Bandcamp is just about the only music-business platform that’s not designed to syphon money directly away from the musicians and into coffers of the tech biz looters.
As Pitchfork reported yesterday, artists make significantly more money from music purchased on Bandcamp than they do from notoriously stingy music sites like Spotify and Apple Music. And today, those musicians will rake in even more, as Bandcamp is waiving its already relatively minor cut from the proceeds. That means 100 percent of what you spend on Bandcamp today goes directly to the artist and/or label responsible for it.
Some artists and labels are taking advantage of this opportunity and passing their Bandcamp income to worthy causes. Locally, that includes Astronautalis, Dichotomy, District 160, Doomtree, Forged Artifacts, Fragile Canyons, Gully Boys, Heiruspecs, Har Mar Superstar (including affiliated projects Heart Bones and Sean Na Na), Timbre Ghost, and the Trappestines. (Click through the links to see where they’re donating.) After a week where key members of the local music community stepped up and committed themselves to the protests and various mutual aid efforts, it’s great to see that energy continuing online.
And most significantly, Bandcamp’s deal means that today you can directly provide financial support to your favorite local Black musicians. If you’re looking for a place to start, here are some of the artists whose music City Pages has been loving over the past couple years: booboo, Lady Midnight, Muja Messiah, Nur-D, Psalm One, Dua Saleh, and Velvet Negroni. (Especially booboo, who celebrated a birthday yesterday and is saving up for an electric bass. People, let’s get them that bass.) Need more ideas? There’s also this spreadsheet of black artists, producers, and labels floating around. And you can tag “Minnesota” here on Bandcamp and see where that takes you.
The summer is just getting started, and there’s a lot of work for us all today. You’re gonna need a soundtrack. Might as well do some good while you're putting it together.