Bandcamp has decided to continue its promotion of Bandcamp Friday through the rest of 2020. If you aren’t aware, on the first Friday of every month, Bandcamp agrees to forego their collection of revenue for digital sales (not including subscriptions). In general, this means an extra 15% goes to artists or labels on these days. If the Bandcamp model already piques your interest, this is a fun day to interact with the model & share direct support with some musical artists. These were, here are a few things I have checked out this month that I would recommend for listening today or on a future Bandcamp Friday.
Open Mike Eagle – “Anime, Trauma and Divorce” ~ Fans of Open Mike Eagle eagerly awaited this release, despite its challenging source material. And, to be honest, addressing emotional pains with anime references & indie rap sweetened the deal for some fans. OME has never shied away from confronting trauma, whether with humor or bluntly or some mix of the two. COVID-19 lockdown brought Quarantine Drive Time Radio for fans & supporters, as Mike and Video Dave did daily mixes / DJ sets / whathaveyou. And there was insight into how hard the past few years have been for Mike and his circle, well before the global pandemic set in. Maybe albums like this are ways to acknowledge our losses, pains, failures & trauma and grow forward. We’ll see.
Martha – “Blisters In The Pit Of My Heart” ~ My friend sara had put a Martha song on a mix CD for me a while back & it’s so catchy that I quickly learned to sing along. I finally caught up with rest of the songs on this album, and I really enjoy the observations and insecurities captured in the lyrics coupled with the bubbling enthusiasm of the music. I saw Martha play one time at Off Broadway in Saint Louis, and this has become an enjoyable album that will get a lot of repeat listens from me.
Alice Bag – “Queen’s Quilt” ~ I recently read a Razorcake interview with Alice Bag & really got interested in the stories she is telling with her music. Some of her songs are more general anthems for social situations that many people face, but this track gets very personal. According to the Bandcamp page, “This recording is from 1991, it’s from an old cassette demo. The band was called Goddess 13.” It’s a tribute to a time of life that wasn’t easy, but there were obvious things to celebrate. This memory of her parents dumpster-diving for cloth to make a living and to make something of value to honor their child is a tender one that even aging punks can appreciate.
Sa-Roc – “The Sharecropper’s Daughter” ~ Sa-Roc has put out a few strong releases over time and has really honed her craft to tell the stories on this album. Unrelenting flow and defiance against a world that threatens a beat down, she crafts hooks that serve as food for the journey for anyone who has endured the financial and cultural exploitation that she outlines. Grabbing from various mythologies and literature, she crafts lyrics of the Black diaspora continuing to rise in Atlanta and beyond.
That wraps up my mentions for October 2020. Stay safe & share some love for musicians!