Nature can be cruel, none more so when a mudslide claimed the lives of 43 people in Oso, Washington in March. It rocked the tiny community of 180, but its true impact reached far across the state and soon touched people of all stripes who wanted to help in their own small way.
Jake Uitti and the Monarch Review heard the siren call of charity and have done their part to help the victims and their families by (you guessed it!) setting up a benefit show tonight at the Tractor Tavern. This one is can’t miss, with Ryan Lewis/Macklemore collaborator Mary Lambert, surf-rock girl group La Luz and Star Anna. Tickets are $25, which makes them pricier than your usual Tractor cover, but all the proceeds will go to the Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation, a local charity working directly with victims.
“More and more stuff trickled in about people losing their lives, losing their families, the precarious building situation out there,” said Uitti, the Monarch’s managing editor. “Something inside of me said, ‘I need to do something. I need to do something.'”
Uitti said his initial thought was to do something pretty small, so he made one call to a friend to see if they’d be interested in helping out. That friend happened to be Lambert, who he knows through the Monarch Review and KEXP.
“It seemed like it was something that mattered to her,” Uitti said, recalling that he noticed a sad post from Lambert on Twitter during the tragedy. “She’s not from Oso, but she’s not from Seattle. I think she’s from Everett. She’s from Washington. She has Washington family.”
Once Lambert was on board, Uitti knew it would be simple to fill out the rest of the bill. Lambert is a huge name now, and Uitti figured artists would be lining up to play with her.
He was right, and while it was never the intent to feature three female acts, there’s some nice synergy there and should make the show as a musical event work pretty well.
“Star has got that sort of Janis Joplin gravelly, really beautiful heart-string tug, La Luz is a really chilled out surfer style, and I’m excited to see what Mary does,” Uitti said. “I’ve never seen her perform. I don’t know if she’s going to be solo, if she’ll have a band. It’ll be a surprise, but it will be welcome.”
If you have the money, there’s really no reason to miss tonight’s show. Uitti and the Monarch Review have stepped up to organize the event. If Seattle steps up, too, there’s the chance to raise nearly $10,000 and Microsoft has promised to match whatever amount.
-Owen R. Smith, on Twitter @inanedetails