I could fill this page telling you how "awesome" this band is, but that's hype and lame-ass sales talk -- and anyway, the awesome quotient is for you to decide.
What I can tell you is that, awesome or not, the music of Pray For Brain is pretty different -- and yet those who hear it, like it.
So I'll simply share a bit of what we do, and how it seems to be going over.
If you're the type of person who likes discovering, supporting and sharing new ideas, then this is the perfect Kickstarter project for you to sink your teeth into. We invite you to share our passion in what we do, and we'd love your partnership and being a part of our community.
The one thing we hear consistently after each Pray For Brain show - especially from those who haven't heard us before -- is "You guys should be bigger." We're both humbled and inspired by that feedback. We think so too, and a step on that path is to get something out there. We've also been asked by existing fans to get a release out, so that they can hear this music whenever, however, wherever they want. This Kickstarter project will help meet those two goals.
For the deeper nitty gritty of what inspires and sparks us, and why we're here, read this update.
So if you'd like to join the ranks of early adopters for something truly unique but accessible, then read on, and join the journey.
(note: Click on some of the highlighted items or descriptions throughout the text below to hear short samples. The samples are from the raw, unmixed reference burns from the recent studio sessions for the CD).
What We Do
Pray for Brain is a trio with guitarist/oudist Mustafa Stefan Dill,
drummer Jefferson Voorhees and bassist Christine Nelson. Together, we
make music that no one really knows how to describe -- including
Pray for Brain is not your auntie's world music band, nor your uncle's country twang, nor your grandad's jazz vinyl (though it may make you remember all of that).
Instead, think 70s era Miles Davis, Chet
Atkins and late Coltrane playing with the White Stripes and Isaac Hayes
on a Calcutta rooftop with a bird's eye view to Morocco.
Johnny Cash takes a stab at dhrupad and Bengali icon Rabrindranath Tagore may sit in, too.
That's why we're calling our first CD None Of The Above. And here are some preliminary mixes:
The set takes you on a little Pray For Brain microjourney, from 1)
hyperfunk Arabilly to a 2) wide ranging melodic jazzy rock, 3) a wistful
waltz with Indian nuance, to 4) uptempo oud, 5) fretless Indo-rock
intensity,6) Sufisurf and finally 7 ) closing with a gentle dialogue
To make the CD current, we also tracked two new tunes a couple of weeks ago. Here are reference copies of the newest pieces:
Bhangra Swing is one of the jazziest things we've laid down. Epic but accessible, this one's an uptempo jazz noir / rockabilly piece on the fretless guitar, with a bhangra esque /shenai-ish section, followed by a brief release playing around 15/4, then back to the top:
Hawk And Mouse is one of the more rocking things we do: Group improv into a furious romp with a slight Middle Eastern edge, followed by a chirpy jazzy section - and a final swoop:
Five Point Two is an open, loose tune in 5/4, ranging from Lydian jazz to R&B to whole tone funk, with a 5/16 intro/outtro:
Is it rock? yes.. and no:
Is it jazz? yes.. and no:
It's "None Of The Above."
Who We Are
Pray For Brain evolved out of Sama Duo, where Mustafa and Jefferson drew on their respective backgrounds and music careers to create some groove-oriented energetic improvisations, delivered with a gutsy south Asian and Middle Eastern twist.
One fan wrote, "I love Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and Indian classical music and Zeppelin and improv jazz, and your music was hitting all of those buttons in my brain at once."
Albuquerque's Weekly Alibi called Sama Duo "catchy, challenging, spacey and spiritual all at the same time."
After eight years, we added Christine in October. And quite honestly, the music's never been better.
Our inaugural performance at Albuquerque's well-known Outpost Performance Space in April 2012 drew a great house and paved the way for a profile in ABQ The Mag's June issue:
The gig went well, and some folks took to posting on music boards:
"Think Dick Dale, stoned, playing bhajans with Johnny Cash and Nass el Ghiwan jumping in every so often. After the second piece, I just let go, rolled off the log, and loved every minute of it. And yes, that Gretsch sounded like chimes. Not the cliche chimes, not "oh, that guitar has a chimey sound," but like real, sure as shootin' chimes that will set your chakras wheeling. I love live music. This was a gas! "
wrote one fan on the Gretsch forum.
Since then, we've continued to refine and expand what we do and offer it live to more people. And people who hear it, dig it. "Simultaneously lyrical, exploratory, and transformative in carrying me into many other lands and cultures," wrote another fan after seeing this show:
Momentum and interest is building, with over 10,000 Facebook fans around the world and growing. ...so it's time.
For all of our current fans and early adopters who've discovered us, we thank you truly for the love and support. You've told us it's time -- not only for all of you, but for others -- to be able to enjoy what we do at your convenience. So we're taking steps here to make that happen, but we need your help.
Last year, we started tracking a CD and did a Kickstarter project to finish it out. We fell short of our goal, but then again it was an ambitious target.
Since then we've worked hard, set funds aside, tightened the scope of the project and are forging ahead once more into the breach. But we still need you to partner with us.
Our new, more focused goal of $3,299 will allow us to track two new pieces to bring the CD up to speed with our current development, then mix and master the entire project and get it out to the door to you.
We are hoping that you won't stop at that goal, as we don't plan on stopping, either. Ever. What we make above the goal will go to solid, proper PR representation and marketing. Having done a bit
of that work professionally myself, I know the kind of expertise
required to do that work well. We have a reputable publicist with actionable results who knows world and jazz music ready to go. But they're not cheap either.
By supporting your discovery of Pray for Brain with a pre-order purchase or beyond -- and sharing your discovery with other adventuresome folk you know -- you're not just buying a CD and some swag. You're investing in the sustainability, traction, and mobility of Pray For Brain. That's good for us, but it's good for you, too: it will be easier for us to keep offering our work to you by going on the road, offering future recordings and DVDs, and more. In other words, you're not just a passive consumer, but an active partner. That's exciting for us, and I hope you find it exciting too.
What You Get
A breakdown of the merchandise included at
various prepurchase levels is in the sidebar to the right, but here are
details and images of some of the offerings. Note these are cumulative;
i.e. higher levels include all the merchandise in the previous tiers,
plus something new for that level. Also check the sidebar for info
regarding international buyers.
NOTE; we are extending the Memorial Day "Sale" for the remainder of the drive (ends June 6). I can't re-edit the rewards descriptions, but choose the sale versions, as they will be honored.
Also, a pledge at any level lets you participate in the project a little more directly by help us name the untitled songs! See update #4 for details.
$1: Every little bit helps and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
We'll give you a Twitter shout out ( we're at @Pray4Brain) and we'll follow you, if you have a Twitter. As part of our sale, we're offering all four ringtones for $1! See this link for details: http://tinyurl.com/P4BRingtones
$5: A digital download of any one track of your choice AND your choice of a free ringtone!
Here are the ringtone edits for "Five", "Drop The Needle" , "God's Mirrors" and "Circus." Im testing them myslef and theyre translating well to the phone.
$10: A digital download of the ENTIRE "None Of The Above" release -- not just a selected a track or two.
$15: The CD itself!!!!
Initially offered at $25, but we're offering a Memorial Day price point at $15..you get the early bird digital download as well.
$25: Now things get pretty interesting:
Initially offered at $50, but we're offering a Memorial Day price point at $25..At this purchase level, we will personally autograph the CD but we will also autograph a poster of the original logo artwork for the release.
The poster features the original artwork, completely hand drawn and
inked , including all the calligraphy, by our own bass player Christine
It took Christine weeks to do this, and it's beautiful. It features the name of the band in Arabic and Bengali, as well as the names of various Indian ragas in Hindi.
I can also tell you that nothing in the artwork is random. Even the stars are specific constellations with a certain connection and meaning.
$50: all of the above plus a special alternate takes CD
Initially offered at $75, but we're offering a Memorial Day price point at $50. for previous $50 backers, we'll upgrade you :)
With music this spontaneous and improvised, what doesn't make it on the CD can often be as interesting as what does. We'll produce a limited edition full length CD , exclusive to Kickstarter backers, of alternate takes, exlclusive unreleased tracks and rehearsal clips, including special audio commentary and notes. More than a dump of outtakes, this will be curated and presented to give some insight into the band's process and how the music evolves. It's a unique behind the scenes look at how we arrived at the final CD to share with you. Plans are to include interviews with studio head David McRae, extensive liner notes, log sheets, and more.
$75: all of the above plus a limited edition T-shirt with Chris' artwork
Initially offered at $150, but we're offering a Memorial Day price point at $75!
..I think music this unique -- and artwork this stunning, by one of the band members, no less -- deserves a great , great T-shirt! So you get the band's mandala design, as featured in the poster, and band name on a black American Apparel 100% Organic fine cotton jersey T-shirt.
This will be a full 8- color print screen, so all of the detail and subtlety of Chris' artwork will be there. They will be a little more expensive to produce, which is why we're only offering it at this level. but the print quality is superb and you know you're getting organic cotton. How cool is that?
$150: all of the above plus thank you credits on the CD liner notes and promo material
Initially offered at $250, but we're offering a Memorial Day price point at $150.
Here you can really be a known partner of the process: we'll list you in the Thanks section of the CD liner notes, and any where online we reproduce the text of the CD notes.
$500: all of the above plus YOUR OWN PRIVATE CONCERT (regional only)
We will come to your home, garage, pool, lawn or work for a private concert! We'll do a full two sets for just you, your family, or throw a party and invite your friends. We'll travel on our own dime within a 120 mile radius from Albuquerque.
For our international or long distance customers, we will perform a private concert at a $500 purchase level if transportation expenses are met. We can also sign individual photographs, arrange Skype sessions, etc. Contact me and we'll work out a way to show our support from across the miles.
Be A Partner - Order Now!
We are shooting for a release date of mid or late June. Except for two new tunes, we've done all the raw tracking in the studio already last summer.
We are hard working, focused and efficient: we tracked 13 songs in four days, with touch ups over two days. Pre-mixing is already done, so there is not a lot left to do for us to get this into your eager hands and ears...
But this cant get in your hands and ears without you.
Pre-order now, so you can enjoy Pray For Brain this summer :)
From all of us, thank you very much for your consideration and support.
Visit us at www.pray4brain.com. , and keep track of your investment with updates here.
Reach out and ask us anything if you have any questions.
peace and blessings,
Mustafa Stefan Dill, with Pray For Brain
Risks and challenges
This is a drug-free, drama-free band in good health. We're adults (all of us are over 30, and a few of us quite beyond that) with no teenage angst or twenty-something Millennial Slacker ethic.
We're stable: Jefferson and I have been playing for 10 years together, and when we expanded to a trio almost two years ago, Christine has been the only one to hold that spot. No one's going anywhere, and we're in it to win it - together.
The project is near completion: All but two tracks are recorded and pre-mixed. There is not much left to do.
All the remaining steps are plotted out: CD manufacturing , mastering, etc are all lined up and ready to go. We also have a tentative agreement for licensing and distribution in South Asia and are confirming distribution options in the US.
The only obstacle in the way seeing this project to completion is the funding -- we need your partnership to bring this music to the table. Reaching above our goal will allow us to engage some additional promotional resources, taking us a step further in terms of traction, mobility, and reach. So many CD projects stay at just that -- a CD and some swag , and the exchange stops there. We have a CD and some swag too, but also a long term plan. The more you are able to partner with us, the more successful the project will become.
The only risk to this project is in not meeting the goal. Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition -- which means if the goal's not met, there's no risk to anyone -- but it also doesn't happen.
But that's not a reality that we as a band , or you as a fan and supporter and investor, need to accept. We are solid, stable, and intriguing. We are a good investment.
Together we can shake the paradigm, flip a finger to pessimism and doubt and uncertainty, partner up, and get this CD into hands across the globe.
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)