"Cut Loose for Laos" invitation

Singer-guitarist Rachel Flotard of Visqueen, whose new album, “Message to Garcia” (Local 638 Records), has received a tsunami of favorable reviews, is throwing a benefit Dec. 1 to raise money for an elementary school in southern Laos.

Flotard and friend Justin Nonthaveth traveled to Laos a year ago, a trip that changed her life. Read her blog about the journey here.

During the trip, the pair went a rural village and asked to visit a local elementary school.

“The kids had no idea we were coming, or who the hell we were,” Flotard wrote. “We surprised 340 ‘small souls’ with colored pencils, coloring books and a giant ‘sabai dee’ (hello) from Seattle.

Click here to see one of the seven classrooms Flotard and Nonthaveth visited with their homemade gift bags.

Flotard, Nonthaveth and friend Chris Olson will return to Laos and the Ban Na Mouang school Dec. 16 with another gift. Flotard explains: “When asked repeatedly what they would like more than anything for their school (besides a soccer ball), they hesitated, then said, ‘a floor.’

“During the rainy season, 340 pairs of these tiny, eager feet get wet. This outrages our inner Kevin Bacon.”

So Flotard and her friends are throwing a “FootLaos” or “Cut Loose for Laos” party at 8 p.m. Tuesday (Dec. 1) at Sole Repair (behind Quinn’s) on Capitol Hill. (Sole Repair’s Grace Hoffman is donating the space.) Admission $10 (which buys the concrete to pave the classroom floor).

Donating live performances are DJs Mc Queen Lucky, KEXP 90.3 FM’s Darek Mazzone and Colby B. Jody Hall and Cupcake Royale, whose products seem to be everywhere these days, are providing cupcakes. Tom Douglas Restaurants is serving snacks, and Hendricks Gin is offering Laotian-themed cocktails.

Flotard and her entourage will hand-deliver the concrete mix, books and soccer balls during their December trip.

Read my recent interview with Flotard here.

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