Part of Why I Hang Out on the Fringes

As I’ve recently noted, I get accused of music snobbery sometimes.  That’s mostly because I tend to prefer more independent/underground artists to those in the mainstream.  (But that’s not always true.  And if the artists I dig from the underground ever break through to the mainstream, I’ll go right along with them…but I digress.)  There are a lot of reasons I support lesser known bands.  Part of it is that I don’t like things that sound too glossy.  Part of it is that I prefer club shows to arena shows.  Part of it is that I tend to find indie bands to be more passionate about what they do (but again, that’s not always true).  And it goes on…

But one of the main reasons is because of the personal touch the lesser-known bands seem to have.  As a great example, one of my favorite bands is the Drive-By Truckers.  They released a new record last week.  I did a preorder, and I received my order very late, as most who did the preorder did.  I figured it was just because I placed the order a little bit late, so I wasn’t top of the priority list…but that wasn’t it.  It was apparently a distribution problem.

Now…when you do a preorder and don’t get it on the day you’re supposed to…or the next day…or the next day…  You are likely to get irritated about it.  Lots of DBT fans were pissed off about what was seen as shockingly bad service, especially considering the loyalty of DBT fans, and how well the band has treated us over the years.  I saw more than one online comment to the effect of “Well, I guess now that they’ve toured with Tom Petty, they don’t need us anymore” and so on.  But, that wasn’t it…it was just a mistake.  We all make mistakes…and a lot of bands don’t own up to them when they happen.

But DBT did.

I received the following e-mail on 2/18—three days after I SHOULD have received my preorder:

We want to apologize to those of you who received your Go-Go Boots pre-order late or still have not received it. There was an issue with a late delivery of some of the vinyl to our shipping partner Audiolife.

If you have any questions regarding your order, please reach out to Taylor at [e-mail address removed so no one spams them].  We feel terrible that we let down our biggest supporters and promise that this will never happen again and that we will do something to make it up to you. At this point, our number one goal is to make sure everyone has their order so please contact Taylor if you have not. Thanks for your continued patience.

Then a couple of hours ago, I got THIS one:

We are now offering everyone who participated in the preorder at a free download of the ‘Sometimes Late at Night’ EP. You can download it by clicking here [link removed out of respect to the band].  We are offering this for two reasons: (1) Every single person who participated in the preorder should have received their order by Tuesday, February 15th at the latest and some did not and (2) We’ve realized our most loyal fans, who buy music direct from us, should have been offered the ‘Sometimes Late at Night’ EP as part of the preorder. Unfortunately, a mistake was made. We wanted to do something special for the independent record stores that we love and in doing so, we pissed off some of our most loyal fans, which we are sorry about. Again, thanks for all of the support.

We again want to apologize for any delays you may have had in receiving your preorder.  If you still have questions regarding your preorder, feel free to reach out to Taylor at [again, e-mail removed]. 

Now THAT’S how you do it.
Whatever else you can say, I’ve never gotten that kind of touch from The Who—and I was in their fan club for a while, until the fan club service got to be little-more than laughable.
And that’s why I like the underground.
In other news…  One of my teeth pretty much collapsed.  And it’s a front-tooth…so I’m actively, actually trying to get to a dentist.  The guy I want to see isn’t open on Mondays…but we’ll figure it out tomorrow.  Wish me luck.  I’ve got a high-deductible plan…so this isn’t going to be easy financially, even if it’s easy physically…which it won’t be.

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