Saturday, January 12, 2019

Way Overdue Update: More New Jerkatorium and Matchy Matchy Songs

Lots has happened since the last blog update, with one new Jerkatorium song, three new songs by our alter-ego band Matchy Matchy, and fifteen (yes, fifteen) new podcast recordings.  In addition to that, there are also some podcast theme revisions and remixes, and a podcast-related Jerkatorium collaboration with Micah Sommersmith.

Jerkatorium returned as judges to the SpinTunes 15 contest this year, which naturally prohibited us from competing again... but just like when we judged SpinTunes 14, we did submit non-competing songs (dubbed "shadow" entries) again under the name Matchy Matchy.

The first assigned challenge was to write a song from the viewpoint of an alien visiting earth.  We submitted "Everything Everything Everything":

The Round 2 challenge was to write a song that expresses sincere gratitude.  As an extra requirement, the song had to include vocal harmonies.  We submitted the song "Thanks", which was heavy on the harmonies and light on the sincerity:

The Round 3 challenge was to do a "pastiche" song; a song in the style of a different band.  We decided to ape A Flock of Seagulls with our song "Eagles":

The Round 4 challenge was to write a cumulative song a la "12 Days of Christmas" or "There's A Hole In The Bottom Of The Sea".  Forces beyond our control conspired to prevent us from completing a shadow entry for Round 4, but Micah Sommersmith (winner of SpinTunes 14, judge for SpinTunes 15, and occasional Jerkatorium collaborator) accepted our offer of help in generating some backing music for a song he'd composed to supplement his Round 4 reviews - and the format of his song is also a cumulative song.  It's entitled "Third Cat Wrote A Very Good Song":

I'm also going to highly recommend the shadow entries Micah did for SpinTunes 15, available here: .  And while I'm at it, I'll highly recommend all of the rest of his songs, available here: .  He's an amazing talent and a great guy.

After our SpinTunes 14 podcasts last year we decided to start doing Song Fight review podcasts, and then for Jerkatorium's SpinTunes 15 judging duties we returned to recording podcasts for our SpinTunes reviews too.  All of those podcasts can be found at  The podcasts are free to stream or download, but as I'd explained in a previous post:  The podcasts are very specifically geared towards SpinTunes and Song Fight, and they would probably not interest anyone who wasn’t already following those competitions.  We try to add humorous bits and clips to the podcasts as time permits, but even those bits are mostly inside jokes.  We've re-recorded versions of the podcast theme song to fit SongFight and SpinTunes as applicable, and lately we've been doing different podcast theme remixes for each of the more recent episodes.  Micah Sommersmith composed an original alternate podcast theme for the "ST15R1: Strange New World" podcast, and that version also reappears in the "ST15R4: It Grows On You" podcast.  We occasionally have guest reviewers (Micah Sommersmith, Brian Raiter, Andy Hamlin, and hopefully others soon).  Regardless - the podcasts won't have much to interest anyone who is not following Song Fight or SpinTunes

Jerkatorium took a pretty big step away from our usual approach to music in our submission for the October 2018 "Blue Woman Yes" Song Fight, going for a more hard rock sound.  You can hear that here:

The Song Fight Fightmaster picked happy triangle's cover art submission for that "Blue Woman Yes" Song Fight, and that was a great choice; it's an excellent illustration by a wonderful artist, and it includes calligraphy from Brian Raiter:

Thursday, July 12, 2018

New Jerkatorium video for "We Should"

The new video for We Should is now on YouTube:

If the YouTube thing within this post doesn't work on your device, you can find it at this link:

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Overdue Update: New Jerkatorium and Matchy Matchy songs

It has been over two months since the last Jerkatorium blog update.  Since then, we have recorded five new original Matchy Matchy songs, one new cover song, and three new podcasts.  I have no excuses for not updating this blog earlier.  Let’s just launch into it.

SpinTunes #14 continued through to its resolution on May 26.  We're thrilled that our occasional collaborator Micah Sommersmith won his well-earned and deserved victory.

As I’d explained in previous posts, Jerkatorium was compelled to judge the competition this year because we won SpinTunes #13 last year, and so we had to supply reviews for all of the songs throughout this year's competition.  To that end, Jerkatorium continued to generate review podcasts for each round of SpinTunes #14.  All four of those podcasts can be found at  The podcasts are free to stream or download - but I should warn you that they are very specifically geared towards SpinTunes, and they would probably not interest anyone who wasn’t already following SpinTunes #14.  We tried to inject some humorous bits into the podcasts, but even those bits are mostly inside jokes for SpinTuners.

As noted in the previous blog update, Jerkatorium’s alter ego band Matchy Matchy submitted those first two shadow entries (One Of These Days and I Think You’re Okay) for SpinTunes #14, but then time constraints and other projects prevented us from submitting shadow songs for the last two rounds.  Instead, Jerkatorium completed a cover version of Today’s The Day by Inverse T. Clown for Song Fight’s 2018 Gift Of Music sidefightToday’s The Day covers are sort of a thing on the internet, and to date there are over 30 different versions of the song online.  For our cover, we changed some of the lyrics to tone down some of the gender-specific derogatory remarks that seemed a little gratuitous and unnecessary; that judgment might be arguable, but regardless we’ll chalk up our edits to “artistic license”.  You can hear our version here:

Early on, we decided that we weren’t going to participate in the Nur Ein competition this year.  The Nur Ein song challenge requirements tend to hurt the quality of the submissions:  you might have a good song and then be compelled to include animal sounds, or backwards recording, or jump through some other hoop to have it qualify, thereby dragging down the appeal of the song.  Also Nur Ein uses judges with no qualifications and no bona fides, who post their rankings anonymously.  The judges are free to base their rankings on petty Song Fight resentments instead of any legitimate criteria.  If Jerkatorium has no respect for Nur Ein’s challenges or judges, why would we make the effort to participate?

For some reason we changed our minds at the last minute and decided to compete in Nur Ein this year.  Early on it was clear that the two least-qualified judges were dead set on giving us low rankings no matter what we submitted - a typical round would have two judges ranking us up with the very top songs and the other two putting us near (or at) last place.  It was just a matter of time until the math caught up with us.  We were eliminated after the fifth round (officially Round Four, but that’s still five songs because there’s a Round Zero).  We never expected to win - the winning group (Merisan) is much more talented than us and submitted really fantastic songs every round - but it is disappointing that we didn’t get a fair shake.

Due to either confusion or unilateral decision, Chumpy submitted our Nur Ein songs as Matchy Matchy instead of Jerkatorium this year, but everyone knew it was us.  The judges and other competitors occasionally even referred to us as Jerkatorium instead of Matchy Matchy on the bulletin board and during the listening parties.  You can find our Matchy Matchy Nur Ein songs at:

The Round Zero challenge was entitled “Trial By Fire” and we had to incorporate sirens.  The incorporation of sirens was a terrible, song-ruining requirement, and obviously a very bad idea; all of the submissions for that round suffered from it.  Round 2 was entitled “Internet Sensation” and the challenge was to sell an imaginary product.  Round 3 was entitled “3:20” and the listed challenge was Ambience.  Round 4 was “We Should” and we were required to have a guest play a household item on the track.  We actually had two guests that round:  Brian Raiter and Andrei Balitaan each played various kitchen implements and other household items as percussion instruments, and I think it turned out great.  Round 5 was “Never Knew The Guy”, and the challenge was to make the song a biography.

The day after submitting “We Should” to Nur Ein, Chumpy and I went back to clean the song up a little.  Here is a better version of the song:

I’m so happy with our “We Should” that I’m making a music video for the song, and I’ll post a link as soon as it is finished.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

SpinTunes Judging Podcast And Some New Songs

Jerkatorium won SpinTunes 13 last year (which is something I already bragged about in a previous bog post), and SpinTunes winners are generally expected to be judges for the following SpinTunes.  SpinTunes 14 officially started up March 2018, and Jerkatorium is participating as one of the five competition judges.

Our intent was to submit our reviews in the form of podcasts.  Travel and other issues got in the way of submitting our Round 1 reviews as a podcast, so Chumpy composed written reviews.  Since then, we have caught up and created the podcast for the Round 1 reviews.  The appeal of these review podcasts might be limited to SpinTunes followers and contestants, but if you are interested in listening to us yammer for a while the various ways to access the podcast are listed below:  <-- minimal website  <--- direct link to mp3   <-- xml feed for iTunes or other podcast listening software

The podcast does include a new short song from Jerkatorium, which is our SpinTunes Judge's Theme.  You can hear the theme separately at:

This next bit is going to require a little bit of explanation:  Bands may participate in SpinTunes competitions without actually competing, and they call that "shadowing".  SpinTunes shadow entries are songs that meet the challenge criteria and are submitted and posted along with the competing entries, but shadow entries are not competing and they are not rated, and shadowing bands are not eligible to win SpinTunes.  Jerkatorium's alter ego band Matchy Matchy has been submitting shadow entries to SpinTunes 14.  Obviously it would be unethical for Matchy Matchy to compete in SpinTunes 14 while we are judging SpinTunes 14, but we didn't want to miss out on the fun of participation.

The first challenge was to "refer to your pet as your roommate and write a song about what your roommate did today, never mentioning its species in the lyrics."  We submitted the song "One Of These Days" as Matchy Matchy, and you can hear it and download it for free at the link below (adult language warning):

The second challenge was to write a prequel to a famous song.  We decided to do "I Think You're Okay" (as Matchy Matchy) as a prequel to "I Think I Love You" by the Partridge Family.  You can hear the song and download it for free at the link below:

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Fan Art! Also Flamethrower Win, New Song, & Radio Airplay!

A ton of thanks to artist/musician Bomberanian for this fantastic art for our "43 Hours" song:

Bomberanian explained that she "always felt like the song was about a dog with a phone", and now I can't hear the song without thinking the same thing.  Thanks again, this is awesome.

Jerkatorium featuring Micah Sommersmith won the Flamethrower Song Fight by a sizable margin, maintaining the 100% win percentage for our collaborations with Micah.  Sure, we've only collaborated on three songs so far, but three out of three is still a pretty solid score.  Be sure to check out Micah's fabulous "Tunesday" accordion performances posted every Tuesday on YouTube.

Jerkatorium has a new song currently posted at for the "Until It Happens To You" fight.  You can hear it (and vote for it and/or download it if you like it) at the link below.  It will be posted there probably until around February 10, and after that time you will find it in our Jerkatorium Song Fight Archive (click the link on the right side of the web version of this blog). 

We recently discovered that our song Adele In The Car got radio airplay at least twice on college station WSIA 88.9 back in March 19 and March 26, 2016, on Anthony LoGatto's weekly comedy radio show "A-Log on the Airwaves".  Apparently we placed #2 on his "Wacked Out 5" countdown of the top 5 most requested funny songs for the week of March 26.  He included a shout out to and to this Jerkatorium blog, which was very cool of him.

Friday, November 10, 2017

New Song "Flamethrower" by Jerkatorium Featuring Micah Sommersmith at Also Lots More.

An inexcusably late update:

Jerkatorium teamed up with Micah Sommersmith again to write a song for the "Flamethrower" Song Fight, and the song was posted for listens/votes at over a week ago.  That means if you want to vote for it, you probably have a day or less to do so at this link: 

Whether you get a chance to vote or not, you'll still be able to listen and/or download the song later at the fight page (probably, or by accessing it through the "Jerkatorium feat. Micah Sommersmith" Song Fight archive at .  "Flamethrower" is a bit of a different approach for us, and it makes great use of Micah's considerable accordion and rapping talents.  Come to think of it, I believe this is the first Jerkatorium song to have a rap section in it.  I like the song a lot and I hope you do too.

We have also continued to generate music through our collaboration with Brian Raiter.  We made two songs related to SeaGL presentations (and/or presentation proposals, as it turned out).  They are called "Talk To Me" and "Block Trace" and you can hear them here:

No, I have no idea what either of those songs are about.

The most recent product of our collaboration with Brian is a song and video for our *very* loose interpretation of the lyrics Brian supplied for a ditty about golf:

(If the YouTube thing above doesn't work you can access it through this link: )

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Jerkatorium Wins SpinTunes 13! And Three New Songs!

Jerkatorium beat out 27 other bands to win SpinTunes 13!  SpinTunes was a four-round songwriting elimination contest and we crushed it. 

We won with our song "Oh No / Sunblock", which you can hear and download for free at:

As with our other songs on Bandcamp you can download this one for free by clicking "Buy Now name your price", entering $0, and clicking through to the download prompt.

The challenge for the final round was to write two songs that can stand on their own, play them separately, then play them simultaneously as a single harmonious piece.  We also had to include some mention of or allusion to an eclipse.

We took pains to make the separate songs sound as different as possible while ensuring that they would meld together well for the combination piece.  I had an idea that if you used any given major chord in song #1, but in song #2 you didn't play the root note and instead stressed the third and fifth, then the major chord could sound like a minor chord with the third as the root in song #2.  For example, if song #1 starts on a C major chord (C/E/G) then you could start song #2 on a chord that sounds like an E minor (E/G) while remaining harmonious when the two songs are played simultaneously.  It worked better on paper than in practice, and the illusion is shattered after the first listening, but I like to think that the general gist had some effect.

Special thanks to our guest vocalist Sheri Hinshaw, who is singing the lead in the "Oh No" half of the song, and who had previously helped us out on our "Regime Change" song for Nur Ein.


I'm a little late in updating this blog, and as a result I have two other songs to announce.  First off, our third song for SpinTunes (the one that squeaked us into the final) was "Center Square Redux", which you can hear and download for free at:

The challenge for that one was to take our Round 1 or Round 2 entry and re-write the song using the exact same lyrics, with a completely new tune and style.  We ended up re-doing our original Center Square song, but with a very different sound and feel.

We also entered into an agreement where at the beginning of every month we give Brian Raiter a topic, and by the end of the month he gives us a set of lyrics related to that assigned topic.  Then Jerkatorium spends the following month writing a song based on those lyrics, and in the meantime Brian is writing a new set of lyrics based on a different topic we'd assigned to him, and the cycle can continue like that indefinitely.  Anyway the first topic assigned to Brian for June 2017 was "Derp Crew" (a specific in-reference that I don't know whether or not I'm allowed to explain), and the lyrics he submitted to us were turned into this song:

So that's the three songs.  Since we're obliged to have a new song finished by the end of every month, we'll have another one out in less than a week - I'll try to update the Jerkatorium blog sooner after that one is finished.