November 5, 2012

Buke & Gase donate song proceeds to hurricane relief in Red Hook, Brooklyn

There are times where our wacky and/or witty and/or world-weary and/or just plain sarcastic viewpoint, does not do a situation justice. So first things first, we'll let Buke & Gase speak plain here:

We used to call Red Hook, Brooklyn home, a neighborhood that's been greatly damaged by Hurricane Sandy. To help support the recovery process, we are donating a song from our upcoming album. All proceeds from the purchase of this song over the next week will go directly to

We wish the best to all who have been affected by the storm, and sending gratitude to those who are helping in any way they can.

- Arone and Aron of Buke and Gase

Here it is:

We also got the Aron(e)s to give a bit more background on their relationship to the neighborhood.

The song we've donated, "Hard Times," isn't meant to lyrically depict or relay anything of the reality happening in NYC other than be a vehicle for donations to the support system growing there and maintain awareness of the need for help. We'd lived for over 12 years in Red Hook, both of us worked on the piers, shared libations at Sonny's, made friends with the bunny on Barge 79, sang karaoke and ate delicious meals at the many restaurants old and new, rode bikes on the cobblestones. It's home, and its terrifying to know that home is so fragile.

While we're able, we want to help out in some way, as do many others in our community, and donating money or supplies is the quickest way to help from a distance. Humans in Red Hook need our help, by hand and foot, by strength and support, and this is our most immediate ability. We've donated warm clothes, blankets, tarps, and non-perishable food, but there are also people who are WORKING day after day to DELIVER these items to those who need them. We want to support everyone involved in this effort as best we can.

Sending Sentiment
Arone and Aron

We here at Brassland are proud localists so maybe it's worth describing for a moment the way our own relationship with Buke & Gase has been tied up so closely to the more out-of-the-way parts of Brooklyn? As the band said, they and their studio used to be housed in Red Hook. Alec first met them one chilly between-season kind of evening in a lovely backyard. That backyard may be gone now.

The relationship of Aaron & Bryce Dessner and The National to the Ditmas Park section of Brooklyn has been written about before. Well, Aaron & Bryce "discovered" the band when their sister saw them play at a small bar called Sycamore, a name inspired, we gather, by the tree-lined streets of the neighborhood. It's a venue that nurtures the kind of adventurous and not-obviously-commerical art that Buke & Gase make. It's the kind of venue that can only afford to exist on the margins of New York City, the very margins that Hurricane Sandy has attacked so viciously.

Anecdotal evidence underlines tragedy. Well, those tree-lined streets turned deadly last week, when a falling tree killed a pair of 20somethings. The female casualty was the daughter of the executive director of a non-profit called New York Communities for Change.

At the risk of getting preachy, community stories are rarely given attention in the short-attention-span theater of internet-driven popular music. Community stories are rarely this dramatic. But without small, slowly-developing, long-attention-span physical communities, one wonders if a lot of great art & culture & people would ever get a chance to thrive on a larger stage.

We realize whatever money we raise here will be a modest contribution at best. We want to point out that giving money directly to is an even more efficient way to help Red Hook. But, hey, sometimes it helps to get a musical nudge!

Ironically, if there's one thing the internet is good for, it's connecting us to the communities around us. More hands-on ways to help these and other affected communities can be resourced from:

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