This song is awesome. One day, Rob texted me and said he had some lyrics for a new song. A punk song. But he wasn’t sure how to move forward with the music. He tasked me to read through the lyrics and see what I could come up with.
I sent him a demo an hour later that is largely what you hear here.
This song is a throw back to 70’s and early 80’s punk rock. Fun, goofy lyrics with a driving beat and a 12-bar blues base. It’s rude, and funny, and I love this song.
This is an unusual song for Mark and I for a few reasons. Typically the vocalist for a Really Good Pot Roast song is whoever wrote the lyrics. This is one of only 2 songs we have that is an exception. The other thing that makes it unusual is the prose. I was in a rhyming rut when I wrote these lyrics so Mark suggested to forget about writing a song an just write a story. We’ll worry about song structure later. Mark saw this story and just put it to music without revision. (Actually, that’s a lie. The 3rd verse was rewritten because the original had too many words in it). The narrative of the song was missing something until Mark added the bridge.
Rob and I have been kicking this song around for a little while. We shelved it for a bit, but came back to it this weekend. This song is a bit of a groove feel to it, simply arranged. We’re not sure what, if anything, it needs. That’s not to say we think it’s perfect, but I think it’s come out pretty well. I have a question about the length of the song, if it should be sped up a bit, but I think the demo has some legs and can stand on it’s own for a while.
This song is a look into the trappings of suburbia, and peeling back the layers of the neighbors you know only in passing, and what they could really be. It’s like telling a story three times, but getting into more uncomfortable details each time. Not everything is as perfect as it seems.
Howdy, Tumblrisms! At FiftyNinety, there are two awesome people who create podcasts that showcase talented musicians in the community. Kiwafruit, whom we here at The Really Good Pot Roast owe a drink, and T.C. Elliot. Both have done excellent jobs, taking chunks out of their personal time to make these podcasts great.
In the last week, T.C. has released TWO podcasts of 50/90 music!
In which T.C. keeps new music coming, and offers us fellow FiNiners a bit of encouragement in these waning days of the challenge.
In both instances, T.C. offers a smooth, funny (almost absurdist) presentation of 50/90 selections. As always, the episodes move along easily and serve as a great primer to some of the music the 50/90 community has written in the last 75 days. And as always, they end before I want them to.
Go click on the link, head over to the podcast webpage, and download a few. Or, sign up for the feed in iTunes!
Rob’s Note: This is an unusual song for Mark and I for a few reasons. Typically the vocalist for a Really Good Pot Roast song is whoever wrote the lyrics. This is one of only 2 songs we have that is an exception to the loose rule. The other thing that makes it unusual is the prose. I was in a rhyming rut when I wrote these lyrics so Mark suggested I forget about writing a song and just write a story. We’d worry about song structure later. Mark saw this story and just put it to music without revision. (Actually, that’s a lie. The 3rd verse was rewritten because the original had too many words in it). The narrative of the song was missing something until Mark added the bridge.
Mark’s Note: Rob and I have been kicking this song around for a little while. We shelved it for a bit, but came back to it recently. This song is a bit of a groove feel to it, simply arranged. It’s our 12th collaboration of FiftyNinety. The song turned out well, and I think the demo has some legs and can stand on it’s own for a while.
Rob’s lyrics are awesome here. Like he said, they started more focused on the narrative, and I just found music that worked around it. This song is a look into the trappings of suburbia, and peeling back the layers of the neighbors you know only in passing, and what they could really be. It’s like telling a story three times, but getting into more uncomfortable details each time. Not everything is as perfect as it seems.
Okay, tumblr-ites. We’ve told you all about FiftyNinety. You’ve heard some of the podcasts, and maybe you thought, ‘Hey, that’s some good mellow music’. Scrap that. This weekend, the ever awesome Kahiwa (Kiwafruit) stacked together a new podcast meant to be turned up loud. Brace your faces, people, lest they be rocked off by awesome indie awesomeness.
You want rock? Check. Dancy-fun electronica? Yep. Want Hip-Hop, possibly with a bit of an industrial sound (like this one)? Gotcha. You want some old school punk? Damn right you do.
Rob and I have somehow found 5 of our songs on the podcast (with different collaborators), which is super awesome. On a completely unrelated note, Rob and I owe Kahiwa a few rounds of drinks.
Jonathan Coulton’s new album, Artificial Heart, is now available for download and purchase at the link above. Debuting by way of a tweet during his appearance at Dragon*Con this week, the album is being released first on his own website, then iTunes and other digital outlets this weekend, with physical discs to arrive later this fall. It’s 18 tracks of (mostly) new material, and the first album recorded in a real studio with a full band.
I’m a big JoCo fan. Something about his solid folk-rock style with core pop sensibilities, smart writing, and strong musical background make his music compelling and so enjoyable to me. I’ve seen him in concert 3 times with my wife, and have enjoyed every one. He’s a good performer, both engaging and funny.
The new album is a bit different than his past offerings. Recording with a full band, and produced by John Flansburgh of They Might Be Giants, the songs have a crisper sound, and much more efficiently paced (the average track length for the 18 song album is under 3 minutes). There’s definitely a TMBG influence felt in the arranging and instrumentation on some of these songs. The opening track, ‘Sticking it to Myself’ has a horn section behind aggressive, chompy, distorted guitars. ’Today with Your Wife’, a decidedly more somber tune than the name implies, is completely piano driven song. We’re not given many songs here about zombies and giant squid. There’s humor here, but there are also songs of loss, and some lyrical exploration of themes without a defined narrative, which is a bit different than the JoCo of the past. There are moments on this album where Coulton reminds you he’s a professional musician, not just a funny guy with music theory knowledge behind him.
Among the new songs are some collaborations with other artists. For Nemeses, he brings in John Roderick from The Long Winters to handle vocals. ’Now I Am An Arsonist’ is a duet with Suzanne Vega, who’s voice adds a lovely but haunting quality to the acoustic song. And then there’s the new version of ‘Still Alive’, featuring Sara of Tegan and Sara on vocal work. This song flows right into ‘Want You Gone’ as a nice little Portal couplet.
The album is not without it’s flaws. John Roderick’s inclusion is somewhat odd. He does a fine job on the vocals, but given that ‘Nemeses’ is arguably one of the most traditionally JoCo-sounding songs on the album, it’s just odd not to hear Coulton sing it himself. The new version of ‘Still Alive’ features a theramin intro that feels tacked on. Were it a separate song unto itself, it would make more sense. But the transition from intro to the song proper is abrupt. And staying with that same song, Sara does a decent job with the vocals, but Coulton handles the few spots of backing vocals. This is a minor point, but the song is from a singular point of view, a single angry character singing to someone, and when Coulton’s voice comes in for backing vocals, it breaks the narrative somewhat. Like someone else was there. I’m being picky, but this song doesn’t seem like a vocal duet.
Those small concerns aside, I’m really pleased with this album. If you’ve read any of the preceding, you know I’m not a professional writer, or music critic. But I like Jonathan Coulton, and I’m enjoying this record. If you’re a fan of the zombies and code monkeys and squids and space dog Jonathan Coulton, you’re going to have a bit of a learning curve here, as I did. But there’s a growth in musicianship, production, and composition here that makes it all worthwhile.
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the release of Serious as a Heart Attack, our first album as a band. If you haven’t picked up a copy for yourself, go to Amazon or iTunes now (All proceeds are donated to the American Heart Association).
Go ahead, I’ll wait…
Oh, good! You’re back. Like I was saying, 1 year anniversary. Mark and I thought it would be the perfect time to launch our new CafePress Store. Want a Really Good T-Shirt? How about a Really Good Coffee Mug? Or snuggle up with some Really Good Pajamas…. aw yeah.
The time to purchase some Really Good Swag is now always!