The Recyclery’s Tailwind for Tools (TWFT) bash of 2020 was one of the very last indoor in-person events I helped to organize before the onset of pandemic life. That was the fourth official TWFT Open House Benefit for The Recyclery Collective, but the tradition of holding a late-winter fundraiser truly began one year prior. TWFT “zero” happened back in 2016 before we gave the event a proper name, and was unceremoniously dubbed a “Rent Party,” because that’s what it was. As a non-profit community bike shop in a Midwestern city, come February we were hitting rock bottom had to come up with March rent with little to no revenue coming in. So we threw a rent party! It was epic, with guest musicians, dancers and chefs, a silent auction, and even an acro yoga performance. To pull it off we called upon the helping hands of just about every active volunteer in our base and beyond.
" Terrible wonderful, terrible wonderful, terrible wonderful night."
lyrics from "Follow The Patterns," the title track of The Herbal Remedies first Album.
We decided to make it an annual event, and beginning in 2017 we called it Tailwind for Tools.
Now, in February of 2021, after a year of routines thwarted, mainstays upended, and rituals grand and small put on hold indefinitely, we’ve been faced with deciding how and whether to hold our annual TWFT event. What we’ve come up with is a virtual concert series running Sunday evenings throughout the month of February. We hoped to bring our distanced community together while using our platform to offer an outlet to musicians who’ve been so hard hit by pandemic austerities. We’re now halfway through the series and it’s been a treat to join together, once again tapping into the resourcefulness of our volunteers to make the magic happen. Weeks of planning, evenings of troubleshooting tech issues, coordinating with artists - and now we enjoy the pay off.
Images from Paulina Ave, The Recyclery courtyard, and Trailbender, respectively.
Coming up on week three of the virtual concert series has me particularly excited and a bit nervous as well, as my trio, the Herbal Remedies, will be the featured band. Due to Covid, it’s been nearly a year since we performed together and I’m out of practice of having an audience! Mostly I’m feeling grateful to my bandmates and the Recyclery volunteers who’ve helped us to navigate the tech demands of the affair. It’s exhilarating to see two of my most cherished projects coming together for one cause.
CLICK HERE to tune in to our virtual concert this Sunday, 2/21/21, 6 pm Central time.
The band on the fourth and final Sunday of the series is the amazing, not to be missed Son Monarcas AND we will be starting the event with a talk by Sharlyn Grace of the Chicago Community Bond Fund, sharing stories of the ongoing fight for pretrial fairness. Please use the same links to join us for week four as well!