Tired of the same old stuff playing over and over and over ... and over ... on the radio? Hoping your kids will discover a wider world of possibilities for individual artistic expression? Bandcamp is a fascinating exploration across continents, heartfelt causes, and mostly musical points of view. The site allows fans to search and listen freely among traditional genres such as Latin, classical, rock, and reggae, but behind each one you'll find a good number of titles that not only defy the genre but categorization altogether. Particular outside-the-norm entries include the Kinda Funny Gamecast, game soundtracks such as that for Star Crawlers, stand-up comedy by Robert Jenkins, and farcical PSAs from Welcome to Night Vale. This is, in all senses, the beauty of bandcamp. Album pages offer up everything from artist-generated tags, share/embed buttons, traditional liner notes, Facebook and page links, and a name-your-price option or extremely low asks such as $1 or $3. This gentle approach will soon get kids and adults wanting to support these artists, who produce an amazing array of unique sounds in such a humble fashion. Quality varies, but again, this is the beauty of the experience.
The interface and navigation can be a bit confusing, and it isn't possible to filter by location and genre at the same time. The lack of a way to play your whole collection continuously or in random mode is a bit disappointing as well, but full albums will play automatically. These little issues nag, and a few iffy titles could spoil the experience, but the connection users feel with artists representing cultures and musical interpretations from across the globe is worth it all.