If you are still interested in attending the live Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans orchestral concert on October 20 in Berkeley, we still have a limited number of seats available in the second row (first row is sold out!) for our “VIP Plus” fundraising donors. These seats come with a special souvenir pack for each person, including the four items you see here: a laser-cut wooden keychain, two PLSDSP guitar picks, a small model of R2-D2 (your parents help you put it together!), and a replica of the Death Star Plans themselves (inspired by the ones seen in Rogue One).
There are a few other things in there too, but we’re keeping a few items a surprise until the event! If you like what you see, hit up bit.ly/PLSDSPtickets to secure your VIP Plus seats before they’re all snapped up.
And we know what some of our long-distance fans are thinking — “I can’t come to the show but I want a souvenir pack!” We have a limited solution: The first 20 people who donate $30 through PayPal can get a souvenir pack via mail. Everything will be the same as the show packet except the keychain will be in fluorescent red acrylic (we want to give the in-person attendees something unique). Please request the “Souvenir Pack” in the text that accompanies your PayPal donation at the link above and make sure your shipping address is included. If you’ve already sent a PayPal donation for less than $30, you can bump it up & just let us know that’s what you’re doing in the text for the second donation. We won’t be shipping these until after the show, but we’ll aim to have them delivered before Thanksgiving.
As always, thanks for your support — fundraising is going well, and once we cover our costs, all the dough goes to Awesöme Orchestra Collective. MTFBWY!
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.
Performing the album live with a full orchestra is something we might only get to do once, so Jude and I really want to make this everything we feel it can be. Hertz Hall was designed for symphonic music — it will sound phenomenal — and we want to have the show recorded in both audio and video formats, which we will release publicly at a later date. So to make all of that happen, we’ve come up with a three-prong, one-time fundraiser:
DONATE: If you just want to donate a few bucks, we have an account on PayPal — anything helps! All donors will receive a download link for the live recording of the show in advance of its public release, and your names will be included in the credits (if you want that). So please make sure you include your email of choice somewhere in there — we’ll assume it’s your PayPal address unless you say otherwise.
VIP/VIP PLUS TICKETS: If you plan to attend in person, we’re setting aside the first few rows at $20 per seat. If you donate $20 through PayPal and specify that you want a “VIP ticket” (please note if you’re planning to attend with friends or family, you can get as many $20 premium seats as you want until they’re gone), we will have a VIP list at the door with your name on it. And if you really want to shoot the works, a super-generous $40 $30 gets you a literal front row seat second row seat plus a souvenir packet including a laser-cut PLSDSP keychain, a desktop R2 model, some PLSDSP guitar picks, a custom replica of the infamous plans themselves, and other goodies that we are still putting together. There are only a limited number of these special seats, so claim your “VIP Plus” package early! Same email contact rules apply — let us know where we can send you a link to the recording when the time comes.
LIMITED EDITION T-SHIRT: If you cannot attend but you like getting physical stuff for your donation, we are selling a limited-edition t-shirt which will only be available for the duration of this fundraiser. It features a commissioned illustration by Tony Baldini of Lightning Dogs fame. (Since Spreadshirt doesn’t show us your email when you order, you’ll need to drop us a note with your order number so we know how to send you a download link later.) More info on the shirt is here.
All the funds we’ve received so far from the release of the album are being applied to our costs here, but it’s not quite enough. That said, any funds we raise in excess of what we need to cover our costs go to the Awesöme Orchestra. Nothing will be wasted and we will not take advantage of anyone’s generosity. We just can’t pay for all of this out of pocket.
We’ve put together an amazingly talented band with players and singers from around the country, plus the Awesöme Orchestra is appropriately named. They will also perform selections from John Williams’ film score as part of the show, and we have a few other fun things planned too. The venue seats more than 600 people, and the show will be appropriate for all ages. Cosplay is strongly encouraged! A splendid time is guaranteed for all.
We are thrilled that we get the chance to perform the album live, and we are committed to doing this as well as it can be done. If you can help — either by donating some money or simply spreading the word about the event and the fundraiser — please do. It’s deeply appreciated. Here’s the Facebook event if you’d like to share a social media reminder for the event, and to spread the word about the fundraiser, just send folks to this page, please!
Hey all — we’ve got one more song to offer before we stick a fork in 2017. After Princess Leia’ Stolen Death Star Plans was released, we got a lot of questions from folks who liked what they heard. “What about Empire Strikes Back to Abbey Road? Return of the Jedi over Revolver?” Honestly, PLSDSP was as rewarding as it was challenging to create, but we really considered it to be a wonderful, fortunate, singular combination. But, as we said a few times in interviews, we still love The Beatles and Star Wars, so we’d be interested in combining them again if an idea presented itself.
So, a few months ago, Jude presented the idea: “I was thinking…’Lady Madonna’…Leia Organa? Here’s some lyrics that came to mind.” Dan agreed wholeheartedly, and the result — through no coincidence, just in time for The Last Jedi — is a tribute to Leia from ANH through TFA. It’s a short song, so we had to be brief! You can download the MP3 and FLAC files (all our music is downloadable here at no charge) or just enjoy the YouTube video, once again created by the amazing Katrin Auch. It’s all free, so please share if you enjoy.
This year was a huge one for us, and this song feels a bit like an encore. Please accept this as our thank-you for everybody who supported PLSDSP back in May, either through social-media sharing or tip jar contributions. But it’s also our love letter to Carrie Fisher, whom we lost last year around this time and will miss forever. Her bravery as a person and her importance representing a strong female character both had profound effects on us. But she was also known for her wicked sense of humor, both about herself and her place in pop-culture history, so we really hope she would have gotten a kick out of this.
We hope you do too. Thanks for all your support and encouragement in 2017 — from a creative standpoint, it’s been a fantastic year, and we owe it all to you. Enjoy your holiday season and we’ll see you in 2018!
Last month, Dan was invited to take part in Martin Azevedo’s Raiders of the Lost Ark: A Musical Emergency in Alameda, California. It’s basically a musical potluck: A movie is chosen, everybody picks a scene to turn into a song (original or parody), then everybody shows up and performs it for the first time — no group rehearsal, just making the show in the moment. It’s very loose and pretty cool. But when he found out the topic was Raiders, he immediately said, “Oh, I hope someone takes the scene where Indy is pointing the rocket launcher at the Ark and Belloq says ‘Blow it back to God.’ and does a parody of ‘Kiss Me, Son of God’ by They Might Be Giants.”
So, that was that. Dan performed it live with Matt Montgomery and Brian Adam McCune, but we wanted to record it too — and since it was under two minutes, we figured even we could record and release it pretty quickly. So now that you know the context — and why we would choose this one short scene and this one short song — here’s our studio version, once again with a spot-on video from Katrin Auch.
We chose the Miscellaneous T “alternate version,” which is literally one accordion and two vocal tracks — this is also how TMBG performs it live. After the massive undertaking that was PLSDSP, it was nice to make something this short and simple. As Indiana Jones might never say…we hope you dig it.