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.

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.

The First Pain To Linger

  • March 26, 2018

BlackTape fan Brandon bought this at Raggin’ Records in Visalia CA.
Probably back in the mid to late 90s.

Recording with Dani

  • March 20, 2018

Hi everyone. I’m really pleased with Danielle Herrera’s vocals for the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album; the recording session last weekend was great, and the end results are beautiful. I am waiting for Michael’s vocals, while also tweaking the mix on the songs already “on tape. I’m thinking about the cover shoots for the album (there should be at least five of them) and I have ideas about the packaging for the deluxe Kickstarter edition. Stay tune for the launch of the Kickstarter next month!

Click for larger photo

Recording vocals + free download SCAVENGER BRIDE

  • March 8, 2018

As my patrons know, I’m close to completing the next Black Tape For A Blue Girl album. This weekend, Danielle Herrera will be in Portland to record her tracks. I completed the music before the holidays, but we got a bit behind schedule with the break, as well as I was having a tough time writing lyrics for “Does anything remain?” For that – and a hundred other reasons – it took longer than expected, but I’m very thrilled we’re going to record this weekend!!

After all the struggles, the lyrics turned out really great, I think:

i don’t know, i just don’t know, does anything remain?
something not worn away by all the battles.
can i trust again? can i even trust myself?
i haven’t left the house in days, calling in sick with spirits watching over me
drinking alone, i’m thinking you’ll abandon me when you keep finding me like this,
     of course i can stop, i promised i’ll stop
why don’t you hold me and talk anymore? why are you shouting? every word a lifetime
i wish i could take back those angry words, i really only wanted to tell you i loved you
does anything remain through all the mistakes and all the wasted years.
     i try to forget myself

While we’re recording here in Portland, Michael Plaster is working on his tracks in Phoenix. If everything comes together as I’m expecting, I plan to launch the album’s Kickstarter in 6 to 8 weeks. I’ve been having a lot of cool ideas for the cover shoots with Mercy. Where Fleeting had one location and one theme, I’m thinking of a number of different shoots that combine to tell the story, almost like stills from a film. I’m thinking I’ll do those shoots during the Kickstarter month, and post photographic updates on the progress.

To describe These fleeting moments‘ theme, I wrote, “The lyrics explore the existential predicaments of time’s passage, choices questioned, and loves lost.” This album seems to be about being at the point where something has to give, realizing that something has to change, that the dead ends need to be left behind. It’s the desire to feel alive and live a life that has been left unlived, after too many years spent in hiding, in limbo, giving in to fears. And within that, questioning the loops and repetitions, and wondering if there’s something more to all of this.

Name-your-price download on The Scavenger Bride

While we’re having fun working on music, you can grab a free download of BlackTape’s 2002 album, The Scavenger Bride. The download is name-your-price and the CD is on sale for $10. All your contributions help me make art. Thanks so much. Sale ends at midnight on Monday the 12th.
It would be super helpful if you could share these posts:

Black Tape For A Blue Girl's THE SCAVENGER BRIDE is on name-your-price sale this weekend. And the CD is $10.

Posted by Sam Rosenthal on Thursday, March 8, 2018

Yes, the band is still together…. because of you!

All the time I hear from former-BlackTape fans who reach out to me on Facebook and say, “Wow, I didn’t know your band was still together.” Yes! As long as I’m alive, BlackTape will still be around and creating music. Thanks to the help of patrons like you, I can dedicate time to art. Back in the late-90s, the music business was about selling thousands of albums at retail stores. I am very fortunate that the early-90s albums all did respectfully, and then the Remnants of a deeper purity album took off and was very successful (especially considering how obscure the music actually is). In that era, my music reached a lot of people, sparking something emotional and resonant within. These days, Black Tape For A Blue Girl survives from a much smaller group of loyal fans who love what I create, value the music in their lives, and want to support my art via patronage and crowdfunding the releases. I am very grateful to those of you who are loyal to my vision. I am excited that I can keep creating because some of you want to chip in to support it. I get to make really cool artistic packages because you want me to! Thanks.

I don’t begrudge those of you who listen on streaming sites, only. It takes all types of fans to support an artist. Streaming adds up to a trickle of nickles that goes to my music budget.

But to those of you that love the music and feel like supporting it, let me tell you that your pledges are really what keeps the music flowing, and I appreciate it.

Now that the album is almost finished, you’ll be hearing from me more frequently. I’m very excited for you to hear this one!

Best,
Sam

What is this new album about?

  • January 18, 2018

New post for my patrons at https://blacktapeforabluegirl.bandcamp.com/patron — If you like my music, want to help me keep creating it, want to read my thoughts (just for patrons), and want a bunch of music. Join for as little as $3 a month!

Excerpt: So I asked myself this question, “What is this new album about?” Answer: Many of the characters are at a turning point — they see they’ve been stuck and they want to start living their life: feeling again and moving on. There’s another theme in a few songs that questions the reality of life. Are we in a loop? Is there something more? I don’t know, maybe that’s a variation of the first idea?

Year end thoughts & 50% discount

  • December 28, 2017

From Sam Rosenthal:
As I look back on 2017, I’m quite happy about the art I’ve created. The year included a number of different projects in different directions. That kept things interesting.

[ On the other hand, I think it was a horrible year in the real world as the fabric of society was slowly torn apart. You probably didn’t open this up for politics, so I’ll just say, “Hang in there, and vote on Nov 6 2018!” I’ll move on…. In relationships, I had an amazing year. Disagreements gave way to deeper understanding and capacity to love. ]

And music? I made a lot of music. 2017 began for me in the second half of December 2016, when the These fleeting moments 2-LP finally arrived from the pressing plant and I shipped them to the Kickstarter backers. At the end of January, I shipped the Blood on the snow maxi-CD to Kickstarter backers. In October, I shipped out my collaboration with Mark Seelig – Journey to Aktehi – to Kickstarter backers. You also received the Isotope solo-electronic download in August. In October, I recorded six new Thanatos tracks with Patrick (we plan to get together next year to record more, hopefully for a new album).

And during all of that, I was working on the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album. I am almost finished with my parts now. I’m still struggling with lyrics on the final track, but I expect to get a handle on that one soon enough. My vocalists are coming to Portland early next year to record. This month Walter recorded electric guitar for the final song, and Brian recorded his drums for one track.
And you know what makes all this possible?

You. You make all this possible!

I’m very aware and appreciative of your direct support that allows me to do this. While not yet paying my personal bills (releasing other artists on Projekt is how I make a living), the ability to fund my music comes from you. In three ways:

Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns fund the manufacturing of my releases (and with Aktehi it also paid a royalty to Mark, myself, and Oscar who illustrated the covers).

Patronage covers the day-to-day costs of paying musicians, studio time, plane tickets, gear upkeep, and occasionally part of the pressing costs (like the booklet in Remnants of a deeper purity). And yes, some goes to pay me for my time spent making art.

Royalties are the third, and smallest part of my income as an artist. This is from CD sales, digital sales & streaming.

One thing Patronage income does is allows me to free up my time to make art. I know there’s money coming in when I knock off from “the day job” to create. 2018 is the year I am downsizing Projekt’s release schedule in order to spend more time on my art (and hanging out and reading and thinking and planning). At Projekt, I am going to focus on the artists that still make sense in the current music industry. In the last few years, I tried something a step short of downsizing: Projekt released limited-edition CD of 300 on some acts as a way to keep them in the game. Even those aren’t making financial sense anymore. It’s time for the BIG CHANGE I have been thinking about and writing about on my Patreon page. It’s time to cut some things free. While it seems a bit risky, it also seems logical. The change frees up more time for art, and your support leads me to feeling ok about taking this plunge.

I wrote this note to myself a few moments ago:

My self-generated Oblique Strategy for the day, “Remove what is in the way.”

That was in reference to the song I’ve been trying to write lyrics for, but I think it also applies to life. What is in the way for me? Spending my brain space & money on other artist’s music. It is nothing about the quality of that music, or my friendship with the people making it. It has to do with time [applicable Bowie quote for this: “As you get older, the questions come down to about two or three. How long? And what do I do with the time I’ve got left?”] I would rather spend that time on my art, my collaboration with Pat, or something I haven’t even considered yet.


You must be asking yourself, what’s up with that Kitty at the top of this email?

That’s Rusty. She was at the vet. She likes to get into her little hidey-holes away from everyone. She should come out and join us in a special place I am building for people who enjoy what I create…

I’d like to talk about Patronage. Earlier this month, I suspended my page at Patreon as a result of their plan to launch user-injurious fees. They got wise and cancelled that idea, but I had already jumped ship and started the move to my patron page on Bandcamp. I am really happy that – so far – 37 supporters have joined me there. It looks like about 1/3 are new names that weren’t backing at Patreon, that’s very cool.

76 patrons haven’t cancelled their pledges at Patreon. Don’t worry, you won’t be charged. However, it would be cool if you come out and join me at Bandcamp.

I hope some of you reading this, who enjoy my music, and can afford to donate the equivalent of the cost of a cup of coffee once a month, will help give me the independence to make my art. What do you get? You immediately get 9 downloads at Bandcamp + 2 exclusive downloads, one of which is an instrumental mix of the new Black Tape For A Blue Girl album in the works. You get membership to the Patron area, where you can comment on my posts and interact with other fans of my music (Hi Scott! Hi Kervin!). Plus you’ll get new albums, as I post them at Bandcamp.

Why not come on out and join us? Patronage starts at $3 a month. For $5 a month you get 2 extra downloads. For $10 a month you also get a hand-written lyric.

And to wrap up this year-end email, to thank you for your part in my musical year, take 50% off at the Blacktape bandcamp store. This discount expires the afternoon of 1-1-2018. Use code kitty18 when you check out.

I hope your 2018 is wonderful, and brings you everything you desire.
Sam


PS: my favorite social networking site is Instagram. I like that it’s about the visuals,
and not about words and politics. Follow me there to see what I’m seeing.                  
 [ kitties, coffee & mercy. 🙂 ]