Music Lesson: d.i.y

After posting the Letters to the Moon review on Thursday, I figured this week I’d better give a little music lesson on the meaning of “d.i.y” before I went any farther. d.i.y as you might guess stands for “do it yourself”. Kind of like shopping at Home Depot instead of hiring a painter, doing it yourself in the music industry means just that.

At the most basic level, a group is d.i.y if they release their music on their own. No labels – indie, major, or otherwise – are responsible for their release, unless it’s a label operated by a group of d.i.y artists. Most d.i.y groups also do a lot more themselves or with the help of community friends, such as: booking tours, recording music, mixing, screen printing, drawing posters, making zines, publishing websites, photographing, making cover art, etc. 
It is common for a d.i.y band to be involved in a kind of community: a group of scenesters in the neighborhood that may not be in bands, but who want to help cultivate a music community that can thrive away from anything commercial. In turn, many houses spring up where a large number of community members live together and host (usually free) shows for touring d.i.y artists to play in. 
The great thing about this kind of music community is that a band who has a d.i.y house can host shows for bands from different countries across america, who back home have their own d.i.y house’s. This way the host band can trade a show, and when they go on tour they play the homes of all the bands they’ve had stay at their house. Not only does this promise that the d.i.y community from that city will probably show up no matter what, but it creates a kind of familial bond between the different d.i.y communities across the country, resulting in an underground circuit of love and self-preservation.
The mp3 below is one of my favorite d.i.y artists, Paul Baribeau. Enjoy, and look for a d.i.y community in a city near you.

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