The Electric Fetus has long been sacred ground for local music fans: it stocks cool music, scores one coup after another in attracting national acts to play free instores on their way to the Cedar or the Varsity, and its registers have been (wo)manned by more local notables than you could shake a patchouli stick at: among the musicians who’ve put in time behind its counter are Slug (Atmosphere), Orion (Plastic Chord, Me and My Arrow, Phantom Tails), James Everest (Roma di Luna), Dave King (The Bad Plus), and Adam Linz. Present and former Fetus employees who have made a behind-the-scenes impact in local music include David Campbell (89.3 The Current), City Pages music editor Andrea Swensson, Sonia Grover of First Ave, and Stacy Schwartz of CakeIn15. (Thanks to Stacy for her help compiling this list.) Ringo Starr sporting a Fetus t-shirt at the Grammys this year was only icing on the cake.
But, to quote the slogan of the clerical workers’ union at Harvard, you can’t eat prestige—and nor does notoriety stop tornadoes. The Fetus was driven into debt when it had to repair damage done by last summer’s urban twister, and it’s looking to recover some of those losses with a benefit concert being held at First Ave on February 26. The full lineup has just been announced, and it’s a doozy of a program, with Cloud Cult, Roma di Luna, Jeremy Messersmith, Trailer Trash, Unknown Prophets, Caroline Smith, the Bill Mike Band, Total Babe, Peter Wolf Crier, and Ruby Isle set to play. Both the Mainroom and the Entry will be popping simultaneously at a show where you’re sure to bump elbows with everyone who’s everyone—up to, and (who knows?) maybe even including a certain Liverpudlian drummer with a string of 80s albums that belie his apparently excellent taste in music.