Hey Cats and Kittens!
I am a HUGE fan of crowdfunding. I think eliminating the middle man is the best thing ever. I think it’s rad that I get the opportunity to be a patron of the art that I support. How fantastic is it that bands that are amazing can ask their fans to kick down a few bucks to support their latest endeavor rather than hope that some record label deems them worthy? As a fan of “good music” I have spent years watching great artists being passed over by an industry looking for “hits” instead of art. But now I get to put my money where my mouth is. So today I want to talk about two of those crowd funded endeavors that I think are easily worth your time and money.
First up is M. Lockwood Porter. I first heard about Max from John Moreland. John mentioned Max to me as an artist he knew from Oklahoma that wasn’t getting a fair shot in my town of San Luis Obispo. Max had recently relocated from Oklahoma to San Francisco, California. I was really bummed that Max had toured down and played a venue I knew well, Frog Peach Pub, but I had somehow missed it. I made sure to see Max the next time he came through and I was absolutely blown away when I did. Since then I have been fortunate enough to see him on several occasions (yay West Coast!). Max reminds me of Rhett Miller of the Old 97’s. Both of them play fantastic pop songs featuring a country lean but with serious depth and incredibly witty lyrics. Shortly after I met Max he released “27”, a great album filled with folk songs informed by pop influences, most notably Big Star. Max sings the kind of songs I’d like to write, hooky as fuck but rewarding on multiple listens. If you’ve checked out “27” I know that you will want to chip in a few bucks to make his next album happen. Please do so here. Max is the kind of guy that is one step away from being on every great radio station in America, help him get there.
The next crowdfunding opportunity I want to talk about is one that is incredibly close to me. Michael Dean Damron is currently crowdfunding his new album. I love Mike. I love Mike because he is one of the best human beings I have ever met. Full stop. I love Mike because he has introduced me to some people and artists that have shaped my life in big ways. Fernando, John Moreland, Jack Parker and Mishka Shubaly (buy his new book, seriously, fuck you, buy this book) are just some of the artists whose work Mike has introduced me to. And those people are some of my favorite people currently walking this earth. Mike brought all of that into my life, as well as countless other people’s lives. Mike has always championed his fellow artists while quietly being head and shoulders above almost all of them. You might know him from the most underrated band I can think of, I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In the House, or from his numerous incredible solo records. He is the guy that tours with ALL of your favorite bands. I assure you that just about all of the artists you love look up to this man. He is a singular force on the musical landscape. If there was a god, and if that god was just, Mike’s name would be spoken in the same way that we speak of Neil, Townes and Waylon. I know this sounds like bullshit. I know that it sounds like I’m slobbering all over Mike and collecting a fat paycheck from his label but that isn’t the case. I just believe in him. I just think he is perhaps the best artist of a generation. I think Chad has a better voice, Micah pulls at my heartstrings more, the Dexateens rock harder, Lucero makes me throw my arms around my buddies more, Snodgrass will always write my favorite songs, Shane is the most honest man in music, but Mike is MY favorite. Mike is everything I want to be. Mike is the raw talent that the rest of us strive for. He has not gotten his due, he probably never will. But he still keeps on because he has to. You have the opportunity to be a part of that. Throw a few bucks his way if you believe in art in any way,shape or form. I guarantee you will not regret it. He is the best.
The sad truth in this day and age is that if we don’t support art it will go away.