Former Kickstarter Junkie V: Praise Lord and Gimme My Movies

Backstreet Angels!

Let it be known for the record that my copy of Mary Lou Lord’s long-delayed next album Backstreet Angels landed in my mailbox on April 23, 2015. This delivery came forty-five months after its Kickstarter campaign was launched and forty-one months after the original promised delivery date. Some of the delays in the last year or so were for totally understandable, disastrous reasons. Some of the delays in the first year or so, not really so much from our Peanut Gallery’s perspective.

But it’s here at last, it’s a thing that really exists, I can stop fuming about it, and it’s mostly kinda pretty if I skip the one song with the F-bomb on it. Sixteen tracks of pleasant jangle-pop that are a mixture of covers and collaborations, with song/writing credits including the likes of the Replacements’ Paul Westerberg, Beat Happening, the Green Pajamas, Nick Saloman from the Bevis Frond (with whom she was hoping to tour for this album at one point), and an ostensible up-‘n’-comer named Matt Minigell, with whom she was really, really excited to co-write and duet.

The first single, “My Buddy Valentine”, is up on YouTube and available on MP3 through Amazon, but I’m partial to her cover of Peter Bruntnell’s “By the Time My Head Gets to Phoenix”. The album itself has no wide-release date and no Amazon listing of its own yet. One of Lord’s last Kickstarter memos indicated this may end up being her last album ever, but as of yet I’ve seen no concrete plans to offer it beyond the disgruntled Kickstarter base.

And that wasn’t the only pokey Kickstarter project to deliver since my last update. Relatively speaking, it’s been a generous half-year for their zero-accountability site.

* * * * *

Hi. My name is Randy. It’s been thirty months since I last gave a single dime to a Kickstarter project.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

At first, [my Kickstarter moratorium] was mere exercise of selective self-control, consciously deciding to prioritize other responsibilities vying for my attention, and favoring other areas in which I’d rather splurge my monthly fun money. In recent months, I’ve amended my stance and my game plan. The short version: I’m not backing anything else on their website until and unless I receive the rewards I’m owed from all other projects I’ve previously backed first. And I mean all of them.

Reading guide to the preceding chapters in this series of indeterminate and potentially never-ending length:

* 3/24/2013: My Former Life as a Kickstarter Junkie
* 10/4/2013: Former Kickstarter Junkie II: Even Formerer
* 6/22/2014: Former Kickstarter Junkie III: the Former and the Furious
* 1/13/2015: Former Kickstarter Junkie IV: Here, YOU Save Spaceflight

Atomic Robo: Last Stop!

Also completed this year: the animated short Atomic Robo: Last Stop! My reward package, including the above DVD, arrived here on January 20th — thirty-five months after project launch, twenty-four months after promised delivery date, exactly one week after MCC’s last update. Based on the fun adventure comics created by Brian Clevenger and Scott Wegener, supporting the short seemed a natural thing to do given how much I liked the comic. But the longer this took, the harder I found it to keep supporting the comic. Far as I know the extended delay wasn’t the creators’ fault, but I couldn’t shake the feeling of grumpiness-by-association.

If you’re interested in a sample, the animation studio posted a rough cut online in July 2013, and have announced they’ll be sharing the entire project for free once all rewards are shipped. I can think of reasons to grouse about this, but my rewards included other cool objects beyond just the DVD. Consider me mollified.

Short review: the animation is a little shaky in spots, but it’s a healthy effort for an indie studio. The sound design gets a 10/10 based on how it blasted out of my TV. It captures the general spirit of Robo and his supporting cast, and even has a teaser after the end credits pointing toward a potential future skirmish with his greatest arch-villain of all, according to that arch-villain, who thinks he knows a thing or two about arch-villains, though he might be biased what with being an arch-villain himself. And then with my wife’s assistance we combed through the voluminous end credits and spotted my name among thousands of others in the irritatingly non-alphabetical Special Thanks section. That’s going straight into my IMDb entry if I have one for some inexplicable reason before I die.

* * * * *

That means my outstanding Kickstarter campaigns are down to the final two, and they’re both movies:

Kickstarter projects that have yet to deliver:

Project: the spaceflight documentary Fight for Space
Launch date: July 2012
Estimated delivery date: December 2013
Last update to backers: May 6, 2015
Status as far as we’ve been told: After director Paul Hildebrandt’s second Kickstarter campaign for still more completion funds was a surprise success, Hildebrand took a deep dive into the National Archives’ old-fashioned card catalog that is their only existing tracking system for their enormous archive of decades’ worth of priceless NASA film recordings. Hildebrandt is in the process of sorting and digitally transferring as much viable spaceflight footage as possible for the film. Gotta be honest: this last fascinating update went a long way toward restoring some faith in him and his ambitious undertaking. Here’s hoping that ardent researcher’s joy is on display all throughout the finished work.

Project: Dan Harmon and Charlie Kaufman’s stop-motion feature film Anomalisa
Launch date: July 2012
Estimated delivery date: May 2013
Last update to backers: March 30, 2015
Status as far as we’ve been told: Post-production was definitely underway, with mentions of ADR looping sessions with costar Tom Noonan and score discussions with composer Carter Burwell. Beyond that, Hollywood takes as long as Hollywood feels like taking.

* * * * *

For those who’ve been following along since episode one, here’s a new list of another round of Kickstarter campaigns I’ve viewed and considered but declined specifically and solely because of my moratorium, some of which are still going and you can rescue today:

* “Exploding Kittens” card game, from The Oatmeal creator Matthew Inman
* Ungrounded graphic novel by Brian Augustyn, Tom Peyer, et al.
* Who North America’s store expansion project
* The Princess Who Saved Herself graphic novel by Greg Pak, Jonathan Coulton, and Takeshi Miyazawa
* Chris Gore’s Film Threat/”DVDuesday” revival
* Jesse L. Martin and Rick Cosnett’s “The Letter Carrier”
* De La Soul’s new album
* Gene Ha’s graphic novel Mae
* Jamal Igle’s Molly Danger Book Two
* Brian Denham’s steampunk Trek graphic novel Airship Enterprise
* The Doubleclicks’ new album President Snakes

I’m hoping Anomalisa and Fight for Space are magically completed within the next week or so, because I’d love to add many cents to Gene Ha’s Mae, of which we saw some preview images at C2E2 last month. Otherwise, I promise I’ll be among the first wave to buy the finished product in-store once that day comes. At this rate, it may happen before the two movies are done.

To be continued! Or maybe concluded. It’s a race to see who’s the tortoise and who’s the hare. If there’s a hare to be had here. May the best tortoise win!

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