Tea for Tyrants is a project from Andy Angelos and Phil Lomac, the duo also known as Lovely Tyrants. To promote a new EP they decided to offer their own branded bags of green tea along with download instructions for the digital release. They were so inspired by the experience that they launched a tea and music company starting with 5 brands of green tea and 5 emerging acts. Turning to Kickstarter for funding, they reached their goal with days to spare.
If you think this is a cool project or just dig green tea, you still have a couple of days in which to pledge to support Tea for Tyrant's Kickstarter campaign. In addition to being an interesting way to address the "tangibility" issue, the campaign is a nice example of a thoughtful presentation that hits all the bases in a thorough manner that one might loosely compare to an American version of a Japanese tea ceremony.
[Update: Here's an extra incentive to participate. For every additional $500 in pledges Tea for Tyrants will add another band to the initial program. Nice!]
Kickstarter Pitch Video for Tea for Tyrants Campaign
I might be pushing the analogy of a tea ceremony a bit but I think you'll find the above video for the Tea for Tyrants project, with its evident care for well-crafted products and attention to detail, reminiscent of Gary Snyder's thoughts on the awareness evoked by learning how to drink tea.
And if that's too hippie dippy for you, keep in mind that they set a goal of $7500 and have already passed it with pledges of $7586 and 63 hours to go as I write this post. Not everyone can do that as those studying music crowdfunding know all too well.
You can find out more about the featured artists and varieties of tea on their Tea for Tyrants blog and additional details about their new company on their Kickstarter page including information about the green tea farm in Japan with which they're working.
Band member Andy Angelos, who contacted me about this campaign, recently shared his thoughts on "Pairing Music with Tangible Products" at Music Think Tank.
If you've been keeping up with the reemergence of vinyl and the reasons behind that movement, you've probably been hearing quite a bit about tangibility or what might be described as the grounding of an ephemeral force in the form of a physical recording.
While I recently wrote about various online equivalents of the old school listening experience focused on digital liner notes and augmented lyrics, such efforts cannot address the tangibility issue. Though some celebrate the possibly delusional belief that one day we will be able to leave our bodies behind and inhabit some sort of cyberspace, I remain committed to not only the physical embodiment of human consciousness but to the physical experience of music from handling merch and music packaging to playing musical instruments to standing too close to the speakers to dancing to having sex.
Apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way and even if you redirect this train of thought to music packaging, merch, related physical products and marketing, the power of connecting with deeper elements within the body and brain should be self evident.
In addition to Angelos' article at Music Think Tank, he's started a Reddit thread on "interesting ways to distribute new music" that include some links to further examples of projects that connect music to tangible products.
I've also covered a number of related projects here at Hypebot though not always emphasizing the topic of tangibility:
And if you're interested in the topic of successful Kickstarter campaigns with goals between 5 and 10 thousand bucks, you'll find a number of examples at Launch + Release.