Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Beyond Boosterism: Why You Should Subscribe to the Tower Groove Records Singles Club
Pretty soon, as in any day now, Tower Groove Records will start taking payments online for year-long subscriptions to its 2013 Singles Club. There's a myriad of reasons why you should subscribe. I'm just going to give you two reasons.
The first reason is the simplest and best reason: value. A year-long subscription costs $60, and that $60 gets you a lot. Over the coming year, you get 12 seven-inch records totaling 24 singles, plus digital download cards so that you can take your singles wherever you go. This is a 17% discount off of the "cover price" if you bought each record individually.
And there's an even bigger value. When you subscribe to the 2013 Singles Club, you tell Tower Groove Records which of three partnering STL record stores you'd like to make your monthly pickup: Apop Records, Euclid Records or Vintage Vinyl. When you pick up your monthly 7", you also get 10% off the purchases you make in the store that day. Think of that Tower Groove record that you're picking up as a record store coupon. I'm going to be conservative, and consider a typical record store purchase to total $20. Over 2013, you'll save, conservatively, $24 off of 12 record store purchases as a Singles Club subscriber.
Becoming a Singles Club subscriber saves you at least $36 a year. Depending on how much of a record store shopper you are, you could save a whole heck of a lot more than $36. (The more you shop, the more you save!)
So, that's the economical reason why you should subscribe: value. There's another reason why you should subscribe that I want to lay out. It might be kind of conceptual - perhaps emotional - but I think that it's an important reason.
Last September's Tower Groove Records Carnival, which was a success beyond TGR's expectations, raised the money necessary to put forth TGR's critically-acclaimed double-LP compilation. The Carnival, in a monetary sense, served as TGR's "Kickstarter." The double-LP, in a logistical sense, served as TGR's "Kickstarter." TGR learned what it took to shepherd a large project through recording, production and distribution. Without the money raised at the Carnival, Tower Groove Records wouldn't have been able to make the album. But just as important, without the money Tower Groove Records wouldn't have learned how to put out an album.
The Singles Club is the next step. Tower Groove Records' releasing twelve records over one year means that Tower Groove Records learns how to be a label. This is important not only for Tower Groove Records, but also for St. Louis-based music in general. Since Tower Groove Records is a collective, the cultural capital it accrues is dispersed to everyone. I can't even begin to list all that I've learned by virtue of being part of TGR and how much what I've learned has benefited projects of my own band outside of the collective. As far as the larger "scene" of St. Louis-based music, the activity generated over a year by 12 releases featuring 24 bands will foster an artistic dynamism that should spill-over outside of defined lines. Think of the Singles Club as an artistic stimulus with a multiplier effect.
And think of the next step after the Singles Club. That next step surely would be bigger. But first, you need to subscribe to this step, or else there won't be a next bigger step.
I'll be sure to let you know when the subscription form goes online. There's also a big free street party kickoff on October 20th. I'll be sure to let you know about that again, too.