Monthly Archives: March 2007

Pulling Others Under the Nurturing Wing of Gather Round, Children (revised)

In our heroic pursuit of in-the-office diversions, we at GRC have identified some sites we’d like to call your attention to:

1. Chris Faris’s Movie Blog

2. Jason Eppink’s Trove of Goodies

Also, I just found this link on Michael’s comment. I recognize many of these works from Pepperdine classes:

3. A Few Michael Ocean Writings, Photos, etc.

4. Bob Cargill – I’m a little pissed that he bought up “bobcargill.com” and “robertcargill.com” before I thought to buy them myself.

Studio Magic

guitar by Gabe Durham

Two of the lesser members of BackSpace (Vincent Rain, bass and Donald Shutt, 2nd guitar) were laying down backing vocals on “See You Again,” the single from their forthcoming Hope to See You Again. The vocal part was a crescendo of “ba-Ba-BAAAAA” and it took place on the second, third and fourth choruses. Earlier, producer Zip Darren had patiently explained to the band that while backing vocals sound “very nice to listeners’ ears when the listeners put the disc on in an effort to have a wonderful time,” the vocals would have a punchier dramatic effect if, instead of being applied every chorus, they were omitted from the first chorus. That way, “The listener is all, ‘Here comes that chorus again, that chorus I love,’ and then they’re all, ‘Whoa! This chorus is even better!’”

Zip Darren had impressed BackSpace. “That’s why he’s the producer,” said drummer and lesser member of BackSpace Ty Rudd.

“That’s why he’s God,” said lead singer Jonathan Persons, the visionary, the rock.

Thanks to studio magic, the band only needed one good take of the backing vocals and they would apply that good take to all three of the choruses. They had been at it for two hours and Donald Shutt had ruined every take thus far. “Why can’t Jonathan just sing it?” he said after every three takes. Jonathan pushed a button that allowed him to speak to Donald in the studio.

“I can’t very well do it when we’re on tour, can I?” No one answered. The question seemed rhetorical, but Jonathan was waiting for an answer. “Can I?”

“No,” Donald said. “No, you can’t.”

A short, skinny man with a thick curly brown beard and very short haircut opened the studio door. He wore black jeans and a gray blazer over a black t-shirt. He turned his back to everyone in the room, lost in thought. He removed a digital voice recorder from his pocket and spoke softly into it, “Sound of a crocodile grabbing a monkey out of a tree. Loop it.” He turned and faced the band.

Zip Darren stood. “This is Richard Devonshire, the British producer.”

“Bullocks,” Richard said, proving his heritage and credibility. He shook Joanthan’s hand. “Lead man. I like your stuff. I listened to it to wean myself off Prozac.” He waved to the non-lead singers. Vincent and Donald removed their headphones and joined the party.

Jonathan Persons, “What’s he produced?”

Zip Darren said, “Remember that Sonic Meltdown album I played in my truck one time?”

Jonathan Persons, “The one that made me shivery and uncomfortable?”

Richard Devonshire, “It’s been described as ‘Roger Daltry bonks Radiohead inside an old Word War II bunker.’”

Zip Darren, “He also produced Franny and the Bathroom Wall Erasers.”

Richard Devonshire, “NME called it the mutant lovechild of Bob Dylan and Animal Collective shoved—against its will—into blender and set on puree.”

Zip Darren, “And of course, you’d know Robot Island’s first album.”

Donald Shutt, “Population: No Survivors?”

Jonathan Persons, “That album, to me, is like the Koran. If that album told me to blow myself up in a crowded mall, I would do it. That’s how good that album is.”

Richard Devonshire, “Of course, on the exterior, that album is commercial drivel. You know, Paul McCartney has a sexual tryst with Journey on top of a rainbow one afternoon, but on the interior, the album is very dark. At critical moments, I’d add a second bass line that is half a step above the pitch of the first but otherwise spot on. Or I’d leave in a backing vocal where the guitar player sings the wrong words. Or I’d add some wild instrument nobody has ever used before, like a sitar. So that the little details corrupt the album, and slowly you realize that Paul McCartney and Journey aren’t sucking each other off on a rainbow but in a gas station men’s room, complete with feces, mold and disillusionment.”

Vincent Rain, “Did a reviewer say that, or are you saying that?”

Richard Devonshire, “I’m saying that.”

Zip Darren cleared his throat. “I brought Rich here today to help make the album a little more daring. This is in response to the reviews of the last album. What did that one reviewer call it? The Pitchfork guy?”

Richard Devonshire “Third Eye Blind holds an orgy with Vertical Horizon and allows Scott Stapp to watch.”

Donald Shutt, “Is that a good review?”

Richard Devonshire, “It’s a very bad review.”

Donald Shutt, “Dude. Reviewers are pervs. They just review so they can describe musicians boning.”

Jonathan Persons, “They didn’t understand what we were trying to do.”

Richard Devonshire then asked to hear a cut of the new single. Zip Darren played the track loud. The band got really into, nodding their heads, singing along.

Zip Darren smiled and tapped his foot. This was a good song. The bridge was soaring. He really had to fight with Jonathan to get him to write a bridge. Jonathan had had a tough time coming up with chord progressions as it was, and he didn’t see the point in writing a chord progression that he would only play through one time. But the way it flowed into the final two choruses was smooth, like two musicians having sex with each other. Zip Darren wasn’t sure which musicians or in what exotic location.

Richard Devonshire sat very still. “What’s it called?”

“See You Again,” Jonathan Persons told him.

“Who is that on the BGV’s?” Richard Devonshire said.

“That’s Donald, we’re working on it,” Zip Darren said.

“No.” Richard Devonshire winked at Donald Shutt. “Leave it. It’s bleeding brill. So, if I may sort this out, the song’s protagonist is a young man. He is in some sort of musical ensemble, likely not classical, as classical musicians would not say, ‘saw her at my show.’”

“It’s a rock and roll concert,” Jonathan Persons explained.

“Very good. So. He has noticed her at this concert. She knows the words to his songs. She has attractive eyes, blonde hair, perhaps busty, a trim figure no doubt. After the show, the musician and his admirer exchange words and a kiss—and at this moment he realizes a tragic dichotomy: he is happy because he is with her and yet he is sad because he realizes that he will probably not see her again. And yet, the chorus reminds us repeatedly, he has held on to hope that somehow they shall meet. Yes. Brilliant. The bridge has to go.” Zip Darren’s face dropped. “In the current bridge, the musician is reunited with his love at a show the very next night in a different state. This is a romantic twist, to be certain, but totally unrealistic. Not only that, it destroys the song’s tension and renders the final choruses of ‘Hope to see you again’ sterile, useless.”

Vincent Rain, “We could replace the bridge vocals with a solo. Like a bass solo.”

Richard Devonshire, “So you’re suggesting we drop out the music and instead feature the sounds of a real life military base—the base in Iraq. Thus drawing a parallel between the soldier leaving his bird to fight in war and the musician who must soldier on to the next town. I rather like that, but the public may find it a bit heavy-handed. Especially since your ensemble’s name seems to be a political statement in itself—perhaps you are wishing that America could delete a few pages of history—backspace, as it were, to a better time. No, I don’t think that the military base solo is what we need. Perhaps something subtler, a little more universal.”

Richard Devonshire opened the door and called out into the hallway: “Louise!” A frail woman, 80ish, entered the room. A couple of inches taller than Richard Devonshire, she wore black and made no eye contact with the men in the room. “Louise, this is producer Zip Darren and the band BackSpace. Terribly sorry for making you wait in the hall. Could you come into this sound room, please? Stand here in front of the microphone.”

“What do you want me to do?” she said.

Richard Devonshire shook his head impatiently. “It’s not something I want you to do. I’m just going to record your natural sadness. You don’t have to cry or anything unless you feel compelled to do so.” She nodded, resigned.

Jonathan Persons said, “Where did you dig her up?”

“Funny you should put it that way,” Richard Devonshire said. “Filched her from the cemetery. Was mourning her husband. I told her I would drive her home if she would only permit me one quick stop. I’m chuffed to bits about her. Darren—You’re recording this?”

Zip Darren pressed record. “Yes.”

“Gentlemen,” Richard Devonshire said, “This will be your new bridge. An old lady’s sorrow.”

Through the glass, the band and the producers watched Louise. She was partially turned away from them, softly whimpering near the microphone. They could hear her; she couldn’t hear them.

“It’s the first time I’ve looked at an old lady in years,” Ty Rudd said. “One of the perks of the job, really.”

Louise was getting chilly, having left her shawl in the car. Normally fiery-tempered, Louise seldom let people push her around like this. But today was not a day to fight. She wanted to get through it and go home. Maybe her husband would be waiting with tea. No… he wouldn’t. She couldn’t remember why at this moment.

“She’s so sad,” Jonathan Persons said.

“Just like you were feeling when you wrote ‘See You Again,’” Richard Devonshire said.

“That’s true,” Jonathan Persons said.

Season 3, Episode 5 – A couple who plays together…

Tombomdarnell

guitareye candy

Episode #5 “Learn How To Be In A Relationship” (3/27/07):  Featuring intercultural communicator/women’s studies expert/country singer Elizabeth Trimble. Songs include the Nanci Griffith/Adam Duritz duet, “Travelin’ Back to Georgia,” “Ed,” Linda Ronstadt’s “Different Drum,” the world premiere of “When the Moonshines,” “They Have No Shoes,” Acapella’s “Everybody Said (But Nobody Did),” Guster’s “Demons,” Cake’s “Jolene,” “Baby… Shut Up,” David Gray’s “We’re Not Right”.

Tagged

Debate Notes For Legalizing Polygamy

guitar by Mitch, Team Captain

– Does not the artist use multiple colors in his palette?

– That Song: Calls two “the loneliest number since the number one.”

– Does not the seagull fly in flocks?

– Gina will stand and give the following testimony: “I can tell you, that, as a woman, I’d kill to have another wife around. Men can be such slobs that it would take three of us just to do one man’s laundry!” [Coach Tina: Keep a straight face or the Against team will eat us alive!]

– That Other Song: “Give me two girls. So I can… something something…”

– Does not the goose fly in gander?

– Brian will stand, give a little laugh, and say, “Let me just vocalize what is on all the guys’ minds right now. Two chicks whenever you want.” Brian will high-five Mitch as he sits.

– “Big Love”: a popular TV show about polygamy. [Haven’t seen it, it’s on premium stations. Best just to mention in passing.]

– Another Song: “Before you knock it, try it first / And you’ll see it’s a blessing and it’s not a curse.” [The “Against” team may mention that this song is about marijuana and not polygamy. Still, we will argue that it is a good point in all situations. The Againsts, if they are really on their game may reply, “Even murder?” Do not fall in this pit! Admit, “No, not murder or anything that involves harming others.”]

– Everybody loves Mormons, right? Right?

– Amanda will stand and give the following testimony: “From a woman’s standpoint, having another woman in the house would be great. We’d have girls nights all the time. You know, no men allowed. And don’t get me started on the clothes-sharing possibilities!” Women love sharing clothes.

– Maybe only really smart men—doctors, debaters—should be allowed to have multiple wives. Shouldn’t superior genes be spread as far as they can go? Survival of the fittest, right? [If the Againsts are really on the ball, they may mention that this was Hitler’s philosophy. We will liken the tossing out of ALL Hitler’s ideas to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The baby being polygamy. The bathwater being Hitler.]

– Another Song: “A little bit of Tina in the sun / A little bit of Rita having fun / A little something something in the can / A little bit of you makes me your man” – very catchy, very true!

[Remind group: Winner of the debate gets free pizza party with up to three toppings and soda!]

When the Moonshines

Tombom A Country Song by Thomas Bush

V1

Staring at the water, like it’s a satin dress
Mesmerized at the lake, my lady and me
Talk and laugh for hours, these times are our best
The world spins around till we can’t see…
When the moon shines…

V2

A Man’s gotta work his field, plantin’ corn and green beans
Those beans’ll keep, but store corn, it won’t stay
It’s a simple man’s science, preparing for his family
Then the rough times will be better days
When the moon shines…

Chorus

When the Moon Shines! There’s Fire that Burns in my heart!
I’m dancing and I’m singing ‘cause I’m free
Don’t let me down, I love you now, Let’s never be apart
When the moon shines, your beauty is plain to see
We’ll ride on down the dusty road!
No one will hear, no one will know
These are glory days and they will always be…
When the moon shines
 
V3

Old Fletcher was the best dog; he, my gun, and me
We’d spend hours in the woods with the moon shine
And as the sun rise came, we’d shoot then go see
If what we thought we’d shot is what we’d find…
With the moonshine

(Chorus)

Bridge:
Oh and nowadays, I can’t see the moon!
The moon shine or the sky, I’m feeling pretty gloom
But they say dreamers live dreaming, out of the box
My box is a bottle and I’m dreaming of the day…

(Chorus)

When the moon shines… etc.

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Season 3, Episode 4 – Download This Episode to Your iPod and Run For an Hour

gabe alexTombom

Episode #4 “Post-St. Patrick’s Day Shame” (3/19/07): Featuring long-time listener, first-time caller Alex Moore. “Smoke Yourself to the End,” “Dancing To and Fro,” the world premiere of “Everybody Wins,” “Where Did the Light Go? (I Will Hit You All Over),” Remix of the Week, “When I Look Into Her Eyes,” “Auction Song,” “Get On Board the Gather Round Show Train: Someday We Will Make a T-Shirt”.

You’re a Boating “Accident” Away From Being as Popular as I Am

darnell by Darnell Brisco 

I always wondered why I thrive the way that I do—athletically, academically, socially, romantically. Is it because my lack of tact, diluted sense of bashfulness, and unique brand of boldness (coming to a convenience store near you this fall) allows me to say anything and act in a manner that simultaneously shocks and intrigues? Could it be the unusually chiseled abs, or the legs that rival most super models and/or flamingos (take your pick), that give me a “leg up” on the competition?  Or possibly it’s my insatiable lust for attention, derived from my childhood abandonment by my parents in that burning field of rice patties so many years ago. I suppose these are all feasible grounds to diagnose my knack for getting by without doing much at all to merit my glamorous accolades.

Then it hit me, all by accident.

I was on Wikipedia.org the other day, the wonderful web-based free encyclopedia (Take that, 18 piece Encyclopedia Britannica! I want my 31 easy payments of 32.95 back…. with interest!) doing a little catching up on my Lord of the Rings knowledge for the upcoming convention. I browsed through some little-known Gandalf tidbits, checked on an updated map of the Shire, and figured I’d wrap it up with a little J.R.R. trivia. So I attempted to type Tolkienisms, hoping for some witty quotes overheard while he was knockin back a few with ole Clive Staples. But lo and behold, I forget the “I” and “L,” and typed in “tokenisms” which then led me to the following epiphany.

According to Wikipedia, Tokenism refers to a policy or practice of limited inclusion of members of a minority group, (although) their difference may be overemphasized or made “exotic” and glamorous. That brief definition summed up a lifetime of party invitations and suspiciously long laughter following my jokes. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, a Greek philosopher, or a the inventor of silly putty to realize where an young, slender yet well-built African American male can use this to his advantage in, say… Malibu.

Naturally, it also got me thinking, “How can I take my experiences and share this with the faithful masses, which are the Gather Round, Children community?” So just in case you’re not Black in Malibu, here’s a practical way that you too could successfully use your tokenism to your advantage:

1) Lose a Limb: Plenty to choose from. I personally suggest an arm, although a leg wouldn’t be all that bad. Even a hand by its lonesome would do. I mean, just think: you could get a cool hook (see Buster from “Arrested Development,” Season 3), laser-shooting bionic eye (see “The Six Million Dollar Man”), or a machine gun (see Barret Wallace, thank you bachelorhood!).

2) To boost your token status, you might want to get a cool story to go along with it. I suggest getting the limb bitten off by a shark. I’m not sure how many people you know who have personally suffered shark attacks, but in my experience, they get a lot of attention. You can go to any local aquarium (or if you’re very brave, Florida), cover the desired limb in fish guts or your bait of choice, and then stick that bad boy into the tank when no ones looking. Then begin taunting. Something like: “Hey stupid sharks, bet you can’t bite off just this one limb and then leave me and my team of doctors to tend my excruciatingly painful wound.”

So go out and figure out what puts you in the glamorous minority and then place yourself in an environment that really causes you to stand out. I’ll be praying for the day when all of you GRC fans get the special attention and privileges I do.

As I hear people shouting things like, “Hey 3rd nipple kid, you want to party?” or “Hey, Hunchback boy, I’ve got a special treat for you, just because you’re different,” I’ll be smiling from ear to ear. I hope you all will too.

Except for you, one-eared girl.

Tagged

Season 3, Episode 3

guitarTombom

darnelldave

Episode #3 “And You’ll Like It” (3/12/07): Folkstravaganza! Featuring philosopher/ folk singer/GRC returner Dave Staples. Hit songs include “The Greatest Trick the Devil Ever Pulled,” “Your Southern Can,” country song, Britney dump, “It’s Foggy Outside (So Rub My Muffins),” pipe dreams, “Solicitor/MLK & Martha,” contest winner, “Better,” “Take My Money”.

The Much-Anticipated Damien Jurado Review

guitarI was at the gas station yesterday and three people hopped out of a convertible and said to me, “Gabe, when are you going to review some old Damien Jurado  album??” and I said, “Really soon, I promise, valued Gather Round fans,” and they were all, “Well get on it!” Part of me was flattered, but there was so much anger in their voice and so many medieval weapons (clubs, a mace, a level twelve broadsword) in their hands that mostly I was focused on getting the HECK out of that gas station. Well, now I can stop fearing for my life: Here it is, Your Precious Review. Our fans are so weird. Fame is tough. 

Season 3, Episode 2 – So Much Music

guitardarnell

Tombomjkloor

Episode #2 “Foreverwich (Gather Round, Tweens)” (3/5/07): Jam-packed episode featuring renowned vocalist Jessica Kloor. For you math people, that means there was 1/3 of Won by Won (05-06), 2/5 of Biodome 5 and 3/4 of the B-22’s. Featuring some Kelly Clarkson song, “Little While Longer,” “Pick a Number,” The Return of Tough Stuff, “On Behalf of the Men of the World,” “It May Be At Morn,” “Old Rugged Cross,” “Brown Eyed Girl,” “Killing Me Softly,” “Eyes on the Sparrow,” “Unfailing Love,” “She’s Just a Little Thing”.

Notice that these radio shows are mp3s. You can stream them off the web or download them onto your iPod. But most people burn each episode onto a CD and then draw a picture of the three of us on each CD, or write out the lyrics to their favorite GRC songs on the CD, and then they put the CD in a book with the others, then they hide the book carefully (under the floorboards is one I hear a lot) in case of thieves. Also, thanks to Tomas, Gael, and Darnello for recreating a Spanish version of the show each week and of course, to Thome, Garb, and Darn-Darn for recreating a Canadian version. First North America, then the world!