To make a great pop record with a playful spirit, in the tradition of the Beatles, the Supremes, and Sam Cooke. That means good songs with a sense of humor, soulfully played, packed with hooks, and bursting with aural pleasure.
*Update 11/4: We've hit the first two stretch goals! I've just added the "Magic Pack" reward. This reward and all others above $222 will include this limited-edition David Hale LUNA MOTH print (the same design I have tattooed on my right arm):
I've got a menagerie of original songs on hand, and here's what they're saying:
Live joyfully, live playfully, live honestly. Pleasure is good for you. Sex is fun. Shame is a waste of time. Women are powerful superheroes. Respect yourself. Fuck the haters. Loneliness hurts but we need it. Love hurts but it is also the point of living. Feel love (and pleasure, and everything) often, and with relish.
Here are two of the songs that will be featured on the album. These are demos, and have not yet blossomed into the fullness of their pop glory, but I think they give a hint of the possibilities!
If you'd like to hear the rest of these demos, plus the other songs we're taking into the studio, become a backer!
I'm asking for $22,000. What I actually need to complete the record is $29,500. Whatever I don't make here, I will borrow (or steal, or beg for). To realize my ultimate vision for the record, which includes extra studio time and more musicians, I need about $36,000. To hire a publicity team who will see that the album gets heard far and wide, I need about $50,000.
My ultimate stretch goal is $69,000. If I were to reach that (incredible, beautiful, astronomical) number, I could make music videos for three of the singles from the album, hire the best (and fanciest) publicist in the business, and order additional CDs and vinyl. And, of course, sexy numbers are good luck.
For more info on the budget, scroll down.
Who do you think you are?
I'm a singer/songwriter living in New Orleans (by way of Philadelphia PA, Eugene OR, and Luray VA). I've been making records for ten years, writing and performing for fifteen, and singing my whole life. I've been interviewed on NPR and toured as an opener for Paul Simon, The Weepies, The Wood Brothers and many more. My last Kickstarter made over $60K, and resulted in a damn fine record, too.
- New to my music? Catch up at www.carsieblanton.com!
- Think crowdfunding is the bomb? I agree. Visit my Patreon page!
Well... I love pop. I love the attitude of pop: playful, joyful, unabashed, hedonistic. I love the sound of pop: melodic, lush, groove-laden, hook-driven. And I love so many of the artists who have been called "pop" over the last century: Nat King Cole, Paul Simon, Carole King, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, right up to Beyonce and Bruno Mars.
I also love that pop is not really a genre. It spans all genres, but has no allegiance to any. The Beatles, for example, were only a rock band until about "Rubber Soul". Then, they were something else; something which included baroque horn concertos, Hindustani classical music, and English children's folk songs. As a musician with an equally feverish love of Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Queen, and Prince, this approach strikes me as the ultimate expression of musical freedom, creativity, and playfulness.
But, in case you think "pop" is a dirty word, let me remind you that all of the aforementioned artists, PLUS Bob Dylan, had multiple hit songs. In other words: historically speaking, a lot of pop songs have been smart, soulful, well-crafted, and honest. I plan to make a few more of those.
"We must risk delight. We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of this world." - Jack Gilbert
I subscribe to the radical notion that pleasure is good for you (and for me, and for all of us). Pleasure is a source of joy, inspiration, connection and aliveness. It relaxes us, invigorates us, and re-connects us to ourselves and each other. I'm not talking about the shallow pleasure of Oreos and reality TV (not to knock either), but the deep-soul-pleasure of making love, night-time swimming, vigorous cuddling, and good, sweet, true music.
For me, music is the ultimate hedonistic pursuit: I make it, and listen to it, and love it, just cus it feels so dang good. This is the attitude I'll be bringing into the studio; become a backer if you want to hear what I bring back out.
Besides the songs, I've got two weeks of scheduled studio time (in January), and a plan to attack this project with moxie and playfulness. But better yet, I've got a group of disgustingly talented musicians who are ready and willing to make this crazy thing happen.
Our merry band of pranksters includes: Pete Donnelly, founding member of The Figgs and producer of my 2009 record 'Buoy' (as well as many other excellent records); Joe Plowman, bassist extraordinaire, friend and collaborator since 2009; Pat Firth, NYC pianist and jazz/pop/R&B aficionado; and Jano Rix, world-class drummer/percussionist/vocalist/melodica player/salsa dancer.
These guys are talented. But not only that; they are silly. And smart. And committed. They know that the point is to feel good, and play with feeling. And between them, they can draw on a massive sea of musical references.
I am confident that with this crew, a lot of playfulness, and a little good luck, I can make anything I can imagine.
Here is a more detailed breakdown of costs for my original ($29,500) goal.
"Recording Costs" include:
- Paying the producer and the musicians who play on the record.
- Studio time, lodging, and food during the recording sessions.
"Design and Manufacturing" includes:
- Printing CDs and pressing vinyl records.
- Paying for cover art design.
"Kickstarter Costs" include:
- Kickstarter takes a 5% fee from the funds collected.
- Amazon payments takes another 3% for credit card processing.
- My estimated expenses for Kickstarter rewards not included in other parts of the budget.
Thank you, in advance, for every penny you're willing to part with. I am grateful every day for the people that make it possible for me to sit in my little pink studio (The Watermelon, pictured below) and write songs; or to hunker down with my favorite musicians and turn those songs into a record.
I feel blessed and honored, 100% of the time, to make music. (Yes, even when I am cranky.) I love this work, and I love you for making it possible. I don't take this opportunity lightly (though I do, of course, take it playfully).
I love you madly!
Risks and challenges
I'll be the first to admit: good pop is hard to make. If it wasn't hard, there would be a lot more of it. It's hard to write a song that is true and good and bursting with hook and melody; but I believe I have a few up my sleeve. It's hard to create a delectable aural confection like "All You Need Is Love" or "You Send Me" or "Where Did Our Love Go?", but goldang it, I'm willing to try.
Other than that, my struggle (as always) is trying to operate respectably here in the material world. I will do my best to deliver all the rewards on time, and I will hire a helper or two to make that more likely. But, in case I'm late, I hope you'll follow Mary Oliver's advice about holding meetings with creative people: "If I have a meeting with you at three o'clock, rejoice if I am late." It means that the spirit of pop has possessed me, and she's not done with me yet.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)