Monday, September 22, 2014
Old North St. Louis Restoration Group has been able to pursue a comprehensive, neighborhood-wide revitalization over the past 33 years because Old North residents have put in countless hours of time, personal initiative, hard work and creativity, AND because friends of the community have pitched in their time, expertise, and dollars to support the community-based efforts. Now is one of those times when outside dollars are needed to continue this good work, and this coming Saturday, September 27, will be a great opportunity for the friends of Old North to contribute to this worthy cause.
On Saturday night at 7 p.m., the doors at Plush (3224 Locust - 1 block west of Compton) will open for the Southeast by Old North Benefit Concert, with the proceeds going to support the work of Old North St. Louis Restoration Group (ONSLRG). Tickets are just $15 and can be purchased right now from TicketFly by clicking HERE. The concert will feature four different bands and musicians from the Southeast or with Southeastern connections: Corvus & Canis from Columbus, Georgia; the Pauses of Orlando, Florida; Hannah Aldridge, originally from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, now working from Nashville, Tennessee; and Five Eight of Athens, Georgia.
To help you get up to speed on the groups and musicians who’ll be performing, we’ll provide a bit of information about each group over the next few days, and we’ll even toss in a few reasons why ONSLRG is worthy of your support.
Today, we’ll start with FIVE EIGHT, the concert’s headline act.
When asked why they would travel from the Southeast to play a show for Old North - and what song of theirs represents Old North, Five Eight’s lead singer Mike Mantione offered the following response (along with a link to the song I’m Still Around: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwWskhv4HQw)
One of the things that links us with the old North is the fact that as a band we’ve always been concerned with the spirit of place. The reason Dan and I moved to Athens, GA in 1987 was to find a supportive local community with a thriving music scene (and to get our gear back our old band leader and keyboard player had stuffed in a hertz box truck and driven down to Athens) we were escaping the urban blight of Binghamton, NY. As a project manager for a local builder I have been involved in helping the local non profit Athens Land-Trust build affordable, earth craft certified homes and I am familiar with the struggle that communities face when trying to have a thriving diverse city/ community that also supports the arts the way the old north continues to do. So often there is a hole in the communities and cities we live in. We see it in the abandon buildings and store fronts, we feel it living in the shadows of what once was, and in these shadows, people can sense this loss.
Standing in stark contrast to that that loss is the Old North. By banding together people, businesses, local leaders, and developers, you make a difference.
I’m still around is the song we chose because of its positive affirmation despite, intense loss, and in the face of heart break and abandonment we fight the good fight. I’m still around is song with a simple and personal affirmation of relevance. It’s says we not just phoning it in we are committed to the reinvention of the band musically. Having been together for 25 years makes us strive to challenge ourselves to revitalize.
For another bandmember’s take on their visit to St. Louis to support Old North, check out this Indio Radio interview with Dan Horowitz of Five Eight as he talks about this Saturday night’s Southeast by Old North St Louis concert (along with some perspective from ONSLRG Boardmember Doug Rasmussen): click HERE to listen to that online.
Get your tickets now via TicketFly (click HERE). Tickets will also be available at the door at Plush.
The concert provides yet another vehicle for supporting the ongoing work of ONSLRG as we pursue the mission of revitalizing the physical and social dimensions of Old North in a manner that respects the community’s historic, cultural, and urban character. For evidence of the progress we’ve made so far, consider the words of Ryan Chester of the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of St. Louis, when he was interviewed by the St. Louis Chinese American News about Old North’s Chess Pocket Park:
“It’s just a very festive atmosphere around the whole area, always seems like there’s something going on. There’s music playing, people walking in the streets, people selling food or poetry books - and now people are playing chess.” - See more at: http://www.scanews.com/2014/08/s1253/125324/#sthash.JD3qnvW5.dpuf
If you can’t make it to the concert, but you’d still like to offer your support for ONSLRG’s work, you can always make a tax-deductible contribution to ONSLRG online by clicking HERE or on the image below.