'Ten Bands, One Cause' Fights Breast Cancer With Pink Vinyl Reissues (Update)
The month of October's holidays include World Vegetarian Day, National Nut Day, Yom Kippur, Columbus Day, and, of course, Halloween. But it's also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in honor of those ubiquitous pink ribbons and what they stand for, RED Distribution has launched Ten Bands One Cause, a reissue initiative (reissuitive?) of 10 bands' albums on pink vinyl.
Today (Sept. 30), artists including Against Me!, rising Australian songwriter Courtney Barnett, Jason Isbell, and Me First & the Gimme Gimmes will release limited edition copies to retailers across the country. One dollar from every record shipped will go to Gilda's Club NYC, a non-profit community organization named after original SNL cast member Gilda Radner, who died in 1989 of ovarian cancer.
"I'm pretty big on cancer research and charities and going on runs and donating when I can," says Alex Brody, director of indie sales and marketing at RED, who orchestrated the campaign -- and whose father died of liver cancer 15 years ago. Gilda's Club is across the street from RED's Manhattan offices, and after always walking by it on his commute into the city from Brooklyn and wanting to do something, Brody finally decided to.
"We had conference calls with representatives, looked at calendars, and came up with this idea to make pink vinyl on top-selling titles and try to give back to that charity in a way none of us have before," he adds. At the time of our interview, Brody said around 10,000 units would be shipped by release date to independent retailers and webstores like Amazon (which, as Billboard recently established, not only sells more vinyl than Urban Outfitters; it sells the most vinyl).
And what of the so-called "pink ribbon controversy," which alleges that pink products have become too much of a marketing symbol, with minimal funds actually going to breast cancer research? "It's tough because I already got a little criticism for it," says Against Me!'s Laura Jane Grace. "Someone criticized me online, saying, 'That's so cool, you're giving a buck only?' That's totally valid, I was happy to donate all of the money we received from the 500 copies [of Transgender Dysphoria Blues]."
But Grace didn't have anything to do with the decision of how much money was going to charity. "We were just approached with it," she says. "They asked if we wanted to be a part of it. I mean, of course. There is literally nothing I had to do except press 500 on pink vinyl and it's going to a good cause."
In any case, Against Me!'s "really rabid fanbase" assures that all those records will disappear fairly quickly. "A lot of our fans are into collecting color variations, and it's a small amount of vinyl," Grace says. "They'll be hard to find, and for me that's where it's valid artistically -- knowing people enjoy those variations and it'll raise a buck off each record for awareness."
UPDATE: 'Stache Media, a stand-alone marketing agency operating out of RED's New York offices, created a Ten Bands, One Cause Spotify playlist, with one track from each band that put out pink vinyl. For every follower up to 1,000, cosmetics company Hard Candy will donate $1 to Gilda's Club. Stream (and follow!) the playlist below.