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Fighting fistula in a minor key

Local bands rock in the name of fighting fistula

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Stephen Minor sits in Tully’s with his cell phone and a cup of joe.  He looks vaguely familiar, but in that can’t-quite-place-it way.  Could it be you saw him with his hair slicked back, big Bono-sunglasses on, handing out fliers for his first show with his new project, U277, a U2 tribute band?

Possibly you might know him as the savvy ad designer for Premier Media Group, whose glossy South Sound, Kitchen & Bath, and Remodel magazines have been surfacing all around; or maybe you recognize him from before that, when he owned the Northern Pacific Coffee Company.

Possibly you’ve followed him in his eponymous band, and were wondering where they’ve been.

“We’ve been kind of on a hiatus,” he explains.  The hiatus started when the band’s guitarist, Aaron Bendickson, had a baby (okay, maybe his wife was involved.) Then Bendickson and Minor started their own band, based on a mutual love of U2. 

The Stephen Minor hiatus will be ending on May 6 when the band will reunite at the Swiss with bands the F***ing Eagles, the Drug Purse, Paris Spleen, Beat Box Fred, Gold Teeth, And Those Who Were Dragged, and Helms Alee to help fight obstetric fistula.

The show, which goes from 2 to 10 p.m., is running for a suggested donation of merely $7, to help raise funds for a non-profit organization called OnebyOne, which focuses on treating and preventing fistula, a childbirth condition that has been eradicated in the United States and Europe since the 1900s, but that people from the developing world still suffer from.

Aurora Jewell, working with The Swiss day manager, Joy Wyrick, is hoping to raise $1,500, which she says will cover pre-operative care, fistula surgery, and rehabilitation; this amount will “give five women back their lives,” according to Jewell.

As a performer, Minor seeks to emulate the U2 “franchise,” which includes Bono’s philanthropic and sometimes political leanings. Though the original work, which will be performed at The Swiss with original band-mates Bendickson, Paul Nichols and Jeff Berghammer, won’t show Minor’s Bono-esque political ranting, Minor is hoping to finalize another fistula benefit with U277 at the Swiss in June.

Muses Minor: “We don’t just want to parrot — talk Bono’s rants — we’re looking to address local, regional and national issues.  We want to be involved in charity work.”

[The Swiss, Sunday, May 6, 2-10 p.m., $7, 1904 S. Jefferson, Tacoma, 253.572.2821]

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