[Update 12/7] We’re just 6 days in on a Kickstarter campaign for Kelli Schaefer’s new album “The Cone” and we are 1/3 of the way to our minimum goal! We’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who has been able to donate so far. We have just over 3 weeks before the project ends and we can start moving on the recording process. Pass it along?
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It’s 3:30 am when my internal alarm clock sounds. I get up and suit up: long johns, pants, shirt, hat, hoodie, coat, scarf, gloves, and boots. I wander into the back yard, make my way across a clearing and down a stone slab path to where a shovel leans against an alder tree. For three and a half years I succumbed to this ritual, digging deeper into the earth, creating a tunnel of sorts, like a mole rat who’s forgotten what compelled it to dig in the first place. Though purpose does loom, it looms above me in the yard like some ephemeral call of duty, a towering giant in the fog, always out of reach. Why do I do what I do?
We’ve been working hard and banging our heads against the wall. The current state of our great nation is far from ideal. We stand on the sidewalk and watch the less fortunate slip through cracks, try to lend a hand, wait patiently for policies to come through, fight against racism, classism, sexism, police brutality, the health care system, the suffocation of small business at the hand of corporate personhood, political corruption, big banks, big pharma, and big brother. But most of all we fight to keep from losing our minds.
One half moon night down in the tunnel I was reminded of why I dig. This particular night was quiet, only ghosts and the pattering of pillbugs at my feet. Half lucid in quivering cold sweats and fishtailing in my waking dream, the rusty point of my shovel hit something hard. Clenching my flashlight between chin and chest, I removed my gloves, and with my bare hands cleared the dirt from all sides of the object to release it. This is why I dig. And this, my friends, is where the story begins… (-KS)
In 2009 our small community in Portland, OR started a record label. We called it Amigo / Amiga – a way for us to release the music that we were making in our home. The “music industry” has changed a lot since then, but we’ve held firmly to our initial ideals: work incessantly between day jobs and music, move forward in our creativity, follow where inspiration may lead us, hold to our artistic autonomy and operate in a sustainable way by incurring minimal debt – no excessive frills. Thanks to your consistent support, our tiny label has released eleven records from our artists and supported the release of many albums outside of our own.
The songs for Kelli Schaefer’s new concept album “The Cone” have been written, and the arrangements and band continue to form in our practice space. Now they are ready to be born in the recording studio, but we need some help. In previous incarnations of our collective, we had a space to record in an old house we called the Amigo Amiga Homeland; this time things are a little different – we will need to rent space and gear to record the basic tracks – we call it growth.
We’re grateful for all of you who have continued to trust us and be a part of our world. Thank you for always helping us move forward. (-A/A)
- $6,000 is the bare minimum we need to add to our own savings account to record this album and follow through with what we’ve promised here. We will record the album, pay our producers/ engineers, mix/ mastering engineers, and artwork/ layout designer. This amount will pay for the studio and some of the pressing costs through our partners at Pirates’ Press
- $8,000 will allow us to pay for everything as listed above, but we will invest a little more in the initial studio and pressing costs, and budget some promotional expenses for the new record: print posters, t-shirts, videos, etc.
- $10,000 will pay for everything listed above and help to offset costs while in the studio. All of the people we work with have day jobs that we work to stay alive. We rarely take money from music, as we choose to work jobs while reinvesting music money in more music. We’re not looking for a free lunch – but we wouldn’t mind buying our band members one while in the studio.