For today – Friday, May 1 – only, Bandcamp is foregoing their profit-sharing in order to better support musicians in the time of COVID-19. Normally the music-distribution platform takes a percentage of each purchase, but once a month for the next three months, Bandcamp is giving 100 percent of the revenue to the artist.
So now is a good time to support local area musicians. Below is a list of Milwaukee-based artists you may want to consider, in no specific order.
If you can't swing enough money to pick up every album, you've got extra time to complete the collection, as Bandcamp will waive its profit-share again on Friday, June 5 and Friday, July 3.
Note: Some of the artists put their tracks up with the ability to name your price. This theoretically means that you could pay nothing and get the album for free, but keep in mind: The goal is to support these artists and get them as much of the money as possible. You could download these tracks for free any other time – but why do it on the day they stand to gain the most? Consider an etiquette of at least $1 per track or $10 for a full album.
On with the show!
I can't provide a full recommendation, because the EP was just released today, but the one track they released for preview ("Hey Bud") is a neat, lo-fi, twinkly emo number, and it suggests this group could be a promising one.
"Americana" provides the sounds you'd expect from an album bearing such a name, but the beauty, skill and contemplation really marry the experience together. It is missing one component, though: the stage presence. It's really a band you should see live – but in the meantime, this album is not a bad replacement.
A weird, experimental math rock featuring the prolific noise artist Peter J. Woods and Cat Ries, formerly of NO/NO, who has a pretty solid history of knowing how to close out an album.
Speaking of which, I wrote about NO/NO's final album, with equal measures of dance and saudade, in the middle of last year ... then lost track and forgot to buy it. Now's the time!
Chill, soulful and jazzy hip-hop. Klassik is an artist's artist.
Party against the patriarchy with these dance-y disco grooves.
I've been following AUTOMatic since their first release in 2012 and I've always appreciated what they had to offer, but "Marathon" is so far the pinnacle of their career. It's incredibly well balanced; APRIME and Trellmatic feel very comfortable in these shoes, finding the best avenues to blend classic R&B, jazz and hip-hop grooves.
I hope we see more from these guys soon.
If you're feeling a need for some cathartic anger management, do it along side the impressive intensity and conviction from vocalist Amy Upthagrove.
If you've seen Brian Slawson's eerie, post-COVID-19 streets of Milwaukee video and yearn for a time, not long ago, when things were different, Lex Allen is the hero you need – especially his poppy 2019 release "Let Go". Go watch it and remember the sun, the fresh air and the friends we used to hang out with.
Unfortunately, this song is not available on Bandcamp, but a handful of his other singles are, including his 2017 hit, "Never Look Back," which is maybe more appropriate.
A solid, anthemic, snotty pop-punk album that triggers a very real nostalgia for me, riding shotgun in my friend's car over high school summer break in the late '90s. It's got just enough aggression to get your hackles up, but cut with enough attitude to get you jumping.
Growling dance rock that coolly treads the line between tight and carelessness, and pairs well with the power tools needed to finish those quarantine-inspired around-the-house projects you started last month.
Soaring, electronic, synth-laden dance music needed for the in-house dance party to lament your cancelled prom.
Jason McDowell grew up in central Iowa and moved to Milwaukee in 2000 to attend the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.
In 2006 he began working with OnMilwaukee as an advertising designer, but has since taken on a variety of rolls as the Creative Director, tackling all kinds of design problems, from digital to print, advertising to branding, icons to programming.
In 2016 he picked up the 414 Digital Star of the Year award.
Most other times he can be found racing bicycles, playing board games, or petting dogs.