New Music: PLSDSP Live EP & videos

Happy Star Wars Day 2019 (a little early)! Two years ago today, we released our Beatles/Star Wars parody Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans and it turned out a lot of people liked it. Then we wanted to perform it live, so last year we put out a call for help, support, and most of all, money so we could perform the entire album at Hertz Hall with the Awesöme Orchestra Collective. And we not only put on the show, but we managed to donate a good chunk to the non-profit orchestra as well, thanks to our donors! We also recorded that performance as both audio and video. The good news is that the recording is ready for public release! The bad news is that it is not as complete as we’d hoped.

Unfortunately, our audio recording suffered from an unrecoverable error after the 20-minute mark, and we didn’t get nearly as much usable video footage as we’d hoped. As a result all we have to share is a 5-song EP (through “Imperial Holes”). This is definitely better than nothing but definitely a disappointment, and we had intended to document the entire night (including encores of “Leia Organa” and the giant “Hey Jude” singalong with the orchestra and audience). But fate had other plans, so we’re taking what we can get and passing it on to you! Here are the MP3 and FLAC versions — we hope you enjoy either or both!

A side note: Due to the fan-tribute nature of this work, we still can’t offer this project through major streaming services like Spotify or Amazon Music, but we appreciate all the folks who like it enough to want it there. We will continue to post our content for download here on our Music page and streaming at http://soundcloud.com/paletteswapninja.

 

 

We are also releasing these songs in video form. The footage we got wasn’t optimal (would you believe Dan accidentally turned off one of the cameras? LOL), but these two videos it should serve as proof that we did, in fact, pull this off. Feel free to share these videos on social media if you like what you see. Those are at http://youtube.com/paletteswapninja or you can just watch them here in a YouTube playlist:

 

The live performance was a very special event for us, and it seems unlikely that we will ever get the chance to perform with an orchestra again, but we would love to work with any local organizations that feel up to the challenge. And if Princess Leia taught us anything, it’s that we always have hope!

Thanks for everything, spread the word, and MTFBWY!

PLSDSP Live EP coming soon

Good news! The PLSDSP live EP is being mixed & we expect to have the recording out to donors this month. Public release (for free of course) will follow a few weeks after that.

And yes, it’s unfortunately just an EP. We had unrecoverable recording errors on the second half of the show, so this will just be the first 5 songs and a little bit of video. There is a little orchestra in those first five tracks, but not a ton, which is disappointing. It is definitely better than nothing, and doing a “one night only” event meant we were always running a risk of something going wrong. And hey, it did!

All the more reason to do it again, right? Alas, we just can’t afford that; we used the donations to do it once, and we gave the remainder to the Awesöme Orchestra Collective as promised. Maybe someday we can make it happen, knowing what we know now!

Anyway, stay tuned to your mailboxes shortly if you are a donor, and set your calendars for early May for the public release! (And how pretty is the cover, featuring photography by Sandy K, Smith?)

PLSDSP Live: The Afterglow


Last night’s live performance of Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans with Awesöme Orchestra Collective was everything we’d dared hope it might be — an inspiring night of making music for and with an audience, taking our silly idea to its unlikely sophisticated conclusion. We were thrilled at how it went, and we can now confirm that there is no better way to make your live debut as a band by playing with a 90-piece orchestra. Really not bad for our first gig.

Several special thanks are in order, as unlike the album, this was not a two-person project:

– Katrin Auch, producer, costumer, videographer, and the third Ninja
– Sandy Smith and Rachelle Rabin, who captured photos and video in real time
– Our extended band family of Travis KindredAnthony MartinezMike Christie, and Brad Marasco
– “The Fab Four” harmony vocalists Hannah WolfErik SmithStephanie Dowling & Blythe Renay
– David MöschlerBrian Adam McCuneBaily Hopkins and the rest of the amazing folks at Awesöme Orchestra Collective who actually provided a functional answer to “where the hell do we find an orchestra?”
– Brendan West, who made Hertz Hall possible and then made Hertz Hall sound glorious
– John Thompson, who built and operated our one true celebrity, R2-D2
– Doug Lilly and Juli Gamble, who ran check-in even though they’d barely unpacked their things after moving to the area
– Philip Wolf, for the awesome help in front and behind stage
– Our sponsors, Coherent Blue Software and This Old Game, whose support ensured everybody who attended left with a full-color program that included all the lyrics
– Steve Marinucci & Andrew Gilbert for the kind words in the press
– Tony Baldini, whose illustration for our fundraising t-shirt and mini-posters turned out incredible despite our commission coming at a terrible time in his workflow

And of course, we appreciate everyone who gave this event time, money, or attention. To us, it’s like we haven’t shut up about it for six months, but we knew we had one shot at this, and we really did need all the help we could get! So if nothing else, thank you for enduring our fundraising campaign. We were not only able to cover our costs but we’ll be donating the additional funding directly to AO so they can continue their musical adventures around the Bay Area.

We will release much nicer photos, audio, and video as we get them cleaned up and edited, but here are a few of our behind-the-scenes shots — they do not do justice to the energy in the room and the positive, collaborative spirit of everyone involved.

Our hope is to release the concert as a live album, free as usual. Watch this space. We’re going to take a nap.

PLSDSP Live – Fundraiser T-shirts are here!

So we’ve mentioned we’re performing Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans live with an orchestra in October, right? Well, we are also trying to raise some money to cover our costs and make that gig all it can be. We’ve got ticket information here, and of course a PayPal tip jar here, but if you’re one of those people who likes physical souvenirs, we’ve got you literally covered. Behold the limited-edition PLSDSP fundraiser t-shirt!

The artwork was created by Tony Baldini (he of Nerdy Show/Lightning Dogs renown) especially for this shirt. You choose the size! You choose the color! Your shirt will be shipped directly to you, no muss, no fuss. Shipping is $2.99 so we intentionally set the price for the standard shirt to be about $25 out the door. The shirts are all in a special section of our merch shop. But be warned: When the fundraiser is over, we are retiring this design. You only have until October 31, 2018 to get this shirt in any form. After that, it will disappear, like so many dead Jedi.

And don’t forget — since you are donating to the cause, you get a link to the recording of the show in advance of its public release. We’re hoping to get audio and video, but let’s see what we can actually pull off! However, Spreadshirt does not reveal your contact info to us when you buy a shirt. Just drop us an email with your order number to make sure you’re on the list when we send out the early links.

For what it’s worth, we expect to make about $7 on every shirt we sell, which will help us cover our expenses related to putting on this event. The classy venue comes with a cost, as do the costumes, the plane tickets, all kinds of stuff. And remember, if you are coming to the show, we have tickets available, including some some premium seats with souvenir packages while they last. But we figured if you can’t come to the show, the shirt might be a little more attractive than a simple “please gimme money.”

Truth is, we don’t like talking about money, let alone asking for it. We have always given away our music for free because we like making it and want to share. Heck, we found a non-profit orchestra that wanted to work with us, so any funds we raise beyond what we actually need to break even on this show are being donated to them. This is not about making profit, this is about making something cool together.

Be the envy of both of your friends and get this t-shirt before it’s gone! Thanks for your support of the band, the event, and this fundraiser.