Monday, August 27, 2012

Chicago Kickstarter Spotlight

By Gene Wagendorf III

We here at Windy City Rock are always looking for new ways to support our amazing local music scene. No shit. As all you internet savvy types are surely aware, the Kickstarter boom has offered independent artists another way to keep putting out kick ass music. This will be the first in a (hopefully) monthly series of articles spotlighting a couple Chicago-based music projects that we think you, our wonderful WCR readers, might dig. Open up your ears, open up your wallets and make these projects happen.

Bullied By Strings makes a music video

Poster concept art by James Zark
The first project here is one that's quite dear to me. Local dance rockers Bullied By Strings (who we've covered several times before) are looking for cash to make their first proper music video, for the track "Breathe New Life." The trio combines drums, synths, bass, flute and saxophone to create a unique, genre-bending party. You can dance to it. You can fight to it. You can fuck to it. Either way, BBS is going to move you, and you're going to enjoy the hell out of it. While Bullied does make damn enjoyable recorded music, their strength has consistently been in combining the sonic with the visual. The theatrical bombast of their live shows is something every fan of theirs should experience, and it's a strength that leads me to believe these guys (and doll) have the aesthetic chops to put out a killer video. We in Chicago have been lucky to have the group gigging around town the last few years. What about the fans in Sri Lanka? Don't the fans in Sri Lanka deserve a taste of what Bullied By Strings is capable of when firing on all cylinders? The group has enlisted the help of several local filmmakers for the project, and are offering some sweet incentives for backers. $10 gets you a digital EP, but the more generous can snag limited edition posters, private drum lessons from kit-demolisher Gabe "Front Row" Rowland, an invitation to hang out in the band's studio for a day, or even a private show. Have I mentioned that this trio is killer live? BBS are a band destined for great things and poised to break out at any minute. This is your chance to get in on the action early. And really, isn't the best part of discovering new music being able to act like a snotty prick when everyone catches on two months later? Check out Bullied By Strings' Kickstarter video and pony up some cash here. Listen to "Breathe" below.

The Gig Poster Project

The second Kickstarter project that should have you reaching for your credit card comes by way of Spudnik Press Cooperative and local circus-punk marching band Mucca Pazza. Those two outfits are working together on what they're calling The Gig Poster Project, wherein three Chicago high schools and over 200 students will get a crash course in screen printing and design. The kids will each create their very own show poster, which will go on display in a public exhibition at Harold Washington College. Mucca Pazza will assist in awarding 18 honorable mentions and one Grand Prize. Those students will be invited to lessons at a private printshop, while the winner will design a poster for Pazza and receive mentorship on a future project. The whole thing climaxes with a celebratory show at a local venue, headlined by Mucca Pazza.

There are pretty great incentives here too, like discount card making workshops at Paper Source, limited edition screen prints and private screen printing workshops for you (the backer) and six friends. Need flashy new business cards? There's an incentive for that. Need a poster for your own gig? There's an incentive for that. Let's be honest here people, you're going to blow at least $40 on booze this weekend, and another $20 on a cab and a shitty burrito. Wouldn't you feel better about yourself if you used that cash to change the lives of some talented Chicago kids? Who knows, four years from now your shitty lo-fi/neo-gospel/post-melody/pop-scuzz band might need a poster for a gig. Where will you be if all the children have gone uneducated in the fine art of screen printing? Dicking around on MS Paint, that's where. Click here to check out The Gig Poster Project's video and donate. Save the children, save the future, save yourself.

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