Once again, the villain of hate has reared its ugly head in the direction of its nemesis, "sexual orientation." Luckily we do have a small league of justice, and our super friends appear in many shapes and sizes: specifically, Claire Dunn and Jenn Williams, and a handful of local rock bands. Wonder twin powers ... activate.
I am glad to hear from Dunn that James Maestas, the young victim of a recent Santa Fe hate crime, will not suffer any permanent brain damage and that he is doing much better physically. Thankfully Maestas has the help of organizations like Love Conquers Hate to assist him in his recovery, and thankfully this story has a happier ending than Matthew Shepard's story.
On Saturday, April 2, the Launchpad opened its doors to benefit Love Conquers Hate in their endeavor to assist Maestas with his medical expenses incurred from his recent attack. Local bands Shoulder Voices, Gingerbread Patriots, Unit 7 Drain and Romeo Goes to Hell played for the cause.
I was really impressed once again with the awesome talent of our local scene, Shoulder Voices in particular. These guys really have the whole package; kind of a rock meets pop and hangs out with a Flock of Seagulls kind of feel. The Gingerbread Patriots were slightly less enthusiastic in their stage glam but remained solid in their talent. Unit 7 Drain is quickly rising on my list of favorite local bands. Its nice to see that their new bass player, Ella Vader, is hitting notes harder and more confidently than ever. Lead singer and songwriter Harry Redus-Vader has the kind of vocals that haunt you into an abyss and the lyrics to back it up. The night ended with Romeo Goes to Hell thumping out hard driving rhythms mixed with heavy guitar riffs.
James Maestas is expected to make a full recovery, physically, and it's impressive to see our local music community generously supporting that.