Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 14, 2011.


Dare Dukes is nearly done recording his long-awaited second record. Now he needs to get it out of the studio and into your ears.

Patient Music Nerds,

We are nearing the end.

My hardworking band mates, clever and capable engineer (Suny Lyons), and I are almost gosh-darn done with that record I keep telling you about.  There were some tricky moments along the way, it is true. Songs are like rabbits—some of them get away from you, some of them die in your grasp. But the handful that survived are lovely creatures, worthy of your attention.


The musicians who have clustered around this thing have been pretty amazing: in addition to my ever-evolving band, the Blackstock Collection (Georgia edition: Chris VanBrackle, Blake Helton, Anna Chandler, Daniel Beauregard, Susan Falls, Robin Sherman), musicians appearing on the record include members of the Modern Skirts, Of Montreal, Hope for Agoldensummer, and TV on the Radio.  Marla Hansen, who has toured and recorded with Sufjan Stevens, the National, My Brightest Diamond, DM Stith and many others, lends her beautiful voice and viola to a handful of songs. Plus American Gothic teller of tales and singer-songwriter Jim White produced one of the songs, “Simon Says.”  Not only did he produce it, he downright saved it from the trash vortex.


Here's some other stuff we know: 1) It's going to be called Thugs and China Dolls.  2. Unlike my first record, there's hardly any electric instruments on the whole thing (save for an electric bass or two). 3. Suny intentionally smashed a piano trying to make one of my songs sound better.  4. There's a song about a true-life man who every day turns his will over to the care of a parrot he keeps in a cage on his back. 5. Without realizing what was happening at the time, I wrote and recorded yet more songs about public transportation.  6. We're aiming, with a bit of luck, for a fall 2011 release. 7. We need your help pushing us over the finish line!


My goal is to raise $5,000—truth be told, a very dinky portion of the actual cost of making this record from start to finish.  $5,000 will go a long way to help us complete the mixing and mastering, and launch the release and promotion of our new record.  It won't cover it all, but it'll help a whole bunch.


We're asking you to consider doing the following:

1. Purchase advance copies of the music. You can buy a digital download or a CD. 

2. Tell your friends and family.  After making your own purchase, consider telling a friend or four about our music and this campaign.  Tweet it.  Facebook it.  Sky write it.  Get ten friend to bid $100 a piece and book me for a solo house concert in your living room!

3. Go beyond nifty to super nifty.  If you're so inclined, there's also a bunch of other nifty stuff, like a CD of all the tracks in sloppy demo form, a limited-edition screen-printed poster of my show at the 2011 Stopover Festival, and a pair of Jim White's sharp white loafers, which he wore while performing at a house concert in my living room.  Anything you purchase will go a long way to helping this DIY CD get out the door and into the homes of music lovers around the universe. 


And know that we appreciate your business and your faith in our efforts. We think you're going to like this record a lot.  Really, it's good.  Thanks for all the love and goodness you send our way.

Dare Dukes


Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    4 backers

    The LIGHT and FLUFFY. This slight gesture of affection gives you full access to my super secret and exclusive project update page, which will have photos and inexpertly executed video updates.

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    5 backers

    The LINCOLN. All of the above, plus your name and link on my website

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    4 backers

    The APPETEASER. All of the above, plus I'll email you an exclusive track on the day I receive my fresh and chewy master.

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    7 backers

    The DIGITAL DAN. A digital download of Thugs and China Dolls roughly 1-2 weeks before the official release.

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    33 backers

    The PLAIN JANE: The brand new and sparkly CD, Thugs and China Dolls, complete with original album art by me, signed and sent as soon as is humanly possible after the official release. Pure goodness, Thugs and China Dolls style, nothing more, nothing less.

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    25 backers

    The STYLIN' JANE: The new CD, Thugs and China Dolls, plus the Thugs and China Dolls t-shirt, mailed to you as soon as is humanly possibly after the official release. Note: t-shirt sizes will definitely be men's sizes, with a possible option of women's sizes if the demand is there.

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    9 backers

    The PLAIN JANE and JACK: 2 CDs--Thugs and China Dolls (the new CD) and Prettiest Transmitter of All (my first CD), sent as soon as is humanly possible after the official release of Thugs and China Dolls.

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    3 backers

    The MAIN COURSE: The APPETEASER, DIGITAL DAN, and PLAIN JANE combined. That is: 1. exclusive downloadable track upon completion of master, 2. full album download 1-2 weeks before official release, 3. a Thugs and China Dolls CD (complete with album art and uncompressed audio files) sent as soon as is humanly possible after the official release.

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    9 backers

    The PEACOCK: The MAIN COURSE package plus a big "thank you" in the liner notes.

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    6 backers

    The SECOND HELPING: Everything in the PEACOCK package, plus a signed CD of my first record, Prettiest Transmitter of All.

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    0 backers

    The MR. SKETCHY: Everything in the PEACOCK package, plus a DIY CD-R, with inexpertly rendered cover "art" by me, of sketch demos of the songs on the Thugs and China Dolls. "Sketch demo" is my term for recordings I do of new songs to make sure I don't forget them. They're bad. I sing off pitch and flub the notes. Which might make them interesting from an ethnographic standpoint.

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    2 backers Limited (7 left of 9)

    The RICH and CREAMY. A delicious, extraordinarily limited edition (100 were printed) screen-printed poster (see a link to an image of the poster to the left) for my show at the inaugural (2011) Savannah Stopover Festival. The design, by the amazing and talented Ben Gephardt, won top honors in the Stopover Festival poster design contest. I'd be happy to sign it, if that twists your nut. Note: this gets you the poster and the poster alone! Also note: these posters are truly one-of-a kind limited editions. All are lovingly made with care and skill by Savannah's own Dilated Spectrum press. As these things go, there are little smudges and anomalies that make each poster truly unique. $100 is a steal!

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    1 backer

    The KITCHEN SINK. Everything in the Mr. SKETCHY, plus a Thugs and China Dolls t-shirt, plus your choice of one of the following: 1. a "Prettiest Transmitter of All" CD, signed; or a "Prettiest Transmitter of All" t-shirt (see an image of it in the shop on my website). Sizes: men's small, medium, large, X-large.

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    The MR. WHITE. Jim White's loafers. What color? White, of course. This is an honest-to-goodness pair of white moccasin-style soft loafers, worn by Jim White when he played a house concert in my living room in 2010. He;d bought them at a flea market a few days before for, I think, $1. Mens size 11. But who cares about size, since you're not going wear these--you're going to frame these and hang them on the wall. See an image of the loafers by following the link in the ABOUT THIS PROJECT section, above and to the left. They're also featured in the video. (This is for the loafers and the loafers only.)

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    The SHOO BE DOO. Be my backup singer on the record! One of the tracks, "Crooked Mouth," has a crowd of people singing "ya ya ya ya ya." at the end of the song. Join the crowd! You'll get full credit as a singer on the record. And, if you're not in Savannah, you'll have to figure out a way to record your vocals and email me the track (easier than you might think).

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    1 backer

    The CHATTY KATHY. The PLAIN JANE package, plus a one-hour conversation on the phone, over Skype, or with a cup of coffee between us, on how to write a song (with special--some might say "myopic"--attention given to the way I do it). Heck, we can talk about anything you like.

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    1 backer

    The BET YOU THINK THIS SONG IS ABOUT YOU. The PLAIN JANE package, plus I will compose a song about a topic of your choice. Nothing x-rated or hateful, thank you very much. And, no matter the topic, I can't promise a happy ending or a bright outlook. If you want happy endings and bright outlooks, I suggest Disney World (actually, come to think of it, that place seriously creeps me out).

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    2 backers

    The HOUSE ON FIRE (local). I'll will travel to your doorstep (anywhere within 300 miles of Savannah, GA; 50 miles of San Francisco, CA; or within the 5 boroughs of New York City), and perform a solo house concert for you and your pals. During said house concert, I will wear a suit, a tie, and a seasonally inappropriate hat.

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    The HOUSE ON FIRE (national). Same house concert as described above, but this one can happen anywhere in the continental United States outside of the regions described above.

Funding period

- (38 days)