Musician Rosa del Duca and writer Nicholas Leither are out to play free music and gather responses to their American Happiness Project.
The American West Happiness Tour combines two things: music, and the search for deeper meaning to the term "happiness" through the American Happiness Project. Rosa is a singer songwriter, and frontwoman of the band Hunters. She's been working hard as her band's leader, manager, and promoter to gain exposure and a few fans in the Bay Area after releasing an EP in the fall. Now she wants to work hard on the road, sharing her music with potential fans in a series of free shows or shows with a very small cover. Playing music is her passion. It's what makes her "happy."
Speaking of "happiness," this idea is often reduced to smiley faces and cliches. American culture screams that something is wrong with us if we are not constantly happy. It screams that happiness is achieved through money and designer homes and perfect relationships and super-successful children. Rosa and Nicholas Leither (writer and rustic furniture builder) are setting out to collect diverse points of view on what happiness is, what it sounds and looks like, and how to achieve and keep it. They plan to leave envelopes with short questionnaires inside, across the American West. The best responses will be published in a book in 2015.
The tour route will be determined by gigs Rosa sets up in Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Minnesota.
The goal of this kickstarter is to pay for a rental car, gas, envelopes and stamps--perhaps some campsites and cheap motel rooms too. We're not looking for a free lunch, literally or figuratively! Just transportation, lodging, and materials to back this project. Thanks for listening!
Here are some visuals to better illustrate the trip route!
Some images of THE PERKS:
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
There are a few potential obstacles to the tour. First, it's hard as hell to book gigs without professional-looking music videos and a manager and a name people recognize. Even small-time bars are often obsessed with how many bodies you can bring into their business. Rosa tried to book a free gig in Park City this winter for weeks. Even the coffee shops ignored her, despite having a well-received album out in the world, and despite being a very sane person, more than eager to please.
What else. Any tour faces the potential of car breakdowns, stolen equipment, scheduling snafus, storms, road work, detours, and zombies.
Here's what we plan to do to meet these challenges:
Start early. Rosa has a map and calendar, and has already started hunting down venues. If she's turned down by all available venues in one city, she'll start over with the next town over.
We'll sign up for AAA, lock the car, and carry zombie mace. We are ambitious, passionate people. Full steam ahead!
Yep. Just run it by us and we'll keep track of your tweaks. Tweaker.
If the project doesn't reach the funding goal we don't get any money and you are never charged. Everything reverts back to zero. Your money doesn't get siphoned to another project or anything. That said, we really want to raise the money, and hopefully you'd like to get your pledge gift, so spread the word so we can make it happen!
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
Your very own digital download of our first American Happiness Project book, due out in 2015.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or moreYou selected
A download of Eye of the Storm, Rosa's first solo album, or "White Lies," the debut EP Rosa's band put out in the fall. Hip music bloggers have said stuff like this about the EP: "It'll be your best friend on your next big road trip." and "They have a warm, open arms, sweet tea, hot southern soup sound that will make you feel at home wherever you are, no matter where you’re from."Estimated delivery:
Pledge $15 or moreYou selected
A signed, physical CD, or a signed first edition of the American Happiness Project book, mailed to you. White Lies is pretty enough to hang on your wall!Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
A hand-silk-screened shirt or tank top designed by artist and musician Leila del Duca, who will be joining Rosa for several of the tour's performances. Choose from a guitar design, or a design of Rosa and Leila as cartoons.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
The ultimate goodie bag. A digital download of the book, an album of your choice, and a hand-made shirt or tank. We'll also thank you by name in the acknowledgements section of the book.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
We're coming over! That's right, if you live within 20 miles of the tour route, I'll stop by for a private concert on our way to the next gig. Invite as many or as few people as you like. I'll croon for 45 minutes. (This one takes some coordination. Please check to make sure we'll be in your area on a day that works for you.)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
I'll learn any song you like, belt it out on film, and send you the video! You also get an album download and shirt of your choice, as well as thanks in the Happiness Project book, which you'll be able to download for free once it comes out.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)
I will write and record an original song for you. You choose the subject. If you want, you can write the lyrics! While the recording won't be "professional" it will be edited, mixed and mastered by me with Pro Tools. We'll also throw in a book and album download, as well as thanks in the acknowledgements.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)
A handmade American Rustic chair designed and crafted by Nicholas from his "California Series." These are colorful, unique, one-of-a kind chairs. Nicholas goes tramping in the woods for weeks, gathering willow. Then he pounds and saws and paints away in the garage for days. Then the chair needs to dry for a few months before the finishing touches are made. Nick's chairs have been featured in galleries. You can find examples of them through his website. This pledge amount also guarantees a book, album and shirt. For pictures of Nick's chairs, visit his website: www.NicholasLeither.com.Estimated delivery:Ships within the US only
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