Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 15, 2012.

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Support Sam's first full-length album in 3 years - an album called Places that echoes every emotion you've ever had in your life - ever

Hello! Thanks so much for taking the time to check out my kickstarter campaign.

My name is Sam Billen and I live in Kansas (not on a farm, not in a field, but in a very awesome college-town called Lawrence). I've been writing and recording music for about 12 years and while I've had some great experiences releasing albums with record labels, I've decided to release my next album, Places, on my own.

Here's a song from the album called Saltine:

Self-releasing an album is a huge task to take on and it requires a lot of support from fans, friends, family, and, yes - thanks to kickstarter - friendly strangers.

I'm aiming to reach $5000 in one month. That may seem like a big number, but it's the minimum funding amount I need to take this album PLACES (get the pun on the album name?). Seriously though, I have some great things lined up for this album and I need all the help I can get to accomplish those goals.

What are those great things I have lined up, you may ask?

Well, have you ever eaten a kid's meal out of a box shaped like an old car? If so, you've touched my dad's work - he invented this thing! And he's going to be custom engineering a CD case for the album.

My brother Dan Billen, will be doing the design and artwork for the album case. Shoot, he's the best collage artist I've ever seen. Check out his award-winning collage called 'Paper Dali'.

Peerless Mastering will be adding the finishing touches to the album. They've mastered albums by Bon Iver, The Magnetic Fields, Spoon, etc. Need I say more?

Some of the songs on the album have been evolving for over a decade (i.e. 'It is Not a Lie' is a song I wrote a year after my mom died in 2000) and some of the songs are brand new. One thing that all of the songs have in common though is that they represent a huge part of my life - a thread running through every experience I have. I hope I can share that with you through your support of this project.

The rewards you see listed on the right-hand side are aimed at getting EVERY supporter something. If you take the time to read this or take the initiative to drop at least a dollar in support of my project, I want you to walk away with a piece of it.

If you're interested in hearing more of my music, feel free to stroll over to my bandcamp page and start downloading - it's almost all free!

Thank you again SO MUCH for taking the time to read this. Your time and support is worth so much to me.

Sam

FAQ

  • Great question! Here is the breakdown of where the money will be going:

    $1500 for 1000 cases (those special cases that my dad and brother are designing)
    $500 to press CDs
    $1000 for mastering
    $250 for art and design (got a family discount on this one)
    $750 for rewards and shipping
    $500 for amazon and kickstarter fees
    $500 for promotion

    There are major labels out there that would spend 100 times this amount on their releases - and there are independent labels out there that would spend 10 times less than this on a release. With a realistic calculation of what I want to do with this album, the above numbers show exactly what I'm hoping to raise the $5000 for.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    7 backers

    INSTANT DEMO: Immediate download of 2 demos from the album

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    10 backers

    EBONY & IVORY: Download 6 solo piano versions of songs from the album + everything listed above

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    41 backers

    DOWNLOADER'S PARADISE: Advance download of the full album a week before it’s released + everything listed above

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    87 backers

    SOMETHING YOU CAN FEEL: A physical copy (CD) of the album (original case artwork by Dan Billen, structural design by Bill Billen) mailed to you anywhere in the world + everything listed above

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    24 backers

    WEAR IT OUT: Album-themed t-shirt + everything listed above

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    7 backers

    POST IT UP: An autographed album poster + everything listed above

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    4 backers

    SAM'S WORLD: Download all of Sam’s previous work (released and unreleased – more than 60 songs and about 5 full albums) + a download of Sam’s brother Dan Billen’s new album, 'Not Alone' (produced by Sam) + everything listed above

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    PRIVATE DANCER: An exclusive video link to a video of Sam playing an acoustic version of a song from the album (ONLY available to kickstarter backers at this level and above) + an album poster + everything listed above

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    1 backer

    MIX IT UP: A mix CD of 10 songs that heavily influenced this album (I promise - this is some of the best stuff you've never heard before) + everything listed above

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    2 backers

    PEN PAL: I'll send you a hand-written postcard from Japan this July (family trip to Japan to visit my wife's family - shoot, I might include a family picture!) + everything listed above

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    0 backers

    REACH OUT AND TOUCH SOMEONE: Let’s talk! A 30-minute phone/skype conversation about anything you want to discuss (recording, mixing, producing, the future of the music industry, my family, anything) + everything listed above

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    GALLERY CLASSIC: A print of the concept artwork used for the album, hand-signed by the artist, Dan Billen + everything listed above

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    2 backers

    I'LL SING FOR YOU: A song of your choice recorded by Sam (one of your own, or a favorite cover, or one of Sam’s originals) + everything listed above

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    YOU-PRODUCE-SAM: Be listed as an executive producer on the album + everything listed above

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    SAM-PRODUCES-YOU: Sam will produce your EP or full-length album (details will be discussed upon agreement) + everything listed above

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    SAM PERFORMS - AT YOUR HOUSE!: A personal concert for you and your friends. Sam will travel within the 48 contiguous states to perform in your living room and hand-deliver all rewards listed above (international travel will incur extra expenses)

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Funding period

- (30 days)