With the Presidential inauguration right around the corner, no matter what your stance is on the outcome of the election, it is clear that the direction this country is headed in is drastically different from the last eight years. With that in mind, A&R Director of Angry Mob Music, Ralph Torrefranca, teamed with Talent Buyer Kyle Wilkerson of Bootleg Theater, both of whom felt the urge to take their talents and start a movement within their Los Angeles music community. Their goal became to support the endangered organizations that may lose most or all of their funding in the upcoming months, such as ACLU and Planned Parenthood.
When word spread, response to their event, Love Trumps Hate, was palpable from the artists, depicted by the solid lineup, and an outpouring of silent auction items from the likes of Fitz & the Tantrums, Leon Bridges, Young the Giant, and Angel Olsen. The Bootleg opens its doors this Saturday 14th for a sold-out show that is sure to be ripe with memorable performances including a headlining acoustic set from Silversun Pickups along with performances from Nick Waterhouse, Yacht, and James Supercave. Torrefranca talked to the Weekly about his work on the event, and why he hopes the crowd will not only get a chance to take home a solid prize, but also a spark that will spread and inspire the continued support of organizations in need during the next presidency.
OC Weekly (Kim Conlan): What was the inspiration behind planning this event?
Ralph Torrefranca: I guess it started on November 8th, when a lot of us had a bit of an awakening that night, seeing what happened, and then the next day and following week seeing a lot of the different cases of hate crimes that were popping up. This idea spread from that and was it was me basically asking myself “What can I do? Is there something I can do to contribute? I can’t sit behind a laptop anymore. Is there something different I can do to contribute to the cause?”
What is the overall goal with this event?
I want to raise awareness and show people that it is important to donate and be involved with organizations like the ACLU and Planned Parenthood because of what we’re about to deal with with incoming administration. I think the biggest takeaway is I want people to realize that this is a different time now and the last eight years is over, and the next four years is a time of being able to support the organizations that you align yourself behind. I’m hoping to raise a really good amount of money to support these two organizations, and hopefully spur a lot more other events like this to happen during the year.
What will be available in the silent auction?
Mayer Hawthorne is putting up a signed vinyl with two singles, Leon Bridges is putting up a really amazing limited edition 7” which was limited on the pressings, and that’s going to be up for auction. It ranges from signed vinyl, to limited pressings, to posters, to CDs. Our grand prize of the auction is actually from Fitz & the Tantrums, who were kind enough to give two free tickets to any show in the U.S., plus meet-and-greet passes, a vinyl, CD, and a t-shirt. We’re so grateful that they offered that up, and they were actually the first ones to offer an auction item, and that’s going to be kind of the biggest prize of the night. But there’s signed vinyl from Angel Olsen, a signed hat from Mac Demarco—it ranges from so many different things.
Timing is everything, is there a reason the event is just prior to the presidential inauguration?
That’s funny you mention that, because it’s 100% on purpose. We wanted to have it on the actual inauguration day, but logistically we couldn’t fit it on a Friday. This happening on the week before is perfect and it’s a good way for people to really open their eyes and take notice, and by the time the 20th rolls around, it’s all hands on deck, prepared to see what happens. The most important part of this is that I want people to really connect with their communities and this is the way to connect a lot of Los Angeles. All these musicians are giving their time and effort to come out and play a show so everyone knows what the cause is. It is an important time to really push the agenda of being able to say that freedom is very important to us, and that our rights are very important to us. The state of California and the city of Los Angeles is very much behind that.