Wednesday, March 2, 2022

That One Time At Bandcamp? Epic!

I didn't really know what I was going to post about today until I came home from saw what has to be the most unexpected "gaming" news item of the year so far, to me at least. I mean, I know the competition for weird mergers is through the roof in this Age of Acquisition (Consolidation, whatever...) but what even is this?

I always thought of Bandcamp as some kind of proto-hippie, kids are doing it for themselves kind of affair, probably held together by string and glue and a few old baked bean cans. It kind of surprises me there's anything there that can be bought at all, let alone that a gaming giant like Epic would be the one to want to buy it.

The moment I checked my feeds, news of the deal came at me from all sides; Stereogum I already linked but also NME and Pitchfork from the music side and from, erm, gaming. Everyone from Hollywood Reporter to Brooklyn Vegan has something to say about it (Not in my feeds, either of them, I hasten to assure you. I googled around.) although no-one I read seemed to be able to come up with anything that explains why the hell "the maker of Fortnite" would want access to a billion songs by bands no-one's ever heard of.

The official reason, according to Bandcamp co-founder and CEO Ethan Diamond is "to expand internationally and push development forward", which tells us absolutely nothing at all. Epic itself says Bandcamp "will play an important role in Epic’s vision to build out a creator marketplace ecosystem for content, technology, games, art, music and more." At least they didn't mention the metaverse although you know they were thinking about it.

Anyway, in a time of very weird things, this struck me as one of the weirdest and in honor of the occasion I thought I'd put up a couple or three tunes by people I've either discovered on Bandcamp or bought music from there. All people I've linked before but any excuse, eh?

We're Modern Recordists by Papertiger Sound. An ironic title for a band that haven't actually recorded anything in years, more's the pity. Absolutely perfect for one of those bleak, existential indie games that win hatfuls of awards. Maybe Epic can do something about that.

Skate With Me by Scarybear Soundtrack. They're still going! Yay! Against all the odds, this is actually from a soundtrack, although whether any bears, scary or otherwise, feature in the documentary in question, "I Am: Limitless", I can't say because it's "not available outside Canada". Perhaps one of my Canadian readers would like to watch it and report back.

And to my surprise that seems to be pretty much it. Two bands. I could have sworn I bought something by Pony Up! from Bandcamp but they don't even seem to be on the platform. Let's have something from them anyway because they're wonderful

Shut Up And Kiss Me by Pony Up! - The tune's been here before but not with puppets. I'm not sure they add much, if I'm honest, but it's something to watch, isn't it? We might have that one again, later, if I ever do the post I'm toying with about songs that have the word "fucking" in them somewhere and why that's a good thing.

I did say a couple or three tunes and by my count that is three so I guess we're done. Good. Gives me just enough time to do my dailies in Guild Wars 2 before bed.

Oh go on then, if you insist. One more but it has to be the last one.

Moonbase by Jeans Boots - With a lot of ignorant gets talking over it. And walking in front of the camera. Maybe that's Saskatoon for you. I wouldn't know. I didn't discover Jeans Boots (aka Jeanette Stewart) on Bandcamp but I did go there to find more about her after I happened across her on YouTube. So that counts.

I just realised three and a half of these acts are Canadian. Is it a coincidence? A conspiracy? Or does Canada just pump out a ridiculous amount of great music?

Don't know, don't care, I'm done!

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