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I'm a singer-songwriter living in Oakland, CA and I hope you'll consider supporting my band and I to embark on our first ever West Coast tour!
64 backers pledged $6,025 to help bring this project to life.

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$6,025

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My name is Alice Tong and I am a singer-songwriter living in Oakland, CA. This kickstarter page is dedicated to gaining support for my band and I to embark on a 1 week West Coast tour for my new album entitled, "Please Be Brave Before the Lions They Come." We hope to begin the tour after the CD release party happening on May 29, 2010 at Hotel Utah in SF, CA. Here is a bit more about me and the new album via a recent press release:

BAY AREA SINGER SONGWRITER ALICE TONG MERGES ETHNOMUSICOLOGY AND SOCIAL WORK INTO SOULFUL NEW INDIE FOLK ROCK ALBUM

Hotel Utah, 5/29/2010, CD Release Party — As a social worker, Alice Tong has provided therapy to survivors of domestic violence, rape, shootings, and stabbings. This intense direct service work has deeply informed her development as a musician, and can be heard both in the depth of her lyrics and the sincerity of her performances. Receiving her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University, and her Bachelors of Arts in Ethnomusicology (World Music) from UCLA, Alice has used her strengths in both disciplines to co-produce an all-original indie folk rock album with Los Angeles producer/engineer Glenn Suravech. Mr. Suravech has worked with artists such as Ben Harper, Bob Dylan, and Brett Dennen. On this new album, Alice performs as a singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist on each song, and is backed by a host of extremely talented LA and Bay Area musicians. Entitled "Please Be Brave Before the Lions They Come," the new album is set to be released Sat. May 29, 9pm at San Francisco’s premiere singer-songwriter venue, Hotel Utah. ###
(you can read the rest of the release under the "Bio" section of this page)

So how much does going on tour with a band for 1 week really cost? Let's break it down together- (see the detailed math word problems at the end). There are 7 band members including me:
Alice Tong- vocals, keyboard, guitar, harmonica, ukelele
Miles Senzaki- drums and percussion
Patrick Taylor- acoustic and electric bass
Nate LaPointe- electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, pedal steel (what a deal!)
Claire Courchene- cello and trombone
Albert Chiang- vocals and acoustic guitar
Mei-Ling Murray- backup vocals and tour manager

Basics: As human beings, we need food and shelter for a week to survive ;) which ends up being around $3,270.00.

Travel: As traveling musicians for a 1 week tour, we need gas and a large vehicle to get us to venues, which equals $1,317.49.

Musician Salaries: My bandmates deserve to be compensated for their time and the days that they will need to take off of work in their hometowns. If you read any of their bios online, you will see that they are extremely talented and hard-working folks who have spent their lives studying and playing music so that they could be professionals in this industry. I already feel bad about not having enough to pay them what I really think they deserve, but hope to one day be able to. For now, I hope to make some money to pay them from our shows, be able to cover their food and shelter costs, and pay them at least $175 each for that week. For all 6 of them, that would be $1050.

That puts us at $5,637.49 TOTAL.
Taking into account possible rate changes (hotel rates for different cities, gas rates changing) and disasters (van breaks down! we get lost driving! someone needs medical treatment(?)! our musical equipment breaks down! etc...unfortunately the list could go on), we can round our total to:
= $6,000 GRAND TOTAL!

Dang- touring sure ain't cheap! SO, please take a look at the special rewards on the right that you will receive if you are able to give even $10, $25, or $500+! I entitled this tour "It Takes A Village" because I really can't do this by myself, and I've realized the importance in reaching out and creating community with family, friends, and fans as I take this risk into the world of being a performing musician. I hope you will consider becoming a part of my "village," and join me on this journey as a community. The band and I will be sure to update with you with important developments as we go, and we appreciate every single donation that is made. In gratitude.. For more info check out: www.alicetongmusic.com and become a facebook fan at: www.facebook.com/alicetongmusic.

Official sponsors:
Hyphen Magazine
www.hyphenmagazine.com

Channel APA
www.channelapa.com

Taiwaneseamerican.org
www.taiwaneseamerican.org

Blacklava
www.blacklava.com

Tuesday Night Project
www.tuesdaynightproject.org

Rama
www.gostudiorama.com

In fundraising partnership with:
Paws for Purple Hearts
http://www.berginu.org/academics/PPH.html
http://cbs5.com/pets/veterans.canine.therapy.2.862203.html

...................................................................................................................................................
Can't believe my middle school math word problem skills came into good use after all! Here are the nerdy calculations:
-FOOD: 3 meals/day at around $10/meal= $30/day (x7 people)= $210/day (x 7 days)
= $1470 TOTAL for food
-SHELTER: Average motel/hotel rates in CA are around $100/night and if we squeeze 2-3 people in each room we would need 3 rooms/night= $300/night (x 6 nights of touring)
= $1800 TOTAL for shelter
-VEHICLE: 1 rented van that fits all 7 of us AND our musical instruments and equipment for 1 week
= $855.49 TOTAL for vehicle
-GAS: Big vans with a lot of people and heavy equipment require more gas :(. A large van averages about 12 mpg (miles per gallon) and given our full load, we can estimate we'll average more like 10 mpg. California itself is 770 miles long, and if we are going to tour and get back home (not to mention driving to and from restaurants, gas stations, motels, etc), we'll have to double that number to 1,540 miles, giving us an equation that looks like: 1,540 miles/ (divided by) 10mpg = 154 gallons of gas needed (x $3/gallon for gas prices these days)
= $462 TOTAL for gas
-SALARIES: If you think about a minimum wage job paying about $10/hr, and working for 8 hours/day, that would equal $80/day (x7 days)= $560/week (maybe a little less after taxes). Since food and living expenses would be covered, and I hope to make some money off of our shows to pay them with, we're averaging about $175/musician for what we can afford right now. For all 6 of them, that would be
= $1050 TOTAL for salaries

If you can help put us past our $6000 goal, the money could go toward the musicians being more accurately compensated!

*"Please Be Brave Before the Lions They Come" artwork courtesy of Jeanna Sohn and Taylor de Cordoba, LA, CA: http://jeanasohn.blogspot.com
**Alice Tong photography by Anna Wu: www.annawu.com

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You have just fed 1 musician a meal!
    You'll receive a free mp3 from from the new album "Please Be Brave Before the Lions They Come" before anyone else does, along with a personal thank you email from Alice!

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You have just fed 2 musicians and/or helped us fill our gas tank!
    You'll receive the rewards above as well as an Exclusive First Listen to the entire album streaming online (yes! just like NPR Music does it) before anyone else does, by receiving a personal password to access the pre-release page at www.alicetongmusic.com. You'll also receive the full mp3 version of Alice's first jazz and folk album, "Small."

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You have just made at least 5 musicians stomachs stop growling and/or provided a bed for us to sleep in!
    You'll receive the rewards above as well as the full mp3 version of the new album "Please Be Brave Before the Lions They Come" !

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You have just contributed to allowing a musician to have a complete night of rest and/or for us all to enjoy a meal together!
    You will receive the rewards above and an autographed, physical version of the new album complete with beautiful artwork by Jeana Sohn, liner notes, and a personal hand-written thank you card from Alice.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Yes, you have kept our stamina up with a couple of great meals and helped us drive to a West Coast city with our van and equipment intact!
    You'll receive the rewards above as well as a "Please Be Brave Before the Lions They Come" tour poster and a ticket to the CD Release party at Hotel Utah on May 29th in SF!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    You have seriously made us all really happy by getting us past our basic survival needs and now we can have fun playing music without worrying about fainting from no food or sleep, and not having our van break down on the road!
    You'll receive the above rewards plus a tastefully designed t-shirt inspired by the amazing artwork of Jeana Sohn as seen on the "Please Be Brave Before the Lions They Come" album (our t-shirts will be made under environmentally-friendly practices, using solar power, recycling fabric scraps and utilizing organic cotton).

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Funding period

- (41 days)