Archive for the ‘Black Tape For A Blue Girl’ Category
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!
Zero-five-one-eight, transmission concluded.
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.
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.
Help fund my electronic space music CD. Free Download for everyone. Über ltd plexibox edition too.
Hi, this is Sam from Black Tape For A Blue Girl and As Lonely As Dave Bowman. I’m trying something different here: I’m giving you a free copy of the full album digital download at the same time as I’m crowdfunding the physical release. Let’s see if we meet the $3000 Goal?Kickstarter pledge: kck.st/1aWKvCr Bandcamp download: blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com/album/monolith
With your help, this 73-minute album will exist as a 300-piece limited edition audio CD packaged in a DVD-sized digipak. Up to 100 of these will be in the über-limited plexibox edition.
Unlike my work in Black Tape For A Blue Girl, Dave Bowman is full-on electronic music: droning space, wordless drift with long suspended passages. Covering Bowman’s journey to the Monolith near Jupiter, the album touches the edges of isolation and glacial solitude, with a discernible warm human core. MONOLITH‘s epic expanses, asteroid flybys, serene ambient moments, vast open textures, and warmer hues of sparse remoteness are barren, yet without leaving the listener abandoned. Think of it as drone insulation rather than drone isolation.But I don’t have to tell you about the music. Listen to the whole album right now!
Visit the Bandcamp page for your copy. Download it and listen without paying anything. I’m hoping some of you will drop by Kickstarter and donate three dollars or more to support the physical CD. And perhaps you’ll pledge one of the limited edition physical versions.
I appreciate that!
Every sponsor at Kickstarter gets MONOLITH (ADDENDUM), a 37-minute download of additional tracks. That’s 110 minutes of music for as little as three dollars!
Whatever you contribute, you’re supporting art — and that’s super-cool of you!
PS: Here’s a 30-second YouTube clip from Saturday’s session in the studio with violist Grace Young.
Saturday April 18th 2015, working on a new track in the studio with violist Nick Shadow.
Hi. If you’re a fan of Black Tape For A Blue Girl and want to support me in the creation of my art, please become a patron at my Patreon page. 90 fans – just like you – are contributing; I really appreciate that! Their support helps me create; contact with people who want me to make more music is inspiring me to get up from my desk at Projekt, and work on new material.
For the last month, I’ve been keeping track of how much Projekt-work I do; I’m color coding it on a schedule. I keep Projekt separate from music. By seeing where I spend my time, my goal is that I will spend more time in the places I chose (art!)
It’s a mixture of Quantified Self and Wayne Dyer’s “What you think about expands” concept. I’m thinking more about art. And look, I have more art! I’m thinking about people caring for what I create. And look, I meet more people who care for what I create.
Last week I met UK-based patron Antony for coffee. Antony is a graphic artist / videogame maker who visited Portland for a few days. We had a great conversation about music, art, creation, sponsorship, staying true to your inspiration and more. It is nice to put a face to the name of one of the very cool people supporting me!
Making BlackTape’s music is a lengthy process: the initial creation of my instrumental tracks, adding other musicians, thinking up melodies and lyrics, working with my vocalists. It’s not a one-day process! Making darkAmbient and electronic instrumentals is a good way to warm up. Unexpectedly, I recorded an entire new album from As Lonely As Dave Bowman! 73 minutes of music, with a 37 minute companion release. I will be talking more about this soon – I have some creative ideas for how to make the album available to you.
I’m also planning to make old-school-fan Randy LeMasters’ Ashes in the brittle air dream a reality; I’m going to have my guy in Canada bake/transfer the 1989 2-track master of the alternate version of the album. This was the shelved first version, which contains a number of different tracks from what was eventually released on CD. Getting that master transferred at High Res Archival Quality will cost $340 plus shipping. It is thanks to the support of my Patreon fans that I’m inspired to do this.
If you can fund a little something per month, that would be great:https://www.patreon.com/blacktapeforabluegirl
In the next day, Shea will email Bandcamp download codes to the $5+ a month supporters. Check your email for that.
Upcoming interview with Sam Rosenthal on WFKU.org — Monday – April 6th – 10:30pm EST.
“Dj Despair brings us an interview with Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape For a Blue Girl. This amazingly talented musician speaks with us about the band, his record label Projekt, and the Patreon campaign to support passionate and introspective music. Don’t miss our special program on The Pit of Despair, only at WFKU.org!:
Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s patrons at Patreon are listening to four never-before-heard unfinished tracks from 2009/2010, from the 10 Neurotics era. You can join them by becoming a patron. Or if you’d prefer to dip your toe in the water, check out one track from the set (featuring Brian Viglione on drums) for free; listen to Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s “Time (October 24 2009) – Mix 12” at Soundcloud.
From Sam Rosenthal:A huge unimportant detail
At the time of this writing, fifty people have joined Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Patreon campaign. What a great first week! Get involved to make week #2 even more successful.
Patreon is a crowdfunding site for “empowering a new generation of creators to make a living from their passion and hard work.” It’s an opportunity to directly support the creation of my art, and in return you get access to exclusive music.
Last week I added these tracks to the patron-area: * “Please don’t go (mix 10),” the new track from the Patreon video (with Grace Young on viola) * Two early mixes from 1992’s DAT #5: “passion drained” & “on broken shells 3”
Even a $2-a-month pledge helps. It goes towards expenses such as paying Grace a salary for dropping by my studio to record. For less per month than what you pay for a cup of coffee, your contribution joins with other backers’ contributions to help me reach my goal of freedom to work on music.
Getting back to art.
Most of my time is occupied running Projekt Records. I was about to add, “It’s my day job,” but the fact is that I’m often at it all day and still here working on Projekt at 9pm. I’m sure you’d much rather I was writing and recording new music? Yeah? So would I. The problem is it’s not like the old days when I could take time off work and invest hundreds of hours in a Black Tape For A Blue Girl album with reasonable expectations of thousands of copies selling and income coming in to cover my expenses. Nope, these days people really love their free music; but the miniscule income from Spotify and youTube is not a viable way to try to earn a living.
With four succesful Kickstarters completed, I’m quite excited by crowdfunding; it’s a brilliant method for financing creativity. Late last year, I studied various sites, searching for one that conceived crowdfunding as I imagined it. I didn’t want another one-month-campaign to make a physical object. That leaves too many people out and feels like it rushes through the fun part!
I have two main goals: ongoing funding for my music and immersing you in the process of developing new work. Patreon does this. It’s designed to facilitate your direct support of the music. With your pledges, I will spend less time at the job and more time creating new and exclusive tracks I share directly with you.
“Now hold on a second, Sam,” I imagine some of you saying. “Why all this talk about money? Shouldn’t it just be about the art?”
As Iggy Pop recently said, “To tell you the truth, when it comes to art, money is an unimportant detail. It just happens to be a huge unimportant detail.”
Those hours and days in the studio take away from time I could be working at Projekt. You understand what I’m saying here! The phone company and the gas company don’t take payment in the form of high fives and a Mp3 of new songs! : )
I’m thrilled that some of you have already backed me on Patreon.
And understand that it’s not just about the income; crowdfunding is also rewarding on a personal level. I love that I get to know people who are deeply into my music. Last week, I met graphic artist Antony Johnston. I’d love to share something he wrote:
The music you made with BlackTape, especially in the ‘classic’ Chaos / Garden / Remnants era, has been part of the soundtrack to my life for the past 20 years. As a creator myself, I know how hard the current climate can be, so it’s my pleasure to support the Patreon campaign. The new music excerpt ‘Please Don’t Go’ is lovely — more of that, please! Reminds me of dark nights, driving home from those early Whitby goth weekends in the late ’90s…” – Antony Johnston (writer of Umbral, Spooked, and Dead Space)
I want to make more of that sort of music: music that can be the soundtrack to the next 20 years of your life!
Your recurring monthly contribution of $2, $5, $10 or more will make it possible.
Antony joined my Patreon campaign; so did Tristan, Marcos, Draven, Julia, Rob, Tori, Bill and a bunch of other amazing people. In fact, we reached the first Milestone Goal of $300 and now we’re headed towards the $500 Milestone Goal: a two-hour livestream mixing session, where you can watch me in the studio, with a view of my monitor, as I mix and process the music.
I’m thinking about the creation, the connection, and the challenge of seeing this through and succeeding. It’s incredibly sweet to know people are stepping up with pledges to support my work. You can make a difference in tackling this huge unimportant detail: the manner in which artists earn money.
Please pledge here. Thanks for that.
PS: Back to the topic of free music, here are two name-your-price albums for you to enjoy. The Collection is a ‘best-of’ from Blacktape, while Fifty Shades of Grey is an imaginary Projekt-themed soundtrack for the upcoming film.
PSS: At last! I’m famous!!! (file under: “The new phone books are here! The new phone books are here!”): https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-122.422213,3a,75y,124.32h,83.6t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1siAPMvFgx0jhuqBacQxFnjA!2e0
Pledge your support to Black Tape For A Blue Girl on Patreon; get all access to our new music
SHORT VERSION: If you enjoy Blacktape’s music, want exclusive access to unreleased new work, and can pledge $2 or more a month, please become a patron of my art.
Watch the video & pledge at: https://www.patreon.com/blacktapeforabluegirl
Hello, I’ve discussed here on the Projekt eList — and my Facebook page — the dramatic changes that have swept through the music business in the last 15 years. Only a few artists I know survive off their art. Most of us have day jobs, music is something we do when we can find the time. My day job is running Projekt Records (working with the artists, doing graphic design for the covers, product management as the CDs are manufactured, communicating with my distributors and press contacts). Hey, I’m not complaining, it’s a pretty fun job. I work for myself, and I’m involved with music every day.
The label began as a vehicle for my music, Black Tape For A Blue Girl. For twenty-nine years, I’ve been releasing ethereal, gothic, & darkAmbient albums. But we’ve only released two CDs in the last decade; the problem really is that the day job takes up all my time and I don’t get into the studio to create. I want to get back to the way it was in the 90s when I was a musician who ran a record label, instead of being a guy who runs a record label who occasionally has time to make music.
I’m asking for your support to make this possible.
Albums sell a fraction of what they did at the peak of the music industry, back when Remnants of a deeper purity was released. Even with the dramatic decline in sales, I realize people still listen to a lot of music; there’s so much available at our fingertips. For most people, their preferred price point is FREE.
There’s not much financial support for creators within “free.”
That’s a big problem in the system. Legally and ‘illegally,’ it’s easy to find music that you don’t have to pay for. But all of us artists deserve to be fairly compensated for our work. It takes time, energy, and passion to create music. And there needs to be return on that time spent, in orders for creators to keep creating. We live in a world of real things… like rent. Our landlords don’t take high-fives and MP3s of our latest song as payment. : )
And honestly, I don’t want musicians to be hobbyists. I want it to be their full-time job. As I wrote here on the list, last October, “I don’t want my favorite artists to be amateurs. I really want to live in a world where artists can focus on their art… Think about it! It’s a very weird world where the-average-joe expects to be paid for their labor, and yet people are generally OK with the artists they love working some other job so music can be their hobby.”
Yet I realize I’m a hobbyist. In 2015, a band like Black Tape For A Blue Girl, with years of history, doesn’t sell enough CDs and downloads to pay my living expenses, let alone support five of us. My “real job” keeps a roof over my head, and pays for my son’s ice hockey & my cat’s medicine.
I’d rather spend my time making music; it’s fun and challenging and interesting.
I’m beginning to see a solution that makes it possible.
Crowdfunding seems viable to me. It’s a direct connection to those who love my work. Plus crowdfunding has been so rewarding to me; not just monetarily, but on a personal level. When I did the Remnantsvinyl Kickstarter back in 2013, I loved posting updates, and private messaging, to keep you up-to-date on the status of the manufacturing. In the process, I learned more about you: the people who love what I create. It feels good to talk with people who are excited about music. Invigorating. In my line of work as Projekt’s label manager, I spend a lot of time looking at what has been lost over the years, and too little time thinking about what draws you to music, and excites you about we create.
Wayne Dyer says, “What you think about expands.” I reflect on this often, try to stay positive, and focus on the good things. Thinking about what’s possible is much better than dwelling on what can’t be done. Either strategy solidifies the reality of that particular perception of the situation.
Oh, got a bit off topic. Let me reel it back in…
I’m recreating the sort of exchange that happened during the crowdfunding of Remnants, and evolving it into an ongoing experience. I’ve started a page on Patreon to immerse you in my work: get access to my music as it’s evolving in the studio. Patreon allows YOU, the patron, to support ME, the artist, so I can dedicate more time to writing and recording songs for you. This really makes sense!
“Patreon is empowering a new generation of creators to make a living from their passion and hard work… Over 125,000 people have become patrons of creators on Patreon, paying them over a million dollars every month. Their patronage takes the form of a recurring pledge – a promise to pay creators per work or per month. The sum of these ongoing pledges constitutes sustainable, reliable salaries for professional creators around the world.” (from a blog on Patreon)
This is a return to the patronage system. But rather than one King, there are many Kings who support my music.
You are the new Kings.
In the last 24 hours, 20 patrons have signed on to support me! $189 expands my thoughts about my goal of setting aside more time to work on music. As more pledges come in, I have more impetus to take off from work to make music.
Your recurring monthly pledge of $2, $5, $10 or more gives me the freedom to follow my muse.
Patreon is different from Kickstarter. Rather than providing one-time support to fund an object such as a CD, you’re giving ongoing support. The money goes towards a sustainable, reliable salary (which I’ll use to cover my living expenses, plus wages for my bandmates when they join me in the studio, gear repair, plane tickets, out-of-town studio sessions, etc).
You’ll get exclusive access to Black Tape For A Blue Girl in the studio: * private posts featuring work-in-progress * behind-the-scenes videos * revised versions of new songs as additional instruments are added * tracks that otherwise would never be released * early mixes of songs from older albums * live recordings * and my updates in the activity feed (where we chat and you meet a community of other Blacktape fans)
Thanks for your interest in supporting me. This is how to make a difference in 2015!< Watch the video and make your pledge to help keep the music flowing. Thanks!
PS: Even if you cannot afford to pledge today, it would be incredibly kind and helpful if you share the link on your Facebook, Twitter, etc. Thanks. https://www.patreon.com/blacktapeforabluegirl