Music Business

Exclusive: Banana Stand Cofounders Discuss New CD Baby Sponsorship Of Live Album Releases

Live-from-the-banana-standBanana Stand, a project focused on recording live shows of Portland bands, is today announcing CD Baby's sponsorship of a series of live albums including digital distribution and production of limited edition CD's. I spoke to cofounders Aaron Colter and Louie Herr yesterday in an exclusive interview about the partnership that looks like an excellent development for Banana Stand and the artists they support as well as a smart promotional move by CD Baby.

Banana Stand Media is a record label based in Portland that produces high-quality recordings of live shows at a secret venue. They then release them as pay-what-you-want digital downloads on their Bandcamp store.

Minden – "On Assignment" (Live from the Banana Stand)

I wrote about Banana Stand in February based on their website and a Kickstarter campaign and was much impressed by what they're doing. Yesterday was my first opportunity to speak with cofounders Louie Herr and Aaron Colter.

Banana Stand and "Arrested Development"

It turns out that the name Banana Stand Media is a reference to a banana stand featured in the tv series "Arrested Development" which was cancelled in 2006. In the show, a running gag is that "there's always money in the banana stand" and they took the name as a joke on the fact that there actually isn't much money in their banana stand. Their focus has been on promoting Portland acts via live recordings and producers are all volunteers.

But they've also long joked that if the show came back they would throw the biggest party Portland's ever seen and now CD Baby's going to help them do it. Though it probably won't be the biggest party and they have no official relationship to the show or to Netflix, the entity bringing the series back online, it sounds like a great way to kick off their partnership with Portland-headquartered CD Baby.

The kickoff event takes place May 8th at Holocene and will also be sponsored by The Portland Mercury. According to the official announcement going out later today, the "first 100 attendees to arrive at the event will receive their choice of a free live album download (via CD Baby’s custom download cards) from bands The We Shared Milk, Animal Eyes, or Tango Alpha Tango."

CD Baby's Partnership with Banana Stand

CD Baby is sponsoring future digital distribution of releases as well as limited edition production of CD's starting with up-and-comers And And And later this month. Banana Stand and CD Baby will be releasing 1 to 2 albums a month and the number of CD's in each edition will vary based on the prominence of the band as well as tour plans.

CD Baby is covering the cost of physical releases and, as the Banana Stand cofounders pointed out, that means more money in the hands of musicians.

Though they'd used CD Baby's service before, Banana Stand made the connection that led to this partnership via Ben Hubbird. He's a member of the band The Morals, recorded by Banana Stand, and also an employee of CD Baby.

Dana Brist will take care of album design for the CD Baby releases and Michael McInerney of Collective-47 Productions, who produce videos for Banana Stand such as the Minden video above, will be taking album photos.

Both Aaron Colter and Louie Herr were enthusiastic about the partnership with CD Baby which supports their mission of recording great Portland bands and getting their music out to the world. They've been leery of such relationships but feel that CD Baby's a great fit and appreciate the fact that they're basically free to keep doing what they do with CD Baby's support.

[Thumbnail image: cover of "Live from the Banana Stand – Vol. 1"]

Banana Stand Media Documents Live Shows From Their Secret Venue In Portland

Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch/@crowdfundingm) also blogs at Flux Research and Crowdfunding For Musicians. To suggest topics for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.

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