Music is a great lure. Every weekend, it gets folks somewhere to contribute to a good cause. Rock bands shred desperately in a metro bar to help raise money for a friend in need; organizations looking for donations throw a fancy party with local musicians hired to provide entertainment. An event going down at Crosstown Station this Saturday is kind of a hybrid of those two platforms -- and then some.
Rock Out Reach Out, presented by the new Center for Justice and Sustainability at William Jewell College, is a concert designed to introduce listeners to local non-profit organizations that always (and especially in hard economic times) could benefit from a little assistance. The idea, organizer Anthony Shop says, is to "celebrate what the people of Kansas City are doing" and show them how to do more.
The concept, which forces people to decide which of 14 organizations they want their cover charge to benefit, is pretty cool. Here's how it works: When patrons arrive, they'll exchange their ticket (or cash, it they pay at the door) for tokens. At some point in the night, everyone is supposed to take their tokens upstairs to leave with the non-profit organization of their choice. Ideally, as they're deciding which charity deserves their money the most, folks will also sign up for a volunteer shift with the group or get involved in some other way. That's part of the multi-pronged "reach out" goal of the evening, Shop says -- give, join, win. The winning part happens if you answer some trivia questions right and get a cash prize that also goes to the non-profit of your choice.
So, what about the rocking out part, you ask? Well, three kickass local bands are playing downstairs throughout the night -- Abracadabras, Namelessnumberheadman and Pet Comfort. Plus, DJ Chadillac will spin between sets, and earlier in the night -- during a pre-show event aimed at older folks who aren't into raucous rock and roll but still want to contribute -- the Alan Voss Trio will provide chilled-out jazz. And that's not all.
Most of the acts performing Saturday night and a bunch of others, including Ha Ha Tonka, Action Figure, the Belated, Olympic Size, Antennas Up and Flee the Seen, donated tracks to a special Rock Out Reach Out digital compilation, available at rockoutreachout.org. You can download the compilation for free, but you'll get more warm fuzzies if you make the optional $5 donation.
"The download is just the coolest thing," Shop says.
That's how I feel about this whole event.
Here's the tracklist for that comp:
Abracadabras - An Argument
Pet Comfort - Paper Dolls
Life and Times - Old Souls
Josephine Collective - Pray for Rain
Action Figure - Halo
Flee The Seen - Hey Ambulance
Ha Ha Tonka - Caney Mountain
Antennas Up - 5P4CE5HIP
Mac Lethal - Hammered In
The ACB's - Everyone Wants to See
Waiting for Signal - Command and Control
Fairbanks - Natural Disaster
Life in Jersey - A Sudden Change
Olympic Size - Hey Brave
Barclay Martin - Queen of This Town
Pet Comfort - The Garden Maze
The Belated - One in a Million
Heroes & Villains - Plans in Motion
Namelessnumberheadman - The Beginning