From Sam

My Patreon backers give a small monthly donation, to help fund the creation of my art. They get additional private blog posts. You can join for as little as $3 a month. It’s a really nice way to keep the art flowing.

Last call: Remnants of a deeper purity T-shirt preOrder

  • October 3, 2018

Hi. I posted an update to the To touch the milky way Kickstarter. I talk about the shipping date growing closer, sending out the download codes later this week, and being saved by a random thought.

If you’re one of my generous patrons at Bandcamp, I posted a thought about anxiety regarding creating, and wondering who is this critic in my head? My 58 supporters help me create by donating a little bit towards my costs as an artist. Very cool. Whichever way we connect, it’s all very cool. It’s nice being in touch with all of you who care about my art, and want to see me make more of it.

This post serves as your last call to get in a preOrder for the Remnants of a deeper purity T-shirt reprinting. If you want one, order at the Projekt webstore so I know how many to print. The second pressing of the 2LP vinyl is also available on that link. The image below isn’t exactly the final blue color, but it gives you a good idea of the shirt design. Available in all sizes: small to 2XL.

We’re getting closer and closer to the release of the new Black tape for a blue girl CD/LP, ;To touch the milky way. It is available for preOrder at the BlackTape Bandcamp store. the Projekt website, and also our new Projekt European Website.

I’m reading the latest book from my favorite Jungian analyst, James Hollis, Living an Examined Life: Wisdom for the Second Half of the Journey And also Craig Ferguson’s autobiography, American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot. You can guess which one has more laughs.

To touch the milky way CD/LP preOrders, Remnants of a deeper purity 2LP vinyl preOrders, and a classic shirt

  • September 8, 2018


We’re two months away from the release of To touch the milky way, the new album from Black Tape For A Blue Girl. The CD + LP are up for preOrder at the BlackTape Bandcamp store the Projekt website, and also our new Projekt European Website.
I’ve set up the preOrder on the second pressing of the 2LP Remnants of a deeper purity (with the 8 page booklet) and a reprinting of the classic ’99 Remnants tour shirt. Both at the Projekt webstore. European fans can get the LP from the Projekt Euro Website.

To touch the milky way is an ethereal, darkwave, dreampop album. Like many Blacktape albums, each song is in a somewhat different style, which gives vocalists Michael Plaster (SoulWhirlingSomewhere) and Danielle Herrera opportunities to explore and stretch, bringing you and them to new places. The songs… oh? It’s so hard to explain what the songs are about in one sentence. I’d say the lyrics are influenced by questions I ask myself. I’ve created characters who question where they are at, is this the life they wanted? Wondering how to move forwards, or if it would be better to abandon the path they’re on and start something new. We all feel that turmoil, frustration and anxiety. Where are we? Is it where we expected to be at this point in our life? And are there other choices that could be made?

Musically, this is one of the most “solo album” Blacktape albums I have created. There are appearances on a few tracks from (The Dresden Dolls) drummer Brian Viglione, violist Nick Shadow, and multi-instrumentalist Chase Dobson… but much of it is my electronics, acoustic guitar & harmonium. There’s an element of textural ambience in the 4-piece movement that covers the first two tracks of the album.

Oh!! Talking about music! I can’t wait until you can hear it, instead of reading my words.

November 2nd is the street date, we plan to start shipping October 26ish, after packages are in the mail to the 255 Kickstarter backers who made this release possible.

Thanks so much everyone, more soon!

Sam

PS: You might dig this! The new Lycia is coming out on Projekt. That’s right: two of Projekt’s biggest mid-90s band are releasing new albums at the same time! PreOrder IN FLICKERS at the Projekt Website (where you can also get the shirt) or the Projekt Bandcamp page.

thanks for supporting independent music

black tape for a blue girl July 22 update

  • July 22, 2018

Hello, Sam from Black Tape For A Blue Girl here. With all the different message I write (Projekt lists, private messages for my patrons, and updates to my Kickstarter backers), it dawned on me that I have been woefully negligent at posting regular updates about BlackTape things I’m busy with each day. I plan to fix that! Let me catch you up…

To Touch The Milky Way in manufacturing

The new album is done! Howard mastered the album’s seven tracks; after some final adjustments last week, it is perfect and ready and I sent it in. The LP plant has the audio master and the album jacket artwork. The company printing the deluxe art cards received the pdfs. And I’ve turned in the artwork to the CD manufacturing plant. Everything is moving along, though I think we’re a bit behind schedule for an August release, unless the LP pressing plant is really speedy. I think September seems more realistic for getting everything in the mail.

I wrote an update at Kickstarter about the mastering earlier this week.

Revue Noir song on YouTube

For the last year I’ve been meaning to find time to put together this video of the track “Sometimes, Sunshine” from Revue Noir’s 2008 album ANTHLOGY ARCHIVE. If you don’t know Revue Noir, it was my post-Halo Star collaboration with Nicki Jaine. We played eight shows between 2004-2009 and worked on a bit of original music. It’s pretty much part of the Black Tape For A Blue Girl timeline in my mind, as Nicki sang with BlackTape before & after, and we performed Nicki-solo & BlackTape material at those shows.

The reason I wanted to get this video made is there’s a youTube Dark Cabaret collection video that includes “Sometimes, Sunshine.” It has over 3.5 million plays, but we receive only 1/24th of a pittance for every play. A friend suggested uploading a video with nearly the same title as that video. That’s what I did. My video includes unseen 2005 photos I shot of Nicki for the album cover session, and a bit of video of Nicki from a show at Dances of Vice. Give it a look. I like it!
Nicki is still one of my best friends, we talk often. She’s not involved or interested in the music business anymore (it stressed her out). She’s doing great, otherwise!

My guest appearance…

Did you know that I play piano on this 2005 Steve Roach track, In The Eye Of Noche?

Spotify Playlist

There are multiple sides to BlackTape’s music. On the albums I integrate the diverse styles flowing from ethereal to ambient to song-like pieces. Sometimes you’re in the mood for the songs, so I created a playlist at Spotify with tracks from this side of the band.

I plan to create more playlists. One I’ve been wanting to hear for 15+ years is “All the instrumental tracks with Vicki.” In the old days, I used to thing about these things and then shoot the idea down. “Do I really want to invest in a CD ‘overview’ that features instrumental tracks?” I know Eric would love that album, but would it sell enough at stores to make a good investment? Now I don’t have to worry. I can put that playlist up on Spotify for everyone to enjoy, without having a lot of CDs sitting around that I have to sell. Good deal!

 

Remnants of a deeper purity Vinyl

No, this isn’t a new art piece I’m working on. This is a photo I send to the pressing plant that screwed up the new pressing of Remnants vinyl. What happened is they shipped me a new batch of 150 copies of the LP and all the jackets were split open. This is not a gatefold release, this is the single-pocket vinyl jacket split and spread out on my kitchen floor. Grrrrrr. The vinyl looks and sounds great, it was just the jackets. There always seems to be a problem with American vinyl plants.
I had to complain and argue, and go nuclear. When I refuted the credit card charge they suddenly became cooperative and offered me a refund of enough money to reprint the cover at a different plant. That will be at Precision the Canadian vendor I am working with on the To Touch The Milky Way album.

The recent Kickstarter included a vinyl option with Milky WayThese fleeting moments and Remnants of a deeper purity. For those of you who didn’t get in on that pledge, I am planning a special package in a few months. I will reprint the 90s Remnants T-shirt, offering it in a combo pack with the vinyl (and perhaps a tote bag)! Stay tuned for that.

Digital-only live ep

Something else to stay tuned for: I’m finishing a digital-only release of tracks that Nicki Jaine sang with Black Tape For A Blue Girl at 2010’s Steampunk World’s Fair. Martin Bowes (Attrition) mastered it; I’m sending it to my digital distributor Monday.

To touch the milky way album artwork

I haven’t posted music or artwork from the new album, so it can be a wonderful fresh experience when my backers open their packages. Dani and Michael provide wonderful vocals. Mercy and I created evocative imagery for the cover. It’s going to be fantastic!

Thanks for your support and interest in Black Tape For A Blue Girl.

Here’s where you can follow me for regular updates and pictures from my life. Twitter & Instagram.

Stay well,
Sam

Thank You! We Did It!

  • June 6, 2018

Hi — I’m taking a break from social networking for a few days. Instead I’m catching up on Projekt work I missed, answering backer’s messages at Kickstarter, and feeling really satisfied that so many wonderful people pledged and brought To touch the milky way to the goal.

255 wonderful supporters!

I have a lot of photos to sort through to pick the ones that will go into the packaging. And I’ve got the album to mix. Because I record digitally, my rough mixes are well on the way to being the final mixes. I’ve listened to the album in sequence a number of times, and I’m quiet happy with how it’s sounding, already. Usually I make pages of notes of things I want to “fix.” This album, I’m able to listen with only a note here or there. This is a good sign! I think I should be chill and not get overly OCD on it. Next week Mercy will be out of town and I plan to get started on the mixes.

If you missed it, a few weeks ago I did this ReGen Magazine interview about To touch the milky way and crowdfunding.

I’ll be updating the Kickstarter page with more lovely photos that won’t make it into the package because of space considerations… stay tuned.

Thanks!

Sam

Crowdfunding final hours. Thanks for your interest in my work

  • June 5, 2018

There’s 7+ hours to go in the crowdfunding campaign for Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s To touch the milky way. 238 amazing people have said, “Yeah, I like the music Sam creates. I wanna be part of the team that makes this new album happen!” That’s remarkable! I’m very grateful.

I posted an update yesterday — “Connection + Gender” — replying to messages from two backers. David spoke about my music being part of his life during High School in the 90s. He wrote, “Black Tape’s music was different, but fit right in and helped during those moments of loneliness I felt regularly.”

I’m so glad that the music was there for you, David.

Sometimes, when I’m down, I grumble about life, the universe and everything. Just today, Mercy reminded me, “You create music that people around the world connect to! You’re doing something, you’re making a positive difference. That’s not something a lot of people can say.”

Reading your messages — and seeing that my music was there for you when you needed it, that it’s made a positive difference — that’s really special to me. And now we create a cycle: you come back and pledge some of your scarce resources to help me make more of the music. Wow! Gotta say it can be a great world, when people work towards enriching and positive ends.

Mercy in Millican

An outtake photo from Millican, Oregon, with Mercy

The To touch the milky way Kickstarter has 7+ hours left to go. 3 more pledges for the CD DELUXE or LP DELUXE package, and we’ve made it! We can do it. You can do it! Thanks to everyone so much for caring.

Sam

Free Download: ethereal dreampop track from the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album

  • June 3, 2018


With 48 hours left to go on the Kickstarter for Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s To touch the milky way, we’re inching closer and closer to the $12,000 goal. Over 200 kind people have shown their support for my ethereal darkwave music with a pledge. If you can afford it and are into the music I’ve created over the years, I ask you to join them with a pledge for your copy of the new album.

When I message with the backers of my Kickstarter, many responses contain a variation of “Back in the 90s I listened to your music, and it helped with the loneliness I was feeling.” I gotta tell you that is touching and meaningful to read. I create music that feels moving to me. To see it reflected back as significant to you… wonderful! So very rewarding

To touch the milky way is a passionate, flowing album that you’re going to enjoy. But don’t take my word, let’s hear some music!

At the BlackTape Bandcamp page I posted the almost finished version of the ethereal dreampop track, “The stars.” I play acoustic guitar & electronics, Dani sings, and Chase plays electric guitars & programmed the drums. It’s about seeing the perfection in life’s imperfection. Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics:

he says he doesn’t understand why i take life so hard
always another, always another, always another doubt
another chance i’ll let you down, these overwhelming feelings around
i look up from the kitchen table, i try to smile

he says “all of this makes you who you are
i love you like you love the stars:
so far away, so brilliantly beaming
your luminosity enlightens my dreams.”

all of this makes us what we are
i love you like i love the stars
we’re imperfect but that’s ok
we are imperfect in every way
i love you like i love the stars
i love the stars

I’ve been answer your questions on the Kickstarter page.
Here are links to a few of those updates:
Question #4: The 4AD label + being a non-musician + discovery
Question #6: My creative process.



In just 48 hours, the Kickstarter will be over. Can we pass the goal in the next two days? I hope so. I think so. I’m excited to get started on the final mixes, and designing the deluxe editions. Oh yeah, and I look forward to a break from Facebook and Twitter, and a break from bombarding you with these requests for your support. : )

I’m grateful for crowdfunding. This is how I support my art; and through this process I meet so many fans of my music, many of you have been with me for decades. Now I know your name, we’re in touch, and I am grateful that you help me with my art. It leaves me amazed at how nice people can be.

Thanks to everyone who has already pledged To touch the milky way. If you’re not a backer yet, please chip in at Kickstarter if you can. We need the support of 66 more people backing the Deluxe CD or LP to pass the goal. There are lots of other great rewards on the page. Give it a look.

I think we can do it!

Sam

Kickstarter update from Dufur, Oregon

  • May 21, 2018

Over at Kickstarter, fans are supporting the creation of Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s new CD + LP, To touch the milky way. I posted an update with outtakes from a recent photoshoot in Dufur Oregon. 140 fans like you have pledged to support the creation of this album. Watch the video, listen to excerpts from a few of the tracks, and help make this beautiful ethereal, darkwave, ambient album exits!

Crowdfunding enables me to hear your stories and learn more about your lives…

  • May 13, 2018

Pledge your support for Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s new ethereal / darkwave / ambient album at Kickstarter

I love running my Kickstarter campaigns because it gets me in touch with the people who care about my music, and on every campaign I meet new fans too. I received a really wonderful email from a supporter in Texas who discovered my music in the 90s when they were just out of high school. While keeping the details private, it was a really personal and rich story about how the music intersected with their life, what it meant to them then, and what it means now. Thank you for sharing.

I had coffee with one of my generous Patrons / Kickstarter backers last year. I am always curious about people’s lives, what they do for a living and how they are nagivating this confused, difficult and oftentimes sorrow-filled reality. And I also enjoy the part of that conversation concerning how my music plays a part in their world. 

When I create, I’m trying to capture my idea, to get these nebulous bits out of my head and into tangible form. Clearly, I’m not making art with profit in mind (otherwise I’d write more catchy songs or work on film music). I’m trying to express what matters to me. Once it exists, it’s rewarding to hear that the music means something to you as well! I like knowing you find something meaningful within the moods, emotions, lyrics, and voices.

Mercy showed me this interview with Hiro Murai, director of Childish Gambino music videos including “This Is America.” Hiro said: “When we’re working on something, I’m just trying to make it interesting for us and hope that whatever’s interesting for us will connect with people watching it.”

I get that! I create what is urgent to me and it’s wonderful when it connects to you. One way I know my music had an impact on your life is when I see past backers – and new backers I haven’t yet met – pledge $30 or $200 to support the release of my next album. This is really great encourgement that I am on a good path with my art. 

Some artists are offended by the idea that we needs to ask (beg, cojole) our supporters for support. I am a realist. This is the world we live in. For me, it’s quite the opposite of offense, I enjoy that the crowdfunding process enables me to hear your stories and learn more about your lives; and that it allows me to create a lovely deluxe art piece for you. The music, the visuals, the process — it’s what I enjoy about making art. And I enjoy doing it for you.                    

I appreciate when you get behind what I create with your support.

If you’re curious about the new album, visit the page, watch the video (hear a bit of the music), and read more about the new album and the inspirations and ideas behind it. And do send me a message and let me know about your connection to my work.

I hope you’ll pledge, to help create To touch the milky way.

Sam
                

PS1: Could you share my campaign on your social media?

Even if you cannot afford to support at this time, you could help me out in a different way. If 100 people sign on to use the advocacy platform Thunderclap to share a link to my Kickstarter via your social media reach, my message will go out May 21. This is an interesting way to create stronger awareness of the project. 

Thanks for considering helping me out this way.

PS2: Mercy and I are heading out for another photoshoot today. I’m probably trimming her hair as you read this, and then we’re jumping in the car for the first 182-mile leg of the trip. I posted an update about preparing for the photoshoot at Kickstarter. There’s also an update from a few days ago about the inspirations behind the photographs we’re shooting for the deluxe packaging. 

Thanks so much for caring about my creations!

To touch the milky way Kickstarter now live

  • May 6, 2018

Kickstarter campaign

The Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign is now live for Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s 12th album, To touch the milky way. I’m excited for you to hear the new music and to take part in making this album a reality. The seven tracks span styles ranging from ethereal darkwave to dream-pop to austere textural ambient passages accompanied by wonderful vocals from Danielle and Michael.

This Kickstarter funds a deluxe 12-inch art-card-set held in an LP jacket along with your selection of the LP or CD edition of To touch the milky way. As usual, along with writing, producing and performing the music, I will shoot the photographs and design the artwork. Mercy & I are headed out to locations around Oregon to capture my vision.

I appreciate your enthusiasm for the music I’ve created over the past 32 years. I want to remind you that Kickstarter only funds this campaign if we reach the $12,000 goal, so each pledge really counts! No matter what you can give, you help make To touch the milky way exist. I want to thank you for that! – Sam

Lots more about the themes and artwork at the Kickstarter page.

name-your-price download and vinyl sale

  • April 12, 2018

Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s Bike shop download is name-your-price at Bandcamp. The 12″ vinyl is on sale for $6. These fleeting moments double-lp vinyl on sale for $22. I’m gearing up to launch the Kickstarter for the new album. I thought it’d be nice to get you up-to-date on some of Black Tape For A Blue Girl’s recent music.



Packages ready to ship to fans in Michigan and California

I’m getting ready to launch the Kickstarter for the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album. Danielle Herrera and Michael Plaster are the vocalists, and they’ve done an amazing job! Michael – as you may recall – is the vocalist for SoulWhirlingSomewhere (with 4 Projekt albums between 1993-2001.) I’m surprise that many of Michael/SWS’ fans don’t know he sang on BlackTape’s These Fleeting Moments album. He also sang all four songs on the Bike Shop EP. I put it at name-your-price so you can acquaint yourself with his work. The tracks on the new album are decidedly different, but Michael is always Michael: charming, heart-broken, sensitive.