Music Takes a Back Seat to Fund-Raising

From The New York Times:

THREE months ago I had never heard of Kickstarter, the Web site where you can raise funds for a creative project. Today I stand exposed as someone who miserably failed to raise a budget of $21,000 to make a CD with my band, Afro-Jersey. A once celebrated contributor to my profession, I am the artist formerly known as “one of The Roches.”

Like so many folks my age (I’m 59), I’ve found that the horse I was riding slipped out from underneath me at some point in the last 10 years. I was not asleep for this, merely busy trying to mine the murky depths of my mind for song ideas.

Today the job description has vastly changed. Recently I was talking to a friend who teaches geniuses at the top music school in the city. He told me of one student who failed his music theory exam because, he explained, “I’ve been busy networking.” I could relate.

Asking people to contribute to my project at first seemed like fun. I wrote thousands of e-mails to friends, both Facebook and Otherwise. (We really need a word for friends made outside of Facebook. “Otherwise” seems an awfully dismissive way to describe a relationship that requires the parties be present.)

I was thrilled as first-responders offered up their credit card numbers to a strange Web site in order to show me that they cared. It seemed like a huge improvement over the days when I sat in record company boardrooms with “product managers” who’d been assigned to give me a “makeover” as a last resort before dropping me from their labels.

Along with contributors, however, came a wave of e-mails with sad tales of illnesses, lost jobs and stock-market horror stories. When I ended up donating to an M.S. walk on behalf of one man’s ailing wife, I could see that I needed to apply discipline and not deplete my own bank account while trying to raise money for the Afro-Jersey CD.

E-mailing people and checking for contributions quickly became my main job.

Continue reading the rest of the story on The New York Times