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Beyond Baghdad: Acrassicauda Crowdfund Debut Album

Publlished July 20 2004.

  by Jonathan

Often we take a lot of things for granted, like being able to go out to a show, pick up a record, or stream an album on Spotify. If you live in the west and despite many issues, you enjoy access so many different kinds of culture, especially if you’re willing to do a little digging.

The ever growing metal scene in the Middle East has never quite had that luxury, being forced to play and rehearse in secrecy and reluctant to display your love of a band on a t-shirt. Iraq’s Acrassicauda knows this all too well, often referred to as the very first metal band to come out of the embattled country; the first to emerge to a global audience at the very least.

Forming and playing their first shows while Iraq was still under the throes of Saddam Hussein and the eventual US invasion in 2003, Acrassicauda finally released their first EP, Only the Dead See the End of the War, in 2010 and would become widely-known to metal fans through the critically acclaimed documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad. “The band is all we have, we’ll never stop,” they say on surviving much of the turmoil in their home country.

The band has an admittedly mainstream sound with grooving riffs, Lamb of God tinges, and metalcore flourishes. For most bands this would mean they would have a good chance of getting at least some attention, if not necessarily standing out from the pack. Acrassicauda are not most bands though.

Now based in New York, the band have been quiet on the recording front and as a result turned to crowdfunding, like myriad other metal bands, to try and bring new music to life via Kickstarter.

With so many bands looking to Kickstarter, Indiegogo et al. you must begin to wonder when it will run out of juice. There can only be on any success stories like Protest the Hero but Acrassicauda need not worry right now though. The band successfully funded their campaign for their first full-length album, Gilgamesh, on July 9, surpassing their $33,000 goal by a couple of grand with 640 backers in tow.

The band have since wasted no time and thrown themselves straight into the studio to begin work. Much of the material is in fact two or three years old and has been honed at many gigs, meaning Acrassicauda have been geared up for a while to get started. “This band has never stopped writing new material,” says bassist Firas Al-Lateef.

A successful crowdfunding campaign means the band can maintain their independence, something that they have championed since releasing their first notes of music.

The band hasn’t provided any indication of when they hope to release Gilgamesh or if they’ll be seeking a label to assist in its release. For now, the focus lies on completing the recording process.

Healthcare Is A Human Right - The 30.30 Campaign Of Macklemore & Lewis

30.30 Project: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on Indiegogo! Join these two, their families and CfC raise money and awareness for affordable healthcare worldwide for HIV+ individuals and help prolong their life.

  by Linda

Ryan Lewis is an American producer, musician and DJ and Macklemore is an American Rapper. Their musical collaboration brought the Macklemore/Lewis single ‘Thrift Shop’ in 2013, reaching #1 on the U.S Billboard Hot 100 chart. The pair have been nominated for 7 Grammy Awards and winning 4; Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (The Heist), Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.


The 30.30 Project is a Health Project that is close to Ryan Lewis’ heart. In 1984 Julie Lewis gave birth to her first child and needed a blood transfusion, she had HIV+ blood put into her body. When diagnosed, she had been given a few years to live, by this time Ryan Lewis had joined his older sister Teresa in this world. They each had a 25% chance of being born with HIV+, but they were fortunate. Thankfully today that number has gone down to 2% or less if a mother is taking her medication. Thanks to the advanced medicine and healthcare available in the USA, Ryan Lewis’ mom has lived despite the odds, other women in poorer parts of the world aren’t as fortunate. So to honor his mother’s 30 year survivorship, Ryan Lewis, his family and Macklemore started raising funds to build health centers worldwide that will stand strong for 30 years. Hence the 30.30 Project!

The 30.30 Project is partnering with ‘Construction for Change’, a Seattle based non-profit organization, to do the construction, and with local group ‘Partners in Health’ to run and operate the health facilities long term. Giving hope to women and families in other parts of the world, who don’t have access to quality, affordable healthcare. With 100,000 USD, the first phase of a health center in Nsambe, where 1 in 10 are HIV+, will be built, run and operated by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s local counterparts from the USA, Abwenzi Pa Za Umogo and Malawi’s Ministry of Health. If their goal is exceeded, more facilities will be built. On the project you can check out the 5 phases of where your donations will go. Also there is a spot for non-profit organizations who work with HIV+ individuals in low income countries to apply for help from the 30.30 Project and CfC.

For monetary donations there are great pledge gifts starting at $15 for a logo postcard, $25 for African Animal Print cards, T-shirts, beautiful jewelry and amazing art. If you don’t have any cash, that’s ok, all they ask is for everyone to raise awareness on all Social Media! Awareness of a serious health issue that always needs to be addressed so more people can have their 30 year survivorship. Go check it out now at Indiegogo.

PonoMusic Revolution: Neil Young Kickstarter Campaign over $6 Million and Counting

Only 22 hours to get your Pono ... Published April 14 2014.

  by Sabrina

In the 21st century interconnectivity of media devices allows us to enjoy everything from professional quality digital photos of cute kittens to high definition video instantaneously on our smartphones, tablets, and computers. While visual media has increased in overall quality, the music industry still relies on the compressed mp3 format, which essentially is like choosing VHS over Blue Ray. Here to rival the dismal industry standard is PonoMusic, which allows music fans to listen to high quality digital music like the musicians originally intended. Founder and music legend Neil Young hopes that his Kickstarter campaign (over $6 million pledged) will help revolutionize and revitalize the music industry and bring back what he calls the “soul of music”.

Neil Young chose the name “Pono,” meaning “righteous” in Hawaiian, to symbolize what he thinks this will mean for the music industry. PonoMusic is both a subscription service and a device, giving musicians and music fans alike the ability to enjoy high quality music anywhere. The proponents of PonoMusic are quite impressive, from positive testimonials from giants like Tom Petty to Pearl Jam to Norah Jones. On the Kickstarter website teen Beta Testers share their personal sound experience with this unique digital format that clarifies every subtle nuance.

Read more: PonoMusic Revolution: Neil Young Kickstarter Campaign over $6 Million and Counting

Die Happy Come Roaring Back With Crowd Funded Album

Published October 26 2013.

  by Jonathan

German/Czech alt. metallers Die Happy are, this year, celebrating their 20th anniversary, with the band being founded in 1993 by vocalist Marta Jandová and guitarist Thorsten Mewes. To celebrate the milestone, the four-piece is looking to their fan base to help crowd fund their new album, having spent a number of years on major label, BMG.

Intended for release in spring of next year, the band has launched a Pledge Music campaign to give back to the fans, according the band themselves. “Where would we be without you? Our trusty fans who have accompanied us through thick and thin for more than 20 years, and who are our motivation to carry on!” explains the Pledge Music blurb penned by the band.

As yet untitled, the album is mostly recorded with the vocals remaining but as the band explain, since departing BMG and with that losing their recording budget, they find themselves having to go it alone once again but this time with a fan base to call upon.

Read more: Die Happy Come Roaring Back With Crowd Funded Album

Let Gemma Hayes Take You On A Musical Soul Ride

Published October 18 2013.

  by Linda

Irish Indie musician, singer/songwriter Gemma Hayes is taking a different approach in releasing her new album. With a voice that’s been described as mesmerizing and earthy, her poetic vibe of her music tells the stories of the soul. Gemma Hayes chose Pledgemusic.com to get her fans involved in the album from the start, “This for me is just exciting. It’s just me and the music and the people who listen to it, and there’s an interaction and an exchange right from the get go, and that’s fresh”(Gemma Hayes on Pledgemusic).

When you sign up on Gemma’s pledge page you gain access to exclusive behind the scenes footage of rehearsals, photo shoots and recording in studio. With just a pledge of $8 you receive the new studio album download plus updates, at $50 you get a private concert in London and Dublin, but the wicked thing is her reverse auction for her Fender Telecaster guitar, which she played on her ‘Night On My Side’ album and tour. This special signed guitar has Gemma’s blood, sweat and tears and a great personality, which she hopes will find the perfect home.

Gemma Hayes’ previous albums are, ‘Night On My Side’ (2002), ‘The Roads Don’t Love You’ (2005), ‘The Hollow Of Morning’ (2008) and ‘Let It Break’ (2011). She has won Best Female Artist from The Hot Press Awards (2001), winner of Best Irish Female Artist-Meteor Ireland Music Awards (2006), and in 2002 Gemma was nominated for the Mercury Prize along with nominations in 2009 for Best Irish Female Artist-Meteor Ireland Music Awards and Best Solo Female-Irish Television: Video Music Awards. This new album will be released through her independent record label ‘Chasing Dragons’.

Included in Gemma’s Pledgemusic campaign will be a limited release of her new live album ‘Night & Day’, which will be pressed on 180 gsm vinyl, hand numbered, signed and limited to the number of orders, so get yours now. With a soulful voice full of melancholy and hope, let Gemma Hayes, a beautiful, fresh, modern Irish Bard take you on a musical soul ride.

You can find Gemma Hayes on Pledgemusic.com, YouTube and her website gemmahayes.com.

Apocalyptica Praise Wagner With New Live Album

Check out Apocalyptica's latest project Wagner Reloaded on Pledgemusic. Photo by Michel Valentino. Published October 13 2013.

  by Jonathan

Metal and classical music’s intrinsic links are well established, be they in a modern setting or providing a historical context. The former has manifested itself in shows like Metallica’s S&M, with the San Francisco Symphony or the use of typically classical string and brass arrangements on records, take the recent examples of Light Bearer’s Silver Tongue for instance or Ulver’s metamorphosis from raw black metal to avant-garde experimentalists, topped off by their new record Messe I.X–VI.X, a collaboration with the Tromsø Chamber Orchestra.

Finland’s Apocalyptica, on the other hand, has been a band that fully embraced the aesthetic and musical connections between metal and classical, releasing reinterpretations of classic Metallica, Pantera and Sepultura tunes. The three cellists and drummer then began working on albums of their own original material, such as 2007’s acclaimed Worlds Collide, with many high profile guest vocalists including Corey Taylor and Christina Scabbia.

The collective’s latest endeavour is the release of a new live album entitled Wagner Reloaded and sees the band return to their initial plans of tackling other musicians’ music, this time much further back than Metallica or Pantera.

Read more: Apocalyptica Praise Wagner With New Live Album

Carbon Leaf on Pledgemusic

Published September 20 2013.

  by Michelle

When it comes to music, Carbon Leaf is one band that should be on every music fan’s radar. The band has been making music for over twenty years. The talented musicians got their start in 1992 in Virginia with a unique sound that’s all their own. For those who are hearing about Carbon Leaf for the first time, their music is an eccentric blend of Celtic, Appalachian, folk, country and rock. The band likes to describe it as “ether-electrified porch music,” according to their website. Their most recent album release,Ghost Dragon Attacks Castle, was released this past February. “Ghost” is a popular release off the album, which debuted #15 on the Billboard New Artist Album and #2 on the iTunes rock chart.

Carbon Leaf is working on a new album and fans can be a part of it with their current PledgeMusic campaign. It’s a short eleven days until the long-awaited release. This is one of the most fan-friendly bands to ever grace the music scene. Depending on how much one is able to donate, special treats await for each one. There is a wide array of choices including the new CD, vinyl album, t-shirt, or a package of different items. There is also an option of lessons at soundcheck . No matter your budget, each pledge gets a great item.

In addition to supporting a talented band, people who take the time to pledge money will also be helping the Denver-based non-profit organization, Love Hope Strength. The organization was founded in order to raise funds and awareness to benefit people with cancer and leukemia. Carbon Leaf is going to donate 15% of any money raised above their 100% target.

For more information about the PledgeMusic campaign, click HERE

Carbon Leaf is Barry Privett, Terry Clark, Carter Gravatt, Jason Neal and Jon Markel