Welcome to Detroit! The Motor City! Day-Twah! The Big D. MOTOWN.
There is no public oral history archive dedicated to Detroit music. We are going to build one. You can help. We are going to start with the "first responders" to the Detroit sound: Detroit music journalists. Detroit music journalists have been key archivists of Detroit sounds that have changed the world, from Motown to techno, blues to jazz, to so much more. They have documented the bands. They have interviewed the musicians. They tell the stories so the music lives. This project is for them. This is the Detroit Sound Conservancy's first project. You can be a part of making this happen.
HERE IS OUR PLAN. THIS IS HOW WE WILL SPEND THE MONEY.
The purpose of this campaign will be to establish an oral history vault online and physically in Detroit. Funds will be used to transcribe, digitize, and conserve oral history interviews that already exist in the private hands of Detroit music journalists. The overall budget for this project will be $5,000. This amount will provide for website design and hosting, as well as conservation of the tapes that will then be donated, en masse, to the Detroit Sound Conservancy in order to establish the vault.
These tapes reinforce the richness of the sonic history you know. These tapes also tell you musical stories you've never heard. The project website will also serve as a one-stop training center for conducting future oral histories about our aural culture. This project is a start to a process not an end in itself.
The lack of a public historical resource dedicated to Detroit music makes it difficult to advocate for needed cultural preservation of stories (from the likes of blues musician Bobo Jenkins to disco / techno godfather Ken Collier), artifacts (like the cassette tapes and clippings of Detroit music journalists), landmarks (like the United Sound Systems recording studio which is currently threatened by a highway service drive project) throughout our mighty musical city.
The Kickstarter will be conducted this summer and executed this fall 2013.
THE JOURNALISTS: So far...
These current and former Detroit journalists have signed on to the project so far: Bart Bealmear (Rebel Route), Denise Dalphond, PhD (independent scholar), Hobey Echlin (former writer Metro Times), Larry Gabriel (Metro Times), Carleton S. Gholz, PhD (scholar and former writer Metro Times), Melissa Giannini (editor of NYLON Magazine andformer writer Metro Times), Brendan Gillen (former writer Metro Times), Robert Gorell (former writer Metro Times), Chris Handyside (Fell in Love With a Band: The Story of the White Stripes), W. Kim Heron (former writer Detroit Free Press, Metro Times, and DJ on WDET), Curtis Lipscomb (Kick), Keith Owens (Detroit blues historian), Fred Reif (Detroit blues historian), Brian Smith (former writer and music editor Metro Times), Khary Turner (former writer Metro Times), Walter Wasacz (former writer for Creem, Metro Times, currently Model D.), Susan Whitall (music writer for Detroit News, author Fever: The Fast Life and Mysterious Death of Little Willie John), John "Bileebob" Williams (Famzine).
SOME OF THE TAPES: So far...
COLLABORATORS SO FAR:
Dylan Box of Wedge Detroit will be doing our website.
The Pop Up Archive
We will be using the Pop Up Archive to help archive audio, create transcriptions, and produce meta-data to increase accessibility to the tapes.
THE MIXERS So far...
In addition we have some exclusive Detroit-focused mixes being created for Kickstarter gifts by Detroit techno DJ, producer, and former Detroit radio jock Claude Young Jr...
Detroit historian and DJ Dan Austin...
We also have some amazing Detroit music prints as gifts provided by Detroit photographer Doug Coombe.
... and Detroit's Salt & Cedar will be making letterpress postcards for our us!
Groovebox Studios will be providing one special band with the chance to record a 7-song EP and live video.
Please help us spread the word. In addition to your financial contributions, your excitement will make this campaign a success.
Our video soundtrack provided by Pirahnahead.
And our video creator is Reginald Tiessen at Hawkhaus.
Risks and challenges
We feel strongly that we can deliver on the project outlined here. There are always risks when collaboratively building oral history projects -- or frankly any kind of historical archive. Trust has to be garnered, recordings and artifacts treated with care, gift forms and rights secured, and, most importantly, relevance constantly and reflectively established and reestablished with the community itself. We do not want to compile a bunch of voices as an absolute end to itself. Instead we see this project as the foundation for all of our future projects. Without the voices and the values, priorities, and imaginative questions they make audible, there is no Detroit Sound Conservancy.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (30 days)