the Smithereens, has founded Patrons & Artists Together, a boutique entertainment partnership meant to fund his recording and touring projects and reward participants with a unique music experienc

New Jersey-based artist Pat DiNizio, lead singer/songwriter of the Smithereens, has founded Patrons & Artists Together, a boutique entertainment partnership meant to fund his recording and touring projects and reward participants with a unique music experience, as well as provide free music via the Internet. Limited to 100 subscribers at a cost of $1,200 each, the program offers CD releases that will not be available through conventional channels, private concerts, and more.

In a statement, DiNizio describes Patrons & Artists Together business model as "a 'vision quest' in which an artist partners up with his or her audience to make an end run around the way that business is done these days in the ever-imploding music industry."

Once underway, subscribers will receive a numbered and autographed copy of the two-disc set "This Is Pat DiNizio," which the artist says was equally inspired by the Beatles' "White Album" and the Rick Rubin-produced "American Recordings" albums by Johnny Cash. Subsequent albums -- including "Dark Standards," an album of standards on which DiNizio is backed by a jazz quartet and big band, a remix set, a Christmas album, a children's album, and a collection of demos for the next Smithereens release -- will follow approximately every four months.

Subscribers will also receive 50 copies of each album to distribute to friends and family members. Abbreviated versions of the releases will also appear online for free download by the general public, along with CD artwork.

Beyond the recorded music, DiNizio will perform a private "living room concert" for each patron, which includes DVD and audio copies of the performance for all in attendance. Each show will be coupled with a fund raising or charity performance to benefit a local organization of the patron's choice. Other perks include Smithereens tickets and backstage passes, and Patrons & Artists Together t-shirts.

"I believe that I've come up with a solution for any type of artist, emerging or established, to make his or her music available online for free to anyone in the world -- and still earn a living," DiNizio says. For more specific details on the venture, visit DiNizio's official Web site.

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