Want to rock out for a good cause?
The Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment is throwing a “Rock Against Bigotry” concert at Gonzaga University’s COG tonight.
Featured performers include spoken-word artist Cristien Storm, all-female Olympia punk band the Crabs, Seattle hip-hop combo Black Anger and Seattle rock band Mabry Hood.
Storm, who will also emcee the show, is a burgeoning spoken-word artist/street poet. She performs regularly in the Seattle area.
One of her pieces, “Not Sorry,” appears on the “Home Alive: The Art of Self Defense” benefit compilation CD that was released in February by Sony.
The 28-year-old artist was among the founding members of Home Alive, a women’s self-defense group formed in the wake of the murder of Mia Zapata, the singer for Seattle’s Gits who was strangled in 1993.
The collective, which also includes members of 7 Year Bitch and other Seattle artists, opposes all forms of violence - including rape, domestic abuse, gay/lesbian bashing, racism and other hate crimes. Most importantly, they teach women and men how to protect themselves.
“Had (Zapata) known any self-defense, she would still be alive because she fought like hell,” Storm said in a phone interview last week.
Storm teaches a number of self-defense classes in Seattle.
“Home Alive: The Art of Self Defense,” a double CD, includes tracks from luminaries like Nirvana and Pearl Jam as well as songs by lesser-known bands like Tribe 8 and North American Bison.
Since its release, the compilation has not only raised money for the organization, but has also helped raise personal safety awareness across the country.
“Making something constructive out of something totally destructive … makes you feel powerful and that you can make a difference,” said Storm, whose wrathful face adorns the cover of the Home Alive CD.
Now, Storm has teamed with the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment and is performing similar work.
The Seattle alliance creates public awareness of racism and hate crimes, institutes educational programs and informs people about how to get involved.
Storm sees a real value in “Rock Against Bigotry” concerts. For example, one method Northwest Aryans use to recruit new members is to show up at punk rock shows and coax fans into joining the white supremacist group.
“Because recruitment is happening so much that way,” she says, “I think it’s important to have shows that (combat) recruitment.”
The “Rock Against Bigotry” concert starts at 8:30 p.m. Admission is $5. Gonzaga students are admitted free.