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Deerhunter: Redemption song 

Band throws benefit for local public school

Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox is a child at heart. He boldly explains that everything he does as an artist is based on resolving issues from his own adolescence. "I relate to the innocence of children," Cox says. "I'm still stuck in that period mentally." So it's apropos that Deerhunter headlines a benefit concert at the Earl to build a playground for Burgess-Peterson Academy public elementary school in East Atlanta. During recent construction work the school's playground was demolished, and all the funds for rebuilding were consumed by construction costs. The school was awarded a Home Depot grant for $5,000 with the stipulation that Burgess-Peterson raise $15,000 by Aug. 31 and recruit 100 volunteers for a community build. Through various fundraising efforts Burgess-Peterson has raised nearly $9,500 on its own, but Deerhunter's benefit show is the highest-profiled event of all of the school's efforts.

Cox's affinity for exploring youthful innocence was recently misconstrued as perversion when PitchforkMedia.com reported that he posted explicit photos of "possibly underage" boys on the band's blog (deerhuntertheband.blogspot.com). But Pitchfork's allegations are based purely on speculation. "I stand by the fact that what I posted has nothing to do with children," Cox says. "Pitchfork's response is indicative of a greater conservative ideology that permeates American culture, even its supposed subcultures. Not to mention their lack of humor and ability to discern a joke from a psychotic, self-indulgent fantasy. Also not to mention their inability to gauge ages of models in photographs that are not even sexually explicit. They were all in their 20s."

Participating in a benefit such as this in the wake of such potentially damaging attention does save some face. But for Cox, playing a fundraiser such as this is a tangible extension of coming to terms with his own inner child while making life better for a whole lot of other kids as well.

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