Archive for the ‘Blog from Sam’ Category

Sep 24

Steve Roach livestream this Saturday.

Steve Roach performs live from the Timeroom | #2

The new chapter of sonic tribe gatherings continues on planet earth – 2020 style. This Saturday, Steve Roach presents his second livestream Timehouse concert. The set is going high and deep. Get your food and drink ready and plan for an extended set!

Date: Saturday September 26, 2020 Time: 7:30 pm AZ & Pacific 10:30 pm Eastern 2:30 am GMT (Sept 27) Where: Steve Roach YouTube and Facebook

Steve Roach performs live from the Timeroom | #1

This Saturday, Steve brings you an ultra-intimate concert stream on both YouTube and Facebook. This is the first in a series of concerts from the Timeroom. 🌀 After the show, Steve will host a Q & A. Until the world opens back up for in-person performances, gather with us online to experience the soundworlds of Steve Roach …up close and personal.

Saturday August 22, 2020 7pm AZ & Pacific / 10pm Eastern / 2am GMT (August 23)

Beautiful video for Steve Roach’s “A Soul Ascends” with fractal animation by Brenda Molloy. Watch it on youTube.

“A Soul Ascends is important because it reaches the giddy creative heights of Steve’s other ambient masterwork Structures from Silence. But it is even more important because it is< new classical music for these troubled times.” – Overgrown Path

Jul 24

Steve Roach streaming NPR interview for A Soul Ascends

Steve was interviewed on Tucson’s NPR station about the healing power of sound and his new album A Soul Ascends created as a final farewell to his mother. Alisa Ivanitskaya discusses the philosophy shaping Steve’s music. Stream the interview on Arizona Spotlight, from 15:10 – 26:15.

Purchase the A Soul Ascends CD at the Projekt webstore, CD & Download at Projekt Bandcamp, High Res downloads at Spotted Peccary & CD in Europe at the European Webstore.

A majestic, deeply moving sonic suspension drawn from the essence of Steve Roach’s visionary ambient/electronic music. A vast and intimate holding-the-space of heart-centered serenity and compassion, the album couples the body to the eternal flow of a vaporizing weightlessness — back to a divine nothingness, the Tabula Rasa where everything began.

“…slowly morphing and breathing as it goes forward in an unstoppable quest for inward tranquility.”

A review from Exposé by Peter Thelan:

In the four decades that Steve Roach has been making music, he has released close to 150 albums, both solo and in collaboration, maybe even more that I’m not aware of, and each new release has some vestigial connection to all that have gone before it, while also adding new elements that take on new directions – sometimes the changes are bold and sometimes incremental, and even other times reach back even further to elaborate on ideas that were committed to the lost and found, to be worked further, branched out and blossomed into new ideas. That may be the case with A Soul Ascends, which seems to draw on energies and emotions going back to some of his earliest works, calling forth several of the expansive and spacious works from the mid-1980s, with a new glowing warmth that establishes a certain mark of the present. A Soul Ascends, by its title seems to have a connection to some personal loss, but that’s not something that is enforced on the listener; in fact on its surface the music here is quite beautiful and angelic, slowly morphing and breathing as it goes forward in an unstoppable quest for inward tranquility. It consists of three extended movements; the first is the longest at just over thirty minutes, “The Radiant Return” moves patterns of successive colors, shades, shadows and brilliance slowly across a floating sonic canvas, where deep textures and soaring brilliances meet and overlap, like filters that interchangeably obscure and colorize the light of the sun, moon or stars. The second movement “In Present Space” is similar to the first, though at about half its length, continuing at roughly the same glacial pace, but occasionally fades to complete blackness. The third and final movement “Reflection In Ascension” is another long one, opening up some new textures via subtle sequences blending with the slow-morphing sounds introduced in the earlier movements. Like many of Roach’s works, one might get some extended mileage by putting this on in end-to-end repeat mode for an all day or all night marathon.

Apr 30

Sam Rosenthal Livestream Q&A Saturday May 2

Sam will answer your questions and reminisce. You can chat in the text window with Projekt artists, fans, and long-time assistant Shea Hovey. See you there! Saturday May 2 — 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern / 8pm Italy facebook.com/SamProjekt If you are not on Facebook, use this link: www.facebook.com/SamProjekt/posts/10218929688366123 and then chose “not now” on the pop up.

Feb 29

1-Day-only 29%-Off Leap Year sale

Today, Saturday February 29. One day 29%-Off sale at projekt.com (excludes new, pre-order and sale items.) Use "leapyear" as the coupon code during checkout.

Feb 11

Aurelio Voltaire: The Devil’s Bris LP

Aurelio Voltaire: The Devil's Bris LP

Limited edition. 140-gram swirled sepia & black vinyl. With full-color lyric sleeve. Meticulously remastered from the original mixdown DAT tape.

Aurelio Voltaire writes, "After many years of  fans asking me when I'm going to release some of my music on vinyl, it's really great to be able to have an answer for them! And with the speed at which they're flying off of the merch booth at shows, it's obvious that it was long overdue. I particularly enjoyed working on the design for the sleeve. I feel the art and especially the amazing, swirled sepia vinyl we used really capture the look and feel of the original release."

Order the vinyl at the Projekt website, the AProjekt bandcamp page, and the Projekt European website

If you're not a physical-objects-kind-of-goth and prefer your music streaming, listen to the remastered The Devil's Bris across the internet: Spotify | Amazon | Apple Music | Google Play | YouTube | Deezer

Aurelio Voltaire's The Lair of Voltaire YouTube channel just hit 150 thousand subscribers! Watch his Gothic Homemaking show, check out info on concerts near you in the Video Nooseletters and listen to music!

Jan 20

Upcoming concerts from Steve Roach

Steve Roach is a leading American pioneer in the evolution of ambient/electronic music, helping shape it into what it is today. Grammy nominated in 2018 and 2019 consecutively, his career spans four decades and nearly 150 releases. Capturing peak moments, he creates a sonic experience that breathes emotion and vital life energy that connects to an ever-growing worldwide audience.

Steve’s NYC show has been postponed. Announcement here

Steve Roach Live @ Ambient.Church in New York City, Saturday, March 28 2020 St. George’s Episcopal Church, 209 East 16th Street at Rutherford Place | Purchase Tickets Steve Roach’s first ever New York City show will be a spectacular immersive live “Ambient Church” concert at St. George’s Episcopal Church.

Ambient Church is a nomadic experiential event series dedicated to working with artists to bring new ecologies to architecturally unique spaces through transcendent audio and visual performance.

On this long-awaited evening, American synthesist and undisputed master of electronic music, Steve Roach takes us on a 2-hour journey, featuring work spanning his 40-year career including Dreamtime Return (1988), performed in a 1100-capacity church in Gramercy Park.

Steve Roach Q&A @ Come Together Record Fair in Queens, NY, Sunday, March 29 2020 MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY 11101. MoMA PS1 and iconic record shop Other Music present the fourth annual Come Together: Record Fair and Music Festival, offering a record fair featuring recent and rare releases, merchandise, and ephemera from more than 75 record labels and other vendors. Steve will do a Q&A at 3pm. Purchase Tickets

Past Steve Roach Concerts | 2020

Steve Roach Live @ Electro Bloom in Tucson, Wednesday, February 12 2020 Following his finale performance at 2019’s All Souls Weekend, Grammy-nominated ambient/electronic pioneer Steve Roach returns for an intimate 45-minute “Deep End” immersive set Wednesday February 12 at at Electro Bloom @ Solar Culture Gallery, 31 E Toole Ave, Tucson, AZ 85701. Details and tickets | Facebook event page. This set will stream live on SomaFM Deep Space One

Steve Roach Live @ PVCC in Phoenix, Friday, February 7 2020 The Phoenix Synthesizer Festival at Paradise Valley Community College. PVCC Center for the performing arts, Mainstage 7:30pm. 18401 N. 32nd Street. General Admission. Full details and tickets | Facebook Event Page. Watch a stream of the entire show from Francisco Mendez Livestream link on Facebook.

Past Steve Roach Concerts | 2019

All Souls Weekend in Tucson AZ Saturday November 2 – Tucson, AZ – Night of the Living – full concert at MSA Annex outdoor festival venue Sunday November 3 – Tucson, AZ – All Souls Procession performing the ceremony finale Details at: allsoulsprocession.org/

Not able to make it to Tucson? Fear not! We have a busy weekend of streaming for you!

Saturday November 2

8—> 10pm PT (starts at 11p ET / Sun 0300 GMT) • Steve Roach live concert from All Souls’ Night of the Living Fest (Tucson) on SomaFM Deep Space One or “SomaFM Deep Space One” in your radio app.

Sunday November 3

5—> 6:30pm PT • SomaFM Deep Space One Trance Archeology album premiere

8pm—>? MST • Steve Roach’s All Souls finale livestreamed on Vimeo (streaming begins at 7pm, Steve’s set time approximate based on progress of procession)

9—> 11pm MST • Sam Rosenthal (of Black Tape For A Blue Girl & Projekt) interviewed on Amelia Poe Love Show on Tucson's 99.1 FM Downtown Radio.

Saturday Nov 2 – Night of the Living – full concert at MSA Annex outdoor festival venue Gates open at 5pm, two opening acts, Steve 8-10pm. Purchase tickets. Not in Tucson? SomaFM broadcasts this concert at 8pm PT / 11pm ET (Sun 0300 GMT) on Deep Space One.

Watch the full 2-hour concert on youTube.

Sunday Nov 3 – All Souls Procession performing the ceremony finale Procession begins 6pm. Steve’s set time based on progress of procession, approximately 8pm Mountain Standard Time

Watch a 40-minute multi-camera video of Steve calling in the spirits during Sunday’s finale (cue in 31 minutes to the beginning of Steve’s set) restream on Vimeo.

Steve Roach presents a 2-hour concert the night before at MSA Annex outdoor festival venue in downtown Tucson. And performs the ceremony finale at Tucson’s All Souls Procession on Sunday November 3.

The All Souls Procession Weekend enters it’s 30th year as one of North America’s most inclusive and authentic public ceremony. The entire All Souls Weekend is a celebration and mourning of the lives of our loved ones and ancestors on the other side. Today well over 150,000 participants gather on the streets of downtown Tucson for a two-mile long human-powered procession that ends in the ceremonial burning of a large Urn filled with the hopes, offerings and wishes for those who have passed.

Myriad altars, performers, installation art, and creatives of all kinds collaborate for almost half the year to prepare their offerings for this amazing event. The All Souls Procession, and now the entire All Souls Weekend, is a celebration and mourning of the lives of our loved ones and ancestors.

On Saturday the 2nd, Steve will be featured as a headlining artist at Night of the Living Fest at the MSA Annex, with a special two-hour set and album release party. On Sunday the 3rd, Steve performs an amazing soundscape for the finale of this 30th Annual Ceremony, which is free for all to attend.

September 21 & 22 : Steve Roach in Santa Fe, NM Paradiso 903 Early St.; Santa Fe NM 87508 Doors at 7, show at 8

September 21 & 22 – Santa Fe, NM – Two nights at Paradiso. Order tickets | Facebook Event Page

Experience the full spectrum of Steve’s work including material from his new releases. At Saturday’s concert, Steve is joined by fellow electronic innovator and collaborator Michael Stearns (Kiva, Desert Solitaire) and didgeridoo master Rob Thomas (Inlakesh and Monuments of Ecstasy). Steve’s Sunday concert moves into the deep end of pure sonic immersion and sacred spaces.

(Photo credit: Brian Sweeny)

Friday August 30 : Steve Roach Live @ Ambient.Church in Pasadena August 30 – Los Angeles, CA – Ambient Church show at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena  Order tickets | Facebook Event Page

Steve Roach returns to Los Angeles for a spectacular immersive live “Ambient Church” concert at First United Methodist Church of Pasadena.  Order tickets

Venue address: 498 E Colorado Blvd; Pasadena, CA 91101 7pm Doors; 8pm Show

Ambient Church is a nomadic experiential event series dedicated to working with artists to bring new ecologies to architecturally unique spaces through transcendent audio and visual performance.

On this long-awaited evening, we are thrilled to present Grammy-nominated, pioneering American synthesist and undisputed master of electronic music, Steve Roach. Steve takes us on a 2-hour journey, featuring work spanning his 40-year career including Dreamtime Return (1988), performed in a 132-year-old church in Pasadena.

Steve reflects, “I am currently in the deep end of prepping my set for the Pasadena concert — my live return to Los Angeles. The energy is building as the memories of coming back to where it all started — Los Angeles in the 80s — adds to the excitement. For this performance, the wide dynamic range of my work will be experienced, including portions of 1988’s Dreamtime Return. The church’s large concert hall environment significantly adds to the anticipation of performing in Los Angeles; that’s combined with knowing friends-of-the-music from as far way as France are coming in for the set. It all adds up to a special moment in time.”

Throughout the performance, the space will come alive with immersive, architecturally-mapped projections.

 

Saturday August 31 : Steve Roach meet-n-greet in Pomona

1pm-5pm. Meet & Greet at Noisebug, including a collective exploration of the legendary Moog IIIP Syntheseizer. Steve says, “I’m looking forward to meeting old and new friends at a fun afternoon gathering at my favorite gotta-have-it-now synth shop.”

Noisebug is an independent online electronic music store, synthesizer showroom and event space located in the Downtown Pomona Arts District. 252a South Main Street; Pomona, CA 91766.

Links: Steve Roach bio | Steve Roach press image download gallery

Dec 30

Beginning a new decade

…and wrapping up the old one, and remembering even older days

(Soundtrack for this blog, a new piece from Forrest Fang: And A Quiet New Year)

I received an email a few weeks ago (in response to my Thanksgiving blog) from a guy I know here in Portland; he thanked me for all the music Projekt brought into his life over the years, and for releasing the music of friends in town (Soriah with Ashkelon Sain). With the never-ending flow of emails pouring into my Projekt inbox it is easy to overlook the positive messages of appreciation — the on-fire problems are always screaming for attention. Thank you Cedric for your message — it is wonderful to know my work at Projekt has been part of your musical life for all these years.

Releasing music on Projekt started as my passion and evolved into my career. From my fan-side I think about a label that brought a lot of music into my life in the 80s — 4AD. It was so exciting that Ivo collected those great artists and released their music for us to discover. Very nice! That’s what I’ve been doing here at Projekt for the last thirty-six-plus years: gathering interesting music for your discovery of sounds you might not otherwise have heard. Projekt has always been about taking that (financial) risk and supporting the music I am into – the music I want to put my money and time and effort behind.

[ As an aside, I love paying royalties. I love writing checks (or sending Paypal) for my friend’s creative work. At the end of the 90s, Projekt fell behind on paying royalties to the artists. I decided, enough of that! I downsized to just me and Lisa, got out of $180,000 debt (owed to pressing plants, credit cards, etc). I switched it around; these days Projekt pays the top artist’s royalties in upfront installments. It makes things so much less stressful for me to have that money out the door and in their hands. I like knowing it’s taken care of! ]

Yes, Projekt once had a staff, in the mid-90s through the early 2000s there were a number of other people involved in the label. Primarily Patrick Ogle, who I recently mentioned on Facebook as the elf who deserves 97% of the credit for Projekt Records’ holiday series. I grew up in an atheist/marginally-Jewish household; holiday songs were never my thing. Pat had the idea for the Excelsis ~ a dark noel (Bandcamp or Spotify) compilation, and we made it happen.

I asked Pat for his recollection on the genesis of Excelsis, and he wrote:

There were two things. First… I do like Holiday music… and what made me think of doing it was that ALL the holiday music out there was like… Sinatra and Bing Crosby and stuff like that… There really wasn’t any sort of “alternative” Christmas LP out. I don’t know if this was the first of that but it was certainly the first “goth” or “dark music” one (make no mistake there WERE goth holiday songs! Siouxsie did one). SO, in addition to my liking holiday music? I thought it would sell and people would like it… and I think it worked out that way…!… I remember you were pretty iffy about it at first but came around…

So there you are, the history of Excelsis from somebody who was there. Back in 1995, Projekt was based in Pasadena California on the 2nd floor of a building that once was a fire station, and at the time we were there had a bar downstairs (when I visited Pasadena in August for Steve Roach’s concert I noticed the building was gone and the space seems to be part of a parking garage.) Projekt had five or six employees in Pasadena, Pat’s desk was right outside my door, which meant all day I listened to Pat on the phone talking with journalists and stores, promoting the Projekt label.

Serch Pofy posted on that Facebook link:

I remember (Excelsis) like yesterday… There was a place called Mix Up (a record store) in Mexico City some December in the night. A beautiful music started to be heard: dark, melancholic, quite different than the music in those places. Asked for the band, some told me: Really don´t know, it’s from a strange christmas album, the name is DARK NOEL, of course purchase it right away!!! It was not my first Projekt album, but I became more hooked with the company!!! Cheers mate!!!!

How cool is that!? Pre-internet, the music made it around the world and had an affect on your life. That’s a reward for doing it, right there!

I kept busy in 2019, with 12 Projekt physical releases: Forrest Fang: The Fata Morgana Dream Byron Metcalf & Mark Seelig: Persistent Visions LYCIA: Fifth Sun (CD) LYCIA: Quiet Moments (CD) LYCIA: A Line That Connects 2LP & CD LYCIA: 4 (4CD box set) Alio Die & Lorenzo Montanà: The Threshold of beauty Unto Ashes: Pretty Haunted Things Sam Rosenthal with Nick Shadow & Steve Roach: The Gesture of History LP & CD Steve Roach: Bloom Ascension LP & CD Steve Roach: Trance Archeology Forrest Fang: Ancient Machines

And a number of digital-only releases from Jarguna, Polly Fae & others.

In production for early 2020: Black tape for a blue girl: Ashes in the brittle air (2020 remastered expanded edition) 2CD & LP Aurelio Voltaire: The Devil’s Bris (Remastered) LP

At the moment I’m finishing up the mix of a new Mark Seelig album, and then I’m wrapping up the mix on a new Thanatos album – my first full-length collaboration with the aforementioned Pat since our 1995 album An embassy to Gaius.

Ram Dass passed away last week; here’s a quote to contemplate:

“I encourage you to make peace with death, to see it as the culminating event of this adventure called life. Death is not an error; it is not a failure… it is like taking off a tight shoe.”

There’s a new decade barreling towards us. This is a time for new beginnings or to replicate the problems and uncertainty and unhappiness of the last decade. I personally vote for new beginnings. Change. New ways of looking at things, new solutions for old problems, and optimism. Yeah, I know, that’s something odd about me: even with our past history of problems, I’m still an optimist. I think there’s always tomorrow to do something different. With that in mind, I’ll leave you with another quote, this one from Ram Dass’s collaborator in his pre-Ram Dass life, Timothy Leary:

If you don’t like what you’re doing, you can always pick up your needle and move to another groove.

Happy 2020! Sam

Dec 16

name-your-price: A 1994 tribute to Black tape for a blue girl

A 1994 tribute to black tape for a blue girl Of these reminders name-your-price download at bandcamp

“This set is a triumph that goes beyond the scope of mere words. It should stand as one of the year’s best.” – ALTERNATIVE PRESS

1994 — Inspired by seeing Love Spirals Downwards’ perform a black tape for a blue girl song live, Sam asked other artists to contribute their interpretations to this one of a kind compilation. Fourteen artists from the Projekt roster, guest artists from America & Europe, and even fans who create music in their home studios come together with strikingly different and beautifully personalized renditions of black tape for a blue girl’s touching ethereal-goth sound.

2CD Box Set (final copies)

These are the final copies of this box set, that have been in storage for years. 2CD in jewel boxes, with 4 art cards + sticker in a nice hard box. 1994 release. Note that although they are in shrinkwrap, they have been traveling the country with Sam for ages; there might be some scuffs or dings. As mint as it gets, I suppose.  6 remaining.

Concept, design, production • Sam Rosenthal Original idea • Ryan Lum Photography • Susan Jennings Model • Anne Chen released November 12, 1994

Consider joining the Black tape for a blue girl patron area. For $5 a month you get this album (download & streaming) and lots of other exclusive music. Plus you're giving a monthly contribution to help me create my art. And that's just very cool of you!

Dec 13

Roach/Obmana Ascension of Shadows 20th anniversary free download

Nov 30

What do I have to be thankful for? (A blog with reflections + 20% off sale + my new video)

from Sam Rosenthal:

Thoughts at the end of the tens.

Today is that "holiday" launched by AmEx in 2010, Small Business Saturday, where we go out and support a small business or two. Well let me tell you, Projekt is small. Very small!

Projekt is almost as small as it gets. The staff is:

Sam (me) — (not quite full time) — I communicate with the artists, design the album covers and other graphics, keep on top of the physical production schedule, email the distributors (Hi Sebastian, Mike, Scott, Tracy, Rob, Sue, others), communicate with many of our press contacts, update Projekt’s Bandcamp store, post a portion of our social networking, update the website, write album bio copy, and look out over the bow a year into the future for an idea of where the industry is headed.

Joe — (a few hours a week) — fulfills your orders at the Projekt webstore.

Shea — (a few hours a week) — posts the rest of the social networking, updates the reviews on the website, proofs the copy I write (but not my email lists, which is why there are always those damn typos), and is my trusted sounding board (She’s worked at Projekt since 2001!)

We’re a small business, and that leads me to what I’m thankful for.

I’m thankful for you, and your love of music… hold on… I have to do some business before I continue with what I’m thankful for…

Enter BF19 in the coupon code field during checkout at projekt.com. The sale excludes pre-order & new category items. Sale ends Friday December 6 at Noon EST.

Right. As I was saying…

I’m thankful for you, and your love of music! I’ve run Projekt as my full time job since 1991. For 28+ years your love of music has put a roof over my head, food in my belly, and helped me pay the costs of raising my son. It’s pretty great that we’ve been doing this for each other all these years!

Projekt began as a hobby when I entered college in 1983; the label grew out of my fanzine, Alternative Rhythms. Do you watch Stranger Things? I’m the same age as the older kids like Jonathan, the non-conformist photographer. That show does a good job of showing what it was like to live in non-big-city-America in the mid-80s (except we didn’t have to deal with The Upside Down where I was from.) I popped over to youTube to find a video of Jonathan and synchronicity brought me the perfect clip for this blog. In it he’s giving his younger brother a mix tape. They’re listening to The Clash and Jonathan says, "All the best stuff’s on there — Joy Division, Bowie, Television, The Smiths. It will totally change your life!"

Honestly, that’s exactly the reason I made the fanzine and started Projekt — I really loved music and wanted to expose other people to it.

Back in the 80s and well into the 90s, we didn’t have the internet to expose us to interesting music from around the world. It took dedication to find underground sounds. We read magazines, listened to a cool local college DJ if our town had one, went to dance clubs, and if we were lucky there was a cool record store where the owner got to know our tastes ("Yes, Leslie, of course I want to special order a copy of that Mick Karn/Peter Murphy 12-inch!")

Exposing people to great music is what I did and continue to do.

I know it’s easy to stream music these days; people are buying less and less. I’ll fess up, I’m one of those streamers. Streaming brings in around 50% of Projekt’s income and it grows every month. Streaming does pay!

If you’re a digital fan, it helps that you go to the Projekt Bandcamp page to purchase a download, and/or chip in when there’s a new name-your-price release. That money ads up to royalties for the artists you love. In fact, right now there’s a new release, Christmas Nocturne by Sue Hutton and Athan Maroulis. It’s a name-your-price holiday download!

As many of you know, I’m the songwriter/bandleader of Black Tape For A Blue Girl. Since 2013 (when I moved from Brooklyn NY to the more-reasonably-priced Portland Oregon) I’ve put more time into my own art. It was hard in NYC — working as much as I could at Projekt to bring in income, raising my son, AND trying to find time for music? It was too hard to do it all. I know everyone has different economic realities, for me Oregon is a less-expensive place to live; this has lowered my financial stress and I take more time to make art. It also helps that I have 67 very cool patrons who contribute towards my music-making expenses.

It takes time and money to create music.

Back in the beginning of this decade, I used to argue with people on Facebook (and in email) about how piracy & illegal downloads hurt artists because it deprived them of income they needed to cover the costs of creating (let alone paying the rent.) I’ve long since given up on arguing with people on social networking (that was a pretty annoying way to spend time, wasn’t it?)

In a sense the battle was won by Spotify, Pandora and YouTube. Streaming took over, and much to my surprise it seems Daniel Ek was right — streaming reduced the piracy problem, while sending money to artists. Count me corrected!

Now we’re in the last weeks of this decade (!!!) and I understand that the problem of fans buying less physical releases is going to be solved when artists (1) catch up with the modern age and accept what is changing (and has already changed) and (2) embrace new ways to bring in income.

Projekt has a couple of artists with the success necessary to work full time on their music. However, most of the musicians I know create on a very part-time basis. That’s sad when you think about it. There could be a lot more great art if musicians were able to work less at their income-producing job, and more on their art.

It turns out I am a (Democratic) socialist. I think society would be much better if the billionaires didn’t have quite so many billions, and their hoarded money wasn’t sitting in their 3rd mansion and stocks. It would be better if that money was equitably shared in the system. This isn’t just to benefit people I know, it’s to benefit you. I doubt you’ve got a billion, or even a million, or probably even fifty-thousand, socked away that you’re not using. You could probably use a little more of a fair share, and some security, right? I hope one day we have Health Care For All and a Basic Income for everyone, so if you want to get out of the grind of that day job and start the business you’ve been dreaming about — well, you can take the leap and try. I was fortunate that I didn’t have crushing college debt, and I was healthy. I could chuck the job in 1991 to focus on Projekt. The label was growing and it needed me to take the risk to be there full time. Nowadays, how many of us can follow our dreams?

Economically, that’s not easy at all!

I hope that things change in 11 months and we get new leaders with a desire to help the people rather than the rich. Oh, yes… another thing I’ve learned is talking politics here on the list pisses people off. I’ll just say: let’s all get along and be good to each other. I’ll be thankful for a time when there’s more love and compassion, and less divisions and us-against-them.

And that’s my Thanksgiving message of hope (and despair — yes, I’m GenX. I have a healthy dose of skepticism and cynicism.)

– Sam

Somebody will inevitably email me and tell me off — that’s not going to wreck my day. After I realized life wasn’t a tragedy, but a farce, it got a bit easier.

Speaking of governing the right way — Ryan Lum (formerly of Love Spirals Downwards and of LoveSpirals) is running for Long Beach City Counsel. If you’ve loved their music and you’re a progressive that wants to see positive change, pass a donation his way: https://ryanlum.net/

So….. new topic…. I’ve made a video! My first new video in 6 years! It’s really nice. Please watch it…

black tape for a blue girl "In my memories" video at YouTube

I conceived, shot & edited this rumination on the passing of time, nostalgia, regret and loss with the help of my three great actors. Shot over the course of two year, it stars Dan Von Hoyel (vocalist/songwriter from the bands Harmjoy and Titans) and fellow adult industry performer Mercy West.

Watch “In my memories” off To touch the milky way.

Sam explains, "The piece began with a half-minute phone-video of Mercy splashing & diving underwater at a rubber fetish pool party. A few months later, a piano part I played in the studio felt to me like it was about ‘memories’ — those seconds of Mercy in the pool inspired the direction of the music and then the lyrics I wrote. It’s a character’s first person narrative thinking back to the summer when he was 23 and enjoying a nothing-special — and yet everything-so-special — afternoon with his lover. It moves me seeing the raw emotions Dan brought to his performance. How often do you see men cry in tv or film? In our culture, men are considered weak when they show feelings other than anger. It’s still not common for them to tear up and display their loss or sorrow. I like that we captured that; it gets to the core of the song.”

After you watch the video if you’d like more details and backstory, read my blog.

Next week I’m reprinting BlackTape’s The Rope T-shirt. If you’d like one, preOrder at the BlackTape Bandcamp page. Projekt 20% Off Sale. Enter BF19 in the coupon code field during checkout at projekt.com. Sale excludes pre-order & new category items. Sale ends Friday December 6 at Noon EST.