Saturday, April 28, 2012

Week 18 "Kittens Wearing Funny Hats"

Sometimes this life is just so hard to bear.
Nothing but pain and misery everywhere.
There's death on the streets and inflation is high.
It's hard to ignore, but you better believe I'll try

By looking up kittens wearing funny hats.
'Cause nothing is quite as cute as that.
I turn on the internet just to read the daily news.
No, that's not true. There's something that I would rather do.
I'd rather look up kittens wearing funny hats.

Sometimes I try to get some real work done,
but then I just browse the internet for fun.
My boss gets real mad when productivity's low.
When they make the cutbacks, I'll probably be the first to go.

Because I'm looking up kittens wearing funny hats.
'Cause nothing is quite as cute as that.
Some people have ambition and work hard to reach their dream,
but not you and me. There's just one thing we want to see
and that's pictures of kittens wearing funny hats.

Sometimes I think my life is just a sham.
Does everyone know the loser that I am?
I've got a dead end job. I'll never get anywhere.
But the saddest thing is, I'm not really sure I care.

I just keep looking up kittens wearing funny hats.

This one is based on a title suggested by my friend Adam, with the idea that it would have real internet search potential.  I thought it was a funny idea, so I came up with this song.  Hope you like it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Week 17 - "Hoopy Frood"

Who's a hoopy frood? Who's a hoopy frood? Who's a hoopy frood? Who? (Marvin: "Zaphod Beeblbrox")
Who's a hoopy frood? Who's a hoopy frood? Who's a hoopy frood? Who? (Ford: "Zaphod Beeblbrox")

He's a hoopy, hoopy frood.
He's always in a righteous mood.
He ain't just a groovy dude.
No, he's a hoopy, hoopy frood.

He's a man who's got two heads
and many people want him dead.
And his manner's pretty crude,
but he's a hoopy, hoopy frood.

They say he's a man of mystery,
though Eccentrica Gallumbits would not agree.
But she'll tell you he ain't no prude,
but he's a hoopy, hoopy frood.

This one's a tribute to the character of Zaphod Beeblebrox from Douglas Adams' radio and book series of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.  Zaphod is a real cool cat who has two heads, three or more arms, and because he is the president of the galaxy, he prettymuch thinks he runs everything (though he may be wrong).  "Hoopy frood" is a slang term for such a fellow as Zaphod.

I experimented with layering numerous vocals on this one - six at the thickest parts.  I also tried a new synth lead sound on my RD-600 keyboard.  Various clips from the radio series are used throughout the song.

Update - "Hoopy Froody" made its internet radio premiere on the Dr. Demento Show 4/28/2012!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Week 16 - "I'll Never Be the Girl of Your Dreams"

When I met you I was so shy,
Though I was such a passionate guy.
I sat so long in my room alone,
'til I had the nerve to pick up the phone.
Soon we were spending much time together,
And I got to know you much better.

You convinced me love could be real
With the feelings you made me feel.
I thought that it was right for so long,
But in the end I guess I was wrong.
Nothing's ever quite as it seems.
I guess I'll never be the girl of your dreams.

I'll never be quite what you're dreaming of.
I just don't fit the way you think of love.
But that's just life.  I've faced reality.
I cannot be what I'm not meant to be.

So you said that we could be friends,
And I guess that's how it all ends.
You said it wasn't me it was you,
but the truth is it was me, too.
Nothing's ever quite as it seems,
I guess I'll never be the girl of your dreams.

This is a modern love song about two friends that could not form a romantic relationship because their orientations were not compatible. It is written so that it can interpreted as a heterosexual man singing to a homosexual woman, or as a homosexual man singing to a heterosexual man. I recommend that you listen to it at least twice so you can hear it at least once each way.

I experimented with double-tracking the lead vocal part - one take is panned slightly left and one slightly right. I tried putting the background vocal in the center, but it didn't blend well, so I put it slightly to the right of one of the lead vocal takes. I also added a synth. bass sound and a square wave lead sound.

The verses are based on a 12-bar blues formula and the choruses are a different 16-measure succession that functions as a link since it ends on a V chord.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Week 15 - "UCM Fencing Cadence"

I love to fence, I love to fight.
I think about it day and night.
I’m fencing everywhere I go,
So just sit back and watch the show.

I love my swords and they love me.
We’re such a happy family.
Sabre, foil, and épée, too -
I love them all, now how about you?

I always practice fencing drills,
So I can improve my skills.
Do calisthenics all day long,
So my arms and legs stay strong.

When I walk out the crowd will cheer.
My fifteen-point salute strikes fear.
I look my opponent in the eye,
And boldly say, “Prepare to die!”

I hear it’s generally understood
That I’m a modern Robin Hood.
I know every line from The Princess Bride.
Zorro is my cousin on my father’s side.

I love it on the fencing team.
I’m living out a lifelong dream.
As the musketeers do call,
“It’s all for one and one for all.”

Sound off.  1-2.
Sound off.  3-4.
UCM!  UCM!  UCM!  Allez!

This was a request of Dusty Brooks, Dictator-for-life of the UCM Fencing Club.  It is based on standard military cadences.  The words were written to reflect the spirit of humor that Dusty and I as well as many of the other members of the fencing club shared when we fenced 2001-2005.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Week 14 - "The Time Has Come"

The sands of time keep flowing through the hourglass.
They turn the present and the future into past.
Outside the wind is blowing music in my ear.
We navigate the raging sea storm without fear.

The children playing in the grass and smelling flowers.
No apprehensions as they while away the hours.

But now the time has come.
And now the way is clear.
Are you ready to go
and get away from here?

I don't remember the last time I felt content.
What was I doing while my soul was being spent.
Somewhere we found a substitution for the truth.
Somehow we lost the blissful innocence of youth.

Why should we trust those that we cannot trust
when we should take back what belongs to us?


I tried to use some more chromatic motion in this one.  I also have as many as five vocals at once.