We love free music, I mean, who doesn’t, really? But, to me at least, when a band gives away their music for free it is proof positive that this is where their heart is. With nothing gained monetarily (sometimes even operating at a total loss), these musicians are pouring their blood, sweat, and tears into their art for no purpose other than to share with people. Some call it generosity, some call it defeat, some call it brilliant marketing; call it what you will - but giving your music away for free is a great way to get exposure for your band, increase live show attendance, and ironically enough, sell records. Ask the boys from Das Racist. The internet is the world’s record label, and everyone is already signed (for better for worse). I, personally, find this inspiring, and just because an album is free doesn’t mean the talent is discounted.
My friend Gabriel Slavitt released his first solo album for free last summer shortly after I arrived here in Kansas City. Missouri Love Call quickly became the soundtrack to my transition to life in the Midwest. Almost a year later Gabe has made this next album, Alfalfa, available for free online as well. Recorded in Philadelphia, Slavitt employs the help of a cast of friends to produce a fuller sound, less haunted by the ghosts of loneliness but never sacrificing any of it’s soul.
During our Kickstarter campaign I was strengthened by the moral support of the Chicago based band Unicycle Loves You. I had recognized the name, floating about in the indie ether, but remember it distinctly from the Middle of the Map Festival poster that used to hang in the R Bar foyer. Turns out they’re friends of a friend, and on top of that really swell people. ULY just finished their amazing new album Failure and are offering it for free this week only via their Bandcamp webpage. If you have a single brain in your head, you’ll snag it while you can.
I’ve been friends with Jason Nesmith and his lovely wife Kay Stanton for years and love them with all my heart. Before he founded the Casper & the Cookies, Jason was playing all the parts himself. How’s Your Hand was a valiant solo effort, and in his defense Jason made a stronger and more honest and heartfelt pop album than most contemporary bands can muster with the support and budget of a major label. His musical prowess has only distilled with age, but those early songs stand the test of time, so it was pretty exciting when Jason put up a live performance with his first take on the Cookies back in 1999 featuring a bunch of songs from How’s Your Hand. The album is available on a sliding scale, I guess technically it’s not free per se, but it could be! You could also throw in a few dollars. Your call!
Guess I’m tardy to the party - this album came out back in 2010, but I hadn’t heard about it until I started following Pink Nasty on twitter. Mold The Gold was a thing of beauty and brilliance, and the follow up Self Titled album is no deviation from this path. If you take a peak at her webpage you’ll find a whole slew of free music. Regretfully she doesn’t know we exist, so if anyone wants to, ya know, tell her about this great new vinyl label, you can get at her here.
I have an awesome opportunity to make art for you, and to help one of my friend’s dreams come true. My friend Fred is running a Kickstarter campaign to start his new all vinyl record label.
“Think of each of our releases as a ticket to a private art show with a soundtrack. It’s more than just music; it’s a veritable mobile gatefold gallery. Our projects transcend traditional vinyl releases, offering a rare treasure for those who value handmade craftsmanship and analog music. We are working with amazing musicians to re-establish a sense of worth for music in the digital age.”
So to help Future Oak Records and Fred, I am offering my own incentives for you.
For 15 dollars, I will do a drawing of your favorite record sleeve/album cover. And you will get a high resolution digital download of the full color drawing.
For 25 dollars, I will send you the digital download of the art and mail you an archival print with a few bonus sketches from me.
You will of course get all of the incentives he is offering as well as my special bonus for my followers. (just make sure you say @heywhitney sent you with how much you give)
If you can’t donate please please reblog!
Thank you for your consideration! I can’t wait to make art for you.
Just got the cover for the Future Oak comic book from Mr. E.S. Glenn today. If this doesn’t get you excited about supporting out ongoing Kickstarter, then I’m not sure you’d get it anyways. We’re well over halfway through and at about 35% of our goal. Now would be the perfect time to share our project with your friends!
Gabriel Slavitt - White Lady White Baby
Oh, I always called’em like I seen’em, and I can’t regret the life I chose.
I’ve left so many friends behind me that I’ll just talk to myself I suppose.
Well it don’t seem to easy to get there on your own when you’re in love with everyone you know..
but you don’t got to take them with you when you go.
Our first week is over; I have to say I was completely unprepared for the bi-polar experience of monitoring a fundraiser. Who knew you could experience such heavenly bliss followed by subsequent waves of despair all by repeatedly pressing the refresh button?
First and foremost, I have to say that I’m so incredibly honored & grateful that so many wonderful people believe in what we’re doing here enough to give what you’ve given so far. It is so humbling to have the support of people I respect and admire, and moreso to have it from people I’ve never met. There are so many people I want to thank, and I will in time, but we still have so much left to do.
If we were playing a game of averages, we would have to raise about $2,200 a week in order to meet our goal. In our first week we raised $1,900, which is really amazing. We’re pretty much on task, give or take, but it’s these next two weeks that are going to keep us alive. Most of a Kickstarter project’s funding occurs at the beginning and at the end. I would love to avoid sinking into a stagnant period by extending our reach outside of our current circles.
This is where we could truly use your assistance - I know you’ve all given so much already, but without your persistent and tasteful encouragement we will never close the gap on our final funding goal. I am begging you to post the link to our Kickstarter project on your Facebook, or share it directly with like-minded friends. Tweet about us, reblog our posts on Tumblr, or just write a quick blurb on your blog. Email someone you know, or write the web address on a scrap of paper and give it to someone over lunch. Even if you have no money to give, and trust me, I understand, you can still be a huge help by getting the word out.
With your help we are hoping to more than double our current funding and supporters over the course of this week. Let’s get rowdy and get the word out there.
Got these back from KT today, they look so so good.
Today we were in the studio with Katie Ford, who is graciously taking time away from preparing for an installation at Kansas City’s Front Space Gallery this July to screen print some informative postcards which are to be left at local businesses here to raise awareness of our ongoing KICKSTARTER campaign.
Though it was a relatively simple 2-layer print, I’m really pleased as pie at how striking they turned out. We’re going to be running a promotion with Sent & Received in which you can get one of these beauties sent to you in the mail with a personal note of gratitude for anyone who donates based on their referral. Best of all is these will get sent out as soon as we get your donation (and address), so you wont have to wait until July to get yours. Stay tuned for that offer, we will let you know when it goes live.
After five agonizing days of waiting, our Kickstarter campaign has been approved, and, subsequently, launched. That means that right now, right this very moment, we are live and soliciting donations. I’m officially asking you for money.
For being a part of the founding of Future Oak Records, we’re offering you really tantalizing backer-only incentives. Things you can only get here, on the ground floor, for being such sweet supporters of someone else’s dream. We love you for it.
We also love Gabriel Slavitt and Jude Roberts, two of the most impressive young folk singers who are both lending their voices and words to an extremely limited 7” record only available to Kickstarter supporters.
We love Brady Vest over at Hammerpress who is willing to donate his time and expertise to offer our supporters a letter-pressed art print designed exclusively for the people who believe in us. Again, this is the only chance you’ll have to obtain this piece of art.
We love E.S. Glenn, the founder of ZAT Comics who has agreed to illustrate a comic inspired by the foundation of Future Oak Records. Glenn, who is based out of Cleveland, Ohio, is a throwback to the raunchy Underground Comix of the late 60’s. His comic will find it’s way into your hands in either PDF or Print form depending on how much you donate.
We love Katie Ford for managing our Facebook presence (thank you!) and for being our resident screen printing ace. When you’re wearing your Future Oak T-Shirt, you can thank Katie for lending her talent and artistic eye to the cause. Keep in mind that these T-Shirts will be available only through the Kickstarter campaign!
It should also be said how much I love & am grateful for Ms. Sarah “Righty” Stites for directing our hysterical + historical Kickstarter video and Mr. Adam Meyers for lending his talent to our video, and lending his head to that absurd wig. I’m sure you’re all anxious to receive a signed photo of his handsome face for your own personal use.
I’m sure by now you don’t need to be told this, but Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing gamble. If we don’t raise the $8,800 we need to pull off our first LP run, we get nothing and our high-hope crash into the ground in a fiery mess. And I know you don’t wan’t that for us, so please - PLEASE - give what you can, and do us a huge favor by passing the link along to your friends and kin on the facebook or the twitter or whatever social media outlet you prefer. Stay tuned here at the Future Oak Blog to stay on top of our goings-ons.
In case you were curious about the un-linked Kickstarter logo on the frontpage (as well as several vacant buttons), I’d like to clear up that we finally submitted our project to Kickstarter for final review last night! With any luck we’ll have a green light early this week, and we’ll begin our adventure in crowd-sourcing.
In anticipation for the upcoming release, I thought it might be fun to give you early adopters a sneak peak at our project video. This is the first cut with a couple extra minutes of Ben Franklin’s musings on The Fineness of Things; you can expect a slightly streamlined cut on the actual project page, but the spirit remains the same. Anyways, keep your wallets and pocketbooks at the ready.