Wake Up and Smell the Need

There comes a time in every young adult's life when we take off the Versace eyeglasses, put down the tumbler of Maker's Mark, turn off the $17 Postal Service record and realize where we are: inside an apartment. A heated apartment. With not just one, but three blankets—not to mention about 14 scarves, 10 sweaters, four knit caps and countless pairs of socks. This Christmas, thousands of people in Orange County won't be busting out the good china, slaving over a turkey or getting in any last-minute wrapping, and it isn't because they're anti-social. No, these people (estimated at anywhere from 5,800 to 34,898—seriously) will either be on the streets or, if lucky, at a shelter. They are Orange County's homeless, and all the satire and snark and Bum Fights videos won't change the fact that in a few weeks, while we sleep with our bellies full and with visions of sugarplums dancing in our heads, others will be tired, freezing, alone—and hungry.

What to do? Let's be honest: you know what to do. You've heard this all before. Want to help immediately, though? Check out Listen Now! It's the first in a series of concerts aimed at raising food and funds for homeless shelters. In partnership with the fine progressives over at Listen Skateboards, folk & roller Mike Vavak (a.k.a. VAVAK, for those in the know) joins a superb list of bands (skater-plus-musician Ray Barbee, Spandex Djalopy and local Pavement/Superchunk/Yo La Tengo enthusiasts Model Airplanes) and an array of local-ish artists (Justin Reynolds, Ryan Bryant, Jason Castner, Temoc Gonzalez and Dave Haong) for a night of music and art at brand-new local music-and-art hub eVOCAL. Admission to the show is only one can of food per person, but be swell and bring three or four. Limited-edition silk-screened posters by Bryant will also be available for purchase with proceeds to go toward buying food for donation to the Rescue Mission.

We may not be willing to part with the Versace glasses and truckloads of vinyl records, but that doesn't prevent us from giving to those for whom need is a reality, not the means to an end for a fashion statement.

Listen Now! at eVOCAL, 814 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-4548; www.myspace.com/evocal. Thurs., Dec. 14, 8 p.m. One can of food per person. 21+.


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