Archive for the ‘Blog from Sam’ Category
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
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!)
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.
from Sam Rosenthal…
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.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
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.
from Projekt’s Sam Rosenthal
I’m having a great time with the Movies in the Dark series! It is wonderful how many people come out to check out the goth-appropriate films. I was thinking that after the darkness of last month’s THE CROW, it would be nice to go with something lighter and more sing-a-long-y! : )
Join me and other like-minded music/film lovers for the Friday May 1st showing of David Bowie’s Labyrinth. 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 in the Labyrinth!
PS: to get an email when new movies are announced sign up to the Movies In The Dark email list: http://ow.ly/JHpue
One of the premiums for $10+ patrons at Black Tape For A Blue Girl Patreon Campaign* is a once-a-month one-hour Q&A live video chat. It will be exclusive for the small group of participants who have contributed $10 or more to support me and my music.
I’ve been comparing the different sites that offer this service and (I think I) settled on Livestream as the most economical ($49 a month!) and easiest to use.< Last night, I invited people on Facebook to check out a test stream. There were a few folks dropping in and out giving it a look, and three or four who stayed on for the whole hour. It was fun to interact directly with people who enjoy the music of Projekt... I think this could be a cool new way to stay in touch. Attendees post questions in the chat and I answer them live. Is this something you'd be interested in participating in? Leave a message below. Last night on the test, Jesse asked about new Projekt releases... Today is the street date for Forrest Fang's latest album, Letters to the Farthest Star. It is extremely limited to 300 copies; when these sell out there will not be a second physical edition. If you want a copy, order today from Projekt. Here are the links:
* Patreon is a crowdfunding site built for “empowering a new generation of creators to make a living from their passion and hard work.” patreon.com/blacktapeforabluegirl
Digital freelease: Fifty Shades of Grey (music for a sensual evening)
The bombardment of “news stories” about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie is well underway; it gave me a fun idea: What if the film studio had contacted Projekt to put together the soundtrack? What would that sound like?
I went through the Projekt catalog and pulled tracks both cinematic and soundtracky for this compilation. It’s up for name-your-price at Bandcamp.
The Truth About Fifty Shades (a short editorial by Sam)
We can laugh and snark about how horrible the Fifty Shades books are. But the bigger problem here is the writer’s lack of knowledge about supportive, sex-positive relationships. She uses BDSM to mask two poorly-conceived characters who do not engage in proper consent or respect. (The writer is a boring bored* English housewife, who I can imagine watched a few porn videos for “research,” rather than getting involved in the scene, or talking to experts, or even reading some informational websites to learn the proper protocols for respecting a partner’s boundaries).
This is an even bigger issue than the 8th-grade-level writing.
What two people do together should be their own business; though I would hope they keep it safe, sane and consensual. When a book series sells 100 million copies, and has it’s attractive lead character force a woman to repeatedly do things she doesn’t want to do, that’s not BDSM…. That’s abuse! It is shocking that soccer moms who love this book for the (mostly generic missionary) sex, aren’t repulsed by the characters’ actions. This says a lot about American’s inexperience with sex, and inability to critically think about healthy relationships.
Consent Isn’t Enough: The Troubling Sex of Fifty Shades. in The Atlantic.
The Real Abuse at the Heart of Fifty Shades of Grey. in Relevant Magazine.
50 Shades of Grey: a film about male power, idealising emotional abuse as sexy when it isn’t. in New Statesman. (You can Google, for many more articles on this topic)
Bare in mind that I am not criticizing people’s involvement in BDSM; there are many relationships with it at their core. These relationships involve respect and consent, good communication, knowledge of boundaries, and love. This is necessary to give a partner a safe version of the ‘the pleasure in the pain’ they desire. Of course, it is also necessary in any strong relationship.
America accepted a really warped version of BDSM when it grew enthralled with these crappy books. The piece in the New Statesman says the film got the consent right in the BDSM scenes, but not in the overarching story. It’s unfortunate the filmmakers didn’t update the plot to address the serious problems in the novels.
On the positive side, publications are using the movie’s release as a catalyst to educated on these very important topics.
I have been criticized for calling E.L. James “boring.” So I will fix that and say she was “bored” (which is the word used in press descriptions. Does this make things better?)
You can leave a comment below.
With all the yap-yap-yap about 50 Shades of Rubbish, I should probably remind you about my book Rye — interesting characters, in original situations, humor, plus conversations and negotiations around consent, relationships and family of choice.
“Underneath all the androgyny and fluctuation, the book’s about human connection. Rosenthal’s use of sex and gender identities to illustrate how we reach toward and away from relationships is merely a new approach to an old idea: we all need intimacy with others to deepen our understanding of ourselves.” — Time Out, Chicago
Support Black Tape For A Blue Girl at Patreon and get all access!
Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Patreon campaign is building steam. It’s exciting! Patreon is a crowdfunding site built for “empowering a new generation of creators to make a living from their passion and hard work.” It’s a chance for listeners to directly support my art, while getting access to exclusive music. Thanks to my patrons, Sam
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