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5 Local Albums To Buy On Bandcamp Today To Donate To The ACLU

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Feb 3, 2017 8:35PM

Photo by Freshly Diced

There are many reasons to be a fan of Bandcamp. It's a great place for artists to get their music out there with a low barrier of entry, and the site's cross-platform embed codes make it super simple to share and promote music. We've even used to it release one of our favorite "unreleased albums of all time. But today there's a new reason to visit the site.

For any purchase made on the site today, Bandcamp will be donate 100 percent of their share of the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union. Additionally, over 400 artists and labels are donating their proceeds as well, but the Bandcamp donation applies to any purchase you make.

In an online statement, Bandcamp founder and CEO Ethan Diamond explained the motivation behind this move:

Like 98% of U.S. citizens (including the President), I am the descendant of immigrants—my great-grandparents came to America from Russia and Lithuania as teenagers and worked in sweatshops until they were able to afford to bring the rest of their families over. Most everyone you speak to in this country has a similar story to tell, because we are, in fact, a nation of immigrants, bound together by a shared belief in justice, equality, and the freedom to pursue a better life. In this context, last week’s Executive Order barring immigrants and refugees from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the United States is not simply immoral, it violates the very spirit and foundation of America.

Needs some help to get you started? Here are five local acts whose albums we think would make a fine addition to any music collection.

Tight Phantomz's Silk Prison came out in 2012, but we still don't think the double-album has been heard by nearly enough people. Local musician and engineer Mike Lust leads the group, and while they've been largely dormant recently, this album still feels vital and new.

Love In October is primarily a studio project now, with it's two members living in different cities, but this grab bag of old demos is worth a listen. Actually, calling these "demos" seems like a misnomer since this is a largely polished and solid selection of power-pop gems.

Tom Schraeder pumps out a ton of music, and generally enjoys pushing boundaries and exploring every dark corner he can root in his brain. On Gush, though, Schraeder concocted an amazing collection of rock songs that feel perfectly put together and wise beyond their years. He sat on the album a long time and long considered never releasing it, but we are so happy that he did.

If you don't mind waiting a few days to hear your purchase, now would be a good time to pre-order Meat Wave's The Incessant, out Feb. 17. The Chicago trio takes their cues from the classically brutal sound championed by many '80s and '90s groups on Touch & Go. But it's not all sledgehammers to the skull: there are some pretty great hooks fighting their way out of the fray.

And let's double up on the Chicago-ness with this ode to Jeppson's Malört by Archie Powell and the Exports.

Of course this would also be an excellent time to fill in any holes in your Drag City collection, now that much of the local label's iconic discography is recently available on Bandcamp. Download some classic independent rock and give to a good cause!

We also reached out to Jes Skolnik, managing editor at Bandcamp Daily and a Chicago resident, for her recommendations.