When Portlanders give, they give big. Even with the bestial recession gnashing its putrid teeth on our bank accounts, WW readers mustered damn near $1 million to bolster the community, the environment, the arts, animals and all manner of goodness in the world.
Your reward? Well, there's that sense of satisfaction in giving back to the community. There are, of course, the tax breaks and the potential for some post-philanthropy nookie. But Willamette Week, promiscuous though the paper may be, cannot provide this nookie.
What we can provide our gracious Give!Guide donors is the chance to have their pants rocked off at a killer concert featuring the one-two punch of Weinland and Deelay Ceelay on Friday, Jan. 15.
Consider your back patted.Even those who didn't donate are welcome at this free show. But they need to stand in line outside while all the wristbanded donors get instant access, providing plenty of time to contemplate helping Give!Guide break $1 million in 2010.
All interested donors need to do is swoop by WW's office (2220 NW Quimby St.) and grab a free wristband before Friday. It might not be the most fashionable accessory, but it comes with two guarantees: admission to Berbati's, and a great night with three very different artists.
WEINLAND. IMAGE: Tarina Westlund
Weinland—the quintet led with harmonic authority by singer-songwriter John Adam Weinland Shearer—is leading a hungry pack of local indie musicians who combine modern dissonance and pop with Americana's twang. The band embraces its melancholy roots and transforms them into dour-yet-optimistic songs that dig deep into the heart—songs bearing scars that can only be cultivated in a city where it rains eight months a year.
Yet Weinland refuses to allow the morose to penetrate too deeply, adding swelling strings and piano to chop through the tears. As a result, the group is gaining renown as a band that grasps the thorny roots of Americana and emerges with a deeply familiar but wildly original sound.
If Weinland caters to the heart, Deelay Ceelay has the sensory stimulation covered. On the strength of their hyperkinetic live shows, drummers Chris Lael Larson and Delaney Kelly have established Deelay Ceelay as the city's best roaming dance party. As the pair hammers out rhythms over pulsating electronic melodies and samples, the stage explodes with video displays so psychedelic they make the lasers at a Floyd show seem like screensavers.
Deelay Ceelay is music as a full body experience. The kaleidoscopic videos blast behind the two musicians as the synchronized drums and pre-recorded orchestrations meet firmly in the middle of the cerebellum, making Deelay Ceelay the ultimate combination of art installation and sweaty dance pandemonium.
Add in a few melodious daydreams by opener Matt Sheehy (see story on this page), and the Give!Guide thank-you party gives the gift of a robust, multimedia musical experience.
It's the least we can do for all the good the donors have done the community. So lace up those gym shoes and get ready for a gift that keeps on giving—a dope dance party with the most karmically positive crowds in town.
IMAGE: Alicia J. Rose
Matt Sheehy is no stranger to giving: When he's not composing deeply personal fireside folk, the Alaskan native gives his time to help preserve the environment of his adopted hometown through his work with the local branch of the Forest Service.
But his gift to Give!Guidedonors on Friday is his music.
After moving to the Rose City in 1999, Sheehy and a childhood friend formed Gravity and Henry, which put out two acclaimed albums before splitting in 2005. Confused and struggling following the breakup, Sheehy did what any disillusioned songwriter would: He holed up inside a cabin.
Alone at the Oregon coast, Sheehy wrote most of the material that would end up becoming his 2008 solo debut, Tigerphobia. It sounds like an album conceived in solitude, with spare arrangements leaving plenty of room for Sheehy's hushed, crackling voice. But he certainly wasn't alone in the studio, enlisting such collaborators as Brent Knopf of Menomena to texture the songs with vibraphone and keyboard and wrap the record in a rich, warm glow.
At the Give!Guide concert, Sheehy will appear without his regular backing band, the Menders. The intimate set all by the songwriter's lonesome is a special gift indeed.
Damn, Give!Guidedonor. You're lookin' good today. Are you using a new conditioner? Perhaps some Pond's cream? Did you spend a little extra time on the treadmill?
Nah, that angelic glow must be from flipping off the limp economy by adding to the nearly $919,000 Give!Guide donors coughed up for local nonprofits. That money goes directly into the community, the environment, social action, the arts, wellness, education, youth, animals and the Oregon Cultural Trust—areas that are criminally malnourished. .
Not too shabby for a program launched in 2004 to bring awareness to local causes while prodding the under-35 demographic into a more philanthropic life. Hell, despite the recession, 2009 trumped last year's take of $810,000.
So raise a glass to those sexy lips at Berbati's on Friday. This is an accomplishment worth celebrating, and one that couldn't have happened without each and every donation.
The Give!Guide thank-you party featuring Deelay Ceelay, Weinland and Matt Sheehy takes place Friday, Jan. 15, at Berbati's. 8 pm. FREE, even if you didn't donate. 21+.
FACT: The average donation amount for people under 35 was $150.62. Donors under 35 raised a total of $179,839 for this year's guide.