• Corrine Halbert
  • Thymme Jones and Jeff Libersher of Cheer-Accident

Last week the New York Times ran an article about an interesting new model for musicians to sell their work directly to the public. The piece focused on Rabbit Rabbit Radio, a cool online subscription service launched by singer, violinist, and composer Carla Kihlstedt and her husband, the drummer and composer Matthias Bossi—who recently rolled through town playing songs that first emerged through the website. For two to five dollars each month (it’s up to the user how much to pay) subscribers get new songs by the couple and occasional collaborators available only through the site; Rabbit Rabbit Radio also posts videos and photos and offers an archive of older songs. Their latest selection is a song called “Before the Sun,” a section of a longer improvisation done with Chicago’s own Cheer-Accident.

In the Times piece the band’s cofounder, Thymme Jones, commented enthusiastically on the concept:

“The instant I saw what they were doing,” said Mr. Jones, who was a subscriber from the start, “the light bulb went off, and I thought, ‘We’re going to rip off this idea.’ For us, it will be an interesting way of doing things differently after 25 years of releasing physical discs. And if my math is right, we have tons of people on our mailing list.”

Indeed, as reported earlier this summer in Gossip Wolf, Cheer-Accident is launching its subscription service this Sunday, September 1. Fans can spend between two and ten dollars on the service, “based on what you can afford and/or what you chose to afford.” That fee “gets you a new/downloadable (highly exclusive) song every month as well as access to rare live video clips, a ‘Wild Card’ segment (this could entail just about anything, so tread carefully), and a fellow named ‘Phrogclock.'” (For the uninitiated, “Phrogclock” is a Jones alter ego.) Anyone that subscribes to the service prior to the launch will get a bonus song to download.

The band plays a rare show Saturday afternoon at the final installment of Experimental Sound Studio‘s Summersonic series. Implodes will open. Next month the band will head to Europe for a tour and Saturday’s concert will feature the same lineup, with Jones on drums, trumpet, vocals, and piano, Jeff Libersher on guitar, trumpet, and vocals, Evelyn Davis on vocals and keyboards, Dante Kester on bass, and Charles Dudley Bayne III on keyboards. Below you can check out the song “Sleep” from the band’s most recent album, No Ifs, Ands, or Dogs (Cuneiform), from 2011.


Today’s playlist:

Mike Wexler, Disposession (Mexican Summer)
Arts & Sciences, New You (Singlespeed Music)
Theatre of Voices/Ars Nova Copenhagen, Arvo Pärt: Creator Spiritus (Harmonia Mundi)
Batida, Batida (Soundway)
Don Byron New Gospel Quintet, Love, Peace and Soul (Savoy Jazz)