IT’S TIME TO BUY IN TO LOCAL MUSIC

Rich people never make great music. You know it. I know it. This is just one of those universal truths; like republicans make terrible dancers, and vegans are horrible at comedy. The people who make great music do so by giving all their time and energy and opportunity over to a singular passion: making great music.

If you’ve been proud of your friends playing in local bands, you’ve seen this. They’re the ones who pour all their resources into musical instruments (and maybe tattoos). They will cram themselves into overcrowded vans and drive to crumby places like Bakersfield or Fresno to play shows in dive bars for a whisper of exposure; but never travel anywhere recommended by Condé Nast because they’re always saving up to make that next record.

Well, your friends at The Redwoods have five next records.

This is exciting news, because The Redwoods music label has gotten very good at making records. And if you put together a top ten list of the best female vocalists in San Diego, right now, all five women fronting Redwoods bands would be on it. It is known.

But it’s also a problem. Because while the Redwoods Music label / collective / family / revue boasts more than a dozen immensely talented local musicians, they generally happen to be not-rich. See above.

That’s why, after releasing five records on their own dime, they’ve launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise cash for five fresh releases. Usually, they spend all their money on recording, production, artwork, design, duplication — one record at a time. Then, when they come home from working day jobs, they go out and play a hundred shows a year so they can sell enough copies of that record to pay to make the next one.

That’s not counting the days they spend in the studio; or the all day, every day, they spend sending each other song ideas, audio snippets, and other messages about how they can find ways to make their music better. They live and breathe this stuff, and the results of their hard work and dedication help prevent our music scene from disintegrating into a mess of Slightly Stoopid clones, and tribute bands. If that’s not worthy of a few crowdfunding bucks, I don’t know what is.

Take a listen to their music, and check out their pitch, and consider buying in to our local music scene — either by helping out Redwoods, or another local band you believe is trying to make something great. In these days of Pandora stations and Spotify playlists, keeping up a local music scene we can truly be proud of takes a more direct involvement.

Besides, you’ll get more out of it than fan cred. Kickbacks for contributions include album downloads, unreleased demos, and rare vinyl releases. For $28 you can even get a hand-painted Dani Bell and the Tarantist-style mask.

And if you’re sitting there on a pile of money taking offense that I don’t think you can make a great record, prove me wrong. Kick $5K towards the Redwoods GoFundMe, and label cofounders Matt Molarius and Alfred Howard will write and produce a record exclusively for you. You can be like that pharmaceutical bro who bought the only copy of that Wu Tang record, except actually beloved by your community.

Actually, Matt says, “We’re hoping Martin Shkreli gets word of this.”

“We’ll make it specifically for him,” adds Al. “He’s not going to like it.”

Photos courtesy Kristy Walker / Studio Vérité Photography