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Monday
Jan142013

Some Gut Thoughts On All This KickGoGoPledgeStarter Stuff

Some Gut Thoughts On All This KickGoGoPledgeStarter Stuff:

It's strange, though not entirely unexpected, for me to hear some folks hating on the crowdfunding thing. Over the last 20 years, I've lived through the same phenomenon with genres, ideologies, social networks, scenes, so much. The interwebs moves fast and crazy, eating itself irrelevant like… I don't know, I can't think of a good metaphor. You get it.

As simply put as possible, anything can be shitty and anything can be transcendent (hello, television). All I know is I've always wanted this (art, life, whatever) to be as personal as can be. When I look back, that's been my compass through the choices. I've had some of my most intimate, cool musical moments of connection when tons of money was flying around, and for sure when none was too. So many ways come and go. So, I can't speak for any of the other artists/businessfolks trying this way out, but here's for me:

I've been finding sensible, neat ways to get my ideas into the world for a long time, no matter who's around or not. I love that process almost as much as I love the songs themselves (it's all ideas, really). To be sure, I'm very, very not rich; I live in a little apartment in an unhip neighborhood, I've never owned a new car or anything close, I've never had a laundry machine anywhere I've lived, I don't eat out much, on and on. That said, one way or another I've made a living doing this for 20 years, which is totally fuckin nuts. Aside from the labels and various entities that have helped out along the way, the money you've chipped in at shows, stores and websites has fed me and helped me send my daughter to college, and I'm doing okay. I live sustainably and reasonably. I've heard funny rumours that I have a trust fund or something, otherwise how the fuck could I do it as weird as I have and still survive. I've also heard that I dye my hair to stay looking young, so there you go. Eeew to both (though I'm jealous of people that have inherited tons of loot, so share some with me, please). Anyway, please don't chip in out of any sort of sympathy or something. There are people in this world that need money so exponentially more than me that I can barely bear to write that sentence. Be a part of it cos you want to be a part of it; in it with me. Together.

So yea, back to fun. I think crowdsourcing is fun. I don't take fun lightly. I think it's why we're here (that's a whole 'nother essay). I've always thought that. Before these cool sites existed, I was basically doing the same thing, except without the fancy interfaces. I love the correspondence, I love the mailing of packages, I love the wrestling with technology, I love the working it out. I just think it's great for people to actually be a part of stuff getting made as it happens, to buy into the idea of it, to be along for the ride. People that want to spend a little can do that, people that want to spend a lot can do that. Being the geeky fan that I am, I also think it's cool to give early-to-the-party, enthusiastic, generous people extra-good deals and special, personal stuff that won't be sold in the more traditional ways. By the same token, I also think it's cool to give people a chance to pay a little extra if they can afford it and/or they think I deserve it. I've done that, too, and it feels really good. It does seem like some idiotic artists and scammers are abusing the medium, jumping into projects without working for it, making promises they can't keep, not handling the trust of the people wanting to support them with grace and accountability. That sucks, of course. If it needs to be said, that's just not me. I show up, over and over. If I fuck up, I say it and fix it as best I can. pretty simple. Truth be told, the confusions have always been some of my favorite parts. That's when we really get to know each other and the masks come off, if we're brave enough.

So please, be a part of this project. Blow my mind (Ian's too), make it make millions. Or not. I think it's gonna be fuckin awesome (why else would I do it, right?). Be a part of it if you think it might be awesome too, and you want to see it exist in the best way it can. Thanks for being a part of the ideas that came before. I hope you'll stick around for whatever comes next. All the methods of communication and exchange will keep changing. Through it all, breathe through the hype and hate. Look out for the stuff that just gives you a good feeling in your gut and vote for that. I'll be right there with you.

Jonah, San Francisco, Jan 14 2013

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