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The Polka Dots are back producing our second studio album, featuring entirely original songs — and we need your help to make it happen!
The Polka Dots are back producing our second studio album, featuring entirely original songs — and we need your help to make it happen!
46 backers pledged $2,775 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$2,775

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How It Used To Be is The Polka Dots' second full-length album — and this time, we've come back with entirely original, unique, never-before-heard music. It's been four years since our first attempt — Knee Deep — and if that experience taught us anything, it's that we needed your help to make it happen again! BUT GUESS WHAT--we just topped our original goal of $2000! WOOOO! (Don't worry, we have stretch goals. Good ones. See bottom.)

We want to get our fans and friends involved in the production process and give you guys a say in the final product — specifically, whether it happens or not. We want to give back some of the love we've received over these past years, through rewards: exclusive merch such as T-shirts, tanks, advance copies of the CD, poster art prints, exclusive bonus tracks (not on the physical album), and free giggage! (Who doesn't want that?)

Image by Doug Pettway
Image by Doug Pettway

Ultimately, the production of an album isn't just about recording: we spend sums on marketing, graphic and web design, mastering services, mixing, photography, CD production, shipping, and distribution. All of those costs put together are hard to shoulder on our own — so we want you guys (the people who've stood by us through it all) to help us deliver a product that we know you'll love. We'd say that you're the best, but you already know that.

For a taste of what our music is like (and for new contributors — hi guys!) check out this music video for a tune called Dark Eyes! Filmed by Hunter Shippey, a good friend of ours and a talented cinematographer who also produced the video for this Kickstarter, this clip gives a good look into our quirky style.

That isn't to say, of course, that we only do fast-paced Roma swing! Here's a quick listen to some tunage featured on the album you guys'll be funding: 

Nice, ain't it?

Told ya, we do all sorts of stuff. On the album, you can expect two instrumentals, as well as a bunch of fabulous harmonies (NO WAY) and above all else, every single one of these songs is completely original! No cover material, y'all. This is the real deal.

Image by Doug Pettway
Image by Doug Pettway

Ultimately, we need your help to make this happen--but we've made it worth your while! Our rewards packages have something for everyone — the newbie, the hardcore fan, the art-lover, the man who has everything! For example, we're bringing back "Lady Bass" (by graphic artist Jill Evans-Kavaldjian and featured on our first album, Knee Deep) as a shirt!

Of course, we couldn't just have her printed on a T-shirt. That would be too simple. So we're offering to personally modify each and every "Lady Bass" shirt ordered to your specs — tank-top, scoop neck, deep V, the works. We want to give you what you want. Here's what the image looks like!

The design will be printed on charcoal shirts (muted dark grey) and we will personally modify every single one of them to your specifications. GET PUMPED.

The point of all this is that we love you guys and we want you to be able to get all this cool stuff! We'll be posting updates here throughout the process with photos, lyrics, and other exclusive goodies. Stick around, and we can't wait to deliver the final product to you!

UPDATE:

As of August 5th, we reached our original goal of $2000!

The whole point of this Kickstarter was to raise the amount of money we absolutely needed to make this project go--but our initial estimate of $2000 was bare-bones and minimal. We wanted to make sure we could raise enough money and find the delicate balance between what we needed and what we thought we could raise. Now that our initial goal has been raised, we can start to think about the costs that we didn't factor into our original goal (on purpose). As you know, we're ten dollars over our goal here on Kickstarter--but we've also received a separate contribution from another source. This has lead us to believe that we should share the love, so to speak! We have two stretch goals already planned out, and here's how the money breaks down:

Stretch Goal 1: $2500

At this first level, we'll use funds to cover a couple of different things: firstly, another reward for you guys: if we reach this goal, every contributor will also receive either a bumper sticker or a magnet (not choice of--we need your help to decide which one you guys would like better). Depending on which we end up choosing, we expect to spend $100-200 there alone. The second chunk of cash will be used to pay our friends--those who offered to work for free or for a cut rate--the rate that they normally charge and totally deserve. It's important to us that these awesome people keep doing what they do best, and we want to guarantee it!

Stretch Goal 2: $3000

The second stretch level covers a bit more stuff (it's amazing what a $500 difference makes). In addition to providing all we pledged during the first stretch goal tier, we'll also be spending money to upgrade and maintain our current sound system--we have a broken speaker and several mic cords/stands/pieces that need to be replaced, so that our gigging atmosphere is as good as it possibly could be. The remainder of the money raised (if there is any) will go toward recording and mastering upgrades, and eco-friendly packaging for the album itself. Only the best for you guys!

So keep spreading the word guys! We want to make this project bigger and better than it already is! And thanks again!

Risks and challenges

Putting an album together is the product of a large group of people working together — as with any collaboration, there are certain risks involving timing. There is potential for any one of the interlocking pieces to take slightly longer to realize than originally intended — however, that does not mean that the album will not be delivered. Again, the unique risks don't relate to "if" so much as "when". We only ask that you be patient and understanding if this occurs.

There is also a minor risk that any products shipped rather than hand delivered could arrive damaged; we will ship responsibly and promptly to guarantee your product's safety; however, if damaged, return to us the item and we'll replace it (within reason).

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    THE MINIMALIST! Digital Copy of How It Used To Be plus Production Photo Set (three digital photos) and OUR ETERNAL THANKS!

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    THE CLASSIC! How It Used To Be CD! Plus our eternal love and adoration!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    FOR YOU CLASSY FOLKS! The Polka Dots: The Unreleased EP digital album (featuring three unreleased, exclusive bonus tracks), plus How It Used To Be CD and Thank You Note!

    **Bonus tracks feature explicit material; not suitable for children.**

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    ALL THE MERCH! The Polka Dots T-Shirt and Knee Deep CD, plus How It Used To Be CD, plus Thank You Note!

    **ONLY 10 T-shirts available in S, M, L, XL (crewneck cut only) we will post availability**

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    ALL THE NEW MERCH! A "Lady Bass" customized T-shirt (made by the Dots themselves), plus How It Used To Be CD, plus a signed production photo. **T-shirt may be customized as tank top, boat neck; comes in all sizes**

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    FOR YOU ARTSY-TYPES! Original, band-produced, signed show poster (choose one of three), plus How It Used To Be CD, PLUS your name on the album in the "Thank You" section!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE VIP! How It Used To Be CD, your name printed on the album as a "Roadie", plus The Polka Dots: The Unreleased EP digital album (featuring three unreleased, exclusive bonus tracks) **Explicit content**

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Your choice of any one Reward Package listed below this bracket, PLUS two songs of your choice played by the Dots and dedicated to you at the next gig you attend! Must give two weeks notice on song selection.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    FOR YOU MUSIC TYPES! The Polka Dots will travel to your house and play two 45 minute sets of original and quirky traditional music, bringing with us copies of the new album and T-shirts for the hosts! You will ALSO be listed as a "Stage Manager" on the album itself. If you don't want the party, no worries! We'll work with you to find a comparable reward.

    **Beyond 50 miles of Leesburg, Virginia, travel and lodging expenses are not included; please schedule your House Party before June 2014**

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    FOR ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS! The Polka Dots will travel to your house and play two 45 minute sets of original and quirky traditional music, as well as YOUR SELECTION of one of the previously listed rewards categories. You will be listed as an "Associate Producer" on the album as well! (Note: this designation does not entitle you to any rights or compensation from album sales.)

    **Beyond 50 miles of Leesburg, Virginia, travel and lodging expenses are not included; please schedule your House Party before June 2014**

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Funding period

- (30 days)