With festivals, tours, and concerts canceled, and no end in sight, bands are feeling financially strapped. For a musician, touring is their largest source of income, and in some cases, that includes the salaries of guitar techs, tour managers, sound engineers, and more. So, what can we do to support our favorite bands during this tumultuous time? Aside from generous virtual tips during an artist's live streaming concert, you can also treat yourself to some of their merchandise. I don't know about you, but retail therapy is just what my anxious brain needs right now, plus, you're helping some of your favorite bands make ends meet 'til they can get back on the road. Win-win.
KEXP is rounding up some of our favorite items from bands who've been impacted by the coronavirus, to help inspire you to do your own online shopping. So, walk on over to the virtual merch table, add to cart, and show your support 'til they can get back on stage.
(Also, just for reassurance, the Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidance maintain there is no evidence the coronavirus is spreading through the mail.)
"Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday... It's ALL The Same Day..."
AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH? If, like many of us, you keep forgetting what day of the week it is because all the days bleed into one, throw out the calendar and embrace the unknown with this handy tote bag from Washed Out. It's the perfect thing to hold all your groceries when you duck into Whole Foods wearing a mask and gloves and doing your social distancing. And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the "Washed Out Weed Jokes Sticker Pack", featuring five 4.25" x 5.5" sized stickers because we could all use a laugh right now.
The chillwave king (real name: Ernest Greene) also just released a new digital single via Sub Pop that you can hear here.
Seattle-via-Outer-Space hip-hop project Shabazz Palaces released their fifth LP last month titled The Don of Diamond Dreams. And if you purchase the album through the Sub Pop Records Megamart, you'll receive The Mushroom, a 90-page, 8x8 inch zine from "elusive author TTT," inspired by the new release. (If I didn't know any better, I'd suspect KEXP's own Martin Douglas as the mysterious author, but I think he'd come up with a better alias.)
Obviously, it's more economical to just buy the LP and get the zine as a bonus, but if, for some reason, you just want the zine, they've made it available in their online shop. (And Sub Pop tells us that this mini-book will be available for purchase at Shabazz Palaces shows, once they're able to tour again.)
During this time of quarantine, families are turning to wholesome group activities like jigsaw puzzles. (Because when everything's falling apart, at least you can piece together some cardboard?) Northwest's STRFKR to the rescue with their own puzzle featuring the artwork from their brand new release, Future Past Life. (Read more about it and check out the single "Never The Same" here.) There are 100 pieces included and the finished product measures 12" x 12". The only bummer is, this is only available for pre-order right now and won't be shipped until July 15th. Surely, we'll all be out of quarantine by then... right? RIGHT?!?!?! Ahem. STRFKR are also doing a pre-order for a Future Past Life pillow... to help muffle your screams of desperation.
Another thing families are embracing as they shelter-in-place is cooking, as your Instagram feed is probably proving. Join the trend with this oven mitt from beloved Brooklyn dance-punks LCD Soundsystem. If you're wondering, "why a panda?", revisit their video for the 2010 single "Drunk Girls," co-directed by LCD mastermind James Murphy and acclaimed director Spike Jonze.
Unlike the pandas in that clip, this panda won't beat you up; instead, he'll protect your fingers with insulated neoprene designed to handle temperatures of 400 degrees and less. (The webshop assures us, "it is made with real neoprene, not foam.") They add, "the textured side makes it easy to grip any pots, pans, or casserole dishes." (Or the throats of abusive pandas in music videos.)
There's been a lot of fuss about hair salons being closed during the quarantine, but no one is talking about the thousands of tattoo parlors that have been put on hold. Until you can permanently brand your body with your love for Northwest rock, try out these Sleater-Kinney temporary tattoos. Each set comes with three pages of these delicious designs by artist Molly Schiot. The transfers apply easy with water and will stay on for 3-5 days unless you intentionally remove them with rubbing alcohol. ("Water-proof, Sweat-proof, Smudge-proof," they claim.) And you can pretend Janet Weiss is still in the band with her carrot representation.
Charrie and Corrancge — I mean, Carrie and Corin — have a tour optimistically booked for August, kicking off with an August 6th date at the First Interstate Center for the Arts in Spokane, WA. Here's hoping we can all start going to concerts again soon!
On Friday, May 1st, Bandcamp will yet again waive their revenue share on all purchases for 24 hours, in a gesture of support to all the artists who've been impacted by the coronavirus lockdowns. KEXP's Digital Content Team has rounded up some of the things we'll be adding to our carts today.
It's like shooting fish in a barrel. KEXP continues our series spotlighting stuff you should buy to help support your favorite bands during the quarantine.
KEXP presents a series rounding up some of the most interesting band merch we can find, helping you support your favorite bands during this time of staying home.