A little while ago, a bunch of my friends got together and made a comic that premiered last year at the Long Beach Comic and Horror Convention. We made an anthology of 15 stories, one of which I wrote based off of an idea I used previously in my Frightpod Spookcast. Since we named ourselves “Old College Comics,” it was only fitting we called the anthology The Freshmen 15.
Anyway, as most people know, goods and services in life are not free. They must be exchanged for some type of currency. So we started an IndieGoGo page asking for donations. Given that I have no other thing I could possibly offer, I volunteered to write a song for people that donated in a certain price bracket. WELL GUESS WHAT? Four people donated that amount, and so there I was with four requests for songs that I had to fill. And I just filled them! I did them all. I filled those requests. Innuendo. Funny.
Here they are in order of how much I like them.
I was waffling for a while when deciding which song was my absolute favorite. Making waffles helps me make decisions hahahahah stupid. I ultimately went with the song “Talking Dog” though, because I think it’s the one that works best without any context. But here’s the context anyway. Also, keep in mind that I told everyone that the more specific someone got on what kind of song they wanted, the easier it would be for me.
I had to make a song for the brother of one of our collaborators. He lives on the other side of the country, and all his brother told me was that he liked pop-punk bands such as Rise Against. Or is it Against Me? I always mix those two up. The band that’s on rock radio all the time. Also that he wanted it to be funny. So for a bit I was trying to imagine how I could possibly come up with just a “funny” song. Could I adapt a sketch I wrote at some point? Or maybe make it all unrelated puns? Then I realized I didn’t have to do any of that. I decided to just take an old joke and turn it into a song. I took a page from the king of old jokes–my grandpa–and used a joke he always tells about a talking dog. Once I got the concept and the lyrics down, the recording actually went pretty smoothy.
Here are the fruits of my labor.
Second, I’ll have to go with “Techno Love” or “Eric Techno” or whatever the hell I ended up calling it. A nice fellow named Eric ended up donating a good chunk of money to us, and on top of that, I’ve met him a few times and he is a stand up dude, and people like that in life deserve a nice thing every once in a while from this cruel and uncaring world so I thought I would write a nice song for him. He decided he would like a song that sounded like “90’s Techno,” so I did my best. Since a computer’s favorite genre is techno (obviously) I did it from the point of view of his macbook that has fallen in love with him. I don’t know. It felt right at the time. I’m really happy with the way it turned out even though it was my first real attempt at doing a techno/trancey kind of deal. So yeah. This is it.
While most of my requests were pretty vague, I ended up getting one that was extremely specific. My friend’s mom asked for a hip-hop song about a dinosaur and/or a pig. I could have given her just a rap song about a pig or just a rap song about a dinosaur, but why cut corners when it comes to a person who so generously donated to our cause. I wouldn’t stand for it! So I wrote her a borderline nonsense song about dinosaurs traveling through time and becoming buddies with a pig. And since I am good friends with her son, I decided to strengthen the song’s themes of friendship by inviting some of my friends over to (hip) hop on the track and give it some character with their very raw rhyme styles. By raw I mean we were all pretty bad at rapping. Also my hip-hop production could use some work. It’s hard to make that beat really snap, so I tip my hat even farther to great producers who can make songs with so many different elements sound so clear and pristine. BUT I will say that I am proud that the beat changes depending on what’s going on in the story. Take a listen! When they are back in time, I have marimbas and other percussion instruments that sound more primitive. Once the space meteor shows up with special alien powers, I put in some fun synths. And when they travel to the farm, I added a banjo and some guitar into the beat to give it a more rural feel. I just realized that if you’re reading this before you listen to the song, it probably sounds like absolute nonsense I made up for a joke but you’ll find this is absolutely real and I am absolutely the kind of human that chooses to spend his time on this sort of thing.
Another donor–who I am only tangentially related to–requested something Classical. While I’ve done some things that have a kind of Classical flair in the past with mixed results, I’m not super happy with the way this one turned out to be honest. I hope the people that donated the money still enjoyed the song. I bet they did, I’m just being critical of my own shit probably. Not much to say about this one. I did my best but it’s hard to make and my midi keyboard that I record this on is an awful piece of shit and life and time is only a perception. OK are your expectations lowered? Cool. Click on it now.
Well, there you go. I thought it might be a good idea to update this blog with what I’ve been working on. I thought the story behind some of these songs and how they came about might be kind of interesting. There aren’t many songs commissioned these days, which I find curious. Why not? You don’t have an idea or a story that you think would make for a great song? I find that hard to believe. People should pay musicians to make songs for them more often. It’s fun for everyone involved. Am I volunteering? If the price is right… hehhehehhh give me lots of money to do things I already do for free… hehehaehahahah bye.