The Return of Bandcamp Day AKA Music Industry BLACK-out Day

Here we go again, in more sense than one.

Today is yet another Bandcamp Day, where the online marketplace waives their revenue share for 24 hours so that 100% of proceeds go to the artists and labels who sell on Bandcamp. Right now is yet another instance where we are raw from another reprehensible act of murder of a black man, George Floyd, by a cop, Derek Chauvin. Chauvin was cold, unaffected, without remorse as he suffocated that man for nine fucking minutes while his fellow officers aided him. There is no good cop here.

Since then, there have been protests again. Some have turned into riots, others have remained peaceful. Both were met with violence from the police departments that were supposedly established to serve and protect. Politicians implemented curfews to stifle free speech: rioting is illegal (though perhaps not unjustified) no matter the time of day, but now the First Amendment goes to bed at 6PM for many. Members of the media and lawyers have been arrested on site for simply documenting the events that occur. The curtain is being pulled back as America exposes itself as simply yet another country that has successfully sold the idea of freedom to a large percentage of its populace, while in reality only keeps its citizens on leashes just long enough so that they forget it runs out. Somehow it snuck up on people, this circumstance we’re now in. As black men, women, and children kept dying one after another over the most insignificant shit or absolutely nothing at all, officers never saw justice. They couldn’t see it if you pumped a syringe full of it and stabbed them in the eye with it. They walk, they keep policing, their budgets are increased by the politicians who’ve built the militarized police state (who couldn’t be bothered to help build roads, or schools, or anything that actually helps their citizenry) that perpetuates a cycle of violence, hate, paranoia, and racial prejudice. They say the riots are too much, they say the demonstrations are too much, they say that taking a knee before a fucking football game is too much, but to them, the stack of bodies is never enough. I don’t know how more of us didn’t see it. Some of us saw it but thought it’d take more than some to do anything about it.

Well, now we’ve got more than some.

Now is the time to exercise your power, however much or little of you have. Donate to bail funds, relief funds, and justice organizations. If you can’t afford to pay, protest at a demonstration. If you can’t do that, disseminate important information. E-mail your officials. Send a fucking fancam to a police app so those departments have to work to dig out bootlicker tips (the k-pop stans have really put punk to shame). You don’t have to do everything. But do something. Do something beyond changing your profile pic to a black square for a day, because the system does not fear empty symbolic gestures that fade in a week or two. They fear dissent and they fear exposure. Call them what they are, show others who they are. America has long held the misplaced confidence that it is the best country in the world, but now is the time to prove that it can be if the citizenry makes it happen. Those who have sought the power to govern and police others will never use that power responsibly: as it has always been, it will be the people who dictate where we go from here.

This platform is small, and I don’t know who will see those words above and who among those who do will even care. We are, historically, a small arts webzine. But I feel as though I need to say them. More tangibly, we can share black art and support it. On behalf of COUNTERZINE, I spent $150 on music exclusively from black artists, and I’d like to share those artists with you. I’m fucking livid right now, but as important as it is to destroy the institutions that perpetuate violence and systemic racism, it is also important to elevate and appreciate creation and the voices of black artists. I don’t want to make this more about musical commentary than the message behind it, but you can expect full reviews of Chloe Hotline’s CYNTHIA, drea the vibe dealer’s priestess of vibrations pt 2, Fat Tony & Taydex’s Wake Up, and Death’s …For the Whole World to See in the coming weeks. For now, don’t listen to what I have to say about them. Listen to what they have to say about them.

 

The Cocker Spaniels – Plays Well With Others

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $5

 

Backxwash – God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him Out of It

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $8

Read our full review

 

HRR

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $15

 

CAMP BLOOD – s/t

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $6 + shipping

 

Chloe Hotline – CYNTHIA

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $10

 

drea the vibe dealer – priestess of vibrations pt 2

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $6

 

Lonnie Holley – MITH

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $8 + shipping

 

Fat Tony & Taydex – Wake Up

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $16 + shipping

 

A Day Without Love

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $1

 

They Hate Change – Now, and Never Again

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $5

 

mynameisblueskye

What I bought: Full digital discography

What I paid: $12

 

Death – …For the Whole World to See

What I bought: Vinyl

What I paid: $20

 

Quinton Barnes – AARUPA

What I bought: Lathe vinyl

What I paid: $30 + shipping

Read our full review

 

Lesibu Grand – Hush Hush

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $1

Special thanks to mynameisblueskye (Chris Bynes) for bringing Lesibu Grand to my attention

 

NNAMDÏ – BRAT

What I bought: Cassette

What I paid: $12 + shipping

 

Grimalkin Sampler

What I bought: Digital

What I paid: $5

 

In addition to the purchases made on Bandcamp, I’ve matched it with another $150 split between community bail funds, mutual aid funds, and racial justice organizers on behalf of COUNTERZINE. Should you be interested in donating in a similar fashion (you can donate at any level), the easiest way to do this is to visit this ActBlue link. Receipt shown below:

reciept

 

What’s covered in this article is but a tiny fraction of the great art created by independent black artists. We also highly recommend you take a look through this document of 1000+ black producers, artists, and labels (complete with links), as well as this article from Post-Trash.

For those looking to expand their views and knowledge beyond the realm of music, here’s a helpful document compiled by Sarah Sophie Flicker and Alyssa Klein containing reading and film suggestions that might help in broadening perspectives and understanding of race as it exists in the social context.

Lastly, fuck the cops, fuck the government, black lives matter.

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