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The best rock opera to come out of Michigan in 2015. With exclusive NASA sound effects from Mars!
The best rock opera to come out of Michigan in 2016. With exclusive NASA sound effects from Mars!
The best rock opera to come out of Michigan in 2016. With exclusive NASA sound effects from Mars!
139 backers pledged $5,131 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Underground Radio - An Open Source Rock Opera

$5,131

139

It's a go! (But we still need your help!)

The project is fully funded and we're committed to delivering the best possible open source rock opera we can. We set some stretch goals to cover more of the mixing and mastering costs and now we've hit those goals!  We'll put together some extra bonuses for all backers including a digital tour poster and some music videos. Post comments here, or on twitter and and let us know if you have other ideas. And please continue to promote this project to the world on social media, email, newsletters etc.

All backers will get these bonus rewards!
All backers will get these bonus rewards!

Are you guys kidding?

No, this is real. Underground Radio is a modern-day rock opera composed and recorded as an homage to classic ‘70s rock. It’s like spinning your car radio dial late at night and hearing a strange mix of rock, blues, new wave and punk songs you’ve never heard before. It’s discovering some long lost bootleg LP in a bargain bin and spinning the vinyl until the grooves wear through to the other side and you wake up in an alternate universe where Roger Waters and David Gilmour still get along, The Clash are playing at the Fillmore East, and Jim Morrison is headlining all the summer festivals.

Underground Radio has a '70s Classic Rock sound
Underground Radio has a '70s Classic Rock sound

Underground Radio was created by two software guys (Zack and Rob) whose only qualification is a combined 50 years listening to rock music. Underground Radio was inspired by the works of The Pretty Things, The Who, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Ramones, The Clash, The Jam, The Stranglers, The Cynics, Television, Brainpool, Watershed, Ted Leo, Tom Robinson, Paul Weller, Pink Floyd, U2, Green Day, Booker T & The MGs, The Staple Singers and everything else we've listened to since 1974. 

This project has taken us nearly two years, writing and recording on weekends and evenings while juggling careers and families. Our hope is that a hundred people (ok, make that 150 people!) care enough to listen to what we've been working on.

What's it sound like?

There's about an hour's worth of all original music with 4 different vocalists and a range of different rock styles. Here are a few of the songs that have been professionally mixed and mastered. (You may need to click twice.)

9. You're Never Alone  

13. C'mon Eva 

20. Self-Made Man (Reprise) 

We've written and recorded all of the songs trying to capture a '70s rock vibe with vintage amp simulations, effects pedals, keyboards and vocal effects. Also, twin lead guitars, handclaps, cowbells, hammond B3 organ, fuzztones, phase shifters, flangers, theramin, vocal harmonies, strings, backwards guitars, french horns, trumpets, Bo Diddley drum beats, guiro and vibroslap. If it's a '70s rock cliché, we've used it.  

And we've got sound effects from Mars courtesy of NASA and the US tax payers at the cost of $18 billion. (Admittedly, NASA does some other pretty cool things besides contributing sound effects to rock operas.)

The first rock opera to include sound effects from Mars
The first rock opera to include sound effects from Mars

Where's the money going?

We'll use the money we raise to recoup some of the costs of professionally mixing and mastering to give the songs the high-fidelity sound they deserve. We're using Miles Fender of The Streetlight Farm Studio and we've got most of the songs completed already. We'll make these final versions available on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play, SoundCloud and any other music outlets that are still in business by the time we finish.

Your funding pays for professional mixing and mastering
Your funding pays for professional mixing and mastering

Also, we've hired the Western European Symphony Orchestra which we found on Kickstarter (http://www.99dollarorchestra.com) to record one of our songs. We'll throw that into the mix, along with a few bonus instrumental versions. If you've ever thought about hiring a symphony orchestra for your own rock opera, I strongly recommend working with them. Their work has been top notch. 

We hired the Western European Symphony Orchestra
We hired the Western European Symphony Orchestra

What else?

We've hired a professional illustrator Dustin Krcatovich to develop the album artwork. We'll also create a Libretto that sets the stage for the story, provides all the lyrics and includes commentary on the songs and their production.

Here's an example of some of the artwork Dustin has been working on for the album cover. These are illustrative of the 4 major characters in the story (clockwise from the upper left): Joe Spectrum, The Creeper, Eva Arduina and Louden Metal. Astute observers will notice a slight resemblance to the creators of this project in two of the characters. 

Preliminary sketches for album art
Preliminary sketches for album art
The music can be used royalty-free in games, films or any project
The music can be used royalty-free in games, films or any project

If we successfully fund this project, we'll release all of the music under a creative commons license. So anyone can use these songs in films, video games, remix them, etc, all royalty free.  Heck, you can even get the LogicPro files using Box (the official cloud-based content management system of leading rock operas everywhere), and do whatever you want with them.

Bottom Line

Honestly how many people do you know who could pull off a project like this? For the price of a pint of beer (or a whole case!) you can show your enthusiasm by helping to make this music available royalty-free to the world. 

Won't you join us and be part of the Underground Radio?

Click on one of the sponsorship levels on the right hand side.

Cheers!

With just the right amount of foam.
With just the right amount of foam.

"The best rock opera to come out of Michigan in 2015!"

Risks and challenges

The songs have all been written, recorded and mixed. The only things that remain to be completed are final mixing and mastering of the songs, including the Western European Symphony Orchestra. The orchestra has already been recorded, and we have final mixing completed on several songs already. So we do not anticipate any creative or production problems.

We've hired a professional illustrator to create some cover artwork. There will be some additional production work on the Libretto, but I do not anticipate anything difficult. There is a risk that production of the printed Libretto will delay shipment of CDs, but we will make sure everyone has access to the digital files early.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Digital download of the EP.
    For less than the price of a pint of beer, you get 8 tracks of all original music clocking in at just under 20 minutes. You can claim that you're a backer, feel good about it and never even have to listen to it.

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    Pledge $6 or more About $6

    Early Bird Digital Bundle! (Limited offer!)
    For early sponsors, you'll get the full digital album plus bonus instrumental tracks, orchestra tracks and a digital Libretto that includes all lyrics and additional background on the songs and story. We hope you'll tell your friends and enemies about it on social media.

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    Almost Early Digital Bundle! (Limited offer!)
    For somewhat early sponsors, you'll get the full digital album plus bonus instrumental tracks, orchestra tracks and a digital Libretto that includes all lyrics and additional background on the songs and story. Please tell your friends and enemies about it on social media.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Digital download of the full album.
    For the price of a fancy pint of craft beer and artisanal pretzels you get 20 songs and nearly an hour's worth of great rock music including the Western European Symphony Orchestra.

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    19 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Digital download + Bonus Tracks + Libretto.
    For the price of an hour of parking in San Francisco, you'll get the full digital album plus bonus instrumental tracks, orchestra tracks and a digital Libretto that includes all lyrics and additional background on the songs and story. Plus you can feel good about not being a total cheapskate.

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    13 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Downloads + Bonus Tracks + Libretto + CD.
    For more than any CD should cost, we will ship this to you free of charge in the US. You also get everything from the lesser reward levels including early access to all the digital files, bonus tracks, and the digital Libretto. You'll get an audio CD with whatever cool artwork we come up with for the cover. Sorry we have to charge extra to ship outside of the US.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 19 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Downloads + CD + printed Libretto.
    For more money than it's worth, you get all of the digital stuff from lesser reward levels as soon as it's available, plus an overpriced CD and printed Libretto (that's italian for expensive, slim book).

    Note this is a limited run; I don't want this stuff taking up space in my garage.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 17 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Digital Downloads + Logic Pro files.
    For those who want to try their hand at mixing, remixing or recording on their own, we will make available a Logic Pro file of your choice. This is especially useful if you can sing better than me and Rob. You pick the song, we'll send the files.

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    Limited 7 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Digital Downloads + Lunch!
    Rob or Zack will take you out to lunch and talk about guitars, technology, how to hire product managers, when to hire sales, how to scale your business, or anything you like. This is available in the Bay Area, Michigan and possibly elsewhere by arrangement.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    Digital downloads + Dinner!
    Rob or Zack will take you out to dinner and talk about rock operas, your startup idea, how to get venture funding, when to expand internationally or anything you like. This is available in the Bay Area, Michigan and possibly elsewhere by arrangement.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Digital Downloads + Your Own Solo!
    Ever wanted to record on a rock opera? If you can play the bass, guitar, keyboards, cowbell or can sing, we'll record your part and add it to create a customized version of one of our songs. We can do this in person in the Bay Area or Michigan or if you know how to record, we can do it over the web.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Digital downloads + Your Own Song!
    If you ever wanted to present a loved one, friend, stranger, strange friend or enemy with their own song, we will do it for you. Tell us what kind of song you want (No Jazz!) and what it's about and we'll do our best. Want to tell your old boss how you really feel about her internet strategy? Want a birthday song for your dog? An ode to your new iPhone App? No problem, we will make it rock.

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    Pledge $999 or more About $999

    Executive Producer.
    For this price you can send us any ideas you like, we will listen patiently and then we will do whatever we were going to do anyways. We will also send you links to as many of the Logic Pro files on Box.com as you want to re-mix or master.

    Like most executive roles, there is no actual work on your part. But you can say it was all your idea.

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Funding period

- (33 days)