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. (Also, just for reassurance, the Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) maintain there is no evidence the coronavirus is spreading through the mail.)
Leave it to Bomba Estéreo to create a band tee as vibrant and psychedelic as the music on their forthcoming full-length Deja, out this Spring. (You can hear three tracks from the upcoming release here.) Like the band, this delicious article of clothing is made in Colombia, and it's eco-conscious: the polyester in each shirt was transformed from five recycled plastic bottles. So, versus a normal t-shirt, you are saving:
What has your t-shirt done for the planet lately?
Somehow, I completely missed the news that in 2019, Los Angeles-based band Cherry Glazerr teamed up with another L.A. icon Fred Segal for an exclusive fashion collection. (And sadly, somehow I missed the news that Segal passed away last month at the age of 87. R.I.P. to this retail visionary with excellent taste.)
The limited edition collaboration was inspired by the single “Call Me (feat. Portugal. The Man),” so there are some PtM nods here and there among the assortments of clothing, accessories, and more. (The fleece and denim jackets are particularly bomb.) But, this custom enamel ankle bracelet spoke to me, because it utilizes several of the designs used in other accessories (like these earrings and this pin set), but also because ankle-exposing weather is right around the corner, and what better way to show off yer stems?
We've spotlighted Japanese Breakfast's merch before — as we mentioned then, bandleader Michelle Zauner is a queen of the merch scene — but with the announcement of her highly-anticipated third LP Jubilee (out June 4th via Dead Oceans), she's unveiled a new series of tees, hoodies, hats, and, of course, her ever-popular chopsticks. This new set features the "Persimmon Girl" character, who also appears on baseball caps and enamel pins. These items are currently available for pre-order; items will ship on or around June 4th,
(And in other J-Brekkie merch news, her long-awaited memoir, Crying in H Mart, will be out April 20th via Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House. The book is an extension of her powerful 2018 essay for The New Yorker.)
Earlier this year, Merge Records announced the addition of New Orleans–born artist Dawn Richard to their already-awesome roster, and while this zine and her album, Second Line, won't be out until April 30th, you can get a pre-order for both now. A founding member of Danity Kane, and later of Sean "Diddy" Combs' Dirty Money duo, Richard began recording as Dawn (stylized "DΔWN") a decade ago. She describes her forthcoming release as “a movement to bring pioneering Black women in electronic music to the forefront.”
The 20-page limited-run zine features lyrics from the upcoming release, with illustrations by Dawn for each track. Full-color front cover with black & white inside pages, printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Measures 5.5" × 7.375”, like many classic zines do.
Named for a track on her brand-new album The Moon and Stars: Prescriptions for Dreamers (which comes out tomorrow, Friday, March 12th), this screenprint from folk/blues/country/more artist Valerie June is as pretty as her singing voice. The artwork comes from Baltimore-based freelance illustrator Alex Fine, who wrote on his Instagram, "Valerie June’s music has made staying at home more bearable during this pandemic and her concert in Baltimore helped me deal with a lot at the time. I obviously loved being able to contribute art for her record."
This 11" X 14" poster will arrive rolled in a sturdy cardboard tube.
In this special edition of Add to Cart, KEXP spotlights band merch inspired by (and most often, with proceeds donated to) the coronavirus pandemic.
To coincide with Bandcamp's latest revenue-waiving day, KEXP's Digital Content Team round up some albums you may have missed in 2020, so far.
In this special edition of Add to Cart, KEXP spotlights the plight of independent music venues in Seattle and things you can buy to help support them.