I’m not going to pretend I’m thinking about much besides yesterday’s election. Even if Biden squeaks this one out, the country still has to contend with the fact that nearly half its electorate supports a president openly calling for a fascist coup. And I’ll never understand why millions of Illinois voters rejected the Fair Tax amendment, which would’ve benefited workers who’ve already suffered and lost so much during the pandemic—now the state will close its budget gaps without troubling the rich, so get ready for more service cuts and new burdens for those least able to pay. In between flashes of panic about our fragile democracy, I like to think about how I can improve the lives of those around me.
It’s a small thing, but so-called Bandcamp Fridays can make a real difference for independent musicians and labels—and the next one is coming up on November 6. For these 24-hour periods, the beloved digital music retailer passes along its usual 10 to 15 percent share of sales revenue. Bandcamp began this practice shortly after COVID-19 brought live music to a halt in March, and listeners spent $4.3 million on the site that first day. Since May, the first Friday of each month has been “Bandcamp Friday,” and they’ll continue at least through December.
In my own Bandcamp Friday tradition, I’ve rounded up links to the past month’s Reader coverage of music you can buy through the platform. We cover a ton of ground in the music section, so I suspect you’ll be able to discover at least one new release to love. I also recommend revisiting my Bandcamp roundups from March, May, June, July, August, September, and October—they total hundreds of releases, which ought to be enough music to drown out the ceaseless updates about ballot counts for as long as you need. These guides not only provide helpful windows into the rich trove of music on Bandcamp but also double as cross sections of the Reader‘s archives of great music writing.
Angry Blackmen, Headshots!
Jim Baker, Keefe Jackson, and Julian Kirshner, So Glossy and So Thin
Nate Barksdale, Summer Was Over Before It Started
BBsitters Club, BBsitters Club & Party
Bless the Mad, Bless the Mad
Brandy, The Gift of Repetition
Chris Connelly and Jessica Gallo, “Prayer” (tribute to Bill Rieflin)
Contorno, Won’t Be Gone
Crippled Black Phoenix, Ellengæst
Food House, Food House
Fraxiom, Music and Feeling Cool and Normal
Gabriel Garzón-Montano, Agüita
Zachary Good and Lia Kohl, Standing Lenticular
Laura Jane Grace, Stay Alive
Growing Concerns Poetry Collective, Big Dark Bright Futures
Mary Halvorson’s Code Girl, Artlessly Falling
Judith Hamann, Shaking Studies and Music for Cello and Humming
Loraine James, Nothing
Mohawk Johnson, Fire-Type
Rich Jones & Montana Macks, How Do You Sleep at Night?
Adrianne Lenker, Songs and Instrumentals
Molasses, Through the Hollow
Mooner, The Alternate Universe of Love
Sen Morimoto, Sen Morimoto
Mr. Bungle, The Raging Wrath of the Easter Bunny Demo
Aquiles Navarro & Tcheser Holmes, Heritage of the Invisible II
Tawny Newsome & Bethany Thomas, Material Flats
No Slogan, Daggers
Nonlocal Forecast, Holographic Universe(s?)!
Optic Sink, Optic Sink
Lama Lobsang Palden and Jim Becker, Compassion
Pallbearer, Forgotten Days
Pool Holograph, Love Touched Time and Time Began to Sweat
Frankie “Hollywood” Rodriguez, 555 soundtrack
Secret Drum Band, Chuva
Sheet Ghosts, Did It Ever Happen?
Matthew Shipp Trio, The Unidentifiable
Spirit Adrift, Enlightened in Eternity
Star, Violence Against Star
Dayna Stephens Quartet, Right Now! Live at the Village Vanguard
Sumac, May You Be Held
Sun Ra Arkestra, Swirling
Tricky, Fall to Pieces
Jeff Tweedy, Love Is the King
The Twilite Tone, The Clearing
Various artists, Distort Midwest 2020
Various artists, Mini MIDI Mixtape
Various artists, New Neighborhoods
Verbal Kent & the Other Guys, The Blade of the Short Cut v