Diverse Bands Sound a Grace Note for Homeless Youth
Mayor Annise Parker declared July 5, 2013 "Doomstress Alexis Day," in honor of the Project Armageddon front woman's dedication to Houston's LGBT community.
Photo courtesy of Doomstress Alexis L-R: Grace Note organizers Rally Terrill, Chase Hamblin and Doomstress Alexis
"Immediately after, fans, friends and both music and LGBT community supporters were asking what I was planning for 2014," she says. "I truly felt that Doomstress Alexis Day stood for the whole transgender community and the hope of things we could achieve, and not just me."
So, a year to the date, the Doomstress, her band and some of the city's best-known acts from a variety of genres are coming together for Grace Note, a festival-styled concert benefiting the Montrose Grace Place homeless shelter.
"As a transgender woman, I definitely wanted an organization that was inclusive but not necessarily limited to the TG & LGB communities," Alexis says. "I consulted [community activist] Lou Weaver and he immediately referred me to Montrose Grace Place. I attended a board meeting and discussed the concept of having a concert and donating the proceeds to them and they were thrilled at the prospect."
The Continental Club and Shoeshine Charley's Big Top host tomorrow's show, with doors at 6 p.m. and music beginning an hour later. A full schedule of the dozen acts hitting the stage for Grace Note can be found on the event's Facebook page. BLSHS, the Wheel Workers and Chase Hamblin and the Roustabouts are just a few of the groups donating time to the show.
In Hamblin's case, he's donating more than a music set. He co-organized the event with Doomstress Alexis. He said he got involved at the request of Rally Terill, his band's bassist, who is also an openly transgendered woman.
"As a straight, white male, the only prejudice I have experienced is being harassed as a kid for being a 'long-hair,' says Hamblin. "I am free to be who I want to be and I want the same for my friends.
"Rally has been harassed on the way to gigs with me," continues Hamblin. "She was followed, verbally abused and nearly physically attacked at her own apartment one of the first times she left in a dress. Luckily, she didn't end up homeless but she did have a falling out with her family, who were not accepting of who she is. I was lucky to have great parents and was never homeless, so I want to do something to help those who were not as fortunate."
Hamblin and the Doomstress are two people to entrust any charitable event to because they're a couple of the city's hardest workers, in the music scene or outside of it. Combined, they play dozens of shows each year and attend even more as fans and stalwarts of the current Houston music community. But, their bands are wildly different.
Alexis says she's been in bands since she was 17. Her tastes lean towards Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath, influences that have been on full display over Project Armageddon's five years together. Hamblin started writing songs after seeing the film La Bamba as a kid. His psychedelic pop-rock sound is largely patterned after British Invasion bands.
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