the STATE of THINGS, five months on…the BED SONG, and HI….I'VE MISSED YOU.
Cross-posted to Kickstarter (mostly directed at backers but with some other stuff contained within, if you’re curious)
how the hell are you beautiful 24,883 people?
first of all, hi, i love you. i’ve missed you.
in this update, i have Many Things to Share!!!:
1 -the new “bed song” video and track.
2 -what the hell i’ve been up to for five months.
3 -WHAT TO DO if you still haven’t gotten your stuff (we think we’ve sorted ALMOST everybody).
4 -SOME OF THE THINGS that WENT WRONG and WHY.
5 -one fun game.
so….it’s been almost exactly 5 months since i sent out the last update.
i’ve been in touch with a lot of you on twitter, my blog, the mailing list, and in other parts of the real and internet, but not all of you.
and even though i know i begged and pleaded for all of y’all to sign up for the mailing list, i’m sure this is the only way to reach some of you.
in the exciting news department: “THE BED SONG” video, which, if i may be so bold, is the best fucking video we’ve yet made, is coming out in about a week.
(the videos for “want it back”, “the killing type” and “do it with a rockstar” have all been released, and look AMAZING. go look if you haven’t, they’re all on my youtube).
we’ll email all you backers another update in about a week, and it’ll be accompanied by a free download of the new, re-recorded version of the song.
i wasn’t happy enough with the recording on the album.
what? that’s right. i wasn’t happy with the way “the bed song” sounded once the record was out….
especially once i toured and was playing night after night, the original recording fell flat.
so i did what i’m allowed to do now that i own my own record label (YAY) and can do whatever the hell i want (YAY) even though people might think i’m on crack (YA- wait…forget crack):
while on tour, i went into a studio in minneapolis with the album’s bad-ass producer/engineer, john congleton, and re-recorded it.
it took one afternoon, simple since it was just a solo piano/vocal song. and it’s….way better, i have to say.
i’ll post a longer blog about how i felt and why i did it, but YOU guys, as the backers of the album will be mailed the track (free obviously) and you can now live smugly in the knowledge that your album just became EVEN MORE LIMITED EDITION….because no more printings of the record/CD will be made with the original version. everywhere the album exists: on my site, bandcamp, iTunes, amazon, etc, i’m going to swap out the old version for the new one. i don’t HATE the old version, so don’t go deleting it from your life, but the new one is just so much goddamned better. short story, i rushed it. here is the art for the single:
it’s a kyle cassidy photo based on the beautiful script that neil gaiman wrote for the big bed song book. the “pale nekkid chick” as she puts it, is @Daph_Punk.
keep your eyes on your inbox, it’ll probably land with you around the 13th or 14th.
now…if you want it, a summary of my life in the last five months….?
damn, ok. i went on TOUR with the band for september, october, and november; we sleighed our way across america and europe.
i got a nasty flu for the last leg of the europe tour, totally lost my voice, and if you want to see something funny, watch my solution to being voiceless at the paris show: http://youtu.be/_ih583uM2jk (warning, contains helpful french people).
i cannot put into words how overwhelmingly beautiful & electric the tour was and how totally together we felt with everyone who came & cried and danced with us.
chad, jherek, and michael as a band were simply off the hook – we really bonded, played our hearts out every night, and left them on the stage in a pile of blood and glitter, only to get up the next morning and do it all over again. that’s tour.
here we were…
taken in Austin, TX (photo by @bvaustin for Brooklyn Vegan Austin):
me & chad raines, my beloved guitarist/synthist/trumpeter/programmer extraordinaire (photo by Adam Solomon):
magic drummer michael mcquilken directing the crowd in during the LA encore (photo by Jessy Lou Photography):
jherek bischoff and his awesome glitter quiff (from when we went to shoot “do it with a rockstar” with wayne freakin’ coyne):
surfing the seas of love (photo by Daniel Gray):
tour-kick-off in philly at the TLA on september 10th, 2012 (photo by Hi, Krut! Photography):
all of us, in detroit (photo by marc nader):
….then i came home for thanksgiving and faced the reality of my best friend, anthony, starting cancer treatment. (i blogged about it HERE if you missed it).
i made one of the hardest decisions of my life: i canceled my upcoming australian, new zealand, and european tours so that i could stay with him.
i didn’t know what was going to happen. everyone was so supportive…i had no words. so fucking grateful to all of you.
my blog has turned into a really wonderful community lately, lots of people doing some amazing writing and sharing wonderful insights.
i JUST sent out a special email to all the house party people, and i’m about to post it as a blog as well for those who may be interested (or attending as third parties)….
i’m gearing up again. i cannot wait to be with everybody. it’s all happening, man….i’ll be hitting the road in a few months to start doing the parties. GANGNAM STYLE.
(also, i’ve re-scheduled the australian/new zealand dates for SEPTEMBER. dates are ON MY SITE: http://bit.ly/AFPtour)
and i’ll let you know about the re-scheduling europe and any other upcoming dates. please DO sign the mailing list, i don’t want to barrage the kickstarter or trust it eternally to find you: http://bit.ly/AFPemail)
and as for the house parties…i’ve already done 4 or 5 of them & they’ve been fantastic love-fests.
here’s a great picture of the whole posse from a house party in brooklyn:
here’s me playing someone’s living room in philly:
and here’s me with weston, who was throwing a house party in california…..he not only had a POOL but an UNDERWATER CAMERA:
and this is even cooler….weston submitted this photo to the “#7ImageUpload”
(we had people submit photos for us to project during our stage show this fall) and
then HE took a PICTURE OF HIS PICTURE. POST-MODERN!!!!!
there are EIGHT people out there who ordered the “i SHARPIE you” packages. i’m still waiting for photos from a few of you guys (check your email!!!!), but i’m about to dig in and draw draw draw for you.
i’ll post the results of my handiwork on a back blog sometime in the future so you can all oooh and ahhhh, or run in terror.
in bad-ass businesswoman news:
i’ve been invited to speak at TED (if you don’t know it, look it up: ted.org) and i’m going to talk about life, trust, risk, and this kickstarter.
it’s brought up a lot of feelings, and i have to say, i’ve learned more than i ever could have dreamed taking this wild ride with you guys.
you are the fundamental thing that drives me, and i forget that until i sit down and stare at the hard facts.
i don’t know if i need to remind you but what we did here was truly…historic.
every single one of you, i ride on your trust, and i don’t take it for granted.
the more time passes, the luckier i feel.
i hope you think it was worth it, i hope you got what you wanted, and i hope you’ve considered what it means to be a part of this:
supporting art directly is something we’re all going to have to get used to as the music business continues to collapse, and the middlemen vanish.
and, more to the art, i really hope you loved the record as much as we loved making it.
it was, and is, one of my proudest artistic moments.
the week the record came out, the controversy now known around here as the “musician kerfuffle” hit me in the face like a bag of wet gym socks.
if you didn’t follow it, i got heavily criticized by some people because i’d put out a blog asking for volunteer musicians in the fanbase to join us for a few songs on stage, unpaid.
i blogged about it a LOT. i never thought that i’d spend my first week of tour losing sleep over something like this, staying up until 4am every night on the tour bus trying to explain the way i do things….but it was what it was. it wore me down, kicked my ass, and i got back up again. so many of you (especially the musicians out there) were so wonderfully supportive during that time, writing your own blogs and explaining your stances how we exchange help and art. so….i thank all of you, everyone who weighed in with whatever thoughts and feelings. i felt proud to be surrounded by so many smart, compassionate people. in the end, i feel like it made the community a little bit tighter and smarter, and that’s always welcome.
NOW – the PHYSICAL SHIPPING nitty gritty:
24,883 of you backed….some were just digital downloads, but 13,958 physical packages had to be mailed out.
that is, excuse my french, a….fuckton of packages.
as you may have seen on twitter as we dealt & fixed, a good handful people did not receive their packages on time, or experienced mis-shipped or lost goods.
that didn’t surprise us….merchandise shipping is ALWAYS DICEY. BUT…we estimate the amount of late/damaged orders to be around 550-600….or about 4% of the total physical orders.
NOT BAD! and for those of you who DID have super-late packages for whatever reason, you were all SUPER understanding…and we thank you.
eric (aka @southships) has been slaving behind a hot desk for the last few months as a wonder one-man-customer-service machine (amidst all of his OTHER duties). he deserves a medal.
we don’t have the budget for a medal. so he made himself a hat out of one of many amanda palmer posters that were printed for some purpose and never got used:
one of the things that slowed us down was that, due to the sheer volume, we had no means of knowing if somebody did not receive an order unless they contacted us directly.
likewise – if the survey was not returned by a customer before we pulled the data for shipping, we didn’t have their address to ship to during the initial round of shipments.
once the backer gets the survey, the FORMAT for the survey is too open-ended to prevent typos and other errors. for example: we received some addresses without postal codes, or with postal codes that had too many digits. that made this hard.
TO THEIR AMAZING CREDIT, Kickstarter, whose system for helping us obtain shipping addresses clearly wasn’t designed to enable project fulfillment at this HUGE level, helped us the best they could, by devoting a days’ worth of programming hours having their team “scrub” our address data. this helped us clean up and remove some of the typos and other bad address data, but it was not able to catch all of the problems, nor was it able to provide missing info (if someone forgot to provide their country, for example. then that person was just fucked).
SO: we think we’ve caught everybody who had problems, but there may be some stragglers out there, and i can see from the comments on the kickstarter page there’s still a few people wondering what to do:
if you STILL have an issue/concern/problem with your order…CONTACT eric. you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
please keep any emails to him short, concise, and NECESSARY, with as much info as you can provide him about your order. as much as he appreciates thank-you/high-five emails, it bogs down his work inbox to have to deal with anything that isn’t a direct problem. but he IS there and ready to help you if your oder STILL HASN’T COME or ARRIVED DAMAGED.
to show you how complicated some of the packaging-EXPLAINING was, here’s some of the diagrams we MADE for the shipping company to let them know EXACTLY how to put some of the packages together!!!!
neat, right? but sooooo many Things.
if you want to know EVEN MORE about the inner workings of a giant kickstarter…
some stuff that went wrong:
• due to misprinted artwork in the first round of vinyl, the kickstarter-edition vinyl was delivered three weeks late, and thus all orders containing the LP went out late.
• due to a glitch in the shipping file, many people who ordered just the book were sent shipping confirmation emails for the wrong orders. in many cases, the book made it to them anyway. but a portion of people did not get their book until contacting us for the fix.
• software glitches inside the shipping software (the shipping company) also automatically deleted some orders, or placed orders on “backorder” even though the item was obviously in stock. this meant nothing was dispatched…and we had no way of knowing until we were contacted directly. from our side, we were under the impression all orders had shipped (we do not see the shipping company’s back-end).
• on occasion, software glitches and human error at the shipping company prevented the appropriate items from going in the appropriate boxes. that’s just the “shit happens” rule.
• the SUPER-FANCY bed song book is still in production because it is such a special item made of special materials…it took a long time to find a printer even willing to make it due to the physical size of it…. and the limited print run. we think you guys who ordered it are going to FREAK OUT, so…worth it.
• despite posting a “customer service helpline email address”, the shipping company neglected to answer any emails they received for three months. that sucked because they thought we were handling everything…they forgot that we had no way of knowing who had contacted them. we’ve been cleaning up that mess for a while.
• a lot of the packages that were sent out incorrectly were REPEATEDLY sent incorrectly when our shipper, tried to fix things – something that absolutely BAFFLED a lot of you AND us. all we can hope is that we caught every last mistake and got it fixed.
and from the engine room, we all thank you for your patience.
for those who want to SHARE THE LOVE: the album is available on my site, bandcamp, amazon, iTunes, and in lots of stores around the states (big and small), europe, and australia/new zealand.
spread the fires. as usual, i just want people to have it. so burn, burn, burn, copy, copy, copy….and get me back however you feel necessary. more on that later.
one fun game:
when did our celebration kickstarter PARTY in brooklyn, we wrote EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOUR NAMES – on a piece of paper torn from the new york area yellow pages.
here’s me and the band, drowning (photo by kyle cassidy):
we then stuffed many of the pages RANDOMLY into kickstarter packages when we mailed them out….
someone helpful started a thread on the forum, and people have been posting the yellow page they got. if you wanna go look, or post: http://bit.ly/YellowPagesGame
thank you all, again, and again.
i’ll send another (way shorter) update in a week or so when “the bed song” track and video are ready for you.