Sunday, July 27, 2014

the call of the yankovic tells me i'm old

There are several musicians and bands whose works I will buy immediately upon release (or at least soon thereafter). But most of those are relative unknowns -- bands that haven't made the big time (e.g., Bobtown, The Dusty Buskers) or former stars who (how do I say it delicately?) aren't as popyular s they once were (e.g., Dave Edmunds, Nick Lowe).

One exception is "Weird Al" Yankovic. Yankovic is one of the few (maybe the only -- I'm not sure) musician whose albums I'll buy right away who is actually a household name. With that as backdrop, I discuss his latest release, Mandatory Fun. Scratch that. I'm not writing about tha album. I'm writing about my reaction to it.

MF makes me feel old. Of the twelve tracks, five are parodies. Of those, I am only familiar with one of the original songs being parodied. That one is "Word Crimes," which is a parody of Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." And it's probably too strong to say I'm "familiar with" the Thicke song. "Vaguely aware of" would be a more accurate phrase. And that's only because someone I know posted the video on facebook with a comment about how this is a good example of our rape culture. Oh, and I haven't heard of the other four musicians and bands whose songs are parodied.

Turning to the Polka medley, there are twelve songs represented in the medley. I'm familiar with three of them. And that overstates my familiarity with current pop music. One of the three is "The Too Fat Polka," which was a hit in 1947. The other two are "Gangnam Style," which became a pop-culture phenomenon way beyond the world of music, and "Wrecking Ball" the Miley Cyrus hit which has become widely known throughout the culture because of the video and the popular reaction to it.

Bottom line? I am way out of touch with the world of pop music.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

and there was much rejoicing in bobtown

I'll admit I was kind of nervous. As time went by Bobtown's Kickstarter campaign was sputtering, and it looked like they wouldn't make their goal.

Somehow, though, in the last few days, they got a bunch of large pledges -- one for $1000, a couple for $501, and one for $500. I don't know all the others. But that put them over the top. So they'll record their new album, supported in part by 126 supporters on Kickstarter. And I will get:
  • A recording of them doing one of my songs (I'll probably go with "Five Missing One," but that's subject to change.
  • My name in the liner notes
  • An autographed copy of the album
  • Two spots on the guestlist for the album's release show
  • A limited digital album of all the song demos from the album
  • A separate unreleased bonus track
  • The entire Bobtown discography
  • A Bobtown T-shirt and button
And now, as a thank you for reading this far, an outdoor version of one of my Bobtown favorites:

Monday, July 7, 2014

i reiterate: please support bobtown's new album

I don't know how to stress this enough. Please go to Kickstarter and pledge your support for Bobtown's new album. I did. And I want the album to come out.

Full disclosure: Part of the reason I want this Kickstarter to succeed is, of course, the fact that I want this album to see the light of day. There's also the fact that I pledged at the level that will have them recording a cover version of a song of my choice. They agreed to do a demo of one of my songs. I'll be asking them to record "Five Missing One." I want this to happen. So please, please, please. Pledge, pledge pledge.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

an earwig from wyoming

So, thanks to my sister I have a very annoying earwig that I can't get rid of.

We were reminiscing over old times, and she asked if I remember, years ago at summer camp, there were some counselors who used to always sing about Wyoming. Singing, I didn't remember. But I did remember chanting. There was one year that a contingent from Wyoming would interrupt every Sabbath meal with chants of "Wyoming! Why Not?" or "We're going to Wyoming! How 'bout you?"

But my sister remembered singing, and could recall the specific song:

Ma tov le'echol
Et ha'donut hole
B'eretz Wyoming

Essentially, it means "How good is it to eat a donut hole in the land of Wyoming?" Obviously, it was mostly Hebrew, with a few strategic words in English. And it was such a beautiful melody. I can totally see it as being sung during the dancing at the Sabbath meals. Heck, the melody probably is from one of the regular sabbath songs.

Of course, we couldn't leave well enugh alone. We wrote another verse:

Ma to li'shtot
Et ha'root beer float
Be'eretz Arkansas

This translates to "How good it is to drink a root beer float in the land of Arkansas."

Add an emphatic "Amen" after it, and you've got an earwig that I can't shake.