A Year of Good Intentions: Music Benefits in 2014
Featured Photo: 3rd Times A Charm at their Thanksgiving weekend food drive benefit concert If you’re reading Campus Vinyl, we assume (and hope!) you attended several exceptional concerts this year and can recall some of your personal favorite album releases of 2014. But there is so much more to music than this. With the holidays just around the corner and the year coming to a close, it’s a perfect time to look back on some of the awesome, selfless deeds accomplished through music this year. Whether it be a charity album or a benefit concert, these go to show that music is not only pleasing to the ears, but can also have a very real effect on causes that matter. I’ve always been amazed by how powerful music can be when it comes to bringing people together through common ideas, passions, and emotions.
The first thing that came to mind for me when I thought back on the year was an album released online in August called A Comp For Mom. The album is a compilation of songs—some originals, some covers—featuring a variety of artists, including some of my personal favorites such as The Wonder Years, Major League, and The Swellers. No Sleep Records founder Chris Hansen first came up with the project as a way to raise money to pay his sick mother’s medical bills. Unfortunately, his mother passed away before the album was complete, but the record was still released in her memory and all of the proceeds were still used to pay for her expenses from her treatment even after her passing. Through his record label and his love for music, Hansen was able to do something remarkable and totally selfless in honor of his mother, and that’s music at its finest.
On November 26, a band called The World Is A Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid To Die released in response to the Ferguson incident an LP titled The Distance and 100% of the proceeds would benefit various organizations working to help the Ferguson, Missouri community. Opinions aside, it’s undeniably inspiring to see the band using their music as a way to support a cause they’re so passionate about. It’s only two songs (and I admittedly haven’t heard either yet, but I am a big fan of the band) but it’s still enough to make a difference in the whole community.
The bands I have mentioned so far have all been full-time, touring bands, but your music doesn’t have to be your career to help a cause with it. In fact, this Thanksgiving weekend, my friends’ band 3rd Times A Charm held a local concert in a South Jersey church basement, and the entrance fee was reduced if you brought a can of food to be donated to a local food drive. So their band played, my band played, two other local bands played, everyone had a great time, AND food was sent to people who would have otherwise had a difficult time affording it themselves. The best part is that these are just ordinary people who decided to take time out of their busy lives to organize a concert to make others’ holiday season a little brighter, and that’s what makes music so cool. And by the way, 3rd Times a Charm just released an EP called Changes on SoundCloud.com this past summer. If you’re into the raw, classic pop-punk sound, I think you would dig it.
I’m sure we can all agree that it was a tremendous year for music, and not only do we now have new hits to jam to on Spotify (or record players, for the vinyl record enthusiasts), but we can also feel satisfied thinking of all the good, thoughtful things that our musicians and music organizations have done for humanity this year. If you’re in a band or any other type of organization that’s involved in the music scene in any way, and you’ve done anything this year to benefit a cause you feel strongly about, then I think that’s rad, and we at Campus Vinyl would love to hear about it in the comments. I hope everyone has a fantastic holiday season, and here’s to a 2015 full of similar musical miracles!
[Photo by Joseph Homan]