I just had to share this with everyone. I received an email from Virgil Dickerson, the man behind Suburban Home Records. The email was sent out to everyone who has ever ordered from Suburban Home Records or Vinyl Collective. Usually the email lets the music fans know what is new and good on their label but this time around I saw a more personal message from the label regarding downloading.
Sometimes I think people forget that downloading music from the internet for free hurts the artist that created that music. It also hurts the record company trying to help them out. Free is good, but is it really worth it to hurt the bands you are actually downloading?
Not all record labels out there are money sucking corporate bastards and not all bands make millions of dollars. A lot of the labels out there struggle to do what they love and rely on the music lover to support the bands they love by actually buying their albums. The same goes with the bands. Virgil is one of those folk in the world who is a label owner and music lover. What he wrote below says it best about the situation. He also came up with a novel idea of making a mixtape to offer to the music lovers out there free of charge (you just pay for shipping).
As 2009 comes closer and closer to its end and I think about the new year ahead, I find myself thinking about Suburban Home’s future and how I can adapt to the constant changes in the music industry. I recently read an artist’s commentary on their lack of CD sales and how their album has been illegally downloaded at least 60 times more than it has been purchased. I can think of very few industries that have to struggle to sell something that is actively and easily acquired for free. Had I, for example, started a restaurant, it would be hard to be successful if people could download my best dishes from the comfort of their home. As a record label owner for over 14 years, I have accepted that this is just how people acquire and distribute music.
Technology has made being a music fan so much easier and well, exciting. You couple that though with the number of releases that come out every week and the normal attention spans of music fans and it can be a pretty daunting task to get the attention of music fans that would be receptive to the music we release. If I had endless amounts of money, I could mount a marketing plan that could reach every music fan in the world 10 times over. I definitely don’t have that kind of money and if I did, I wouldn’t feel right beating people over the head with our music. I like the idea that people who discover our artists and become fans of our releases do so on a purely organic level and because they truly love the music we release. When I hear someone say that they value Suburban Home’s releases and look forward to what we put out next, it means the world to me. I am surprised that after 14 years of running a label, I still love the music I put out. I see many more successful labels releasing records that sell an insane amount of records and I often wonder if they actually love the albums they release. I can say with ease that if the release features a Suburban Home logo on the back, I love the album. I can only hope that the handfuls of people who discover our little, independent label, likes what we do enough to tell others about our artists and our releases. I can only hope that when our acts tour through your town, each time they come through a few more people come out and the acts can make enough money to do another tour. I can only hope that we can sell enough records to cover our expenses and to hopefully put out more records.
Inspired by a documentary on mixtapes and the cheap punk samplers that turned me onto new music, I made a mixtape. The mixtape is free, all you have to do is pay for shipping. We will send you 5 copies with the hope that you keep 1 and give 4 to friends. You can help us spread the word about our little label while also finding out about the music we love. I started this little record label because I love music and I love the idea of sharing music with my friends. I hope to make a new mixtape every 1 or 2 months which will feature Suburban Home artists along side some of my favorite non-Suburban Home artists. Give copies to friends, yousendit to others, post it on your blog, share it whatever manner you can. We may not have the biggest marketing budgets around, but I think we have enough friends through music who can help us spread the word about what we do.
Please also consider taking advantage of one of our 12 days of xmas sales. I think we have posted a lot of killer sales and if you ask me, the gift of music is a great gift for the holidays (even if it is for yourself). Some of our sales might find you with doubles of our releases, just give those doubles as gifts and keep everything else.
Be aware that the US Postal Service gets pretty slammed this time of year and I recommend ordering sooner than later and also encourage you to select Priority Mail or UPS for quicker shipping.
Thanks for reading my little blurb and thanks for supporting what we do.
Your friend through music,
Please visit Vinyl Collective to grab a copy (actually when you order you get 5 copies – 1 for you and 4 for your friends). This is the perfect way to check out some new up and coming bands out there.
Just looking at the bands on the mix I think more than just punk rockers are going to like it… Jut check it out below. There is punk, indie, folk, and much more. Just pay for shipping and it is yours. Do it.
1 Tim Barry – Thing of the Past
2 Tim Barry – Shoulda Oughta
3 Tim Barry – Tacoma
4 Chuck Ragan – Don’t Say a Word
5 William Elliott Whitmore – Old Devils
6 Micah Schnabel – American Static
7 The Takers – Taker Easy
8 The Enablers – Whatever You Like (T.I. Cover)
9 Drive-By Truckers – Gravity’s Gone
10 Deer Tick – Straight into a Storm
11 Drag The River – Lost Angel Saloon
12 Josh Small – Fifteen Twenty Eye (demo)
13 Horse Feathers – Curs In the Weeds
14 Have Gun Will Travel – Salad Days
15 Joey Kneiser – Bruised Ribs
16 Portugal. The Man – People Say (Acoustic Version)
17 The Builders and The Butchers – Red Hands
18 Yesterday’s Ring – Quebec City Blues
19 Chad Price – Cursed
20 Lenny and the Piss Poor Boys – Lonely Days & Whiskey Nights
21 American War – Rhetoric
22 Jon Snodgrass – Wild One (Thin Lizzy Cover)
23 Lizzie Huffman – Tumblers and Tea
24 Langhorne Slim – I Love You, But Good Bye
(FYI Ohio people…American War is from Kent, OH and that kid is talented as hell!!!)