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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Rock With a Purpose


State Radio band members Chad Stokes, Chuck Fay, and Mike Najarian.




Too many bands these days are concerned with themselves: How many tickets they can sell, if their music video makes it on MTV, and how many girls they can hook up with backstage. Those things couldn’t be farther from the minds of Chad Stokes and his band State Radio. The Boston favorites are holding their third annual Halloween benefit weekend at the end of the month in Northampton, and if the last two years were any indicator, a ton of money will be raised and plenty of great music will be heard.

The weekend consists of three events. Stokes will be playing a solo acoustic show at the Iron Horse on Oct. 28. There will be a charity 5K run the next day, and the weekend will be concluded by an electric State Radio show at the Calvin Theatre. When asked about the timing of the weekend, Stokes said, “[Halloween] is such a fun holiday to try to make an annual thing out of, and the 5K is always fun. It just kind of worked out this way.”

Stokes’ solo acoustic show will include tracks from his new solo record “Simmerkane 2,” as well as favorites from State Radio and Dispatch (his other band). Stokes said, “I’ll do the show solo[…] I just got back from doing a tour with my backup band, the Pintos. We dipped into State Radio and Dispatch a little bit, but the majority of the show was my solo album. If I’m just up there by myself I’ll play more State Radio and Dispatch songs than I did on tour.”

One hundred percent of the proceeds from the show will go to Calling All Crows (CAC), a local charity that Stokes started in 2008. The organization focuses on a number of different issues, and this year, according to Stokes, “Our chief fundraising focus for the weekend are community centers for women in Afghanistan […] We raised around $22,000 last year, and we’re hoping to hit the same number this year.”

Following the 5K on Saturday, State Radio will play their first show in Mass. in over a year at the Calvin Theatre. This has been one of the longest waits the Mass. crowd has had to endure since the band formed in 2002, but according to Stokes, fans will not be disappointed. He said, “We have a new EP which we’re trying to get out for November, and we’ll release the new record a few months later. We have, like, 12 new songs, some of which the fans are already familiar with. I’m not sure if I want to break out all the new ones before the record, it’s kind of fun to let them wait.”

If you’re a UMB student looking to attend the festivities, you’re in luck. Senior Jason Mizula is organizing a bus from campus to Northampton for the Saturday events. For $25, you get the bus ride, participation in the 5K, and a ticket to the State Radio show. He said, “We want more students to get involved, I think more so than just raising awareness for Women for Afghan Women, Calling All Crows and other organizations that they work with. If we can get 55 people going from UMB out to Northampton it’d be great. I feel like it’s resonated through a lot of the student centers, including the Veteran’s Center, which I’m a member of.” He added, “These people are suffering anyhow, but we especially feel like we’ve negatively impacted their lives. I personally support [them] because I realize the fact that my government has contributed to the negative impact on these women’s lives.”

Although the acoustic show is sold out, tickets are still available for the State Radio show at the Calvin Theatre Oct. 29. They can be purchased at www.stateradio.com. To make a donation or get involved with CAC, visit www.callingallcrows.com

For more information about the UMB bus please contact Jason Mizula at [email protected] for details and tickets.