June 4, 2013
Like most people in the world, I’m a sucker for a pretty gal. Put that pretty gal in front of a piano and have her play some minor chords and I’m even more smitten so naturally, Les RAV is right up my alley.
While the Austin band only has one track up on Bandcamp currently, that one song was enough to pique my interest in the group. Looking into who Les RAV is and what they’re about made me even more anxious to hear more from the group, fronted by rainbow pixie Lauren Bruno.
Part DIY gypsy folk, part creepy chamber pop, Les RAV sort of sounds like Joanna Newsom fronting Beirut and currently the band has taken to crowdsourcing to help fund their debut. While I’m normally not a fan of crowdsourcing to fund artistic endeavors, I couldn’t help but be touched by the band’s story. In Bruno’s words:
“I’ve been suffering from a painful stomach disease called Ulcerative Colitis since I was 11 yrs old. Between being in and out of the hospital, having my income go toward medical bills and having to quit my job to get well, it has made it near impossible for this album to come to fruition. I’ve received so much support from the local community and fans around the world and that has given me the hope and strength that together we can make this album happen.”
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July 30, 2012
Back in the early days of Bandcamp discoveries, I happened upon this Oregon husband-and-wife duo called The Woodlands, who made the kind of music I could fall in love to. Their self-titled debut album warmed my heart with a lingering glow that shines still today.
This is why I am so excited to announce that the husband in the Woodlands’ equation, Samuel Robertson, is now ready to release his own project into the wild. Of course, production costs money, so he could use a little help. And, just to give you an idea of what you’d be paying for, he’s offering the first song from his Quiet Arrows debut for free download in advance!
If you like what you hear, head on over to the Quiet Arrows Kickstarter page to learn more about the project and donor rewards. The campaign is open until Aug. 18.
Quiet Arrows Kickstarter page: kck.st/NBDBT6
Quiet Arrows Bandcamp page: quietarrows.bandcamp.com/
June 27, 2012
Just like Nathan Amundson’s music, this post doesn’t require many words to get its point across. For many years, he’s recorded and performed music under the name Rivulets; likewise, for many years filmmaker Adam Barnick has dreamed of adding his visual touch to Amundson’s songs. It’s a long and expensive process, and Barnick now hopes fans can help make his dream a reality.
Visit the Indiegogo campaign page to learn more about this effort, and see what rewards are offered for donating. The campaign needs to raise $6,350 by July 30.
May 31, 2012
I have something extremely important to tell you and I greatly hope you will listen because there isn’t much time!
New York band Hurrah! A Bolt of Light! has to raise $10,000 by June 16 to release a brand new full-length album that is going to rock off your ever-loving socks. Hurrah!’s 2011 album “Hello!” made it onto my list of the Top 20 Albums of 2011, and you can read all about why it’s so great right here in my review at Radio Free Chicago. If that’s not enough to convince you how amazing this ensemble is, they were named New York City’s No. 1 emerging indie rock band in The Deli Magazine and their single “Devil On My Shoulder” was listed among the top 40 songs of 2010 by Brooklyn Vegan. So don’t just take my word for it, take every music savvy New Yorker’s word for it as well, because this band is a major hitmaker waiting to happen. (And did I mention lead singer/guitarist Wil Farr has the same birthday as I do? He’s one year younger, but still. Awesome is awesome at any age.)
You may be one of those people who has to see to believe, so see for yourself just how WONDERFUL these guys are. This song always blows my skull wide open.
So when you give some money to these guys, you’re basically ensuring that more of this kind of stuff is going to exist in the world. And that is almost certainly worth at least ten of those dollars sitting around in your bank, possibly reserved for a coffee drink or a sandwich or something. Believe me. With Hurrah!’s music, you won’t even need that coffee. If you help out their Kickstarter campaign, you won’t just be making them very happy, but you’ll be making me very happy. Gosh. You know what? You’ll also be making yourself very happy, because by backing this campaign, you’re saying you like their music, and it will result in more of that, which is exactly why you’re doing this in the first place!
Go here to give them money and reap your rewards: Hurrah! Is Recording A New Album!
May 9, 2012
Before I begin talking about Ann Arbor trio Match By Match’s new fundraising campaign, I’d like to talk about why I like to support and share these types of endeavors.
It’s really fairly simple: Music is my life, and when I find something I like, I want to do what I can to make sure it can continue. Not only that, but I hope that others have the opportunity to know all the awesomeness that is available to them if they haven’t already discovered it themselves. The sweet deal with things like Kickstarter and Indiegogo is that when you pledge money to what they hope to achieve, you’re getting something in return. A successful campaign results in this band getting to create something new, and contributors get rewards. It’s really not very much different than pre-ordering an album from a band you love. You don’t necessarily know what it will sound like, but you’re banking on the possibility you’ll enjoy it, based on what you already know about them. And depending on how much you give, you get a lot of fun extras as a very special thank you for helping put the project in motion.
I’ve even contributed to projects by musicians I’d never heard before. I’ll look them up, listen to what they’ve done already, and, if I like it, sign up on their campaign fund for a digital release or whatever else they’ve got going on. And it’s other people telling me about these campaigns that gives me the opportunity to experience these musicians I otherwise would not have known about. Through these fundraising efforts, fans have the control over whether or not they happen, and if there’s enough demand that they succeed, then everybody wins.
As a duo, Match By Match funded their 2011 album, American Crowbar, through (what they describe in their new Indiegogo campaign as) “rhymes with ‘Flickstarter'” — nice job keeping it clean, guys. If I had to come up with a rhyme, I would have probably leaned more toward something like “Dickfarter.” But that’s just me, and probably implies I don’t like Kickstarter, when in fact I love Kickstarter. — Not only did their campaign succeed, but they went on to translate the album to a staged musical in Ann Arbor that was highly reviewed.
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March 22, 2012
One day last month, I was flipping through channels looking for something to settle on while crocheting on the couch. The next thing I remember was absentmindedly stopping on a station when I saw Cee Lo Green petting a furry, white kitty cat. As I went about my crocheting, I left it on and it took me several minutes before I turned my attention to the television to take notice of what I was watching. It was “The Voice,” a show which I’d heard of but never seen. It didn’t take long before I became swept up in the ridiculous banter between pop stars (that’s code for “Christina Aguilera’s sweater puppies”) and found myself invested in some of the people singing on stage. That is the story of how I inadvertently became a fan of “The Voice.”
This was during a phase in the show called the “Blind Auditions,” where the four judges select singers to be on their teams based only on the sound of their voice, with their chairs turned toward the audience instead of the performers. There were a lot of singers I liked, and a lot that I didn’t. Most of the ones I didn’t like, the judges seemed to not like either, which was pretty cool. Some stood out more than others, such as Jamie Lono, a sweet blonde sandwich-maker from Chicago who put his own little spin on Johnny Cash’s classic “Folsom Prison Blues.”
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