London, I’m not ready to leave you yet

09Aug10

It’s been an amazingly busy and musical couple of weeks. And it’s pathetic I haven’t updated in a week, but again, it’s just impossible to do everything London has to offer and find enough time to sit inside, typing on a computer. Here’s a rundown of some of the other things I’ve been doing.

The other week I caught up with Benji Rogers, an awesome guy who, one year ago started up an ambitious and innovative website called Pledge Music. The site, based in London, allows bands who are strapped for cash and without the support of a major record label to set up a campaign tailored to their needs and fund recording projects and other endeavors. Fans receive specific exclusives for different pledge amounts. For example, a $10 pledge might get you a CD, or, on the other end of the spectrum, $1,500 might get you a live show in your own house from the band. Along with that, any pledger also received exclusive updates, photos, videos and downloads that give them an in-depth look into the band’s studio progress. And if that wasn’t enough, each band chooses a charity, of which a small percentage of their donations benefit.

As Benji explained to me, he wanted to create a “scenario where bands, fans and charities all could win.” And so far, it looks as though he’s accomplished that.

I got involved with the website earlier this year, when my favorite band, the Damnwells set up a Pledge Music campaign to fund the recording and release of their new record. I pledged $25 for a CD and t-shirt, and through the last several months, I’ve had access to all kinds of unreleased tracks and demos, feeding my appetite for new Damnwells material. It’s really an unbelievable innovation, that bypasses the restrictions of major label contracts and a lot of other difficulties for upstart, independent bands.

I’ll be writing a longer story on Pledge Music after I talk with the Damnwells’ Alex Dezen next week.

I also had the privilege of seeing two fantastic Filthy Boy gigs in the past week. These kids are really something else, and they’re going to be huge. I just wish I could stick around and see them burst onto the scene.

Filthy Boy playing their asses off at Proud Camden, last Monday.

Saturday, a group of us spent the afternoon into the night at the London Fields Festival in Hackney. We consumed our fair share of beer in London Fields Park, listening to live music as well as blaring dubstep from the dance tent. The real highlight of the day came in the simple form of a small, plastic soccer ball, that provided literally hours of entertainment. It got tossed and booted all around the entire festival, before we finally got it back, and continued kicking it back and forth with strangers until well after dark. Such a simple concept, and it introduced us to so many new, different people.

It’s really hard to believe I have less than a week left in London. I’ll be taking a three-day trip to Paris from Thursday to Saturday, then have one last day in London, and Sunday, I’ll be back in the States. This has been the most amazing experience of my entire life, and I don’t want to see it end.

Pub crawl in Camden Town tonight. I gotta go.

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