THE SHORT VERSION: I'm Storm DiCostanzo of "Paul and Storm", and this campaign funded a PowerGum album (power-pop-bubblegum), fronted by a comic-character band in the tradition of The Archies and Gorillaz.
From my work with Paul and Storm (and previously with a cappella band Da Vinci's Notebook), you may know that I love doing comedy music. I've also written/co-written music and comedy for other incredible projects, including MST3K on Netflix.
But I also craft music-music—not necessarily comedy—for kicks. I never thought of it as something to produce “for real” until around November 2016, when I started assembling it into this PowerGum music project to distract myself from the news, and experience some joy for a change!
The music is fun, hopeful and energetic, with catchy melodies and harmonies, and plenty of clever wordplay. Audio bacon for your ears and soul.
As my brain dictated the project, it told me that the voice of the music it's feeding me is from, you know, outer space. That's not my usual. And that it's a cartoon band, somewhere between the Archies and Gorillaz.
They're five seemingly ordinary people who've been transported by a mysterious force to a future dimension and become the SIDECAR ASTRONAUTS. They survive by traveling the galaxy and playing for anyone that will listen, and they have to learn to get along and make that happen. Adam Levermore is bringing them to visual life—this is his first concept image:
They're part of a much larger universe that spans the galaxy and across hundreds of thousands of years, and I'm going to tell as much of their story as i can.
ERNEST DAZZLES (Ernie Roper)
- Ernie's employment application to his family's business
SELPHIE VAYPES (Vince Delarosa)
SNOPES (Mortimer Snopes)
- Page from Snopes' PowerPoint presentation for moving from his apartment to the apartment across the hall.
Emily's business plan for expanding her operations (no takers yet, but she's only pitched it to 53 people so far):
I'm working with Christian Cassan (multi-instrumentalist producer of Jonathan Coulton's album Solid State, among many other things)—he's AMAZING—to help make the recordings world-class. I also have the help of musical pals, most especially Paul and Jonathan.
In addition to Christian's time and considerable talents, Backers funded involving other world-class musicians (including a real horn section), plus many hours of engineering, mixing, mastering, graphic design and layout, administrative help, and so many more whatnots. (Ohhhh those whatnots!)
Some of the funding is also earmarked to bringing the band and their story to life. In addition to album art and illustrated bits for fun and general promo, the project may expand to comic treatments, an episodic "radio play" chronicling the band's adventures to go along with the album, and/or animated music videos.
I've enlisted Ken Plume and Dan Edwards to explore making the videos happen, and have a team of professional writerfolk pals to advise on the characters and stories. This title card sequence animated by Dan will give you a small taste of how the characters look in motion:
Sidecar Astronauts is about pushing back against hopelessness, especially when things seem bleak. Thank you, Backers!
Risks and challenges
I've been writing, producing and recording albums for nearly three decades, but a top-quality PowerGum music album is new territory for me. Fortunately I have many friends who've done this sort of thing before who can help me keep it on track.
While I have experience producing projects involving artwork, and have managed extraordinarily complicated projects generally (including some animation), I have never produced a comic book or cartoons of the sort I have in mind. But if funding brings those things into play, I have pals with more extensive experience, and will consult with them to make The Most Awesome Things Possible.
It's also not my only project! Paul and Storm always has something cooking (including completing the cover song collaborations for the Ball Pit campaign); I'm one of the principal organizers of the JoCo Cruise; and will hopefully once again be writing for Mystery Science Theater 3000. But it's a normal part of my life to have a half dozen or more major projects going at once, and I factored them all in before committing to make Sidecar Astronauts happen.
There's also always a chance that The Most Amazing But Time-Consuming Opportunity in the World will come along, requiring me to clear my calendar (e.g. being cast as the new James Bond, or being asked to go on tour with Paul McCartney to play shaker-egg). I don't foresee this sort of thing happening, but in showbiz there are always possibilities! In that sort of scenario, I'd be able to hire someone awesome to manage the most time-intensive parts of this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (25 days)