TEEN have announced a PledgeMusic campaign to help recover from a recent van break-in that left the Brooklyn band without most of their gear, “including a very rare ’79 Fretless P-Bass, a Gibson Les Paul, a Roadworn P-Bass, and three cases filled with various pedals we have collected over the years (Moogs, Micro-synths, expression pedals, etc.).”
“We have been on tour for six weeks in a minivan packed to the gills,” the group wrote in a statement to fans. “The gear that was stolen was precious and in some cases very rare – an essential part of our analog sound. But as they say – the show must go on! We have three more weeks ahead of us and so we are asking our dearest friends, family and fans to give however they can. Your pledge will help us replace what was stolen.”
TEEN has reached 42-percent of their goal so far, with 57 days to go. Among the perks offered on their PledgeMusic page are a social media shout out ($50), handwritten lyrics ($75), a VIP concert experience ($150) and a spot on the “TEEN Wall of Fame”, i.e. the liner notes for their next LP ($1000).
Another artist who recently turned to a crowd-funding site for stolen gear is experimental/ambient musician Rafael Anton Irisarri (a.k.a. The Sight Below). Unlike the many acts that have dealt with a similar situation on tour, Irisarri had a U-Haul looted — including more than $50,000 in equipment and priceless bits of unreleased music and personal belongings — in the middle of a cross-country move from Seattle to New York with his wife. Friends from Telefon Tel Aviv and the label Ghostly International then stepped in to offer vinyl, a digital mixtape and more to support Irisarri’s recovery efforts.
“We hope you’ll take some time to read over these options,” wrote longtime Ghostly employee/felte founder Jeff Owens, “and consider how much you can help a good, hard-working artist in need, who — because of your assistance — will only continue to give back to the music and art community exponentially.”
While 16 days are still left in Irisarri’s campaign, he has already surpassed a $15,000 goal by more than $1,400. Which leads us to how much the whole crowd-funding game has changed over the past couple years. Why, it was only four years ago that Phosphorescent turned to a PayPal account for public donations after $40,000 of gear was grabbed off the streets of Brooklyn. Meanwhile, folks like The Twilight Sad have bypassed the whole Indiegogo/PledgeMusic game entirely, merely asking local fans to keep a look out for their list of missing guitars and flight cases.
“Or if you know who done it,” they added on Facebook, “let us know so we can kick their teeth in.”
And then there’s the curious case of Devonté Hynes, who was put in an awkward situation when Robin Urbani (the mother of Hynes’s girlfriend, fellow musician Samantha Urbani) posted a GoFundMe page after a fire destroyed his apartment. The goal: $5,000. The final count of those donations: $24,302, a number so high Hynes asked Urbani to end the campaign early. He also said he was considering donating most of it to charities.
“This happens to so many people, people that don’t have a girlfriend’s place they can stay at,” Hynes wrote on Tumblr. “People who don’t have a job they can do to try and help themselves money wise to attempt to get back on their feet. This is in my mind every second.
He continued, “If I am honest, the fundraiser makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. This isn’t me saying I don’t need the money; to reiterate, I have lost everything. There are things I can do, although it will take years, that can help myself rebuild, a huge part of me is still struggling with understanding the events of two nights ago, and where to take my life from here. This isn’t me being unappreciative. Tears stream down my face when Samantha shows me the nice messages people have written. It’s overwhelming in the most extremely nicest way that people would care about this. But as I stated before, so many people have nothing they can do to rebuild their life from scratch.”