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Thursday, April 7, 2011 07:54 am

Assorted April outings


Lazer Dudes is one of nine bands playing the Tsunami Relief Benefit, Sunday, April 10, noon to 9 p.m. at Bar None, Fifth and Monroe.

No April Fooling this week. We’re back to the business of selling you, the avid reader and intrepid music listener, on the notion of getting out and experiencing live music with heartfelt passion and genuine gusto. Soon outdoor events will dominate our calendar and a few are happening now, giving proper respect to the vagaries of the weather.

Currently the best place for listening to music out of doors is in front of Café Andiamo every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evening from 5 to 7. Much like the sweet songs of our avian friends returning from winter respites, our pals at the café begin again in the spring, booking performers to play inside as the live music is piped out to downtown revelers within earshot. And if the wind kicks up and the clouds arrive (as they did my first gig on March 23) feel free to enter the friendly indoors, continuing in pursuit of enjoyable live music and delightful vittles.

All during this week folks gather at We Are One rallies in cities and communities throughout Illinois to encourage support for and raise awareness of the importance of unions and the viability of a working middle class in our country. The American unions chose this week in remembrance of the April 4, 1968, assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., who was in Memphis at the time supporting public sector workers. Springfield participates on Thursday, April 7, 5 p.m., at the Illinois State Capitol east steps and live music will be there to play a part as it has many times in the past to aid and abet the progress and protection of human rights. The Illinois commemoration culminates with a national rally on April 9 in Chicago at Daley Plaza. Check with your union local to catch a bus ride to the event and sing a verse or two of “There is Power in a Union” or “Joe Hill” on the way. It’ll do you good.

Not so long ago people fought and died here in our country and in central Illinois to give working people sensible and decent working ways. Regardless of how some regard unions nowadays, the fact remains that without the organizing and struggles of anonymous workers of days gone by, many of our most precious and accepted ways of living would not exist. Perhaps those types of people who denied workers sensible and decent conditions in the past may very well (even as we are reading) attempt to again instigate, under various, truly nefarious, yet seemingly innocuous stipulations, a return to unacceptable, not prudent conditions. Remember the next job to be taken or lessened may be your own. And lastly, I try to remember, as my friend Chico Schwall likes to say, “I believe there really is enough to go around for everyone.”

In other uses of live music for the common good, musicians Geoff Ryan and John Brillhart, among others, organized a benefit for victims of the combination earthquake, tsunami and still-in-progress nukeplant disaster in Japan. Planned for noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 10, at Bar None on the corner of Fifth and Monroe, the event features nine bands with the requested minimum $5 donation going to the International Red Cross. Some bands included are South Fork, Cabin Fever, Low Phatt, Lazer Dudes and, in a possible conflict of interest, the all-instrumental, mask-wearing, psycho-surf band Go! Tsunami, along with as-you-watch artwork by Michael Mayosky. Come on down and live a little and give a lot. More info at www.barnonespringfield.com.

Heads up for next Sat., April 16, when SALMA, the new Springfield Area Local Music Association, hosts an inaugural performance featuring all local bands at the Hoogland Center for the Arts. The nonprofit group formed by area musicians aims to support and raise awareness of our community music scene.

And that’s no fooling around.

Contact Tom Irwin at tirwin@illinoistimes.com.

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