It… wasn’t a debacle?

Tonight, The Debacles played Impro Sundae as a house band. It went far more smoothly than I’d dared to hope, and I’m really impressed by Brent (guitar/bass) and Matt (drums) for their sterling effort in completely unfamiliar circumstances. Brent, in particular, because he’s currently sleeping about 3 hours a night while raising a 2-month-old child.

It started shakily when the host (Dave Williams) introduced us and asked us to play a little riff; we stumbled through 30 seconds of dissonant garbage as we tried in vain to come up with a funky progression. However we soon found our feet, conveniently located at the ends of our legs, and that made all the difference.

Probably the most challenging game for me personally was Balladeer, in which a player sings a few verses, then the players advance the story, then he sings another few verses, and another advance by the players, and so on. We played a completely different tune in a different style for each verse and some of them worked really well, like the Nick Cave one where Andy managed to put in a Red Right Hand reference right at the end. We’d played none of the tunes before, we just agreed on them while the players were acting out the scene, and then jumped in.

Another fun game was Greatest Hits, which tonight was Greatest Hits of the Gatekeeper (?). Cam named himself something like Oleg the Dirty Fuck (or similar) and announced hits along the lines of Youse Cunts Stay Out. My mother was really impressed. At the end, Cam started groping co-host Janelle’s breasts in a scene that can only be described as highly unlikely to appear on broadcast television any time soon. Perhaps it’s his frustration at the relatively gentile constraints of his own Cable show(s)? It was, however, absolutely hilarious.

As was Nick throwing the word Zimbabwe at random into a word-at-a-time story about an anorexic swimmer.

Anyhoo, we played pretty well and improvised as well as could be expected, and none of the players seemed to have any complaints.

Three word assessment: Hard But Fun!

We’ll be back.

Da! Da! Da Da!

As anyone who’s been there will tell you, Japan is a hotbed of musical creativity. And we all know how much I like hot beds. Cough.

Anyway, Matt and I recorded two songs while I was there, and I’m disgusted with myself to announce that I’m publishing them on the web.

Giant Robo is a cover of a Japanese TV show theme song. It’s fairly self-explanatory. Everything in Matt’s house that made a noise was used in the creation of this song.

Sheepy Knees is a heartfelt ballad about sheep that can also be thought of as a metaphor for life in these violent times. When the whole world seems to be at war with itself, can we do any less than be fellated by sheep?

If you don’t listen to these songs, then the terrorists have already won.

Death to the Media Oligarchy!

CD Baby is an awesome site dedicated to profiting from unfortunate stoners helping independant artists distribute their music. They have a surprisingly simple but effective business model:

  • Pay them $40 (US) to encode your CD (artists keep all copyrights, rights to non-digital distribution, and can leave at any time with 30 days notice)
  • They distribute it to Rhapsody, iTunes, and other digital distribution outlets
  • For every dollar made, 9c goes to CDBaby, 91c goes to the artist
  • Profit!

I’m sure there are caveats and catches, but it still sounds a lot better than the traditional model:

  • Get signed by music label
  • They distribute CD, all expenses incurred are culled from any royalties you make
  • Artists don’t actually own their own music, copyrights, or distribution rights – these go to the label
  • Artists get a couple of cents in the dollar, but are left with crippling debts
  • Label goons tie up artists’ grandmothers and slowly break their fingers to blackmail artists back into the studio
  • Artists die alcoholic and alone

My plan for was always to turn it into a music site, so don’t be surprised if you see a CD-baby-ish business model appear. I like it a lot.