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On Friday, March 20, music site Bandcamp waived its revenue share for all sales through its website. When Bandcamp announced that it would take this step, COVID-19 had only begun to upend the music industry’s fragile economic ecosystem–the first wave of Chicago concert cancellations, for instance, had arrived in mid-March. Bandcamp’s gesture was hardly enough to make everyone solvent, but it did help many independent artists and labels who use its services–not least because the surrounding surge of publicity encouraged fans to target that Friday with their purchases. Bandcamp rang up $4.3 million in sales for digital music and physical merchandise, 15 times its ordinary Friday numbers.
This past Monday, Bandcamp announced that it would waive its take again on Friday, May 1–as well as on the first Fridays in June and July. Because live music has come to a halt, the Reader has converted its usual weekly collection of concert previews into a bunch of reviews of new records, and lots of those records are available on Bandcamp. If you want to support independent artists and labels on Friday and don’t already have a shopping list too long to get through, then this batch of Reader-recommended Bandcamp releases might help. Album names below link to the accompanying Reader reviews, and each review includes a Bandcamp embed that will take you to the page for the release:
Blacks’ Myths, Blacks’ Myths II
Gerald Cleaver, Signs
DJ Hank, Traffic Control
Drama, Dance Without Me
Facs, Void Moments
Feminazgul, No Dawn for Men
Friend/Enemy, HIH NO/ON
(Sandy) Alex G, House of Sugar
Helen Money, Atomic
Human Impact, Human Impact
Igorrr, Spirituality and Distortion
Irreversible Entanglements, Who Sent You?
Jackie Lynn, Jacqueline
Like Rats, Death Monolith
Lord Dying, Mysterium Tremendum
Midnight, Rebirth by Blasphemy
Bill Nace, Both
Ono, Red Summer
Oranssi Pazuzu, Mestarin Kynsi
Orkesta Mendoza, Curandero
Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Viscerals
Lido Pimienta, Miss Colombia
Charles Rumback with Jim Baker and John Tate, June Holiday
RXM Reality, Blood Blood Blood Blood
Sharkula, BBQ Fingaprints
Stuck, Change Is Bad
Various artists, Machine
Various artists, Whispers: Lounge Originals
V.V. Lightbody, Make a Shrine or Burn It
Waxahatchee, Saint Cloud
Wrekmeister Harmonies, We Love to Look at the Carnage v
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