Sarah Saturday (aka Gardening, Not Architecture) is raising funds to record her second DIY album with Steve Choi from Rx Bandits!
I always say that Gardening, Not Architecture was intended to be an online-only project, never to play a single show -- and that's true. Everything that has happened since I posted "The First EP" online for free in 2007 has happened in answer to a call from people who believed in the music, the idea, and in me.
If I never intended to play a show, then I certainly never intended to record a second full-length album! And that's probably why I had no problem investing my entire life savings into recording and self-releasing the first album, "First LP," followed by over a year of near-constant touring and couch surfing. I never really thought past any of that; I was doing it because it made me happy. I wasn't concerned about album sales or record labels, so I didn't consider the fact that maybe people would like the music and want... more.
My savings are gone and have been replaced by two jobs, which don't leave much in the way of savings after all the bills are paid. It's been almost two years since I released "First LP," and I have built up quite the arsenal of new experiences and songs that are begging to be released. I don't want to seek out a label or other people who could possibly loan me money to record, since it would be at the cost of them having creative control and influence over what I do and how I do it. Plus: I'm not trying to "get famous" with this project. I have already been in those bands that want to "make it" and it was nowhere near as rewarding as making music I personally enjoy, to share with people I care about, to create meaningful moments and connections, and to leave something of value behind when I'm gone. I made a promise to myself that I'd keep doing G,NA only as long as it was honest and enjoyable -- and to me, so far, that means keeping the project independent and free of influence from anyone.
I have the chance to go into the studio this fall with the incredibly talented Steve Choi, from Rx Bandits, to co-produce my second full-length album, which I'll be self-releasing by the end of the year. But without a savings account to dip into, and without a full band of people working to save money in a hurry, I am at the mercy of either working the two jobs I currently have long enough to raise the funds -- and who knows when that will be? -- or trying to raise the funds on my own through something like Kickstarter.
I've hosted my own fundraisers on the G,NA website in the past, and I've always offered limited edition and/or handmade items as incentives for those donations. I have a running list of "Official Sponsors" on my website: people who have donated to the G,NA fundraisers over the past two years to keep me on the road and help me stay afloat. For this Kickstarter campaign, I've put together what I think is the most valuable collection of G,NA-related collectibles I could think of: limited edition merchandise, handmade items, exclusive new music, unreleased music, and even some memorabilia from my year on the road! I think that everyone who donates, new fans or old, will get something in return that they'll be able to truly enjoy -- not to mention my everlasting love and gratitude.
The amount of money it will cost me to buy a plane ticket to California and record, mix and master the album is around $5,000. If I want to manufacture CDs or vinyl or any merch right off the bat, it will be more than that. If I want to be able to take off three weeks to record without having to worry about rent, bills, food, and other life expenses, it will be way more than that. Check out the last thing on the list of Rewards to see my Dream Amount. If we hit that mark, then I will press an exclusive Kickstarter edition of the second album on vinyl, and every single person who donated will get a numbered/signed copy.
Here's a helpful chart I made to see how realistic the goal of this fundraiser is:
*If 500 people pledge $10, we'll hit the $5,000 amount.
*If 1,000 people pledge $10, we'll hit the Dream Amount and everyone will get vinyl.
*If 200 people pledge $25, we'll hit the $5,000 amount.
*If 400 people pledge $25, we'll hit the Dream Amount and everyone will get vinyl.
Your help spreading the word about this effort means the world to me. To those of you who have been involved with G,NA for a while, thank you again and again, endlessly and relentlessly, for all that you have already done to push this thing forward. If you are new to this project, thank you for taking a chance and putting in the effort to discover new music, and I hope you'll be around for a long time to come!
Sarah / Gardening, Not Architecture
I missed the Kickstarter deadline but I still want to donate and receive one of the rewards! What can I do?
Easy! I moved all the unclaimed rewards to my own fundraiser page at http://www.gardeningnotarchitecture.com/kickstarter! Get some of the limited edition stuff, or just buy me a cup of coffee while I'm in the studio! :)
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Pledge $1 or moreYou selected
Official Sponsor status and private blog access: Your name will be added to the list of "Official Sponsors" on the G,NA website, and you'll have access to my private Kickstarter blog detailing the progress of the new songs, planning for the studio, and in-the-studio exclusive daily updates even after the Kickstarter campaign has ended!
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
Official Sponsor status and private blog access, PLUS: Digital download pack of G,NA music and extras: "First LP", "Remix EP", "Live at Hotel Cafe", both G,NA music videos, and some new wallpapers for your computer and phone!
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Official Sponsor status, private blog access, digital download pack, PLUS: A digital advance of the new album before it's released, with an exclusive B-side track that will not be available on iTunes or on the CD.
Pledge $35 or moreYou selected
Official Sponsor status, private blog access, digital download pack, PLUS: Handmade shirt featuring new stage design! If you've seen G,NA photos or live shows, you know that I wear a hand-painted shirt on stage. For the second album, there will be an entirely new "stage shirt," and you can be the first to own one!
Pledge $36 or moreYou selected
14 backers Limited (86 left of 100)
Official Sponsor status, private blog access, digital download pack, PLUS: "The Collected Demos" limited pressing CD in hand-sewn paper sleeves, numbered and signed! I did not always go by the name Gardening, Not Architecture, and in fact I recorded several demos between 2003-2007 with my friends in their living rooms, bedrooms, and closets. I even posted the demos on Purevolume under two different band names over the years: We The Living and Alma. Now, for the first and last time ever, I'm going to release these demos in a limited run of 100 CDs. Hear the original pre-2007 versions of songs like "Buried in the Basement," "If You Only Knew," "Jabberwocky," and "Great Unraveling" -- plus long-lost demos! The CDs will be manufactured, but the sleeves will be handmade and numbered/signed.
Pledge $37 or moreYou selected
Official Sponsor status, private blog access, digital download pack, PLUS: "The Gypsy Life" photo zine. Experience a year of traveling, sleeping on couches, and looking out car windows on the hunt for fulfillment through twenty pages of photos taken during my year on the road. Along with each photo, each page will include some of my favorite quotes and lyrics that inspired me along the way. I'll be making the zines myself, by hand, and will sign each one.
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
16 backers Limited (9 left of 25)
Official Sponsor status, private blog access, digital download pack, PLUS: Limited edition 18x24 silkscreened poster, on eco-friendly chipboard French paper, designed and printed by Verdilak and numbered and signed by both Verdilak and myself. This was a popular item in my last tour fundraiser, but we still have a few left!
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
7 backers Limited (93 left of 100)
Official Sponsor status, private blog access, digital download pack, limited edition poster, digital advance of the second album with exclusive B-side track, PLUS: "First LP: Instrumentals" the mastered, but never-before-released, instrumental version of the first album! I created this version of the album to have on file for soundtrack and other uses, but have been holding off on releasing it until I had good reason to. This is definitely a good reason! I'll be pressing the CDs through a manufacturer, but creating hand-sewn screenprinted canvas sleeves that are the inverse (black on white) of the original hand-sewn screenprinted canvas sleeves for "First LP," which you can view here: http://www.gardeningnotarchitecture.com/shop/first-lp-limited-15-00. Experience the first album in a whole new way!
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
6 backers Limited (94 left of 100)
The Everything Pack: Get one of every single thing on this page, until the limited stuff runs out! HOLY SMOKES!
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
Come up with your own reward item(s) and email the idea to sarah at gardeningnotarchitecture dot com. If I approve the idea, you can claim this reward! Please don't be foolish and claim this reward without running your idea past me first... duh.
Pledge $10,000 or moreYou selected
This is my Dream Amount, which would not only allow me to go to California and record my second album, but would also allow me to cover all of my living expenses AND put out an exclusive Kickstarter-only release of the second album on vinyl for everyone who donated! This version would have its own artwork with its own liner notes including the names of every single person who donated to this campaign, and would be available for only those people!
- (50 days)