A partial transcript of Episode 16 of THE ART MOVEMENT. To listen to the full radio show, CLICK HERE.
Music artists have been hit pretty badly by the pandemic. As the online editor of JAZZIZ Magazine, I get emails about news of concert, tour and festival cancelations on a daily basis. And that’s really the bread and butter for most of these bands. Because I know that people have misconceptions of what the life of a musician is like — a lot of boozing, partying, sex, drugs and rock and roll.
But actually, the life of a touring musician is one of the hardest lives you can have. It’s not for everyone, it’s really tiring, physically daunting and the financial returns from it tend to be pretty miserable.
Aside from that, record sales have been obsolete for decades now but have become the bread and butter for musicians during these difficult times. So, what I have been doing is, I have been suggesting to people — if they can — to buy albums of the artists from their local scene or artists who don’t have the type of following that mainstream, sponsored bands have.
And another thing that I have been suggesting is that if they do buy records, that they don’t buy them off Amazon, unless it really is the only way to get said album because that too is a possibility. Amazon tends to exploit the artists by keeping so much of the money off sales for themselves and the reason why artists can’t snub them is because they are too big to snub — that’s the truth. It’s out of desperation.
But generally speaking, the best way to buy records — well, there are two ways. One, is to buy them directly off the artist’s website. And the second is to go on Bandcamp and see if the album is available there.
Bandcamp has been really awesome during this pandemic. For those unfamiliar, they are a radically decentralized online record store and they take a much lower cut off record revenues. In addition, throughout this entire pandemic, they have waived fees on several days — particularly on Friday. They have done it so many times that I have actually been unable to keep track of it!
Or, if you don’t want to buy the album, buy merch. Get yourself a t-shirt of your favorite band that nobody knows about, of a coffee mug or a key chain or whatever. Many of these independent artists actually make more money from selling merchandise than by selling records. It’s just an easy way to continue to support the arts in this time of need and to just thank your favorite band for being there when you needed them during a difficult time in YOUR life.