Sour Patch Kids are delicious. Right now, people in my Twitter feed, and probably yours, are out there slandering a perfectly delicious candy just because its marketing empire is trying to get in on this whole “indie rock is cool” thing. However. We live in strange times when Sour Patch Kids has decided that the best way to get the American teenager to cough up money for its gummy powder-coated tartness is to provide a crash pad to touring bands. And yet that’s what Sour Patch Kids is doing with “the Brooklyn Patch,” a house in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Clinton Hill where bands can stay in exchange for “content.”
AdAge reports that the candy company has started up the house as part of “a long-term investment in indie music culture.” It quotes a company spokesperson as saying, “You have to break culture to make culture,” and if anyone out there knows what that means, please leave word in the comments section. The article also says Deer Tick are planning to stay at the house between Christmas and New Years, when they’ll be playing a weeklong residency at the Brooklyn Bowl, and Tame Impala will be staying at the house before the year is out.
On one level, this doesn’t seem that different from Red Bull Studios or Converse Tracks, in which artists get free studio time. But the whole “in exchange for content” part is where things get slightly skeezy. From the AdAge piece:
There is a quid pro quo associated with staying at the Patch. Artists who stay at the house are expected to create some content that Sour Patch Kids can share across a number of digital channels, which include a Brooklyn Patch-branded Tumblr as well as the brand’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. Ms. Bezner said it is also exploring the possibility of adding further amplification partners.
How much content depends on the duration of an artist’s stay. “We have kind of a sliding scale,” Ms. Bezner said.
An artist who stays in the house for a day or so will only be obligated to create a small number of social-media posts. In the event that an artist stays longer, the output is expected to be more substantial, though the type of content is up to the artist. It doesn’t necessarily even need to be musical.
“This is not about us creating a Sour Patch Kids record,” she said.
There is also a Patch coming to Austin in time for next year’s SXSW, because of course there is.
UPDATE: Tame Impala will not be staying at the Patch after all. Per the band’s manager, Jodie Regan: “Nothing against Sour Patch Kids- we hear they’re delicious. We’re just not staying at their home!”