We updated the logo, but we didn’t update the wallpapers. Oops. No problem, says our pal Aeshir — we were busy making music, so he made the wallpapers for us. Check them on the Freebies page and give Aeshir a virtual high-five.

You saw the logo. You saw the shirts. (Thank you — some of you have already bought one!) Now, you can finally download our newest parody song “Learn to Spell” from our Songs page. It’s a version of “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects, and it’s dedicated to anybody who posts like English is not a second language, but a distant third or fourth. Seriously — typos are one thing, but simply not caring enough to learn how to communicate with the rest of the world is something else. It’s a pet peeve, and it makes gamers look bad. So next time you see someone doing it, drop a link to this song into that discussion and run.


Remember that YouTube compresses/normalizes stuff and doesn’t sound as good as the MP3.

Full lyrics and special credits after the jump.
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In addition to kind words about our so-called “business” cards, we’ve gotten some very nice compliments on our songs, and occasionally, they come with comments like “I would buy your songs if you sold them” or “I’d like to support you guys in some small financial way, but there’s nothing on the site to that effect.” Hmm.

We don’t sell the songs. For one, that’s not why we do it. For two, even though we believe we are legally safe under parody laws, we figure we are flying under the radar by giving it away for free. We considered one of those PayPal button things, but that seemed…uninspired. And all we really want is for you to tell your friends about us.

Hey, I know…t-shirts!

Armed with the new toon ninjas and the fresh 3D logo, Kat whipped up a few designs that we thought you might not be embarassed to wear. Zazzle is cool because you can change it around — if you want a different color or style of shirt, you can customize it until it’s something you would want to buy. Like for instance, Dan decided he wanted to do the 3D logo in Scorpion yellow but on a maroon shirt. And the moment he put it on, he was struck with creative inspiration, as you can see:

So, successful closed beta. That works.

Right now, there’s the four colors of the 3D logo, a variation on the toon ninjas, and a special shirt with some of the “Halo” lyrics on the back, in dark or light. (Plus the prerequisite mousepad, for people who do not wear clothing.) If you’re feeling really spendy, we made an embroidered hoodie, but that was basically for ourselves and we don’t expect anybody else to buy it (but if you do, use the coupon SPRINGZAZZLE for $5 off orders of $45 or more until the end of June). We’re skipping crap like aprons and tote bags, but if there are other items you would actually like to buy with our logo on it or variations on the existing designs, just let us know. (A new shirt will unlock shortly after the new song appears this week.)

We think this solves the “support” problem nicely. We make a (very) tiny bit of cash on each shirt sold through Zazzle. More importantly, with you as our walking billboard, it gets the word out at LAN parties and comic book stores across the country. So by getting a shirt, you are supporting us twice — once by buying it, once by wearing it.

And if you don’t wanna do either, well, the songs are still free and we still love you.

This past weekend, Dan agreed to a 20-minute interview with The Overseas Connection at The Couch Mercenaries and, naturally, talked for an hour. Half the interview is about Palette-Swap Ninja; the rest is about OXM, the future of print, and all that stuff he always talks about. But you’ll hear the fascinating story of how Dan and Jude met, plus the meaning of the name and a bunch of other things that may not be awesome but they will help your daily commute fly by a little quicker. Also, Dan was still sick, so you get to hear him cough in stereo. It starts at around the 85-minute mark, but why wouldn’t you find the whole thing interesting?

Please divert thine eyes to the top of the page and peep our lucious new logo. We had this custom-created by our friend Brett Foster, and it serves several purposes. One, since the ninja are holding our proper favorite instruments (a Line 6 Variax 500 and a Lync LN-4 keytar), it more accurately represents us. B, it’s less infringe-y. And the other thing is that we can do…things with it. The first thing we did with it is we asked Kat to make us little business cards.

Well, they’re not really business cards because they don’t have anybody’s name or phone number or title on them. I guess that means they’re just sort of…cards. But the band comes up in conversation a lot, and we thought, “Gee, it would be nice to have something with the URL on it that we could give to someone when they politely feign interest.” And now we do. Thanks, Brett Foster. Thanks, Kat.

Tune in tomorrow for another little snippet of surprise.

Believe it or not, Jude and Dan recently found themselves in the same place at the same time. Here is proof:

Jude is the one wearing a keyboard scarf. Dan is the bottle of ketchup in the background.

I am working on the final mix of our next song as I type this. (I’m taking a break.) I have a good feeling about this one; I think people will dig it and it might have legs. Don’t wanna jinx it so I’ll leave it at that. If you’ve been following our Twitters, you may have caught a few clues.

From the beginning, this song was supposed to debut at the same time as a special project we’ve been working on. We do not control all the aspects of that special project so I am not sure exactly when it will be ready. I had hoped for Friday the 29th, but it remains to be seen. So that is the earliest you will hear the new song, as part of the launch of that project. The song will still be posted here as usual, and you won’t have to sign up for anything. But we were flattered by this invitation so we’re doin’ it right.

In the meantime, we will have a few other things to share this coming week, including a new logo and a way for you to support for Palette-Swap Ninja if you so choose (some folks have asked about buying our songs or donating a little cash; we have a solution). I also did a podcast interview with The Overseas Connection at CouchMercenaries.com, talking about the origins of the band (and also some stuff about my day job), and that should be going live Wednesday. I think I’ll be on lucky episode 13. (Not kidding — 13 is actually a pretty lucky number for me.)

So, for us, that’s a flurry of activity. Hopefully you’ll like what you see and hear.

Dan

Palette-Swap Ninja is, by design, a studio band. Jude and I used to play live pretty frequently in our previous band, but we’re not in the same state anymore, so there you have it. The gang at GamesRadar has been incredibly supportive of us on the TalkRadar podcast, letting us plug our songs, saying nice things, feigning interest — and the listeners have responded just as strongly. So when TalkRadar hit its 50th show, I thought…can we do something special and — gulp — live? Well, one of us could, because of that state thing. With Jude’s permission, I grabbed my trusty acoustic guitar and did something I’d never done before: I played “The Viva Pinata Song” live. Here is only slightly staged photographic proof:

You can get it only on TalkRadar 50 — it’s a true TalkRadar exclusive. It’s toward the end of the two-hour extravaganza.

In my defense, I am quite bad at playing and singing at the same time — as you will hear — and they were trying to crack me up throughout — which they did. They were also singing along in the background but too far away from the microphone to be picked up. They’re lucky.

If you can believe it, Chris Antista actually cleaned this up. You’re hearing the generous edited version. And sadly I was sober.

Don’t you wish Jude and I lived in the same state now too?

— Dan

We want you to download our songs. We made a page just for them. And we thought the little haiku at the top made it clear exactly how to achieve that goal, but apparently not — I’ve gotten a few comments from folks asking how they can download the songs instead of just having them play in the browser. I thought that everybody knew how to do this with the right mouse button, but hey, we all have to learn somewhere. So we have revised the haiku and I’m writing this post to clarify, for anybody still having trouble.

To download our songs, right-click the name of the track to open a menu and, depending on what browser you are using, select…
“Save Link As” (Firefox or Chrome)
“Save Target As” (Internet Explorer)
“Download Linked File” (Safari).

They all do the same thing: They ask you where on your computer you want to save the MP3. (And if you do not have a two-button mouse, use Option-Click instead of right-click.)

Now, I had planned to make a “Download Now” button so as to remove that hassle altogether. But I’ve found that it isn’t as easy as it looks. If the browser sees the MP3, it wants to play it. In order to get around it, I tried changing my .htaccess file in the songs directory, but it did not work (it had an effect, but it broke file access altogether). Another suggestion was to put every track in a .zip archive, and I don’t wanna do that. For one, it makes counting downloads a little harder if there are two versions of each song being downloaded. For two, if people are a little confused by right-clicking to download, now I’m introducing file compression, which simply swaps one problem for another. And I have heard of PHP solutions around it but I don’t know PHP so I couldn’t make head nor tail of them.

So…for now, I’m keeping it as is. Please use the “right-click-save-as” method. It’s standard across the web and a good thing to know.

In a last ditch effort, you can try downloading from our page on Last.fm. But that didn’t work for me, even though I set it up for free download. I got a 503 error.