For 24 hours, beginning at 12:01am Pacific Time on Friday Feb 3 (that's tonight), the popular online music discovery platform Bandcamp will be donating 100% of its proceeds from track and album sales to the ACLU. The company's founder and CEO Ethan Diamond said the action is in direct response to last week’s executive order preventing immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States. According to the site, over 150 artists and labels (including NW heroes Sub Pop, Kill Rock Stars, and Barsuk) have agreed to join the campaign.
Diamond's statement begins:
Like 98% of U.S. citizens (including the President), I am the descendant of immigrants—my great-grandparents came to America from Russia and Lithuania as teenagers and worked in sweatshops until they were able to afford to bring the rest of their families over. Most everyone you speak to in this country has a similar story to tell, because we are, in fact, a nation of immigrants, bound together by a shared belief in justice, equality, and the freedom to pursue a better life.
They’ve even created a list of artists from the seven Muslim-banned countries to check out and support, which includes a number of musicians ranging from metal, folk and pop from Sudan, Iraq and Iran, among others.
It's worth reading the whole thing.
Now that you've deleted your Uber and Lyft apps, here's a small but powerful (and positive) way to let the power of the purse do a bit of political advocacy.
If you're not sure what to buy, here are a few more general recommendations from Stranger staffers:
The Fabulous Downey Brothers, Turf EP
People tend to have two questions about this hugely daring Seattle band/ pop art happening. The first is “What the fuck is even happening right now?” The second is: “Okay, yeah, but are the songs good?” This EP reveals that the deeply silly, honorably weird aesthetic that drives the amazing performances reaches back through at least a couple of generations of electro, pop, and dance music, landing like a lawn dart in the backyard of late-period Devo. That is a yes.
Campana, Eviction Notice LP
Masterful hiphop in the key of harrowing life-crisis from one of the most talented young writer/performers Seattle has produced in a long time.
Knife Pleats, Hat Bark Beach LP
The latest (at least as of 2015) project from Rose Melberg (formerly of the Softies, Tiger Trap, and Gaze) is brisk and vital, and every inch as good as anything she’s ever done.
Nail Polish, Abrupt EP
Totally vital, noisy punk rock (1979 style) from post-prosperity, antediluvian Seattle.
Industrial Revelation, Liberation & The Kingdom of Nri LP
Because time now moves at double the normal rate, it’s easy to have spaced the fact that just over a year ago, the preposterously virtuosic Seattle jazz-soul power quartet (and 2014 Stranger Genius winners), released this DOUBLE ALBUM that both demands and rewards deep, repeated listens. You can find it on other devices, but you should buy it on Bandcamp.
Sundae Crush, “Chatroom Messages (Demo)”
I love hearing talented, promising bands find their feet, and I almost always love hearing the demo. Bandcamp is the ideal resource for this kind of lo-fi indie pop group.
(blouseusa)—the solo project of Lesbian/Fungal Abyss drummer Benjamin Thomas-Kennedy, who also heads Shitty Person—unveils the experimental-electronic, cosmic-synth, and avant-pop inclinations that he can’t express in his other bands. Chips is an idiosyncratic masterpiece.
Stuart McLeod, Tetraktys
Tetraktys consists of four tracks of minimalist mesmerism and gentle metallic percussion that will enchant fans of Terry Riley, Steve Reich, and Gamelan Pacifica.
Jeff Brown, Mantle
Seattle musician Jeff Brown (aka Spacement) finesses deep, tranquil drones to get you into the zone—you know, that state where the world’s shittiness recedes into the distance and your mind slow-dissolves into amniotic bliss.
Your City Sleeps, Crystal Palace
The most ominous work to date by Seattle electronic-music composer Your City Sleeps (aka Miles Kazemian), Crystal Palace is, says the artist, a “concept album, aimed at giving the listener an intense, dark and ethereal experience… set in the midst of a nuclear holocaust. Filled with apocalyptic rage…” This is not hyperbole, and this music’s more relevant than ever under President Bannon.
Three Legged Race, Rope Commercial Vol. 3
Three Legged Race is Louisville, Kentucky visual artist/musician Robert Beatty, who’s gaining fame for his album art for Tame Impala, Flaming Lips, and others. His intricate, heady synth minimalism creeps and gurgles somewhere between musique concrète and the most arcane end of the IDM spectrum.
Pinegrove’s 2016 debut album Cardinal hits all your sweet spots, is sentimental without being too wishy-washy, and also makes for great driving music. And now these earnest folk-rockers are from New Jersey are offering their entire catalogue up for 'pay what you want' and donating the proceeds to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Double whammy!
Barsuk Records, Sad! A Barsuk Records Compilation for the ACLU
Local label Barsuk Records made this comp last week featuring previously unreleased tracks by Barsuk artists, covering other Barsuk artists! Dave Bazan covers The Long Winters, Maps & Atlases covers Ra Ra Riot, Nada Surf covers John Vanderslice, and more. It’s only available on Bandcamp and 100% of proceeds go to the ACLU.
Synth pop, chiptunes, blips and bleeps, and an array of dizzying electronic sounds collide with ethereal, voluptuous vocals that have been compared to the likes of Kate Bush. Also, if you LOVE the wild and weird short-run wonders of label Orange Milk, you can get their entire catalog of 80 albums right now for only $215. That's a nice boost for those ACLU lawyers fighting on the front lines of resistance!
Shellachead, Hear Your Favourite Artists: ShellacHead Annual 2016
Label ShellacHead, which specializes in digging up vinyl gems from across the Asian continent and more, released their 2016 year-end compilation of 78 rpm records from around the world in December. Not only will the comp transport you to another place (and time), it includes songs from Yemen and Iran, two countries affected by Trump’s Muslim ban.
Smut, Conveniently Broken
At least for me, nothing helps the hurt more than some good ol’ fashioned messy lo-fi, riot grrrl-inspired punk recorded in a bedroom or basement instead of a studio. It’s my safe place!