What’s All This About Musicians Earning A Living?

Our good, good, obnoxiously talented friends, Carla Kihlstedt and Matthias Bossi, were in town last week. The first thing they did upon arrival was play an amazing show at Schuba’s: It was intimate and highly engaging, with some of the most amusing caffeine-induced between-song banter I’ve ever had the pleasure of witnessing. The second thing they did (which I unfortunately could not attend) was play a house show in Evanston. The third thing… Oh, the third thing they did…

Well, they invaded our CHEER-ACCIDENT recording/rehearsal space (“the basement”) to document the very first TRUE collaboration between them and us. (Now don’t get me wrong, these two camps have put in a lot of time together, both in the form of recording– Carla sings on “Sun Dies” from Fear Draws Misfortune and plays violin on “Blue Cheadle” from that same album, and their former band, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, and CHEER-ACCIDENT have engaged in so much onstage cross-pollination that I’ve sometimes forgotten where one band ended and the other began. But this…)

THIS was the first bona fide collaboration, in that we were all equally involved in the inception of a song. The way we went about “writing” this song was rather treacherous: Carla, Matthias, and “road friend,” Abby, came over to join the JeffThymmeDanteEvelyn version of the band (in other words 4/5 of Euro-Accident) to freely improvise for an hour. The next step in the writing process entailed sifting through the (frightening/joyous/magical) id vomit to “find the song.” Well, we found a few chunks that did the trick, Carla sang some words that Scott Rutledge had written many years ago (which happened to be lying in plain sight on a table upstairs, still songless after all these years), violas/violins/trumpets were overdubbed and we were good to go.

And so what does this collaboration have to do with “musicians earning a living?” Well, this song (entitled “Before The Sun”) is to be the August 2013 installment of Carla and Matthias’ subscription page. Jointly, they go under the moniker “Rabbit Rabbit Radio.” I’ve been a subscriber since day one, and it’s been an amazing ride: They’ve pledged to record a NEW song every month, while giving members of the site access to the process of the recording (via video documentation), top ten lists and other dork-ass brain fun (DABF). You can enlist in this extraordinary world for as little as two dollars a month. They have generated enough interest during their one and a half years of existence to have come darned close to earning a living (there’s that phrase again) through this site alone.

And guess what? CHEER-ACCIDENT is about to follow suit. That’s right, we are going to (per their suggestion) completely rip off their idea: As of September 1, 2013, you will be able to enable yourselves (for $2, $4, $6, or $10) access to a brand new song, rare live footage, conversations with Phrogclock, and a “wild card” scenario which will vary from month to month. (And, of course, the “free” part of CHEER-ACCIDENT.com, including the part you’re reading right now, will remain free.)

So. Given that we find ourselves a mere 24 hours away from Rabbit Rabbit Radio’s first CHEER-ACCIDENT invasion/inclusion, I suppose I should throw you their link. It looks like this: http://rabbitrabbitradio.com/

Fortuitous, eh? And completely (honest!) unplanned. Tune in soon for details on how you may participate in enabling your favorite CHEER-ACCIDENT to earn a living.

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