New addition to album SPECIAL GUEST LAURIE BERKNER! This past week Children's music superstar Laurie Berkner sang a duet with me on the song "Our Love Fits". More info in update #5. here's a sample:
STRETCH GOALS - with 32 days left I would like to add some stretch goals. The initial $12,999 will cover - mixing, mastering, making of posters, "thank you"s, and pressing of an initial 1000 CDs. My first stretch goal is somewhat open ended but will involve paying for PRODUCTION OF VIDEOS for the songs. EG Design is already busy making a video for the song "Marsupial" and did a terrific job in designing the cover art. If my total reaches $20K by January 14th I will be able to produce videos for at least 3 songs. Please continue to spread the word about this project - even if I don't meet any "Stretch Goals" this whole process has been extremely heartwarming and encouraging - the more people aware of it, the more I will be able to reach when the album is released.
Samples of all the songs from "No School Today" can be found at "Songs" on my website www.dannyweinkauf.com.
My name is Danny Weinkauf, and I'm a NYC based musician. I've been the bassist for They Might Be Giants for the last 15yrs. and have also played with Fountains of Wayne, Candy Butchers and Mike Viola, David Mead, Stephen Fretwell, the Davenports, and others.
While working working with TMBG I've had the opportunity to contribute a few songs for children : "Where do they make Balloons" from No!, "Number Two" from the Grammy winning album Here come the 123s, and "I Am a Paleontologist" from the Grammy nominated Here Comes Science. The audience response has been extremely encouraging, and most surprisingly the song "I Am a Paleontologist" has really found a life of it's own. It's been included in exhibits in museums all over the world (Panama, Canada, and here in the US in Seattle and Austin). It's also been included in educational/audio enhanced text books that teach English as a second language (Greece, Australia, and Japan). The video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7zo2zY1Zqg has been viewed well over a million times on Youtube. Needless to say, all this attention to my song is very satisfying on a personal level.
While I often work full time with TMBG, when I'm off the road or out of the studio I also worked part time as a pediatric physical therapist. That work has brought me to many different school settings where on several occasions a Science teacher would approach me and mention how they played my song in their class and how it really got the kids excited to learn. That is a great feeling!
Encouraged by the response to my previous children's music songs and inspired by having 2 kids of my own running around my house, I have been working on a full length project for kids. I narrowed it down to the 16 best songs and am now looking to release them as a solo children's music album.
I wrote and recorded all the music myself. There's acoustic and electric guitars, stand up and electric basses, piano and keyboards, drums, percussion, vibes, horns, ukulele, banjo, mandolin, the always fun glockenspiel, and lots of singing. My friend Suzanne Luna (director for Ellen Degeneres show) wrote lyrics on 2 songs. My wife, kids, and some of the neighborhood kids spoke, sang, and shouted on a few tracks - and my son Kai sang lead on 4 songs (he's got a great voice!).
While the primary goal of these songs is entertainment of children and their parents, there are many little topics that can inspire educational discussions at home or in the classroom. Some topics covered include: Archaeology, Marsupials, Voting and Amendments, Spelling bees, the Lunar landing, the 4 food groups and healthy food, what it means to feel "ambivalent", and more. Samples of all the songs can be found at "Songs" on my website www.dannyweinkauf.com.
The next steps: (where funding will go) include mixing, mastering, artwork, pressing cds, digital and physical distribution, etc. (If somehow I manage to draw more funds than my stated goal, I will use that money to make videos for additional songs from the album and maybe even print a sing-along book for the song "Champion of the Spelling Bee" which could be great for teachers, parents, and KIDS!). And, as they say, "good things are not cheap and cheap things are not good". I've recruited my friends Jeff Thall (Bryan Ferry, John Cale, Nils Lofgren) and Tom Durack (B52s, Diana Ross, Chic,TMBG) to mix and master, and EG design is working on the cover and a video.
Funding: In exchange for your funding I will do my best to give value to any and all backing. Digital albums, CDs, Posters, and signed artwork will be available. In an effort to allow backers to have behind the scenes access, I will also be posting videos that I have made of the recording process and backers that pledge $50 or more will be able to access those exclusive videos. Additional personal incentives will be available as well. Personalized answer messages, Birthday greetings, or ringtones will be offered. If you play an instrument, choose a song and an instrument and I will send a 5 minute (or more) video lesson and teach you how to play that song on the instrument of your choice. The instruments below are also being offered. Also, if you are crazy, rich, and love to fund projects, the car I was driving when I got the inspiration for a couple of the songs is up for grabs!
Whether you opt for a "pre-buy" option for 10 bucks or go into full on patron of the arts mode, all your support is appreciated. Some of you may not have funds available (especially at this time of year) - but if you would forward the information for this site to your contacts who might be interested, that would be a great gift in itself.
THANK YOU for your support!
FAQ's - Someone has inquired about the photos for the Marsupial video - what type of photo is needed? Answer is : each pledge can submit…like maybe three per person (laughing, cheering, surprise/silly face clear and close-up is best.
Risks and challenges
Fortunately, my many years as a professional touring and recording musician have allowed me to work with many very creative and experienced people involved in all aspects of this constantly changing business. I am very confident that I will be able to access those contacts in the areas of production, distribution, radio, and digital media etc. I also am promising to cover any costs that may come up beyond the funds generated by Kickstarter. Anybody who is expecting an album, poster, or video will get one - my word and reputation on that. Also, in this word of mouth/web/new media world we are currently living in, I have not yet finalized whether to self release or go with one of the labels I've been talking with - for that reason I have estimated the delivery date as March 2014. I am expecting to release this record before that date and to ship and deliver rewards at least a week prior to the release date.
THANK YOU for your interest in my project! and Please Spread the Word!
- (60 days)