Updated Tuesday, Oct. 1
Miami’s Russell Mofsky decided to take a seemingly unorthodox approach to funding the upcoming album from his retro-inspired band, Gold Dust Lounge. With a goal of raising $15,000, he turned to Kickstarter, the crowd-funding Web site.
The gutsy move by this former DIY punk-rocker was a rousing success. When the 33-day campaign ended at 11:59 p.m. on Monday (Sept. 30), he blasted past his goal and finished with a grand total of $16,012. This came from 174 backers pledging an average of $92.
* Kickstarter.com: See the final totals and details on the project
* See updates on the campaign at GoldDustLounge.com and Facebook
“Thanks to your amazing support,” Mofsky wrote to supporters on the Kickstarter page. “We have surpassed our goal of $15K and Lost Sunset will be fully realized.” He added that the goal is a January release, pending any unforseen delays. On GoldDustLounge.com, he wrote: “This Kickstarter campaign was as much about community as it was about art. You guys ROCK! Can’t wait to share the album with you.”
Check out the Kickstarter page for samples of four of the songs (Bunny Yeager, Hidden Lake (Broken Glass), Humble Hill Rain and Lost Sunset) as well as the album, T-shirt and print artwork. The front and back cover of the LP feature original artwork by Miami artist Robert Jimenez (see below).
Supporters who backed the campaign will all receive something for their generosity, from a digital copy of the album for a $10 pledge, to the album on CD and vinyl, custom-designed T-shirts, poster prints, and much more for higher pledges. High-end donors will be treated to private performances by Mofsky and the band.
Lost Sunset is being touted as a “spy-fi road-trip extravaganza.” The songs showcase the band’s experimental, atmospheric blend of surf, jazz and other instrumental styles. Finally capturing the band’s prowess in the studio, it will be the much-anticipated follow-up to the Wynwood Bootleg album, recorded on the street in front of the Harold Golen Gallery in November 2011. The band has been a fixture outside the gallery during the monthly Wynwood Art Walk.
Immediately after that album’s early 2012 release, Gold Dust Lounge went into the studio with acclaimed producer Aaron Fishbein and began work on Lost Sunset. Mofsky, who has always tapped a variety of musicians to complement him in the group, reached out to some top-notch talent on his new recordings. Tracks include performances by percussionists from Femi Kuti’s Positive Force band, sax/flute player Juan Turros from Miami’s Suenalo, and harmonica from virtuoso Randy Singer.
The music has already been featured in the just-released PBS documentary Plastic Paradise: A Swingin’ Trip Through America’s Polynesian Obsession (that’s Bunny Yeager playing over the closing credits), and it’s been licensed for several other film/TV projects. On the Kickstarter page, Mofsky writes: “Lost Sunset connects the dots through every musical project I’ve ever been involved with and is a total game changer for Gold Dust Lounge. It’s more ambitious and expansive than anything we’ve done before. From punk rock to jazz, acid surf and spy movies, exotica, afro-beat, ambient, and film noir. It’s literally a soundtrack to imaginary films of your own making.”
The money raised will help pay for the conclusion of the recording, mixing, mastering and manufacturing. Mofsky plans to offer records and CDs for those who appreciate more than just a digital download. Money will also be earmarked for a publicist to promote the album, plus promotional artwork, prints, T-shirts, stickers, etc. Stay tuned for updates on this true grass-roots project.
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* Photos: Gold Dust Lounge with Dick Dale