We’re locked and loaded; we have something in the works. Lyrics are done (which is a relief) and a few instruments had to be purchased. Small ones, but instruments none the less. Jude gets to take the spotlight a bit more because it has a strong and recognizable keyboard part driving it all the way through — a nice switch from the guitarapalooza that was “Vista Drivers.” I think it’s going to be a good song that a lot of people connect with. Kat actually came up with the main joke and we ran with it from there.
Anyway, hoping to make serious progress this weekend, as we’re both busy at our respective places of business right now. That and we have a few things behind the scenes that should be ready either at the same time or right after, and I’ll post about them when they come true. 🙂
Do you like computers? Do you like Queen? Prepare to have your mind absolutely blown.
The new song is here — “Vista Drivers,” a parody of Survivor’s supreme cheese classic “Eye of the Tiger.” This one’s for all our homies who have ever built a PC from scratch. Jude and I don’t do it any other way!
It’s a first for us in several ways. It’s the first 80s song we’ve done, it’s the first song we’ve done that isn’t overtly about games, it’s the first time we’ve had a YouTube video of any kind on day one, and it’s the first time we’ve dared cover a song that Weird Al had already parodied first.
This is also the first time we’ve worked in conjunction with someone else’s production. The song was written for the Very Special 100th episode of the Maximum PC No BS Podcast. We are both fans of the mag — if you’re a geek and you’re into PC hardware, you should either be reading Maximum PC on a regular basis or you should feel deep and personal shame for not doing so.
When Editor-in-Chief Will Smith approached us about helping write some parody lyrics, we brainstormed this song (with some key input from Dan’s wife Kat) to fit into the show’s narrative. Part of the fun of their podcast is hearing their editors sing it themselves, but we wanted to do our own version too, so what you’ll hear on the podcast is totally different (and yet remarkably similar). There actually is a slight lyric difference between the two; we gave them some alternates and they used one of them. We’ll leave you to spot it. (Dan and Kat also wrote the parody lyrics for the very last song you hear in the podcast, but we won’t ruin the surprise.) In any case, we were honored to be involved, and it gave us a nice hard deadline for a new song.
Note to the music nerds who A/B this with the original recording by Survivor: Yes, we transposed the key, but so did Al when he did his parody. And we at least think we did a better job than Microsoft Songsmith.
Jude and I are going over final mix candidates now and trying to polish the track to a lustrous shine, but yes — since “Halo” just came out in March, there will be two PSwap tracks in as many months. We did not make you wait a year for our next song. Can you believe it? We cannot. It is unbelievable.
This new song will have a few things that are new for us. First, it’s technically part of someone else’s larger project, but even out of that context, it stands as its own song. (That said, if they are not ready, we are holding the release of our song until their project goes live. We are big fans and we are proud to support their special project.) And second, we will have one of those single-slide videos on YouTube the day we release the song. When we saw Weird Al do a one-frame video for his last song (his very awesome parody of T.I.’s “Whatever You Like”), we realized there’s no shame in it. “Halo” showed us that if we don’t do this ourselves, other people will get into a pissing match over who heard the song first, and they may even try to take credit for it. So, yeah, we’ll do that, thanks. After all, iMovie ain’t that hard to figure out.
I have been dropping hints about the next song on Twitter but I do not want to ruin the surprise of the larger project. But for the record:
– It’s a parody of a hit song from the 80s (and this is the first 80s song we’ve parodied, even though we met in an 80s cover band).
– The original band lost its lead singer due to health issues (and probably a few other factors too). He later healed and went on to a career as an in-demand jingle singer. You have heard him since and didn’t know it.
– My Variax guitar settings were Lester bridge, but I believe the original guitarist used an Explorer.
– 18 tracks in our recording, run time of 4m22s. I could not get all 18 tracks onto the screen at once but it looks something like this:
Stay tuned. ETA (with an accent on the E) is late Friday.
A few weeks ago, Charlie over at SilverAge suggested we create some ringtones and post them, too. This had honestly not occurred to me — why would anybody but our immediate families even want to hear us on their phones?
But hey, if people would find that useful, we could do that. I guess if you wanted to you could just edit the MP3s down to your liking, but I do still have the master tracks from all our recordings — even if they are spread over, like, three different recording apps — and now that we’re doing things in GarageBand, we can make iPhone ringtones easily too. Would you want that?
Until I manage to get some stuff together, here’s the latest KOXM jingle, “Stick It to the Dan,” as an iPhone ringtone to whet your whistle.
I hate to tease like this, but we should have a new song ready pretty soon — and that’s “pretty soon” in real-world time, not Palette-Swap Ninja time, which we all know takes three times longer than real-world time. Jude’s parts are done and I’m working on the remainder this weekend; I did a guitar part but I need to redo it, and I have to do the rather loud, high vocal. It’s not a Van Halen song, but I think I may look to Sammy Hagar for inspiration, in more ways than one.
We like to keep our songs secret until they are released, so I won’t tease too much. I can say that it will not be the epic that “Halo ((All I Play Oh))” was; it’s definitely a smaller affair. But it is a new song nonetheless, about something we haven’t tackled before, and it ties into something bigger, which is one of the other reasons we need to keep it secret. Check back next week for the full scoop.