Tabs Out | Various Artists – For a Better Tomorrow

Various Artists – For a Better Tomorrow

9.3.20 by Ryan Masteller

Do you have a kid? I mean, of course you don’t – you outsiders couldn’t procreate if you were the last people on earth. But hypothetically, if you had a kid, they would have to go to school, right? And wouldn’t it just be great if that kid could go to school in a COVID-free world, or at least in world where we had a vaccine for COVID? Alas, kids are going back to school en masse, the little petri dishes just primed to spread whatever disease they can get their hands on. COVID? Duh, that’s the big one right now. But what about chicken pox, measles, typhoid fever? Absolutely, especially if their vaccinations aren’t up to date. And parents, it’s up to you to make sure your kids are vaccinated. Because if they aren’t … well, they’re the ones who are going to get all these diseases. Not my (hypothetical) kids.

But this is about COVID, and school is just one of the many institutions that the pandemic is wreaking havoc upon. Communities are being ravaged, and it’s somewhat of an understatement to say that we’re not getting a lot of help from our elected leaders to bail us out of the worst of it. I mean, I’m sure there are SOME things those in positions of power and influence can do to help out the people affected most by our present reality. But since the measures are ineffectual at best, it’s up to people like Michael Potter, who runs Garden Portal (and NULLZ0NE), and organizations like Mutual Aid Athens to fill in the gaps. Or chasms. Or crevasses. The terminology all depends on where you live (although it goddamn shouldn’t). 

Think about that – a guy that plays guitar in a band with a guy from another band called “Bleachy Asshole” and who runs two underground tape labels cares more about his community and is thus doing more for it than the people who are actually supposed to be running the joint (I’m assuming – there aren’t many politicians who have a good look right now, so apologies to those good ones I’m overlooking). So let’s applaud Garden Portal for bringing together a heckuva collection of the best the label has to offer, like Joseph Allred (seriously, this guy has to be on the must-see live music list once we have a vaccine, right?), Patrick Shiroishi, Jacob Sunderlin, and Potter himself, among many others. The Garden Portal MO is transcendental acoustic music (Potter’s got a new tape himself with the Electric Nature – see previous “Bleachy Asshole” comment – called “Trance Music” that pretty much is exactly what the entire label’s about), and For a Better Tomorrow does not disappoint in that regard. Plus, 100 percent of all digital proceeds go to Mutual Aid Athens, specifically helping community of Athens, Georgia. Buy or just donate – up to you.

So no matter how COVID is affecting you, and no matter how effective your local (or higher) government is, know that you yourself can actually and actively promote health and awareness in your community, and that you can even help others out directly. Isn’t that awesome? All you have to do is look to Garden Portal for inspiration, and the sky’s the limit. Now, if I could only get away from these friggin’ children at the indoor bounce house and pogo in peace …

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