Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Bender Fundraiser Uses Healing Power of Music

Music | March 16th, 2022

By John Showalter 

john.d.showalter@gmail.com

In my experience of writing about music, two things have always stood out about local music acts, one being how much excellent musical talent can be found at the local level, and the other being how quickly folks can band together toward a common cause with art and music as a backdrop.

That holds true not just for the music scene in Fargo-Moorhead, but elsewhere in the state too, as I found out when I interviewed Dylan Bender and Alex Thomson of Bismarck.

The cause in question is a fundraiser concert in Bismarck to raise money for Bender’s father Tony, who is a respected columnist, novelist, newspaper publisher, fellow music supporter and enthusiast. Bender recently broke his hip. Such a major occurrence led to an extended hospital stay for Tony, as well as the temporary apartments that he had to stay in during his period of rehabilitation after having his hip replacement.

“Our goal is to raise money for any ongoing expenses of improving and maintaining Tony’s overall health throughout this whole thing,” said Thomson. “Whether those expenses be medical bills, cost of living, or even something as small as getting a coffee at his favorite spot if he’s feeling down. We want Tony and his family to know they are not alone through any of this.”

Originally, the fundraiser was meant as something of a surprise for Bender, being set up by Thomson and other friends. “…I found out a lot earlier than my friends had hoped,” said Bender. “They intended to surprise us with it. I found out about three or four days into the hospital stay from a friend on the phone, but I won’t throw him under the bus on paper.”

“I knew I wanted to do something as soon as I had heard that he had broken his hip,” said Thomson. “I looked at my event calendar and for the next show I was setting up I already had a touring band (Lung) on my schedule for April 7th and Gus had Mooncats set for the 8th. So we talked it over amongst each other and the bands and just decided to combine the two shows to support the same cause, since they were already back-to-back dates.”

Bender and Thomson both have pedigrees in the Bismarck music scene. Bender has been playing since 2017. He began in a band called Strikes Again with Richard Loewen and a few other friends, and then started working at Rhythm Records, where the fundraiser concert will be taking place. From that point he started helping book shows at Rhythm Records as well as performing in other bands there.

Thomson has been involved in Bismarck’s music scene for fifteen years, a little over a decade of which has involved playing, booking, and promoting shows. “Ever since Rhythm Records started doing shows in 2014, I sort of made that my home base for bringing bands from all over the country to Bismarck whenever I could,” said Thomson.

The fundraiser has quite the lineup for the two nights over which it will be taking place. “Lung are headlining the first evening, and are actually coming through on tour from Cincinnati,” said Bender. “They’re a two-piece electric cello and drum group. Very grand and almost intimidating sound. Kate’s vocals are haunting. They’ve played a few shows around the area before but I’m not sure they’ve been to Rhythm.”

“Vanity Plate is playing, and everyone in that band is an angel. Jasmine and Zack have been so kind, and inclusive, and all around encouraging to me and my friends over the years. They are such a great band too, powerful vocals, calculated guitars, and boisterous drums.”

Green Boots is a Bismarck stoner rock band with members of some of my favorite bands to see when I first started going to shows,” said Bender. “There’ll be more announced for the show, and I believe a first surprise show from a new band in town.”

“The next night The Mooncats are heading, also releasing their new album,” said Bender. “They’re a wonderful Americana group from Bismarck that has been doing a lot of touring and playing a lot of regional festivals. They’ll be releasing the album on vinyl and CD that night.”

“Wildly Appropriate will be playing as well. They’re a freak folk group from Bismarck with an overlapping with the Mooncats, as well as Gus Lindgren, the owner of the store.”

“Shakey Calls will be playing,” said Bender. “They’re actually on their way down to Texas right now for SXSW. Really great band that spans a lot of genres, and makes great use of all the different vocalists in the band.”

“The band I’m in will be playing that night as well,” said Bender. “The band is named Hello Spillovoy after my great-grandfather. It’s fun indie rock, and it gives me an excuse to play music with two of my best friends. Ben Braunagel is the vocalist, Ansen Boehm is on bass, and I play drums.”

“Anyone and everyone is welcome to come and support this, and we hope to see a large turnout,” said Thomson. “We understand there are people who will want to show their support but are unable to attend, so there has been a GoFundMe set up for anyone who feels compelled to help.”

____________________________

IF YOU GO

Night 1 (Thursday, April 7)

Lung

Vanity Plate

Green Boots

+ more TBA

Night 2 (Friday, April 8)

Mooncats [CD RELEASE SHOW]

Wildly Appropriate

Helko Spillovey

Shaky Calls

6pm start both nights All ages

GoFundMe:         https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-tony-offset-medical-expenses?fbclid=IwAR3HPao_HFEh9nVvOcjcS4jgtpfaQlEIaCnXyPNC-Znv1g5x9q6_qQd7ChE

Recently in:

By Laura Simmonslaurasimmons2025@u.northwestern.eduHowes Township is frustrated with a court decision and a 2019 bill that lessened local control, giving it back to the state. Howes Township has been fighting the addition of a…

By Michael M. Miller  michael.miller@ndsu.eduPhoto credit: Sabrina HornungIn May 2022, the Rauter family of Wisconsin visited the Germans from Russia Heritage…

Fargo City Hall, thru Sept. 30  Fargo City Hall, 225 4th St. N.  …

By Faith Dixon  Faithshieldsdixon@gmail.com Guest editorial: ‘I am here to create, make and sustain true change’Being an activist is my purpose,…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com From Mansion or Hovel, We All End Up DeadWe are now living in the Divided States of America, which has been developing for more than 240 years. Economist Frederic Bastiat has come up with the main…

Well shiver me timbers. After weeks of sampling some of the finest drinks in F-M from more bars than we could shake a belaying pin at, the results of High Plains Reader’s 6th Annual Cocktail Showdown are in! For nine weeks,…

By Rick Gion  rickgion@gmail.comIn this land of hotdish and ham, it used to be a real pain to find something satisfyingly spicy in the…

By Chris Larson  cjlarson75@gmail.comDuring a short break in their Wheels of Soul Tour with Los Lobos and the Gabe Dixon Band, I had a chance to…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comThe chatter surrounding director Olivia Wilde’s new movie “Don’t Worry Darling” reached fever pitch in the days leading up to this week’s wide release. Cynics began to wonder whether…

By HPR Staffsabrina@hpr1.comTour the studios of some of F-M’s most popular artistsThe Fargo-Moorhead area’s largest art event, the Studio Crawl, is just around the corner—October 1 and 2. The members of the Fargo Moorhead…

By Jessica M. Hawkesjmhawkes84@gmail.comIt wasn’t long after the founding of the railroad and river town of New Rockford that entertainment venues started to put down their own roots. Its population bolstered by booms of nearby…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comCharlie Berens is a man of many hats. The creator of the “Manitowoc Minute” is a newsman, comedian, writer and musician. We had the opportunity to speak with the Wisconsin native about his new…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

By Donna O’Shea  submit@hpr1.comWith the back-to-school season in full swing, the start of this academic year may…

By Andrew Alexis Varvelmr.a.alexis.varvel@gmail.comWill our congressperson be Cara Mund or Kelly Armstrong?Back 75 years ago in 1947, American radio stations played the hit song “Feudin' and Fightin'.” Its refrain went,…