Skankin’ around the Christmas tree

Danielle Elliott

Staff Writer

On Saturday Dec. 18, some of Richmond’s most popular punk and ska bands, including VCU’s own No BS! Brass, will play the 11th annual Skalidays at the Canal Club. The proceeds from this year’s show go to Art180, a local art outreach program that provides art programs to kids in need and allows for healthy self-expression.

The line up this year includes Murphy’s Kids, No BS! Brass, Race The Sun, Patent Pending, Capital 7, and Tsunami Rising. There is also a canned food drive that aids the Central Virginia Food Bank and Food Not Bombs.

John Charlet is the vocalist for Murphy’s Kids, the masterminds behind the annual benefit.

“I’ve never done anything voluntarily longer than this.” Charlet said. “It’s really cool to kind of look back and see how these scrubby punk rockers from the suburbs have more or less been able to raise tens of thousands of dollars for local charities.”

In the past, the show has raised money for numerous local organizations including Outreach for Sexual Minorities, Queer Space, Food Not Bombs, Central Virginia Food Bank, Emergency Shelters Inc., and WRIR, an independent radio station here in Richmond.

Charlet said that one of the biggest challenges in planning the event every year is choosing which charity to honor and which bands to ask to play.

“It is tough because there are so many great organizations in and around the Richmond area,” Charlet said.  “There are so many people that need recognition and need the help that it’s difficult to narrow it down to just one.”

“We’re also really lucky to have a lot of friends that are in fantastic bands,” Charlet said. “We can’t put them all on the bill every year so one of our biggest struggles is narrowing down the show so that it’s the best it can be every year.”

Charlet recognizes the negative image most bands in the punk genre have, but is adamant that it is a misunderstanding.

“We received so much from … the Richmond community,” Charlet said. “We think it’s the responsible thing to create a positive environment for people to come together and share ideas, but also to give back in a monetary and material way.”

“It’s important to build up what you have as opposed to tear down what someone else has,” he said.  “You will (typically) find (in) the scene people who care a lot because they are thinkers.”

This sentiment rings true in Charlet’s favorite story from a previous event. A guest speaker from the teen center Queer Space was speaking and someone in the audience was heckling him. The surrounding attendees made it obvious that disrespect was unacceptable by silencing him.

“Immediately, all the people around him shushed him and told him to be quiet so they could finish listening.” Charlet said. “That really spoke to the idea that we are creating a place where people can share their ideas freely, right or wrong.”

Tickets for Skalidays 2010 can be purchased in advance from bands for $8. Tickets can also be purchased at the door for $10 with a canned good, or $12 without a canned good.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply