Headbanging For Freedom — A Quick Guide To Buying Music for the ACLU

All Bandcamp proceeds from TODAY ONLY go to the ACLU.
So, today is the day to buy music.
But which music? Read on and find out!


Bandcamp is great. It is a music streaming site which allows you to listen to high-quality streaming music, then buy high-quality open-format music directly from the artist. Generally, you can (a) find songs you really want to hear and (b) directly support the band who made the music. Every other streaming and purchase site is inferior to Bandcamp, who do a great job overall of providing a service to bands and consumers.

The ACLU is the American Civil Liberties Union. Their stated mission: “ to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the constitution and laws of the United States.” They’ve traditionally defended anti-war advocates, strikers, union members, gays, prisoners, and the like. As you can imagine, right now, they’re working nights. And they need money.

So, Twitter are giving them a bunch of money.

Lyft are giving them a bunch of money.

Hell, random coffee houses are giving them a bunch of money.

And so is Bandcamp.

Bandcamp is giving a day’s profits to the ACLU. Today, that is. Right now.

No tricks, no hidden cameras:

… this Friday, February 3rd (starting at 12:01am Pacific Time), for any purchase you make on Bandcamp, we will be donating 100% of our share of the proceeds to the American Civil Liberties Union, who are working tirelessly to combat these discriminatory and unconstitutional actions.


(Note: the ‘actions’ referred to are the consequences of an Executive Order barring legal immigrants and refugees from accessing the continental United States. This is a bad, regressive, deeply silly decision — and probably unconstitutional.)

There’s a whole world full of people still busting out their old Metallica and AC/DC tracks. Now, that’s still fun, but it’s nostalgia.

And that’s where I come in.

I compulsively consume new music to the point where it’s bordering on being a diagnosable condition. Many things, but mostly hard rock and metal. As we hurtle towards the Endtimes, this choice feels totally vindicated — what else makes a good soundtrack to the apocalypse?

So: may I present seven (7) bands with tracks on Bandcamp right now. They range from a little to massively obscure, and cover large chunks of the world, and they all kick it harder than should be humanly possible.

My suggestion is that you listen to this music, and then you go and goddamn buy it. In doing so, you will (a) achieve sufficient jammage and (b) supporting independent music AND the lawyers making sure you still have a country tomorrow.


Spacegoat are literally perfect for this list. Not only are they Mexican with a female lead, which is frankly bonus points if we’re trying to annoy racists and sexists, but they’re easily the most approachable band here. This is rock and roll with a few bits of 1975-era psychadelica and modern stoner rock...

Descriptions like that always suck.

Let me tell you what makes them great: (1) the songs never hang, the songwriting is always interesting, and you’ll roll the album back-to-back more or less straightaway, (2) the vocalist (Gina) is dynamite. Turn it way up and listen carefully to her voice. It’s like if Karen Carpenter wore leather pants and had a baby with Lemmy, and the baby was goddamn perfect.

Buy their music here: https://spacegoatmx.bandcamp.com/


Brother Ox. It’s kind of… labor union stoner rock. Another good pick for right now. Another phenomenal vocalist, too. The best part, though, and when do you ever get to say this, is the lyrics:

How it feels to watch from afar
And pretend I’m still alive
Give no pity nor sorrow
And no regrets, with no goodbye.
Let me die a poor man with no peace
I never wanted to hear your voice now
Don’t tell me what ya think

It’s very Rust Belt, and very very good. I’ve listened to these albums so many times.

Buy their music here: https://brotherox.bandcamp.com/


…You didn’t think this was all going to be nice, did you?

Theoria is, improbably, from Aleppo.

Yes, Gary Johnson Aleppo.

Believe it or not, Syrian heavy metal is not unknown. There was even a documentary about it a few years ago, and if people ever had a reason to play black metal, it’s these guys.

This is nasty, raw, ugly stuff and frankly if you’re anything like me, you’ll have days where that really fits right now.

Buy their music here: https://theoria1.bandcamp.com/album/mantra


Now, we’re reaching territory where this might not be everyone’s cup of tea. And by that, I mean this is metal from Basque Country, in Northern Spain.

Unlike all of the above, it doesn’t have a thread which neatly links it back to the United States’ present interest in self-harm.

What it DOES have is probably my favourite black metal tracks in the last 10 years. I just had to throw it in, it’s that good. There are little bits of death metal and Basque folk music mixed in, and overall it reminds me of early Enslaved, which is like saying “She was quite classy, she reminded me of the Queen” or “He was quite jacked, he reminded me of 90s-era Dorian Yates”.

If you want to wear your teeth as a hat, try the track “Ekaitzaren deiadarra”.

Buy their music here: https://numenblackmetal.bandcamp.com/


This band is probably a bit better known than the ones above. One reason is they’re about 15 years old (and, yes, I had their first EP when no-one knew who the hell they were).

They’re worth including here for a few reasons reasons. One is they’re very straightforwardly and proudly left wing. From their Wiki:

… Lyrics tend to be highly critical of prevailing power structures in modern culture, everyday life and the ills of modern society, often coinciding with progressive, radical and anarchic aesthetics. Their band name is derived from the economic indicator of the same name

Yes, they are named after an economic indicator.

And they’re really not joking.

Tides of human flotsam floating, tired and alone.
The ones who want to fight are the ones that have no hope.
Bury all your trust just like you buried all your dreams.
The ends that justified their rule will justify our means.

Another reason: you’re going to need this right now.

Everyone I know is beset with a kind of low-level anxiety, because the world is suddenly being run by unstable racist halfwit narcissists. No-one can concentrate. No-one has it together. Everyone is deathly concerned.

May I offer you some therapy?

Extreme music fans reported using their music to enhance their happiness, to immerse themselves in feelings of love, and agreed that their music enhanced their well-being. What each of these responses indicates is that extreme music listeners appear to be using their music listening for positive self-regulatory purposes.


I prescribe two Misery Index albums: you’ll have your mojo back in no time.

(Now, before I tell you to buy the music, a warning: this is not music for children. This is brutal even by death metal standards, and this is a genre not known for its ability to compromise. It’s psychotically aggressive.)

Buy their music here: https://miseryindex.bandcamp.com/album/the-killing-gods


So, at the end of a hard day’s being horrified by a President who probably pulls the wings off flies, you don’t want to calm down or cheer up any more, you want to wallow in blackness for a while.

You feel like the homo sapiens experiment is a colossal mistake, and you’re filled with murderous thoughts about the nature of humanity itself. Everyone you meet is disgusting to you and you’re just feeling bleak.

You, my friend, need the only thing that has more contempt for humanity than you.

Come one, come all
to the most pointless show on the earth
an exploration of the depths we can sink to
linked to our inherent lust for torture
Bring out the children there’s still time to
teach them the ways of human slime
to ignore the compassion they have inside

If battery acid thrown in the eyes of an orphan had a sound, it would be Cattle Decapitation. And some days you’ll need this.

Buy their music here: https://cattledecapitation.bandcamp.com/


That is not a misprint.

This is not a real band.

This is a joke band. Intensely and ludicrously scatological, completely insane, and writing grindcore songs made up entirely of things that Cheeto Benito has actually said. Yes, they turned all the insane offensive shit that’s he’s said into insane offensive music.

It is absolutely un-listenable, and crude beyond all normal possible boundaries. It’s satire in the Charlie Hebdo tradition, and by that I mean it’s so utterly over-the-top that you won’t know what to think at all.

Listen to these song titles:

Before I Proceed, I’d Like To Hear The Other Side Of The Argument Against Cervical Cancer

If I Don’t Respect Women, Then How Come I Own A Beauty Pageant?

Some Of My Best Friends Know Some Woman That They Still Have Yet To Sexualize

It’s a good thing the tracks are only a few seconds long.

Yeah. Don’t ask. It’s a grindcore thing.

Obviously a relevant band right now, but I’ll throw in a bonus for you: all the profits from this album go directly to Planned Parenthood. In other words, buy it and send the tracks to your racist uncle.

Get their music here: https://analtrump.bandcamp.com/music


Even if you don’t want to buy music (or you think my taste in music is insane, which it is), here’s what you can do.

  1. Share the hell out of this. I don’t get anything. All the money is for lawyers.
  2. Suggest your own excellent independent Bandcamp bands in the comments. That way, people who find this can get something they like. Don’t be shy: rap, country, folk, Tuvan throat singing, leave whatever you think is good.
  3. Be aware of when this is happening. It’s from midnight to midnight, i.e. ALL OF FRIDAY, FEB. 4th in PACIFIC TIME. That is:
    3am Friday to 3am Saturday in the US East Coast.
    8am Friday to 8am Saturday in London.
    1:30pm Friday to 1:30pm Saturday in New Delhi.
    7pm Friday to 7pm Saturday in Sydney.



I write about science. We can probably be friends.

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