Jerkatorium

Jerkatorium

Sunday, July 30, 2017

New Jerkatorium Song "Steady On" for SpinTunes

Jerkatorium has made it through the first two rounds of SpinTunes 13, getting 2nd place (out of 28 competitors) for our song "Center Square" for Round 1.  

The Round 2 assignment was:  "Write a song of advice, sung by your present self to your 15-year-old self, in the form of a letter."  We recorded and submitted "Steady On", and got 4th place out of 19 competitors.  You can hear the song at Bandcamp:

https://jerkatorium.bandcamp.com/track/steady-on

You can download the song for free at that link too (just choose "Buy Now name your price" and set the price as $0 and then click through to download).  I did not make a music video for Steady On.  Not yet, anyway.

No pic or video for this post, but if it's any consolation I can promise more new songs are just around the corner.  We are compelled to have a new song before the first of each month so our next new song is just a couple of days away, and then the SpinTunes Round 3 song will be due in a week.

Monday, July 10, 2017

New Jerkatorium Song and Video: "Center Square" - for SpinTunes

There weren't any Jerkatorium updates for a month, but now you can expect some new releases in the coming weeks, followed by a minimum of one song per month into the foreseeable future.

Jerkatorium has entered a competition called "SpinTunes", which involves writing a song every other week:  nine days to write and record a song, followed by five days of rest while the judges rate the songs, followed by a new song assignment with another nine-day deadline, and repeating like that for a total of five rounds (or until we are eliminated).  Unlike Song Fight and Nur Ein, the SpinTunes song challenges are usually topics instead of titles.  The first topic was "Death Star": write a tribute to your favorite deceased celebrity, but without using the celebrity's name in the song.

Naturally our first choice was Moms Mabley, but then we got insider information that literally all of the 27 other contestants were working on Moms Mabley songs so we decided to choose something else.  I wrote most of a song about Hedy Lamarr, but then Chumpy got some great ideas about Paul Lynde so we went for that.  After submitting the song to SpinTunes, I made a video for it using public domain footage from archive.org:


If the YouTube insert above doesn't work, you can find it at the following link:

https://youtu.be/hLWU1YfcdOc

You can hear and download the song for free at:

https://jerkatorium.bandcamp.com/track/center-square

If you're not already hip to Bandcamp.com, you just click where it says "Buy Now name your price" and set the price at $0.  Then, when it tries to guilt you into giving us money again, ignore that and click where it says "Alternatively, continue with zero and download to your computer," and then another download button or two.  Seriously, no need to pay anything for any Jerkatorium music.

Chumpy also annotated the lyrics to clear up any potential confusion about the content:

https://genius.com/Jerkatorium-center-square-lyrics

We have also launched what we hope will be a regular monthly collaboration with our semi-irregular collaborator/wordsmith Breadbox.  This should result in a series of new, original songs about subjects near and dear to our hearts.  Mostly nerd stuff, probably.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

New Jerkatorium Music Video: Tired of Talking

I am happy to announce a new Jerkatorium music video for our Nur Ein XII round 2 submission "Tired of Talking":


[Or click here if the YouTube insert above isn't working:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1XtQNL__-0 ]

This video was made from of edited-together clips from the 1979 move "Driller Killer" -- but with none of the gory or scary parts, just footage of "Tony Coca-Cola and the Roosters" (the fake punk band featured in the movie).  Driller Killer is now in the public domain and available at Archive.org.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Three New Jerkatorium Songs! And Jerkatorium Loses! Twice!

Jerkatorium tied for second place on the Ocean of Blood Song Fight.  It's fine that we didn't win that one, Flaming Tiger had a great song that deserved to win.  We had also won six out of the previous seven fights we'd entered, so it was good to have one in the loss column to keep us grounded.

Jerkatorium also continued to compete in Nur Ein XII with three new songs: Tired of Talking, Regime Change, and A Sense of the Absurd, all of which can be heard and/or downloaded at this link:

http://nurein.songlander.com/bands/625B65FA9A10E109641A9A471F026BE9

As I'd mentioned in previous posts, extra non-optional requirements are imposed on the Nur Ein title assignments:

The lyrics for Tired of Talking had to be limited to one sentence.  The rules stated that run-on sentences were fair game, and that the sentence could be repeated any number of times in the song.  Brian Raiter wrote our sentence for us, and I really liked how that song turned out.  Some of the judges didn't like our approach, but we still made it through to the next round.

Regime Change had the added requirement of two guest singers, plus the added constraint that none of those guest singers could be current or former Nur Ein participants.  Song Fight semi-regular Jeff DeSantis was one of our guest singers, and wow, he did a great job.  Our other guest singer was Sheri Hinshaw, who also did a great job, but the recording quality was sub-par because her lines were recorded on her phone.  We hope to revise the song with a cleaner take in the future.  Regardless, the judges enjoyed the song and I really enjoy listening to it.

The lyrics for A Sense of the Absurd had to be written around a mondegreen (a misheard lyric).  We struggled with this one a bit, working on and subsequently discarding three distinctly different approaches before settling on a direction.  We were still writing parts of the song within two hours of the submission deadline.  In my opinion A Sense of the Absurd was our weakest Nur Ein composition (my fault, not Chumpy's).  We were eliminated from the competition that round by the slightest margin imaginable:  We tied with another band for third-to-last place so the judges voted between us two tied bands, and we lost by one point.  That other band was 73 Keep It Beautiful, and I thought their song was one of the best from that round, so I'm only surprised we didn't lose to them by a wider margin... though I do think a couple of the bands who scored better than either of us had songs that were considerably worse.

So we were eliminated from Nur Ein after five songs.  The way I look at it, we generated five great songs in five weeks, and that's a good thing.  So now it's back to the Song Fights - I'll keep you posted on our upcoming songs.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Two New Jerkatorium Songs: "Fingers Crossed" and "After You"

As I'd mentioned in the last two posts, Jerkatorium is competing in Nur Ein this year.  Much like Song Fight, Nur Ein assigns a title for all competitors.  Nur Ein goes a couple of extra steps by imposing an extra non-optional challenge or constraint on each assignment, and by having a 7-day deadline (which is tougher than Song Fight's 10-day deadline).  Another difference is that Song Fight competitors win if they get the most votes from the public, while Nur Ein is an elimination competition decided by a pre-selected panel of 5 judges.

So far we have done pretty well.  Our first entry was in a 4-way tie for 8th place (out of 20 bands) for the "Fingers Crossed" title, which had the added requirement of including some backwards singing or instrumentation in the song.  We did even better with our third-place showing for the "After You" title, which had the added requirement of a countermelody.

All of our Nur Ein submissions can be heard (and downloaded for free) at this link:

http://nurein.songlander.com/bands/625B65FA9A10E109641A9A471F026BE9

A new Jerkatorium song will pop up there every week until we get eliminated.

Oh yeah, and take a look at what I found on YouTube:


Sunday, April 16, 2017

New Jerkatorium Song "Ocean Of Blood" Posted At SongFight.org

Jerkatorium submitted an entry for the current "Ocean Of Blood" Song Fight, and you can hear it (and vote for it if you like it) at the following link:

http://www.songfight.org

This song is just acoustic guitar and voice, which is a bit of a departure from our typical style.  Other than the vocal layering, this is a "no-frills" effort from us.  A couple hours prior to submission Chumpy found a neat new trick in Logic Pro X that helped us clean up the song, and we were at it right up until the deadline.  There are some timing issues during the second verse that I'm sure we would have noticed and cleaned up prior to submission if we'd had more time and fresh ears, but I'm still very happy with how it turned out.  The lyrics are darker than usual, but with title like "Ocean Of Blood" you'd have to expect some darkness.

I might post another update as soon as tomorrow, depending on how soon the Nur Ein songs are posted.  Jerkatorium is on track to submit our song for the "Fingers Crossed" round today.

I do not like to update this blog without pictures, so here is a photo of the sunset I took from the plane to Sacramento on January 9.  It's a pretty photo except for the scratches on the window.  It has nothing to do with Jerkatorium music, but here it is anyway:

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New Jerkatorium Song "The John Benjamin Band Theme"

As part of a recent "Themesong Fight", Jerkatorium created a theme song for fellow Song Fighter and musical genius The John Benjamin Band:


The song turned out great, and you can hear it here:


The John Benjamin Band is genuinely as fantastic as depicted in the song, and you can hear a bunch of his music at his Johnorama.com website, and you can hear a bunch more in his SongFight archive:


We have another new song coming out soon for the "Ocean Of Blood" Song Fight, and I will update this blog as soon as those songs are posted.

In other news, Jerkatorium is competing in Nur Ein this year, which means at least one new song every week from now until we get eliminated from the competition.  Nur Ein is different than Song Fight because it's an elimination competition (like oh so many reality TV competition shows), and there is a set panel of judges instead of voting from the general public.  It started yesterday and lasts until June 5, so there should be new Jerkatorium songs posted every week until we lose.  I will post regular updates and links to the songs on this blog.