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Wild Pink
Hayden Sitomer

Musicians Rally to Help Stop Handgun Violence

On Sunday, April 29, the Resident will host a show presented by the nonprofit Stop Handgun Violence. Dana Buoy, Wild Pink and Night Shop will perform, but the evening’s entertainment pales into insignificance when considering the cause.

Gun violence and the need for strong gun control in the United States — these are issues that affect everybody living in this country. This writer’s 6-year-old son recently went through a gun drill with the rest of his fucking kindergarten class. The fact that this is considered a necessity should push every conservative lawmaker and firearm advocate to be a better, more humane person, but don’t hold your breath.

We can rely on the good people at Stop Handgun Violence, who say that they are “committed to the prevention of gun violence through education, public awareness, effective law enforcement and common-sense gun laws.”

Mike Faul, founder and creative director for music marketing agency Sub Rosa, wanted to get involved. He helped put together a compilation album called Musicians Take Aim to End Gun Violence, and Sunday’s show is just one of many that will continue to spread the message.

“We usually work with friends and nonprofits on shows and compilation records,” Faul says. “We’ve had a lot of success and fun working with the nonprofit side because everyone is down to work with you on a good cause like this. The executive director of the nonprofit Stop Handgun Violence is an old friend of ours from growing up. We started out saying we’d put out a 7-inch, market it through the organization, and proceeds go back to those guys. The word spread a little bit through the music community and we had some bigger bands wanting to be involved, so it turned into a full LP.”

Artists such as Madeline Kenny, Rogue Wave, Twin Peaks, Sun Kil Moon, plus Sunday performers Dana Buoy and Wild Pink, were delighted to contribute to the album, with some finding previously recorded but unreleased tracks and others recording a new song especially for the record.

“The way that we were pitching it to managers, labels and artists was that we didn’t want them to go to the studio and write a new song, brand new for this, or something necessarily about the cause,” Faul says. “We just wanted to have a song with the band’s name behind it. We were asking for old B-sides or leftovers from recording sessions that never quite made it to release. Some of the artists did go above and beyond. Once we got in touch with some of these bands, they were so into it that they recorded new material for it.”

Wild Pink are among the groups that created a whole new song, with that band’s John Ross saying that gun violence affects everyone, and he wrote a song that captures the general theme. It all helps, though.

“There’s not necessarily a number goal,” Faul says. “The main thing is we really want to get press as we unveil the tracks and the shows. The nonprofit will have earning rights on these tracks for a few years. It’s hard to predict how it’s going to sell, but there will definitely be some revenue for them.”

There will be a number of shows for this cause taking place across the country in the coming months. Meanwhile, Faul and Sub Rosa already have their eye on the next nonprofit they can help.

“Sub Rosa’s goal is to put a nonprofit record like this out every year, but with a different nonprofit,” he says. “Last year, we put one out with a nonprofit that battles Islamophobia. We put that one out in response to Trump’s attempts to ban people from Muslim countries. This year, it’s the gun violence prevention. We’re already planning next year’s — we just got greenlit from a nonprofit that deals with suicide prevention, which obviously is huge in the music world. We’re in the very early stages of reaching out to artists we know to be sympathetic to that cause.”

The Stop Handgun Violence benefit with Dana Buoy, Wild Pink and Night Shop takes place on Sunday, April 29, at the Resident.

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