A round of applause, please, for Abner and Harper Willis, two heartbreakingly earnest brothers from Maine, who have done more to help the economy than anyone we know by spending $109,000 at a variety of American businesses, all in a quest to become indie rock stars. "The School of Rock is expensive," they warn their readers. "Then again, class can be a lot of fun, and some of the homework is pretty cool."

How, exactly, did the Willises end up spending over a hundred grand? They break it down:

  • Training. Our folks shelled out for 15 years of piano and guitar lessons (times two of us!). These days, we're spending $250 to $500 a month on voice lessons. Cost to date: $30,000.


  • Gear. Our family has invested in dozens of musical instruments and other gear (pianos, guitars, drum sets, keyboards, mandolins, PA systems, amplifiers...). And, oh yeah, it cost more than $500 to move a piano down three flights of stairs and then up to Maine (a story for another time). Cost to date: $25,000.

So, yeah, these guys (well, their family) spent $25,000 on equipment, including a PA system, and a grand on "a guy to send email blasts to databases of hip music blogs." They're dropping way too much on rent because they think New York is the only place where a successful musician can live. They also seem to think they could be making an extra $25,000 a year if they weren't in a band. All to "make a buzz."

But you can't tell them that they're wasting all that money. These guys are an economic engine. They're providing work for a drummer and a voice teacher and "a guy [who] sends email blasts to databases of hip music blogs," not to mention their manager and booking agent. They're helping support music gear companies. And by not taking those $400-a-week writing assignments, Harper is letting another writer make that money. And best of all, their decision to write about their enormous waste of money on the internet in the most casual and entitled way possible provides us all with the kind of cathartic joy that accompanies hating on oblivious rich people (The Styles Section Effect).

Not to mention giving bloggers a little bit of that good "fuck rich people" traffic.