Boo hoo, broke bands, quit asking for charity

Stop trying to get me to fund your fucking album with a Kickstarter campaign. Same goes for getting your merch produced, your motel rooms paid for, and your bar tab settled. It makes you and your bandmates come across as a bunch of shameless and entitled pricks. You don’t see me aggressively asking people to pony up for my summer-long, cross-country cocaine and drunken slut–boning binge. So why is it okay when musicians do this?

Crowdsourcing is a great way to support brilliant new ideas and, occasionally, cause the Kony 2012 guy to jerk off in public. But we’ve reached the point where we have bands begging for money so they can get the hell out of their shithole towns in the Maritimes and summer in Vancouver (I’m looking at you, Paper Lions), or hire a publicist to get them more pixels of coverage on the blogs (take a step forward, Brasstronaut). Notions like suffering for your art and putting your money where your mouth is have been replaced by sickeningly safe-and-easy websites that allow you to turn your band into a charitable cause in five minutes. Yeah, releasing a kick-ass gatefold vinyl with holograms and gold-leaf lettering is a totally awesome idea, but it’s not exactly Live Aid.

Instead of panhandling online, here’s a novel idea: crowdsource a little business acumen and produce something people actually want to give you money for. At least the homeless guy on the corner has the decency to make a funny sign and do 50 one-armed pushups if I toss him a few shekels. What are you offering, some MP3s and a shout-out on Twitter? Christ, if your album’s any good I’ll be able to cop it for free off the Pirate Bay.

“Oh, but I’m a musician and making a living is tough.” Boo-fucking-hoo. Try writing for a living, asshole. Regardless of whether you want to get paid to play music or call musicians insufferable cunts, there are literally dozens of hacks lined up behind you who’ll gladly do it for free because they love it. (Depressingly, some of them even find a way to get paid.) If you don’t like it, stop chasing rock stardom and go push paper in an office. You’ll be forgotten quickly and someone else will take your place. Also, your tattoos will make you the “eccentric one” at whatever accounting firm hires you to be the Mick Jagger of coffee fetching and photocopying.

You want a handout? Release some halfway decent music you recorded in your apartment and give it away for free. I’ll come check you out and pay the $10 cover. (I’m speaking as a metaphorical everyman here. I don’t actually pay cover, ever.) Alternatively, get someone who’s really good at filling out forms to play an inconsequential instrument in your band, like the triangle or the bass guitar. While you’re rehearsing, put that fucker to work on grant applications from bloated arts organizations that help destitute, independent musicians like Metric and Arcade Fire pay the catering budgets on their music videos. To quote Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross, “Money’s out there. You pick it up, it’s yours. You don’t, I got no sympathy for you.”

I work hard for every cent I make. (Metaphorical everyman again. I do as little work as possible.) So don’t spam me with your tales of artistic woe. What you’re asking for isn’t patronage. It’s a public guilt trip that perverts the DIY ethos and shows a tremendous lack of respect to your friends and fans. “Oh, you gotta support, man.” No, I don’t. And anyone who utters that line to you deserves a punch in the face. Besides, I’ve got enough problems of my own, like figuring out how I’m going to realize my dream of getting high, then nailing a harlot in every province and territory of this great country of ours. Every donation, no matter how small, is deeply appreciated.

Comments (429) Add New Comment
Buzzfucker
"get a job you lazy punk" entitled person
14
11
Rating: +3
NikaG
Shitty article man! I agree that 'desperation' isn't appealing, but if people want to support a project they believe in, they will be more than happy to!

Also - hoping that you know that You would be just as much of a - what's that lovely word? - SLUT - as the "Sluts", in your example of 'slut boning'. Holy misogynistic, I wouldn't call that subtle at all. It's called EVOLUTION, I suggest you get on that train.

I think you must've gotten this job through a friend, because it seems like that is the ONLY reason they'd hire you, through your VanShitty connections. You don't seem 'cool', by the way, for writing this - you just seem like an ignorant, bored person from Vancouver who needs something to whine about.




13
15
Rating: -2
penis, you're a penis
the real irony here is that you, mike mann, are probably an unpaid intern churning out this web filler bullshit. one of these chuckleheads that put real writers out of business because you're willing to do it for a pat on the ass and a lollipop. fuck you. you don't support bands when you go see them, you don't take pride in your work, you steal from artists online... you are part of the problem. you're the reason these supposed hacks have to ask friends and strangers for help to produce an album, or pay for merch, or fund a tour. fuck you. hopefully the straight fires your ass, you're not even worth unpaid web only columns with all the negative feedback you're bound draw. why don't you go push paper somewhere else, so we can forget you.
12
10
Rating: +2
Bassist
Hey Mikey. I'm a bassist. Ever seen a video by Victor Wooten, Flea, or the countless other talented bassists out there? You should practice yoga my friend, you seem a bit stressed.

And as for the KONY comment. I'd be careful pointing out public breakdowns like the sheep you are. Cause you sound like you're heading for the same breakdown as Jason Russell.

At least musicians have dignity. If you ever promoted your own show, busked, fuck, even picked up an instrument, you should know the level of attention, sacrifice, and resources it takes just to survive.

Have some chamomile tea. It'll help the stress. Fucker
10
9
Rating: +1
Mike Maxwell
It's funny how this writer won't cough up the $ to support a band he likes, but feels that FACTOR should do so. I guess there's no shortage of other people's money to be spent.

I think he inadvertently summed up the economic situation for artists everywhere: "if your album’s any good I’ll be able to cop it for free off the Pirate Bay".

Of course, we're all (OK, almost all) to blame. Most of us won't pay for anything that can be got for free. And that is why at this rate, we will never see another Beatles or Nirvana... you know, those artists that rise to the upper echelons of awesome and define a generation.

Talk about entitlement. How is it that we are entitled to free art that is actually worthwhile? It's a contradiction in terms.

The bottom line is you only get what you pay for. If you pay nothing, you will receive nothing of value in return. This writer and others who feel art should be free, deserve exactly that.
9
10
Rating: -1
ecd
fucker
10
12
Rating: -2
lolwut?
Have you ever considered that some bands/musicians aren't old enough to make a living yet? They are trying to make a living from making music. I feel like this is a disgrace to Canadian culture.
10
8
Rating: +2
T Burnz
Shame on you for publishing this hatefull diatribe Gorgia Straight. Free speach is everyone's right and he has the right to his opinion but as a progressive Arts and Entertainment weekly you guys really missed the boat hiring this guy. He obviously hates music and likes to encourage his readers to punch others in the face and steal from hard working musicians rather than supporting artists. I live with a musician who paid $20,000 of her own money to produce her Album my brother is a proffesional musician who tours constantly to support his 3 kids. You just spat in their faces and all of those trying to make it in this very difficult business during extremly trying times. Shame on you Mr. Mann and the Georgia Staright. FIRE this idiotic person. Oh and he's a shitty writer too.
11
9
Rating: +2
...>.<
Those boys in the picture you have there are CLEARLY well dressed, well mannered individuals who come from relatively wealthy families. It is so called "cool" to break away from the family and use daddy's "college funds" to pay for your high end equipment. Unfortunately, these dumbfucks are not capable of writing decent tunes to feed themselves.

If you want someone to fund your record, tshirt production, start from your own pocket. Work part time /full time to pay them.

Although this article is full of shit, "musicians" these days are highly pretentious pricks from wealthy families. Geez.
10
14
Rating: -4
lizmcoo
your anger elicited anger in me. at you.
how is your argument justified at all?
13
12
Rating: +1
distance
Sorry dude but you've got these guys wrong. They DO work for a living and are not the types to travel the country getting drunk everywhere, hooking up with sluts. If you don't want to donate, shut the fuck up and move on with your life. People love their music and since they can't afford to make another album, people want to pay so they can hear more. Jesus christ, somr people just love to complain.
12
13
Rating: -1
Reality
If people weren't supporting bands then you wouldn't have anything to write about. It's all relative. I hope every band and music industry professional that sees this article remembers your name and refuses to put your name on the guestlist. Enjoy the show from the sidewalk, asshole.
11
13
Rating: -2
Bob Woolsey
Wow. This is so profoundly negative that I couldn't imagine how horrible your own failed creative attempts must hurt you. This is, of course, the only reason I could think of for you needing to lash out so aggressively at people who are just trying to make some music.

I dare you to write something positive. Seriously. Try it.
10
8
Rating: +2
Olivia King
I cannot believe this piece of crap writing! "Paper Lions" have always been a great band, from their "Chucky Danger" days, till now. I've met many of the band members, and they are fabulous people who were cheated and jipped, and now are looking for a helping hand. They aren't FORCING you to give them money, but they deserve it! I bought their music way back, and about a year ago bought Trophies at a show. Money well spent! I've listen to that EP hundreds of times. So before you get your panties in a knot, actually meet the guys, they are fucking brilliant.
9
10
Rating: -1
wow.
thing is, Paper Lions are actually really decent, and therefore your argument is invalid.
14
8
Rating: +6
KCLA
I never ever comment on things but I feel like it's my duty, as a musician, to stand up for every artist everywhere.

I have been studying music since I was a small child, I paid for my own university degrees in music, I started my own band 7 years ago and I have put all of my money (that I have and don't have) towards my music creation. I do this for me, not for fame, not for writers, but because this is what I do. I also work full time as music teacher, a dog walker, a helper, whatever. I have been given small grants for my music but it doesn't ever cover all of the costs. I am over 25, 000 dollars in debt because I co-produced my new record in a professional studio (for the first time). I did this for me. I work in all of my time at my jobs, then I come home, apply for grants, write music, schedule shows, design my websites, plan videos etc. Am I happy? Yes, I am.

You have no clue what it is like to be a musician and you have no clue what it is like to be a decent human being. I am sorry for you. I am sorry for your family. You are one lost mother fucker!

A few words of advice:

-Don't judge people if they want to pre-sell their artwork
-Don't steal from hard working artists
-Don't punch people
-Don't make homeless people do 50, 1 armed push ups for a few of your nickels
-Don't bother going to anymore shows
-Don't bother writing in any public medium
-Don't assume that all musicians do things like cocane and bonk woes or however you worded yourself (you talented word-smith, you)

This article is more about you, than it is about your topic. I suggest you go speak to someone about your mental health and then actually have a conversation with an artist. Any artist.

Good luck to you.
8
14
Rating: -6
Calm down guys
It's like you've never seen a troll!
14
7
Rating: +7
NickL
Yet another self-absorbed idiot trying to be the next 'edgy' rock critic to score some album reviews on pitchfork. Poorly written, whiny, and doesn't even get its point across. I think Michael Mann is more concerned about telling you how cool he is because he's a writer and he doesn't pay cover charge. If enough people read this, those will both change.
10
14
Rating: -4
Zombie Jezus
Get off your high horse you unemployed good for nothing piece of shit. It's because of assholes like you we have no money. I bet you download music and haven't paid a cent for an album since the inception of napster. That's my income, and you know what, not all musicians are fucking millionaires asshole. Most of us make next to nothing, living on the 500 bucks a bar pays a 5 piece band. That's supposed to cover all of our expenses, plus bills, general cost of living? EI pays more then that! If you really have nothing better to do then rag on musicians, holy fuck dude, there really is no hope for humanity. You sir, are a prime example of what is wrong with this so called world. I would highly suggest that if you're actually sitting here reading all of our comments, I have a 10 foot length of rope you can borrow, I'll even tie the noose you worthless piece of shit.
11
12
Rating: -1
Jennifer L
If you aren't willing to support artists financially ("I don't actually pay cover, ever") then I don't think you have the right to tare them apart for not having the money they require to produce their art. If you want them to make their money and music the old fashioned way, you had better start paying for it the old fashioned way too.
13
8
Rating: +5

Pages

Add new comment
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.