Readers Speak On… “Dirty Mittens Wants To Be Your Vip”[Or, Productive Commentary: Ur Doin’ It Right]

"With all due respect, I don't think this is cool AT ALL. While it's noble to try new things in the attempt to push your band/name/art, this solution reeks to high heaven of selling, sales, promo, marketing. Also, getting your card punched is a familiar, if aging euphemism for living a boring, 9-5 life enslaved to the Man…. It's like at a coffee shop. Yeah, Starbucks. Try again Dirty Mittens! I still love you." — "Tarnation"

"Hmm, I guess I see your point, Tarnation. But you should know that, while we certainly would love to sell you stuff, the real goal of these cards is to reward the people who support us. Heck, we don't even have anything to sell at this point—we're all out of our first EP and our album won't be done for a while yet. All we've got, really, is some demos to give away and a punch card that you can redeem for a shirt we'll make ourselves." —Ben Moral, Dirty Mittens

"…Still, the idea of rewarding fans leaves me wondering: Isn't the reward that fans get to enjoy your shows and music? Even if you're not punching cards to sell CDs, etc, you're punching cards to sell your band and to create fan loyalty, allegiance. That's what you're selling: yourself, and building a base. (brand?) While fans might be rewarded with kisses etc, you're the ones reaping the primary reward. The cards are designed more for you than them, and I don't mean that to be insulting, just saying. I'm not trying to hassle you or nitpick, I'm only thinking about your strategy here because it's very very interesting to see how creative minds such as yourself adapt to this new, weird, internet-driven, post-record company world where artists have the means of production.... — "Tarnation"

…I don't know about other musicians in this town (and I don't even know if I speak for the whole band) but for me, the important people to have at my shows aren't label execs or music writers or local celebrities. It's my good friends. I know it takes a lot out of them to come to my shows…so figuring out how to say thanks to them is most of what this is about. Our buddy Tom was kind enough to design and illustrate them for free, because we don't have any money to pay him. But I figured if I could get some press coverage for the thing, and make sure he was mentioned, it would do at least a little bit to pay him back. It might sound like it, but I promise this is not bullshit: my ultimate goal, in playing music, is to get all my friends in one place, half-drunk, and having a huge party. I'm lucky enough to play in two bands where that happens a lot. If we can get people we DON'T know to come to the show and make new friends to party with, man that would be more than I could dream of. But mostly, having amazing times that sound nice is good enough. Fuck that, way better than good enough, it's amazing.

—Ben Moral, Dirty Mittens