Phil Elverum Responds to Climate Crisis by Auctioning Rare Mount Eerie Shirts

"The fires lately have been scarier than usual, don't you think?"

BY Alex HudsonPublished Aug 21, 2023

Every day brings horrifying new stories about devastating wildfires, and songwriter Phil Elverum of Mount Eerie and the Microphones is responding to the climate crisis by selling some old shirts, with all proceeds going to Indigenous communities through the Potlatch Fund.

In his latest newsletter, Elverum addressed climate change, writing, "The fires lately have been scarier than usual, don't you think? From up on the hill the smoke is smellable again. The stories on the radio from Maui and Kelowna and Northwest Territories and everywhere else are just spiralling in terror and loss. The forest even out the front door here is crispy and feels like walking on eggshells, careful not to even think of a spark."

He noted that donating to the Potlatch Fund may, on its surface, not seem directly related to wildfire recovery, given that it's an organization providing grants and leadership programs for Indigenous communities in Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho. He pointed out that "a huge proportion of affected people in those fire disaster places are Native people, people already dealing with the compounded effects of colonization."

In response, he has put two "gnarly old Mount Eerie shirts on eBay to see if we could get a strange, overblown bidding war going for charitable purposes." One of these shirts is his favourite shirt of the past 20 years, and it was used in the background of his Foghorn Tape cover art; the other is a rare shirt based on the ore tile from the game Settlers of Catan.

Bid on the auctions here and here. As of this writing, bidding is up to $300 (USD) for the Foghorn Tape shirt and $142.50 USD for the ore shirt.

He also offered a small update on the new music he's been working on. From the sound of things, he's been spending most of his time lately on summery pursuits like swimming and reading, but, "When the weather changes a few degrees colder I'll move my focus indoors and set up the recording stuff again and resume work on the ongoing collection of new ideas."

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