Punk rock bands and sentimental tribute albums don't normally go hand in hand, but Wax 78 is no typical punk band. Shortly after the Jan. 8 shootings, the trio started looking for a way to honor the victims.
In a move that belies the punk genre's reputation for hard-edged nihilism, Wax 78 joined 25 other musical groups to form the album "Can We Get Together?" which will raise money for victims of the shooting.
The band members were drawn to the project, led by University of Arizona law student Robert W. Current, who solicited contributions from musical acts around town.
"It was just the entire idea behind it, where we've got so many diverse groups - Mariachis, the Tucson Girls Choir and country music - all coming together for just one cause which obviously is very near and dear to all of us," said drummer and vocalist Rush Urbalejo of why his band participated.
Net proceeds from the album will go to the Tucson Together Fund coordinated through the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. Current said he personally borrowed $4,000 to produce the album, most of which went to manufacture CDs. Current said he won't make any money off the album and artists will receive no royalties from sales.
Current noted Apple determined the $25 iTunes price for the album, which is more expensive than it costs to buy online.
"They get to make their own rules," Current said of Apple.
Joining Wax 78 on the album are the Tucson Girls Chorus, the jazz ensemble Big Band Express, Christian acoustic group Compose the Octave and classical guitarist David Rose.
"The most beautiful thing is the musicians - of such diverse people - all coming together in a common cause," said Carol Gaxiola director of Homicide Survivors Incorporated, which will work with the Tucson Together fund to disburse the money to victims.
Folk rocker Kelly Pardi, who provided the title track, said Current deserves credit for doing the legwork to put the album together.
"His grasp of all the projects and all of the songs was just unbelievable," Pardi said.
Current said via email that the project started as something small, then became bigger as more musicians showed interest.
"Basically, I made a snowball, dropped it, and the next thing I knew," he said, "I was trying to direct an avalanche as it ran downhill."
BUY IT ONLINE
The album "Can We Get Together?' is available at tucsongettogether.com. The price including shipping is $17.88. Proceeds go to the Tucson Together Fund coordinated through the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. The album is also available on iTunes for $25 at http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/can-we-get-together-original/id430103248
Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or firstname.lastname@example.org