Archive for May 2015 | Monthly archive page

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May 22

We did it! MONOLITH was a success!

A gigantic planetary-sized thank you for your support! I appreciate your pledges that made MONOLITH a success.

Well, that was fun! We reached 145% of the goal. As with each previous Kickstarter, I learned many new things about how to run a Kickstarter! It was fun, though I’m also glad it’s done, so I can go back to my life of NOT promoting a Kickstarter! : )

I loved being able to give you the music (546 downloads at Bandcamp) at the same time as the CD funded. You might ask what’s the difference between giving the music away on Bandcamp versus it streaming for almost-free on Spotify (or free at a torrent). The difference is that we make a connection via Bandcamp and Kickstarter; it’s just a cold anonymous play on Spotify. I like the connection. Going all the way back to “we return” on the rope, it’s always been about connection.

Now the next phase begins, getting the pieces into production. The scheduled ship date is July, but I do expect it will be done before then. All pieces will ship at the same time.

Thanks again, Sam

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May 18

35 hours remain to support at Kickstarter // L’odissea nello spazio di Sam Rosenthal

I’ve been extremely busy the last few days with musical-related work, both with BLACK TAPE FOR A BLUE GIRL and AS LONELY AS DAVE BOWMAN. In the past two days, the DAVE BOWMAN MONOLITH Kickstarter has received new CD pledges from Australia, Germany, Italy, (another) Australia, the United States, and the Netherlands. Plus a Tshirt-only backer right around the corner in Eugene, Oregon. 35 hours to go!

On Facebook, Adam wrote, “Hopin’ for a standard-edition CD, which I will cop ASAP!”

Come to think of it, I haven’t made clear that there will not be a standard-edition CD on MONOLITH. The $20 CD-in-DVD-sized digipak is as “standard” as it will get; the entire run is limited to 300 copies. Yes, there will be leftovers after the Kickstarter ends, and they will be available from Projekt’s website. But it is not an unlimited supply.

Here’s a round-up:

Sam Rosenthal’s odyssey through space L’odissea nello spazio di Sam Rosenthal

Italy’s OndaRock website posted an interview in both Italian and English. I’m really happy with the way it turned out, I discuss MONOLITH, creating music, how things have changed for artists in the last decade, and being motivated by your support. I think it’s a very honest interview that’s a great read.

(Hmmm? I don’t actually reference the year 2001 as when things started changing for artists, but that’s something I need to think about some more.)

Almost to the Star Gate

The Kickstarter campaign ends Tuesday at 9pm Portland Time. We’ve almost done it! It’s going to be exciting to see how things end up; we’re at 131% of the goal as I write this (on the verge of breaking $4000!)

If you’ve backed MONOLITH and want to add on a shirt, Kickstarter makes it easy to change your pledge. I’m not suggesting you need to change anything, I just want to be sure you know you can. On the Remnants Viinyl Kickstarter, some people learned about upgrades after the campaign ended, and I don’t want anyone to miss out.

If you don’t want to add the shirt, or get the PlexiBox, don’t do anything. You’re really wonderful for backing in the first place!

Why is Dave so lonely?

Somebody posted on Facebook that they thought AS LONELY AS DAVE BOWMAN wasn’t the best name for a musical project. Ok, well, I’m the guy with BLACK TAPE FOR A BLUE GIRL. I guess I’m accustomed to long names!

There’s a good reason why Dave is lonely.

I recently reread the novel 2001: A Space Odyssey (the last time I read it was in the mid-90s, when I lived in Chicago). Arthur C. Clarke uses “lonely” multiple times to describe Dave’s situation. And you can imagine why!

In the book, Dave’s trip is to Saturn (not Jupiter); Saturn lies between 746 million and just over a billion miles from Earth. That’s between 8 and 11 AU (AU = the approximate distance from the Earth to the Sun). And Dave is the only one left after HAL is shut off (and I’d speculate it was never completely clear whether Discovery 2 was going to be built and sent to bring him home. Seems to me the mission was to get information about the Monolith, and the crew was expendable.)

From that many million miles away, the political and personal squabbles on Earth must seem rather inconsequential. Just a bunch of bickering on a distant ball obscured by the glare of the Sun.

I’m glad I’m here on the earth with my family and friends and cat. Hey? Why didn’t they get to take a cat on Discovery 1? That would have been comforting. (The best I could find on YouTube is a cat named Misha checking out the Moon-Watcher scene).

100% Failure of the H3000-D/SX unit. ‘It does seem strange, Dave. But I can assure you there is a fault in the unit. ‘ My Eventide HS3000-D/SX was used throughout the recording of MONOLITH, now it’s dead. Very strange.

Fortunately I have a great gear repair guy here in Portland.

I stopped by a few coffee shops and record stores to drop off cards for my June 12th showing of Edward Sissorhands at Portland’s Hollywood Theatre. Facebook Events Page

Hand-written lyrics for Marcos in Brazil. One of the benefits of being a ‪patron at my Patreon

Yes, there’s really a new album in the works!

One of the questions in Matteo’s OndaRock interview involved a bit of disbelief on whether I was working on a new album. Here’s that exchange for you:

And… what about Black Tape? I read about new stuff coming soon, but I finally missed it. And 6 years have already passed from 10 Neurotics! Are you really working on something new to be published soon? Sam: Ha yes, of course! I just sent out a download of 14 songs to the patrons on Patreon. Every month they get music, and they got demos of new songs; none have vocals, three have viola. I don’t expect all of them will make it to the album, they’re work in progress. I have an idea for the new album, part of the concept is a double-lp (as well as a CD). It will be conceived around the idea of 4-sides (two darkAmbient and two more song-oriented). Ideally it will be out in the fall of 2015, but I don’t know if I will have the lyrics written and recorded in time for that. We’ll see what happens. But yes, I’m really working on new music.

Next Livestream Q&A Video Chat is Sun May 24

The next BLACK TAPE FOR A BLUE GIRL Patreon video chat will be open to my $10+ Patrons as well as everyone else. Why not! The more people interacting and asking questions on the Livestream, the more fun for everyone. Mark your calendar: Sunday May 24, 5pm in Portland / 8pm east coast. *I* will be on the video, you won’t appear in the video. You submit questions in the text-chat window. The video chat will be one hour long, you can drop in whenever you like.

Lucas asked, “This might be a silly question, but is the stream mobile friendly? I’m working that night, and won’t be able to get to a computer.”

Yes, I think it looks really sharp on the iPhone, actually. It’s impossible to read the text-chat in the unchangeable font size, but if you’re just listening and watching then it should be fine!”

Harley Q & the tomato plants

Watch this completely pointless video on my Instagram.

Join me on TSU

I’ve begun a profile on TSU. TSU is a new social networking site, that I’d love to see replace Facebook. The main advantage is your feed shows every post from people you’ve friended; they are not limited what you see, based on algorithms, like Facebook.

Some say, “Not a lot of people are on TSU, so what good is it?” Well, what good is having 6000+ followers on the Blacktape Facebook page, and less than 300 of you see what I post?

You can join by clicking on my page.

My god, it’s full of words!

The five amazing people who backed the top two tiers of my AS LONELY AS DAVE BOWMAN campaign get”The 2001: A Space Odyssey novel bought at the local Goodwill, signed on the cover by Sam.” I found the first one: a 1968 fourth printing in really great shape (looks unread, just some edgewear, and yellowed pages)! I love reading paper books, what about you?

There are just 35 hours left in the campaign; you can get yourself a limited edition CD, or one of the March of Progress T-shirts!

Best,

Zero-five-one-eight, transmission concluded.

Sam

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May 15

What’s cooking at Projekt? -and- music industry thoughts -and- TSU.co

If Projekt’s webstore was a cafe, we’d be excited about how much you are enjoying the specials we’ve added to the menu. The top-2 sellers in May are combo packs featuring our latest releases. It’s nice to see people picking up the new menu items! You can see many more new titles here. We also have a great selection of day old items; they are still amazing and tasty just not the current flavor. And then we also have the 20-4-$45 box, it’s sort of like the last few bottles of the cherry soda that was the rage two summers ago, but are now forgotten at the back of the cooler. Still delicious, of course! The 20-4-45 box has been a big seller, there are just 10 left! Quite honestly, I am not sure how much longer I can torture this webstore/cafe metaphor, so I’m going to move on… : -)

Here are the Top-5 sellers for May:

1 Steve Roach: Skeleton CD 2-Pack Experience the beauty of 100% pure analog modular sequencer-based music. There’s a worldwide analog modular synthesizer resurgence in full swing. Pioneering electronic musician Steve Roach taps into the zeitgeist on Skeleton Key. This 2-pack gives you the Skeleton album, plus a 2nd CD with 5 tracks from 2004 that inspired the album, and 3 more analog sequencer tracks recorded after Skeleton was completed. 2 Dirk Serries & Stratosphere CD 2-pack Two drone ambient albums from these Belgian artists. Dirk Serries is the creator behind Projekt’s highly successfull 90s act VidnaObmana, and Stratosphere is the project of Ronald Mariën, Dirk’s long-time friend and soundman. 3 VNV Nation: Resonance 6×10″ Vinyl & CD Box Set (Preorder, Expected Early June) Years in the planning, this album features many of the best known VNV NATION songs, performed purely with orchestra and voice. No other studio instruments were used as the goal was to be as authentic as possible. This is the album that VNV NATION have always wanted to make. This vinyl edition contains the exclusive bonus-track ‘If I was’ on the 6th 10” ! 4 Dirk Serries: Disorientation Flow Serries’ second album on Projekt is a suitable follow-up to his warm and welcoming now-sold-out 2014 release, The Origin Reversal. More than a critically-acclaimed re-boot of his classic vidnaObmana sound, this is ambient music that flows from its discreet origins of sonic purity, washes of harmony, and languid textures. Unfurling with seductive deliberation and orchestrated with just a handful of effects and electric guitar, this album is again fully improvised and recorded in real-time. (Limited edition of 300) 5 Stratosphere: Aftermath The second Projekt release from Stratosphere (a.k.a. Ronald Mariën), is built upon layering shimmers of guitar and bass-generated tones and drones. The album’s core seems inspired by post-rock, drone ambient and the work of Fripp & Eno, yet it speaks its own expressive voice.  (Limited edition of 300)

Rounding out the top-10: 6 Dirk Serries: The Origin Reversal (now out-of-print) 7 Erik Wollo: Blue Radiance 8 Steve Roach: Skeleton 3-Pack, LP + 2 CDs 9 Steve Roach: Skeleton Keys – CD 10 Steve Roach: Skeleton Keys – Vinyl

Four days remaining on the As Lonely As Dave Bowman MONOLITH Kickstarter

120 amazingly supportive people have chipped in $3659 towards the Kickstarter for my electronic / space music album MONOLITH. You can listen to the whole album for free, right now, at my Bandcamp page. My goal was to fund the physical album (success, thanks!), I also hoped to have my music heard. Please feel free to grab your copy, even if you don’t plan to donate to the cause. Why am I ok with this, but not with torrents or Spotify? Because *I* get to make the decision how and when my music is heard for free. That gives me back my agency, and I appreciate that.

The crowdfunding campaign is almost over. But there’s still time for you to grab the limited edition CD, the über limited edition plexiBox version, or the recently added MARCH OF PROGRESS Tshirt.

If you’ve already backed MONOLITH and want to add on a shirt, Kickstarter makes it easy to change your pledge, details on their FAQ. If you don’t want to add the shirt, don’t do anything. You’re really wonderful for backing in the first place!

On Monday, there will be an interview posted on Italy’s OndaRock website (I don’t know if you’ve noticed how much support Projekt receives in Italy’s press, but I honestly think we get more reviews in Italia then all of America. It’s nice they still have magazines that appear on newstands that feature our kind of music.) I’ll link to the full interview when it’s posted; I’ll share a sneak preview with you here.

Many of you enjoy my longer blog posts when I write about the state of the music industry. While this interview is mostly about my music and MONOLITH, there are a number of questions about my views on where the industry is at today…

OndaRock: Regarding Spotify, what’s the situation nowadays, after years and years of “resistance”, from your point of view?

Sam: As the Borg say: Resistance is Futile (laughs).

I think that ethically artists should be properly compensated for their work. But Google already won that war. The battle is over. The tech companies have demolished the little guys, and the majority of ‘customers’ will pay hundreds for their iphone and hundreds a year for their internet connection; but won’t pay for the music.

I can keep fighting like some lost soldier out on an island in the Pacific, or I can decide what is possible with the new overlords in place. While 90% of the audience have moved on or moved to free, the other 10% feel a connection to their favorite artists and to supporting their art. And that’s great. But us artists need to do the work to reconnect and be part of the change. Some of the darwave artists I worked with — while great people — have their heads buried deep in the sand! They think that if they keep wishing, it will be 1996 again, and they’ll sell thousands of CDs again. But reality says that ain’t happening. So you have to be realistic about today.

You know, thinking about this, reading Thich Nhat Han helped my thinking alot: Suffering is failure to see reality as it is. You can’t fight reality. Reality is an illusion. The idea about being “fairly paid” is an illusion that we created that once worked. But now we have to see the new reality, in order to get away from our suffering.

Something to think about, while you’re out on the weekend: Where do we each bash our head against the wall, rather than accept reality as it is?

Tsu, the Tidal of social networks, pays you for posting. Article at Macworld

I, for one, am excited by the prospect of a new social networking site evolving as a replacement for Facebook. I’m on TSU at tsu.co/SamRosenthal and you can join by clicking on my profile link. TSU doesn’t squelch who sees what I post. Unlike Facebook, there is no algorithm designed to make TSU money by getting me to pay to be seen by people who have already signed up to be my friends. Furthermore, TSU will pay us a microscopic payment for views and clicks. Yes, they will pay YOU when people check out what you post. There’s a lot of griping and screaming online about TSU being a scam or pyramid scheme. I don’t know if I buy that. It seems to be a new experiement at a new model. One that’s not about making investors money, at the expense of users.. What I know is that I am over Facebook, and the way they have ruined the social networking experience. I want a site that works like Facebook did 5 years ago: a site that lets you see my posts!

Some say, “Not a lot of people are on TSU, so what good is it?” Well, what good is having 6000+ followers on the Blacktape Facebook page, and less than 300 of you see what I post?

Will TSU succeed? I don’t know. I hope so!

My plan is that once the MONOLITH Kickstarter is complete, I’ll take a one-week Facebook Sabbatical. Only pop in to let you know what’s happening at TSU (or to promote my showing of Edward Scissorhands, the events section of Facebook still functions properly!). I am hoping TSU can have some of the spirit of MP3,com or Myspace or Facebook in the early days, before they each started sucking.

Martin Bowes of Attrition is on TSU; he’s been on for 5 months. Hey, Mr Early Adopter! : )

Visit my page and join: tsu.co/SamRosenthal

Have a great weekend. Sam

MONOLITH Kickstarter: kck.st/1aWKvCr Free Bandcamp download: blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com/album/monolith

Edward-card-s

May 14

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, Friday June 12 – Movies in the Dark

from Sam Rosenthal of

My May 1 showing of LABYRINTH was fantastic! The theatre was sold out with 384 people in attendance. That was really great! The “going” list at the Facebook page for EDWARD SCISSORHANDS is already looking impressive with 95 people – it’ll be be another great night!

Join us at 9:30pm on June 12th for Johnny Depp in Tim Burton’s 1990 film. As always, Movies In The Dark is hosted at the beautiful & historic Hollywood Theatre.

There will be a gift bag for the first 50 attendees & a raffle.

See you at the movies (in the dark!)

Progress-Tshirt

May 11

MONOLITH: the March of Progress

I’ve added a new item to the Kickstarter for As Lonely As Dave Bowman’s MONOLITH limited edition CD.

Eight days to go. This is the point in the crowdfunding campaign when things get mellow and we wait for the rush to the end. Of course, there are new pledges coming in every day, we’re up to 114 supporters. Kickstarter is now the place to pre-order the MONOLITH limited edition CD release; there are still copies available.

A few days ago I was having breakfast with my son and a friend; we were joking about this and joking about that. I was thinking about a shirt I saw at a chess tournament my son was in. The shirt had the “march of progress” graphic on it: charting evolution from monkey to ape to man, but there was a Chess King as the finally figure.

Hardly even pausing to think, I said: “Ape, Moon-Watcher, astronaut, Star Child! Hey, I’ve never seen a shirt like that before.”

Ooooooh, I had “an idea” !

Immediately I started imagining what the shirt would look like. I came up with this:

Even before we reached the $3000 funding goal (thank you for that!) I was thinking about what new item to add to the campaign. Some of you missed out on the top two tiers, yet still showed your support by over-funding the $50 plexibox. That was super nice and I want to give you a new premium to apply that pledge towards.

So now there’s the shirt on it’s own, the shirt with the CD-in-DVD, and the shirt with the Plexibox. Three new tiers to chose from.

Kickstarter makes it easy to change your pledge if you’d like to get a shirt. Details are here on their FAQ.

The Tshirt will be included at no extra charge in the top-2 tiers.

After the Kickstarter is over, I will email to get your Tshirt size. I print on American Apparel Ts which are custom fitted shirts; these are not the massive 90s-styled T. The shirt will ship at the same time as the CDs.

Enjoy! Sam

BlackTape-May2015

May 05

Black Tape For A Blue Girl May Update

Hi there. Here’s an update on what’s going on with Black Tape For A Blue Girl:

As you might know, I created a Patreon page for my music. Patreon is a crowdfunding site where you can pledge monthly support. To date, 92 patrons are donating $676 to assist my creations. An anonymous donor pledged $50 a month just this week. Wow!

In exchange for your support you get exclusive access to my music as I’m creating it. Today, patrons are receiving my first draft of the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album; 14 demos, a first listen to a sequence of the tracks I’m working on. Some pieces will stay, some will go. None have vocals yet. It’s work in progress; I think that’s pretty cool to hear.

If you’d like to hear it, join my Patreon with a pledge as low as $2 a month. Everyone who joins this week will get the stream, even though you haven’t been charged anything. Patreon charges your credit card once a month around the first.

MONOLITH, the electronic space-music album from my solo-project As Lonely As Dave Bowman has reached the $3000 goal at Kickstarter which means this album is going to exist! 102 people have pledged $3045 to the campaign, and there’s still two weeks to go. Things aren’t over yet; Kickstarter is now a place to pre-order your copy of this 300-piece limited edition release.

My campaign was based on an interesting question: Can I give away digital downloads of an album at the same time as I’m attempting to crowdfund the release? Will people care about my creation enough to make it happen?

And the answer is an awe-inspiring Yes you will!

I’ve received a number of emails this week that say, “It’s not just the stuff, Sam. I want to see you succeed and keep making art.” That’s pretty incredible, and feels really good.

Part of my goal with Patreon & Kickstarter is to connect to people who enjoy my work. I see new names pledging at the upper tiers; that’s fantastic! I like knowing I’m creating music that matters to you, and that perhaps one or two of my past albums have been beneficial in your life when you needed someone / something there. That makes it all seem so much more worthwhile!

At the Blacktape Bandcamp page you can download the new As Lonely As Dave Bowman MONOLITH album and also the 2007 POD album, both for free. I added my 2011 ambient/drone release The Passage, also for name-your=price.

Hopefully you’ll make a donation there, or even better, at the Kickstarter page. When you pledge at Kickstarter you get an additional 37 minutes of Dave Bowman music. Plus I get to stay in touch with you via updates on the MONOLITH project.

I’ve mentioned that 2015 is the year I get back to making music; I’m really active with that and I appreciate that you help make it happen.

Sam

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May 04

Steve Roach: Skeleton Keys (100% analog electronics!)

from Sam Rosenthal…

Steve Roach: Skeleton Keys

Experience the beauty of 100% pure analog modular sequencer-based music.

There’s a worldwide analog modular synthesizer-based music resurgence in full swing. Pioneering electronic musician Steve Roach taps into the zeitgeist on Skeleton Keys, a 74-minute album recorded using Synthesizers.com’s large format analog modular synthesizer/sequencer-based system. These are eight emotional and mind-expanding spiraling mandalas-of-sound made from interwoven tapestries of melody, rhythm, tone and musical space. The result is warm and engaging retro-futurism, a continuing evolution upon the musical structures Steve has unlocked in the restless pursuit of his soundquest. Read the full bio here.

Available Tuesday May 4 at iTunes, Amazon MP3, etc. CD in record stores and at Amazon: Tuesday May 26

other purchase options: 3-pack Skeleton Key CD with the Vinyl edition & Skeleton Collection companion CD 2-pack Skeleton Key CD with the Skeleton Collectioncompanion CD

Skeleton Keys is Echoes Radio’s May album of the Month! “A lot of artists are going in (the analog electronic) direction these days, but few have the mastery and control that Steve Roach reveals.” – John Dilberto / Echoes Radio review

Recent electronic albums from Projekt Records:

As Lonely As Dave Bowman: Monolith CD at Kickstarter. Preorder. Limited edition of 300, including the extremely limited plexibox edition. Free download for everyone.

Erik Wøllo: Blue Radiance CD at Projekt Download at Bandcamp 24/96k at Spotted Peccary

Dirk Serries:Disorientation Flow CD at Projekt Download at Bandcamp Limited edition of 300

Stratosphere: Aftermath CD at Projekt Download at Bandcamp Limited edition of 300