Tag Archives: Kickstarter

Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter Campaign Brings In Over $5.8 Million With 4 Days To Go

As of this afternoon Neil Young’s PonoMusic kickstarter campaign has grossed $5,805,033 from 17,010 donors.

PonoMusic is the third most funded Kickstarter campaign, according to a Warner Bros. press release.

“We are so excited about hitting this milestone, said PonoMusic CEO, John Hamm in the press release. “This campaign has exceeded our expectations from the start. By taking the nontraditional crowdfunding approach, we have been able to unveil PonoMusic our way – directly to our customers. The PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign now has over 16,000 active backers and we’ve received over 5,000 comments, questions, and suggestions on the site. This is incredibly valuable consumer feedback and we will be a much better company at launch because of the engagement from the PonoMusic community.”

“Pono is an ecosystem to play and store music,” Neil Young said in the press release. “This is not a format; the experience is not about recognizing a song, it’s about feeling it,” says Young, who came up with the idea over three years ago. He and his team have been chasing the dream of bringing the soul back into music ever since.”

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –

In The News: Devo, Johnny Cash, Julian Casablancas, Neil Young, John Coltrane

Devo Redux: Devo will perform its experimental music from 1974-1977 on a North American tour this summer. The 10-date North American tour is dedicated to the memory of the late Robert “Bob 2″ Casale, whose family will get a portion of the proceeds. According to Bob 2’s brother Gerald, Gerald Casale, Bob 2 “had no will or insurance.” — Slicing Up Eyeballs

Dylan’s Bed Jumping: Bob Dylan jumped on Johnny Cash’s bed the first time they met, according to the account the singer gave to his son, John Carter Cash which he commented about in a Reddit Q&A. Johnny Cash met Dylan in a New York City hotel room in the early Sixties. Although they had exchanged letters, upon finally meeting one another, “Dylan rushed into his room, jumped on the bed and began bouncing up and down chanting, ‘I met Johnny Cash, I met Johnny Cash.'” Although they fell out of touch as time went by, they remained friends. — Rolling Stone

Break the Code?: Fans think they’ve discovered the release date for ç upcoming album in a teaser video released this week. The date? May 26, 2014. Time will tell. — NME

Check out the video for yourself:

Gimme Money!: Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign has now passed the $5 million mark. As of Saturday, March 29, 2014 14,808 people had contributed $5,006,618.

A Love Supreme: Six rolls of undeveloped film shot by Chuck Stewart during sessions for John Coltrane’s transcendent album, A Love Supreme, were found by his son. Check out a few of the photos at the NPR website. — NPR

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –

News Update: Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter Campaign Passes $2.2 Million Mark

Elvis Costello has endorsed the PonoMusic player.

This is pretty wild.

Neil Young’s Kickstarter campaign for his PonoMusic player passes the $2.2 million mark this evening.

To be exact, 6,475 people had contributed $2,112,066 when I wrote this at around 8:30 p.m. PT, but, actually, the take is now up to $2,206,538.

And 6,784 have people have now contributed.

Meanwhile, what’s up with Neil’s upcoming album, A Letter Home?

Young told Billboard it will ‘likely’ be out this spring.

“It’s not ready for prime time yet. It’s not really a release yet, but it’s a very unique record,” Young said. “It’s like a time capsule. It doesn’t sound like anything you’ve heard that was made recently. And some great songs, some beautiful music.”

For more, check out my post on A Letter Home:

Neil Young’s ‘A Letter Home’ Now Set For ‘Likely’ Spring Release

Neil Young’s ‘A Letter Home’ Now Set For ‘Likely’ Spring Release

— A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post —

News Update: Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter Campaign Passes $1.73 Million Mark

Bruce Springsteen endorsing PonoMusic.

Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign as, in little over 24 hours, raised $1,731,296 in contributions from 5,280 people.


Meanwhile some of the media weren’t thrilled by how Young and his CEO handled a question at SXSW yesterday about how much PonoMusic will earn from music sales.

Stereogum ran this headline:

Neil Young’s SXSW Keynote Derailed By Simple Question About Pono

And basically reprinted part of a Billboard story:

As Billboard reports, after Young’s speech, Pono CEO John Hamm (not Don Draper) took the stage for a Q&A with Young and USA Today technology reporter Mike Snider. After answering questions about the PonoPlayer’s triangular shape (they wanted something “iconic”), its file format (FLAC), and whether it can play existing digital music libraries (it can), Young and Hamm waffled awkwardly when the subject of money came up. Per Billboard, it went like this:

Taking the microphone, a young man asked: “What’s your cut?” — referring, of course, to Apple’s now-famous 30% cut of sales on the iTunes Store.

Hamm, after a flustered moment, responded that, “It surprises most people that everyone who buys music from the record labels pays exactly the same amount.” At this, several audience members shouted, “What?!”

“That’s a delicate question, isn’t it?” asked Young.

Shortly thereafter, Hamm turned to the moderator, slightly flushed at this point, and said “We can end it.”

“You can answer the question if you like,” Snider said.

Hamm shook his head slightly before Snider closed the discussion.

It’s only a delicate question if you make it one, Neil. Don’t these guys know radical transparency is all the rage?

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –

Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter Campaign Raises Over $900,000 on Day One

Neil Young’s PonoMusic Kickstarter campaign went live today and as of this evening 2,798 people had contributed over $900,000, more than $100,00 over Young’s goal of $800,000.

Way to go Neil!

There’s a promotional video below that includes testimonials from Patti Smith, Tom Petty, Dave Grohl, Emmylou Harris, Jack White, David Crosby, Rick Rubin, Mike, D., Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and many many more.

You can check PonoMusic out and get a PonoMusic player for $300 (the $200 discount players sold out fast) right here.

Or watch the video below:

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –

More Details of Neil Young’s PonoMusic Revealed; Audiophiles Are Skeptical

A press release announcing details of Neil Young’s audiophile quality PonoMusic system dated March 10, 2014 was posted yesterday at the Computer Audio website. Young plans a major announcement at SXSW this week, where he will be interviewed Tuesday, March 11, at the Austin Convention Center at 5 p.m. local time.

From the press release:

The PonoPlayer has 128GB of memory and can store 1000 to 2000 high-resolution digital-music albums. Memory cards can be used to store and play different playlists and additional collections of music. The PonoPlayer will be sold at PonoMusic.com for $399 MSRP and is available for pre-order at a discount on Kickstarter.com as of March 15th.


“Our goal was to offer the highest quality digital music available from all the major labels with the world’s greatest sounding, user-friendly portable music player. We’ve achieved our goal and we are excited to launch our Kickstarter campaign next week to invite music lovers everywhere to join the PonoMusic community and reserve a PonoPlayer for their own enjoyment,” said John Hamm, CEO of PonoMusic.

Audiophiles who frequent the Computer Audio site were not thrilled.

Superdad posted:

Kickstarter?! Really, after all this wait–and the supposed amount of money and development behind this–they are going with a Kickstarter campaign to gauge interest and fund the project?


That’s quite an achievement since 128 GB typically stores fewer than 500 albums in 16/44.1 FLAC. What’s the Pono definition of “high-resolution”?


The iPod Classic is 160 GB for $249 and it fits in your pocket ’cause it is flat, not angled. Of course, it only does 16/44.1. If you want HD, there are quite a few nice portables now that do it…


Neil Young has been saying that PONO will be 24 bit 192kHz PCM. If that is the case a 30 minute 24/192 FLAC music album is over 1 GB, a 1 hour 24/192 FLAC music album is over 2 GB. So that would be 60 to 120 albums depending on length. If it really holds 1,000 to 2.000 high resolution music albums that is some major compression going on.

More from Superdad:

So little official information has ever been released about Pono. Chris, can you cite anything official about where/when DRM was part of the plan and now where they say that there will not be any DRM. Except for the snippet about allowing syncing to “other high- resolution digital music devices,” I see nothing in the press release you posted that would confirm a DRM-free ecosystem. And if, as Teresa claims, Neil Young has begun saying the format will be 24/192, then there is the issue of compression (to meet the device capacity and realistic download goals), which would perhaps imply a new compression format/container needing support by s/w and h/w.

I am not negative of pessimistic about Pono, and I agree that mainstream exposure (to hi-res formats) will help everyone. Heck, it might even inspire/goad Apple into catching up a bit with higher quality iTunes offerings.

I am just bemused that they are going the crowd funding route with a KS campaign. I assume that it is the Pono player they will be trying to fund. Can’t really crowd fund an entire company/technology initiative, though who knows.

It is also odd that they put out a press release while the Pono Music – high-quality music initiative from Neil Young site is still basically blank. I signed up on it with my e-mail address months ago and have never received a single e-mail. Not even today’s press release.

If us cognoscenti are still confused and in the dark, then I think Mr. Young needs to hire a better publicist. All those appearances on TV talk shows holding up a PON prototype. What a waste of publicity! I can think of a dozen was such huge exposure could have been used to wake the world up to quality sound…

And so on.

-– A Days of the Crazy-Wild blog post: sounds, visuals and/or news –

Tom Waits, Lucinda Williams Give Tracks To Blind Willie Johnson Tribute


Blind Willie Johnson had a voice that could burn the skin off your back. When he sang he might as well been gargling with rocks. He made Howlin’ Wolf sound like Frank Sinatra. His gospel recordings are legendary. Most famous, perhaps, is “Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground,” or maybe “John The Revelator.”

“Johnson’s music was charred with purgatorial fire — more than sixty years later, you can still smell the smoke on it,” wrote Francis Davis in his book, “The History of the Blues.”

Now a tribute album is in the works. Tom Waits is contributing covers of two songs: “Soul of a Man” and the amazing “John The Revelator.” Lucinda Williams checks in with “Nobody’s Fault But Mine,” the Cowboy Junkies recorded “Jesus Coming Soon,” and there are contributions from the Blind Boys of Alabama, Luther Dickinson, Rickie Lee Jones, Sinead O’Connor and more.

To fund the project, producer Jeffrey Gaskill is using Kickstarter. For more of the story, or if you’re interested in checking out what you get for what you give, head to this Kickstarter page.

Listen to “John The Revelator”:

And “Dark Was The Night, Cold Was the Ground.”