With the holiday season upon us, and almost nearing completion, it might be a good time to start thinking about one of the finer, and probably more noble, sides of the season – The Giving. But, as most of us know, but may not want to admit, sometimes the benefit of giving is actually the getting. So how we solve the dilemma of trying to give back, and at the same time receiving something awesome in return? I’d like to say, there’s an app for that. And there may very well be. But, there is also a nice charity project in development that could very well offer just what we need.
The project is a book entitled Children Of Mercy: Tales and Teachings From The World Of Independent Music. It shall be a collection of essays and poems written by several elite individuals from all over the world, as well as all over the independent music spectrum telling tales of glory and woe they have experienced in this somewhat deviant, yet delightful world we call independent music. Contributors to the book include artists, journalists, bloggers, label owners, dj’s, etc. And in some cases, a contributor might hold all of these titles.
Contributors of note include: Anna Lynn Williams (one half of Trespassers William), Shawn Fogel (Golden Bloom, Neutral Uke Hotel), Cyndi Kimmel (DJ, KZUU 90.7 Pullman, WA home of WSU), Kaytea McIntosh (XO Publicity), Christopher B. (Series II Records, founder of the Nebraska Pop Festival), Angel Russell (Sergeant Sparrow Records & Magazine, DJ WVVY 93.7 Martha’s Vineyard, MA), Alan Cohen (Alan Cohen Experience, “The Obama Groove”), Janelle Rogers (former BMG publicist, Green Light Go Publicity founder), Jess Gulbransson (artist, graphic novel author) and so many more wonderful people. Over 40 in all!
What makes this project even more special? It is all for charity. All royalties and proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the U.S., as well as the Cystic Fibrosis Trust in the UK. Ola and Collen Nyberg, a musical family based in Sweden, two of our contributors to this project, have a son Gordon who has been diagnosed with a severe case of CF. It is our hope that by using the power of independent music, and the spirit that it embodies on a regular basis, we can make CF stand for “Cure Found.”
And a project about independent music would most definitely not be complete without, well, music! This is why we have developed the Children Of Mercy Compilation: Volume One. This album is a wonderful collection of tracks that perfectly embody the said spirit of the book, and are just downright beautiful tunes. Several of the contributing artists to the album will be featured as writers as well. And some are just brilliant artists that were kind enough to lend their music to help support this project.
Artists include the likes of Anna Lynn William’s solo project Lotte Kesner, former underground legends The Pristines, one of Thom Carter’s many praised projects Menhirs Of Er Grah, the top Creative Common License downloaded folksmith Robin Grey, Copenhagen’s own best seller Cleemann, and Indonesia’s acclaimed indie pop superstars Bangkutaman. As well as terrific indie acts such as Westfold, The Cryogenic Strawberries, Ira Rat, The Factory Kids, Phil The Tremolo King, Couer Machant, Moneytree, Before I Got Convenient, and more!
The album will be released as a digital download courtesy of The Beechfields Label, based in Baltimore, MD, in early 2011. The album will also soon be for sale via the Children of Mercy Bandcamp page. But, as of now, the only for fans to receive a free handcrafted physical copy (as well as a digital download) is to pledge at least $10 to the project’s Kickstarter page by January 18th 2011. Those who do this, shall receive a CDR with a beautiful album sleeve created by pop artist Kathie Bayne, and developed courtesy of Workerbee Records, which is based in Ames, Iowa.
The Kickstarter page can be found HERE. Aside from the compilation album, there are many more goodies to be had. Including the book itself! For just a simple $25 pledge, you can receive your own copy of the book, as well as a physical copy of the album and it’s corresponding digital download. This is indeed a sweet deal. And for everything you pledge beyond that amount, more great opportunities such as autographs and dedications arise.
Children Of Mercy has begun a bit of radio airplay, as well as a bit of blog love. But, the support of this project really depends on a strong word of mouth oriented community. And we all know that this is what really keeps independent music alive and thriving.
So, if you find yourself in the holiday spirit, and with a few quaint checks from Grandma, take this opportunity to find out how your love for independent music can help so many people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis. How could this not be a perfect “give a little, get a little” scenario? Whether it’s that warm feeling in your gut that makes you want to help out, or your undying support for all things independent, you can rest assure that you will be a part of something spectacular.
Download: “I Am Here” by The Pristines
Download: “Compasses” by Lotte Kestner