Brewerytown Beats | photo by Ben Wong for WXPN | brotherlylost.com
Philadelphia On Bandcamp: Your Fee-Free Friday guide to shopping local
If ever there was a way to spend a bunch of money on Bandcamp, today is that day.
The music streaming and download service has, for the second time since the Coronavirus outbreak, brought back its fee-free Friday as a means of directly supporting artists and record labels who have been hit hard by the loss of income during the pandemic. With bans on large gatherings of people across the country and a subsequent shutdown of the live music industry, many musicians are cut off from their biggest revenue stream, leaving online merch sales as the way for them to make money from their music. While Bandcamp typically takes a 15% revenue share of digital music sales, and a 10% share of merch sales, today — and for the first Friday of June and July as well — it is waiving those fees, putting 100% of money spent on the site between now and midnight PST directly into the hands of artists.
So what can you do? Very simply: buy music from your favorite bands and labels. And in the interest of supporting our local community, we’ve put together this shopper’s guide focusing on Philadelphia artists on Bandcamp.
First things first, simply peruse the Philadelphia tag on Bandcamp. There’s so much incredible music available from your Philadelphia-area friends and neighbors worth your consideration.
Next, take a listen back to my two-hour edition of the XPN Local Show from this past Tuesday night. Every single one of the songs I played is available to purchase on Bandcamp, and you can find the links to do so in the playlist below.
The Tisburys – “Portraits” [buy here]
Riverby – “The Tell-Tale Heart” [buy here]
Luke Ellingson – “Hospital Bed” [buy here]
Madison McFerrin – “Try” [buy here]
Madalean Gauze – “American War” [buy here]
SLOMO SAPIENS – “Cabin Fever Dreams” [buy here]
Catbite – “Scratch Me Up” [buy here]
Dell-P – “Good Jawn” [buy here]
orion sun – “Coffee For Dinner” [buy here]
Reef The Lost Cauze – “This Is Us” [buy here]
Eliza Edens – “Long Drive” [buy here]
Ross Bellenoit – “For Friends” [buy here]
Brother Starling – “Stronger” [buy here]
Emily Drinker – “Starting To Feel” [buy here]
Koof – “Prologue To A Dream” [buy here]
Andrew Lipke – “Penny” [buy here]
Laser Background – “Cerulean 20%” [buy here]
Kilamanzego – “Jungle Frequency” [buy here]
Yoshisun – “The Hook” [buy here]
Moor X Jewelry – “Look Alive” [buy here]
Control Top – “One Good Day” [buy here]
Rosali – “I Wanna Know (Hamilton Calhoun Remix)” [buy here]
Ivy Sole – “How High” [buy here]
Rachel Andie & The Fifth Element – “Waves” [buy here]
Sea Offs – “Will (You)” [buy here]
lowercase roses – “Borrowing Cars” [buy here]
Tombo Crush – “Absence” [buy here]
Dominic Angelella – “Holy Volunteer” [buy here]
Gladie – “A Pace Far Different” [buy here]
C. Hundreds – “Under The Blankets, Steeping the Day’s Leaves Into Tea” [buy here]
Next, let’s highlight two groups of artists who are taking things a step further with massive charitable undertakings. The Don’t Stop Nowseries organized by Augusta Koch of Gladie and Cayetana, Mimi Gallagher of Eight and Cave People, and Anika Pyle of Katie Ellen and Chumped, collects 44 songs from a range of voices in the DIY scene like Harmony Woods, Thin Lips, Big Nothing and more. Money goes to Movimiento Cosecha and their fundraiser for undocumented and immigrant workers in the USA who are unprotected by state or federal assistance during COVID-19.
And the Fuel The Fightcompilation we reported on earlier this week is out today, collecting 61 songs that range from Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen to a live recording of the late Bootsie Barnes, plus music from Queen of Jeans, Kuf Knotz, Chelsea Sue Allen, comp organizer Madalean Gauze, and more. Fuel The Fight is raising money for the local nonprofit of the same name, which is providing free meals for healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of COVID-19.
Bandcamp has kindly compiled a thorough list of artists and labels offering exclusive merch today, as well as artists and labels who are donating some or all of their sales to various charities. The whole rundown is worth pursuing, but some Philly-centric items of note include:
Psychedelic guitarist Chris Forsyth is donating all proceeds from the fourth volume Solar Live, a 24-minute “Techno Top,” to the musicians who played with him on the recording.
Comedy Minus One, the New Jersey-based indie label run by WPRB’s Jon Solomon, is offering a variety of exclusive Name Your Price digital albums — a previously unreleased Silkworm live recording; a six-song EP from OUT to benefit Loaves and Fishes; a two-song digital single from Oxford Collapse, with all proceeds donated to NYC Health + Hospitals COVID-19 Relief Efforts; and eight acoustic demos from The Rutabega, with proceeds donated to the Trenton Area Food Kitchen.
A couple other charitable releases of note:
Co-Mission: An Artist Relief Compilation, Vol. 1 features beautiful quarantine recordings by Birdie Busch, Caithlin DeMarrais of Rainer Maria, Jason Anderson, Johanna Warren, Jackson Pines and more. These recordings were commissioned by the good folks at Folkadelphia, and sales from this album will fund the recordings being commissioned for Co-Mission Vol. 2, expected later this spring.
Cayetana’s Not What We Meant By New Kind Of Normal collects demos and unreleased songs from the beloved Philly power trio’s 2011 to 2019 run, with proceeds going to buying custom made respirator masks for visiting nurses and healthcare workers in Philly fighting COVID-19 on the front lines. The project has already made enough sales that the band was able to purchase two orders of 100 masks for nurses in Philly, and they’ll continue to buy more as more money is raised.
A few recent tracks and albums by Philly artists that we’ve loved here at The Key (and haven’t yet shouted out in this shopper’s guide) include:
“Around You,” the nervy and rhythmic debut single by darkwave duo Lovelorn (aka Pat and Anna Troxell, formerly of Creepoid).
Hidden Beach: The Best of Annie Mok, a compendium of songs from the lo-fi Philly indie pop artist’s various projects including See-Through Girls, The Knight Dreams, and her duet series with Petal’s Kiley Lotz. The project comes with a beautifully illustrated companion zine called Pop Life that reflects on Prince, Jon Solomon’s 25-hour Christmas Marathon, and everything in between.
John Morrison of The Key and WXPN’s Culture Cypher Radio recently released Spares, a short but super engaging set of flips, some from around the time of his recent remixtape Memorabilia, some much older.
DJ Haram‘s great new Adult Swim Singles Series cut “Great Divide” is now available on Bandcamp. While you’re there, pick up her previous releases like last year’s Grace.
Garage rockers Scantron recently dropped a one-off single called “The Information” about the sensory overload of news media and social media. (Consuming digital music media is perfectly acceptable, though.)
Maxwell Stern of Signals Midwest is releasing a very Wilco / Weakerthans style solo album this summer via Lauren Records. The single “Water Tower” is splendid, and out now.
Rid Of Me is a raw and raucous hard rock trio featuring folks from Low Dose, one of our fave Philly bands of 2019. They were ready to release a new tape and go on tour with the incredible Soul Glo this spring, and with the industry shutting down due to Coronavirus, that didn’t happen.
Speaking of Soul Glo, the local punk label they’re on, SRA Records, has a huge catalog of music from other regional artists like Solarized and F.O.D. And since we can’t embed their entire catalog here, we’ll just point you to some highlights from the aforementioned bands and implore you to explore the entire thing.
And finally, even if these are not new releases, do not overlook terrific 2019 and 2018 records from Mannequin Pussy, Queen of Jeans, Harmony Woods, Kahlil Ali, Swim Camp, Crossed Keys, and Great Time.
And of course, any kind of shopping guide is going to be woefully incomplete, and I fully acknowledge that I’ve left so many amazing Philadelphians out of this one. So look at it more as a starting point — hit up that Philadelphia tag and explore local musicians on Bandcamp and happy shopping spree, all!