Reason to rock

By Mark Grabowski

Let’s skip the catchy opening line for this preview, because although I am confident the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA) Benefit Show on April 27 at Tokyo Rose will be phenomenal, the fact that organizations like SARA are needed at all makes catchy cleverness tacky.
SARA is a private, non-profit agency dedicated to "reducing the vulnerability of men, women, and children to sexual assault and abuse, and the long-term impact on its victims." SARA’s services include a 24-hour hotline (434-977-7273), an escort for victims of sexual assault or abuse to a hospital, police station, or criminal court, as well as individual counseling, information, and support. This is an important community asset, and for five bucks at the door you get to support it and check out four great bands to boot.
Now, on to the show.
Headlining this benefit concert are a band from Durham, North Carolina, the Butchies: singer/guitarist Kaia Wilson, bassist/singer Alison Martlew, and drummer Melissa York. Their music is a clever mix of pop, punk, and indie-rock; most songs start with ragged, riff-laden distorted guitar and hard-hitting drums, but when Wilson's sweet vocals enter the mix they create a startling sound. This is catchy stuff— the verse to "Anything Anthology," the first song on their new album, 3, is on a continuous play-loop in my head right now. But in addition to being hummable, the songs have something to say.
Wilson covers both political and personal territory in her lyrics. On the song "For Kay," fromtheir new album, Wilson sings, "women being lost/they're killing everything today/they're killing souls and safety, they're killing sanity," decrying violence against women everywhere, and wondering what to do about it.
Another of their tunes, "Junior High Lament," a song about a young lesbian who has been beat up for looking like a boy, is a perfect example of Wilson's story-driven lyrical style.
Tokyo Rose promoter Wendy Hyatt believes that this show "will be one of the biggest we've ever seen.” She adds, “We're hoping to beat [the size of] the Superchunk show and we want to give all the money to SARA."
So, The Butchies, the off-kilter sounds of Chicagoians Tekulvi, local pros Skyline Awake, and an acoustic singer/songwriter by the name of Sam Miller— all at Tokyo Rose this Saturday night.
Five bucks, great cause, now what are you going to do? I'll see you there.

SARA Benefit Concert: The Butchies w/ Skyline Awake, Tekulvi, and Sam Miller at Tokyo Rose. $5, 10:30

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