This isn’t a help wanted ad. It’s the most radical initiative this blog has ever undertaken. Let’s cut straight to the punchline: it can literally add years to your life, and put a little money in your pocket too.
You may be aware that running a music blog is incredibly labor-intensive, yet also extremely unprofitable. It is literally more cost-effective to be a musician than to publish a music blog: a musician can at least monetize a Zoom or Patreon page. For that reason, over the years, New York Music Daily has pursued a number of financing schemes. Longtime subscribers may remember a battle-of-the-bands contest, a cutting-edge dating app, a reality tv show, and a bold proposition to solve the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
For many reasons – a trademark dispute, burdensome regulatory hurdles and the tragic, unexpected suicide of one of the developers – none of those initiatives ever made it past the conceptual stage. Meanwhile, this blog was able to achieve great things, becoming New York’s go-to source for outside-the-box music coverage, all the while surviving on what was fast becoming a phantom budget.
By April of 2020, it was clear that if New York Music Daily was going to emerge with any capability of covering live music again, a significant capital program would be required. That’s why, while you’ve been reading about album after album on this page over the past two years, there’s been major work going on behind the scenes, culminating in a project with transformative potential.
When sourcing capital for a program that many would consider controversial, it pays to dovetail with the current zeitgeist. For that reason, a decision was made to sync with today’s global emphasis on personal health and wellbeing. In fact, that agenda has always been part and parcel of New York Music Daily’s commitment to advocating for live music in New York, even if it might not be obvious.
Studies have proven that on average, people who experience live music at least twice a week live at least two years longer than people who don’t. The health industry, insurance industry and employers are all keenly aware of this fact. Armed with this information, surely there should be a way to collaborate in the philanthropic space to help promote a common goal: greater health and longevity among New Yorkers.
Yet in the context of today’s New York, that goal, noble as it may be, needs to be focused on equity. To merely give away a bunch of concert tickets, like radio stations used to do, isn’t nearly enough. For a music blog which has always represented all New Yorkers, issues of equal access to live music need to be addressed.
For one, consider how all the big concerts halls are located in Midtown Manhattan, rather than in, say, the South Bronx. The explanation is simple: when Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden first opened, the majority of Manhattan property was residential. Did you know that Carnegie Hall was a major focal point during the Harlem Renaissance? A long series of exclusive concerts were held there for years, featuring a who’s who of foundational artists of color. Likewise, you may remember that rap music and break dancing were programmed at Lincoln Center as far back as the early 1980s, before artists like Run DMC and Kid n’ Play even existed.
As Manhattan shifted to commercial real estate, residential communities moved to the outer boroughs…where music venues have traditionally been in short supply. How do we restore equity to communities who stand to benefit the most from live music yet often have the least access to it?
Here’s how: through New York Music Daily’s new Health Through Music Live (HTML) app developed in collaboration with the J. Edward Epstein Memorial Trust, Black Lives Matter and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. The planning and execution of the program have been incredibly complex, yet the technology behind it is incredibly simple. Realistically, it had to be, in order to be viable.
For you, it’s as simple as downloading the Health Through Music Live (HTML) app to your phone. Activate the app, and a list of available concerts pops up, all of them free. Even better, you get all kinds of perks and or cash back every time you check in at the concert venue or log on to a virtual event, even though this doesn’t cost you a cent. It doesn’t matter if you go to the show or just stay home and watch in your jam-jams.
And there’s no limit on how many concerts you can see. If you want to do it New York Music Daily style and go to four shows in a single evening, no problem! Hit the Curate button and an entire night of entertainment pops up. For example, you can start with the John Legend/Britney Spears 2gethR4ever tour at the Garden, then head up to the brand-new Planned Parenthood Center in the Bronx for Fall Out Boy/Girl and if you still have the energy, head over to the Hudson Yards complex for the intimate Hanson midnight cabaret extravaganza.
If all the concertgoing becomes overkill, the Health Through Music Live (HTML) app can also hook you up with all kinds of other fun activities that you can choose from the main page. Free timed entry into New York City museums, historical sites, parks, Open Streets events, fitness activities, farmers markets and educational programs are just a click away. So much to choose from, so little time!
Each time you participate, whether in person or virtually, you build up extra points that can be redeemed at a number of national retailers including Amazon, Nike, SweetGreen, Whole Foods and The Body Shop, just for starters. There is also a planned initiative with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to offer certain eligible concertgoers free accounts and instant credit in the form of the new digital currency currently in development, as soon as the exchange technology is available. Until now, an account with the New York Fed was something only the world’s most prestigious banks had access to, but now membership in that exclusive club can be yours, through the app.
Now for a little housekeeping and a lot of transparency. Instead of ten pages of tiny type and every kind of legal disclaimer imaginable, here’s how it works. The app is a ticket. It gets you into the show. It’s timed entry – you have to be there on time, which depends on the venue. At Brooklyn Steel, that might mean an hour and a half before showtime for pre-entry and health screening, where at the Mercury Lounge, that could be 45 minutes. All the information pops up immediately when you receive confirmation that you’re on the list. Have your phone out and be ready to swipe it at the instruction of venue personnel. They know you’re coming and they’re ready – it’s so easy!
Age restrictions apply at some venues and are listed for every show where applicable. If you get there late, sorry, no entry. You also have to leave the venue on time, as indicated in your confirmation. Compliance with venue rules is a must. Misbehave and that’s your problem: by consenting to use the app, you indemnify New York Music Daily, its partners, vendors and affiliated venues from all claims, in perpetuity. Seriously: it’s a free concert. You’re not going to sue somebody who just gave you a five hundred dollar concert ticket for free…and bought you an Impossible Burger at Burger King afterward, right?
Tickets are first come, first served, one per show per phone, no exceptions – although if you want to bring the kids, please do, just download the app to their phones as well. The app streamlines compliance to keep up with the latest CDC guidance, which as you have seen lately is subject to change at a moment’s notice. Along with your confirmation, you’ll get up-to-the-minute notifications on what’s required in terms of how many masks you’ll need, and a reminder to get your booster status up to date if necessary. Information on distancing from other patrons may also be included: this will apply to people in your party as well.
If you’re white. be aware that you may notice some people of color in your social circle going to more of these shows than you are, and that’s because the technology that powers the app is weighted toward underserved populations. That’s the price you pay for white privilege. All those free shows you got to see in your wealthy neighborhood, and you’re bitching about some underprivileged kid from East New York getting to go to the Lower East Side for the first time ever? Grow up and show some respect. There are so many fun activities available on the app that you’re bound to find something you like.
You may be asking how all this is possible. Doesn’t this cost a fortune? Well, yes. But the nonprofit sector and the Health Department have an interest in your health, and they’re willing to pay for it. So enjoy!
Another way this whole project is financed is through partners and affiliates. The coolest thing about this app is that it’s so simple, yet so adaptable that you can run your whole life from it if you want. It’s been specially optimized for New Yorkers. There are a million sexy features, but here’s one that’s not sexy at all, yet which may be incredibly time-saving. Would you believe that this app has a one-click link to the IRS system? Yeah, nobody likes paying taxes, but it’s something everybody has to face every year. And you may have heard nightmares about how hard it’s been just trying to log on to the system this year. But with the Health Through Music Live (HTML) app, you’re in, BOOM, no problem!
Here’s another unsexy one-click frontdoor that some of you might actually find yourself using: the New York City Department of Motor Vehicles. No more standing in line at the DMV! You can even upload a new photo and download the new digital driver’s license via the app.
You want sexy? Google Pay, Apple Pay, Venmo, Seamless, Doordash, Peloton, Tinder, Zoom, Spotify, Netflix, Amazon Prime and pretty much every service you use every day can all be activated via the app, as can direct deposit to your exclusive Fed account from all major payroll systems along with all major debit/credit cards. All major insurers as well as government entitlement programs including Social Security, food and rent assistance can be accessed by eligible New York residents as well. You can also run all socials including FB, IG, Telegram and (we think – this one may change) TikTok. There have been some last-minute tweaks required to remove all Russian links and content, but there are new Ukrainian features and a special app where you can contribute to humanitarian partners sending nonlethal aid to Ukraine.
Pandemic security alerts, dangerous weather advisories straight from the Mayor’s office and instant video chat with your landlord or building management via the new Safe Corridor system are also included. You can even access and exchange Bitcoin on the app. Full disclosure: New York Music Daily does not endorse Bitcoin or encourage anyone to purchase it, the consensus here is that it’s a pump-and-dump scheme. But, realistically, some of you own Bitcoin and may want to unload it, and the app gives you that option.
What is the technology behind the app? A very simple interface using blockchain and bluetooth. You have an identifying code and a unique password that you and you alone know. Information is only transferred between you and trusted partners. That’s the way all electronic transactions work anyway. For example, the venue needs to know it’s you who’s getting the seat for the concert, your doctor needs to know it’s you who has the appointment and not somebody else, and the retailer needs to know it’s you who’s redeeming the coupon rather than an impostor. And because it’s blockchain, all your perks and earnings are safe from any kind of rando North Korean hacker who might be trying to steal your data.
Bottom line: free concerts, get paid. Hit this link, get the app and get started on a healthy, music-filled life!