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.

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. 🙂 ]

I’ve moved the band’s patron-page to Bandcamp

  • December 19, 2017

A week ago, I rebooted the Black Tape For A Blue Girl patron page at Bandcamp. After the kerfuffle with Patreon changing their fee structures (and then withdrawing the #newfees when they realized how bad the idea was), I felt it was time to take the leap and move my patron site to a place where music is the priority.

When you pledge, you get 9 free Black Tape For A Blue Girl catalog titles, plus two exclusive downloads (1, the new album in progress (instrumental mixes) and 2, a June 2015 download of unused ideas from These fleeting moments).

You will also get the new albums I add to Bandcamp.There are already 29 Patrons donating to my art, that’s around $200 a month. This money assists me in creating my work. For example,last week Brian recorded drums for “All that i thought i wanted,” and I also purchased plane tickets to fly Oscar & Dani to Portland to record vocals. Thanks to my patrons who helped cover those expenses!

The new album is really coming together. I believe I have all of my parts of the music recorded, and I have lyrics written for all of the songs but one. It’s sounding great!

If you like what I create, you can get a bunch of free music and help me make more, with your monthly support at the BlackTapePatron page.

Happy holidays & thanks, Sam

BlackTape collection from Marc Kruska

  • December 18, 2017

Follow me at Instagram

  • December 15, 2017

I like Instagram because it’s all about images. I like seeing what my friends are seeing in their life. And no politics!! Follow me: https://www.instagram.com/blacktapeforabluegirl/

CD stack from Fan JohnT

  • December 14, 2017

Some CDs

  • December 11, 2017

A bunch of Black Tape For A Blue Girl CDs, from the collection of fan Matt C:

These fleeting moments art box (#1, Scott’s box)

  • November 27, 2017

The top tier on the These fleeting moments Kickstarter included a one-of-a-kind art box. I am now sharing the first box with you, as well as Scott’s really lovely reflections on the piece of art I created for him….

Scott M writes:

The art box I received from Sam after the fundraising campaign for These fleeting moments has a prominent spot next to my listening chair. It makes for a nice decoration and reminds me of how interesting it was to hear songs from These fleeting moments on Patreon as they progressed from initial sound sketches to the finished double-LP. The wooden box contains a bass nestled among twigs and surrounded by small images of Mercy (from the cover photo shoot) posing inside the bass. What follows is a summary of my thoughts about the art box and how it relates to the album:

There are only a very few leaves on the twigs and thus the suggestion of the Gothic idea of All Beauty Is Sad (because it always comes to an end), but the box has never seemed like a casket to me. Rather, it reinforces the album’s lyrical theme of living life to the fullest (“if only i could live a little more”). The branches (“trees”) and the bass are all wood and seem to grow out of the soil at the base of the box (“reaching out i’m limitless”) as if they were alive. There is life to be found in music and artistic expression in general, and all art is interactive to some degree – “you’re present in every moment, and every moment is in you.” The combination of twigs and bass struck me as symbolic of music and sound being part of daily life and of the natural landscape.

Of course, These fleeting moments also touches on emotions like sadness and frustration – it is, after all, a Black tape for a blue girl album – and the band treats us to the entire panorama of human emotion. Sam’s art box addresses these unhappy themes for me with the images of Mercy, which can represent everything from innocence to desire, ideals to daydreams. They are like seeds (in the ground below the bass) and sunlight from above, giving the bass (representing music, existence, etc.) life and energy by evoking beauty and encouraging acts of expression and growth… “let’s hold hands now and together we’ll leap.”

I have experienced life’s ups and downs as much as anyone, and I find These fleeting moments to be very relatable and thought-provoking. It’s interesting how, in the context of the album, this box of seemingly unrelated objects has created such inspiration for me. It’s my personal reminder that “it’s fine, i’m fine, it’s time to move on.”

– Scott M