Whether it's recording an album, pressing it on vinyl or trying to get on the road, sometimes even your favorite bands need a helping hand to see their vision come to life. We present to you KICKSTART MY ART, AP's weekly roundup of Kickstarter (and similarly crowd-funded) projects created by bands and labels you love who are asking you to love them just a few dollars more.
BAND: Five Iron Frenzy
PROJECT: Recording a new album
To describe the fanbase of Christian ska act Five Iron Frenzy as "diehard" is drastically underselling them: When the band launched their Kickstarter campaign last week to raise a hefty $30,000 to help fund the recording of a new album (their first in eight years), their fans donated enough money to see the project through in 55 minutes. In the week since, the campaign has raised more than $100,000 more, with the band adding new rewards as quickly as old ones sell out. We suspect that some church's collection plates will be just a little bit lighter this weekend.
BAND: Sparks The Rescue
PROJECT: Recording a new album/Getting a new tour van
This Maine pop-rock band have recently been dropped by Fearless Records, as well as found their tour van on life support. The band are trying to raise $6,000 in the next 30 days to help fund the cost of recording a new album as well as finding a new van to hit the road again. Rewards range from "virtual hugs" ($1) to a private concert anywhere in the world where you get to pick the setlist (a whopping $8,000), with plenty of options in between.
LABELS: Asbestos Records & Underground Communique Records
PROJECT: The 3rd Wave Ska Preservation Society
After sucessfully launching the "Ska Is Dead" 7-inch series with Reel Big Fish, the Slackers and more last year, Connecticut's Asbestos Records and Chicago's Underground Communique Records are teaming up once more to create the 3rd Wave Ska Preservation Society, a Kickstarter project designed to give the vinyl treatment to albums from the era that never got it. Shooting for $8,000, the labels want to use that money to issue (or in one case, reissue) vinyl from the Pilfers, the Pietasters, Edna's Goldfish and Suburban Legends. They're currently at $5,800, so if you're interested, pledge your cash for some vinyl and pick it up, pick it up, pick it up.
BAND: The Felix Culpa
PROJECT: Vinyl release of their first album, Commitment
Illinois art-rockers the Felix Culpa have exactly six days of life left—they're playing their final show in Chicago on Dec. 9. But that's not stopping them from trying to get their 2004 debut, Commitment, pressed to vinyl for the first time, using a new crowd-funding site called Hundo. The site's premise: 100 people have to pledge whatever the amount is for the project in question (in this case, $20); if 100 people pledge before the project's fundraising time is up (in this case, 11 days), everyone gets charged and the project goes into production. If not, then no money changes hands—but the project dies. Currently, the band are roughly halfway there; it's up to you to decide if they should hit 100 supporters or not.
Are these projects worth your hard-earned money? What projects should people give to instead? Leave a comment and tell us!