Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Will sing for food ... or books

As if the music on the stage at last week's concerts wasn't enough, I got more music that made the shows worthwhile.At each of the concerts, I got a card like this good for a free music download just for a small donation — three canned food items at the Chicago concert, and one children's book at the New Kids On The Block show.

Sweet deal, right? You give a lil' something; someone in need gets something they need (food, books, etc.); and then you get some exclusive music as a lil' thanks.

Throughout the New Kids' "Full Service" summer tour, for example, Joe McIntyre is holding a book drive at each venue through his newly formed foundation to benefit kids. (Yes, the youngest New Kid is now the father of an almost-2-year-old son ... feel old?) One new kiddy book got me this card good for a free download of Joe's new song, "5 Brothers and a Million Sisters," which can only be had online — totally worth the price of the book!

Musical greats Chicago and Earth, Wind & Fire are similarly helping local people at their concerts this summer, giving fans a chance to pitch in.

Just three cans of food or a $3 donation will score fans this card, which entitles the bearer to three exclusive songs which can be easily downloaded — one by Chicago, one by Earth, Wind & Fire, one by both the bands together. Chicago has covered "I Can't Let You Go;" EW&F has recorded Chicago's "Wishing You Were Here;" the two groups collaborate on an original song, "You." Think about: Three cans of Chef Boyardee ravioli cost $3, the same amount you'd pay for three song downloads online. You get good music, and someone in need gets to eat. Everyone wins!

Now, these weren't the first shows I've walked away from with a free music download in my pocket.

The first time we saw The Police, Sting's son and his band, Fiction Plane, served as the opening act. Just for showing up, we got a similar card with a code for a download of Fiction Plane's single, "Two Sisters" off the CD the band was promoting. Sure, the song wasn't really my style. But, hey, it was free, right? Getting a free song made the $100+ tickets a bit more palatable ... just a bit.

Last week's food/book drives, though, helped people and yielded music enjoyable to a wide spectrum of fans, making them win-win promotions!

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