If you attended last week’s Unboxed/DUMBO Summer Friday event, you likely became an instant fan of Prince Rama, who we predict will blow up to Grimes-level proportions following the release of their next album, Top Ten Hits of the End of the World. Sisters Taraka and Nimai Larson put on a singularly theatrical show for us — complete with trailing veils, fake blood and plenty of frantic dancing — and now they’re aiming to take that show to the big (or at least computer) screen with their very own “Now-Age Psych Opera” called Prince Rama and the Scorpion Tornado. Funding, they hope, will come from Kickstarter.
Prince Rama is a Brooklyn-based sister duo — raised on a Hare Krishna farm in Florida — with a solid five albums under their sequined belts. Their next disc, however, is a kind of departure from their former works, which were very chant-heavy and replete with madeup words. The new album, due out in November, leans more towards the pop realm and features 10 songs by 10 fictional bands who released number-one hits (and died) during various and sundry apocalypses. The girls busted out several of their new jams during our event last week, and we’ll be posting all of them in the coming days.
The sisters are adding all kinds of special extra touches to this new release, including photos of each of the fictional bands and a fanzine featuring complete bios. Their most ambitious move to date, however, is a Kickstarter campaign that would fund a 20-30 musical film directed by Astral Projects, somewhat reminiscent of Javelin’s Spaghetti Western effort, Canyon Candy (also funded via Kickstarter).
“The opera will encompass many songs from the new album, stitched together in a dazzling, dreamlike way,” says Taraka Larson. “Think Alejandro Jodorwosky meets Kenneth Anger while getting a pie thrown in his face by Ryan Trecartin. We say opera, but we aren’t really going to be singing opera. It’s just an excuse to build a bunch of elaborate sets, choreograph some insanely ambitious dance numbers and have over the top special effects. It is going to be like APOCALYPSE NOW.” Secret: Larson says she hates rock operas, so don’t expect any Tommy-esque shenanigans in this joint.
The girls need to raise about $14,000 in the next few weeks to meet their $15,000 goal, and they’re offering up some pretty interesting rewards to any and all funders, including secret cookie recipes, roles in the film itself, a date with the band, unreleased Prince Rama tracks and more.
When asked why the band chose to use Kickstarter for their campaign as opposed to, say, Ben Folds’s platform of choice, PledgeMusic, Larson admitted that she wasn’t familiar with any other platforms. However, she was pretty inspired by Amanda Palmer’s recent $1 million Kickstarter effort.
Prince Rama has some stiff competition when it comes to raising cash for musical projects — music is one of the most popular categories for fundraising on Kickstarter — however, their concept is a lot more novel than, say, just raising dough for your next album. Javelin was able to garner more than $12,000 for their epic music video. Perhaps Prince Rama can follow in their footsteps. Hey, they both did share a stage at DUMBO Summer Friday.
Image courtesy of Brendan Tobin