Bee-Sides (Mid-Late 2000s)

bees around the side of a man typing at a typewriter

Part I

While cleaning up my desk the other day, I found an old hard drive containing some songs from around the time I first moved to Berlin. Today, I thought I would share three--yes three!--of these songs. I considered them all to be B-Sides, even though I wasn't really working on a cohesive album. Weird! Let's jump in!

Jiggle That Shit - 2008-ish

A joke so ill-conceived; no one laughed.

This terrible song was intended to be an April Fools’ Day joke, a departure from my normal ukulele weird-pop, but it somehow got out of hand. I guess the joke was that I actually don’t like dancing? It i hard to say, because the end product is stuck somewhere in that awful space between being funny or musically acceptable without accomplishing either. The whole concept is embarrassingly similar to a Dane Cook stand-up bit, and that guy is, without question, objectively awful and painfully unfunny. I totally Jurassic Park-ed it with this song, trying to see if I could do it instead of open shirt goldblum yadda yadda yadda.

While there are some decent ideas here, especially the extremely un-danceable bridge, it hasn’t aged well for sure! On the plus side, this is one of the only songs I’ve ever made with a very catchy chorus that repeats enough times to be memorable.

Sidekick Wanted: Spandex a Must - 2007

Villains and psychos need not apply

A song addressing weird internet “nice” guys whose standards are highly disproportional compared to what they bring to the table. While the lyrics are appropriately juvenile and tongue-in-cheek, I am not sure if the irony is apparent enough. This is not a song I would ever want someone to mistake for being serious, which is probably why I eventually left it to gather digital dust.

On the positive side, there are some amazingly cheesy synth sounds happening here, and I put a single bar of 3 in the chorus that I always imagined would give the start of the repeat some extra punch. Maybe it worked; I like this chorus.

CONCLUSION: Produced better, I think this joke song could be pretty good. But I am also not convinced the effort would be worth it!

By Any Name (2008?)

I ate 6000 tacos back in my cool-hand days

Next to the link on my old website, it just said: “…one time, i tried to rap and really embarrassed myself.” Like much of my early work, there is a lot of enthusiasm and god knows how many strange—yet poorly performed—overdubs. It suffers from the same issues as the early catalog though. The mix is not very balanced, the sound quality is not great (pretty sure this was recorded using a laptop’s built-in microphone), and there are weird lip smacks and clicks where clips were badly sliced.

That said, for all its embarrassing mediocrity, I do enjoy this song. The annoyingly nasal chorus was definitely an intentional dig on whatever was on the radio at the time. I think it was something specific, but I don’t remember what. There are a couple lines that still make me laugh. My goal was to put all the swagger and bravado that I lack in real life into a song, and I think I did an ok job.

“They call me Simon 'cause my bum is so spherical, but I’m a rap jesus workin lyrical miracles”
“We bring the funk like a brick of moldy cheddar”
“They call me flaco cuz i never gain weight, though i ate six thousand tacos back in my cool hand days”
“I’m circa Rocky III, you’re 1-800-COLLECT”