Meet the new model musicians: Local rockers Heartbeater -- you remember them from the recent Meltface Rock the Block, among other shows -- have set up a project page on the microfinance site Kickstarter with the goal of raising enough cash to record their debut full-length album Slow Waves. They even made an INXS-style video (hello, Charlotte Pike!) to get you excited. The way Kickstarter works is that you pledge X amount of money to help the project happen. If the project reaches its goal, you pay what you pledged and everybody wins. If the project doesn't reach its goal, you don't pay anything. Most of these projects have different pledge levels -- for the Heartbeater album, for instance, $5 gets you a digital download, $20 gets you a download plus vinyl plus guest list at a show, and so on, with more stuff at each level, including the coup de grace for a lucky $500 pledger: "Jon Shoemaker, bassist for Heartbeater, will cut his mullet." Go pledge!
This pledge-to-album method worked for Madi Diaz (though she's been in the movies and stuff, so that's kind of a head start). She reached her goal -- but for $20,000 you could still name her new record whatever you want.