Did You or Did You Not (insert whatever here)

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Yes, I should probably be writing some kind of epic fantasy or science fiction instead of writing and recording music, but that’s life. Instead of penning the next Game of Thrones (minus the depression and killing off all the interesting characters), I’ve been testing out my new MXL V67 mic. Not bad for a hundred bucks. I think I’ll keep it.

I was trying to go for a dissonant chorus harmony a la Lane Staley and Alice in Chains, but I didn’t quite get there. At any rate, had some fun.

Okay, now I’m off to write some more Tormay epic fantasy. Or maybe some kind of political humor novel about life in Monterey County. What a bunch of lunatics. Actually, anyone who gets into politics is pretty much a lunatic, hands-down, regardless of which party. There are a few stand-outs, yeah, but they’re not par for the course. They’re kind of like Eddard Stark in Game of Thrones. If you know what I mean.


new music: The Fury Clock

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In honor of the universal clock, which is counting down, regardless of our 401ks. I realize that every one has their own personal fury clock, but the universal one is much more intriguing on a global (no, universal) catastrophic scale. Highly alarming (pun intended).

Anyway, I haven’t written and recorded any music in a long time. This really isn’t a proper song as, for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out a chorus. This is only a verse and some instrumental bits. Still, it amused me for a few hours, so…well worth it. Please listen with headphones, otherwise you’ll miss the bass line. I recently blew up my Rode NT1 microphone, so the vocals were recorded on a terrible Shure. Need to save up for a new Rode!


This Land is Your Land? Their Land? Nobody’s Land?

Prodded by a friend (you’re guilty, Jamie Wilson), I took a stab at recreating Woody Guthrie’s old standby, but with different lyrics, courtesy of America’s main undocumented immigrant, Mark Steyn. So here it is. Music by Guthrie, lyrics by Steyn, execution (in more ways than one) by Bunn.

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Mini Educational Song: The Peloponnesian War

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It has come to my attention that a lot of people are desperate to learn about the Peloponnesian War. Well, weep no longer. I just spent two hours of my time in a concerted effort to rectify that lack. Here is the Peloponnesian War set to music and ready to embed itself in your subconscious. From this day forward, when Flommers at the office singles you out during a tense marketing presentation and asks you if you have anything to say about the Peloponnesian War, you’ll be able to suavely drawl, “Why, yes, Flommers. I do. Sharpen your pencil and get ready to take notes.”

This sort of thing will greatly impress your boss and will probably result in a large Christmas bonus.


Relativity and Mr. Einstein

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It has come to my attention that most people are lacking in Albert Einstein trivia. This, in conjunction with observing my small children memorize quickly via song, has inspired me to write a mini education tune. About Albert Einstein, of course. The song contains five Einstein facts which, I’m betting, most people don’t know. Give it a couple listens and you’ll have ’em in your brain for life.

That way, you can sidle up to someone at the next cocktail party you go to (do people still go to cocktail parties?) and murmur, “Say, do you know how old Einstein was when he wrote his paper on relativity? You don’t? Well, let me tell you, and you can get me another drink while I enlighten you.”


New Song: Run

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I just finished up a new song called Run. It’s somewhat of an experiment in vocal melody as I’m using only two notes for the lead vocal. It’s interesting how the aural perception of those two notes is influenced by the changing chords (to some degree) and then the introduction of the vocal harmonies (to a greater degree).

Please listen with headphones or decent speakers!

The song is somewhat pessimistic in its lyrics. Surprise, surprise–I tend to write moody lyrics, mostly. The “run, you can’t escape the past” lyric in the chorus refers to both conservative and liberal interpretative views of history. The past does mean something, regardless of how we try to re-intrepet it or ignore portions of it. It isn’t negotiable. And the past also does have an unsettling habit of repeating itself. We have great difficulty escaping it.


The Wrong Song (or Sarongs)

The Wrong Song

As I age and progress in maturity, thinning hair, and general awesomeness, I find that I’m leaning more and more libertarian. The change is for lots of reasons. As a writer, though, one of the reasons is that I think it’s fairly crazy for the government to want 40% of my book proceeds (that’s their latest tax goal for small businesses). Are they insane? 40% of the results of my mental agony and keyboard-tapping anguish? Why don’t they just hack off 40% of my books? Take all the adjectives, half the verbs and the dangling participles. Take 40% of the characters and incorporate them into your government literature (“…if you don’t pay your DMV bill on time, the sceadu will come to collect the bill…”).

Parasites.

Anyway, it is mainly in the honor of government that I hastily composed The Wrong Song (or Sarongs). It took about 20 minutes to record (yeah, yeah–I can hear the smartypants out there right now: “it sure sounds like it only took you 20 minutes”), and another hour for the video. I’m kind of intrigued by the minimal lyric approach. Maybe this’ll be the start of a whole line of mini micro-focus songs? The next one’s lyrics could be “floss your teeth” or “penguins are mean” or “send me chocolate NOW.”

Lots of possibilities here.


Old Autumn War tunes: Recognize

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Here’s another song from my band days with the Autumn War. Recognize is one of the first songs we ever did as a band. The theme of the song, a sarcastic comment on the idea that there’s peace in our times, is a reference to Neville Chamberlain coming back from his summit with Hitler, pre-WWII. It’s also a biblical reference, I think, but I can’t remember where it’s found in that book. Anyway, our politicians and pundits are fond of trotting out that idea whenever they hare off to the Middle East or wherever there’s trouble; they hare off, hold a meeting of the aggrieved parties and then declare peace in our times. Of course, there never is. You’d have to be weak in the head to believe a politician. Of any party.


Autumn War tunes: Mr. Robinson

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The Autumn War was a four-piece band I sang leads for back in college. Jon Reich on bass, John Blum on drums, Mike Pilato on guitar, self on vocals and occasional rhythm guitar (though, I used it more as a prop to hide behind). We played the bar scene in Chicago for a couple years of late nights and acres of second-hand smoke. If my memory serves me correct, the best venue we ever played was the Double Door. Lots of fun, lots of work, lots of fighting like cats and dogs.

We did a couple recording projects during those years. This tune, Mr. Robinson, was from the very first project we did. It’s a play off Simon & Garfunkel’s Mrs. Robinson (a vastly more popular song). Matt Gruett did the engineering in Studio B at Wheaton College.