White Crate — March 12, 2021
RITCHRD delivers a quartet of fine acid house, hip cumbia queen La Doña awaits her moment to shine, Guapdad 4000 and P-Lo of the HBK Gang drop a sexed up video, and more
As you may remember, Bandcamp hosted its first “Bandcamp Friday” a year ago, meaning that instead of taking a cut of every sale, the company passed 100% of proceeds to artists. The idea was to funnel more money to musicians, many of whom were financially affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns. Ever since, the site has kept the tradition going almost every first Friday, and plans to do so through May 7th.
Granting that it’s not 100% philanthropic—Bandcamp has brought in a ton of new artists and users over the past year—I’ve been a huge fan of the promotion. It wasn’t just me: Over the nine Bandcamp Fridays in 2020, artists and labels earned $44 million.
Then last week I saw this tweet:
Well, that’s the vision, ain’t it? For some reason, it’s taken for granted that artists don’t make money. Musicians are supposed to do it for the love, while record executives, event promoters, tech companies, and almost everyone else in the industry gets filthy rich. Well, like a lot of bullshit in the world today, more and more people are realizing it doesn’t have to be this way.
Though small, SoundCloud recently made a positive step in the right direction by announcing a “fan-powered royalties” model that aims to pass the money you pay for the service directly to the artists you actually listen to. This is in stark contrast to Apple Music, Spotify, and other major streaming sites that put your money in a giant pool, most of which goes to artists with the most streams, like Drake and Taylor Swift. Still, neither SoundCloud (which takes 25% of revenues) nor Spotify/Apple (which take roughly 30% of revenues) are as artist-friendly as Bandcamp, which takes a 15% cut for digital and 10% for merch. Plus, Bandcamp is based in Oakland, so that’s two good reasons why they’re still my favorite among the platforms. But they’re still not perfect.
So until the time comes when every day is Bandcamp Friday—when all the money you spend on music goes to the artists—please be mindful of where your money is going.
THAT NEW NEW
SF producer RITCHRD released ACID DYNAMICS, featuring four pounding acid house cuts paired with hilarious short samples of people (from a news correspondent to a far-out hippie) commenting on drugs and rave culture.
Vallejo alternative folk/soul artist Azuah released an 8-min EP called Dreams.
After debuting on DFA last year with Mother, SF alt dance rock band Cold Beat just released four remixes of “Double Sided Mirror”, featuring Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire, the Hardway Brothers Meet Monkton Uptown, and Cooper Saver.
Psych pop rock band Cool Ghouls - “a band fledged in San Francisco on house shows, minimum wage jobs, BBQ's in Golden Gate Park, and the romance of a city’s psychedelic history” - released its fourth album today: At George’s Zoo.
Having recently resettled in Emeryville, saxophonist Gary Bartz is releasing a new funky soul jazz album in April, JID006, in collaboration with Jazz Is Dead's Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest). Bartz has played with a long list of jazz legends since the 1960s—Art Blakey, Kenny Burrell, Donald Byrd, Miles Davis, Max Roach, Pharoah Sanders, and McCoy Tyner, to name a few. You can hear a few of the new songs and pre-order the album on Bandcamp.
Ready for five minutes of noise punk? Sentient Ruin Laboratories in Oakland put out a fiery self-titled debut/demo EP from Philadelphia-based D-beat group Hallucination.
After a steady drip of singles over the past few months, Sebastopol rapper J.Lately released Winnebago today with features from Dizzy Wright, Junk, and Gavlyn.
James Wavey (aka Alleyes Manifest) released “Energy Salutation”, a couple minutes of sample-based live breaks and soul.
Oakland junglist NakedSlice released “fajitas”, a breakcore track built around samples of interviews with people who seemingly only have inane things to say.
Painted Shrines, a new folk rock collaboration by Jeremy Earl of Woods and SF’s Glenn Donaldson (Skygreen Leopards, The Reds, Pinks & Purples), released their debut album Heaven and Holy on Woodsist.
Jazz punk group Throttle Elevator Music, a collaboration between contemporary saxophone star Kamasi Washington and a bunch of Bay Area musicians associated with Berkeley’s Wide Hive Records, released Final Floor today: “As the title indicates, this album represents the final original recordings of Throttle Elevator Music.”
Caribou released Suddenly Remixes today, featuring a rework of "Home" by Toro y Moi alongside contributions by Four Tet, Floating Points, Jessy Lanza, and Morgan Geist.
SF film composer William Ryan Fritch was featured on Bandcamp’s “New & Notable” for his soundtrack to the film Freeland, a collection of dark modern ambient and classical pieces recorded with acoustic instruments.
Check out KQED’s Pass the Aux for even more great local music, featuring Black London, Lowstar Rodeo, Dom Jones, and Lil Bean.
I’m late to the party on this one. “Quién Me La Paga” is joyous cumbia by Bernal Heights-raised La Doña from her debut EP, Algo Nuevo, which dropped a year ago today. In a new piece this week, the New York Times tells the heartbreaking story of how she was about to play SXSW and embark on a national tour, but then everything “blew away like a castle in the sky, ‘un barrio compuesto de nubes.’”
Dedicated to Those Who, the new album and short film from SF hip hop producer Baghead, inspired the artist to create a 100-track Spotify playlist of hip hop and R&B called The Folks (loosely), featuring “Artists building a indpendent artistic movement. Mostly based in the Bay Area. Diverse in perspective and sound.”
SF-born-and-raised hip hop duo The Jealous Guys released “Rain Drops” last month, kicking off with a sample of Lewis H. Michaux, the owner of a Harlem bookstore, speaking about black power in the 2011 film The Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975: “Black is beautiful but black isn’t power. Knowledge is power. You can be black as a crow, or as white as snow, and if you don't know and ain't got no dough, you can't go. And that's fo sho!”
In January, the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper released its Freedom Songs 2021 Mixtape, compiling hip hop, jazz, poetry, and beyond by the Curtis Family Cnotes, Stephanie Woodford, La Doña, Salami Rose Joe Louis, Cheflee, and other Bay Area artists. Proceeds are split evenly between the artists and the newspaper.