Archive for the ‘Pop Machine’ Category

Christmas Songs you probably won’t hear on the radio – Part 2 – ‘The Ballad of Big Red’ by Pop Machine

December 9, 2010

Another song that hasn’t received the accolades it should – this ditty by Pop Machine entitled ‘Big Red’. I thought crossing the country CB genre with the holidays would be an interesting mix. Scott Mercer belts out the vocals better than C.W. McCall, and the theme of saving Christmas reverberates for all to enjoy, with Al, Scott and Dave providing the melodic symphony behind him.

Pop Machine doing their best Shields & Yarnell Impression

Click HERE to reach Allan Morgan’s amazing 365 Music Project – and

Click HERE to listen to ‘Ballad of Big Red’


12 years later, I STILL can’t play guitar…

February 24, 2010

I want to get invited to these parties!

Tonight we're gonna party like it's 1981!

You can vote for your top 5 songs by clicking on the banner
Al, Dan and I wrote a song for the latest round of ‘Masters of Song Fu’, an ‘Iron Chef’ of  songwriting skills for bragging rights on the internet. We’d appreciate it if you’d go and check out the song after you’ve had some fun here, and vote for 5 deserving candidates.
If one of your votes happens to be The Boffo Yux Dudes, we won’t complain. But do check out the tunes. This group is very talented, and has been making some interesting creative choices with their interpretations of the rules.
Enough brown- (more…)

Pop Machine – Still getting Awards 17 years later!

November 27, 2008


Pop Machine doing their best Shields & Yarnell Impression

Pop Machine doing their best Shields & Yarnell Impression


The Pop Machine Boys doing their best Shields & Yarnell impression

I received a Facebook note from Scott, a member of the group ‘Pop Machine’ about his connection to a blog that chronicles all of the cover versions of ‘Louie, Louie’ ever made. It seems the band got a ‘Louie of the week’ award from them this week – 17 years after they released the song.

It’s linked back to the BYD Blog here…  although Pop Machine never did a video for Louie, Louie, here’s another classic from the dynamic trio (Plus the assorted flunkies) It’s the anarchy driven ‘Time to Make the Donuts’, complete with generic food shots and 80’s style video effects. Enjoy.

Mr. T. Head Bank – Crushing the competition

May 7, 2008

Mr. T. Head Bank crushes a cauliflower in Slow Motion


This quickie happened because I had that damn bank hanging around the house for years, and I wanted to do something with it in a skit. That ‘egg in a frying pan’ ad was in vogue, so we did a parody of it. We also put it in one of the Pop Machine videos as a non-sequitur. Silly, surreal and Slow Motion. What not to like?

With the power of the internet, I put it up on You Tube this morning. Before I went to work, it had started it’s viral run through the either without any links. I’ll make a connection to here and Digg, and see what happens when I get home. How much you want to bet it’ll be at 1000 hits by dinner?


How not to create a music video – Part 2

April 22, 2008



Well – it was more to surprise the band – since it was one of the demo tapes they has sent me… I liked the early demo version of ‘Never Want to Live on Venus’ – the later version was missing something. So I started trying to do something with it.. but I didn’t have much in the way of video from the band left from the first video.. and it wouldn’t have matched up with the vocals in any case.

So I decided to sing it. Actually, lip sync it. 

A friend at Needham, David Steiner, had done some silly videos, using the ‘chinigan’ technique. Basically, you turn the camera upside down, do a close up of the chin, and you have an odd looking mouth/face combo. I took this to extremes with circle wipes to represent planets, multiple exposures, and several cameras shooting televisions while zooming in and out on footage. Remember, this is linear editing in 1992 – the only computer used was a camera shooting the screensaver on a Macintosh II for the stars at the open/close. Each time you did a layer, you lost resolution – which in this case, was a good thing. It ended up making the planets a little more ‘evil’ with their shadows.

It ended up taking months to get it dense enough to work, and I still think if I had more time, a few more layers would have make it better. Paul Newcomb would come in and help me late nights with some of the manual camera zoom effects in a blackened studio while I tried rolling and dissolving between versions.

Like I said  – way too much time for an experiment, but it was fun figuring out how things worked and didn’t work – now it’s more a relic in the pre computer era video. Enjoy.

How not to create a music video – Part 1

April 21, 2008

This was a music video that took way too much time to do. It started when I got a tape from Scott and Al and Scott of their latest Pop Machine material in the early 90’s. The bi-coastal humor machine was in full gear. Pat and I would be creating skits and bits for BENT! as well as writing for radio and syndicators,  and Scott, Al, Scott & Friends would be making music and doing their own video show in between real jobs.

Dan Klass shot some footage of the band, and I ended up with the raws from both live cameras and some ‘beauty shots’ of the group wandering LA… that ended up turning into the first version of the live ‘Get off of my Foot’

It looked like total crap.

Not the performance. The quality of the video, which was shot on Hi-8, looked terrible when I went down a generation to 3/4″ so I could edit it. What to do, what to do…

Well, If I couldn’t make it look better, I went the total opposite. Make it look murky, blurry, trippy, and put tons of video feedback on the slow sections. Suddenly, it started to look like a rock n roll video. I actually was happy how that version came out, and the Tie-Dye Pop Machine sign in the back, and intercut quick zooms all helped it come together.

That inspired me to do my version of a Pop Machine video without the band at all. That’s in the next part. Enjoy.