A Concert for Colorado

This blog originally posted at http://mariancall.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/a-concert-for-boulder/

Update: you can watch the fundraiser concert here anytime: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fhJgeuX8kH0. Thanks to you who watched it live together, we raised over $2500!!!

Whenever you see this concert, wherever you are, take a moment to share some dollars or tweets or good word of mouth for a charity/organization actively helping people recover from disaster. I promise, there will never be a time when your help is not needed somewhere in the world.


Dear Boulder, CO and Everybody Else:

My show in you was cancelled last week, and I owe you some music.  Here it comes, this Tuesday Wednesday night.

I’m having one more Colorado concert, a short casual house concert in Denver, and then broadcasting it online around the world:

Colorado Flood Relief Concert – 9/17-18/2013

To attend in person:  Sept. 17th.  RSVP to eerosenthal47@gmail.com to attend a casual house concert in Denver, CO, 6:45pm-8pm.  The event will run about an hour, and will be recorded to view online anytime.

To attend online:  Sept. 17th Sept. 18th.  Join Marian’s Google Hangout on Air.  Video and hangout will be broadcast approximately 9:30pm Mountain Time (11:30pm EDT, 8:30pm PDT).  Gather at this G+ event: https://plus.google.com/u/0/events/cgfi6pqbj3dparohm80bctu0mh4.  Or on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/191583677690501/.  URL to view the concert: http://youtu.be/fhJgeuX8kH0. Details and chat will also be happening on Twitter and the Google Hangout.  Twitter hashtag is #MCCOrelief.

Participate ANYTIME by giving directly to the Red Cross or other recommended charities (no donations will be accepted at the concert or at https://mariancall.com).  Give online, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate to Disaster Relief efforts.  To see how much we’ve raised collectively, enter your donation amount anonymously here in this Google Doc!

Want to help?  Just Facebook and Tweet up a storm about this Wednesday night.  Tell a friend.  And come watch!

This week I was supposed to be in Boulder.  I planned to stay there all week with friends, planned to record and work hard and enjoy a little relative stability on tour.  But that definitely didn’t happen.

What happened is this: we arrived in Boulder during torrential rain on Thursday, after dodging and weaving around road closures to get into town.  My show was cancelled, but I was unworried. Until things started getting scary.  Roads began closing, smaller mountain towns began receiving appalling news, I watched the National Guard roll into town, the grocery store was stripped of bottled water, the power went out, and suddenly we were surrounded by spontaneous rivers that seemed way too deep and scary — feeling very hemmed in.  So we split.  We made for Denver so I could play the rest of my concerts, and we continued to watch the flood unfold from there, glued to the news.

The hashtags #boulderflood #coflood say it all, and I hope you have seen some of the scary.  I hope you have seen it because outside of the affected counties, life just goes on — it’s so easy to forget a disaster even a few miles away.  But the whole thing has been ringing in my mind all week.  All over the state, small towns and large, really devastated.  I keep thinking about the fact that I am just passing through, I get to drive away, I get to leave all this behind, but everybody here has to stay and start the slow work of recovering.

I don’t have a thousand dollars to help out.  And I have to drive out to Kansas on Wednesday.  I wish I could do more right here.

But I can make a concert, and invite you to use the concert as an excuse, a reminder to give a couple dollars to the Red Cross at ColoradoRedCross.org (or another organization of your choice).  Heck, even if you have no interest in the concert, use these words that you’re reading as a reminder:  drop some dollars or time where they can do some good.  You know where.  Do it now, don’t put it off.


I’ve always been a little wary of fundraiser concerts for disaster relief;  I sometimes wonder whether the cost of putting them on eats up a lot of resources that could have gone to charity, and my mouth makes weird twisty shapes when I try to resolve the Good of the Cause with constantly being asked to work for free For Good Causes.  Seeing giant posters for charity concerts makes me feel all complicated and confused inside, and I really have to consider them on a case-by-case basis.

But now that I’m sitting here in Colorado refreshing the local tweets over and over, hoping the missing will be found, I get why these events have to happen.  And I’m clear on how to move forward.

I can’t really think of much besides the flooding.  I have to do this.  I have to do something.  I’m right here.

I don’t have much to offer, but what I can do is create an event — a gathering place — a reminder.  I can help focus attention for a few minutes on giving $10 to help out.  And the power of dozens or hundreds of gathered people tweeting, Facebooking, and giving $10 apiece is formidable indeed.

I know there are disasters everywhere and worthy causes all over the place; this is the one I’m in the middle of now.  And I hope you will support the many thousands of displaced folks in Colorado.  But if another cause has your heart, don’t belittle this cause, use this reminder to prompt a gift where you feel moved.  Just do it.


A word on tech stuff:

I’m trying something this time that I have been wanting to try for awhile.  I love live streaming shows, but I find there are nearly always technical issues at the beginning, the audio and video stream is not always great for everyone, and I can’t chat with folks or interact during the event.  My attention is divided at best, I’m totally distracted and off my game at worst.

So this time I’m going to host a live event, record it with very high-quality audio, upload it, and broadcast it an hour or so after the live event.  Here’s why:

  • Better video and audio.  You’ll be able to hear the concert the way you ought to be able to, and you can buffer the video.
  • We can still experience it all at once;  it will be a real-time event for folks who watch during the Hangout.
  • Folks who join a few minutes late, or weeks late, can still start at the beginning if they choose.
  • I don’t have a tech team to set this up here — it’s just me.  I’ll play a much better show if I’m not also trying to run the computer.
  • We’ll skip all the mucking around at the beginning as we try to figure out how to make everything work, and the inevitable errors in the middle.
  • I can really be there with you.  I can be tweeting, talking, answering, responding, joking.  At a livestreaming event I often feel like I’m “not really” in either place, not fully in the live show, but not fully participating in the online fun.  I’m interested in whether this will be a different experience.

In other words, it’s just like a livestream, but skipping the parts of a livestream that make it less fun than it could be.  I’ll be reporting back on whether the format change works!

**Update:  Well, it almost works. I’ve learned to host the internet event the day after the live event!  But the live event was MUCH better and much easier without trying to smash the livestream into it.  The video and audio are far superior too.  So it’s a win for the tech, a fail for the scheduling, and I’ve learned something important.**

Thanks all. Now to go work my butt off to make this happen.  Go Go Gadget 24-Hour Concert Coordinator.



***Update, 9:17, 10:30pm:

The house concert was a success!  We got fabulous video and audio!  We will view it as a group online soon on YouTube!

Unfortunately we are having difficulties with incredibly slow internet.  Estimated upload time: 380 minutes. That is a big surprise after our internet speed testing last night.  I’m very sorry, we have to reschedule.

JOIN US WEDNESDAY, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel!  The Google Hangout will go live 9:30pm Mountain Time on Wednesday, and the video will be viewable at http://youtu.be/fhJgeuX8kH0!  All other info below applies!

BUT how awesome is this — we have already raised over $1300, and the event hasn’t even begun yet!  Make a donation now, and add yourself to the total — let’s blow the roof off this thing and make some NOISE about it Wednesday night!!!***