Indie Rockers for Haiti - 10 bands playing eight hours of music to raise money for the earthquake-shattered island nation - will actually bring Brazil to Olympia.
It also will bring the ’80s into 2010.
Most of the featured bands have South Sound roots, but Lulina, based in Sao Paolo, Brazil, also is on the lineup for the Saturday show.
“Rolling Stone Brazil put her new album in their top 20 albums of 2009,” said Matt Love of Edmonton, Canada, the benefit’s organizer. “I think that she’s going to be really big.”
He met band founder Luciana Lins online and has since played with Lulina in Brazil. “It’s indie rock, very much like the indie rock they play in North America,” he said. “It’s very melodic. It’s definitely inflected with Brazilian music.”
Love is organizing the benefit because he used to live in Olympia and has plenty of connections here – and because he’s been managing Lulina’s Northwest tour.
He also plays bass with the Wimps, a mid-1980s band that’s reuniting for the benefit – as are Big Idea, Pet Products, and Volume 3. Several of the bands played at the Tropicana, a now-defunct downtown Olympia club that is fondly remembered. (How fondly? There’s a Facebook page with 194 members.)
The Human Skab also dates to that decade and reformed late last year when the British label Family Vineyard reissued its albums “Stay Thirsty” and “Thunder Hips and Saddle Bags.”
“We regrouped because this label wanted to reissue our old music,” said Travis Roberts of Elma, who formed the band with other kids when he was just 8 years old. Love played bass with the band in December.
In its heyday, the band came to the attention of Spin magazine, which summed up Roberts’ efforts: “If Captain Beefheart were 10 years old, this is what he’d probably sound like.”
Roberts isn’t attempting to recapture his childhood sound — the band’s MySpace page describes its new incarnation as “post-apocalyptic punk rock blues” — but The Human Skab is benefiting from excitement about what was.
The reissued albums are attracting attention in the British press, and the band last weekend played a show with members of Mudhoney at The Mine in Ballard. A new album is in the works, too.
It was Roberts who wanted to do a benefit.
“I had been in Afghanistan in the border region in 2005,” he said, “and I witnessed the aftermath of the earthquake where 75,000 people died. When Matt and I were organizing this show, I was watching the footage on TV and it reminded me of what I saw then.”
The benefit’s ’80s connections don’t stop there.
Johnson and Larsen both were playing then, too. In fact, Johnson’s Beat Happening is the band that got Lins to the Northwest.
“The band that she reveres above all others is Beat Happening,” Love said. “She lives in Sao Paolo, this intensely cosmopolitan city, and yet the Olympia music was what she loved.”
He’s been playing Olympia music with Lulina in Brazil and suggested she bring her originals here.
“We brought Olympia to Brazil,” he said. “I thought, ‘Let’s bring Brazil to Olympia.’”