Steve Albini — the hunky dreamboat behind such top-40 balladeers as Shellac and Big Black and proprietor of the famed Electrical Audio recording studio on Chicago’s northwest side — is seemingly always down to help struggling bands make records on the cheap… apparently, even to the detriment of his own finances. He’s a regular Jimmy Stewart from It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s not that his studio is in any immediate danger of closing like Stewart’s character’s bank was in the movie; it’s just that the man has reportedly racked up an outstanding mortgage balance of $230,000 (er, and I guess there’s also the Stewart parallel that he might jump off a bridge at any moment, too). But thankfully, Tim Midgett (of Silkworm and Bottomless Pit) is kinda like Jimmy Stewart’s hot-ass 1940s wife from that movie, because he has single-handedly launched a campaign to pay off Electrical Audio’s mortgage!
As A.V. Club Chicago points out, Midgett has launched the “Pay Off Electrical Audio” online campaign. The idea is beautiful in its commie simplicity: if 2000 people donate $115 a piece, the total will cover the rest of the mortgage, thus freeing Electrical Audio from the shackles of The Man for good, allowing Albini to focus more on “making art,” yadda yadda yadda. As Midgett wrote on the donation page, “I think the place should be paid off by now, and I think we have the ability to do it.”
The campaign, which just launched today, has already raised almost $15,000 in donations. And to answer your annoying questions, no, no one has to pay unless the goal is met, and no, there’s no minimum donation amount. So throw in a couple bucks if you’ve got it. Who knows, maybe Albini will give you naming rights. I can see it now: Tiny Mix Tapes Presents Electrical Audio. Nice.
• Electrical Audio: http://www.electrical.com
• Steve Albini: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Albini
• Shellac: http://www.myspace.com/shellacband
• Silkworm: http://www.myspace.com/silkworm
• Bottomless Pit: http://www.bottomlesspit.us