Eyedea 4 Africa benefit coming to Turf Club in June

The mother of Micheal "Eyedea" Larsen has partnered with local Minnesota non-profit Moving Forward Africa to stage a benefit show at Turf Club next month. According to Matthew Ylvisaker, president of Moving Forward Africa, this was a show that Larsen was hoping to assemble before his life was cut short in 2010. "Mikey inspired and believed in this dream," Ylvisaker says. "His friends are all behind this, and we will be having a star-studded night of music."

The friends mentioned include Ill Chemistry (Carnage and Desdamona), Kristoff Krane, Gramma's Boyfriend, and Guitar Party. 100 percent of the cover charge will go to fund a hand pump borehole in Nyamor Village in Kenya.

This partnership came about when Ylvisaker's brother Jeremy (Alpha Consumer, touring musician for Andrew Bird) introduced him to his frequent collaborator Eyedea. From here, let's just let Matthew tell the rest of the story:   

The amazing thing about Mikey, was his ability to connect with people. One night at a Kristoff Krane/Luke Redfield show at the 7th Street Entry during the summer of 2010, he invited me downstairs to talk. Little did I know that this "talk" would prove to be life-changing. I was telling him about how I have been frustrated trying to bring clean water to a group villagers I was so fortunate to encounter during a trip to Kenya in 2007.

Their water situation broke my heart, and I had been knocking on the doors of many organizations to find a solution for them. I found myself left with many empty promises and tremendous disappointment. That night Mikey looked me in the eyes and said, "nobody cares about or recognizes the situation these villagers are facing more than you." He continued, "Why are you trying to bring help to them through other means? You have incredible passion to help these people. Why don't you start your own organization?  People will follow your passion. I know I will!"

The next day, I began preparations to start my own Non-Profit organization.  And people did follow me. He was right. Well, you get the gist of the story. A week before Mikey died, I was at a show of a band Mikey and my bro started called Guitar Party. After the show, we were making final preparations for a benefit show in December of 2010. Little did I know this would be the last time I would see or speak with Mikey.

I was sad I couldn't be there for his memorial event at First Ave in November of that year. But, I knew that night I was right where he wanted me to be. Spending the night in a remote village with no clean source of water and beginning my work Mikey had inspired me to do.  

So, what we have is a stellar lineup of folks assembled at Turf Club on Thursday, June 21. In addition to the headlining performers, there will also be a special, one-time collaboration between Martin Dosh, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Andrew Broder, and Michael Lewis. Luke Redfield will be the opening act, and Eyedea's grandmother will do a poetry reading for the Baraka-hosted event.

Eyedea 4 Africa benefit coming to Turf Club in June

Eyedea 4 Africa. 21+, $10, 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 21 at Turf Club.

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