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Alchemic Ex-Wilco'er Turns Cash Into Vinyl

By Johnny Loftus in Arts & Entertainment on May 21, 2009 5:40PM

Image courtesy
When he isn't suing former bandmates, Jay Bennett puts out records. Last November, the erstwhile Wilco guitarist issued Whatever Happened I Apologize, his fifth solo effort, through the online-only distributor Rock Proper, which offers free downloads of its releases. But for those who'd like to hold more than a jumble of ones and zeros in their hands, Bennett and Rock Proper have hooked up with a somewhat novel new service called Kickstarter: pledge some cash, and watch that download become a real live 12" record.

The album's Kickstarter page breaks down the numbers. Pledge a $1 or more, and you get your name in the liners. Pledge $15? You're guaranteed a copy of the album. And hey, if you pledge $500, you might as well tell Jay to pick you up in a rickshaw and knit you a sweater, 'cause you get the mother lode -- an autographed copy of Whatever Happened, a poster, a postcard, and a "tour/visit or half-hour acoustic guitar lesson at Jay's Pieholden Suite Sound studio." Is it wrong to use that half-hour to learn classic Wilco licks? Too soon?

There are currently eight backers of the project, with $107 pledged toward the $4000 goal.