Bottomline is love, no? Through the darkness of days and the devils of empty nights, love just sort of sits there waiting on a stump -- not patiently, exactly -- poking the ribs, waving obnoxiously, grinning stupidly, until whatever demon-of-the-month club has run its course. There are those stanky pits that just seem bottomless -- cavernous, gooey, open festering creases in otherwise solid, unblemished foundations -- deep pits, too harrowing to look into. It's so easy to forget that stupid ol' love is sitting there waiting for a glimmer, a hint of acknowledgement or attention, or teeny whiff of hope. Who of us hasn't seen someone close to the heart look deeply into one of those gashy pits, get hypnotized by the stenchy lure of self-absorption, and drop right in to follow the beasts? Nasty. There's only doom down there: icky, yucky, nasty, pathetic doom. And doom is stupid. No matter what shit life dishes, there's always room on the plate for more -- yeah, sometimes more shit, but not always. It's tough to see someone we love going through throes of agony and despair, especially knowing that if that proverbially corny silver lining had just shown itself, that pit mightn't have been such a draw, and sometimes it's even tougher to admit our own gloom glomming to our own damn selves. Sad, really. Life's so yummy. So when we recall stories like that of Sims Ellison, the bassist of Austin band Pariah who offed himself in 1995 (sorry, we have a Bad Attitude about stupid moves like suicide ...), we get majorly bummed out. (See, we have our own Sims in our life, and embracing our anger about her unthinkably ridiculous act is all we can do to keep from training our eyes on that pit ourselves.) Of course, this wouldn't be a "Public Notice" without some corny cloud lining, now would it? The good news is that Austin has (for any of you who have lived under a rock for the past four years) a group called the SIMS Foundation (Services Invested in Musicians)
, which provides low-cost, non-emergency, mental health services, mental health education, career counseling, spouse support groups, and group therapy for bands for members of the music community and their immediate families. SIMS regularly hosts A Day in the Life
benefits featuring area artists donating their time to collect proceeds for the foundation. Tonight, Thu, Jan 27, 9pm, Babe's is the place for a special Friends of Sims Ellison
performance featuring Wan Santo Condo, Kevin Fowler Band, Del Dragons, Color, and 10 Percenter; the players all of whom played at one time or another in Pariah. Tonight's show also has the distinction of being webcast by ClubCastLive, which has set up a way to accept donations for SIMS online. Log in for some love, baby, or better yet, head down to the show tonight -- there's still some time. http://www.clubcastlive.com
And speaking of a whole bunch of friends coming together to do good -- Here are two upcoming benefits to heal the suffering of two individuals whose friends sure care a whole lot about them:
The folks at that big advertising compound on Sixth Street, GSD&M, are hosting a Benefit for Bethann Breitenkamp this Fri, Jan 28, 6-8pm at their monolithic monster of a building at 828 W. Sixth. Breitenkamp is a nurse and longtime Austin MHMR employee whose career of public service has inspired her friends to help collect $$$ for the procurement of a donated liver, for which she has been finally approved after a long wait. A committee of her friends are partnered with Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA). The event will feature live entertainment and silent auction. 440-4057.
Forbidden Fruit and the Ritz Lounge are throwing a Lovefest pre-Valentine Soiree to benefit an anonymous victim of random violence (whose name is being withheld for reasons of privacy), Sun, Feb 6, 8pm at the Ritz Lounge, 320 E. Sixth. A scant $7 gets you in, and you'll be awash in the sounds of Galapagos, Solid Gold 40, Perusha, Society of Friends, and Mystery Date. Get there early and dig into the free Ruby's barbecue. Yum. 474-2278.Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? Well, you, silly! Watch this space for info on the big Project Transitions to-do happening next week, Sat, Feb 5, 6:30-11pm at a variety of locations around town. It's $75 per person, and from all accounts worth every penny (not even accounting for the fact that all of which is generously donated to PT ...). 454-8646.