Archive for the ‘boffo yux’ Category

Reviews: SpinTunes:Champions vs. Shadows

July 30, 2015



Since there were 3 members of BYD involved with this puppy (and Toni, who weighs in on Al’s vote), it was a complicated process to figure out the actual vote. Travis has our results, but the reviews are up for all to peruse, cajole and otherwise commiserate about. I was surprised at Scott’s thoughts, but hey, he has a point.


First up – Al Morgan takes the stage and mixes a few drinks.


Bubba and the Amiable Kraken – Bluebird:
Very catchy and sweet; I like the wistful vibe. Simple, but that works in its favor. Kinda XTC-lite. The whistling part could be the background of a car commercial.

Zoe Gray – Satisfaction Guaranteed:
Very smart; my own feminist teenage daughter would approve, and in fact this sounds a lot like some of the music she listens to. I like the spacey feel, which conjures a retro-futuristic (or is just futuristic?) vibe for me, especially contrasted with the wry content and delivery of the lyrics. Great tune (hummable!), only the bridge took me by surprise a little. A strong contender, of course.

Hotel Rex – Bridge:
I’m a sucker for power pop, what with the “1,2,3,4” countoff and all, though I’d likea little more power here. A bit generic, but ultimately a perfectly pleasant tune, well-executed.

Jutze – Ballad of the Emperor:
Props to any fellow traveller who takes the offbeat route, and bonus points for using “septillion” in a song. You do realize Star TREK is the superior franchise, don’t you?

James Young – Sandcastles:
Really well done. Not much to say, except that I like it a lot and that the Posies called and want their song back.

Rob from Amersfoort – Dream House:
OK, now THIS is what I’m talking about. When it first started I was dubious, and within 15 seconds I was loving it. Just brimming with the post-psychedelic quirkiness that I yearn for; it’s like some garage-band cross between The Soundtrack of Our Lives and The Tages. You’re not gonna get everyone on your side, but the ones you do are gonna LOVE you.

Brian Gray – I’ll Do It Myself:
Wow, I’m glad this isn’t about me. The music is exquisitelysequenced/played and fits the mood of what you’re going for perfectly. The lyrics are razor-sharp though they wander into unfathomable acronym territory at times, which I suppose is part of the joke. I think I know what you were going for with the “Septembers” bit, and it’s a nice change-up, but ultimately I think it disrupts the flow of the song. The best caustic put-down songs (and this is a good one) are usually pretty relentless. I would have liked to have heard more vitriol in the vocal delivery, but you probably see the character differently than I do.

Boffo Yux Dudes – Tiny House:
I just thank God that my wife indulges us in our silliness and I finally found a Linux-based vocal compressor plugin that works for me.

Dr. Lindyke – Day after Day:
Ah, my old archnemesis, earnest self-reflection. Well-written, sung, and played, this has everything a good 70’s-type piano song needs, including true emotion and a big ‘ol hook. The bird sound effects are appropriate and NOT played for laughs; consequently, this seems like a waste to me, but whatever floats your boat.

Pigfarmer Jr. – River of Tears:
Straightforward and roots-y. I think it works in that I want to take the narrator out for a few beers and get plastered so we all forget our troubles.

Trader Jack – Building:
The instructions are going a bit fast, so I appreciate the repeated phrases. I, too, could not find a compass, so I had to hand-draw the circles best I could. You seem to be concerned with wanting more, but if we’re going to get this done you’ll have to stay focused on the task at hand. And we won’t be able to build the tesseract you mentioned until we’ve completed the two-dimensional stuff.

Ben Taggart – Building Me:
This kinda thing ain’t my cup of gin, so I’ll note that the simplicity of the arrangement works in your favor, but you have to guard against monotony (yeah, yeah, I know, pot, meet kettle). Nice melody, but there might have been a pitch crack here or there (dammit, there’s that pot/kettle combo again!)


Jenny Katz – Thoughts on Leaving You:
This is a whole new level of good. I have a low tolerance for confessionals-with-an-acoustic-guitar, but damned if you didn’t keep me listening and thinking. Emotional without being overly sentimental, direct without being aggressively blunt, I’ve been there and maybe you all have, too. So you made me want to ask the question, Jenny: what DOES “free” mean to you?

Governing Dynamics – Room Stop Spinning:
Sounds like a lost You Am I track, which is a definite plus in my book. Growing old’s a bitch, which is why I’ve given it up mentally even if my body trudges onward, so I’m right with ya, buddy. And any DJ who doesn’t know Nirvana isn’t worth my junked collection of Ric Astley twelve-inchers.

Matt & Donna – Reasons My Kid is Crying:
You think things are bad now…wait until the little bastards become teenagers.

MC Ohm-I – Favorite Things:
The main drawback for me is that the vocals seem really low, so I have to consult the lyrics, which I mostly understood but my son thought were the best things he’s heard this week. I like the idea of hijacking something from “The Sound of Music” for a hip-hop song, if not least because it amuses me to think of Edric Haleen guesting with you on this. That’d be kinda awesome, actually.

Next up – Scott Mercer serves up his results with a dish served cold for the Champions…

All of the Champions should be disqualified.

None of them met the requirements of the challenge.  The challenge was: “write a list song about any topic you like.  The song should be in the form of a list, not about a list.”  To me, that means that the song should consist of a list and nothing more.

None of them were in the form of a list.  All the lyrics contained extraneous phrases, descriptions, questions, sentences and lyrics that were not part of the list.    (If the second sentence was not in the challenge, all of them would pass.  That second sentence prohibits any meta-commentary).

Having said that, the song that most resembled a list was the song by Jenny Katz.  Still, one of the lyrics is “I guess I should put the rest of the good down here in the column,” which is her commenting on the list, and not part of the list.  Clearly, there she is talking ABOUT a list, which is not to be done, according to the challenge.

Musically, the best song was the song by MC Ohm-I.  The My Favorite Things loop was fantastic and appropriate.

Moving on to the Shadows.
The challenge was a lot more vague and open to interpretation.  Probably appropriate that the Champions should get a more strict challenge and the Shadows get a much looser challenge.  So no disqualifications for the Shadows.

Overall a strong group of entries.  Nothing outright terrible.

1. Bubba and The Amiable Kraken – Love it…don’t mind the whistling at all, it’s a song about a bird.  Really pleasant and catchy.  Great hook in the chorus.

2. Zoe Grey. – Fantastic girl pop.  Lots of heart and brains.  Good social commentary here.  This manages, somehow, to feel both contemporary and timeless simultaneously.  Just a winner all the way around.

3. Hotel Rex – The first of several bridges that get built.  Really like the music, it’s got that classic Beatles/Badfinger feel.  Really strong entry.  The clumsy ending means I can’t rank it number one.

4. Jutze – This is a novelty, and I think I know where I speak regarding novelty songs.  So it has to be judged on different criteria from the other entries.  Is it a good novelty song?  I think it’s just okay.  No new twists on the Star Wars mythos really.  Hasn’t this vein been mined out by this time?  Overall, it’s a bit perfunctory.

5. James Young – It’s got an 80’s rock feel, like, I dunno, Big Country?  Midnight Oil?  It’s not bad but it doesn’t get me riled up.

6.  Rob From Amersfoort – Okay, more building castles.  This is also has an 80’s feel in my opinion, but more like Talking Heads or The Cars?  A bit “New Wave”.  It’s a bit more catchy than the James Young, but not much.  Really not a fan of that coda.

7. Brian Gray – This type of musical arrangement would have been good for a list song, but…that’s irrelevant.  Anyway, love the wordplay, and the “End of The World As We Know It” lyric torrent.  The completely non-matching bridge makes a nice intermezzo, a refreshing palate cleanser before we go back into the final verse.  Delightful!

8. BYD – Not rating our own song.

9. Dr. Lindyke – Well, hey.  More building castles in the sand!  This is a nice ballad, kind of a power pop ballad.  Reminds me of The Vandalias.  Nobody knows who that is, I’m sure.  We stay with the sand/beach metaphor throughout the song and really explore it, though.  And I appreciate that.  It’s not just a passing, obvious gambit.  Definitely a 70’s feel.  And a cameo from Jonathan Livingston Seagull!  Points for that.

10. Pigfarmer Jr. – Okay, now back to building a bridge across the river.  The songwriting is perfectly good, but I’m not blown away by the arrangement or the recording.  It’s pretty spare and I think the song could have justified a denser arrangement.  I know, it’s kind of country or folk or whatever, but that’s just how I feel.

11. Trader Jack – I appreciate the attempt at doing something different, but I did not want to listen to this a second time.

12. Ben Taggart – (late entry) – It’s a nice heartfelt song, I like the tack on the lyrics, something nobody else tried.  I don’t think it would have won, but I liked it.

and lastly, up with desert is Tommy G, who hits the nail on the head with his insightful commentary (or is that the mixed drinks talking?)

The Champions…

Jenny Katz – Thoughts On Leaving You
I like the simple guitar melody line that pushed the thoughts forward. It’s as though the pro and con list is a frantic thought process. What’s good? What’s bad? and what’s not in my control? She’s made her mind up. What about him?
Nice, plaintive ballad that hits many good notes and answers one question but leaves us wondering on the final one.

Governing Dynamics – Room Stop Spinning
Fun, Fuzzy Guitars accent the fuzziness inside the singer’s head. Is he growing up and out of partying? or just annoyed at the fact he can’t relate to the next generation coming up in the wash of bourbon and regret? If you’re too cool for the room, should you stay in it?
I like the driving bass as a counterpoint to the languishing guitars. The song can’t keep going in one direction, which accents the spinning room. Interesting use of tempo there.

Matt & Donna – Reasons My Kid Is Crying
I liked the melancholy kid cries turned into the chorus refrain. Nice touch on using a stylophone. It fits like an electronic xylophone glove. The forlorn feeling by the doting Dad come through as exasperation from the parents, where they can’t do the right thing for their kid (Although they look like they’re doing the right stuff, the kid obviously doesn’t agree)
It looks like they both need a kid breather after this, but the song tells the story well.

MC Ohm-I – Favorite Games
Good use of tying the music riff into the list theme for ‘My Favorite Things’. It fit well. The lyrics had wit without being snarky. I’d love to hear the vocals more present in the mix – they should be front and center on the next version.

The Challengers

Bubba & The Amiable Kraken – Bluebird
Fun, easygoing song about making a birdhouse. I liked the harmonies on the final chorus line, and the accent from the electric guitar complements the acoustic strumming.
The lyrics brought me to a meadow in my mind. Good job.

Zoe Gray – Satisfaction Guaranteed
Building your personal robot? That will take care of your every wish? What could go wrong with that? Well, what happens if that robot finds out there is more than serving people out there? Interesting tale, and good use of minor chord progressions to heighten the off note that all is not as it appears in the song.

Hotel Rex – Bridge
Good bar band rocking song, but the lyrics cryptically show the building involved is one of self deception. Nice twist there – the main character is actually pretty clueless about his situation. So it’s treating the subject as a positive, while the listener can pick out all the negatives involved in this relationship. Good touch.

Jutze – Ballad Of The Emperor
Who doesn’t love a good Star Wars romp? I like this upbeat ditty about building the most powerful station in the universe. Nice foreshadowing with ‘This weapon is too big to fail’.  The whole song made me smile.

James Young – Sandcastles
Funky analogy of Building Sand Castles and the impermanence of reality. Good guitar solo.  Do the castles hold your dreams, which wash away with the waves? Is it all futile in the end? a bit depressing, actually, but the forlorn voice does bring it together in the chorus.

Rob From Amersfoort – Dream House
Very dreamy stuttersteping song. Odd choice of chord progression, which builds on itself, brick by brick. Feels like you took inverse chords to make it have an unsettling emotional response. Then you toss in the refrain at the end that mixes things up more. The dream is askew, and the notes reinforce that thought.

Brian Gray – I’ll Do It Myself
Driving upbeat, manic tempo keeps the pace with a caffeine fueled tantrum.
The break was a good counterpoint for where the singer wants to be – but never quite gets back there. Also liked the organ solo – kept things moving fast like the mental state of the programmer.

The Boffo Yux Dudes – My Tiny House Is Too Tiny
I’m biased on this one. Al and Toni took a fun take on Scott’s lyrics. I’m still laughing every time Peter Dinklage is mentioned. So I’m a little prejudiced.

Dr. Lindyke – Day After Day
I like the laid back vibe this puts out. It’s not rushed. It has its own pace, and keeps to it. The ebb and flow of the tide fit the couple and their on again, off again relationship. But like the tide, they keep at it and build it back up again. SImple melody, but it all fits together like  glove. Well done.

Pigfarmer Jr – River Of Tears
Aching lyrics of lost love and lost time hits the heart. Nice guitar solo. Building Bridges over the river of tears is a good analogy for the heartache of the singer.

Trader Jack – Building
You build confusion very well with this tune. Watching the video helps at least make some sense of the lyrics, but it’s a long way to go for a cube.

Ben Taggart – Building Me (Shadow)
I’m seriously bummed this one came in too late to be a true shadow, and is more a stalker song. NIce analogy for building character instead of things. It also has a nice theme of passing on knowledge through the generations.

I’ll add the actual ranking of all the songs after Travis has posted his versions, since we had one clear victor, but the others were all within one point. Nice job everyone, and on to the final round!


Tommy G., Al and Scott.


India Loves BYD. Who Knew? Our You Tube Analytics Report

June 1, 2013

Who new? You Tube Edition

I was playing with the BYD You Tube Analytics and found out some very funky facts about the 800+ video’s I’ve posted over the years. These facts are only relative to ones played in that particular country. While I’d love to say We’re huge in Belgium, I don’t know that for a fact. But I do know relative ranking of the videos when I start clicking around, and here’s what I’ve surmised.

India Loves BYD. 5 of the top 10 videos are our comedy bits
Almost half of all our plays of Speculation Theater in the world are from India.

Saudi Arabia Love BYD as well – 6 of the top 10 videos are from there.

Serbia and Slovenia like Peyote Man.

England loves Steve Steinberg. Over half of the plays of this video are from there.

Europe loves The Butties – 4 of the top 10 videos played there.
5 of 10 in the UK, Turkey, South America. Ireland, Venezuela, Argentina, France
6 of 10 Japan, Malta, 7 of top 10 Germany
But Austria is king – the ENTIRE top 10 is only Butties videos.

Russia loves Hank Pym – The BYD song has over 1000 plays there.

Highest video hits in Iran – Tennesse and Chumley Worship the Devil. Maybe it’s research?

Malaysia loves Driftless Pony Club. So does New Zealand, Romania, Portugal. Lithuania and Israel. Bulgaria has 4/10 Latvian are fanatics at 7/10

China #1 video – Pop Machine’s ‘Time to make the donuts’

Landon Austin has 2 of the top 10 videos in Malaysia, France, Thailand, Taiwan and Singapore. 3 in Brunei.

Estonia and Dominican Republic loves MC Frontalot.

Macedonia likes Brandon Patton and his ‘Big in Japan’ IS big in Japan

Australia and Morocco like Scott Barkan

Qatar loves Mike Falzone.

Vietnam likes The Doubleclicks

Moldovia likes Andy Glover

Oman likes All Caps

My brother Tim Giarrosso has 4 of the top 10 videos played at St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Nikolas Metaxas has the top 6 videos in Greece and Cyprus

The Czech Republic Loves Marian Call – 5 of top 10. Thailand too.

South Korea, Jordan, Lithuania and Vietnam like Paul and Storm but Puerto Rico loves them.

What does this prove? That people watch crazy ass things, and you never know why they actually click on a video – but it’s kinda funky to say we have people watching our Tennessee Tuxedo Video in Iran. More to come.


How do you pick the Douchiest one?

December 22, 2012

Tonight, I’ll be hosting the ‘Douchiest Song
Challenge’ a spur of the moment song contest thought
up by Mitchell Adam Johnson, which brings titans of
the music world head to head in creating soul
filling ballads and heart wrenching lyrics for your
aural pleasure.

Given the title of the event, I’ve decided it’s
apropos to review the songs before anyone else has a
chance to. I hope you tune in to see if my reviews
fit your thoughts on these fine pieces of
tunesmithing. The songs will be available to
download here  and links will be active after the listening party Saturday

the jewelry completes the ensamble

The jewelry completes the ensemble

You’re An Angel – JD Micklemack

JD has a way with lyrics. Whether they’re filled
consonants or vowels, he manages to hit all the
right notes to make the ladies purr.

By wanting to find his perfect mate in an angel, he
not only fulfills finding his match in a deified
partner, but also manages to slide in a forbidden
love mere mortals could never accomplish. Bravo, JD!
Here’s hoping your offspring populate the heavens
with more power ballads like this one!

You'll be my number two!

You’ll be my number two!

The Angel I Need – Toby Thomsen

Toby has a way with lyrics. Whether they’re scat,
bebop, or bodacious, he manages to hit all the right
notes to make the ladies purr.

By finding his muse in a local lady who inspires his
muse in a way he finds amusing, Toby proves his
mastery of all things vocal, including skiddley bop
bop, Rrrrooobie doobie doobie do, and especially his
A pick it, boom. Truer words have never been
uttered. Here’s hoping your offspring populate the
heavens with more power ballads like this one!

I love you as much as my PBR

I love you as much as my PBR

You, A Beer, and My Truck – Trey McClayton

Trey has a way with lyrics. Whether he ponders about
his lady, his brew, or his vehicle, he manages to
hit all the right notes to make the ladies purr.

By repeating his mantra over and over, ‘You, Beer,
Truck’, a quiet calmness and inspiration overtakes
me. The Simple things have never been so clear.
Here’s hoping your offspring populate the heavens
with more power ballads like this one!

Dance MF – D.B. Rouse

D.B.has a way with lyrics. Whether he’s Dancing,
Driving to the dance floor, or bumming a ride to the
dance hall, he manages to hit all the right notes
to make the ladies purr.

By finding a drum machine and a midi sampler, he’s
encapsulated a modern day rapper’s paradise with a
bpm that other MFers will die for. Here’s hoping
your offspring populate the heavens with more
raptastic songs like this one!

Krystofer is the man. at least he keeps telling us that.

Krystofer is the man. at least he keeps telling us that.

Second Cousin (SQ – Quadrophonic Mix) – MetalShaft
Alice Featuring Krystofer Jayye Heartbreakzz

MetalShaft has a way with lyrics. Whether alluding
to an allegory of special syntax, or looking to get
lucky in the cold, dark area underneath the staging
the roadies never fully secured, they manage to hit
all the right notes to make the ladies purr.

By purchasing a guitar and amplifier, MetalShaft has
found a unique way to repeat the same 3 chords over
and over again to make their fans all runny. Here’s
hoping their offspring populate the heavens with
more hard rocking songs like this one!

Nothing shows being pensive more than brooding out a window

Nothing shows being pensive more than brooding out a window

Ace of Hearts – R.O.A. (Road of Absolution)

R.O.A. has a way with lyrics. Whether he’s stringing
letters together in a random manner, or attempting
to sound like an auctioneer on steroids, he
manages to hit all the right notes to make the
ladies purr.

By picking up a guitar and figuring out how to sing
notes into a microphone, He’s managed to exude a
unique sound that few can repeat or others might
wish to. Here’s hoping his offspring populate the
heavens with more hard rocking songs like this one!

I care. Look how much I care. (Puppy dog eyes)

I care. Look how much I care. (Puppy dog eyes)

To Girls – Love, Boys – Levi James

Levi James has a way with lyrics. Whether he’s
lurking on the campus quad stalking his last
breakup, or longing for the cashier at the Dunkin
donuts, he still manages to hit all the right notes
to make the ladies purr.

By learning his trademark ‘repeat the same word over
and over until it loses any meaning’ hook, he’s
created a new way for locals to find to hate and
serious desire to inflict bodily damage upon him.
Here’s hoping his offspring populate the heavens
with more hard soft folk rock songs like this one!

Collars and Shades melt the chicks like butter!

Collars and Shades melt the chicks like butter!

Heart Beatin’ (Tara’s Song) – Saffron Sparrow

Saffron Sparrow has a way with lyrics. Whether he’s strumming on the heartstrings of his latest girlfriend, or attempting to make a reservation without tipping the maitre d, he manages to hit all the right notes to make the ladies purr.

By mournfully emoting his theme, the ‘lub dub’ mantra, he captures the essence of what it is to be desired. Hard to believe that he’s not beating them off with a stick. but that’s something he reserves for himself, in a dark closet with the heat turned up high. Here’s hoping his offspring populate the heavens with more hard doleful ballads songs like this one!

You know the drill, and it uses batteries.

You know the drill, and it uses batteries.

Guess What – Cherry Pi

Cherry has a way with lyrics. Whether she’s bent over half drunk in a friends commode, or lying flat on the floor of a dive bar, Cherry is always consistent in her lack of skills and etiquette. She manages to hit all the right notes to make the ladies purr.

By using drum loops and handcuffs on her remaining band members, Cherry manages to record a unique view of the world, her ego, and a sonic landscape of desolation and Id inspired mayhem before the local authorities corral her for the required 90 days. Here’s hoping her offspring populate the heavens with more pop rock anthems like this one!

BYD: Boffo Yux, You’ve Done A Lovely Cover

February 16, 2012
Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Whale.

Jury found him guilty. Gave him sixteen years in hell

Our entry for the ‘s Gift of Music. It’s an offshoot of Songfight. In the 2012 contest, we did this song for for Caravan Ray.

Note – Eddie hasn’t put up the 2011/12 entries on the official site yet. Here’s a link to them at a temp site.

Al and I created this cover song for ‘The Gift of Music’ – it’s a secret santa contest for other musicians, and a benefit for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – the contestants ultimately vote on the winners, and the money goes to fund research. Win Win for everyone.

To enter, you pick 4 songs you’d like someone to cover. Any songs. They can be songs you’ve written, favorites, the most hated song you’ve ever heard… you pick. Then you’re matched up with someone else’s picks, and you need to do one of them. Pretty simple.

We ended up with Caravan Ray, who has done some fun songs over at and the Nur Ein competition we were in last year. His reaction to the song?

“Heh! Boffo Yux, You’ve Done A Lovely Cover. That is truly bizarre. Funny – when Bon died, I don’t remember Peter Noone being suggested as a replacement, but you have demonstrated it could have worked!”

I think we succeeded on all counts this one. Here’s the song…

Here’s our thoughts on this puppy. First up, Al:

“Jailbreak”: With the “Gift of Music” cover, we were given four choices of a song to cover and this one stood out to us as a) within our musical abilities to tackle and b) contained the best possibilities for mischief.  (On a side note, we also provided someone else with four choices, and they unfortunately did not complete the challenge.

Which is too bad, because I thought we, or certainly I, provided annoying enough choices for an entertaining outcome.)  Oh, sure, we had to tweak the choice in a fun way, but how?  Pulling on my internal database of justifiably semi-obscure pop trends, I thought “Herman’s Hermits”, ’cause that’s just how I roll. Tom is typically a genius at isolating specific elements which sell a concept, and this was no exception.  He found the method used to get that typical HH “plunky” guitar sound (answer: stuff a rag between the strings and the pickups, no joke), which I think sells the endeavor.

One trawl through the HH catalog for sonic signposts and a Dick Van Dyke-level Cockney accent later and we had it.  Musically, we’re like The Professor on Gilligan’s Island:  mostly what we have in our repetoire is the aural equivalent of coconuts, but we can build a pretty decent radio transmitter out of ’em.  (Though, oddly, not a boat.  Never a boat.)


I liked the idea of doing something odd with an AC/DC tune. It seemed subversive and devilish… but I wanted it to be cheeky, in the British sense of humor vein. How to make it ‘smart’ just not too pretentious? I also liked one UK band doing a cover of another by us yanks. So – part homage, part tweaking people, we started on the idea of using Herman’s Hermits doing a cover.

I remember seeing an interview with Peter Noone a long time ago where he explained how they got their ‘plinky’ sound for the guitar, and I knew someday I’d use it. It came in handy here.

Al ran with it, doing all the instruments including the tin whistle (Inspired!) and spoons. I just helped with a few backing vocal tracks. I’m very happy with the resulting song – I’m sure it’ll be used to torture purists for years to come.

I tried to get Peter Serafinowicz to give it a listen – thought it’d be up his humor ally, and tweeted him about it, but never got a response. If you know him, give old @serafinowicz a shout about the song and a link. I’d love his opinion. Enjoy.

Deconstructing Frankensong

February 22, 2011

Tonight was the Frankensong Listening party. You can find out all about the endeavor here.

This is our 1st entry in the Frankensong Collaboration by The Atomic Werewolf Space Patrol for Charlie McCarron.
AWSP is Chris Cogott, Gorbzilla (Dave Gorbe), Kevin Savino-Riker, Jason P. Schumacher and The Boffo Yux Dudes
(Allan Morgan and Tom Giarrosso)

Go to for more information on this interesting project.

All the entries for round one can be found at the listening party.

I'm a 3 on a scale to 16.

Our band ‘Atomic Werewolf Space Patrol’ put together a song, and a video for the occasion. We also wrote a few words describing the event. First, the video – Then a few words from our bandmates. Enjoy!



Kevin Tells It Like It Is



Frankensong: Anatomy of One of Five Contributions to a Composite Musical Piece Authored by A Team of Loosely Acquainted Internet Musicans and God This Title Is Long

by: Kevin Savino-Riker, of Atomic Werewolf Space Patrol


I am a wordy, wordy bastard.  Feel free to skip around, or past, this writeup.  I’m the kind of guy who can say in 100 words what most say in twelve.  By choice.

That means you have a choice, as well.  Alright, now that I’ve thoroughly disclaimed you….


What a delightful little (actually quite big) project!  There’s been a rash of creatively conceived events between rounds of the SpinTunes contest, the latest of which comes courtesy of Charlie McCarron.  You should know him for inventing the polyalbum; you don’t know him for that, but you should.

When I signed on to take part in Frankensong, I figured I’d be one of maybe a dozen people with nothing better to do; what I discovered is that I’m in a field of five teams of four to five members each, all of whom seem very eager to strut their multifaceted stuff.  This event is big and it’s going to be really interesting once we hear every team’s take on the challenge.  Well done, Charlie.


Despite being a regular member of a number of bands for the better part of the past fifteen years, I’ve done very little that I could fairly call ‘collaborating’.  I wanted to change that, and taking part in Frankensong was going to be my crash course in the most extreme flavor of the act.  “If I can get through this…”, so the saying begins.

I received my team assignment and I found myself in talented company.  Crap.  I spent a fair bit of time wondering if I had any leftover ‘A’ game hidden in my closet.


Never having done something like this before, I found myself unsure of how to prepare for my part in it.  I settled on doing nothing.  That is to say, I consciously chose not to listen to a single track before my turn.  Not only had I not listened to the tracks of my preceding teammates, I didn’t even listen to Charlie’s seed track.  I could say this was to prevent myself from prematurely forming my own ideas of how the song should sound, only to find those ideas incompatible with my teammates’ contributions… but the truth is I thought I’d do my best work being as unprepared as possible and under a time crunch.

This ended up being a crucial move, as I was originally scheduled to submit our song’s second track, but a personal complication (read: “spectacular car accident”) ate up a lot of the time I had budgeted for this project, and I ended up switching into the 3rd round, with teammate David Gorbe stepping in and submitting the 2nd round track for me.  Were I to contribute a part that only accompanied Chris Cogott’s rhythm guitar track, the song would’ve gone in a less interesting direction.   But being presented with Chris and David’s distinct and complimentary parts I was confronted with a more complex and nuanced landscape.  More pressure.  Better contribution.

I play all your basic rock band instruments, but I consider myself first and foremost a drummer.  While this would be the logical contribution to make amongst a team full of guitarists, because of my time constraints I pleaded with the rest of the team to take on what I thought would be a simpler task – the bass line.  It turns out that writing bass for this song was much more demanding than I expected it to be.  This is to the credit of Chris and David for their intricate rhythm and lead guitar parts.  More pressure.  Better contribution.

Chris and David, due to their early slots, had to submit interesting parts that left enough empty canvas for the remaining teammates to use; since the song’s sound was pretty set by the time I received it, I thought it appropriate to provide as much raw material as possible for our team captains to utilize as they saw fit.  I didn’t trust myself to decide for them where my contributions would be most valuable; what I may have thought was too cumbersome or too ‘forward’ might have been exactly what our mix master was clamoring for, and something my own uncritical ears may have found crucial and beautiful might actually have been too cumbersome and forward to the objective listener.  So I played through the whole song.  You can always take unneeded crap out, but it’s impossible to add it where it’s missing.

The one place I did decide to take the lead was in the hole Chris and David left at the song’s time-signature change bridge/breakdown around the 2:30 mark.  Our bridge sounds dramatically different from the rest of the song, so I took it upon myself to navigate into it.  Being a drummer, I have a bit of a percussive style when I play the guitar.  Being a guitarist, I have a bit of a lead guitar style when I play the bass.  So my transition from verse to bridge ended up being a percussive lead guitar-y bass riff, for better or for worse.  We can always make it an a capella segment during final mixing.

I wish I knew a damn thing about music theory, but I don’t, so I can’t comment on what effect, if any, my part had on the key or mode or temper (I’m just throwing terms in here; I don’t know what they mean) of the song.  All I can say is that I stuck mostly to basic major and minor pentatonic guitar scales that followed the root note of each chord.  I tried to weave my part around David’s lead for most of the song, but paralleled him in a few spots when I was feeling particularly saucy.  There are a couple places where I went to an interval note instead of matching the root, but I can’t tell you what interval it was or why it sounded good to me… it just did, so I did it.

My ignorance of music theory was especially problematic for me when it came time to play along with our extended second verse.  I’m convinced Chris felt like being an asshole and constantly changed chords that didn’t follow any sensible progression so he could laugh at me later for having to suffer through it.  I have a pretty good knowledge of scales as they pertain to guitar solos within a single key, but I was lost on this progression.  I enjoy walking bass lines, but I couldn’t seem to find a scale that worked along the series of chords Chris provided.  Ultimately, I picked my part out note by note, shifting scales with each chord change.  Which, I should add, came approximately once every two seconds.  Chris, you asshole.  Of course looking back on the completed segment I think it’s genius.  But still.  Asshole.

From the very beginning of my turn I wanted my track to vary from part to part throughout the song, but I thought it important to maintain a measure of symmetr… and I was also getting exhausted and creatively drained… so I played my ending to match the intro.  Then I drank heavily.  Self medication costs way less than counseling.


I’ve spent time talking about Chris and David, and far too much time talking about myself, but Atomic Werewolf Space Patrol also features the talents of Jason Schumacher and Tom & Allan of Boffo Yux Dudes.  Jason is the only team member with whom I wasn’t already acquainted before this contest, but I can say this: despite not knowing him, I respect the hell out of his ability to use a bottle of soy (or maybe Worcestershire?) sauce as a percussion instrument.  SUBLIMINAL NOTE TO OUR TEAM CAPTAINS: I REALLY HOPE THE PERCUSSION TRACK FEATURES PROMINENTLY IN THIS SONG, ESPECIALLY THE SOY SAUCE PARTS. Ahem… Tom and Allan are two of the funniest and most fearless guys I’ve ever not-met-but-know-pretty-well-from-the-internet.  I could have believed that with them in charge of lyrics, our song could be about pretty much any topic on the planet.  But the truth is that since before the first note was ever recorded I knew our song was going to end up being a power ballad to a sex robot.  And it’s superbly sung with rich harmonies and great lyrics… something hard to do with as layered of a sound track as was given them  Great job, guys.


Jesus, I’m at 1400 words and I still feel like I need to provide final thoughts?  Maybe I should’ve written that disclaimer in a larger font… I’ll try to keep this short.  Now that my piece of this puzzle is submitted, I’m very happy with the form our song ended up taking.  It’s most certainly not the way I’d have written it, and that’s the point.  And it’s better, too.  In addition to being a valuable learning tool, it was tremendous fun in a hectic kind of way, much like SpinTunes and the Songwriting Cycle and the White Elephant Music Club challenge and, well, every other contest and project in this community tend to be.  I keep doing it because it’s good for me.  It’s really good to be exposed to the creative products of people who do what you do, differently.  It’s really good to learn from that experience.  It’s really good to discover a wealth of truly remarkable artists who share their time and talent for the sake of the song.  It’s really good.


Allan Wants To Make Some Noise



Allan Morgan – Bon Vivant – Man Bout Town.

I am not by nature a garrulous man, yet there are some stories which should…nay, MUST be told.  Hearken back with me, O reader, to those halcyon days of 2010, as I spin a tender web of adventure, intrigue and bio-mechanics.

I was studying ancient cuneiform (as is my wont) in the study in my civilian guise as Arthur Q. Septogram III, slippers and smoking jacket immaculately in place as always, when a gentle gurgling from the southeast corner of the room (yes, the one showcasing the stuffed ibex) demanded my attention.

“The Boffone!” I whispered to myself, striding purposefully towards that instrument of communication and portal to adventure, gently but forcefully removing the handset from its onyx cradle and placing it to my waiting ear.  I solemnly intoned my half of the BYD codephrase: “Drop the speculum, Franz!”

An electronically-modulated voice on the other end completed the sequence:  “This suit, is it worsted?”  The filter then dropped, and the natural low bass Slavic-inflected rumble of Tommy G’s voice came on the line:  “My friend, it is good to hear your voice again.”

Inwardly, I smiled.  Outwardly, I drooled.  “And yours, comrade.  Send my best to Katya and the Colonel.  But…”  my tone darkened, as did my trousers. “I assume this is no social call?”

Tom sighed.  “You are correct, as always, my friend.  Our talents are needed.”  He paused before continuing, letting the silence add weight to his next pronouncement.  “On the INTERNET.”

The internet!  Home to pedophiles, thieves and drunkards!  The internet! Hellish phantom zone of lost morals and lost causes!  The internet!  The macabre instrument to which I lost…my beloved.  A chill ran down my spine as a stared off into the inky blackness swimming before my eyes. “I…see.”  was the best I could muster.

Tom knew I was stunned and gently brought me back:  “Fret not, my good sir.  This time we are not going into that inky blackness alone.  Have you ever heard of…The Atomic Werewolf Space Patrol?”

The Atomic Werewolf Space Patrol!  More formally known as “The Amazing Super-Fantastic Bubble-Plastic Tight-Trousered Euphonium Brigade and Atomic Werewolf Space Patrol Society Featuring the Fabulously Mind-Expanding Harmonica and Glockenspiel Stylings of Big Herbie “Little Herbie” Herberts and his Flatulent Supporting Cast of One-Eyed Spanish-American War Veterans With Bill “Pootie” Dobbs-Meyers, King of the Latvian Rhumba”, AWPS were known throughout the land for being a beacon of light and hope in an ever-darkening sphere of debauchery and sin.  “I certainly have!”  I managed to stammer.  “But how do we fit in to their plans?”

Tom hesitated.  “They have need of our…singular talents.” he said softly, letting the sentence hang in the air like a pair of sneakers hung over a suburban telephone line.  I knew what he meant.  I had a certain…history that made me…knowledgeable about certain…fringe elements in society.  And I liked…ellipses.

“You mean my…history with…EV.”

“Enough with the ellipses!”  Tom barked.  More softly:  “Yes.  They are good men.  Talented men.  They play instruments and write songs and wear funny hats.  But they cannot know what is in the heart of a man who has built a love and then lost it…you can tell that story.  Only you.  I know that.  You know that.  Now you must tell the world.”

I knew he was right.  If the society needed lyrics, if they needed to tell a story that was right and true and just a bit bizarre, well, then, I was their man.  With a final nod, I put down the phone and pressed a small button on the underside of my bust of Soupy Sales, opening a secret compartment in the wall that revealed the Boffpole, which I then slid down into the darkness of the Yuxcave.

In the darkness and security of the Yuxcave, I labored intensively over the dreaded intenet on the lyrics of EV’s story with my bosom chum Tom. We crafted and refined, melting the story down to its purest essence, jettisoning anything that was wrong or false or legally actionable.

Finally, in the heat of our artistic furnace, we blazed forth a story for the ages, vocal lines to melt hearts, a mix to ring through the centuries, and a video that was pretty damn cool.  This was our legacy.

In the end, with the fires of our passionate artmaking dying down, we sat back and mused at the steps that had brought us here and the gigantic talents upon whose shoulders we sat.

Charlie, who started it all.

Chris, whose rhythm guitar energized us and stirred us to dream.

Kevin, whose supple bassline danced playfully across our imaginations.

Jason, whose polyrhythmic soypacket deployment dazzled us and sentshivers down our spines.

And piercing the night with a lead that brought us to the edge of delirium, the man they simply called…Gorbzilla.

And we smiled.  Oh, how we smiled.  And smiling a smiley smile we laid our heads to rest on the pillow of justice and dreamed of a new day.  An Atomic Werewolf Space Patrol day.





Jason Hits the Sauce - Soy Sauce, that is...



Jason Schumacher – Percussionist with a Spatula Heart

The guitar tracks were already made, so I figured I’d soup up the percussion a bit.  After realizing I hate no percussion instruments, I took a break to ponder and make myself something to eat.  I left the kitchen realizing I did in fact have some percussion instruments!   A pepper grinder made a good shaker sound.  A plastic container of cookies when hit with wooden spoons sounded a lot like a snare.  With some hand claps layered in, all I needed was bass drum.  I found that might space foam neck pillow had a low sound when I hit it with my hand open. Just goes to show, you don’t need lots of money or resources to make a little music.



Tom Is a Splicing Fool



Tom Giarrosso – Someone who needs to get some air and sunlight occasionally

When Charlie put this out, I thought – this looks like a fun project to play with. I think I even committed to doing it before talking with Al. I felt sure it was going to be a wild ride. I wasn’t wrong.

I was in the  Artifiction Chat room when the idea of this was bopping around. I thought it was great that Charlie wanted to run it – I have just found out that many of the people in SpinTunes were actually friends and bandmates of Spencer McGillicutty in MN. They didn’t advertise the fact, but by the final round there were clues, since they all seemed to play on each others tracks more often than Joe Covenant Lamb guests on someone’s tracks. ( Hi Joe! )

It got me interested enough to volunteer us as a captain before the rules were even hashed out. I figured it something that’ll morn as it goes on, and the idea of having to add to other’s work and have other teams doing the same thing in secret until the final reveal was too good to pass up.

It was up to Al and I to pick some teammates ‘playground style’. I’d say that strategy was involved, but really, I looked at the list and tried to pick people I respected and wanted to work with. Of course, those were all taken, so we got stuck with these talented clowns.

I figured – how much work is there? we get some tracks, we lay one down, a little mixing and we’re done.

Then Chris sent his track back, I knew we were in trouble.

It rocked. It rocked his rhythm track so much, I knew we had to bring an ‘A’ game to keep up.  So much for sleepwalking through a track.

Then Gorbzilla’s turn added to my fears. It was also ‘A’ list. Crap. Now we’re going to have to actually work at this instead of mail it in. Then Kevin’s turn. Again, home run. Then Jason took it in another direction, using kitchen implements for a percussion track.

We were totally screwed. No mailing this one in. So Al and I thought of a few ideas for the vocals and lyrics. we figured it should be some sort of 80’s power ballad love song about a woman’s name. But going past that was interesting.

We had 3 choices – a standard love lost story… a love story from the perspective of a pre-op transexual… and forbidden love about robot sex.

I’m sure you know the path we took by now.

RangerDen from Donut Worthy had tweeted they were going to do a video of their song – great idea! So we gathered as much footage of band tracks, and wacky robot shots as we could, and while Al mixed in Chicagoland, I sequestered myself in the BoffoMansion at the royal edit suite until all the footage was assembled.

Then we realized there was no words to elucidate this stunning achievement – so the call went out for the band members to catalogue and reminisce about their exploits for the drama that was the creation of this song….  We’re still working on that.



Chris Cogott Explains it All



Chris Cogott – Not only did Tom hold me at gunpoint and make me write this, but this is also the title…

Its been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to write music and play nice with others and Charlie McCarron’s Frankensong Challenge has provided this opportunity for many of us to do just that. As usual, I signed up not knowing exactly what I was getting myself into but I’m glad I did. I like not having a winner or loser and just having fun writing music, as experimental as it was.
My memory fails me yet again, but I’m not sure if the order of who was recording was sent down the pipes at the same time it was announced who was on what team. Either way, being a nervous person as it is, I was exuberant about being on this talented team, jumping around and crap, until the biggest boulder of all boulders hit me, and hit me hard. I was going first! Talk about pressure. I was kind of hoping to be put somewhere in the middle and maybe contribute some backing vocals or something that I think I’m good at. The pressure of coming up with a track that everybody could play along to and be happy with was immense.
The first challenge to overcome was figuring out what the hell was going on with this seed track. Sorry Charlie 🙂 Take after take after take, I became extremely frustrated. So, finally I brought up the tempo thingy in ProTools and found out that it actually had a consistent tempo. Once I figured out what it was (I think it was in the 90 something bpm range), it became a little easier to work with.
Now to lay down an instrument track. Guitar is what I’m most comfortable with and that’s why I went with it. I thought the rest of the group would need something musical and somewhat melodic to work with. Putting handclaps, or drums, or vocals first wouldn’t work. I did a few takes and came up with what I did. I’m not sure why and I try not to question the creative process too much and just go with the flow. The one thing I purposely did was to leave the track open and airy for others to fill in the gaps and run with it.
And run with it is what everyone did. Dave added a lot of tasty guitar work and made the song soar. He even added a nice little jam in a section that I had left completely open for anybody to take the reigns. Kevin then added some superb bass work complete with what sounds to me like some bass harmonics. I thought Kevin would have taken the drums but the bass lines he played fit right in and he also took the lead in the jam. Jason then came in and saved the day by adding the much needed percussion that the song was screaming for. Then it came time for BYD to work in their special magic. I couldn’t wait to get to this part and hear how it was all tied together. Words cannot describe the flat out awesomeness that both Tom and Al have put into this, plus I’m getting a little tired or writing. The lyrics, the vocals, and all the time put in making the video was way more than I had expected. They really went the extra mile for this project and we are all extremely grateful.
As stressful as it was in the beginning, I had a great time doing this. Thanks Charlie for putting this together. The other songs I thought were outstanding. Donutworthy topping my list. Great job by everyone who was involved in the Frankensong challenge. Look for the AWSP album and tour coming soon. I’m working on my stage outfit now.

Elementary, Dear Watson. BYD is on the Periodic Table of Geek Musicians!

February 13, 2011
At least we're 'Radio' active!

Bohrium? You have to be kidding me!

The Boffo Yux Dudes on the Periodic Table of Geek Musicians!

We were honored with a position on the Periodic Table of Geek Musicians tonight. It’s not only a place in history, it’s also a way to generate funds for one of Dave Leigh’s charity endeavors, Rite Care. I’ll let him talk about it.


I’m Dave Leigh, aka the vocal half of the songwriting team Dr. Lindyke. While not programming or writing songs, I also spend a portion of my free time supporting a charity called Rite Care Centers for Childhood Language Disabilities. Rite Care provides speech and language therapy to pre-school children without regard to race, creed, or the family’s inability to pay. It’s funded entirely by members of the Scottish Rite through various fund-raising projects (not all of which are as harebrained as this one).


So there are two BYD items up on the site if you’re interested in helping out Rite Care –

The Chapeau of the cereal minded

Click to get the hat - All the profits go towards Rite Care

Or you can choose this lovely T-shirt

Stays Funny - Even in Milk

The 1st Boffo Yux Dudes release on a T-shirt. Click here to buy one.

Thanks to Dave for including us in his worthy endeavor, and I’m hoping more artists will be joining us soon!

In case you missed it, I started something new

January 8, 2011
Move it Hersey, it's my desk now!

Hard at work on the blog, manual style.

Yes, I did. I may be crazy, but I’ve started the BYD365 Comedy Experiment. I’m hoping to average at least a bit a day for the whole year. It started under the radar last week, and I’ve been slowly stockpiling posts.

Drop on over there and subscribe to the RSS feed. I’ll be raiding the archives and posting new material there uberfrequently. (Is that a word?)

There’s something about Alfred and Christmas…

December 24, 2010
I know. This place IS dead.Do you think Batman will notice I replaced his bust?

I wanted to share a few Alfred Hitchcock Christmas Tips with you as the holidays approach. Hopefully they’ll cheer you up in this crazy time during the last shopping days.


SpinTunes Round 4 song reviews

November 23, 2010
Doc, I have these dreams about being chased....

Did you know there was an LP cover contest as well? (Thanks Dave)

I’m writing this review before coordinating my vote with Allan Morgan – since we together only get one vote, I’m only 50% of the official tally. But here goes my quick impressions of the 4th Round songs. The first 4 are in the running to win, the rest are shadows by previous contestants. Boffo Yux Dudes did three shadows this round – I’ll post them up later.

Zarni De Wet – The Bleeding Effect ( Assassin’s Creed)
Zarni takes this piano ballad about a schizophrenic killer and shoots out a mood of death and destruction. It’s not quite clear if the song is from the unstable Desmond’s point of view or Subject 16’s – perhaps both – but it’s still powerful stuff.

Mitchell Adam Johnson – In Another Castle (Super Mario Bros)
Mitchell writes from the view of a princess that keeps putting herself in danger, so she’ll feel the thrill of being rescued. Good use of video sound fx and samples of the game. Nice touch with ‘If you didn’t show, I’d die’ literally and figuratively.

Rebecca Brickley – Where I Am (Carmen SanDiego)
Rebecca turned this jazzy number into a humorous tweak on the game ‘Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego’. I can almost see Rockapella doing backup for her on this one. Witty lyrics make this one a winner. Enjoyed the Get/Silhouette rhymes and the baiting of the Chief to find her. Teasing or a challenge there? Actually, Both.

Chris Cogott – In Bright Falls (Alan Wake)
Chris brings a Surf guitar and 60’s beat to the tale of A. Wake and his quest to find sanity and his lost wife in Bright Falls. I had to research the game – he did a great job with the details. Enjoyed the musical tags and Beatles hooks to the song, including the Paperback Writer homage at the end.

Charlie McCarron – The Pac-Man Duet
A fun romp where Pac and Ms. Pac Man sing about meeting together. I like how Charlie and Nicole’s voices work well together in this one. Wish it was a little longer, but the ghosts had other plans.

Mark Humble – I’m Q*Bert, Babe

Mark slipped into a soulful vibe with his one. I expected Barry White to sneak up on the speakers. Loved the SFX mixed in to the storyline, as well as rhyming Pizza with Nietzsche. Total win.

Brian Gray – Hard To Get (Shadow) (Donkey Kong)
Upbeat, bouncy and fun. I liked the swing feel and harmonies, along with the witty wordplay.  Having the large simian use the princess as bait to catch the Mario of his dreams was a clever hook. Turning it into a homoerotic Shakespeare themed love story was a level above the rest.

JoAnn Abbott – Go For The Eyes (Boo from Baldur’s Gate)
Joann  (and Caleb) waltz into this song about Baldur’s Gate and Minsc’s Miniature Giant Space Hampster (™), Boo. The title refers to the favorite attack of said rodent. I liked the witty storyline and baroque feel.

David Ritter – Pitfall! (Shadow) (Pitfall)
David brings up the original Atari 2600 game Pitfall and runs with it through dangers and swinging vines. Turning it into a slow ballad with guitar and piano was an interesting choice for an action game.

Caleb Hines – The Writing On The Wall (Portal)
Caleb’s take on Portal with Joann singing lead . Interesting take on the game, with lots of insider hints and a nod to JoCo.  I’d have my cake and eat it too… if it wasn’t a lie to begin with. Nice job on this one.

Governing Dynamics – One Four One (Roach) (Shadow) Gary “Roach” Sanderson from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Travis sets a mood for this song with droning grunge guitar and drums about a black ops team that deals with the struggle of war, and relentless killing all around him. He hit the right notes in getting the tone of the game across. War is hell, but this is magic.

Inverse T. Clown – I’m Tops (Shadow) (TopMan from MegaMan)
ITC takes the wimpiest boss from the classic game and imbues him with an ego the size of New Jersey. Bouncy synth and 8 Bit Drums keep the tune rolling until it’s inevitable demise. I liked the fact he refuses to admit ‘Top Man’ is for his weapons instead of an elite status in his own mind.

I saw a lot of thought and planning in this round of songs – didn’t expect the depth and levels in such simple games, but people found them and brought them out. I’ll post the BYD songs here later this week, but you can listen to them and vote at the Spintunes site. Enjoy!

The Ballad of Henry Pym – in HD!

August 12, 2010

The Boffo Yux Dudes have been writing music for the new SpinTunes songwriting contest – our first song was this little ditty about our favorite SuperHero, Ant-Man.

We made a little video for it in HD – it’s 1080p if you really want to blow the sucker up on You Tube.

Bully for You!

Hey! Don't forget about me! I Helped!

Special thanks to Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull, for help in acquiring the scans and also perusing the lyrics so we have the true essence of who ‘Hank Pym’ really is.