John Vanderslice

John Vanderslice

Good lord, does John Vanderslice know how to Kickstart.

There’s just a day left in the Kickstarter campaign Vanderslice launched in mid-February to finance his new album, Dagger Beach, and even though he’s already received roughly 410% of the funds he was hoping to raise, I can’t resist telling you about the “very sweet, special, awesome” rewards you can get your hands on if you contribute in the next 24 hours.

There are 34 potential packages. 34. And with more than 20 of them ringing in at $100 or less, some involving limited-edition items, it’s definitely worth taking a look. Here’s a small sampling of the smorgasbord from which you can choose:

  • Digital, CD and vinyl versions of Dagger Beach
  • An “Artisan, shade-grown, ‘hand-burned'” CDR of John Vanderslice rarities
  • A vinyl copy of his Green Grow the Rushes EP
  • Various t-shirts
  • An 8-second song with your name in it
  • A “Distressed wood flash drive of everything,” containing 16GB of his music
  • Dagger Beach test pressings
  • A private tour of his studio, complete with lunch at a taquería of your choosing

There are tons more. It’s bonkers in the best way possible.

The reward I’m most excited about, though — the one that got me to contribute at the $35 level — is a vinyl copy of a full-album cover version of David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs. I absolutely love that Vanderslice did this. It’s fun (who doesn’t want to hear another version of “Rebel Rebel”?), it’s sincere (from what I can tell, he set this part of the Dagger Beach release in motion before any of the new Bowie material was announced), it’s reverent (Vanderslice calls Diamond Dogs a “masterpiece” in his Kickstarter video), it’s irreverent (he’s altered song titles and structures significantly), but more than anything else, I love that it really feels like a gift. Vanderslice recorded an entire album and is giving it to the people who would help him release another album, along with digital versions of both. Plus the “shade-grown” rarities CD. All for $35. It’s like reverse usury, borne out of generosity and much truer to the ideal of a fundraising premium than most Kickstarters get by simply charging die-hard fans extra for something they could just wait and buy at market price later. No wonder he raised 4 times what he needed.

Preview a pair of Bowie covers below and click here to visit Vanderslice’s Kickstarter, which will remain open until Thursday.

John Vanderslice — “Diamanthunde” (David Bowie cover) [Soundcloud]

John Vanderslice — “A Better Whirlpool” (David Bowie cover) [Soundcloud]

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