Let's Make a New Everybody Else Record.

A while back I picked up this great power pop CD by a band called Everybody Else and was blown away. Energetic, upbeat, make-you-want-to-dance-in-your-kitchen infectious grooves that really get to the center of what -- to me, at least -- this kind of music is all about. Even when they're singing about mortality and lost love, they make you feel happy about it.

Power pop is my guilty pleasure, mostly because it's a lot of fun to play drums to, but I enjoy a wide range of other music, too. It all depends on my mood. The ability of music to make me happy, make me angry, make me sad...that emotional musical roller coaster is something that I can always count on. If I'm feeling a little down, I can put on some music that will change that. It works in reverse too -- sometimes I might want to dip down into the darkness a bit even though I know it's not in my own best interests, and the perfectly chosen album or song can do that as well.

With this particular band, there is a song on their debut CD called "Button For Punishment" that I thought was brilliant. The studio version is very sparse and hauntingly beautiful; basically just a guitar and a voice -- but tonight when I went looking, I found a version that was even more sparse. Seriously, if I could do this, I would never leave my...um, tree.

Here's what I'm talking about:

I decided to go see if they had anything else available, and I found out that they're an indie band now -- their old label went belly up and it's been a few years since their first release.

I also found out that they've been raising money to record their next CD using something called kickstarter.com. Kickstarter is a site that allows people to set up different projects to be funded by the public at large. If the project sponsor meets their money-raising goals, the project gets the go ahead as "fully funded." These guys need help finishing up their first indie release. There's only four days left on their project, so check it out if you get a chance. Call it the frustrated musician in me. I like to see people make a living doing something they're passionate about -- and extremely good at.

So many friends and acquaintances came so close to making it big, only to be screwed over by either bad luck, their own record label or the music industry in general, that this method of raising money to fund recordings makes perfect sense to me. I think it's a fine way to change the music industry landscape, and allow the artists to actually benefit from the money their fans spend on their music.

I think it'll cut down on piracy too, since the fans will feel that the cash they shell out for a CD is going to the band members instead of into the pockets of some fat, old record company executive who doesn't give a rat's ass about a band unless they have a mega-hit single right out of the gate. Nobody at the label hears a single? Well, you had your shot. Forget about anything even remotely approaching artist development. Consider yourself dropped.

Maybe you don't like power pop music as much as I do, and that's OK. Maybe you just hate the manufactured bullshit you see cranked out of the American Idol machine and its ilk -- and the idea of supporting independent music appeals to you. That motive works for me. Either way, just take a few seconds to check out their link here.

I gave them a donation for purely selfish reasons. I dig their music, and want them to continue making it. I know, I know, there's a ton of places where my money could be better spent, and a dozen charities come to mind, but I refuse to feel guilty for indulging the musical monkey on my back. I don't know about you, but I can only give so much to wounded vets, abused animals and the united way before I want to stop worrying about the fucking world for a few minutes and just ... I don't know... maybe find myself a rock and roll band that needs a helping hand, as the old song goes.

It can't hurt, right?


  1. Oh wow! These guys are really talented! I enjoyed the video very much. It really is a beautiful song and the simplicity of singing it in a tree has a lot of appeal.

    I enjoyed your post, Johnny! Good for you for supporting the arts like that. They are important, regardless of what the corporate moguls and politicians say! Great job!

  2. I just danced. I just stood up and danced. Just then. Dancing.

  3. His voice is awesome--thanks for sharing!

  4. Dig it. How can you not donate to something like that? One of the best things about the inet is giving artists more control. Thanks for the tip!

  5. thank you for introducing me to this band. I love them -- and am in awe of the video. I miss truly talented artists (who are talented "naked", with no overdubbing and editing, etc etc)

  6. Clayton1:34 AM

    Johnny, I don't know if you're much into the 80's punk scene, but there was a hot little band out of Long Beach, CA in I think '85 called SUBURBAN LAWNS. Might be right up your alley. I remember as a young kid my uncle (only about 16 years my senior) recorded their album onto cassette tape for my older brother and me. Somehow I managed to get it away from my brother at some point, and held onto it over the years. As I could find none of their stuff available for sale on CD or download, I found a friend who could transfer from cassette tape to digital. From LP to cassette to a box in the attic to computer to disc - it's like a little historical childhood treasure every time I listen. Lemme know if you're interested.

  7. I hate to be the "sheesh, why can't you get it right" person of the crowd, but, uhm...taste and smell don't travel through the spinal cord. We have receptors in our olfactory epithelium that are actual neurons! So in a sense, our noses go straight to our brains. Wow. I just outed myself as a complete nerd, didn't I?

  8. Tgoette, I think his voice is fantastic. Check out the studio version of that tune.

    Kay, welcome. Send video.

    kjl, yeah I agree, there's a bit of McCartney to it here and there.

    KC, you're welcome. There's also a guy who goes by Bleu that you might want to check out.

    Jennifer, raw talent is really something to behold.

    Clayton, I have this thing about female vocalists....I don't generally like them. I think there's maybe 4 total that I will go out of my way to listen to.

    Jamie, what?

  9. Gotta love The Coral