Type: Audio

08
Dec
2020
17:06

Michael Against The Machine

I previously released a silly video in which I sang the outro of “Killing In The Name” by Rage Against the Machine in the style of Michael McDonald. I had a non-zero number of people on the internet say they wanted the full cover. At first, I thought that maybe they think they want the full cover but that in reality it wouldn’t be as funny or hold up for that long. I was wrong.

While I initially had my doubts whether a full cover could live up to a silly 30 second piece of absurdity illustrating what it might sound like if Michael McDonald and Rage Against The Machine were accidentally fused in a transporter accident, as I would be lying in bed trying to sleep, ideas would start coming to me. More and more ideas. Until I knew I had to be the conduit through which this alternate dimension cover came into creation.

I present to you, all 4 minutes and 16 seconds of this glorious abomination. In case you aren’t familiar with the original song, PROFANITY WARNING during the outro. It’s also way more enjoyable if you are familiar with the original.

"Eternal" Cover Art
23
Nov
2020
16:13

New Song Alert: “Eternal”

NEW SONG! WOOOOO!Here it is! The new collaboration with Andrew L. Hunter, one of my best friends for almost 40 years. We’ve come a long way since the days of spending the night at my house and making up silly songs on a cassette recorder. As usual, Andy sent me the synth tracks, lyrics, and a melody and let me take it from there. To my ears, this is what happens if you you put Genesis, Duran Duran, David Bowie, and The Police in a blender and add a dash of that personal seasoning and a melange of other influences. Available on Bandcamp, Reverbnation, and soon coming to all major streaming and purchase platforms.

"Eternal" Cover Art
“Eternal” Cover Art by Andrew Hunter
23
Apr
2020
0:32

Salvador Dali

So here’s something extremely silly I did. I used to work with the Paramount Story Wranglers which is an AWESOME group that goes to elementary schools and teaches kids about writing stories, then takes the CRAZY stories they writes and turns them into skits and songs for a show that the Story Wranglers perform at their school.

For one of the shows, I took one group’s story about Salvador Dali and turned it into a song. Tonight while looking for something else, I found the demo I had made of the song so we could learn it for the show, and decided that it needed the full production treatment to be a finished song. I wish I knew the elementary kids to credit for writing this story.

I am Salvador Dali, that is my name
I practice and I practice for my art
I want to be a painter of extraordinary fame
But my art room is a mess and I guess that makes it hard

It makes me oh so mad, that I can’t paint
I feel I’m not the person for this craft
Maybe mom and dad can help with my complaint
And help with brainstorming ideas and maybe painting a first draft

So we drove to a museum filled with other people’s art
Just so I could see ’em, get ideas of where to start
That’s when I saw a flyer and I found myself obsessed
It said “Want to become famous? Join the Art Museum Contest!”

I went back to my art room and I painted and I painted
I sent it to the contest, it was done
And when I told my parents the good news, they nearly fainted
My painting didn’t win 1st place, but 2nd place I won!

I told myself no matter how my painting looks
There’s one thing more important than the rest
Regardless if my name ends up in history books
At least I’ll know that I tried my best!

11
Apr
2020
14:37

Clapocalypse

You ever spend way too much time and effort on a throwaway joke? Like when a post by a friend makes you jokingly say that you want to create a version of the Friends theme that has claps through the whole song? So you get the Friends theme and painstakingly find some group claps in your drum software, and then tune them and tweak the Abbey Road Chambers reverb plugin trying to perfectly match the sound and tone of the original claps? And they’re still not perfect but you realize how much effort you’ve put into this and all the much better things you could have put that effort into so you call it “good enough” and move on with your life?

No? Just me?

MOAR CLAPS
05
Apr
2020
4:03

A Visit From A Muse

From a spark in my brain to finished song: 13 hours.

Long version: I had some dreams last night. I woke up at one point this morning and the idea and chorus for this song were in my head. I was still tired and wanted to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. And this song kept nagging at me to give it life. So I got up and fired up my studio. I knew this was going to be different from anything else I’d ever done. I knew it was going to be all synthesizers when I’m mostly an organic guitar-driven guy. I knew the exact vibe and atmosphere I wanted. I also knew I was going to write it in a way that I’d never written before: as I went along. Just tinkering with sounds and parts.

So, where to start when you have many different synths, each with hundreds if not thousands of sounds? I did a search for every sound that had “Dream” in the title. Then I started going through them all and finding ones that I thought might work for what I was going for. I ended up with about 20+ tracks of synths ready to be used. I started piecing it all together part by part. After about 10 or 11 hours, the music was done and I had a verse and a chorus of lyrics. I took a walk at around midnight and finished another two verses. I got back home and finished the last of the lyrics, thinking I would record vocals tomorrow.

Then I realized that I was going for a very soft vocal style on this song, so despite sleeping roommate’s and roommate’s child, I decided it couldn’t wait. I recorded all the vocals, did a few overdubs and edits, and here we are. Approximately 13 hours from when the muse kissed me, her gift is done. A song completely unlike anything I’ve ever written or recorded before. Everything but the vocals was done with Reason 11 in Reaper.

Some of the identifiable (to me) influential ingredients in this musical casserole:

  • Billie Eilish
  • David Bowie
  • St. Vincent
  • Pink Floyd
  • Jellyfish
  • Cars
  • Annie Lennox
  • Adele
  • Muse

A list of (most of) the synth sounds used (all the “dream”-based sounds):

  • Analog Dreams
  • Dream Sands
  • Ethereal Dreams
  • Galadriel’s Dream
  • Alan Turing’s Dream
  • Dreampark
  • Wavetable Dreams
  • Porpoise Dreams
  • Spock’s Dream
  • Start Your Dream
  • Acoustic Dream
  • Toy Dream
  • Dream Central
  • Soft And Dreamy
  • Dreamsong