I want to say this first: as I type, there has been one death as a result of the London riots that are still taking place. This is a real tragedy. Any loss of human life is a real tragedy.
Sometime last night, a fire destroyed the Sony/PIAS distribution warehouse as a result of the riots. Many independent record labels lost their stock of CDs and vinyl. For some, it could mean months of no physical record sales. But there’s something really easy we can do to help: buy MP3s. Digital sales will help to soften the blow. You get music you like in return.
You can find a list of labels affected by the PIAS fire here.
There are some very talented artists on these labels. Perhaps you’ve heard of them?
The Strokes, Albert Hammond Jr., Julian Casablancas, Gogol Bordello, Belle & Sebastian, Bjork, Joanna Newsom, PJ Harvey, The Hold Steady, STARS, !!!, TV on the Radio, Andrew Bird, Chuck Ragan (of Hot Water Music), Fake Problems, Bedouin Soundclash (one of their lyrics is tattooed on my left wrist), Dustin Kensrue (of Thrice), Thrice, Yim Yames (Jim James of My Morning Jacket and Monsters of Folk, both of whom are on Rough Trade), Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, School of Seven Bells…and so many more.
And just so you know I’m not on some soapbox doing nothing about this myself, I spent some of my hard-earned Chuck E. Cheese money on Gogol Bordello’s latest album Trans-Continental Hustle.