Posts Tagged ‘music’

Calling out for help with Marian’s TV show.

July 17, 2012

A step by step way to get ‘Marian Call: Live at Pandemonium Books’ on your local cable station.

DVD Cover for Marian Call show

Want to help distribute a Marian Call Concert? Read on below…

Hi – I’m Tom, and I’ll be your guide to getting our friend Marian Call’s concert on your local PEG (Public/Education/Government) Television station in the USA.

First – let’s find out if you have a Public Access Station local to you. If you do, you should well on your way. Local viewers usually can’t be denied access to playback of programs they submit if they live in town. If you do have issues with a local channel, contact me at (boffoyux at gmail dot com) and I can help walk you through the process. (Look for Public Access Channels. Gov’t channels don’t usually play outside programs, and the Educational channels usually just play school related shows. There are some combo channels, but it depends on where you live.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_public_access_TV_stations_in_the_United_States
or http://communitymediadatabase.org/

Call or email your local station about how to place a program on the air.

Many have forms and policies online to walk you through a submission process. Most times if you are a local resident, it involves filling out a form to be a local ‘producer’ and then you can submit programming to air on the channel.

This show is released under a Creative Commons license BY-NC-SA . Content is Copyright Marian Call, with the production created by Tom Giarrosso in affiliation with Salem Community Television. This program may be freely duplicated and distributed under the creative commons license, but can not be sold.

(Basically you can air it, copy and distribute it for free as long as all attributions are kept with the program, but you can’t sell a physical copy or put ads in/around it during rebroadcast.)

I’ve got a rainstick, and I’m not afraid to use it!

How to get a copy of the show –

If your PEG station is a member of the Alliance for Community Media (many are), they can download it free from CMDA – search ‘Marian Call’, and they can download an MPEG2 version that is the standard for computer playback at most stations.

The MPEG file is also available for PEG stations at http://www.pegmedia.org – search for Salem Community Television / SCTV17

Or, you can download the .iso file at this mirror site
https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B8Udmyf_bBOLbFJXcE1VUVRXbmc
which you can burn a DVD and hand to your local station for playback. Burning a DVD from an .iso file is built in to Windows 7 and there are several free software packages you can use – here’s one FAQ for burning an .iso DVD

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ht/burnisofile.htm

I wonder how many stations will play me?

Why am I doing this?

To be honest, I’ve met a number of people struggling to get their music out to find an audience, and see this as a unique way to get new people to sample their content. I’ve been involved with PEG programming for many years, and it’s something most artists overlook or aren’t aware exists as a venue to expand their audience at a minimal cost. Also, it’s fun to pay things forward.

There are challenges to this approach, but it’s similar to streaming your material for free. The stations get free quality programming to play, and the artists get exposure to new markets and hopefully people who will support them while touring. Win – win for everyone. I’m hoping this will be the first of a series of self producing artist concerts from friends I’ve met on the internet and the various music competitions I’ve been involved with. (Masters of Song Fu, SpinTunes, Song Fight)

I would appreciate help spreading the word on this, and an email on the location and station you’ve gotten the show on. I’ll put together a Google Map on stations that will be playing the show (so far, 4 have shown interest and downloaded the show this week on their own)

I’m hoping for 100 stations to play the show by September. With over 2000 PEG access channels in the US, (About 1/3 of them Public Access Channels) I think we can hit this goal and then some!

Thanks for the help

Tom Giarrosso

Boffo Yux Dudes

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 SoulTreeRecords.com ‘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.

http://www.one-thousand-words.net/blog/?page_id=649

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 Songfight.org 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.)

Tom:

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.

Christmas Songs you probably won’t hear on the radio – Part 3 ‘Ewoks’ by Lex Vader

December 12, 2010
Don't ask him if he has cookies

Lex Vader seems to like Star Wars. That's just a guess.

I met Lex Vader during the ‘Masters of Song Fu‘ contest, and always thought he was a little off. He also has a way with songs, like this ditty about the little ruffians from Endor. It was the result from writing a winter holiday song that is not about the holidays.  How you get furry beasts trying to eat you out of that, I’m not sure, but the song made me laugh. Here’s Lex’s tune from his self titled evil emotronic alternapop band.

Enjoy!

“Ewoks” (119 BPM)
 

[E, A, Gbm, A]
We all know that Life Day is a special day for celebration
You can go and show the Wookiees how much you appreciate them

[B, A, Dbm, B]
[Abm, A, Abm, B]
But there is another creature that you really shouldn’t visit
Don’t go to the forest moon of Endor if you’re fond of living

[E, A, B, A]
[E, A, Abm, B]
Ewoks will eat you even if it is the holidays
Ewoks will eat you, they don’t really care at all
(They’re crazy and hungry)

If you go out looking for a little of that cheerful spirit
And you’re walking past an Ewok village, trust me, don’t go near it
The only spirits that you’ll find are… your dead loved ones stood behind you
Watching from an awkward line as teddy bear cooks tenderize you

Ewoks will eat you even if it is the holidays
Ewoks will eat you, they don’t really care at all
(They’re crazy and hungry)

Should the forest tempt you
Charter a flight up to see Chewbacca
May the Force be with you
If you end up on an Ewok’s wok, yeah

You can tell them you’re a god, but you will likely be rejected
Unless you’ve got a golden body or a skirt, you’ll be ingested
There’s a possibility that… you will end up slowly turning
Tied to a rotisserie as fuzzy short freaks watch you burning

Ewoks will eat you even if it is the holidays
Ewoks will eat you, they don’t really care at all
(They’re crazy)
Ewoks will eat you even if it is the holidays
Ewoks will eat you, they don’t really care at all
(They’re crazy and hungry)

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!

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.

Starting a plan with Steely Dan and ‘Louie, Louie’

August 29, 2008

 

Steely Dan contemplating legal action against Tom and friends (joke!)

Steely Dan contemplating legal action against Tom and friends (joke!)

Pop Machine covering Steely Dan attempting to do ‘Louie, Louie’ –
Mouseover to play, right click to download

 

A few months ago, I finally sent a fan letter to Steely Dan. I haven’t received a response, nor do I expect to, but that’s not what the letter was about.

 

It was about actually doing things that you have the impulse to do, and following through. (more…)

When I get old and losing my hair….

July 3, 2008

The Butties in Concert, 2007 – Manchester, VT

 

If you’re going to be in the Manchester/Loundonderry VT area next weekend (July 11-12, 2008), it’d be worth your time to catch the 25th anniversary concert tour by The Butties , the BYD favorite Beatles Tribute ensemble.

 

They’re playing an outside free concert Friday evening in Manchester, VT, and the 5 hour Beatles lovefest on Saturday at Magic Mountain.

 

Also I saw on the illustrious internet, that Sam’s band from Scrubs, ‘The Blanks’, has a New England Gig planned at Mohegan Sun on August 17th. More info here. I always thought they should do an acapella cover of ‘Spider Man’ to the tune of ‘Stray Cats Strut’, but then again, I like cheese. Go figure.

Here’s a link to one of their Scrubs appearances.

Enjoy

 

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.