About this project
My name is Franklin Bruno, and I have a band called the Human Hearts. I've been writing songs and recording them for independent labels (Shrimper, Scat, Simple Machines, Absolutely Kosher) since 1990, as one-third of Nothing Painted Blue, under my own name, and in collaboration with friends. All told, I've released 18 full-length albums in various formats. And now, my associates and I have made another - which is called Another. It was recorded at Brooklyn's Seaside Lounge (New Pornographers, St. Vincent, Kelly Hogan); the core band is me (on guitars, piano, organ, and other keyboards) and drummer/percussionist Matt Houser, with Peter Hughes and Dmitry Ishenko on electric and acoustic bass, respectively. Laura Cantrell, my neighbor in Jackson Heights, Queens, duets with me on one song; NYC cabaret star Molly Pope belts another one; and my long-time friend Jenny Toomey sings harmony on a couple more. Various talented guests contribute horns (John Wriggle and the Ex-Camino Horns), accordion (Ted Reichman), pedal steel (Greg McMullen), and guitar parts beyond my abilities (Pete Galub). There are also a few seconds of vocoder, and this weird heartbeat simulator intended for use in medical offices:
I'm proud of the songs I've written this time, and the way the recordings have turned out -- I love lo-fi, but this isn't it. Another is the first all-new album of my own I've completed since moving to New York in 2007, and, honestly, I don't think you'll be disappointed if you've enjoyed my other records, or know my songs through other performers. (That, in case you missed it, was the hard sell.)
The album will be available, in September or October, as a CD and download from Shrimper Records, the venerable California label (Sentridoh, Dump, Woods) that released my first solo cassettes. I would also like it to exist on vinyl, so our insect overlords can enjoy it in our inevitable post-apocalyptic future, when laptops have been replaced by hand-(or-claw)-cranked gramophones. However, neither the label nor I are in a position to put up all the cash for mastering, manufacturing, and packaging a vinyl pressing. I realize that debt-financing has made capitalism the long-term formula for growth and prosperity that it is, but it's more my speed to ask a few dozen (or a couple hundred) interested individuals to pledge some money now to receive the record when it's ready: hence this Kickstarter project. (I also think it's going to be fun.)
While I think most visitors here will know this already, it's worth mentioning that the funding level of $4000 has to be met within the duration of the project: If I raise $2800 or even $3999, I get nothing, and everyone who did pledge gets their money back - but they also don't get any records. That would an unfortunate state of affairs, don't you think?
Since I don't plan to press a huge number of extra copies of the vinyl edition, the unit cost is fairly high, but I'm going to do this limited edition right: It's already been mastered (separately for vinyl and CD) by the wonderful Jen Munson at Taloowa Studios in Yonkers, I'll be doing the highest-quality double-10" pressing funds will allow, and the covers will be designed by renowned graphic novelist David Heatley (My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down) and printed by Dan Selzer of the marvelous reissue label Acute Records. Of course, the vinyl edition will come with a download (or perhaps a fully-mastered but minimally packaged CD), just in case the bug-men are late in arriving. Funding over what's necessary to execute the project will go towards recording the next Human Hearts album (New Metropolitan Forms), which is already written.
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
I've tried to offer a range of rewards at various funding levels, including: downloads and CDs for those who want to hear the album but don't care about vinyl; the recent Human Hearts 7" (w/ download) "Art Books"; a bonus digital-only EP ("Flag Pin" + 3, currently being recorded) to be released on the heels of the album; my two published books (one poetry, one music criticism): and the remaining copies of some early, scarce releases. I'm also offering house(guest) concerts and - this is a crazy experiment that will strike some as presumptuous - one-on-one songwriting tutorials, in person (if geography permits) or by Skype: you'll play or send me two or three of your songs, and we'll spend about 90 minutes talking about them. There are more details in the list at right; if you want a combination of items that you don't see, contact me and we'll work out a fair funding amount. All funders, from $1 up, will receive an mp3 of an exclusive non-album song, and all physical mailings will include an extra freebie (which you'll choose) - either Set of Pipes, a seven-song 3" CD-EP on the Dark Beloved Cloud label, or one of several out-of-print 7" singles.
All funding levels are postpaid for U.S./Canada; we will work out shipping to U.K./Europe/elsewhere case-by-case, given the range of items and shipping policies (and the fact that I'm not sure what the vinyl package will weigh yet).
Since I think you all deserve something more than a pitch for taking a look at this, I've included a live-in-the-studio solo performance of another new song in the intro video at the top of this page: it's not on the album, and I don't really know whether I'll record it again. I know that there are many, many other things you (or I) could be paying attention to right now, so whether or not you decide that you want to fund this project, I want to thank you for your time, and for reading, watching, and listening.
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- (31 days)