The Grammys have come and gone and what a pleasant surprise it was to see talent prevail. Adele won for all of her six nominations and Foo Fighters took home a few trophies as well. The best mainstream rock band out today actually won a few awards for “best” something. While music is primarily dominated by youth, it’s great to see a band with a median age of 43 take home some awards. As for Adele, it shouldn’t be such a surprise for her to have sold over 17 million copies of 21, yet it is a shock in this age of rampant piracy. It just goes to show if you give the world a talented person who’s worth spending your money on, they’ll do it.
But let’s talk about the people who aren’t in that Grammy theater, and probably never will be. Despite all the bitching about how difficult it is for musicians to make a living playing their own music, some artists have taken their career into their own hands and allowed pieces of it to be held in the hands of their fans as well.
Ginger Wildheart (one of my heroes) launched a campaign with PledgeMusic a few months back, allowing fans to essentially preorder his next release by offering varying versions of an ambitious triple album project, with 90% all purchases being used to finance the recording of said album (10% is being donated to the charity Save the Children). Fans rallied behind his call and the goal was reached within six hours of the pledge’s launch. It has been more than six months since the pledges began pouring in and the project has been completely recorded and is well over 500% of its goal.
Rock band Vertical Horizon have also begun a pledge campaign, offering a wide array of creative options to help them finance their next album. You can hire the band to play at your event, eat dinner with them, have a Q&A via Skype, or simply buy a plain old CD. They have already hit 120% of their goal.
And they say no one pays for music anymore.
In a world of skepticism, it’s easy to doubt the success of working outside the corporate machine of your choice. However, when you get creative about it, you can change the game for yourself. Yes, there is life outside of the mainstream, where creators can directly reach out to their supporters and keep a sense of community among them. Hey, look around at this site.
See any ads?
Hear any sponsors on our shows?
Nope. It’s good to be free.
I highly recommend you head over to Ginger’s PledgeMusic page and Vertical Horizon’s PledgeMusic page and get involved. You can be part of the process instead of standing on the outside looking in. Your money is well spent when you support true artists, rather those countless style over substance pop stars.
UPDATE – 02-21-12: Ginger’s project has reached 555% of its target goal and many versions of the album have been deleted as of today. However, you can click here for details on the remaining items which are still being offered in the campaign. Congratulations on this phenomenal achievement, Ginger!
UPDATE – 12-20-12: 555% is now available for digital purchase on Ginger Wildheart’s Bandcamp page, along with other solo albums, several live albums (gems for sure), and even a free 10 song compilation.