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.

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

1991

  • November 17, 2017


Original art for 1991’s Music from the Empty Quarter, issue #2.
Photo by Susan Jennings.

Rye turns five!

  • November 12, 2017

RYE — my genderqueer erotic novel — turned five years old this week! I posted a blog about RYE at my Patreon page. Most posts there are private, this one is public. If you like the things I create, support for as little as $2 a month.

The Amazon page has a nice reader review from a few months ago (above). I love it when people comment about the characters and the believability of my story. That’s my favorite part of the book – the characters I created and how they navigate their relationships.

A few copies available: Seelig/Rosenthal: Journey to Akteh

  • October 27, 2017

Now that nearly all of the Kickstarter backers have their copies of Journey to Aktehi, I made the remaining CDs, cassettes and T-shirts available for non-backers. These are strictly limited edition and I don’t forsee plans to reprint them. There are only 11 shirts, which are available through the Black Tape For A Blue Girl Bandcamp page. The CD and Cassette can be ordered at either Bandcamp or the Projekt website.
Thanks to all 236 of you who backed this release at Kickstarter. You made it happen! If you haven’t updated me with your shipping address, please go to Kickstarter and do that.
Have a great weekend.
Sam

Follow Sam on Instagram

  • October 18, 2017

Follow Sam on Instagram: instagram.com/BlackTapeForABlueGirl

August 2017: What I’m listening to

  • August 29, 2017


Is this the basis of the next Black Tape For A Blue Girl album? Patreon backers, visit: https://www.patreon.com/posts/14100408 and download the six songs I’m listening to and considering. What do you think?


(If you’re not a Patreon backer, join for as little as $2 a month to help support my creation, and hear new music in progress.)

Propelled past the goal, your part in the new paradigm of my art

  • July 31, 2017

Journey to AktehiPledge at Kickstarter

In the three days since my last email, 75 people pledged Journey to Aktehi, my collaboration with Mark Seelig. 199 amazing backers pushed us past the $7000 goal, assisting in the release of this album.

There are 33 hours to go, Aktehi is still gathering support.

Visit the Kickstarter page to pledge/preorder your copy; watch the video to hear some of the music, and follow the link to a Bandcamp preview of the first track. Aktehi is an album of hallucinogenic ethno-organic-electronic music, centered around Mark’s Bansuri flute and chant vocals, with a subtle layer of my electronics & processing.

We’re in a new paradigm in the music industry. Or perhaps better to say: For my own music, I am working within one of a number of new paradigms, each with their own set of rules. Crowdfunding works when artists ask their audience for support to help a project succeed. It’s definitely more ask-y, more direct, more blatant than the old music industry.

In my role as a creator, I am honestly saying that I need your help to release my albums. That’s my reality. Making art costs money, from the investment in studio gear, to the time spent making the music (instead of doing something else for income), to the manufacturing of the various parts of the release (CD, cassette, t-shirt, poster, etc). It all costs money. With sales decimated “at stores,” my albums have become limited and collectible releases for a small group of dedicated people who believe there is worth in what I create.

I think some people mistake the ask for saying, “Whine, whine, I deserve your money because I make music!” That’s not it. If nobody liked or listened to what I create, I wouldn’t feel entitled to getting paid. I understand there’s an exchange going on here: people appreciate the work, and some of them want to chip in to cover the costs of making it. Others want to listen for free on Spotify or youTube or torrents. That’s part of the new reality. I accept that, I understand that.

But I gotta tell you, I find it really cool when I see a $10 or $70 pledge from a first-time backer. Not just first time supporting my music, but first time to Kickstarter. That makes me smile because it tells me, “Here’s another person with the desire to contribute to music and art.” I love seeing that! And then there’s the person who has backed 786 campaigns, and I’m blown away as I think, “I wish I could be so dedicated to art that I searched out 786 things I cared about enough to subsidize!” Both types are amazing. And of course, the people returning to support a seond or third of my Kickstarters: you are the core that propels my album to the goal.

Years ago, I used to write a lot on this elist and Facebook about the devastating effect of torrents and illegal downloads on creators; the need for artists to be paid for our work. There’s no way to put all the cats back into the bag on that one. However, the possibilities for compensation for creation has morphed and evolved. Artists are uncovering and exploring the new paradigms of what it takes to fund their creations.

I like this new model

On Sunday morning I wrote to Mark, “Aktehi is a great album, a great collaboration! And people like it enough to make it happen. I find crowdfunding more rewarding than the old way we released albums. I feel love & appreciation.”

Back in the 80s when I reached my audience via my paper mail-order catalog, I received hand-written letters-in-the-mail from fans of Black Tape For A Blue Girl. Fast forward to the 90s: the CD and big-distribution-era; I no longer heard from the people who listened to my music. CDs sold at Best Buy or Tower or a cool local shop, but we weren’t in touch. Now with crowdfunding, I communicate with the people who like my work. Some people are still with me after all these years (Hi, Erik!), and there are people who have joined along the way. It’s a great mix of people who care about art and are fortunate enough to have some money to spare to donate to projects they believe in.

Thanks for your support, I appreciate it! You really are helping out here! My Kickstarter campaign ends in about 33 hours. Check it out, pledge if you like what you hear.

Thank you all so very much.
Sam