Right now, you’re probably consuming more art than you ever have before. What else are you going to do? You’re stuck in your house all day, you can’t go get a drink, you can barely buy groceries, and New York is telling you to stop fucking. You might as well watch a show, listen to an old record, or read a book if you’re feeling particularly saucy. While that’s going on, most indie artists are about to have a pretty rough go. Is that irony? I don’t know. I was never the best at spotting it. (All I remember about irony is the poster in my third-grade classroom that read, “The meteorologists were going to have a picnic today but it rained,” and I’m still not sure that counts. Even weathermen are human.)
So I’ve decided to donate all of the cash I make from my new record, When This All Ends. (Ironic? Let me ask the meteorologists about that one. Paging Alanis Morisette.) The album costs $6, and 100% of that will go directly to GoFundMes for local bars and venues in NYC that need it.
I’m lucky enough to have a day job — for now, that is, as long as day jobs last, as long as society’s still standing and the US dollar hasn’t been reduced to toilet paper. While I have plenty of friends asking all of us to buy their records and their merch (and you should), I’d feel like a charlatan if I tried pulling that shit. That said, I want to do something helpful with the music I’ve got. After all, isn’t that the point? Us musicians must believe, for whatever stupid reason, that our music provides some help or solace for you, the listener, however scant. And what would be scantier than donating the meager profits from my own record?
I realize this isn’t much in the face of our global freakout. And while I’m not the last to rally behind a good cause, I can be the last to cough up a dollar. You know the guy at the grocery store who, when asked to donate a dollar to [INSERT CHARITY HERE FOR STARVING AND THE NEEDY], says no? I’m that guy (some would say I’m a cheap stingy bastard — I would term myself as financially challenged). There are a few reasons: one, I don’t know where the money’s going. I’ve tried to solve for that by donating locally. But there’s a bigger reason: will that donation be worthwhile? How can you know? Maybe you can’t. Maybe charity is an act of faith: there’s no mathematical equation that’s going to spit out the right answer for you.
Everything’s changing. And it’s changing fast. It feels like society has put up its Sorry We’re Closed sign overnight. Or at least it has in NYC. So if the times are a’changing for now, let’s find a direct and concrete way to push the tide our way — none of these half-baked, feel-good solutions. Let’s find ways to help the people we care about and the places we love. Maybe, if we keep doing that, we can bend the arc of our collective existence towards something better.
Or maybe this is just some ranting and raving by yours truly. If it is, at least it’s given something to do until they let us back outside. And when they do, when this does all end, I hope we can meet up again. I’ll be back at one of those sameshit bars you always knew I’d be. Drinks are on me, I swear I’m good for it.
List of GoFundMes:
- https://www.gofundme.com/f/hart-bar-relief-fund (They were going to let me do a residency there in April, which obviously isn’t going to pan out — but they’re awesome people and I want to be able to help them out)
- https://www.facebook.com/donate/205802997355742/209336993669009/ (Gamba puts on some of the coolest secret shows I’ve ever gotten to play. I’d hate it if they weren’t still around when we finally get through this)
(quick note — this was originally published on my personal blog back in March, but still holds true).