Another great opportunity to donate much needed funds to the people of catastrophe-stricken northeastern Japan presents itself at Thee Parkside this Sunday in the form of Aftermath - A Citizen to Citizen Tsunami Rescue and Relief Benefit featuring various Bay Area Japanese punk and avant garde performers. Wonka once said, "a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men," and I cannot think of anyone who embodies that sentiment better than my friend Bob Nozawa (pictured below in ommpa-loompa orange) of Aftermath headlining act Ass Baboons of Venus. I caught up with him recently and asked briefly about the upcoming show, his band and their recent fund raising events for Japan.
This isn't the first benefit for Japan the Ass Baboons has played, no? Any idea on how much you've raised for the relief efforts collaboratively?
Bob Nozawa: It's the second show. The first was beyond anything we expected! Tthe final tally (including donations at the door, art and beer sales) ended up totaling around $25,000! There were so many people involved in getting that event together that it would be impossible to list them all, but I would never do that anyway because I hate lists.
What organization(s) will this benefit be donating to?
BN: This one is for Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Northern California's Northern Japan Earthquake Relief Fund.
Will there be any art or merch available for purchase to contribute to the funds raised at the show?
There will be some stuff, not exactly sure yet, as the guy who is organizing, Joselito Sering, is still collecting donations; he is doing an amazing job.
What are you most excited about regarding this Sunday's line up? Is there a performer in particular you are looking forward to?
Tiger Honey Pot's drummer has to play with one arm because of surgery --- they are a blast! The Basements are gonna get me sweaty; the Thunders I have never seen, but the stuff I've heard from them sounds rockin'.
I'm super excited to be finally seeing the Ass Baboons in the flesh, for the first time --- what can a long time appreciator of ABV recordings like me expect from your live show?
Don't expect anything! Our band members have all been deported! But when we started out it was just [famed Japanese comedienne] Naoko and me, so in a sense, we're getting back to where we started, except now we're old and could die at any given moment...really!
Will you be performing in the orange (orange you glad i asked?), or?
I will tie you up...
Yowza! Lastly, and this is for Japan, is there a message in the madness? What do you wish to express to those affected by the catastrophe via your performance?
It has been inspiring to see people helping each other out, anything that anyone could do is simply a gesture of support. It's less about the money than about letting people know that there are people that care and in times of great sorrow, it's always therapeutic to go bat shit crazy!
Thanks Bob, I couldn't agree more! Check out the Ass Baboons' "Naked Lady Wrestler vs. Mango Man" video below and event info following --- hope to see you there!
Do come play with madness and contribute to the support and solidarity of local artists and musicians in the on-going humanitarian aid for our fellow men, women, children, and animals in Japan coping with the aftermath of the country's most catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in recorded history.