Now here’s a novel concept: fan-funded recordings. Singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, who you may remember from her late ’90s radio hit, "I Kissed a Girl," has been pounding away at a music career for well over a decade now, having been signed to four different labels at one point or another. But Sobule’s got music in her blood and, after six CDs, she’s not ready to give up. All she needs is a cool $75,000 to make her next album — and who better to fund it than her longtime fans? And who better to ask for help than Sobule’s biggest cheerleader, her mom? "As you all know, my daughter is a real talent," writes Elaine on Jill’s new website, jillsnextrecord.com. "She has put out six great CDs (which never leave my stereo), and has been on four labels, two of which went bankrupt; the other two were also farkakte. This time she wants to do it on her own…. So help and be a part of her new album, in exchange for some wonderful gifts and services."
Sobule outlines 11 different donation levels. For $25, you receive an advance copy of the CD. At the $50 "Pewter Level," you get the same plus a thank you; $50 more and you can be listed as a junior executive producer. For $5,000, Sobule will come and sing at your house. And for a whopping 10 grand ("Weapons-Grade Plutonium Level"), you can be on the album. "Don’t worry if you can’t sing," she writes. "We can fix that on our end. Also, you can always play the cowbell."
Sobule says she’ll keep us updated on the tally, but judging from comments already posted on the site, she looks well on her way to booking studio time. See, who needs labels anyway?
UPDATE: As promised, Jill Sobule got back to us with an official count and she’s "shocked" to report that after one day of going live, she’s already collected $18,000!