Wednesday, April 07, 2010

to hell with poverty

Post-punk, neo-marxist-situationist, critical-theorist funksters Gang Of Four have taken a leaf out of Nine Inch Nails book for the launch of their new collection ‘Content’, due in the summer.

Through a deal with Pledge Music, the band are looking to involve fans in the process of recording and releasing the album by offering unique product packages and experiences, available via ‘pledges’.

These include include a limited edition, cassette walkman, hand decorated by the band, featuring the first ever GO4 live performance on one side of the tape and the new album on the other – available for a £175 pledge.

Or if you prefer, for £950 you can fly by helicopter with the band for their performance at the Glastonbury Festival in the summer.

There’s a number of other pledges including one-offs (a signed ‘damaged goods’ guitar), and other musicians can have Andy Gill do a GO4 remix of their own track for a snip at £1500.

A cursory understanding of behavioural economics and you’ll understand the ‘framing’ of the main ‘product’ – the £100 'Ultimate Can'. Inside the can is a copy of the new album, a book of artworks by Jon King and Andy Gill illustrating and analysing the last 40 years of world history, ticket to a private view of an exhibition of said artworks plus a phial of authentic GO4 blood. No sweat and tears included, unfortunately.
This is the one fans will gravitate towards, methinks.

It gets more interesting when we learn that there is also to be a ‘Pledgers Only’ website rewarding those who have contributed with exclusive videos, live recordings, demos, and previously unreleased songs from the GO4 archives.

And as we would expect, the band are putting your money where their mouth is by donating a share of any profits from pledges to human rights campaigners Amnesty International and Plan International who campaign for child rights and the end of child poverty.

GO4 are now another band who have realised that it’s possible to make art, make a living and make meaning in the new economy – with integrity, without compromising, by connecting directly with fans, offering unique co-creation opportunities, access and experiences, and connecting fans with each other. This is how ideas spread.

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