Over the last two and a half weeks, Beasthead's Douglas Deitchler has been a victim, a vigilante, and a panhandler. He's had his faith in his city destroyed and resurrected. He's gone from being fearful to thankful to overwhelmed with gratitude in his quest to recover the gear stolen from his car on April 26.
High time for a drink. Or a dozen.
Ever since Deitchler awoke to discover his car, which was parked in the driveway of his Prospect Park apartment, had been busted into, and all of his band's gear -- save for a couple amps, which Deitchler assumes were too bulky to flee with -- had been stolen, the indie-ambient musician has been running ragged trying to get everything close to the way it was before the break in. Now that things are beginning to normalize, his band is hosting a benefit party tomorrow night at Nomad to shake out all the bad juju and get Beasthead back on the road.
At first, it felt shitty for Beasthead to be victimized in their hometown. "It was just us getting lulled into a false sense of security with our neighborhood," Deitchler says. "We played that weekend, and then left the stuff in my car overnight. And then it was gone Sunday morning."
The crooks made away with "several thousand dollars" worth of gear, including a guitar, bass guitar, mini synth, vocal processor, and drum machine (detailed list here). Tough breaks for a band whose only sin was the hubris of trusting their neighbors.
Left with few options, the band milked their connections for good will. "That evening, I just reached out to anybody I could think of who was involved with music around here to tell them what happened," says Deitchler. In 2015, getting your equipment jacked from a parked car is an increasingly common event -- in the last month, local bands Thee Massacre and Arms for Elephants have both been similarly ripped off -- so Beasthead found themselves in the midst of a scene that could empathize.
They tossed up a Facebook post, and soon enough, the support was poring in. "By the end of the day on Monday, there were 20-something-thousand people who had seen the Facebook post, which was just crazy for us," Deitchler says. "That day, we had phone calls from venues offering dates to do benefit shows, and Matt from Solid Gold called me and was like, 'This happened to us in '09, here's what we did if you want some advice.'" Nomad offered a date for the show, and Glow Mechanics, Cruel Love, and a slew of other local musicians and businesses (full disclosure: City Pages is among the sponsors) offered their gratis support.
"We didn't really know what to do," Deitchler says, "We had a couple ideas, but this was sort of like the community's idea, which is amazing for us, that we had that many people who cared to offer advice." For the folks who can't make it to the show, the band has also started a GoFundMe to help cover the costs.
The show setup was rushed, and the crowdsourcing has gone slow, but, thanks to a communal effort from Minneapolis locals, Beasthead have actually managed to recover three of the five pilfered items.
"It was actually kind of a crazy week," Deitchler says, "In about 24 hours between Tuesday the 28th and Wednesday the 29th, we were able to get some of the items back just by chance. There were a couple people trying to sell stuff at stores that had our serial numbers, and they called the police." The next day, Redditors pointed out a Craigslist ad for one of the instruments, and Beasthead worked with Minneapolis police to bust the perp. "We set up a buy, and we brought a police officer with us and set up a sting. It felt really cool."
Though Deitchler claims the still-missing instruments are "the most expensive by far," Beasthead have been very lucky thus far. The hope is that the party will set them up to head down to Codfish Hollow for their show and Daytrotter session on the 22nd.
But more than anything, Beasthead are gathering their friends and fans as a catharsis after the emotional maelstrom they've just endured. Fundraising is one aim, but the band also wants to celebrate how swifty their faith in Minneapolis was restored.
"We figured it would be more fun to have a party then to just throw another show," Deitchler says, "So that's what we set out to do -- just throw a big party with a bunch of bands playing quick sets, no headliner, with various genres of music, and different friend groups. A party that doubled as both a fundraiser and a big thank you to everyone that reached out to us."
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