When the Omicron COVID-19 variant hit and spread wildly across both the unvaccinated and vaccinated during the end of last year, things took on a stark and depressingly uncertain air for me. It all felt like how things felt at very beginning of the pandemic. I had to put much of my live music coverage on hiatus until the infection numbers dropped down to the point that I wasn’t being a risk to my mom and to the rest of my dearest loved ones. (Being an adult is fucking hard y’all.)
Writing about new releases from all over the world is at the heart of JOVM — and there’s a much-needed place and purpose for it. And that will continue no matter what. Of course, I’m concerned about this new sub variant. But in the meantime, I’m covering as much as I can while being relatively safe: I’m still masking at indoor shows and I suggest that you should too. Many friends and colleagues wound up contracting COVID while attending SXSW and other events. The best and safest thing you can do for everyone involved — bands, tour crew, venue staff and yourself — is to continue to wear masks for a bit longer.
In the meantime, I’ve been aware of the fact that there are innumerable options competing for your time, money and love. There are only 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week and 720 hours in a 30 day month after all.
Because this site has long been a DIY labor of love, I’ve often felt that I’ve had an intimate and personal understanding of the emotional and financial plight of many of the artists I’ve covered throughout this site’s almost 12 year history. 12 years at anything is a long fucking time — especially in the blogosphere.
With such highly unusual circumstances, countless people — artists included — have been forced into deep reflection. In my line of work, I’ve had countless on-the-record and off-the-record conversations about being an artist and trying to make a living off your art. All of those conversations constantly remind of some very necessary facts:
- Art costs money to produce — and without money, it can’t exist because it can’t be produced.
- Artists are small businesses. So supporting an artist is supporting a small business.
- A small bit of support can go a long way. A $20, $30, $40, $50 or $60 purchase of someone’s work can often mean the purchase of groceries, paying their bills or even the confidence that they can continue with their art.
- Your individual $20, $50 or $60 purchase doesn’t really mean shit to Jeff Bezos, Amazon, Walmart or any of the other major conglomerates.
- Supporting a local artist/small business can keep money within your community. Caring about your community and ensuring that your hardworking neighbors can make and spend money within your neighborhood makes your neighborhood vital.
- Amazon and the other mega-conglomerates don’t give a fuck about your community or your neighbors.
- Lastly, you won’t be giving your money to companies that actively fuck over their neighbors, the environment or their employees. And that alone should make you feel better about the decision.
Of course, I hope that JOVM — and my work with JOVM — has led you to artists and bands whose work as become a part of your lives, as they have become a part of mine. And i also hope that my photography has managed to add some beauty to your day; inspired you to see the world in a new light; or make you go out to see some of these artists live.
In these difficult times, I’m asking you, dear readers and friends for your support. And there’s a number of ways that you can support JOVM:
- You can buy prints — from my live concert photography to street photography and even some outdoor/nature photos. I also still have a shit ton of JOVM bumper stickers. All of this stuff is beautiful and could use a loving forever home. You can check out the store here: https://joyofviolentmovement.com/shop/
- You can support by becoming one of my Patreon patrons. Every dollar means something. Seriously, it does. There are different patronage levels and different rewards for your support. For more information, you can check out the Patreon page here: https://www.patreon.com/TheJoyofViolentMovement
Of course, while I’m on the subject: I want to send shout outs to those folks, who have supported me and my work throughout the past year with their patronage on Patreon.
Thank you, y’all. Your support means so very much.
If you’re in the NYC area, you can hire me for photography work. Seriously. I do headshots, portraits and event photography. You can hire me through Photobooker. My listing is here: https://www.photobooker.com/photographer/8582abd8-f01e-43eb-b2be-0ed57157687e?duration=1?duration=1 (If you’re outside the NYC area and you’d still want to hire me, we can talk.)
Right now, a lot of people out there are struggling to survive. Believe me, I get it and I’m empathetic to that. The past 18 months have been the most difficult and desperate for a lot of us. To that end, here are some other ways you can support JOVM:
- If you dig what I do: Keep reading! Please, keep reading!
- Pass the word on to friends, family members, associates and anyone else, who will support independent journalism, music and criticism.
- Retweets, Facebook shares and reblog things you might dig. Sites need active eyeballs and clicks to survive. Every pair of eyeballs reading and clicking on JOVM means some ad revenue in the coffers. And those hardworking artists I cover will also be grateful for your love and support, too.
- Towards the bottom third of every post, there’s a related post section. If you dug the post you’re looking at it, feel free to check out the related posts. You might find something else you could love.
I’m hoping that 2022 will be an even better year for all of us — and that y’all will continue to stick with JOVM and me in the 12th year and beyond.