Nothing compares to the one-liners my husband rolls over and speaks to me first thing in the morning as I rub the sleep out of my eyes. Sometimes it’s about world or family news, other times it’s an announcement that he’s going to go for a run. This past week it was, quite matter-of-factly: “Bandcamp is waiving its cut of sales to support artists on May 1st.” He pulled off the covers and stretched before walking out of the room.
Bandcamp is Waiving Its Cut of Sales to Support Artists on May 1st
Last month, Bandcamp helped out artists and labels affected by coronavirus lockdowns by waiving its revenue share on all purchases for a 24-hour period. It went extremely well, as fans purchased a total of 800,000 items to the tune of $4.3 million USD. In fact, it went so well that the platform is doing it again.
For the last two months John‘s been the happiest when he finds new music. Whether it’s a long lost album from an old favourite, or a single from a newly-discovered musician. He’s a college radio DJ at heart (and was one, for many years in Iowa back in the early 2000s) and part of our courting ritual 15 years ago involved him emailing me mp3s to listen to.
He’s always supported independent music and some of my fondest memories are going to concerts and interviewing our favourite bands for his podcast (RIP RadioZoom 2004-2009). The first website I created in 1997 was a tribute to my favourite band at the time however any iota of music journalism skills I acquired over the years are directly attributed to his guidance in those situations.
I would never have stood in the greenroom of Richards on Richards in 2006, asking Jim Ward of Sparta about where he goes for sushi when he’s in town. I would have never had the courage to meet Matt Layzell of The Matinée at Roxy Burger for a pint and to discuss their new album in 2008. I wouldn’t have been able to interview half a dozen finalists for the Peak Performance Project in 2012, or to drive to the Tractor Tavern in Seattle to interview The Suffers before they hit it big and played The Late Show with David Letterman 3 months later.
During COVID-19 isolation, we’ve been tuning into our favourite artists’ live streams — and thanks to The Matinée‘s Matt Rose for having me on his Instagram live today. We spent last Friday night playing Scrabble, drinking bourbon, and watching Local H perform live on YouTube. There’s a little glimpse into our life as a married couple.
To say music is a big part of our relationship (and careers) is an understatement. To that end, I know when he woke me with those words earlier this week, he wanted me to write about Bandcamp. He does that. He drops hints on topics I should cover and when I have my wits about me, I heed his advice.
John’s Top 5 Artists to Support on Bandcamp May 1st
In my dear husband’s honour, I present to you his current top 5 artists to support on Bandcamp on May 1st:
- The Beths
The new album from this indie pop band from New Zealand is Jump Rope Gazers and Future Hates Me is probably my favourite album of 2018. Every track is awesome.
- Nada Surf
Never Not Together was released in February, 2020. I remember seeing them at the Commodore in 2008. Seeing any band you love play the Commodore is always such a lovely experience.
- The Cloud Room
We featured their single Hey Now Now on the podcast in 2005 and then they lost recordings for their next album in an apartment fire in 2006. In 2007 when they recovered, they sent us a copy of Please Don’t Almost Kill Me in a burnt jewel case that was salvaged. Zither is their latest album from 2012 which John just found on Bandcamp.
2008’s Secrets are Sinister is an official “must play on a road trip” artist. In 2019, after an extended hiatus, they released If We Ever Live Forever and the studio album Endsongs in 2020.
- The Evaporators
Vancouver’s own, featuring Nardwuar himself. Scoop up 2016’s Ogopogo Punk catchy singles like Starboard and Chuckanut.
More artists he’s supported lately include: Black Mountain, Pilot to Gunner, Idles, Sparta, The Matinée,
As John says: “The best part about buying your music from Bandcamp is that even if an album is $9, you can add whatever payment you like to support the artist anyway. Notch it up to $20 or more.” You can also purchase artist merchandise. On the last live stream we watched from The Beths, they also said the best way to support them right now is through Bandcamp. So, there you go!
On May 1st, head over to Bandcamp, look up your faves and browse some new tracks to support musicians both locally and globally. It’ll make them, and me, pretty happy.