On August 6, the Auricle is hosting a benefit for Brian Hudson. Hudson was involved in a car accident in June, and he suffered injuries including a severed spine and a broken back. The 27 year old was in the intensive care unit for three weeks before he was able to eat and breathe on his own. He will never walk again, but the money that is made from this show will help with recovery down the road. Mr. Gnome is headlining the benefit along with minimalist folk rocker Jaybird Goody and folkies duo Zen and Jane. The benefit is being put together by friends and family of Hudson. Mr. Gnome started as a side project that turned into how two people from Cleveland make their living. In 2005, Nicole Barille and Sam Meister started the band mr. Gnome when Barille had been writing songs and Meister began backing her on the drums. At the time, they were in another group together that was based around Meister’s songs. “We didn’t really play out or anything,” Barille said. “We were just a basement band.” Life and “real jobs” split that group up, and since then it has been all about this duo. Fast-forward to 2007 and you get Barille and Meister throwing their belongings into storage and going on a six-month surfing trip — couch surfing that is. “We had a bunch of friends that were moving out west,” Barille said. “We just kind of went out west for half a year.” Those friends, along with family, gave them a place to sleep, and in turn, mr. Gnome produced it’s first full-length album, “Deliver This Creature.” “I think [that trip] kind of shaped the music to sound the way it did for that first record,” Barille said. Barille and Meister have always toured across the country, so you may only have a chance or two to catch them in Ohio before they are off in another state. Barille said they usually tour about three times a year, so you can probably look out for another tour at the end of this year or the beginning of next. During the past stint of shows, mr. Gnome played in Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, with one stop at Skully’s in Columbus and one at Beachland Tavern in Cleveland. Mr. Gnome’s lyrics are mostly delivered on a whisper from Barille, as if she’s telling some haunting secret that sounds scarier when it is said out loud. Her control of her upper register backed by heavy guitar and drums gives all the mr. Gnome songs a sort of darker chilling sound. The hint of something frightening is even more pronounced during Barille’s massive explosions of emotion like there’s nothing left to do but scream. The two-piece band’s sounds are unique, so comparisons are no help, but the feelings that manifest in the songs are what listeners will know well. It wouldn’t be surprising to hear any one of mr. Gnome’s songs on the soundtrack of a horror movie, and it would probably be the best song in the flick. It would begin right before the killer came and crescendo into the murder scene, only to fade back into a morbid little lullaby. “When we’re creating [a song], we could be in much happier moods than people perceive it,” Barille said. “Everything kind of creeps into it.” Mr. Gnome’s song also has flashes of older styles like rockabilly, giving the music a well-rounded feel. Every piece of that makes up mr. Gnome is so powerful you can’t tell it’s just two people. But none of the pieces overpowers any other piece. Mr. Gnome has created a perfect blend of hauntingly good music. A recent music video the band wrote and directed proves the two have an affinity to the dark, as well as the ability to create much more than just music. The video for mr. Gnome’s “Vampires” is a 10 minute-long short film based around a children’s television show, but the video is not for children with the neck biting, blood-sprayed guitars and massive amounts of cocaine. At the end of the video, Barille and Meister look like Carrie after the infamous pig’s blood scene. The video was selected for the Cleveland International Film Festival and the Detroit Windsor Film Festival, which goes to show how well made this video is. “Sam was doing a lot of video work before we started mr. Gnome,” Barille said. “It was kind of a weird idea that we had.” Meister directs and edits all of the mr. Gnome videos. For mr. Gnome faithful (and those who will surely be converted after a listen), there’s good news: mr. Gnome will be releasing a new album in October. The group recorded last September, and they’re putting the final touches on the CD for the fall release. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see mr. Gnome, the benefit show at the Auricle (601 Cleveland Avenue Northwest, Canton, OH 44702 (330) 353-8694) on Saturday, August 6, is the perfect chance to catch the duo in action, but make sure to bring your security blanket because you’re sure to get the chills. The cost of the concert is $8 in advance and $10 at the door, and all proceeds from the concert will go into a trust fund to help pay for Hudson’s medical bills.