For those of you looking for a quick rundown of what this site is and who it’s for, read the following few lines. That or just go listen to our compilations to hear for yourself what kind of music we’re into.
For those of you with the curiosity of a cat and some time to spare, see below the line to read a more in depth reason for my infatuation with Bandcamp. Either that, or read this guest post I wrote at Music Think Tank about the Beauty of Bandcamp.
Bandcamp’s Best is a site that will bring you the best music on the internet – with an emphasis on what’s hosted on (wait for it…) Bandcamp.com. It’s the simplest, most straightforward way for me to share the unbelievably super great music I find with my audience. Instead of bringing you snippets of info in the form of status updates and tweets, I write the reviews myself and provide a worthwhile archive of all that information categorized by genre and artists. If you don’t like what’s on the docket for this week, dig through the archives and categories.
All of the music shared will be from Bandcamp. What this means for you is the easiest, most single-clickable way to get awesome music. All I ask is that the info is shared in the form of FB, Twitter and any other form of communication you use (messenger pigeons are coming back in style, I hear).
As a rabid user of the Internet, I’m always in search of new, brain-shattering music. Not a day goes by that doesn’t involve a leisurely stroll through the bowels of the web, looking for that high I get when finding a new favorite band. There’s no better place to do so nowadays than the one and only Bandcamp.com.
For those who aren’t aware, Bandcamp is a website with a solid, unwavering purpose: to give independent musicians a completely transparent and fully functional interface to share and sell their music with their listeners. It’s as simple as that.
There aren’t any immersion-breaking hoops for listeners to jump through to get to the music, nobody sucking musicians dry with lengthy and unfair distribution agreements. They simply require a 15% cut of a transaction when a fan makes a purchase. In my book, 85% is unbelievably generous for the phenomenal service they’re providing, especially when compared to the other better known services.
The guys at Bandcamp have created something unlike any other music distribution service out there – one that puts the artist and listeners first. The best part? They don’t assume that the artist, nor the listener, is a doofus.
So how do I know that you’re not just some creepy Bandcamp suit trying to convince me to give you my money?
First of all, shame on you, because if there were Bandcamp suits, I’d order one in a heartbeat. Also, if their hilarious FAQ is any indication, there seem to be some pretty amazing people working on the service. And for that, they deserve every bit of money they make.
For the past few years, I’ve been utilizing Bandcamp to share my music with others, and they’re the one of the only services that I’m proud to share my link from. They provide high fidelity downloads, and an interface that’s as straightforward as it is easy on the eyes. If simplicity was the name of the game, they’ve nailed it.
As any artist will tell you, there’s no shortage of websites out there looking to profit from your work. They parade around shouting: “We’re here for you, the artist. We’ll get your art out there, and give you the fans you so rightly deserve with not an ounce of effort on your part.”
While I don’t believe that what other websites are doing is necessarily wrong, nor are they explicitly stating what I’ve said above, I haven’t had much luck on many of them. They’re seemingly deceptive, and most involve a large commitment of time learning to play their game, rather than connecting with those who are listening. Some just involve selling ad space next to the music you’ve worked so hard on. Others simply don’t care what the artist thinks and play music without providing any form of fan interaction.
I’m sure there are benefits that other services provide, but for the bare bones essentials needed to release albums, there’s no better service than Bandcamp.
OK, I get it, Bandcamp is the bees knees. What’s the point of all this?
For the everyday listener, there are few avenues from which they procure their music. Those who utilize the internet for music discovery likely stick to one or two sites, and beyond that, they listen to what their friends recommend to them. When you break it even further down, only a sliver of those who find music online do so at Bandcamp. When thinking about the thousands upon thousands of musical possibilities, it’s a daunting task to wade through it all.
I’m here to act as a filter. I’m willing to wade through the muck, and find what is worth listening to. I will report back here with my findings. You can listen to the high quality music I find, or not bother. I don’t care. Finding this stuff gets me high, so all I want to do is share it.
Booyah, I love getting high. Now what are the rules here?
1. This website is designed with the sharing of albums in mind. The beauty of Bandcamp is that it allows for the effortless sharing of music through embedded players, which include short collections of songs or albums. I’m a huge fan of the album format and refuse to believe that it’s death is on the horizon, therefore, everything shared will be either in EP or LP format.
If you don’t have the attention span to sit through a whole album, spare yourself the trouble and leave now.
Still there? Great. Grand. Wonderful. No yelling on the bus.
2. I’ll be sharing my findings when I’ve found something worth talking about. This means that you’ll be able to stream an album, in it’s entirety, advertisement free. These albums have been created by musicians looking to get paid for their work, or have decided to allow their work to be downloaded by their loving fans for free.
In either case, I highly recommend respecting the artists’ wishes and paying to download the albums you like. Most Bandcamp releases are pay what you want, or rather inexpensive. They’re also instantly downloadable in any format (lossless and/or lossy for all you audio nerds) and totally free of DRM.
We all love to get something for free, but I’m here to guilt you into paying the musicians that are providing your enjoyment. They’re making your life better. Pay them for doing that. Previewing the music might not cost anything, but creating it did.
3. There are two genres I’m constantly listening to, which I consider myself to be an authority on. Those genres are indie rock/pop and electronic. An infinite amount of sub-genres within those exist, but in general, I will be sharing music that fits into those two categories.
4. Make sure you give yourself time to enjoy the music. Listening to albums is not a race, and often involves some serious dedication. If it takes more than a week to listen intently to the music I share, don’t feel obligated to listen and just move onto something new. Everything will be archived for future listening (as long as the artists keep their music on Bandcamp – all the more reason to purchase the music and have it for yourself).
I recommend picking up a good set of headphones and focusing on nothing but the music. While sitting in front of a computer connected to the internet might not be the best place for distraction-free listening, I’d suggest downloading the album and listening on a long car/bus ride, reclining in a big puffy chair, or while going to sleep at night. These are all places I’ve fallen in love with albums over and over again.
Why the emphasis on albums?
I’m well aware that everyone listens to music differently. I just happened to grow up on a steady diet of album after album after album. Single tracks have their place, for sure, but do not – read: cannot – have the same impact on a listener as albums do. If I were to watch one random episode of Dexter over and over again, could it ever have the same emotional effect as a whole season?
Sure, one song might have more of a hook than others. But why would you buy an album to listen to 10 hooky singles? It simply makes no sense. Albums need introductions, conflict, climaxes, and resolutions as much as any story, and it’s up to us as listeners to discern them for ourselves. Therein lies the beauty of the illustrious album.
I don’t listen to music for music’s sake. I listen in order to mentally reference experiences I’ve had, to create my own personal life soundtrack. This site will serve to remind the world how important it is to look past the hook-driven singles saturating the airwaves and sit down to appreciate music again. Independent music doesn’t have to suck, I’m just here to help you find what’s worth listening to.
Still Listening to my Incessant Ramblings?
Awesome. Well if you haven’t already, explore the site using the navigation buttons above. I’ve even filtered out the free stuff so you can start downloading right away. If you’d like an even more exclusive set of downloads delivered to your inbox each month, subscribe to our monthly newsletter right here. I don’t share this stuff on the site, so get all up on it.