I think that it’s time to take a step back and speak to local music fans once again.
Last time, I encouraged Portland music fans to support local musicians against the unbalance of influence the mainstream music industry has due to their abundance of cash. Although I don’t want to be redundant, Jov Novosti made an interesting point in the interview we had with him a couple weeks back. It’s been weighing on my mind since then.
To put Jov’s point simply, every time you make a purchase of local artists’ work, you’re investing in their next piece of work. Take it a step further: you’re investing in the future of your entertainment and enjoyment. Every dollar you put into an artist’s work or merchandise means money in the artist’s pocket to reinvest into their business, their art.
All businesses are out to make a profit. That’s reality. When you make a purchase of any product, you’re paying for the cost of materials to make the product, the process of manufacturing, and labor costs; every middleman in the distribution channel takes a cut; and then you pay the retailer for getting the product to you, plus a bit more to make sure the retailer is profitable so that they can keep their doors open. Profitability for each player in the process is crucial, otherwise they have no motivation to stay in business and you don’t have access to the necessities of life.
Most of us can’t live without music. It takes musicians to make music. Musicians need to be profitable to keep making music. I’ve seen so many great bands in the last five years dissolve because the members had to continue spending the majority of their time working day jobs, which distracts them from creating music, so they get discouraged from continuing as musicians just like a small business that closes its doors because they’ve been in the red too long.
You’re okay with paying a premium to be one of the first to buy the next iPhone. So where’s your excitement when your favorite Portland musician has a ten dollar album to sell?
Local music fans are key members of the local music industry. Without you, the local music community doesn’t have the fuel to keep going. You like what you hear? Buy it.
As a side note, since I mentioned the distribution channel: try to buy music directly from your local musician. That way, the musician doesn’t have to pay anyone to deliver. The Bottlecap Boys are even willing to ride their bikes to your house and hand your their album.