The Rise of Bandcamp

Hard to believe that Bandcamp has only been around since 2008. That’s when I launched Noisecreep for AOL Music.

In this episode of All Songs Considered, CEO and co-founder Ethan Diamond says that when an artist succeeds on Bandcamp, Bandcamp succeeds. That philosophy has driven the company since 2008, with over $425 million paid directly to musicians and record labels. 

The 2010s: The Rise Of Bandcamp on NPR

If you haven’t seen, I help run a project called Metal Bandcamp Gift Club, and was interviewed by Bandcamp.

Relaunch of Metal Bandcamp Giftclub

I had fun putting MetalBandcampgiftclub back together again. I had been tasked by one of the helpers of the thing to take over the Twitter posing over the summer, and I totally dropped the ball.

What the heck is MetalBandcampgiftclub? Well, back in 2016 some friends of mine were having a rough time, and instead of wallowing, they decided to gift some wishlist items to friends on Bandcamp. Positive motion, you know? We were all interviewed for it in Bandcamp back then about the whole thing.

And I happen to know on good authority that the whole thing generated tens of thousands of dollar in revenue.

I’m relaunching it via an email list (you can sign up here) because not everyone is on Twitter these days. And, I really didn’t want to grow this again by expanding into Facebook and Instagram. My thinking; if you have a Bandcamp wishlist, you have an email address.

Now whenever there is a birthday (or a few birthdays), I will send out an email with links to those wishlists, and a recommendation or two.

The site was built using WordPress.com. New logo images from Vecteezy. For the emails I’m trying out Revue instead of Mailchimp since I wanted to play with something new (try it for yourself using my referral link).

What’s Your Concert History?

How many of these types of things have we all been a part of on social media, and then forgotten about them three days later? These posts disappear into the river of social noise, never to be seen again. Let’s see if this link still works in 2021.

First concert: Spin Doctors, with Cracker, I believe. It was awhile ago, being that I’m 43 now. I remember seeing The Cranberries way back, too.

Last: I saw August Burns Red in Philadelphia, PA.

Next: Conjurer maybe in Philadelphia in October, maybe.

Best: Into Another in 94 or 95 at SeaSeas, in Moosic, PA. This was soon after the release of Seamless, one of the best albums a lot of people have never heard.

Or maybe Daughters w/ Coalesce in 1997 in New York City. It was my first time ever seeing Daughters – heck, I never heard of them! But I was hooked.

Worst: “No comment.” Given the nature of what I do as my day job, I’m not about to disparage any artist publicly like that!

Seen most: I have no clue, really. I’ve been going to shows and playing in bands since I was a teenager, so that’s a few decades worth of bands.

Have yet to see: Guns N Roses, and I’m 100% okay with actually not seeing them, honestly.

MUSIC MONDAYS: KNOWER

I mean, not only is the song catchy as hell, all the players are amazingly talented, and the video has to be re-watched multiple times just to catch the little easter eggs that placed throughout.

All that adds up to why (at time of publishing this) it has 2.7 million views.

MUSIC MONDAYS: Benny Sings, ‘Not Enough’

I am such a sucker for surreal visuals mixed with dreamy melodies, so this gem from Benny Sings has stuck with me.

New album ‘City Pop’ due out (Feb. 22), seventh (?) since 2003, and if this song is any indicator it seems like it’ll be a chill, laid back dreamscape, the perfect soundtrack to usher in the end of Winter, eh?

The song is available on Bandcamp, along with the album for pre-order.

Happy 15th Birthday to Probot!

Today is the 15th birthday of Probot’s lone album, released way back in 2004 on Southern Lord. A fantastic album made by (mostly) Dave Grohl with an even more fantastic line up of guests ranging from Max Cavalera of Sepultura / Soulfly, Lemmy of Motörhead, King Diamond and so many more.

My three favorite songs are (of course) ‘Shake Your Blood,’ which features the mighty Lemmy on vocals and bass, and my goodness the video with those sexy… WHITE BOOTS.

Grohl tells the story of Lemmy coming to the studio to record the song:

“Lemmy walked in, said hello. He said, who wants a drink? And we went upstairs, and mixed a few Jack and Cokes. It was noon, 12:30pm. By 3 o’clock I was fucking shit-faced, and he was ready to record.”

Dave Grohl talking about recording the song with Lemmy (YouTube).

Next I’d have to say “My Tortured Soul,” featuring Eric Wagner of Trouble on vocals. This was the first song to ever be performed live on MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, which seems so crazy given all the artists that stopped by the studio over all those years.

Dave Grohl said he was asked to write some music for Ozzy, and this was one of the two songs he sent over. He never heard back, so it ended up here on the album. Turns out Zakk Wylde (Ozzy’s guitarist at the time) wasn’t too pleased.

“If I ever run into Dave Grohl, I’m gonna kick his fuckin’ ass, because I think he sucks, and he wrote this cheese-dick song for OZZY that I have to fuckin’ play on, and I’ll never forgive him for that.”

Zakk Wylde to Guitar World in 2001 (Blabbermouth)

Finally, my favorite track is the hidden track, featuring Jack Black on vocals. Maybe the least-metal vocalist on this album, but he did win a Grammy for “Best Metal Performance” back in 2015 with Tenacious D, and their cover of Dio’s ‘The Last in Line.’

Either way, I love it this album, even as it turns 15 years old – practically old enough to drive!

MUSIC MONDAY: Frodus, ‘Soundlab 1’

I forget how this release came about, but I remember geeking out that Liam Wilson (of Dillinger Escape Plan) played on it, so that made it extra special to me. And having met that absolute firecracker that is Jason Hamacher a few years prior in NYC made this all the more special.

Honestly my knowledge of Frodus didn’t go back too far, but after scouring their earlier work, yeah, this matches up quite wonderfully.

MUSIC MONDAY: Structure of Love II feat. Chino Moreno by VOWWS

I fell hard for VOWWS‘ 2018 album ‘Under the World,’ all from an Apple Music algorithm that put their song ‘One or the Other’ into my ears, and it became my favorite album of the entire year.

Then they remake their song ‘Burn’ with Kristina Esfandiari, one of my favorite vocalists in recent years.

And now they have a remix of ‘Structure of Love’ with freaking Deftones vocalist Chino Moreno. Like, what?

MUSIC MONDAY: Deerful

Sweet melodies and lo-fi beeps and boops get me every time, so I’m stoked I came across Emma Winston via the Uses This website.

If you’ve been keeping up lately, you know I’m getting back into music writing a bit, so of course I’ve been trying to learn how other people are making music.

 I write about 90% of my music on a Teenage Engineering OP-1, which is a kind of synthesiser/sampler/sequencer/miniature-four-track-workstation hybrid with its own teeny-tiny elf-sized speaker and a 16-hour battery life. It’s made by some awesome nerds in Sweden, and I lived on baked beans for a month so I could buy it and I don’t regret having done so for even one second. It’s amazing, and addictive, and limited, and powerful, and inspiring, and it goes everywhere with me.

Enna Winston at Uses This