On Thursday, May 6th, Le Poisson Rouge will be hosting a benefit for New Zealand musician Chris Knox, who suffered a series of strokes last year. The show comes on the heels of Merge Records' release of Stroke, a double album compilation of artists covering Knox songs with the proceeds going to benefit him and his family. All money raised for this event, save for a circa $2,500 base cost for direct club expenses, is going straight to the Knox family.
Chris Knox's presence and influence on New Zealand music can only properly be compared to the relationship between Caetano Veloso and Brazil, and Ali Farke Toure in Mali. His bands the Enemy and Toy Love were among the first and most highly regarded Kiwi punk rock bands, while his work in Tall Dwarfs and as a solo artist has influenced musicians far beyond his country's borders, as evidenced by the lineup for this show.
Performers at Le Poisson Rouge include Yo La Tengo, Portastatic, Kyp Malone (TV On The Radio), Claudia Gonson (The Magnetic Fields), comedian John Mulaney and Sharon Van Etten. Additionally, New Zealand will be represented by one of the only bands who can be considered a rival to Knox's influence, The Clean, as well as Dimmer, whose leader Shayne Carter is best known on these shores from his years of fronting the seminal Straitjacket Fits. In addition, we are pleased to announce the night will include a very special short acoustic performance by Jeff Mangum, the first public performance he will have done in over a decade since the final performances of Neutral Milk Hotel.
Tickets will be made available via Kickstarter.com on Tuesday, March 30th at noon.
Parts of the event will be recorded to broadcast on WFMU at a later date, as well as on New Zealand community radio stations 95b in Auckland and Radio 1 in Dunedin. Stay tuned to WFMU's site and Beware of the Blog for more details about the show as it gets closer!
Tall Dwarfs' "Turning Brown and Torn In Two" (1988):