Vox Populi, The fun power pop cover trio I formed with David Houston and Matt Patterson put out our latest quarantine cover collaboration, “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” by The Rubinoos. A really fun, boppy, tasty power pop treat!
We’ve always wanted to do this song by one of our all-time favorite bands, Jellyfish, so we arranged it for a 3 piece and did our power trio version as another Quarantine Socially Distant Performance! Here is Vox Populi covering “The King Is Half-Undressed”!
I decided to arrange this for the trio. This meant there are several parts where there is (at least) one vocal part missing. I also decided to try and do it like we would live so instead of videoing myself doing several guitar parts, or a keyboard part, I just left it with one guitar part performed simultaneously with the vocal (like I would live). Of course, in a studio setting, this is not optimal as my very sensitive vocal mic (a Slate Digital ML-1) picks up the jangling noise from strumming my guitar strings as well, but it’s tolerable.
I love this group and this song and this is definitely one of my favorite musical things that I’ve ever been involved with. Vox Populi is me, David Houston on bass and vocals, and Matt Patterson on drums and vocals.
Matt Patterson, David Houston and I have been threatening to start a power pop cover band. We’ve all been throwing song ideas around and Matt has been throwing out all kinds of great song suggestions that I’ve somehow never heard before. For our first ever virtual performance, he wanted to do “September Gurls” by Big Star, which I’d actually never heard. About 2 hours later I had learned and filmed my parts! We have dubbed ourselves “Vox Populi” and VoxpopuliPowerPop will be our URLs around Cyberspace!
Finally! The project that I’ve been totally immersed in for so many hours over so many days that time has lost all meaning (in a good way…I’ve been smiling and cackling like a mad scientist in his lair).
Among my latest random musical urges, I suddenly, out of nowhere felt like I wanted to cover “Getting Better” by The Beatles and do one of those videos where you video as you record each part. Initially, it was just going to be a solo project, but then I thought how things are always more fun “With A Little Help From My Friends.” So I contacted the biggest Beatles guru I know who also happens to be a multi-talented musician, singer, actor, and all around ridiculously good guy, Darin Murphy to see if he would be the John and Ringo to my Paul and George. He was gracious enough to agree to “Come Together” and I absolutely love the result.
It may be a strange song to cover in these crazy days, but if nothing else I like to think the title alone is just a good goal and hope. And some Beatles always makes things better.
I’ve been getting random musical urges lately. The latest was a sudden desire to perform “Wish You Were Here” using my looper. So here it is. It is uncomfortably far from perfect, but I find I very often get bogged down in letting perfection become the enemy of good.
Playing music is so powerful and therapeutic for me. Putting things out for public consumption though, I NEVER feel like they’re good enough. I recorded a take of this last night, then upon reviewing the footage noticed some visual things that were unacceptable. I did a couple of more tries today. I finally got one I could live with so I went to render the audio and when it came time to grab the video, I found I had mistakenly deleted it, and since I used the Filmic Pro app, there was no “trash” to recover it from.
2 or three more tries and eventually it was starting to lose its magic and become tiresome, so I decided that this one was it. No more. Hopefully what it lacks in perfection, it makes up for in soul.
I’ve always loved this monologue from The Jerk. Steve Martin is just one of the best comedians of all time.
Revisiting the ending to “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits. This song has always been special to me, as it was the first real milestone for me as a guitarist. When I learned the whole song as a fresh new guitar player oh so many moons ago, I felt I had really accomplished something big. I think it’s still some of the finest and most original guitar playing ever recorded.
In a lot of my bands, I end up covering a LOT of musical ground like keyboard parts for example. I had a particularly good time learning the keyboard solo to “Africa” by Toto. It can be a lot of fun and educational in that it gets you playing in a different way than you normally would.
The always amazing Brian Villalobos started the #sitcomonologuechallenge by posting 4 great videos of dramatic readings of sitcom theme songs. Here is my contribution. Channeling my best Quint from Jaws to tell a tale of woe from the seas.
This is what I love about TikTok. It feels like an open playground. A creative sandbox where you can just play with any old idea that pops into your head no matter how inane, random, stupid, or absurd. It’s so freeing and has made me realize how often we stomp down or throttle our own creativity because we deem it “not good enough” for a million different reasons or just cerebral flotsam and jetsam. I feel it’s good for the mental muscles to just let it run free like we did as children. This video was literally just a spur of the moment random neurons firing. I talked myself out actually capturing it 3, 4, maybe 5 times because it was stupid, nonsense, meaningless, of no value.
Then I just did it. And I kind of liked it. It made me smile. A lot of humor I like has those same flavors. Much of Monty Python could possibly be described similarly (not that I’m at all comparing myself or this to their genius). It felt good to let go of that fear of judgment and just let my brain spit out the piece of absurdity it wanted to play with. Because this is me. And I have a thousand moments like this or more every day.
When I joined TikTok to check it out, I really thought I’d hate it. That it was an app that teens used. I thought I’d check it out and pretty much immediately determine it was not for me and delete it (which is exactly what happened with Snapchat) but to my surprise I fell in love. There are all kinds of people making all kinds of videos and I find myself endlessly sucked in and scrolling and getting crushes on all kinds of awesome people I wish were my friends. But most of all it feels like a wonderful outlet for literally anything my mind wants to express. It doesn’t have to be genius, or fully formed, or polished. Or even good. It just feels so good to stretch those creative muscles and the worst case scenarios is that you get a few views, maybe a crappy comment and then the moment is over. But it still felt good to let it out into the universe.