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 $2 a month. It’s a really nice way to keep the art flowing.

I want this to be my job!

  • April 23, 2017

From Sam of Black Tape For A Blue Girl:

Hi. I’ve been mulling over this message since I did my taxes last month, wondering how to phrase it. Yesterday, I realized I have 42-minutes of new demos (more about that below); it seemed like a good time to ask.

As you may know, along with writing/creating my music for Black tape for a blue girl, running Projekt Records has been my full-time job since 1991. There was a time in the mid-90s, when Blacktape was the best selling band on the label. Remnants of a deeper purity connected with a lot of people, it sold quite well. I could have pursued music/art as my full-time thing, but I felt the tug of loyalty and obligation to the artists on the label (and the 11 people I employed). I made choices that slowed down my own creation, in service to others. In 2002 I had a son, this was time I gladly spent away from my music.

Along with these postponements of my creation, in 2002 the music industry began a period of amazing turmoil; Projekt’s income decreased year over year, and I kept downsizing to stay ahead of the tidal wave. Years ago I got out from under Projekt’s debt, but I must admit that 2016 was one of my worst years ever for personal income. I was shocked by the meager total on line 43 of my 1040 return. Fortunately, I moved to Portland Oregon four years ago, it’s very reasonable to live here. I’m ok; though I am concerned about the future.

I often say that in a few years, I’ll be forced to retire from the record label business because there won’t be much of a record business left.

Let me tell you, I’m kind of excited about that! I would love to transition from running the label to supporting myself via my own art. It sounds like a challenging and rewarding proposition.

Life is about taking risks and pushing out of secure spots. I went to a lecture by Jungian therapist James Hollis on Friday; I wrote this down, “We die when fear governs our choices. We die when we stop growing in order to have security. We die when convenient securities are chosen over inconvenient insecurities.”

I’ve got a lot of life left!

In 2014, after a five year break, I began creating Black Tape For A Blue Girl music again! With fan’s Kickstarter backing, I released the double-LP These fleeting moments in August of 2016, the 4-song Blood on the snow maxi CD in March of this year, and I’m now working on new songs for the next album.

Over the last four years, I’ve raised $35,000 via six Kickstarter crowdfunding projects. I’m proud of that, both because I’ve created a lot of new music, and because I have passionate followers who want to see my music succeed. But do the math! $35k is not enough to survive on, I can’t live on $8500 a year; especially when that’s all going to manufacturing the CDs / LPs / shirts / etc for my backers. It’s not money that goes into my pocket.

I started a Patreon a few years back. Patreon is a crowdfunding concept where people who love my art and want to see me create more of it support via a small monthly credit card payment ($2-$5-$10) which I use to cover expenses of creation. Ie: pay band members to record, studio rental, gear repair, repressing out-of-print albums, etc. Patreon brings in around $450 a month (before their fees) which helps out on making art.

My dream would be $2000 a month at Patreon.

That would cover my creation expenses, and also a large chunk of of my living expenses. This would mean less time at my computer dealing with trivial emails and other Projekt label stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t stop Projekt. It definitely matters to me, and I work with great artists that I respect. But I am looking realistically at how the business is shrinking. More income from my art would allow me to reduce the part of Projekt that feels like spinning the wheels: putting out releases that maybe make their money back or turn $300 profit.

I’d rather spend my time working on music. Writing lyrics. Shooting photos. Reading books and talking with friends to get inspired.

And you can be part of this. If you can spare $2 or $5 a month to help me be an artist. If you don’t have the cash, I completely get it. No problems. Perhaps you support my Kickstarters, or just listen on Spotify. That’s ok, everyone’s budget fits somewhere into the puzzle.

In talking with my supporters, I realize some have done quite nicely for themselves; they grew up with my music, worked hard and are at a great place in life. It’s nice to hear about people’s success and interesting jobs. It’s nice when they want to contribute a little bit to support me, so that I can make more art. I appreciate it.

Can you be a patron of my art?

On Saturday, I sent my Patreon backers a 42-minute package of demos. They get to hear all the material I’ve created lately. I’ll refine some of those songs and record them with the band for the next album. And some will never be heard again. That’s one of the benefits of being a backer: you get to hear the art in progress.

All new backers who pledge at Patreon will also get the April package of demos. Can you spare the cost of a cup of coffee, once a month, to help me be an independent artist? If you can, that’s super cool of you!


That time in 2002 when David Lynch said he was a fan of Black Tape For A Blue Girl!

  • November 26, 2016

I have some vinyl for you

  • August 28, 2016

All are limited edition and might run out

To purchase, email with a list of the items you want. Include your snail mail address. I will reply with your total including shipping. Payment via Paypal ASAP.

#1 — Sam Rosenthal: Tanzmusik — handmade cover ($24)
The black vinyl is the 2012 Mannequin Records Italian reissue. The covers are an edition of 100 I handmade, recreated to look like the original 1984 vinyl, with cards affixed to an LP jacket.

#2 — Black Tape For A Blue Girl: The Rope LP — handmade cover ($25)
The black vinyl is ‘new old stock’ pressed in 1986. The covers are handmade in 2016, with color photos glued to a one-color printed black LP jacket. I hand-wrote the album title and signed.

Please note this important disclaimer: Due to the age of the unplayed vinyl, there is some warping. If you are opposed to any warpage on your LPs, please do not purchase this item. I asked the most exacting Blacktape vinyl customer to review a copy. He writes: “True, I like to have a ‘perfect’ record, but still this plays out and the warping issue is not audible. The only way to know it’s warped is to look at it. The warp on mine is not a bother to me. Others might have issues with it, of course. When I replayed my copy with a record weight it was flat warp free.”

Also keep in mind the vinyl has been in storage for 30 years, so the album will need a wet cleaning to remove dust and such.

3 — Black Tape For A Blue Girl: With my sorrows — 10″ clear vinyl ($20)
An ambient sound excursion. Limited to 300 copies released in 1997 by the Italian Amplexus label. 20 minutes of material created from minimal electronics and stripped bare string passages from Remnants of a deeper purity. The tracks are now on the 2nd disc of the 20th anniversary CD.

4 — lack Tape For A Blue Girl: Bike Shop — yellow & black swirled vinyl 12″ ($7)
Limited edition of 500. Only one of the four tracks on Bike Shop appears in this form on the new album These fleeting moments. Moody darkwave with a stirring vocal performance from Michael Plaster of SoulWhirlingSomewhere and drums from The Dresden Doll’s Brian Viglione. Melancholy vocal melodies, acoustic guitar & Moog electronics.

5 — Black Tape For A Blue Girl: The Rope — Tote Bag ($20)
This 14x14x3 inch black tote is perfect for carrying LPs or a supermarket trip.

Sam Rosenthal, album by album

  • January 16, 2016

Like all of my friends, I have been reading endless articles on Bowie. Suffice to say, Bowie’s artistic integrity has been an important part of my life as a fan of music, and as a creator of art.

An email from the local Clinton Street Movie Theatre, included a few sentences that really sums it up, “I read from friend after friend how life-changing and life-affirming this man was to each of them. His brilliance pierced the divisions of nationality and race and age, and united us in an understanding that it is okay to be whoever we are. Bowie was also a marvelous example that we don’t need to be only one thing — we can be whoever we want to be today, and we can reinvent ourselves tomorrow — as long as our core is true and kind and loving and non-judgemental.”

Reading this BBC article, the infographic of Bowie’s discography caught my eye. I love timelines, graphs, & data. I was curious what my recorded career would look like in a similar format.

You can comment on my facebook page.


MONOLITH in the mail

  • June 19, 2015

I’ve begun shipping MONOLITH to the Kickstarter backers. Thanks to those of you who pledged for the physical edition. If you haven’t grabbed your free download, it’s still available, now at $1.

The next Livestream will be Sunday the 28th at Noon, Pacific Time. Send me your questions, and I’ll answer them on the stream. Message me or post as a reply.

There’s a 9 minute video at youTube, an excerpt where I answer some questions from the previous Livestream.

I’ve started 4 new songs in the last couple weeks, and i’ve been thinking about what the lyrics should be.


2011 in The New York Times

  • October 27, 2011

The New York Times wrote: “Black Tape for a Blue Girl: If Marlene Dietrich had gone goth, Black Tape would’ve been her band. The ominous chamber-rockers deliver foreboding, throaty growls and cabaret-inflected salvos, a darkly glamorous formula they’ve adhered to since their 1986 debut, The Rope (Projekt). No wonder David Lynch is reportedly a fan. (Anderson)”

We got a show pick! Read the blurb in the New York Times, or below: