That’s a Wrap: Music Crowdfunding is Toast

toastIt’s been a great run, but the time has come to close down the Radio Crowdfund shop. I simply can’t find decent music on Kickstarter or Indiegogo any longer and PledgeMusic is a thinly veiled old school record label doing a great job of administering album pre-sales and laying off the development costs on the bands and artists they carefully select to participate. And I can’t find any good music there, either.

Bottom line is that I feel like I’ve witnessed the rise and fall of music crowdfunding over the last 18 months. It used to be easy to find great new artists and their music on Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But the heady days of Amanda Palmer ($1.2m in 2012) are a distant memory and the vast majority of music campaigns on the big three platforms these days are pathetic, unrealistic, and for the most part unsuccessful. Don’t get me started on the countless artists who have never followed through on what they promise to their backers or themselves. They raise thousands of dollars and then… nada.

The music crowdfunding campaigns that do get traction are either religious-themed or, more often than not, have raised plenty of money but have only a few backers — some don’t even hit the Kickstarter minimum of 10 required to display them. The math never works out to anything but a few wealthy contributors (thanks, Mom and Uncle Joe!) and zero track record. I have nothing against religious types and it’s great when family can chip in, but the music related to these campaigns? 100% Grade Z awful. And I double dog dare you to disprove that statement.

Kickstarter, June 2014: "Join us on our journey to create a GREAT Indiegogo campaign"

Kickstarter, June 2014: “Join us on our journey to create a GREAT Indiegogo campaign” by The Carbines

With the precious few projects that have more than 25 backers (and believe me, I’ve lowered that number every month), my critical ear comes into play and again, I find the music frightening. These artists or bands are superb at networking and have clearly channeled their inner street preacher, but damn, can they not hold, play, or record a listenable tune.

Back in June, I saw this campaign and the gears began to slow: a faux duo named The Carbines crowdfunding on Kickstarter to create “a GREAT Indiegogo campaign.”

bandrumAnd when Kickstarter (“Projects must be honest…”) let this one into the mix last week, Kurt Quinn’s very funny “Bandrum” campaign to raise $28, I knew it was time to call it a day. Like this project, the major crowdfunding platforms have become a music industry joke.

OK! Over and out. Thanks for the memories. I hope you have enjoyed the music I’ve surfaced from the bands I discovered before it all went to hell. See you in the funny papers…

peace

Dead Air, Bike Thief, Flannel Graph

new-profile#77. Zero, zip, nada. Nothing worth reviewing this week — over 700 campaigns on Kickstarter, a few hundred more on Indiegogo. All shyte.

So… this post contains two great songs by bands previously reviewed here who have crowdfunded their latest music, both efforts released in the last month. Let’s see what happens next week.

First, let’s check out campaign updates, see who’s made it and who needs it.
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NOT QUITE YET
> HARE AND THE HOUNDS: $2480 of $2500, 1 day. Who’s got a twenty?
> MARIE DANIELLE:  $2200 of $2500, 9 days. Very close.

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CROWDFUNDED CREATIONS

BIKE THIEF (Portland, OR)
ALBUM: Stuck in A Dream
TRACK: “Kiss the Light”
SELF-DESCRIPTION: “Our live sound has been described as having elements of Arcade Fire, Built to Spill and The Fleet Foxes, all in one.”

lineFLANNEL GRAPH (Kalispell, MT)
EP: Ribs of Adam
TRACK: “Your Best Mistake”
SELF DESCRIPTION: (About first EP, Five Foot Three) “The songs are an intimate and folky expedition through various characters and Smith’s own eyes as a young female lacking in height but not in heart.”

Wrap. Thanks for listening in and be sure to follow me on Twitter @radiocrowdfund for updates, kick-worthy campaigns, and great new music discoveries between now and next Thursday night.

Marie Danielle, Here Comes the Reign Again

new-profile#76. It was nip and tuck until literally a few hours ago. Over 700 campaigns on Kickstarter and nothing was coming even close. And don’t get me started on Crowdfunded Creations that have yet to be freakin’ created, after many months and many thousands of $$$.

But… I finally found a very fresh flower (sorry for the Fs) — only two songs on Soundcloud to her credit. And I’ve got Here Comes the Reign! Indie bands cover ’80s British classics? You don’t want to miss this.

Let’s check out campaign updates, see who’s made it and who needs it.line

IN THE MONEY
> JAMES HARRIS MOORE: $4090 of $4K, 2 days. And he’s moving back to Nashville!
> SUMMER UNDERGROUND: Done with $7340 for new sounds.
> REINA DEL CID: Finito with $23,705$17,438.
> COLONIES: $6162 of $6K, 2 days. Way to go!

NOT QUITE YET
> HARE AND THE HOUNDS: $1890 of $2500, 8 days. Good Atlanta tunes.
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CROWDFUNDED CREATIONS

HERE COMES THE REIGN AGAIN (Portland, OR)
reign2-wpI don’t know this guy Andrew Curry or how he’s got the pull to get rights cleared and great artists to participate, but I do love the cut of his jib, or bib, or whatever.

This is Curry’s second awesome covers compilation album. The first was 2013’s Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock, featuring such gems as “Baby Come Back” by American pop dude Bleu and “The Things We Do For Love” by Swedish pop dude David Myhr. It’s like Yacht Rock on steroids in the 21st century. Link below.

Curry crowdfunded this new tribute effort to the tune of just under $15K and it hits the streets next week. I’ll just quote Bandcamp here: “Today’s best indie pop artists pay tribute to the classic British bands of the 1980s.” And he means BEST. Every song you remember most and some of the top indie dogs around.

My pal Freedy Johnston is on there (“Promises, Promises”), as is another old bud, Cliff Hillis — met him 20 years ago at The Dogfish Head (yup, ground zero of the microbrew powerhouse) in Rehoboth Beach, DE, when I walked in to the dulcet tones of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” and knew I had to meet the perpetrator. Cliff kills it covering Nik Kershaw’s MTV green screen classic “Wouldn’t it Be Good”.

Clearly, I got it bad for this collection.

Also among the 27 furry faithful: Mike Doughty (“Relax”!), Rachel Yamagata (“Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”), Eric Barao (“Tainted Love”), and Ken Stringfellow (“Digging Your Scene”), plus Candy Butcher and Oscar nominee Mike Viola (remember “That Thing You Do”?) doing this version of “Everybody Wants to Change the World”… Listen and love.


Here Comes the Reign Again on Bandcamp
Drink a Toast to Innocence: A Tribute to Lite Rock on Bandcamp

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NEW MUSIC IN THE MAKING

MARIE DANIELLE (Los Angeles, CA)
$2035 pledged of a $2500 goal / 16 days to go
marie-wpOK, I got nothin on this young woman except what’s on her Kickstarter campaign page and that ain’t much. She apparently saw recently that Simone Felice (The Felice Brothers) was soliciting demo tapes from unsigned artists to record in Woodstock. She sent a tape in with two songs. He called. She’s about $500 short of her traveling costs.

These very well-produced — and very beautiful — demo tracks hint at what she just might be capable of with the help of a Felice brother in a suitably tricked out studio.

So I say listen, kick, and keep an ear our for big things from this singer songwriter. Here is “One of My Kind” — one more where that came from, link below. Also below, her Facebook page with a grand total of 98 likes. YouTube? 5 subscribers and 147 total views for 3 songs. Very much my kind of under-the-radar.

UPDATE: And we’re back? Soundcloud had some issues. May still choke a bit.

Marie Danielle on Kickstarter
Marie Danielle on SoundCloud
Marie Danielle Music on Facebook

Wrap. Thanks for listening in and be sure to follow me on Twitter @radiocrowdfund for updates, kick-worthy campaigns, and great new music discoveries between now and next Thursday night.