Archive for July, 2014

“Weird Al” #1!

Posted by on July 25th, 2014

Polka down with your bad self.It’s the end of the world as we know it…”Weird Al” Yankovic has the #1 album on the charts!  I’ve been a fan of Al ever since seeing his first video on MTV–it was “Ricky”, the “I Love Lucy”-themed parody of Toni Basil’s “Mickey”.  He’s had a remarkable career since then, outlasting most of the bands he’s poked fun of over the years, and I think it’s great that he’s topped the charts with his latest album, “Mandatory Fun”.  Check out his eight videos from the album and then GO BUY IT!  Long live Al!

Skeleton SuitsIn the fall of 2012 I took a class online called “Recording with Reason” (referring to the software package made by Propellerhead); as part of that class I had to choose a reference track from a commercial CD as a starting point in recording and mixing a song.  My reference track was “Girlfriend is Better” by Talking Heads, and the song I ended up writing was “Skeleton Crew”.  It lacked the second verse, guitar solo, and the “second chorus” at the end, but in other respects, it was pretty similar to the end product you hear.  In fact, some parts of the Chameleon Red recording recycle bits from the original class project.

When I finished writing the song, December 1, 2012, I had just been laid off from my day job, which may explain the bent of the resulting lyrics and the fantasy of revenge on greedy corporate dudes.  The “second chorus” is an adaptation of the well-known (and creepy) “dry bones” passage in the Bible, Ezekiel 37:1-3. An engraving by 19th-century French artist Gustave Doré, illustrating this passage, was incorporated into the Skeleton Crew cover art.

The video was mostly recorded in one evening. I had a hard time keeping a straight face during the filming of the “presentation”, especially when I copped a move from David Byrne’s frenetic performance in the “Once in a Lifetime” video.  The “Night at the Roxbury” skull heads were filmed later and were also laughter-inducing. John designed the actual presentation that is seen in the video quite a long time after those scenes were filmed.