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UPDATE November 2nd:
Having finally made contact with Ben & his wife, their house was spared by "only" having 2 feet of toxic soup in the basement. However, the restaurant is pretty well wiped out. The basement, with all its compressors, freezers, fridges, stockrooms, is a total loss and the main floor---that gorgeous room that Ben largely built himself modeled after a tiny place we went to in Montepulciano, Italy, many years ago---had water up to the table tops. They will be closed, conservatively, for several weeks---a looong time for a small business.
The work is JUST beginning. Ben is lovingly described by his wife as being completely "smelly and gross."
In classic Ben fashion, here he pops up in a story in Time.com:
"A couple of doors down, Ben Schneider who runs the Asian-crossover
bistro Good Fork, has a table set up on the sidewalk from which he’s providing his neighbors and volunteers free coffee and bagels, as well as serving as a clearing house for generators, pumps and other vital equipment being shared along the street. “Red Hook is like a small town,” says Schneider. “It’s natural that we want to help each other and get through this together.” The water in his dining room reached near table top height, “but the basement, where pretty much everything happens in these restaurants, is finished.”
Back in the early days of Bloodshot---when we first started, when we were figuring out how this whole racket works (cuz we've got it SO figured out now…), I lived in the Roscoe Village and North Center neighborhoods of Chicago. There were many late, LATE nights of writing, cutting and pasting catalogs and press releases (yes, cutting and pasting), listening to demos loudly, and lots and lots of bands flopping on our floors, sofas and any other horizontal surface whenever they came through town.
Some stayed for days and days. Some, like Neko Case and Sally Timms, stayed for weeks and months. Some ate all our food, drank anything and everything they could find and scratched my Ike & Tina Turner LPs. There were late night Jart tournaments in the yard with the Old 97s (when Jarts are outlawed, only Outlaws have Jarts!), a late night Xmas dance party with Kelly Hogan and the Sadies to tunes on my jukebox, lots of BBQs with the Meat Purveyors, "beer sampling evenings" (i.e. "benders") with Moonshine Willy, Trailer Bride and the Grievous Angels, and hundreds and hundreds of shows. Only Kelly bothered to help with the dishes, by the way.
My housemate through those days, Ben Schneider, not only put up with it, but reveled in it. Ben's got that gift, that charisma (that I can only WISH I had) that makes people feel right at home. A generosity of energy and spirit that turned bands and artists into friends. He was as much a part of BS in Chicago as Nan, myself and the musicians in those days--a constant presence at Lounge Ax, Schubas', the Empty Bottle. He was the Hideout's dancing fool every Tuesday night at the Devil in a Woodpile shows. He'd make b'fast and coffee in the mornings, find places to stay for folks in NYC, find a guy who could fix an amp or a van's tail light and provide a welcome port in the touring storm. He also made it easier for me to plunge into this endeavor no matter the obstacles because I knew that at every ¾ empty venue or failed in-store there was at least one endlessly supportive and upbeat friend at my side, ready for a beer or a 3am slice of pizza.
In 2001, Ben moved back to his native NYC and, shortly thereafter, to the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. At the time, Red Hook seemed like the post-apocalyptic end of the earth. Barren. Remote. Undeterred, he and his genius chef wife Sohui built a restaurant, The Good Fork, and kick started the revitalization of the neighborhood. Watch her kick Bobby Flay's ass making dumplings HERE.
The Good Fork, and the tireless energy and vision and good nature that Ben brought to the early days of Bloodshot, carried over to this once forgotten part of NYC. All sorts of bars and restaurants, many owned by friends or former employees of Ben ---Fort Defiance and the Bait & Tackle to name two---have appeared and thrived in the past decade. And, if one of our bands hit the city, well, you can be sure they were treated like Sinatra at the restaurant. The born-to-be-a-host would make an off-day on tour a special night, and he'd usually pick up the tab, or ask for some embarrassingly small pittance in return.
This week, the superstorm/hurricane/Frankenstorm Sandy ground the neighborhood to a soggy, stinking pulp. The businesses along Van Brunt Street---the main vein of Red Hook---sustained heavy, heavy damage, including The Good Fork. Ben's house was also greatly impacted, though, fortunately, he, his wife and two young children evacuated and are safe. We're still waiting for word on just HOW bad it is, and how long they will be shuttered. Being a fellow small business owner and knowing the challenges inherent to such things—even when things are going well, I ache to think of how difficult the coming days and weeks and months will be.
For the past 24 hours, people from all over the BS family have been contacting us looking for ways to help. In the short term, I'd like to appeal to our fans. I know that folks are eager to help out in whatever small ways they can, and in a specific manner.
Thus, order ANYTHING from our site and we'll donate 10% of the order total to the re-building effort AND we'll match it.
I strongly suspect, from what I know of the guy, Ben will humbly turn down the offer, and, if so, we'll funnel the money raised to a Red Hook specific organization aiding in the recovery of the area. Think of it as a BENefit...
I realize this storm has touched millions and this might seem like a drop in the bucket, so to speak, but efforts like this put a face on the vast facelessness of a disaster and, for me, provide comfort and the ability to affect some progress. Bloodshot fans are, in my experience, good-hearted people appreciative of independent businesses and what they bring to their lives and communities. If this specific effort does not appeal to you, then I ask simply that you find another way, like the Red Cross or other local organizations with boots on the ground
Hey boys and ghouls! As a trick-or-treat for our favorite holiday here at BSHQ, here are some of the spookiest cuts from our catalog:
3. Gore Gore Girls, "Voodoo Doll"
From the album, Get The Gore
4. The Meat Purveyors, "I Have A Devil In Me"
From the album, All Relationships Are Doomed To Fail
5. Wee Hairy Beasties, "The Lonely Vampire"
From the album, Holidays Gone Crazy
Wow, it's the end of the day! The end of the week! Crazy day AND everyone's putting together their Big Bird Halloween costumes.
So we're combining news bits, sue us (not really, please).
It's got stories about the songs, her career and all the geeky gear talk guitarists lapse into at the drop of hat...er...pick AND a couple of embedded videos.
"From rollicking down and dirty fun to touching, heartfelt song, Working Girl’s Guitar is Rosie to the core. Sassy, classy and ready to kick ass-y (Did I really say that!?). It’s Rosie’s fault. She’s got me all riled up."
NEXT: Graham Parker's interview in SLATE magazine HERE. GP talks about making a movie with Judd Apatow, the Rumour reunion and Glenn Beck. At least he didn't make a movie with Glenn Beck. There's some embedded video of some vintage Rumour ("Local Girls") and some streaming new music.
FINALLY, after frequent and persistant (but well-meaning) badgering by lots of you folks, we got in new printings of the FIREWATER LOGO T and the LYDIA LOVELESS Gasoline Logo T's for your sartorial needs.
Carry on with your weekend,
Look over Neil's right shoulder, why, it's our own Maggie Bjorklund performing at the The Bridge School Benefit last weekend.
She was up there with a bunch of people we've never heard of, like The Flaming Lips, Crazy Horse, Lucinda Williams, Steve Martin, kd lang and others.
Organized by musician Neil Young and his wife, Pegi, the Bridge School Benefit Concert is an annual, all acoustic, non-profit charity event held every October at Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California. All proceeds directly benefit the operations of The Bridge School.
Bloodshot Rob's a lifelong Tiger fan. Growing up he thought Al Kaline was so revered the world over that they named alkaline batteries after him. Seriously.
Some nights, when he has trouble sleeping, he, rather than counting sheep, still imagines getting an urgent phone call from the Tigers manager asking if he'd be able to fill at first base in a pinch---they need his scrappy ability to hit to all fields AND it's a spot where being a lefty is an advantage! AND he hates Cal "The Streak" Ripken for stealing undue shortshop attention---big deal, I show up to work everyday and no one cares, so do most people---from MUCH DESERVED Hall of Famer Alan Trammell.
To celebrate the joy in his heart with his team in the World Series, we're offering 10% off any Paypal order while the series lasts.
That's right, any order for any amount. We'll refund 10% of it to your Paypal account. You just have to name your favorite Tiger and why in the special instructions section.
Act fast! Cuz if the Giants end up winning, he may demand Bay Area residents pay 50% MORE for their orders. AND he'll take his rage and torment out on his poor employees.
Game 1 postscript: Sigh. Maybe I'll dress up as Valverde for Halloween and just let everyone hit me.
Game 2 postcript: Ugh. My head is starting to hurt. Prince Fielder slides with all the grace of a man falling down the stairs...
Game 3 postscript: TWO F'ING SHUTOUTS IN A ROW? Way to make SF pitchers look like Koufax wrapped in Clemens and sprinkled with Maddux.
Game 4 postscript: Spent most of evening cleaning TV of all the Thai food i was throwing at screen. Go...............team.
Game 5 postscript: Oh wait. Nevermind. That's what I get for caring...
Maybe Prince Fielder and Alex Rodriguez can give each other hitting tips on whatever diamond encrusted vacation island they'll be at this winter. Where's Chet Lemon when you need him?
From JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound. No rest for the soulfully wicked:
"Oct 21st in Baltimore was officially the last show of the Want More tour which started in September of 2011 and rolled through October, 20th 2012! Thanks for supporting a great run!!
As of today the band is working towards the new recordings and a new release. We are looking forward to rocking this new record with you right on through 2013.
The Metro show on 11/21/12 in Chicago will feature almost all new music except for a few of the Want More 'hits' and a couple of JCBUS Favs.
Hope you can all make it out"
JCB & US
Cory Branan is just one of the few Bloodshot bands currently or about to hit up European roads (just check out the tour dates for Ha Ha Tonka, Lydia Loveless and Scott H Biram) -- he's currently across the pond as part of the European leg of the very popular Revival Tour. You can follow Cory's overseas adventures via his Twitter -- or try to hit up a show yourself!
(Pictured above: Cory's home on the road for the next five weeks)
As we mentioned earlier this week, Firewater's Tod A suffered a fall after a sold-out show in Istanbul and had to have immediate knee surgery. The tour dates for the month were cancelled, but we're happy to report Tod is on the mend and the cancelled tour stops have been already been rescheduled for early 2013:
FIREWATER RESCHEDULED EUROPEAN DATES:
21.02.2013 FR - Paris, Petit Bain
27.02.2013 IT - Milan, Magnolia
01.03.2013 AT - Ebensee, KV Kino Ebensee
03.03.2013 AT - Graz, PPC
04.03.2013 AT- Vienna, Szene
05.03.2013 CZ - Prague, Rock Cafe
06.03.2013 DE - Bielefeld, Forum
07.03.2013 DE - Regensburg, Alte Mälzerei
08.03.2013 AT - Steyr, Kulturhaus Röda
09.03.2013 DE - Lindau, Club Vaudeville
12.03.2013 DE - Berlin, Lido
13.03.2013 DE - Bremen, Tower
14.03.2013 DE - Cologne, Underground
15.03.2013 DE - Stuttgart, Universum
To whet your appetite until then, here's the brand new, superbly animated video for "A Little Revolution," the first single off the new album, International Orange!:
Tuesday was RELEASE DAY for Rosie Flores' new album Working Girl's Guitar. We celebrated in the office by cranking the sucker up and prancing about in our snazziest cowboy boots and drinking Lone Star beer. Well, it was actually beat up tennis shoes and some of JP's fine homemade brew, but still...
Anyway, the writerly types out there have already taken a shine to it.
We've pulled some of the coolest quotations and put them on the album page, but if you want to read the full length, more in-depth examinations of this fine record, dig into some of the best:
We hope these'll convince you to pick it up..
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