Sunday, January 3, 2016

Support New Crowdfunded Albums from Ruts DC, The Meow Meows, and Crazy Baldhead!

Ruts DC in effect!
Given the current state of the music industry (don't get me started) and the habits of many music consumers (who either want to stream everything for pennies or "obtain" it all for free), it makes more and more sense for bands to seek a direct partnership with diehard fans (those who know that recorded music has value) in order to finance new albums for release.

Since I'm one of those people who loves and collects recorded music, I'm planning to support two new ska/reggae-related crowdfunding projects this year with Ruts DCThe Meow Meows, and Crazy Baldhead (and there will be others, I'm sure!).

Ruts DC, of course, arose out of the ashes of the phenomenal punk-reggae band The Ruts, after lead singer Malcolm Owen overdosed on heroin in 1980. Ruts DC opted to focus mostly on reggae and dub--releasing two albums in the early '80s: Animal Now and Rhythm Collision. (Ska fans should know that The Ruts backed Laurel Aitken on two singles and a tour in 1980.) The band then reformed in 2007 and released the AMAZING Rhythm Collision, Volume 2 (recorded by Mad Professor and mixed by Prince Fatty) in 2013 (check out a taste here). Ruts DC are back in the studio now recording Psychic Attack for release in May of 2016. The Ruts DC's Pledge Music campaign offers the Psychic Attack CD or LP (plus other merch) at all kinds of levels of support.

The Meow Meows (image a brilliant Specials/Bodysnatchers/Deltones hybrid!) will soon be recording their third album, which is slated for release in June 2016. (Read The Duff Guide to Ska reviews of their Somehow We Met album and their Friends on Benefits EP--both of which were produced by Prince Fatty.) The Meow Meows' Pledge Music campaign--with all sorts of crazy exclusives (like a disposable camera filled with pix of the band on the road and in the studio that may possibly include a shot of a band member's buttocks!)--offers options for support for fans of every economic class! (Plus 10% of of any profits made after they reach their goal will be donated to Shelter--the UK's biggest housing and homelessness charity).

Here's a terrific video to help promote the band's Pledge Music campaign that uses a stripped-down version of their anti-Cameron austerity track "Friends on Benefits."

Crazy Baldhead is one of the things that Agent Jay (Agent 99, Stubborn Allstars, Version City Rockers, etc.) does with a rotating cast of top ska musicians when he's not serving as guitarist for The Slackers, selecting tracks on the soundsystem, or backing Jamaican stars like Ken Boothe, Stranger Cole, Patsy Small, and Keith & Tex. His new album, The Stereo Prophecy and Electric Hymns, features guest vocals from Jess Wagner (The Aggrolites), Joey Steel (All Torn Up), Brukky (The Frightnrs), Maddie Ruthless (The Far East), and Todd Fausnacht (The Snails). You can support Crazy Baldhead's The Stereo Prophecy and Electric Hymns through his Big Tunes campaign.

Sample some Crazy Baldhead below, with the track "Come To Me" featuring Maddie Ruthless on vocals...

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By the way, if you're a fan of new wave, you might also be interested in crowdsourcing projects for Modern English and Gary Numan.

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