First of all, yeah! I'm making a new album!
I've been writing a ton of new songs -- about marriage and trains and a metaphor about a photo lab - and am narrowing them down to the ten I plan to record this October at the Congress House in Austin. I've put together a bunch of fun premiums and have pimped out lots of friends to lure you into helping me make it happen!
I like supporting Kickstarter campaigns, and the best thing is when I can buy something totally awesome and/or delicious and helping some worthy cause or earnest musician is just the icing on the cake.
So speaking of cake…let’s talk about the premiums! There’s Lemon Lavender Cake and Puttanesca sauce and Disneyland and Austin and Rock & Roll. But before I tempt you with the details, let me briefly elaborate on the reason for this campaign.
I’m doing this because I want to raise the cost of recording my next album in advance by providing you with food and experiences you will LOVE. Making a record is expensive. I’ve set the goal here to $13,000 (which is actually the bare minimum cost of just recording and mixing) because I want this campaign to fund.
There are many, many additional expenses - large and small - to making a record. So in other words, if – when – we reach $13,000, please feel free to keep buying premiums. (Christmas is only half a year away!)
Disclaimer #1: I reserve the right to substitute, but I'll only do it if absolutely necessary. Say, for example, far too many people opt for the Purl Jam pack and I run out of strawberry jam and it isn't strawberry season anymore, I might send you plum.
Okay! A couple of the big premiums are FAR TOO AWESOME to fit in the little boxes to the right, so here's their full description:
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NIGHTMARE BETWEEN HALLOWEEN & CHRISTMAS AT DISNEYLAND ($1000). On a mutually agreeable midweek day between Halloween and Christmas 2012, a trusted cohort and I will kidnap you and your best friend before daybreak (you must be in Southern California on the day of this event), throw the two of you in my car, feed you coffee and fruit and Mickey-shaped cinnamon toast and embark on a customized, streamlined, no-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners assault on the Happiest Place on Earth -- including two-park admission for two, meals and a Club Floor room for two across the street from Disneyland Resort.
I know Disneyland, and I will guide you through it and California Adventure in the most efficient and memorable manner you can imagine with a couple of disposable cameras to capture it all. Want a nostalgia tour? Then it's the Enchanted Tiki Room and It's a Small World for you. Would you prefer to pee your pants? I will race to the Tower of Terror for your Fast Passes while you sip wine at the Napa Rose. And of course we will see the Haunted Mansion decked out in its annual Halloween Town glory.
But here's the creepiest and most special part. At the end of your busy day you will retire to your room to find a custom casket - I mean basket - containing two sets of Nightmare Before Christmas pajamas, a pair of terrifying monster slippers and an adorable Zero the Ghostly Dog doll hand knit by me, a pair of sparkly black and white striped candles, two boxes of refreshing organic boxed milk, a dozen mouth-watering homemade cookies and...drumroll, please...an autographed CD containing a spooky bedtime story recorded personally for you by "Nightmare Before Christmas" and "Edward Scissorhands" author Caroline Thompson.
The next morning after a leisurely breakfast we will deliver you back home, and a week or two later you will receive a lovely photo album commemorating your fun and creepy adventure!
(Oh yeah - this reward is for helping out with my album! When it comes out, you and your guest will also receive a copy of the CD and a printed edition of the Secret Supper Cookbook.)
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Okay, here's the scoop on the MUSIC LOVER'S ULTIMATE AUSTIN EXTRAVAGANZA ($5000). There is only one of these premiums available. This once-in-a-lifetime trip for two will occur while I’m recording my album, between October 13 and 20th, 2012.
- Day One: hop an early flight to Austin with roundtrip tickets for two from anywhere Southwest Airlines flies.
- Check in for two nights at the W, the hottest hotel in Austin, where you will find a cooler filled with carbonated Texas beverages, a couple of Maximo burritos from Chango’s, some pralines, a bus pass (because you don't want a Texas DUI), a couple of disposable cameras, a pre-paid mailing envelope to mail the cameras to me and a map of Austin custom-doodled by Sara Hickman, Texas State Musician 2010-2011.
- So fortified, you will be ready for a crash course in Austin’s vibrant music scene personally led by ROCKRGRL Magazine’s founder Carla DeSantis Black, including Sixth Street, the SoCo District, the Stevie Ray Vaughan Memorial and Daniel Johnston’s “Hi, How Are You” mural made famous by Kurt Cobain and even browse the racks at Waterloo, one of the last great record stores. While she's giving you your tour, ask Carla about Courtney Love or Patti Smith or Ann Wilson or basically ANY IMPORTANT FEMALE ROCK FIGURE because she knows them all.
- During your tour, get out of the Texas heat by sipping Bubble Tea at Momoko with the very bubbly Sara Hickman herself! No one could welcome you to Texas with more enthusiasm than the lovely Sara. But the question is: will you be brave enough to try the licorice boba balls?
- Then it's back to the hotel to put your boots on and hop the ‘Dillo to South Congress to browse the hip and charming shops. Don’t have any cowboy boots? Allens is right there.
- You’re probably working up an appetite, so that's about the time I will call it a day at the recording studio and drive up to greet you at Guero’s, home of the best margaritas in town (and tilapia tacos on freshly made tortillas...mmm...). I'll fill you in on the progress of the album and you can fill me in on your Austin adventure so far!
- After dinner, as this IS the live music capitol of the world, it’s time for some live music! It doesn’t matter who’s playing at the historic Continental Club, it's bound to be good. And if he's not on the road with Nancy Sinatra or Lemmy Kilmeister, we'll enjoy some awesome rock and roll road stories while sipping a Jack & Coke at the bar with Man About Town and Rockabilly legend Danny B. Harvey.
- Finally, your day is not complete without a late show at the “Best Movie Theater in the Nation” (Wired.com), the Alamo Drafthouse. If you like nerdy movie facts, think people should be shot for talking in theaters and enjoy drinking and eating gourmet snacks while watching a fine film or a cult classic, you will be in Cinema Paradiso.
- On Day Two, YOU are the rock stars. Sleep in (because that’s what rock stars do) (or, if you’re more motivated, go for lovely walk around Town Lake including lots of good turtle spotting), then enjoy breakfast in bed delivered by bike messenger to you from Whole Foods. This is not just another Whole Foods; it's the Mothership.
- Then it's time to roll into the Congress House just in time for your recording session. As you walk in, your gaze will certainly be caught by candid photos of Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, Patti Griffin and Tom Russell on the Bulletin Board of Fame. Tour the Ani Difranco drum room and the secret hidden Congress House apartment (where you will see Rain Perry's toothbrush because that's where I will be staying during production).
- After lunch with the crew, enjoy a private performance coaching session on guitar, backup vocals, cowbell, tambourine – whatever your special talent - with producer Mark Hallman (Carole King, Ani Difranco, Eliza Gilkyson, etc., etc.) One or both of you can participate.
- Then the time has come to shred. Mark will coax from you your best performance and make you sound amazing, just as he's done with me so many times.
- At some magic moment during this process, you will earn a coveted Congress House nickname. It happens when it happens, kind of like in Dances With Wolves.
- Note: if the thought of performing makes you cringe, you can opt to skip that part and we'll schedule things so you can be a fly on the wall while Sara Hickman sings or the great Andrew Hardin astounds us with his fingerstyle chops.
- Either way, once the session is in the can -- well, technically, the hard drive -- we’ll call it a day and climb in my rental car to drive down to Driftwood, because it’s time for Hot Licks at the Salt Lick with Andrew Hardin! Enjoy the best of Texas BBQ with the guitarist extraordinaire, who will then whip out his gorgeous Collings guitar and wow you up close with his lightning skills.
- When you're stuffed with Brisket and Texas Toast, I’ll drive you back to your hotel and drop you off. You’re free to party on with complimentary tickets (Threadgill's? Stubbs? Antone's?), but I’ve got a record to make!
- On the final morning, you'll throw your bathing suits in a bag and I'll pick you up and take you out for Migaz or gingerbread pancakes at Kerbey Lane and send you on your way with a bunch of Austin memorabilia to be named later. (I will not send you on your way with a “Keep Austin Weird” t-shirt because that's lame.)
- I'll then drive you into Zilker Park and say goodbye so I can get back to work and you can bathe in the restorative waters of Barton Springs while gazing at the Austin skyline and reflecting on the reason this is one of the coolest cities in the world.
- After Barton Springs, you'll hop on the Cap Metro 30 for a 10 minute ride back to the W so you can pack your stuff and head out. Don't forget to visit the Austin City Limits store at the airport and grab a cone of Amy's Ice Cream before you head back into the real world.
- A few weeks later, just when you are wondering if it was all a dream, a package will arrive containing a lovely photo album of your Austin adventure. And a month or two after that, another package will arrive containing two copies of the Secret Supper cookbook and 25 CDs with YOU on them, to proudly give to your family and friends!
- Oh yeah, one more thing: before your trip, to get you in the mood on the way to the airport and on the way home at the end, you will receive in the mail a custom mix of songs recorded at the Congress House. Once you listen, you will understand why I work with Mark Hallman...all the coolest and most amazing people record there!
(Disclaimer #2: All musicians affiliated with this package have enthusiastically committed to participating. However, a paying gig is a paying gig, so if one were to be pulled away, a suitably fun and awesome replacement experience will be found.)
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