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Nine Bands In Benefit For Burned Store

Nine bands will bust out the rock ‘n’ roll this weekend to raise money for the owners of a Spokane vintage clothing store that caught fire last month.

Spokane bands The Makers and Fatty Lumpkin along with Missoula’s Fireballs of Freedom are among the nine groups performing at Ichabod’s North Saturday and Sunday evening.

Fire swept through 20th Century Trash Nov. 15, destroying thousands of dollars of vintage clothing and merchandise. The owners, Jon and Heather Swanstrom, had insurance only to cover the computer and a stereo that burned in the blaze.

“It was our fault for not having insurance but, you know, when you’ve got to pay bills and do all that stuff it seems like the least important kind of thing,” says Jon Swanstrom. “You just never think it’s going to happen to you.”

The Swanstroms have both been central to the Spokane music scene for many years. Jon played guitar in TFL, The Flies and The Sissies. Heather played in the all-woman punk band Velvet Pelvis, The Sissies and now plays bass for Fur Burger.

“They’re great people who’ve done good things for Spokane,” says Terry Grob, who booked the weekend concert to help the couple rebuild their business. “They’re hard workers. They didn’t deserve that.”

Although the official cause of the fire has not yet been determined, Spokane Fire Capt. Ernie Nye said an overheated fluorescent light component is suspected to have started the blaze that torched the front half of the store and caused smoke damage to the back portion. The Swanstroms estimate damage to their business at about $25,000.

This weekend’s benefit show finds some of the area’s best rock, punk and garage bands romping the stage.

Fur Burger opens the show Saturday followed by 50cc, Lopez and the Fireballs of Freedom. Fatty Lumpkin then headlines the night.

The Fireballs of Freedom are just one band to keep an eye on. This foursome from Montana kick out fantastically rambunctious rock packed with inferno-like zeal.

“We have pretty much combined everything from Black Flag, to Kiss, to Willie Nelson to whatever,” says singer/guitarist Kelly Gately. He’s joined by singer/guitarist Paul Wenner, bassist Troy Warling and drummer Sammy James.

The four moved from the Fargo, N.D., area more than four years ago and have been running their band at full tilt since.

“We’re just pretty much there to shock and rock and just freak out and have a good time,” Gately says.

“Blood, sweat and beer,” James adds.

Spokane’s garage greats The Makers headline the Sunday show with Fur Burger opening, followed by Nodge, The Rams and Oil Filter.

Check out this month’s issue of the national music magazine Alternative Press for a spread on The Makers, who have been getting rave reviews for their album “Hunger.”

“Jon and Heather are the kind of people that always help other people out,” says bassist Don Maker. “They don’t have a lot but they always give what they can.”

Both shows this weekend begin at 9 p.m. at Ichabod’s North. Cover charge is $5 each night and donations beyond the cover charge will be welcomed.

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo