for a week while Jesse turns knobs and teaches our friends the ins and outs of mobile recording. He’ll be producing two (hopefully) full length records for ARRABIO and Adictox, two of Cuba’s most well known and hardest working underground bands. Then, we’re heading on tour.
This tour will be different than all the rest that came before it, as we’re bringing two Cuban bands, a Canadian band and a US band on the road for shows in 7 cities across the country. This is only possible thanks to the support we’ve received in places like the Biltmore. So, thanks.
We’ve had some pretty amazing and generous support from Steamwhistle. Not only did they sponsor this event, but they’ve lent a hand for our previous benefits in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Steamwhistle is an independent brewery based in Toronto and they do a lot for the arts across Canada. I keep hearing stories about Whistles being dropped off at Jam spaces, recording sessions, parties, you name it. Steamwhistle goes the extra mile to support independent people doing great things, and without turning this into a commercial, you should all drink Steamwhistle beer and be thankful they care enough to reach out and support good things with their excellent beer.
On July 26, they’re doing it again with a Steamwhistle unsigned bands showcase, again at the Biltmore in Vancouver. Solidarity Rock is lucky enough to be the beneficiary of this fine evening, featuring Acres of Lions, Rococode and Familia. This unsigned series is great in that Steamwhistle pays the bands, the venue and promotion of the event and give 100% of the proceeds to a targeted cause, this time Solidarity Rock. It’s pretty amazing. So, if you’re in Vancouver, check it out. Here’s a Facebook event listing.
We just got home a couple weeks ago, and we’ve already got tickets to head back to the beautiful island of Cuba. This time, we’re going to do something even more astounding.
It gives me nothing but pleasure to announce that we’re bringing the ability to record and preserve the DIY rock music we’ve helped create over the years.
Vancouver’s Jesse Gander, head recording engineer at the Hive Creative Labs is going to be joining us from July 21 to 28 for a recording session in Sancti Spiritus. William Garcia has found a spot to set up and get it done, and we’ll be recording his band Arrabio, based in Trinidad, and a band called Adictox from Santa Clara. Big things are happening with independent art and music in Sancti Spiritus, kids are growing up with punk rock, tattoo artists are moving in and setting up shop because that’s where all the “freakies” are, young visual artists are engaged with the musicians, creating a new and exciting creative community, and we hope that their ability to record music and disseminate it with fewer barriers will help that process even more.
When we first got to Sancti Spiritus, it was a sleepy town, now we can see how art and music can transform people and places.
Even better than that is the fact that we’re hitting the road again for what will be the 5th Solidarity Rock tour, and the 6th DIY tour ever, if you count the 7and7is tour in 2007 which started it all (and we do).
July 29 - August 8 will see some amazing things going down.
Jesse’s band the Previous Tenants will be ripping though our usual haunts and for the first time ever, we’ll be joined by a brave group of American musicians, a DIY punk rock band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin called Uh-Oh. We’ll be doing it international styles in Sancti Spiritus, Trinidad, Jatibonico, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Havana and more!
Not only that, but as always, we’re bringing Arrabio from Trinidad, and for the first time, Adictox from Santa Clara. We’ll be raising money at our upcoming Solidarity Rock shows in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Edmonton to accomplish our tasks. We hope to see you there! Watch out for Solidarity Rock shows and projects coming your way, be part of it all. Estamos Juntos en Esto! We’re in this together and we’re making a difference.
I asked our friends and partners in Vancouver and Winnipeg to write up some show reports from their latest Solidarity Rock events in those fine western Canadian cities!
Joel Tong from Previous Tenants and What’s Wrong Tohei waxed philosophical about Vancouver. The show was May 4th at Lana Lou’s and featured Safety Show, Philoceraptor and Previous Tenants.
We all but drowned in the heat and sweat of Vancouver. And this was the beginning of May on the darkened block of Powell Street. Solidarity Rock is set to bring us to Cuba in August. If my maths are right, we will return as drawn gazelles.
Thank you, LanaLou’s. You let a lot of beautiful people into your restaurant. Now that i have had my ears pierced by Philoceraptor i am shopping for an appropriate weed leaf and tennis racquet to hang from the new holes in my head. They changed me like a diaper. Also, it was good to see Steve Spielberg back in Safety Show again. Beyond putting alien worlds in both of my eyes, he reached into my soul. I swear, it was like i could touch him.
These are things that have been happening. This is going to happen again. This is the kind of thing that will bring Cuban underground music to the rest of the world.
Well, Vancouver’s Vicious Cycles have indeed left their mark on Cuba. Arrabio’s hard shreddin guitar player Douglas has what’s probably the first ever VCMC tattoo!