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Three of Kickstarter’s most prominent music projects end this week, so this is your last chance to get an 8-bit tribute to Miles Davis, an exclusive 7-inch from one of indie rock’s biggest up-and-coming bands, and an EP turned LP from a prolific Georgia-based singer-songwriter. All three projects boast great rewards and have had — not coincidentally — a lot of success. Let’s take a look at them.
Kind of Bloop: An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis was commissioned by Kickstarter’s own Andy Baio, and brings together five prominent 8-bit musicians (using the NES and Gameboy to make videogame-inspired music) to cover Miles Davis’ classic Kind of Blue. Having raised nearly $7,000 (with a goal of $2,000), the project has been enormously successful thanks to the novelty of the project as well as Andy’s thoughtful promotion, including tons of project updates and interaction on the project page. There have been requests for a vinyl version of the record, so there’s a chance we might see a Vinyl of Bloop project at some point, too.
The Rural Alberta Advantage’s 7-inch project has also been very successful — one of their rewards was a private concert for $3,000 and it sold fast. The whole story behind this band is amazing. The blog Hit Singularity had a good piece a few weeks back called How a Buzz Band Became a Buzz Band and it does a good job of detailing what went on, but I’ll give you the 30-second version.
About two years ago Rural Alberta Advantage (or RAA) recorded and self-financed an album called Hometowns that was self-released and then immediately ignored. Then in October of last year, someone from the Metacritic forums brought the band to my attention, and I signed them that same day to a record label I was running. We quickly reissued their album digitally and gave it some promotion and suddenly it was an indie hit.
The next six months brought them several sold-out NYC shows, a gig at SXSW opening for Grizzly Bear in a massive, beautiful church, and then an offer from the beloved record label Saddle Creek to be a part of their roster. So, in six short months, they went from the position where almost every band is — dreams bigger than their prospects — to being poised right now to become indie rock’s next big crossover band.
The Kickstarter project is the finishing touch on this part of their career. This 7-inch will be the stuff of eBay auctions before the year is out. Just you wait.
Last but definitely not least we have the delightful Allison Weiss. Allison’s project was to release a new EP, and after she reached her $2,000 funding goal in a matter of hours, she smartly offered her supporters a new goal, promising a full-length album over the initial EP.
In the months since Allison’s project has launched, she has posted a video interviewing the backer who put her project over its goal, did a live, all-request web video concert, has been running an album title contest with backers, posted updates from the studio, and — still not stopping! — has just launched a promotion she’s calling “The Final Countdown,” complete with a cover of the Europe song. No matter the amount they pledged, her backers have gotten their money’s worth.
All three of these projects end this weekend, and all are worth jumping on. A bit later in the week we’ll check in with some new projects worthy of your pledges, too.
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- Break Tradition. Break Habit. Break Expectations. Break Kickstarter.