tonite @ 603^: Friends Live #1 taping w/ Band Practice + Catherine Cohen + gobbinjr

Live taping of a new split cassette from Band Practice & Catherine Cohen.
Saturday, March 26th @ 603^
8pm - 603 Bushwick Ave, in the apartments of Silent Barn.

Hey! If you are getting this email Catherine or Jeanette or I want you to come to the taping of their new split cassette that I am releasing this summer! One side is music. One side is comedy! The show is free and alcohol is provided.

When is stuff happening?
8pm - show up
8:30pm - gobbinjr (solo)
9:15pm - Catherine Cohen
10pm - Band Practice

Things you should bring!
alcohol - There will be free (but limited) beer & whiskey provided, but if you prefer drinking good stuff opposed to swill feel more than entitled to bring your own.
a pillow - Only if you want, because sitting rules.
a friend - Know someone who might want to come to this? Let me know when you RSVP. Space is limited, but in the case that 

Is this going to be a lot of fun?
Yeah, I'm pretty sure! Definitely seems like it!

Aggregate Distro

I publish comics, music and art books, and so far the biggest problem I have encountered in small & independent publishing is distribution. Starting last fall I began collecting information on every store I could find that sells independent media. Their name. Where they are. Their websites. Email addresses. Phone numbers. What they sell (in the most general sense). Now I have this list of over 1,200 book stores, comic stores and record shops in the United States, and I’m making it available for both public use in hopes that we can work together to find a collective solution. We got all this stuff made, and now what?

On top of the spreadsheet there is a form where you can add information, correct information or throw in general suggestions. If this is something you have a lot to say on the topic please email me at jm@jmcaggregate.com.

I think this spreadsheet is useful, but by no means do I view it as a solution. It is the first of four questions that I hope will lead to a larger more useful way to self-distribute.

1. Who & where are the stores?

That is this spreadsheet. Who are our allies? Where are they? How do we contact them?

2. What do these stores sell? What are they like?

Are they record stores that also sell comics? Are they used bookstores that sell some small press? Are they mainstream comic stores that will sell some zines on consignment? Is it a large chain of record stores based out of DC that has one buyer for all of their stores?

We need to track of all of this information on a spreadsheet in a way that is clean and easily searchable.

3. How do I market my art to these stores?

So we know what these stores are like, but how do we know they will like us? How do we know if we will like them? Really, what we need is a matchmaking service from artists and publishers to stores. Nobody benefits from unsold records and books sitting on shelves.

4. Vibes: what are they?

Questions 1, 2 and 3 come together in a way that works for artists and works for stores. I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I want to figure it out.

I am no longer exclusively all-ages, and thoughts on bullshit brand identity and the fallacy of compromise.

I am promoting my first show with an age restriction today. I would say this was a big decision for me, but I believe that decisions should be made in under 5 minutes, so IDK whatever. It is the end to a narrative arc that has been going on since 2010 when I booked my first show. “Always All-Ages.”

The show is She-Devils + Yohuna + True Blue at Baby’s All Right. It is She-Devils’ EP release, and I am heavy into their new song. The show came to me last minute and was already happening at Baby’s, so either I was involved with the show or I wasn’t. I decided to help promote it because it seemed as if the biggest casualty of my rigid all-ages rule would be me, I’m not going to senselessly stick to a rule because it is the backbone of this identity I have found myself in. I have zero interest in brand continuity and all the interest in results that are the most consistent with what I care about.

The world is easier for me to digest when I break it down to things I want and things that I do not want. I want to work with artists I find interesting. I want to do accessible shows. I want to be surrounded by friends. I don’t want to be looking for an artist to hitch my wagon to. I don’t want to have a career tacking my name on shows in sterile bars. I don’t want shows that are inaccessible legally or culturally. I don’t want my living subsidized by alcohol sales.

I might book more shows at a place like Baby’s or Alphaville because there are a lot of artists that I work with that need to play at a place like Baby’s. The Silent Barn (I love it) is a marginal venue. A large chunk of The Silent Barn’s audience are artists, but a growing performer needs to make the jump from playing to other artists to people with day jobs that have money to spend. The Silent Barn is a confusing place. Baby’s is safe, but cool enough to make people feel like they’re going out.

You know who else are normal people with a jobs that don’t like to be made to feel uncool? Booking agents. Mangers. Label representatives. Now, do I think I am cooler than these people because I am in the trenches more than they are? Fucking, of course I do, but that is exemplary of this giant flaw we keep making where ethics and cool have been married in narrative, so we talk about them interchangeably when they are very different things.

Nobody argues against all-ages shows. Often when people talk about all-ages or (uuuuuuuugh…) “DIY” they create this invisible villain that is some jealous square in an oxford shirt who is driven mad by people having fun. That person doesn’t exist. The villain is us. We make compromises like “I play by other people’s rules so I can continue to participate in the thing I care about,” and then forget the corrective action to balance out the give with the take. Making compromises is not what hurts us. What hurts us is conforming to systems we don’t believe in and calling it “compromising.” Deciding you don’t give a shit anymore isn’t a compromise. That is caving in. People who don’t compromise are stranded on an island, and people who cave in abandon their cause.

Here is what I am going to do: pop-up shows in the suburbs & shows in NYC public schools. I have been meeting with high schools and looking at every Elks Lodge, church basement and parks department building I can find. I can promise you that when this actualizes I will make the logistics and finances entirely transparent so you can replicate it, because what is the point if I’m the only one doing this?

Here is what I need from you: Drive my ass around. Seriously tho, I need people who want to work on shows with me, and knowing how to do sound or having access to a car are huge helps! At this stage the biggest hep is sharing information. Know an available space that can fit over 100 people (300 ideally) within an hour’s drive of NYC? Show it to me! Know any cool administrators at a public school? Give me their email! Know a kid in high school in Huntington or in Yonkers or in Paramus with good taste? Have them text me. Nine one four, two six one, three one nine nine. Most of all, I need you to stick with me.

Two years ago I did this homework thing which adults thought was funny, but only 2 kids ever took me up on, and that bummed me out! I was doing it to make the process of going to Bushwick on a weeknight less intimidating to young people. What I have realized is a lot of the all-ages shows I do are still inaccessible to the people they are for, regardless of the nonexistent age regulations. If I want young people to go to shows I need to go to them. So I bought a PA system and I’m dragging it to where the kids are. JMC is for the children, or at least until I get it right.

Anyway, the show on tonight is free. You should come.