I’m taking part once again in the amazing annual Halloween 5k/benefit, this coming weekend in Northampton. If you can drink one less cup of coffee tomorrow, i ask that you consider donating the cost of that cup to Calling All Crows. Whether a $2 large regular coffee, or $5 iced mocha latte, I promise you that helping Calling All Crows, regardless of the amount, is money well spent. Whatever you can donate, I PROMISE TO MATCH IT! And if you can skip that Latte tomorrow and donate $5, I will buy you a drink of equal or greater value the next time we see each other. Even if you’re broke and can’t make a donation, what’s more important to me is if you go to CallingAllCrows.org and check out their amazing work, listen to some of the talented and inspirational musicians involved with the organization, and if you agree with me that music can help change the world, please share the link, or tell your music-loving friends to check out CallingAllCrows.org.
In the past, I’ve helped raise $1,319 in support of Calling All Crows mission aiding and empowering women, and other oppressed groups around the globe. From providing energy efficient cooking stoves to women in Sudan, (it’s more important than you think) to shelter and services for Afghan women, (the 2011 benefit raised enough to provide shelter and vital services to 100 women in Afghanistan…which is huge) to fighting for marriage equality, to fighting to abolish the death penalty, to organizing community service projects before concerts, and getting todays youth engaged in social justice issues of all sorts, Calling All Crows is helping people BE THE CHANGE they wish to see in the world. The music, but most importantly the mission, is so inspirational. We all have to step up to the plate, in our communities, and around the world…we might as well have a great soundtrack.
Calling All Crows is a 501c3 non-profit started by Boston- area human rights activists/advocates in the independent music business, who have dedicated their lives to making the world a better place, and are using the platform music provides to do just that.They are helping bring fans around the country, and world, into the fight for equality and justice around the globe. There are a lot of great organizations in the world, but I know the folks who started Calling All Crows, and know that they live and breathe this work, they believe in it 100%, and have dedicated their lives to changing the world. This cause is extremely important to me, I put my money where my mouth is and donate as much as I can, when I can. The folks associated with Calling All Crows continue to inspire me and countless others, through their words, music, and above all ACTIONS.
No matter where you live on planet earth, what language you speak, how wealthy or poor you are, music has more than likely touched your life in some way, shape or form. Some kids get a brand new guitar and years of lessons, some get one made from an old oil can and learn from trial and error and from watching others play. Some kids get a brand new set of drums, while some bang on pots, pans, jugs, trash cans, and anything else they can find. Some sing in fancy choirs in front of people in suits and dresses at Carnegie Hall, some harmonize with family and friends around a campfire, and dance by the light of the moon. Some play their songs for sold out stadiums, some for crowded pubs, some for folks waiting to board the 6-train at 3am. Some of us just listen and enjoy…Some of us can’t carry a tune in a bucket, and others can carry their band-mates to amazing places. Some play for money, some play for love, some play for their ancestors, some play for themselves, some play because it’s the only way they know how to communicate. Some people sing songs of joy, some sing songs of mourning and loss and longing, of freedom and justice, of love and life, of family and community, some sing songs to heal themselves, some to heal their loved ones, some to heal the world. The best experiences I’ve had in life have involved music, and I have come to see that it is the only truly universal language, regardless of what tongue you sing in. A happy song in Boston is a happy song in Belfast, is a happy song in Baghdad, is a happy song in Bethlehem, is a happy song in Beijing, is a happy song in Baton Rouge, is a happy song in Bogota, is a happy song in Belgrade, is a happy on in Beirut…music connects us. I think back to the accordion player on the boardwalk in Tiberius, on the Sea of Galilee, a fat old mustachioed man singing and dancing and brightening up the night with his music. We stopped and listened, and couldn’t help but dance, and laugh, and smile. Or the tall Rabbi in the woods of Montana, strumming on his ukelele, singing songs of peace and love. On one of the last nights of the 2013 Rainbow Gathering, he played until the sun came up and only a couple of us remained and the fire slowly burned itself out. Or other nights there, around a much larger fire, without inhibitions, hundreds of people dancing around the huge bonfire as dozens of men and women pounded on drums from dusk until dawn, relentlessly enticing us to dance the way our ancestors danced before they forgot how to. From the mountains of Afghanistan, to the valleys of Hawaii, music has played a crucial roll in helping create, and maintain communities around the world…in the truest sense of the word “community”. It’s how stories are told, memories are kept alive, and loved ones are honored. There are countless ‘difference’ that society is quick to point out between folks in one geographical location on this small planet in this small galaxy, in this infinite universe…but when you see folks dancing at a wedding in Iraq, or in Hawaii, or in the USA, or in Cameroon, or in Cambodia, or in Iran, or in Cuba, or Poland, or Egypt, or anywhere else…you understand that we are all the same. We all experience joy, all experience pain, all are capable of loving humanity. Music and dance is the language our ancestors carried out of the garden back in the day, and spread to every corner of the planet. I truly feel that MUSIC may be humanity’s best chance of survival… the best chance to recreate the communities of old, to show the world that we are all one, all the same. I see Calling All Crows as a huge step in that direction. Using music a vehicle of inspiration and change, bringing fans and musicians together to help improve the world. None of us choose when we are born, where we are born, to whom we are born, or even to be born…it just happens. The only thing separating you and someone just like you in Afghanistan is the butterfly effect of history. We had no control over being born in the worlds largest empire, just as much as people have no control over being born into the worlds most impoverished, exploited, and war-torn countries. Music can connect the world, and make it a more humane place…Calling All Crows is helping make that happen!
Peace, Love & Justice,