Monday, September 01, 2014

Celebrate Labor Day and spend $1 on the labor of local musicians today.

Photo used courtesy of Shorpy Photo Archive.

On Facebook the other day, I read a post by a local musician I like lamenting that only a few people had paid to download his most recent recording. He said it was hard to muster the enthusiasm and expense to release new music when it is met with seeming indifference from its intended audience. The comments on the article ranged from helpfully good-intentioned to hilariously sarcastic, but they all boiled down to two things musicians need to sell music: exposure and an audience willing to give them money to listen to their music.

To those points I issue this challenge to everyone who reads this: Spend $1 to download a song from a local, independent musician. I have a list below of more than 125 active and former bands from Arkansas. If you live somewhere else, chances are there that many or more bands in your state that are in the same boat. Even if you don’t follow your local music scene, there’s probably that one guy at work who’s always inviting you out to come see his band play. Look them up on Bandcamp or CD Baby or iTunes, listen to their music and spend $1 to download your favorite song.

Just as importantly, share this post. Challenge your friends to support their favorite local musician. Share your own favorite band or list of bands. Let’s promote the idea that local bands are just as deserving of our patronage as the big national acts signed to major labels or big indies.

I’m sharing this big list today. But I’m going to highlight a track by at least one “dollar-worthy” band a week at Bookmark that page, add it to your favorites or you RSS feed, like it on Facebook, and let a local musician know that what they do is worthwhile.

Ashtray Babyhead
Rodney Block & The Real Music Lovers
Brother Andy & His Big Damn Mouth
Stephen Neeper & The Wild Hearts