Simon Joyner hits Kickstarter goal (in just a few days), and what happens when Kickstarter fails; Big Harp go Daytrotter…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , , — @ 1:55 pm January 31, 2012

by Tim McMahan,

A follow-up on the item posted a couple weeks ago about Simon Joyner’s Kickstarter campaign… It only took Simon a few days to reach his $6,000 goal to help fund the final recording, mixing and manufacturing expenses for his 13th full-length album. With 19 more days left in the campaign, Simon is now pushing $9,000 in pledges and there are still tons of cool awards left for those of you who haven’t pledged (and even for those of you who have). Check it out.

There’s been a lot written about Kickstarter, both positive and negative. When you see results like this, it’s hard to criticize it as a business model. That said, this is the third Kickstarter campaign that I’ve contributed to, and I have yet to see results from the first two. I pimped Digital Leather’s Kickstarter campaign on Lazy-i way back in April 2010, and put my money where my mouth was, pledging (along with 100 other people) to support the band’s campaign. If they met their goal (and they did) I was promised a free download of their next album along with a limited edition vinyl copy of the record. Two albums later and I’m still waiting to receive both. Then in August 2010 I pledged cash via Kickstarter to help finance a local production of a short film. To the best of my knowledge, shooting on that film wrapped over a year ago, and I haven’t seen a frame of it, nor have I received the promised copy of the film’s “soundtrack.”

Yeah, I guess you could say that I got screwed, but to be honest, I never expected to get anything from those two pledges other than a chance to help the artists involved. I gave because I supported the cause, and if in the end they were able to pass along the promised rewards for my generosity, that was cool. If not, well, I was only out a few bucks. That said, I know I don’t speak for the majority of people who make pledges on Kickstarter. They expect to get their booty if the campaign reaches its goal. What could be a cool thing could easily turn into a dead albatross hung around the artists’ neck along with a lot of bad PR. If my track record with Kickstarter reflects a national trend, I can’t see its popularity lasting very long.

But if my experiences have been the exception to the rule, Kickstarter could become the ultimate method for artists to allow their fans to “pre-order” their next record, effectively generating money needed to cover production before the record ever hits the store shelves.

Who knows, maybe Digital Leather and that film producer will fulfill their Kickstarter commitments… eventually. I know Simon will.

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Big Harp Daytrotter illustration

Saddle Creek band Big Harp joined the legions of acts that have recorded a Daytrotter session. Theirs went online today, right here. The duo of Chris Senseney and Stef Drootin-Senseney sing three songs from their White Hat debut, plus “Other Side of the Blinds.” It’s been awhile since I stopped in at Daytrotter. I hadn’t realized that they’d begun a “membership” model, and I can’t say I blame them. Doing what they do isn’t cheap. Becoming a Daytrotter member is a mere $2 a month, and well worth it. But you can check out Big Harp’s session for free with a trial membership.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2012 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

1 Comment »

  • I’ve contributed to three Kickstarter campaigns: Thunder Power, Blue Bird and Lonely Estates. In all cases I received the promised rewards in a timely basis. I hope your experiences have been anomalies because I see Kickstarter as one of only a few viable options remaining for independent music to be funded.

    Comment by Jared Bakewell — February 1, 2012 @ 11:11 am

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