I Can Fund That Tune In…

It’s been a while since I poked fun at something over at Kickstarter.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seriously looked at their “Music” category. I suspect there’s plenty there to laugh about. Please join me in checking it out.

Let’s see. The first eleven projects are from people seeking funds to produce an album. When I wrote this, one of the eleven had made its funding goal: David Liebe Hart has raised 102% of his target $5,000 to fund his new album about “…the benefits of exercise and eating vegetables…The Pickle Man and Mr. Moose…teleportation, James Quall being on crack,…[and] David’s long-lasting quest to find a girlfriend.” David, just a suggestion on the last, but a little less time in the recording studio might help there.

Seriously, though, kudos to David for setting a realistic goal (the money will be used to finance his co-conspirator’scollaborator’s travel expenses so they can work together) and on the forthcoming disc.

Other projects might hit their goals. Tacoma Narrows, a “former middle-school English teacher and band” are more than three-quarters of the way to the $15,000 they need to record their first folk-rock album. They actually seem to have their act together (sorry), aside from their unfortunate choice of names–do you really want to back a band that will collapse in the face of the first applause-driven breeze that strikes them? Still, it could be worse: they could have named themselves “Bay Bridge East Span”.

Chris Dorman is almost three-quarters of the way to the $15,000 he needs to create “a children’s album to be shared in homes all across the country.”

Not trying to tell you how to run your career, Chris, but you might do better if people bought copies of the album instead of sharing it. Oh, I see you have a plan: releasing the album will allow you to apply “for awards like the Parents Choice Awards, submitting to the Grammys for Best Children’s Album, and reaching out with a focused publicity campaign to parenting and music publications, blogs, and radio all over the country.” So if I understand the plan, you’ll release an album, promote it heavily, and that will automatically result in profit? Apparently, yes. Says Chris, “…no matter how far and wide we can share our project we know that this piece of musical art can live on for generations as our kiddos grow and have kiddos of their own.”

OK, I can totally get behind art for the sake of art. All joking aside, best of luck–and I hope your kiddos love your music as much as you do.

For counterpoint (sorry), consider Landers, “a husband and wife duo with a vision to bring faith back to marriage and family thru music.” They’re about 40% of the way to their $15,000 target. If they make it, they’ll produce and album

With roots that go in so many directions musically, this first project has been an amazing journey as we find our identity. Being raised in, and working in full-time ministry, has majorly influenced to worship-centered passion promulgated in the lyrics of every song in this project. We also believe you will hear our southern heritage in the cadence and structure that “good ole boy” upbringing creates. “Stand” is more than artistic expression of chords and lyrics; it is the bold message of who we want to be and what we believe.

I hope God and Jesus understand what the heck they’re talking about, because I sure don’t. I assume that God understands because they take pains to mention “how clear He has been in the process.” Folks, if God is that deeply involved, have you considered asking him to chip in the remaining $8,700? He can afford it, and the best part is that you won’t need to come up with a backer reward for Him: the album itself is his reward!

Moving on.

Peri Smilow has fully funded her project to create an anthology of her music in printed form. Good to see someone not looking for money for an album. Ms. Smilow has four CDs out already; the sheet music anthology includes all of the songs from the CDs.

Oh, look! Here’s someone else who isn’t looking for funds to produce an album. Lucy Stearns wants you to finance her trip to Italy to study and sing opera. Good luck, Lucy.

Continuing down the list of projects… Album, album, album…vinyl…album… Man, there are a lot of people who want to cut an album.

Here’s one that’s at least worth considering: Paul Sawtelle is a Grammy-winning saxophonist who wants to put together a CD to benefit the Ted Brown Outreach Program. The Program, it seems, provides musical instruments to kids who can’t afford them. A worthy project, IMNSHO. Do your due diligence on Paul and the Ted Brown Outreach Program, and if you’re satisfied they’re legit, toss ’em a couple of bucks.

Here’s another nice one: “Great Job!” is looking to rent a space for live music in Palmerston North. If you support live music in New Zealand–and who doesn’t?–this is the project to back.

I’m surprised, actually. Yes, there are a hell of a lot of projects in Kickstarter’s Music category that demand to be laughed at. Hundreds of people and groups nobody has ever heard of are trying to use other people’s money to produce the CDs that will be their tickets to fame and fortune. But there are far more worthwhile projects than I expected: people who want to help others, people who have an artistic vision to share, and even people who are just looking for a little help in doing something they love.

Good on all y’all–even Landers and Lucy–for following your dreams.

2 thoughts on “I Can Fund That Tune In…

    • It’s easy to get burned out on Kickstarters, especially given how hard some people push and how stupid some of them are (potato salad, anyone?) But I keep Sturgeon’s Law in mind and tell myself that for every stupid, redundant, or “eew” Kickstarter, there’s a tenth of a worthwhile one.

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