Scott Miller was a once-in-a-generation musician who took an established genre of music, examined it with the eye of a scientist, tore it down into its base components then reassembled them in startling new ways. He didn't let convention, expectations or even commercial success, get in the way of experimentation and making great music.
Scott became a professional musician and recording artist at the age of 17 when he formed his first band, Alternate Learning. It was immediately obvious that his new wave influenced power pop was refreshing and unique. The band recorded two albums together, then Scott set out to form the more sophisticated and ambitious musical project which would gain cult status under the name, Game Theory.
In the '80s Scott recorded eight studio albums with Game Theory, weaving an intricate, highly detailed tapestry of guitar and synth-driven power pop heavily laced with heady lyrics full of scholarly references to literature, art, history, and philosophy. Though influenced by other power pop artists like Alex Chilton (Big Star) and Todd Rundgren, Game Theory's sound was unique and extremely innovative, and they rapidly became a favorite of college radio stations.
In the '90s Scott assembled a third band, The Loud Family. While the new sound leaned more towards straight up alt. rock, the material they produced was still classic Miller, with unusual time signatures, rapid-fire chord changes, and a masterful use of language and esoteric ideas. The Loud Family recorded six albums, an EP and a live album, expanding Scott's fan base and solidifying his reputation as a brain-rock wunderkind.
At the time of his tragic death in 2013, Scott was working on a brand new album under the Game Theory moniker, to be called Supercalifragile. This unfinished album might have been lost for all time if not for the efforts of Scott's wife Kristine, who has enlisted veteran musician Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.) to produce the album.
Songs include :
- No Love performed by Scott and Aimee Mann
- Time Warner by Scott and members of Game Theory
- All You Need Is White by Scott and Stéphane Schück
- I Still Dream of Getting Back to Paris featuring Anton Barbeau
- And many more!
Several new recording sessions have already taken place, including one at historic Abbey Road studios in London, made famous by The Beatles. More sessions at local studios are planned in the near future.
Music industry legend Mitch Easter has agreed to handle the final mixing, to make certain that Supercalifragile will carry that classic, distinctive Game Theory sound.
1. Who was Scott Miller?
While it seems unlikely that you would have found your way to this campaign without knowing Scott or his music, I suppose it's possible. You can find his entry in Wikipedia here , or for a more in-depth look at Scott and his legacy, we recommend Brett Milano's excellent biography, "Don't All Thank Me At Once: The Lost Pop Genius of Scott Miller."
2. What will the money be used for?
Making a record is an expensive undertaking. Even though most of the musicians involved are donating their time and talent, there are still a lot of unavoidable expenditures like studio time, mastering, travel and lodging. Then comes the really expensive part: the pressing of vinyl records and CDs, as well as packaging and shipping for both. Our goal amount is set at just what is needed to finish the record and put it in your hands. If we go over that amount, we can start paying back those who have already fronted the money for getting the album this far.
3. How far along is the album?
Scott had recorded many vocal and guitar tracks, and left a large collection of sound notes which Kristine and Ken have studied carefully. The rest of the band has been busy adding instrumental and vocal tracks for almost a year. Only a couple of recording sessions remain, and they are scheduled in the next couple of months.
4. When will it be finished?
With your help, we should be releasing it early next year.
5. Who is playing and singing on it?
Kristine and Ken have brought together a great lineup of familiar musicians to finish Supercalifragile including Game Theory alums like Jozef Becker, Nan Becker, Dave Gill, Michael Quercio, Gil Ray, Donnette Thayer, and Suzi Ziegler, as well as other notable guest artists such as Jon Auer (The Posies, Big Star), Anton Barbeau, Peter Buck (R.E.M.), Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices, Nada Surf), Nina Gordon (Veruca Salt), Scott Kannberg (Spiral Stairs), Ted Leo (The Both), Aimee Mann, Stéphane Schück, Will Sheff (Okkervil River), Bradley Skaught (The Bye Bye Blackbirds), and Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star, R.E.M.)
6. What does "Supercalifragile" mean?
True to Scott's love of playing with language, the album title combines the playful nonsense word from "Mary Poppins" with the vulnerability of life's uncertainty, fusing hugely dissimilar feelings in the way Scott did best.
7. Is there anything I can do to help make this album?
There is! In addition to pledging generously, you can spread the word! Link to this page on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform you participate in. Know someone with a blog or a podcast? Tell them about Supercalifragile! Have an in with a local culture publication? Send them here! Or just tell all your friends who enjoy good music about this campaign. The more people we can bring on board, the better!
Special thanks to Robert Toren and Kristine Chambers-Miller for the generous use of their amazing photography for our video
Narration by Keoni Chavez
Abbey Road footage courtesy of Stéphane Schück and Hector di Napoli
Mitch Easter photo courtesy of John Vettese/WXPN
Erica's Word video by Jan Novello
Loud Family Live video by Danny Plotnick
Rewards photography by Justin Winokur Photography
Kickstarter video and Supercalifragile cover art by B.J. West
Risks and challenges
The only real risk this campaign faces is if we can't drum up enough support. All of the people involved in making this album happen are seasoned industry professionals, with numerous albums produced and taken to market. All of our manufacturing vendors have been secured, studio time is booked, our capable shipping department is standing by, having completed successful Kickstarter campaigns in the past. The only thing missing is *you!*Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)