The latest episode of action figure comedy web series Shelf Life is up and you might recognize a familiar voice! My amazing friends Tara Platt and Yuri Lowenthal (a.k.a. Hero Lass and Bug Boy) asked me if I would write and perform the “Young Hero Lass” theme, based on Josh A. Cagan and Kayla Cagan‘s lyrics, and how could I say no?
I had so much fun coming up with a sound for the theme. Initially I sent Yuri and Tara a jazzy 1950s jingle I had recorded a capella in my iPhone’s Voice Memos, but with some feedback and my Fender Stratocaster I ended up making something more akin to a Hot Wheels commercial. Hell, I’ve even got a version that sounds completely punk rock!
I couldn’t be happier about the way the episode turned out. Aside from my song, Amber Benson as Raggedy Ann is BRILLIANT, the writing is absolutely hilarious and excellently executed, and OMG Bug Boy is nekkid! Hope you enjoy it. :)
Happy holidays, everyone! I made you a present… It’s an atheist Christmas song!
The idea for Santa is an Atheist came naturally as an atheist who enjoys the “spirit” of Christmas, but I almost didn’t release a song at all because I didn’t think I had enough time to make it! Thanks to my friend Celeste Wolfe for encouraging me to do it, and to so many amazing friends supporting me along the way, it’s out in time!
I want to thank Derek Miller for saying yes to appearing as Santa in the video. When I closed my eyes to imagine a music video, he was the only one I could envision playing Santa. And he was amazing. At one point, when we were filming the close up of him thinking and calculating, I didn’t want to yell “cut!” because his performance was so continually surprising and new! He’s a truly talented actor, and I highly suggest you check him out in The Wedding Band on TBS and Opening Night: The Improvised Musical.
I also want to thank Raya Yarbrough who made the song amazing! I sent her an a capella version I recorded one day in my iPhone Voice Memos and she loved it, which encouraged me to move forward with the project. I then recorded a rough version in GarageBand, sent her the demo and she re-created the whole thing with a new improved bass track, percussion, and added jazzy piano! She’s a true maestro. Be sure to buy her album and check out her latest work North of Sunset, West of Vine where she recounts tales of her youth in Hollywood leading into amazing songs that will blow you away.
And more thanks also go to Andrew Seely, who acted as my much needed DP on the music video shoot, Nick Holmes, who photographed the amazing cover photo, and to a number of people who helped by giving me advice, encouragement, and resources: Cathy Baron, Tara Brown, Rudy Jahchan, Bear McCreary, and Taryn Southern. I love and appreciate you all.
As for what’s next? It’s easy. If enough people show interest (i.e. Buy the single on iTunes and Google Play or make the YouTube video go viral), I plan to make an entire atheist Christmas album next year. So, if you want that to happen… please let me know with your actions; watch it, rate it, share it, buy it. ;)
Last week one of my Twitter followers (@Andreas_Sch) told me that he set Edith Piaf’s “Non, je ne regrette rien” as his alarm clock ringtone. I thought it was brilliant, and it really got me thinking about the relationship of classic music in sci-fi films (it also sent me on an iTunes shopping spree).
As a lover of tragedy, a lot of the songs I thought of were the kind of songs played to conjure up feelings of bittersweet nostalgia; recognizable songs that have a personal meaning to the protagonist or the story. Here is a list of songs I came up with (in no particular order):
- The Very Thought of You by Billie Holiday – This song stabs me in the heart every time I hear it, thanks to Forever Young.
- Non, je ne regrette rien by Édith Piaf – This song, made popular to English speakers by the film Inception, is the kind of song I want to sing at the top of my voice while the universe comes to a fiery end.
- We’ll Meet Again by (Dame) Vera Lynn – The “happy” ending to cult classic Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Makes me smile and get teary-eyed all at once.
- Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino – This song was featured in one of my favorite time-travel films of all time; Twelve Monkeys. Bruce Willis deserved a fucking Oscar for this scene alone.
- Singin’ in the Rain by Gene Kelly (*ahem* or Malcolm McDowell) – Beautiful brutality from Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece A Clockwork Orange. Truly haunting.
Honorable mentions: Ruby Tuesday in Children of Men (disqualified for being a new version, not Rolling Stones); and We Have All the Time in the World in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (disqualified because it’s not usually recognized as a sci-fi film).
Can you think of more? Looking forward to listening to your haunting suggestions.
My buddy Doc Popular has a new album out this week! I was there when he was shooting the above music video in San Francisco last month (as you can see from around 2:56). All songs on the new album Beeps and Smudges were created using iPhone and iPad apps… so, as you can tell, he’s made of awesome! Hell, this dude is even a bona fide yo-yoer! So, I highly suggest checking him out and supporting him by paying the $1 to buy the album!