(Please Be Advised: No one from or related to Band Camp has paid me to write these words. However, if they’d like to they know how to get in touch with me)
Recently I’d be thinking about how much I use Band Camp and what I did before Band Camp even existed. I remember when labels would send me bootleg CDs because the albums weren’t out yet and the digital copy for a review wasn’t yet invented. (Though Napster should have tipped us off on that one coming)
So how did I find music before Band Camp existed? I honestly have no idea. Okay, well, I honestly have some ideas, but they aren’t ideas that I wish to embark upon today. I mean, I was always begging press people for review copies of music. Sure, I still do that but to a much, much less extent. And then of course there’s always word of mouth, which I used to do a lot too. In interviews, even if done through email, I could ask bands who their favorites were or who we should have to listen to or die. Also, there’s Facebook, but that kind of comes with the Band Camp territory to me. Talking to people face to face to find out about music I might like just does not appeal to me in 2013.
I am a habitual Band Camp user. I am on their site at least once every day, but usually more. I’m always streaming music I saved the links for previously or searching tags for new music. I also do like to go from time to time and search for bands I like and see if they’ve put out any new music. Sometimes I find new music and am quite pleased, but most of the time I find out about it before that somehow.
As one small example, in comparison, The Sorry Shop recently released their second full length on Band Camp. Now, of the following three options, which do you think is how I found out about this new album?
1) An email from the band themselves/press person/label/etc
2) Searching Band Camp for The Sorry Shop specifically
3) Searching Band Camp for shoegaze, a tag which will bring up The Sorry Shop
Of course the answer is #3, because I happened to see their album pop up one day when I searched shoegaze for probably the third time that day. I was most excited. And for clarity’s sake, I did eventually get an email after the fact from the band themselves to inform me of the album’s release.
I would have to say on average, I hear about 90% of new music by browsing Band Camp. This also has the residual effect, as I can find Band A on Band Camp and they then direct me to Band B and so forth. So for no reason other than because I can, here are some fun Band Camp facts about me for you.
· The band I have downloaded/streamed the most different albums from on Band Camp is The Illegal Wiretaps by a landslide.
· The band that I have download/streamed the most without being different (Meaning I’ve downloaded the album multiple times for various reasons) would be a tie between I Kill Giants and Sledding With Tigers.
· I can’t remember the first band I ever listened to on Band Camp, but the most recent band I listened to was Will To Live (as of my writing this, because it changes virtually by the minute and will no doubt change by whenever I decide to post this)
· The three tags I search the most on Band Camp are as follows: 1) shoegaze 2) 8bit 3) seapunk. I used to search for seapunk the second most, but I don’t find it to be updated quite as often as 8bit (They don’t put out as much new music I guess) and for various other underlying reasons I just end up searching 8bit more than seapunk now. But shoegaze will probably always be number one.
· Subgenres I search under shoegaze include ambient, dream pop, indie rock and so on, because I search quite a lot of similar genres.
· Genres somewhat unrelated that I search also include grunge, alternative rock, punk, punk rock, hardcore, hardcore punk, metalcore, experimental, noise, lo-fi, art rock and so many more.
· I have searched strictly for “female singers” and “female vocalist” on Band Camp. I also searched for “female emcee”, trying to find the ladies of hip hop. I have only searched each of these tags once.
· I have never searched for comedy on Band Camp, but I have stumbled across it accidentally. It is a mistake I regret to this day.
· The locations I search by are (in order): 1) Houston 2) Austin 3) Texas 4) Boston 5) Connecticut. Searching Connecticut usually brings up very sad results.
· I have also been known to search San Antonio and Dallas specifically, as well as some of the bigger and better known cities: Seattle, San Francisco, NYC, Brooklyn, New Jersey as a whole state, Minnesota as a whole state and Chicago sometimes just for fun. I do not believe I have ever searched for music specifically by I’d say at least 40 of the 50 states, which is odd because I should search at least every state once, right?
· Though I have yet to find it, I do hope that somewhere out there exists an album that is not only free to download but will be sent to you on your choice of CD, cassette or vinyl for free.
· While I understand why Band Camp requires an email for the Name Your Price download option, I do not understand why they do sometimes when it says “Free Download”. Free should mean free of having to provide your email address.
· I do enjoy providing my email address and am often sad when a band doesn’t ask me for it. I have been known to yell at my computer screen “But then how will I know when you put out new music???!?!?!?!!???”
· I do not understand why there exist pages for albums by bands that you can neither download nor stream. That’s not really music; it’s just text and sometimes images.
· At least once a week when on Band Camp, I see the logo and say, “This one time at Band Camp… I downloaded some free music but paid for it anyway”.
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