When you pre-order Pray for Brain's CD and play it, people will ask you, "WTF was that?"
Our music confuses and delights those who hear it. With your help, we can make more people scratch their heads!
(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 with oud.
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 drew a full house and paved the way for a profile in ABQ The Mag's June issue:
The gig mesmerized fans, who 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.
Momentum and interest is building, with 5,700 Facebook fans around the world and growing. ...so it's time.
Pray for Brain is about to spread its eclectic sonic goodness across the globe - and we need your help to make this happen!
By purchasing pre-orders of the CD and other merchandise through
Kickstarter, you can be a part of making this music available on CD and
digital download worldwide. Our goal of $18,000 includes recording,
mixing, mastering, printing and replication as well as costs associated
with merchandise manufacturing...but we 're not stopping there.
We also believe this music deserves to be known and heard beyond all of our current fans and early adopters who've discovered us. We thank you truly for the love and support, and you've all told us "You guys should be bigger" -- we agree, and we're taking steps with this opportunity to make that happen.
So the budget includes funding for 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, and we have a professional, well established and credentialed music publicity team lined up.
What this means is that with your pre-order purchase, not only are you getting cool music, but you're investing in the sustainability, traction, and mobility of Pray For Brain. That means its easier for us to share our music live with you by going on the road, and offering future recordings and DVDs. You're a partner with us, not just someone buying a CD.
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.
$1: Every little bit helps and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
$5: and above: We'll give you a Twitter shout out ( we're at @Pray4Brain) and we'll follow you, if you have a Twitter.
$10: A digital download of the ENTIRE "None Of The Above" release -- not just a selected a track or two -- with a pre-release date availability only for Kickstarter backers: You'll get your copy about two to three weeks before the estimated mid-November release date.
$25: The CD itself!!!!
'Nuff said...but you get the early bird digital download as well!
$50: Now things get pretty interesting:
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 Nelson.
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.
$75: all of the above plus a T shirt with Chris' artwork!
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 logo and 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, but the quality is superb and you know you're getting organic cotton. How cool is that?
$100: all of the above plus a special alternate takes CD
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 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 band's process and how the music evolves. For live music aficionados and jam band fans who love to record live music, this is a unique ground floor opportunity to have samples of the band in its earliest stages.
$250: all of the above plus thank you credits on the CD liner notes and promo material
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!
So that's it -- plenty of pre-order bang for your buck, and you'll get some great music!
There's not much time. We're fast tracking this so we can meet a projected release date by early November.
We've done all the raw tracking in the studio already ,and we worked hard and efficiently. We tracked 13 songs in four days, with touch ups over two days.
With your help, we can move on to the editing and mixing stages, and then mastering and manufacturing -- and then into your eager hands and ears!
But this cant get in your hands and ears without you.
Pledge and pre-order now, so you can enjoy Pray For Brain this fall!
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
Maybe I am, but I don't think so, honestly... Because this project is a bigger plan than just a CD.
Here's how it breaks down, and why what we're going for is a good return on your investment -- at no additional cost to you:
While we've paid for the cost of tracking, there is still editing, mixing, mastering, artwork, CD replication to consider...that all adds up, as does the cost of some of the merchandise we're offering. The t-shirt, especially, will be a beautiful collector's piece: Full eight-color reproduction of Christine's art work on 100% organic cotton isn't cheap, but it does make it special, and I think you'll be happy to own it.
More importantly, the budget includes funding for a full-court press and promotion campaign. As mentioned in the main page, we -- and others, it seems -- believe this music deserves to be known and heard beyond our current base. That's not just hubris -- everyone who's heard us says, 'You guys should be bigger' -- so we're running with it and we have a reputable publicist with actionable results who knows world and jazz music ready to go.
But they're not cheap either.
We're hearing it: "other bands have a more modest budget, you can do it for less, be realistic."
It can be done for less, but what do you get?
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 plan.
Because we're budgeting for long term traction, you're investing in the sustainability and the future of Pray For Brain - not just buying a CD.
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.
And the beauty is, if everyone we know -- and that you know -- does a small part, it doesnt need to cost you any more than the pledges already laid out. We're not asking big, we're asking wide.
It does need everyone to come together, work together, and be a part of Team Pray For Brain.
It needs to go as wide as possible, so please share with your networks.
It needs for anyone who's been waiting on the sidelines to not wait any more. If everyone waits, change doesn't happens -- history 's full of that :)
One thing about Pray for Brain music -- like it or not, it's fairly fearless. If that fearlessness in our music appeals to you, then please be fearless and swift in your support. If we're offering something musically bold, let that encourage you!
This simply won't happen without you. 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, need to accept. Together we can shake the paradigm, flip a finger to pessimism and doubt and uncertainty, partner up, and get this CD into your hands!