Paste Asks Readers, Musicians To Help Save Mag

Like every other magazine today, independent music magazine Paste has fallen on hard times. It’s gotten so bad at the Decatur, Ga.-based pub that they won’t be able to publish their June issue — without some help.

Last night, the magazine appealed to its readers, asking them to donate whatever they could to make sure Paste can survive well into the future. In return for donations, readers will get access to music that they can’t get anywhere else, available for download on Paste‘s site. Donors will also have the opportunity to win prizes like signed posters and an ocean-view cabin on next year’s Cayamo Cruise.

Publisher Nick Purdy said he hopes the fundraising campaign will help Paste survive well beyond its June issue.

“Our outlook is fine,” Purdy told us. “Cash flow has come to the point where we can’t go on, but if we get some money in then we have every intention of continuing on.”

Although Purdy declined to name the specific amount that he hopes this campaign will bring in, he did admit that it is over $1 million a six figure number. But, donors can contribute as little as $1 to receive the same access to rare and unreleased music, so it will be interesting to see how long it takes Paste to reach its goal.

In the meantime, Paste has not had to layoff any employees, although the 15-person staff (including the magazine’s three founders) has agreed to take a 20 percent pay cut.

Full release, with complete list of participating artists, after the jump

70+ Artists Donate Rare Tracks to Launch The Save Paste Campaign

Paste Magazine appeals to readers for financial help

(Decatur, Ga. – May 13, 2009)

Today, Paste Media Group, publisher of the two-time National Magazine Award nominee Paste Magazine &, will launch an online fundraiser to keep the magazine functioning in the midst of the global financial recession.

As a completely independent magazine, Paste has struggled for the past nine months as advertisers have decided to wait on buying ads in response to the recession. Last month, cash received unexpectedly reached an all-time low, and turned a tough situation into a short-term crisis.

Rather than shut its doors, Paste is launching a reader appeal today to help save the magazine. Many of the artists who’ve been covered by Paste over the years–folks like Neko Case, The Decemberists, Of Montreal, She & Him, Josh Ritter, The Avett Brothers, Brandi Carlile and the Indigo Girls–have donated rare and exclusive tracks to give to anyone who donates to the cause. Two of the tracks were recorded specifically for the campaign. Plus Sixthman has donated an ocean-view cabin on next year’s Cayamo Cruise, and bands like R.E.M. and Band of Horses have donated signed posters to be given away to random supporters.

While the current situation is dire, long-term, Paste expects to emerge from the recession in good shape. 2008 was the magazine’s best year across the board—print subscribers, print ads, online readers and online advertising were all at record levels. consistently draws more than 900,000 visitors each month, and the magazine has grown into the third largest rock magazine in the world. Meanwhile new advertisers have come on board and more are ready to begin doing business when their advertising budgets return.
“We’ve adjusted our business plan, implementing several cost-cutting measures and creating a robust online business that’s among the best in the industry,” says publisher Nick Purdy. “If we can get through this immediate cash crunch, we can weather the rest of this economic storm.”

“The response from artists has been humbling,” adds editor-in-chief Josh Jackson. “We put out an appeal for rare tracks to thank our donors, and all these really cool songs started pouring in, as well as the warmest words of encouragement.”

As singer/songwriter Cary Brothers puts it, “Times are tough in the music industry, and now more than ever we need people like the team at Paste looking out for artists on the fringe of the mainstream.”

Donations can be made at

A list of artists contributing songs for the Save Paste Campaign so far:
A Camp, Ari Hest, Army of Me, Arrested Development, Ben Folds, Ben Wakeman, Betty LaVette, Bill Mallonee, Birdmonster, Bloodkin, Bob Mould, Brandi Carlile, Cara Luft, Cary Brothers, Cowboy Junkies, Dan Zimmerman, Derek Webb, Duncan Sheik, G. Love and Special Sauce, Gomez, Greg Laswell, Indigo Girls, Islands, Jamie Lidell, Jason Harrod, Jennifer Daniels, Jesse Sykes And The Sweet Hereafter, Joe Henry, John Doe, John Roderick (The Long Winters), Josh Ritter, Josh Rouse, Keller Williams, Liam Finn, Loney Dear, Luke Brindley, Marc Broussard, Matt Nathanson, Matthew Caws, Matthew Sweet, Meiko, Neko Case, Of Montreal, Ortolan, Over the Rhine, Passion Pit, Patterson Hood, Portastatic, Robert Pollard, Robyn Hitchcock & The Venus 3, Rosie Thomas, Samantha Crain, Sandra McCracken, Shawn Mullins, She & Him, Slow Runner, Soul-Junk, Southeast Engine, State Radio, String Cheese Incident, Switchfoot, Thao, The Avett Brothers, The Clarks, The Decemberists, The Jayhawks, The Low Anthem, The Minus 5, The Rosewood Thieves, The Spring Standards, Umphree’s McGee, Venice Is Sinking, Welcome Wagon, William Fitzimmons
Paste magazine is one of the fastest growing independently published entertainment magazines in the country, named “Magazine of the Year” at the 2007 and 2008 PLUG Independent Music Awards. Providing thoughtful analysis on the best in film, books and other aspects of popular (and alternative) culture, Paste is the premier magazine for people who still enjoy discovering new music, prize substance and songcraft over fads and manufactured attitude, and appreciate quality music in whatever genre it might inhabit. Now in its seventh year, Paste is available on newsstands all over the U.S. and Canada.