Here are some mp3s of my own music. Most of these were recorded on a Tascam four-track in my bedroom, with assorted musical instruments (an Ensoniq sampler, acoustic and electric guitars, and various hand-held drums). Listening to these again, I think they're fun, and some of them don't sound too bad. I'd love to start recording music again, but I think I should invest in a good microphone, and record everything digitally on a hard-drive recorder.
Songs I wrote (or interpreted)
Hurt (Nine Inch Nails cover)
My brother gave me a music box for Christmas, where you can program the songs yourself by punching little holes in a paper ribbon. I couldn't think of a suitable tune until I realized that this entire song was written in the key of C so it was perfect to adapt.
Playing Nancy (from the "Groundhog
I love Tim Minchin, and liked this song a lot when I heard it in concert, sung by the amazing Rebecca Faulkenberry. I thought it would be fun to sing this as a man, playing off the idea that gays used to be called "nancy". There is also a video, which was fun to make.
Love Theme from Linoleum Nights
Metal Linoleum Knife
When my friends Alonso Duralde and Dave White said they were creating some new podcasts (about food and TV and politics), they mentioned that they didn't have a new theme song to differentiate the new content. I made these two jingles, but only the first one was ever used. I think the thrash metal version was just too bad for them!
Game Dance Remix (originally by Chris Isaak)
This one started out as a joke. I thought that the original song was so moody and atmospheric that it needed a dance remix. So, I added some cheezy hand-claps and a Johnny Marr guitar. Actually, I was pretty pleased with the results, and I think Chris Isaak should come out with an official version of this. I've heard the guy has a good sense of humor. Back in 1987, I saw him in concert with The Thompson Twins. And if that isn't funny, then nothing is.
Be By My Side
This is my attempt at being goth. A friend described the high bell part as an "insane calliope". I liked that. And when the drums finally kick in halfway through the song, I tend to start dancing and jump around the room.
What's the Frequency?
This was my final project for an electronic music class I took at the University of Minnesota. It was a great class... I got to play around with a huge wall-sized Moog synthesizer and a lot of spliced tape. This piece is supposed to sound like rapidly switching channels on a TV or radio, with a lot of static and indecipherable noise. It's a commentary on the technology of sound, omnipresent radio waves and our accelerating culture (or at least that's what I said to the professor to get a good grade). I remember that the professor selected my music to play for the class - and that he proceeded to play it at the wrong speed, but I was too nervous to say anything. And I'm proud to note that I used the title several years before REM did.
I played the guitar part, and then couldn't make up any words. So, I just turned on the tape recorder and started singing. In retrospect, I sound kind of stupid, but years later, I still love the melody, and I'm impressed at my guitar playing. And years later, I still haven't come up with any words.
This was a radio play that I recorded for a friend who was running a Star Trek role playing game at a science fiction convention. It played before the session started, and helped set the mood and atmosphere for the game. It was a big hit, because we also had video monitors around the room showing computer graphics, and paper control panels on the center table, so it felt like a spaceship. Though I didn't get to play the game, I ran the audio-visual stuff, and it was the only time in my life that I've worn a Start Trek uniform.
The second of the role playing sessions. I love the "happy music" that turns ominous half-way through the radio play (my apologies to Jerry Goldsmith for using his music from the tv show). Sure, the voice acting is bad (or unintelligible) and the plot is stupid, but I think it ranks up there with other fan-created radio plays. Plus, it was fun to do. We were all fans of Star Trek: The Next Generation before it went off the air.
Baby I Need You
A complete a cappella goof, included here because I think it's catchy.
Music for the SCA
Bright Smile Haunts Me Still
I tried to make a note-perfect copy of the version by Cordelia's Dad. And it true fanboy fashion, I sent the band a copy of this recording. I love trash-metal Irish music, and my long-term goal is to start a techno bagpipe orchestra with synthesizers and distorted guitars called "Bastard Kelts".
Back to Nordleigh (originally by LL Cool J)
Again, this is an in-joke. Nordleigh was the SCA group at the University of Minnesota. They fought with wooden swords and dressed up in medieval costumes for pageants and feasts. We were driving back late at night from a weekend road trip somewhere, when we all started singing, "I'm Goin' Back To Nordleigh, To Nordleigh, To Nordleigh", and then I invented more words. I was often asked to sing this late at night around campfires when everybody had drunk a lot. Hmmm, "I don't think so".
A really moody, beautiful song. I'm happy with the counter synthesizer lines and the coda, which I've never heard done before. I hope they play this at my funeral... it's a lovely sentiment. "But since it falls unto my lot, that I should go and you should not. I'll raise my glass and softly call, good night and joy be with you all."
I apologize that I can't remember who wrote this song. I think it was an SCA member. In any case, if you know who it was, please email me with the author. And if you *are* the author, my apologies.
A traditional Christmas carol, done up with a Bo Diddley guitar beat. I wish I could find the second lost chord in this song, but I love the beat.
Me Up to Carlow
I disliked folk singers that gave this tune a slow plodding feel, so I tried to speed it up. Maybe it's a bit too fast (for example, it's faster than I was able to play). However, it has some great killer lyrics, and will probably be covered by thousands of Jethro Tull-ish prog rock bands for years to come.
Love An Apple?
I can't remember if the title of this song is properly "Do You Love an Apple?" or "Whenever She Goes". Ah, it's the oral tradition. What was really fun is that I got to choose the verses from a long, long list of alternates, and I tried to change the instrumentation of each verse to give it some variety.
A beautiful song by Pete St. John, and I don't really do it justice here. However, give it a listen... it's wonderful.
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