On Why I'm Thankful for the Internet

Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I've begun to reflect on the things that I'm really, truly thankful for - and as I sat down to write this post, I realized how truly thankful I am for the music community that  the internet has fostered and allowed to grow and shrink simultaneously. I've found so many bands through blogs, forums, social media, and a few incredibly innovative websites that continue to blow me away on a daily basis. So I want to use today's post to introduce you to some of those resources, and the community that's so important to me.  

Bandcamp

First - a giant, gleeful shout-out to Bandcamp. For those unfamiliar, Bandcamp is a tool that allows artists to sell their music directly to their fans, in a simple, straightforward manner. The artist receives the majority of the money (At least 80%) and can name their prices, etc. Additionally, you can listen to entire albums before buying. As more and more artists embrace this medium, I hope more and more people buy their music here, as opposed to funneling money into iTunes, money Apple certainly doesn't need. Also, as of today, Bandcamp is beta testing a social component to their site, in which users can share things they've bought, interact with artists and other fans, and discover phenomenal music. You have to check this site out. Below, here are links to a few awesome songs I found in about ten minutes of exploring the new functions, all of which are phenomenal.

 

[bandcamp track=1039584313 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

[bandcamp track=3809657895 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

[bandcamp track=1693462345 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=4285BB size=venti]

 

Also, feel free to check out my beta profile over there, and see what I'm buying/collecting. Here's the link: http://bandcamp.com/musicmeansfamily

 

Daytrotter

Daytrotter is the brainchild of Sean Moeller, who lives over in Rock Island, IL. If you haven't checked out this site yet, you need to. Daytrotter features daily live sessions from tons of artists, both established and new, with awesome mini write-ups and illustrations, and all of the recordings are fabulous. A $24 yearly membership gives you access to all of the downloads you can fit on your computer, and it's one of the best gifts I've given myself in a while. Additionally, you can download their app to your phone and listen to new sessions all day long, which is pretty great for work/transit/etc.

Here's a link to their phenomenal session from late last year with The Lumineers. Listen, check it out, and then get a membership. You really won't regret it. Daytrotter - Lumineers

 

The Blogosphere

There are so many wonderful independent music blogs around right now, that are infinitely more valuable than the garden variety Stereogum/Pitchfork crap - and you should be reading them. Here's a few I love.

 

Songs For The Day - This blog, run by my friend Adam, highlights a new song or two or seven everyday that you should check out. His recommendations are generally perfect. And he's a pretty cool dude.

Folk Hive - Another small blog, this one from Missouri. Sam(antha) who writes it, is a wonderful writer with great taste in music. Please pay her site a visit.

Fuel/Friends - This is the blog that got me into blogging. Heather is a beautiful writer, and her interaction with, and support of, the music community is really sweet. Every so often she posts an amazing chapel session, recorded near her home in Colorado, and you can download them for free. Today she posted this gem from Hey Marseilles. Watch the video below, then check out her blog and download the session (and all of the other sessions too).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tSeYWQ1CwA&w=640&h=360]

 

Check out all of these awesome things. Enjoy your turkey tomorrow. Enjoy friends & family. I probably won't pust again until Saturday, so if you do shop on Friday, my only request is that you do your best to shop local. Visit cool stores in your neighborhood. Participate in Record Store Day. Get some really cool limited release records from The Lumineers, The White Stripes, and tons more. Most importantly, don't stress. Love you all!

Thank You Note

After responding to a twitter cry for help from The Bowerbirds, last night my friend Ben and I found ourselves in the awesome position of getting to do a favor for The Bowerbirds, a band I've loved for about 4 years now. We volunteered to take care of their absolutely adorable dogs, Olive and Spice,  during the duration of their time at SPACE in Evanston. In doing this, we got to spend some time with Beth, Phil, Yan, and Leah, the aforementioned adorable dogs, and Chicago native Rebecca Rego, as well as the North Carolina band Prypyat. I can't begin to say enough about the immeasurable warmth, kindness, and talent of all of these people. They were gracious, welcoming, and so thankful to us for doing them a favor that we were more than happy to do. Also worth mentioning is how wonderful the backstage area of SPACE is, how well they seem to take care of touring artists who come through, and how excellent the food is there. Not to mention the incredible decor, sound, and service within the venue itself.

The show itself was absolutely breathtaking, from Prypyat's first song, all the way to the last note of the Bowerbirds' encore. If you find yourself near a Bowerbirds show in the near future (whenever their next tour may be) you should take it upon yourself to make sure you're there.

All in all, last night was a reminder of how powerful kindness, community, art, and the willpower of good people really can be. Watch this clip below, and seriously, go buy one of their records. They are incredible, beautiful people - and their music is perfect for these coming winter months.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLFf1ZVivNY&w=640&h=360]