Party for pennies

Roche Uhntraal checks his savings account.

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Looking for a sweet deal? How about 10 cents a track? Instrumental rockers Benefit Party will release their self-titled debut album at Gus' Pub on September 1, with discs going for the low, low price of 99 cents. Why sell the disc so cheap?

"We'd give them away for free but we're not putting out a piece of crap," says drummer Adrian Bruhm, noting that each CD costs about $2.50 to produce. "If it was free people wouldn't take it seriously. Charging the smallest amount will hopefully keep people interested in it."

If the band's demos (myspace.com/benefitparty) are any indication, fans will get good bang for their buck. The trio, Bruhm (drums), guitarist James O'Toole and bassist Josh Herbin, spent mere days recording the online offerings, which are solid slabs of garage-y goodness. The self-recorded disc, on the other hand, took over 10 months to complete.

"There was no pressure in it, so we took our sweet time," explains Bruhm, a graduate of the Nova Scotia Community College's Recording Arts program. "Whenever Josh could make it down from the Valley we'd have a lot of fun and come up with new sounds and ideas to put on it."

Sadly, Benefit Party's release show will also be its swan song, as the members are parting ways to focus on other projects. Bruhm hasn't ruled out a possibility of reuniting if the one-dollar disc takes off, though. "There's always the chance of playing together again," he says. "The songs have been drilled into our heads, so if we were put on a stage with instruments we will probably remember them."

Friday's five band bill, which includes Talk Sick (also releasing a new CD), ROT, Windom Earle and The Maynards, has a ridiculously low $4 cover. Get there early before the bands come to their senses and start jacking up the price.

More sweet deals

Not to be outdone, Jonny Stevens is offering free downloads of his debut album at jonnystevens.ca. Stevens hopes this tactic will increase his sales of merchandise and attendance at shows, effectively offsetting the cost of giving away his music.

"If I could boast that my album has been downloaded 10,000 times I see it as 10,000 people who have my music and not as a loss of revenue at all," he says. "I hope to see as many people as possible with my music and more people attending my live performances, which is the best way to experience music and the only possible way of breaking even."

Stevens' next Halifax performance takes place at the Dalhousie Student Union Building September 12. Let the experiment begin.

Fuck and Buck

Holy Fuck recently signed to UK label Young Turks and will release its sophomore album LP October 23. The band—including Mike Bigelow, Loel Campbell and ex-pat Brian Borcherdt—hits the road in September for a three-month tour that will take them through Canada and around Europe. No dates are confirmed for Halifax yet. ... Buck 65 recently posted on his blog that he's the subject of an upcoming episode of MTV Cribs. This is an odd choice, says Buck, because he lives in a dump. "I saw doing the Cribs thing as an opportunity to send a good message out there," he says. "I really want people to see what the realities are like. I know people who sell a lot more records than I do who still hold down regular jobs." Is this an elaborate hoax or a reason to watch MTV? Stay tuned for more details.

Want to tour Roche’s crib? Email scene@thecoast.ca.

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