By on December 10, 2011

The cat is out of the bag. Music is free. Despite what record labels, the federal government or Metallica has to say about it, your favorite album is available for free somewhere on the internet and all you have to do is find it and hit download. You will not be arrested. The police will not come to your house. But, if you’re like most people you might feel a little melancholy about the whole situation? Not because you’re worried James Hetfield might go hungry but because you know that the artist whose music you love, won’t be seeing any compensation from your free download. Until now, the only alternative for someone in this situation would be to break down and buy the music…

The Priceless Music Project is a an e-commerce platform that allows music fans to choose the price they pay for music. Music fans can choose any price they like (even $0.00) but will receive exclusive incentives like non album recordings or access to concert pre-sales for paying over the average price paid by others, as well as receive additional incentives for being the top donator. Using an imagery based slider system, (see image and demo in web video) users will be able to select as many albums as they like from a given label or artists site and then select how much they’d like to pay for each one. The platform will also educate the music fan on specific liabilities the band has, such as number of band members, number of shows played last year, number of miles driven, total yearly cost to sustain band etc. Finally, the band or label can choose a percentage of their total sales to be donated to a specific charity within their own community, further ensuring that the music buying process is not just an empty consumer function, but actually gives back to the community where the artist lives

The goal of the Priceless Music Project is to ensure that fans are completely content with every penny they spend (or don’t spend) supporting the artists and labels they love. We believe that an unrestricted, pay-what-you-want model coupled with incentives, education and charitable giving is the key to a healthy respectful and most importantly sustainable artist/label/music fan/community relationship.

Tender Loving Empire is raising money to develop The Priceless Music Project with the intention of releasing all of our 2012 releases (starting with Y LA BAMBA’s Court The Storm on 2/28/12) on its pay what you want platform. Anyone wishing to support the campaign can do so from now until February 8th at our IndieGoGo page. Incentives for donating include all the 2012 Tender Loving Empire releases, concert tickets, un-developed disposable cameras that TLE bands have taken on tour, limited edition laser engraved vinyl enclosures and even the ability to give TLE co-founders unborn baby daughter her middle name when she’s born in March. (yes, for real!)

About Tender Loving Empire:

Tender Loving Empire is a record label, retail consignment shop, and screen-printing studio focused on supporting handmade art and music while fostering community exchange. The label’s roster includes Y La Bamba, Typhoon, And And And, Boy Eats Drum Machine, Jared Mees & the Grown Children, Loch Lomond, Radiation City and more.

Critical Praise For Tender Loving Empire:
“Tender Loving Empire, a small boutique in the West End shopping district in Portland’s Southwest quadrant, looks like the bedroom of your childhood friend who you always wanted to be like, but could never quite emulate. A cacophony of colors and crafts, it is the physical incarnation of a record label with the same name.” – Nylon
“Tender Loving Empire, or “TLE,” as it’s affectionately known, has become a hub for visual and aural indie-rock aesthetics.” – Portland Monthly 


Author: DaveHHM

Dave Luttrull: Owner/Editor in Chief of Hellhound Music. Star Wars nerd, Gamer, Destiny homer, blogger, writer and lover of all things music.