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There is no oral history archive for music made in Detroit. We are going to build one online and preserve it in the city. You can help.
There is no oral history archive for music made in Detroit. We are going to build one online and preserve it in the city. You can help.
179 backers pledged $8,592 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$8,592

179

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.

TIMELINE

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...

Ron Asheton of the Stooges, disco/house/techno Godfather Ken Collier, blues musician and record label owner Bobo Jenkins, globally renowned hip hop producer James "J. Dilla" Yancey...

COLLABORATORS SO FAR:

Wedge Detroit

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...

and Cass Records founder and Dirtbombs drummer Ben Blackwell.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS

We also have some amazing Detroit music prints as gifts provided by Detroit photographer Doug Coombe.

THE POSTCARDS

... and Detroit's Salt & Cedar will be making letterpress postcards for our us!

THE STUDIO

Groovebox Studios will be providing one special band with the chance to record a 7-song EP and live video.

SHARE

Please help us spread the word. In addition to your financial contributions, your excitement will make this campaign a success. 


CREDITS

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    An mp3 download of a snippet from one of the tapes.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A thank you on the site plus everything from the previous reward tiers.

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    16 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    An exclusive Detroit-focused mix by techno DJ, producer, and former Detroit radio jock Claude Young, Jr., one by historian, journalist, and 45-loving-Detroiter Dan Austin, or Cass Records founder and Dirtbombs drummer Ben Blackwell plus everything from the previous reward tiers.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    A customized postcard by Detroit's Salt & Cedar letterpress with facts about a local Detroit music landmark for your next visit to Detroit plus everything from the previous reward tiers.

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    Reward no longer available 50 backers
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A signed copy of Dan Austin's book Lost Detroit: Stories Behind the Motor City's Majestic Ruins, plus everything from previous tiers. (http://www.lostdetroit.com/).

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A signed 8" x 10" glossy print of a Detroit musician by Detroit photographer Doug Coombe. See http://www.flickr.com/photos/csgholz/galleries/72157634555856300/ plus everything from the previous reward tiers.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Four-hour tour of Detroit music landmarks (including lunch) with a member of the Detroit Sound Conservancy, one of our music journalists and photographer Doug Coombe plus everything from the previous reward tiers. Travel costs to Detroit not included.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    You bring your band to Detroit and Goovebox Studios (http://www.grooveboxstudios.com) will record a 7-song EP of your band along with a live video. Seriously. Travel costs not included. Plus everything from the previous reward tiers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)