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A very unique, 21st-century, and potentially far-reaching concept is currently being tested at a website called Kickstarters. It’s a new approach to fundraising in the digital world, where you set a goal for yourself financially and then ask people to contribute. If the goal is met by the deadline determined, then you get the money no strings attached… but if the goal isn’t met, then your supporters’ pledges aren’t actually charged and subsequently you don’t get any money at all. Interesting, right? I’m imagining the ramifications of this in the music world could finally throw the label-funding model out the window for good.

As it happens, my friends in the band Halloween Alaska are attempting to fund their “new” (as in, yet to be recorded) album with Kickstarter. Go check out their Kickstarter page and support them, because they rule and because the world will be a better place once another HA album is in it.  They’ve even got some cool kick-backs for those who support, ranging from advanced copies of the record to private in-person performances.

The other day I came across a website called New Music Strategies. It’s a site devoted to successfully participating in and accurately analyzing the new and rapidly evolving music industry in the digital/internet age. Lots of great stuff on here to help freelance musicians adapt to the ever-changing playing field of professional music.  The article that initially caught my interest was an interview with Steve Lawson about the commercial value of Twitter for musicians.   I have a Twitter profile, and I admit I don’t fully understand the potential of it, but Lawson’s insights have certainly helped in that regard.  If anybody else has other helpful hints or suggestions about how to get the most out of the Twitter world, hit me up.

In other news…

My friends at the Food For The Beloved blog just posted a great interview with James Diers, the lead singer for Love-cars and Halloween, Alaska.

champdowncover227The long-awaited 3rd release from Minneapolis super group Halloween Alaska, Champagne Downtown, will be landing in a couple weeks.  They’ve got a release show booked for April 10th at First Avenue.  The record was mixed by the renowned Tchad Blake, and the word is that the music is heading in a “different direction” from previous HA records.  An interesting quote from guitarist Jake Hanson: “There’s gonna be some folks who dig old Hal Al that maybe aren’t going to feel the same about new Hal Al.”

UPDATE:  Food For The Beloved blog has an advance copy of Champagne Downtown, and Tim wrote a good review of the record.

Not really a hockey fan, just a fan of looking cool.

Not really a hockey fan, just a fan of looking cool.

I’ve mentioned Dave King before on this blog and I will do it again. I studied with him for a few years during college. He is the single biggest influence on my playing, and my perspective on music as a whole. If you read this blog and you aren’t familiar with him, then here are some links to check out all the different bands he’s in…

1) The avant-garde jazz trio Happy Apple. You can hear some of their latest tracks here, and you can listen to this interesting NPR report on the band.

2) The art/pop-electro/rock band Halloween Alaska. Check out their myspace and watch this documentary of their second record.

3) The world-renowned progressive jazz trio The Bad Plus. Listen to them here, and watch them here.

4) The indie-rock band Love-Cars. Check them out here.

5) The raucous collision of sounds called The Gang Font. This is a band King started with Greg Norton (the bassist from Husker Du). You can watch this interview and performance from their first show.

In addition to all these bands, King has also recorded and performed with Jeff Beck, The Jayhawks, Iffy, FKG, Craig Taborn, Tim Berne, 12RODS, Haley Bonar, Mason Jennings, Bill Carrothers, and many others. You can check out his Zildjian artist profile here, and there’s a Modern Drummer Magazine article on him here.

UPDATE: Some of Dave’s recent endeavors as a bandleader include a trio record called I’ve Been Ringing You, a Dave King Trucking Company record called Good Old Light, and an interesting solo album called Indelicate. Furthermore, if you want get a glimpse of Dave’s comedy side, scroll through his blog posts (explicit content). Also worth watching are the handful of YouTube interviews with him like this and this… and there’s even a full-length MOVIE on him.

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