The Theater Fire's Curtis Heath Has Cancer and He Needs Your Help.
Time moves pretty fast in local music circles. Like, lightning fast.
So it's easy to forget, sometimes, just how big certain bands were — even as recently as a few years back.
That's certainly the case with The Theater Fire, which, it could be argued, was maybe the scene's biggest, most consistent act of the aughts, thanks to a three-album run of LP releases — starting with 2003's self-titled debt, 2005's Everybody Has a Dark Side, and, most recently, 2009's Matter and Light, which even Pitchfork lauded for its “clever orchestrations and cleverer lyrics.” An incredible stretch, indeed.
For the most part, though, the band's been quiet for the last few years, with its members focusing on other aspects of their lives and with performances coming few and far between (even as the band has quietly been tinkering with the recording of a new album behind the scenes). Still, when those performances have come, they've been pretty great: Apologies to the two friends of mine whose wedding the band played in late 2010, but it could be argued that The Theater Fire even stole the show from that happy couple on their special day.
Point is: The Theater Fire's orchestral folk-rock charms aren't to be forgotten. And especially not when one of its members finds himself in a time of need.
Alas, that's right where Theater Fire guitarist and co-vocalist Curits Heath finds himself these days. Earlier this year, doctors diagnosed Heath, who now works as both a special education teacher and a freelance film composer (he contributed three songs to David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints from earlier this year), with melanoma. That makes him the second local music talent of the year to publicly announce his diagnosis of this condition.
Like Bludded Head's Nevada Hill, Heath is uninsured, making the payment of his medical bills a tall order — until, at least, January, when the Affordable Care Act kicks in and Heath finds himself covered for his treatments. But, even then, medical bills aren't cheap.
So, just as the music community did during Hill's time of need this fall, the community is coming together again this weekend in support of the uninsured Heath. Tomorrow night at Club Dada, some of the biggest Dallas acts of the '00s will reconvene to perform a benefit show in support of Heath. The recently reformed Pleasant Grove will headline the show, and drummer Jeff Ryan's instrumental Myopic outfit will perform, as well. So, too, will Panther Robe, which features members of The Theater Fire and Dove Hunter. Centro-matic's Will Johnson rounds out the impressive bill.
It's $10 to attend this show, and all of that money will go directly toward covering Heath's cancer treatment costs. And there's a couple of things in it for you, too, beyond the satisfaction of, well, doing good and hearing great music.
For one thing, there'll be a food buffet catered by Which Wich and Fuzy's Taco Shop. There will also be a raffle, with the following, pretty freakin' amazing prizes up for grabs:
• A SXSW wristband for 2014
• Gift certificates from Good Records, Smoke, Chicken Scratch, Which Wich and more
• Autographed drum head from The Polyphonic Spree
• Two autographed LPs from The New Year
• Paintings from such area artists as Clay Stinnet and Steve Keene
• An autographed guitar used by Neil Michael Hagerty during the recording of the Royal Trux albums, which The Theater Fire played on.
But that, of course, is all secondary to the main idea behind this gig: Helping Heath out.
Listen: Music gives us all a lot of joy in life. Local music is great, as it lets us tangibly sense that joy. Heath's done his part in this regard. On Saturday night, it's time for the rest of us to do ours.
Doors are at 8 p.m.
We'll see you there.