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Posts in Category: Writing

The Love Song of Gregor Samsa

This is the first original song I ever recorded. Prior to this, I had dabbled with experimental instrumental songs, but this was the first time I wrote a regular song, with lyrics and everything, and committed to recording it. I intended to send up songs like Iron Maiden’s “Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which pompously sought to elevate heavy metal using classic literature, but often missed the point. I thought it would be funny to retell Kafka’s The Metamorphosis as a cheery message of hope, ignoring the central theme of Gregor burdening his unloving family, who finally find happiness when he dies.

The drums are a SoundFont, a technology that was popular at the time of its recording (2001). Even though they’re sort of passé, I still find myself using SoundFonts for a lot of synth applications. They’re more durable than other synth programmers.

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Rejection (a.k.a., Winter, a.k.a. Sexual Anguish)

Oh, joy! A weepy-stringed, experimental, hip-hop, jammy sonic collage designed to express, in sound, the emotions that go along with rejection from the fairer sex. Despite the pretension of the concept, I actually…kinda think this song achieves its goal. Don’t ask me what, if anything, I sampled. I don’t want to get sued. Nudge-nudge-wink-wink-saynomore.

When it came time to collect the flotsam and jetsam of my recording history for The ‘You Can Touch It for a Quarter’ Sessions, this was the only song I considered truly “finished”—I never intended to record vocals for it, and it sounded exactly the way I wanted it to. (I did polish it up a little bit with some EQ tweaks and digital delay.) Since I had a list of titles to match songs to, I figured “Sexual Anguish” was the best fit for this. After all, what is rejection from the fairer sex but sexual anguish?

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A Chance of Rapture

Title: A Chance of Rapture

Genre: Comedy

Length: 28 pages

Synopsis: A devout farmboy meets God at a rural bar and asks Him to save his terminal sister. God agrees, on one condition—the farmboy must join forces with a handful of other chosen people to stop the Rapture.

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When Edison Came to Stay

Title: When Edison Came to Stay

Genre: Comedy

Length: 6 pages

Synopsis: After he’s killed in a lab accident, a disciple of Thomas Edison finds himself working a grueling afterlife job distracting intelligent people with the inane conversation of others.

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Leaving Her

At one time, I tried to write serious songs. This one, and “Meeting the One” boast very personal lyrics, and consequently, they’re sort of bad and self-obsessed. That’s why they ended up forming “a shrub in the hedge maze of life.” I had enough dignity to realize my histrionic melodrama would only make me look bad, unless I pretended it was ironic and put it out there for people’s amusement.

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Queen of the Castle

Title: Queen of the Castle

Genre: Drama

Length: 4 pages

Synopsis: A seemingly innocuous action from a little girl takes on symbolic meaning as it shifts the balance of power between parent and child.

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