Good Causes: January 2020

Good Causes is a new monthly COUNTERZINE feature where we spotlight some of our favorite discoveries of the past month, where your support means not only backing good art, but also a good cause. Generally, we’ll try to stick to releases of the month, but anything new to us is fair game. This month, we’re sharing ‘Bernie Speaks With the Community’, ‘To Australia With Love’, ‘There’s Gotta Be Hope, Right?’, kate can wait’s ‘Veraniegas’, and ‘ Voice Memo Demos’.


Bernie Speaks With the Community

First, we have Bernie Speaks With the Community, a 20-song compilation largely spanning indie/lo-fi rock and singer-songwriter material, featuring contributions from artists such as Justus Proffit & Jay Som, Shamir, LEXIE, Kevin Krauter, and more. The compilation is digital-only and costs $5, all of which goes towards the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. While not a charity organization, the political situation of the US at the moment is so dire that it might as well be, and while we’re not overly political and can’t speak for all of our writers, most people who would bother to follow this type of site I think could agree a Sanders presidency would be a marked improvement over what we currently endure. If you were planning to donate to the Sanders campaign already, there’s no reason to not get a great set of tunes along with the bargain.


To Australia With Love

To Australia With Love is a massive vaporwave/chillwave compilation from Del Mar-based cassette label Stratford Ct. featuring the likes of Zane Alexander, Jasper De Ceuster, and Special Q among many others. The 32-track compilation will only run you $1 digitally (though you could always be generous and give more), but there’s also a $15 double cassette edition that we couldn’t help but scoop up, which ships out in March. In efforts to help aid the Australia Bushfires, 100% of the money raised by To Australia With Love will be donated to the rural fire service (NSW) and WIRES wildlife rescue. If you want the cassette edition, better act quick: as of this writing, there are just 7 copies left.


There’s Gotta Be Hope, Right?

Another wildfire relief comp, Melbourne’s Billiam organized There’s Gotta Be Hope, Right?, another big ass tape comp of 33 indie, garage, and punk tracks including acts such as Alien Nosejob, Sunfruits, and Billiam himself. This one will run you $10 AUD digitally, while three editions of the cassette have sold out (tragically unavailable at this moment, but we’ll continue crossing our fingers for a fourth run), and all funds go to the RFS.


kate can wait – Veraniegas

You can expect to see the releases of Grimalkin Records often on this column: every one of their release involves charity support. This month, they released experimental folk singer-songwriter kate can wait’s Veraniegas (“Summers”), a gorgeously dark collection of atmospheric tunes about “disappointment, regret, abuse, daydreams, and cotton candy”. All tape proceeds go to benefit the True Self Foundation in Puerto Rico, an organization focused on ensuring and increasing the rights and safety of transgender individuals in the exceedingly conservative territory of Puerto Rico. Digital sales go to kate can wait, and lathe cut sales go to the label, both of which help make future Grimalkin releases possible, so really, it all feeds into good causes one way or another. We got a tape ourselves, and we might have some more in-depth Veraniegas coverage in the future, so stay tuned.


Voice Memo Demos

Lastly, we have an older release just discovered by us this month (shouts out to Andy Mascola of Surviving the Golden Age for the tip), Voice Memo Demos, a “compilation of voice memo demos ranging from intimate bedroom vignettes to aggressively lo-fi rehearsal room recordings” from Oakland’s Vacant Stare Records. Despite being nearly a year old, cassettes are not only still available, but the preferable choice for those on a budget: $5 for a tape, $10 digital. All proceeds donated to Freedom For Immigrants’ National Detention Bond Fund, which looks to help detained immigrants pay their cash bonds: a sadly still relevant and worthy cause in 2020.


That’s all for this edition, and we’ll be back in a month with more Good Causes!

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