Tuesday, April 19, 2011

100 Artists Offer 100 Songs for Download to Raise Money for Japan

The music industry has been pitching in its fair share to help those affected by the March 11 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan.Lady Gaga and UMG both contributed to the cause, and now there’s a new musical effort on the block in the same vein: Songs of Love for Japan.
Songs of Love for Japan is a 100-song compilation packed with music from the likes of Sara Bareilles, Tori Amos, The xx, The Submarines and Ani DiFranco, as well as several other bands both signed and unsigned.
The album — which was put together by artist Cheryl B. Engelhardt and Bryce Longton from Estee Lauder — will be available until Thursday, and costs $100 for all 100 downloads. The pair hope to raise $250,000 forShelterBox, an international disaster relief charity.
If you don’t have $100, you can also buy 20 songs for $20. If you pick the $100 option, however, you could possibly score artist giveaways and other goodies. All proceeds will go to ShelterBox.
We asked some of the artists why they chose the song that they included (most tunes are rare or unreleased tracks). Check out some of their responses below:
“’Sunshower’ is a song of hope, and in a dark chapter in Japan’s history, it seems appropriate to include a song about hope. Japan is the land of the rising sun, and the sun will rise again. “ – Brian Mackey
“The reason I chose ‘Kissing Tree’ is because it’s a very happy upbeat song. I wrote it while basking out on a really fine day here in LA and I think that some of the sunlight has seeped into the final master. I know that, considering what happened in Japan, a heart-wrenching ballad is more of a natural choice, but I feel that the people of Japan need a little bit of positivity after what they’ve been through.” – Alina Smith
“Being a Louisiana native, I wrote ‘Fortune Teller’ about my beloved city of New Orleans. Pieces of the song reflect my time there before Hurricane Katrina, and then there are some emotions in there about the fear I felt not knowing where my sister and aunt were for three days after the levees broke. Just the reminder of those emotions for me during that time made me think this would be a good fit for SOLFJ.” – Hope Waits
“The song ‘Gimmie Resurrection’ was written for someone looking for a rebirth from a meaningless life. Japan has sustained not a lack of meaning but has endured unimaginable suffering and will undergo a rebirth of their own.” – John Cusimano of The Cringe
“Driving back from SXSW ’11 this year, I heard a recording of a man speaking in Japanese, with English translation superimposed, on NPR. He talked about how he had spent his week, searching for the bodies of his mother and sister, whom he could not find since the devastating earthquake and tsunami. He eventually found them, he said, where the living room used to be, as his house was completely totaled, and everything gone. Right then and there, I started to cry. I thought about how I spent my week (performing during SXSW, enjoying the nightlife, going on tour) and how this man had spent his. At this moment it clicked for me, and although I had already personally donated to the Red Cross, I knew I wanted to do something more with my music, instead of just playing it.” 

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