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Turner Hall hosts Pablove Benefit Concert

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Nine bands will come together Saturday at Turner Hall Ballroom to play music for a boy they have never met.

On May 17, 2008, Pablo Castelaz was diagnosed with a bilateral Wilms’ tumor, a rare form of children’s cancer. About one month into his treatment at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, his father, Jeff Castelaz, a former Marquette student and co-founder of Dangerbird Records in LA, started the Pablove Foundation in his son’s name.

The 6-year-old’s battle with cancer ended June 27, 2009, but the Pablove Foundation continues to fight the illness. Each year, the foundation donates money to improve the lives of children with cancer both on a local level in LA and nationally.

“We looked around at the hospital and saw a lot of other people less fortunate than us who needed our help,” said Castelaz. “Our help is not only financial, but it is administrative, too.”

The Pablove Foundation lends much of its support to hospital playrooms as well as music and arts programs.

Castelaz emphasized how important it is for children undergoing cancer treatment to be able to play with other children and take part in recreational activities.

“We support these programs so that kids with cancer can still be kids,” said Castelaz.

Castelaz and the Pablove Foundation have been hosting events throughout the country to spread awareness and to promote their mission.

That is where the Pablove Benefit Concert at Turner Hall enters the picture.

“One of the greatest things you can do with rock and roll is to stand up and stand together and say, ‘We’re not going to take this,’” said Castelaz. “If we raise $20,000 at Turner Hall, that money can be used to positively affect children with cancer and their families.”

The lineup for the evening is full of artists hailing from Milwaukee, including Fever Marlene, Willy Porter, The Gufs, Maritime, The Lackloves, Pet Engine, Mike Benign, Truth in Fiction and Old Man Malcolm.

“Almost all of the artists are friends of mine,” said Castelaz. “Some of the performers knew Pablo, some didn’t, but many have kids of their own and they all have hearts.”

The purpose of the show is not only to spread awareness and raise money, but also to motivate people to take action and make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer, Castalez said.

“I am lucky enough to have friends who can pool their talents together,” said Castelaz. “It will create a bunch of noise and get a bunch of eyeballs — and not just eyeballs, but hearts.”

Castelaz said it did not take much to get a lineup together for the concert because everyone wants to do something to help give a voice to the cause.

Scott Starr, frontman and guitarist for Fever Marlene, said it didn’t take much to get him on board.

“It was just a simple phone call from those guys asking,” said Starr, “and we were like, ‘Hell yeah!’ It is something that you can’t pass up.”

Starr said the concert is different from most because it is about people coming together to support a cause rather than playing music for money.

“No one is getting paid. It is not about who is headlining, who is playing early or who is bringing the bus,” said Starr. “It is very rare that you see a show like this.”

He also noted that there are always a handful of fans who approach the band and ask to get into concerts for free — but there has been none of that for Saturday’s performance.

“There is a real sense of togetherness,” said Starr. “They all want to pay and support.”

Willy Porter, an acoustic folk artist from Milwaukee, agrees with Starr’s sentiment.

“It is nice to get to play music for a purpose beyond making money,” said Porter. “That is what musicians really want to do. We didn’t all start this for the money.”

He also said a concert is a great way to get the door open and to get people thinking and talking about the cause.

“A concert can create a dialogue,” said Porter, “and from dialogue can come ideas and from ideas come actions.”

Porter said the benefit concert is doing something good not only on community and national levels, but on a spiritual level as well.

“It is celebrating the ongoing joy of life,” said Porter.

Castelaz seems to agree.

“Life is about very few tangible things when it comes down to it,” said Castelaz. “We are here to love and to be loved. People are coming together and expressing their love for a boy they never met.”

The Pablove Benefit Concert is at Turner Hall Ballroom on Saturday, Jan. 23. The show begins at 7 p.m., doors open at 6 p.m.

Fever Marlene:

Fever Marlene formed in 2003 and returned to Milwaukee in 2006 to become an integral part of the city’s music scene. The duo consists of Scott Starr on guitar, synth and vocals and Kevin Dunphy on drums and vocals. The band’s sound can be described as rock, electro and pop.

Willy Porter:

Willy Porter has been playing music professionally for 20 years. He is an acoustic, folk and experimental artist and has released seven albums, his latest titled “How to Rob a Bank.”

The Gufs:

The Gufs are an alternative pop-rock band. They formed in 1988 and were a major part of Milwaukee’s music scene in the 1990s. The band consists of Morgan Dawley, Dejan Kralj, Goran Kralj and Scott Schwebel.

The Lackloves:

This power-pop, indie rock band won 88.9 Radio Milwaukee’s 2009 Album of the Year for their album “Cathedral Square Park.” The Lackloves also took home two Wisconsin Area Music Industry awards, one for Alternative Artist of the Year and for Song of the Year with “Hallmark Stars (Take a Seat).”

Maritime:

This indie pop-rock band formed in 2003 from the remnants of bands The Promise Ring and The Dismemberment Plan. The band consists of Dan Didier, Davey von Bohlen, Justin Klug and Dan Hinz.

Mike Benign:

Mike Benign was part of the Milwaukee alternative music scene in the late 80s to early 90s as a part of Umbrella Man, Arms & Legs & Feet, and Blue in the Face. He is now part of The Mike Benign Compulsion and recently released the album “Rollicking Musical.”

Old Man Malcolm:

Also known as Malcolm Michiles, Old Man Malcolm is a turntablist, DJ and producer who has worked with Citizen King, Garbage, New Sense, Minus After, Cornrows, Codebreaker, Def Harmonic, Wild Kingdom and the Milwaukee Creative Music Ensemble.

Pet Engine:

Pet Engine is an indie band formed when the group Blackfish decided to shift direction and change names. Lead singer, guitarist and songwriter Stephen Ziel and bassist Clem brought on the talents of Al Hildenbrand, former guitarist and singer of Happytown. When Micah Havertape was added on drums, Pet Engine was formed.

Truth in Fiction:

Truth in Fiction is a power-pop rock band from Milwaukee. They’ve played Vans Warped Tour three times, and released their latest album, “Fireflies,” in 2008.

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