Paste Magazine Needs Help

As my header already states, Paste Magazine needs your help, music fans. As my colleague and friend Kevin Capp said to me this morning, the advertising cow is not currently lactating, which (on top of the demise-of-print-journalism-in-general) is doing a number on the music magazines we've known and loved over the years. While Paste says that 2008 was its best year yet in terms of subscriptions and ads, both print and online, cash flow came up short this month, which implies that this is a short-term problem and that your hard-earned cash will not go to waste if you help the mag weather this trying financial time.

In exchange for your support, a whole marching band's worth of artists-- including the Decemberists, Neko Case, Bob Mould, Cowboy Junkies, Indigo Girls, the Jayhawks, Brandi Carlile, John Roderick of The Long Winters, Patterson Hood, The Avett Brothers and Josh Ritter, among many others-- are generously donating rare and/or exclusive mp3s to those who part with a little cash to help save the magazine.

And if I could get on my soapbox for a minute here: Guys, while advertising makes up the bulk of cash flow for music magazines and pretty much every other publication, I feel very strongly that good writing and art (including photography) is not only worth paying for, but must be paid for, whether through ad revenues or subscriber support. And right now, the ad revenues just aren't there. Can any asshole who wants to start up a blog or online zine? Yes. But the reality is that for the most part, the people who get paid to take photos, draw or write are paid because they-- probably after years of working for free-- are great at what they do and are dedicated to their craft, even when it doesn't pay (and I'm sure I'm not the only writer in the world whose mom can't stop talking about law school). In summation: The people at Paste work hard, and if you like what they do, now's the time to show it. Even if you've only got five bucks to spare.

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