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Twisted Local Music rocks holiday fundraising
A Not So Silent Night to be held from 3 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the Rives
Ashley Eanes (left), Myron Smith (center) and Samantha Evans are the the organizers of Twisted Local Music, which plans a 9-hour benefit concert Saturday at the Rives Theatre. Donations of food and toys will be distributed between the Community Storehouse and a group home for girls.
Friday, December 4, 2009
By HOLLY KOZELSKY - Bulletin Accent Editor
Music with an edge promises a "Not-So-Silent" night Saturday, in a charity concert sponsored by Twisted Local Music.
Noisy it may be, but it's all in the holiday spirit: Nine rock, rap and metal bands will volunteer their time to play, and all proceeds will go to charities. A Not So Silent Night will be held from 3 p.m. until midnight at the Rives Theatre in uptown Martinsville.
The cost of admission will be five cans of food or a toy. All donations will be shared between the Community Storehouse and a local group home for girls.
Myron Smith, 23, Samantha Evans, 20, and Ashley Eanes, 21, all from Ridgeway, have been coordinating music shows as Twisted Local Music since July 2008. Guy Myers of Bassett and William Willis of Martinsville work with the sound equipment.
The bands in Saturday's concert are Skylines Always Fall, 7 Day Sorrow, Agents of Chaos, Gods Aren't We All?, Raven Blaze, Burn Down, Hell Fire Mafia, Sworn To Black, and Angelic Steel. Four of them are from Henry County, and Smith describes their style:
"¢ Agents of Chaos: "They fit best into the rock/metal category but have a unique sound of their own." Its members include Mat Smith on vocals, Chris Hill on guitar, Michael Patterson plays bass, and David Hill plays drums.
"¢ God Aren't We All Are: "They have a metal/rock/experimental sound." Its members include Dave Scearce on bass, Chris Gibbs on guitar, Jerry Dillard on drums and James Wayland on vocals.
"¢ H.F.M.: "A rap group with rock influence." Its members are Mat Smith of Ridgeway and Chris Long and Lee Cleary, both from Winston-Salem, N.C.
"¢ Burn Down "has a rock/metal influence." Its members include Matthew Eanes on guitar and vocals, Thadd "Lucky" Christian on drums and vocals and Crystal Cox on bass and vocals.
Smith, Eanes and Evans are full-time students at Patrick Henry Community College (PHCC). Smith also works at a local call center.
"We started throwing shows because we love music," Evans said. "The music scene isn't much for making a profit, but the love of music keeps it alive."�
She added that the local "scene was dying, and the heavier groups in our area were running out of places to play."�
After analyzing what previous promoters had done, the group focused on appealing to a wider audience, having the crowd feel involved and assuring that the bands feel respected, she said.
Their shows garner an average audience of between 60 to 92 people, Evans said. Their ages range from 16-25, with a spattering of people in their late 20s. "Most of them are the kids who, for the most part, stay at home on the weekends, (so with these concerts) they are able to break out and do something" fun.
"We obviously are doing something right somewhere, because people keep coming back," Eanes added.
Promotion and support comes through devoted fans and the bands, they said. "We have a lot of kids who are really dedicated to the scene," Evans said. The organizers also promote the events on their Web site, www.myspace.com/TwistedLocalMusic, and with flyers across the PHCC campus.
They like holding their concerts at the Rives Theatre, they said. "Unfortunately most of the younger generation doesn't go uptown very often," Evans said. "But by having shows at the Rives they're coming by the dozens. ... Most of them have never been to most of the nearby stores or even knew they existed. But when they drive by and see the coffee shops, the mini arcade, and the art stores they always get excited, and they usually come in telling other people to go check them out."�
At previous concerts, admission proceeds first went to pay the venue costs, and the rest was divided among the bands, the organizers said.
"I could see a number of any of these local bands getting signed or making it big," Smith said. "They are every bit as good as what people in the mainstream listen to. We're just along for the ride."
Evans started selling band merchandise for several bands in 2003, and now books, promotes and helps organize the shows. Eanes, with three years experience, "handles most of the busy work" as well as promotion, working the door "and keeps the crew on course," Smith said.
Smith was the singer for a band called 33 in 2003, then he and his brother started a rap group called Hellstorm, with which he still performs. Sometimes he also performs with Hell Fire Mafia. He is the financial backer for Twisted Local Music and also handles its art work.
The three want to bring attention to helping others this holiday season.
"The Community StoreHouse is active in the backpack program so that underprivileged children could be assured food on the weekends. Every Friday they take backpacks full of food, Toothpaste and about anything else the child might need to their school to take home with them for the weekend free. This year they are also providing Christmas gifts for about 400 children," Evans said.
"The group home for girls is located in Henry County and it's kind of like a farm. They are housing seven children between the ages of 11 and 17, and they expect to have 10 by the end of the month," she added. A wish list for the girls is on Twisted Local Music's MySpace page.