Consider this a special edition of What’s Up Punks, if you’d be so kind. There’s a lot going on and a whole lot more necessity and urgency right now for fans of the genre, really all genres, as tours get postponed, clubs stand empty, and merch tables are left unstaffed. But we’re seeing a lot of creative ways to keep supporting the bands we love. And, in our world, a lot of the time these bands are our friends, possibly even our lifelines. Now, it’s time to give back.
There are several options springing up. Whether it is punk “festivals” taking their acts online via Instagram and Facebook Live or record labels putting the lives of their bands ahead of profit margins, we are seeing a quick shift in the punk world. Since we’re seeing such a swift change, we felt it was time to give you just a few of the options available to punk fans all over as we all (hopefully) continue to practice “social distancing” in an effort to get our lives back on track and bands back on the road as soon as possible.
So here are a few options of what’s available:
A-F Records is offering up their entire catalog and then some in a Patreon campaign over the next 5 months. At the relatively lean price of $100 (US) – or $20 a month – you’ll get access to their entire catalog and then some. You can find that info here. By supporting this effort you’re supporting WUP favorites like Anti-Flag, Nightmarathons, Dead Bars, Rational Anthem, and many, many more. Plus, you get access to stuff like the following:
– Digital Download of the ENTIRE A-F Records digital catalog (divided up in 5 parts spread throughout the 5 month campaign.)
– Monthly digital compilation of rare / unreleased content from all A-F Records bands
– An exclusive monthly podcast episode from Anti-Flag / A-F Records crew
– Early access to awesome shit / pre-orders / tickets / etc.
– Monthly live video performance / q&a with A-F Records bands
– If you subscribe for the entire 5 month duration, you receive an exclusive A-F Records Patron t-shirt.
Also, do you like Direct Hit? How about Ramona? Brendan Kelly? Makewar? The Lillingtons? Garrett Dale (of Red City Radio)? Or how about Heavy Blog favorite, Billy Liar? Yeah? You do?? Of course you do. Well, you can support them all by hitting up another of our favorite labels, Red Scare, here. The point is, that most of the labels you normally support by checking out bands live are still hustling to make a buck for the artists that this is their livelihood. And now, more than ever, we’re turning to their art to keep ourselves going and, more importantly, to foster connections while we’re so far away from each other.
You can also support many, if not all, of your favorite record stores who are moving much of their commerce online. If you haven’t yet, check online to see what your shops are doing. Some examples include @drstrangerecords @cosmicvinyl and @headlinerecords (ht @garage_land) via Instagram who are all pushing their items via new outlets.
But one of the coolest aspects of all of this has been seeing new configurations of bands we know and love or are just learning to appreciate as members jump online to share their music with us in our isolation. If anything, it should help us all feel less alone and that might be worth more than the price of a ticket. Here are just a few accounts on Instagram that are very much worth watching as shows continue to be added:
The Fest – (so far) every Thursday starting at 7pm ET (US) you can catch a handful of artists who are (hopefully) bound for Fest 19 over Halloween weekend this year. This week includes personal favorite Cold Wrecks, Virginity, I Like Allie, Taking Meds, and After the Fall/Postage. You already missed Zeta, who you should be supporting regardless, but rad bands like these are likely to keep coming as long as this thing rolls on. As of this writing, tickets are selling extremely quickly, so get yours before they run out.
Band specific but fun regardless, Jaret Reddick of Bowling for Soup has been hosting a slew of live (and hilariously fun) performances.
And last, but not least for this particular space at this particular time, is Manchester Punk Festival who are also hosting mini-fests of their own.
The point is this is a time of coming together… while apart and this is but a very small sampling of what’s available. As I myself struggle to keep up with it all I hope you’ll send us links to stuff like this as you come across them and I will endeavor to update this moving forward. Ideally, this will all prove irrelevant in a month or three time and we can all go back to dousing one another in cheap beer and elbowing our newest best friend in the face, accidentally of course, while listening to the dulcet tones of bands like Red City Radio, Frank Turner, Hot Water Music, or whoever you have tattooed on you to cover up an ex’s name. The music has been here for all of us. Now it’s time for us to be there for the music.