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Monday, March 17, 2008

Wanna help make the next Giant Drag album?

It’s undeniable that the vast majority of record companies are neck-deep in shit at the moment, largely because of their failure to embrace (or at least find a workable way of coping with) the download explosion until it was far too late. Nowadays no fucker wants to pay for anything. So, in an age when you can just download a record for free, going to the store to buy a CD seems to have become a thing of the past.

While there have been attempts to combat the mp3 generation’s devil-may-care approach to downloading illegally (such as Laura Marling giving away free gig tickets with her recent CD), the sad truth is that a whole host of musicians are being dropped from their labels like hot potatoes. Record companies don’t take risks anymore. If you can’t guarantee shifting a truckload of units and getting plenty of radio play, then your ass is out the door faster than you can say: “Rick Rubin’s having a clearout at Columbia.”

For instance, over at Interscope, one of the most exciting independent artists to come out of America since forever was recently dropped. Annie Hardy, aka Giant Drag, made one of the most outstanding albums so far this Millennium with her debut, Hearts and Unicorns. The record was greeted with critical acclaim pretty much universally (indeed, it was my number 1 album in that particular year’s Drum Media poll – not bad considering there were also releases from Regina Spektor, Kimya Dawson…. and even my own vocal, ahem, talents on David Ford’s debut) and it still sounds as fresh, exhilarating and relevant now as it did upon release.

Yet in 2008, like so many other independent bands and musicians, Hardy finds herself without the financial clout of a label to support her as she prepares to record her follow-up with a brand new band (after multi-tasking drummer/keyboardist Micah quit last year – yep, these have been tough times for Giant Drag). With labels growing increasingly wary of inviting new acts onto their sinking ships, Hardy is proposing a novel way of funding the recording/release of her sophomore long-player. She is going to do it with the help of her loyal fan-base.“Many people have suggested I take donations to wrangle up enough money to get this new album recorded and release it on my very own record label,” Hardy (pictured above) states on her website. “Finally today this dream has become a reality. Well, not the dream of the money to pay for the album, the dream of putting up a Paypal donation button. With your help my broke ass can get things a-movin’ and give you some new music.”

On top of this, fans will be able to get their hands on some Giant Drag rarities that Hardy is selling to raise funds. “I will also be putting up an Ebay store where you can buy my stuff. Like all of my stuff that won’t fit in my car - which is where I might be living if I don’t make this dang record soon. It's been sitting stagnant inside me like a constipated BM and if I don’t push this record out soon I’m afraid of breaking my toilet brain with the immense volume of my musical turd. Not that the album is going to be crappy… you know what I mean.”

Hardy suggests that there may be rewards for those who choose to donate extra generously; from a mention in the “thank you” section of the album’s liner notes to some, as yet unspecified, extra special treats for anyone who is particularly philanthropic. “It’s been brought to my attention that Jill Sobule did this but I’d like to believe it was my idea first and I just needed help to do the dang thing. I’m told she has prizes like: ‘For X amount you get to have your name in a song and maybe even have it rhyme with something.’ Sorry, I’m not going to do that, unless someone donates 75 grand in which case I will name the whole album after you. But hopefully my rewards will be just as fulfilling without being so…uh… not my style.”

Giant Drag fans have greeted this fund-raising scheme very positively, and Hardy is clearly grateful to them. “I thank you all very much for your support. Donations or not, with your kind words of encouragement, you have kept me from turning in applications at Cheetah’s and other fine exotic dancing facilities.”

I’m sure Annie Hardy will be overjoyed when she can finally stop fielding the interminable question: “When is your new album coming out?” So, if you are one of those cheeky kids who downloads music without paying a penny for it or, if you simply want to support great art, or show some solidarity for someone trying to make the best of shitty times in the music world, then why not throw Giant Drag a few bucks? It’ll make you feel good and it’ll aid the creation of an album that I am positively shitting myself with excitement about.

Wanna donate a few quid? Well, you can dip into your pockets via the link on Giant Drag's myspace page

6 comments:

bobbysix said...

Incidentally, if you don't wanna give any dosh yourself, but have got some nifty fund-raising ideas, then send them on to Giant Drag via the myspace or website.

Anonymous said...

Loved that first album. I'll donate I reckon.

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Anonymous said...

This is an interesting idea. I know some bands get people to buy their albums before they've made them then send them out once there done

Tommy said...

Giant Drag rocks!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much money the idea will make though? Enough to make an album? Although I suppose it depends how much it is gonan cost. Some of the best albums were made for nothing really. Like Moldy Peaches and stuff.