Videos: GI Distress in New Orleans

Posted in Covers, Nerd Rock, Video on June 10th, 2010 by admin

Last month, GI Distress played a couple of shows at Digestive Disease Week in New Orleans. The “Black Tie Dinner” gig, unfortunately, provided no video fit for human consumption. However, our appearance the next night at the Rock’n'Bowl was properly recorded by long-time band booster Stephen. Here are a few choice bits (on teh Youtubes):

Our opener, covering U2. I think the excitement got to my delay pedal;

…on to Johnny Cash, who I guess would not have approved of my bowling shoes;

…we realize everyone else has covered this particular Leonard Cohen song, but really it’s so much fun to play that we don’t care;

…and the grand Tom Petty finale, in which we testify the belief that 3 chords are more than enough!

Singing to Sarah: Boo comes a’visiting

Posted in Guest Artist, Songs for Sarah on May 30th, 2010 by admin

Next in the series of Milne poems set to music: Buckingham Palace. Our friend Brian was visiting from Michigan for the weekend, and I had him sing this one.

It will probably eventually get a more complicated arrangement, with the backing track building over time (keeping Boo’s vocal; I love the ‘folk opera’ sound he got!), but here we have the live take: one voice and one guitar (and one toddler, who was good enough to keep quiet for 2.5 minutes).

Click for the audio file!
Buckingham Palace
Words by A.A. Milne, published 1924
Music © 2010 Mark Frey and Brian Matthews


Posted in Excuses on February 20th, 2010 by admin

Grant is done. Have life back now. Working on moving to WordPress.

Singing to Sarah: Guest Artist Week

Posted in Guest Artist, Songs for Sarah on October 19th, 2009 by admin

Hey-yo! Sorry for the long silence hereabouts. Life intruded, and then there was the Great Studio Computer Meltdown of ’09. Shudder. I’ve got a couple of more Milne songs in the pipeline, and even a non-children’s composition or two. In the meantime, we’ve got a recording here from guest singer/songwriter Rachel .

Rachel was in town for a visit this weekend. She brought with her this little number, written for her nephew. Sarah, as usual, got into the spirit of things.

As always, click on the title link below for the .mp3; for those of you reading this on Facebook, remember to check out the Squeakyanimals recording archive. Whee!

The Bugaboo Song
Words and Music © 2009 Rachel Rosenberg
Vocal, Rachel; Guitar, Mark

When Auntie Rachel comes
She gets into her car
She drives a long, long way
Cause she lives so very far.

She walks up to my house,
And knocks upon my door,
And when I open up,
She says, as she has said before,

“What’s new, Bugaboo?”
I came a long way just to see you!”
And I say, “What’s new, Bugaboo?
That’s you and me.

I put on my shoes
And we go to the park,
Where I run across the grass,
Which is long and green and dark

I climb each red step
And bounce upon the bridge
I might go down the slide,
Please encourage me a smidge

She says, “Come down, Bugaboo!”
I love rhymes and goofy words, too.
“What’s new, Bugaboo!”
That’s you and me.

Once my Mommy said,
We could get in the car
And go see Auntie Rachel
Though she lives so very far

We drove a long, long way,
And ate food at the Med
Then I saw a nearby park
With a see-saw painted red

It had a sandbox and
Sand upon the ground
When I ran to the pirate ship,
I slipped and I fell down.

I looked up but Rachel
Seemed so nonchalant,
That I called out “Rescue me!”
Come, prove you are my aunt.

And she said, “What’s wrong, Bugaboo?”
She picked me up and started to coo.
“You’re fine, Bugaboo!”
That’s you and me.

“What’s new, Bugaboo?”
I say it to Auntie Rachel, too,
What’s new, Bugaboo?
That’s you and me.

Singing to Sarah: the Duke of York Edition

Posted in Songs for Sarah on September 4th, 2009 by admin

Ok, I think this may be turning into its own little project. This is the third Milne poem from When We Were Very Young that I’ve set to music. Might have to do the whole book eventually.

What’s that, you say? Third? Where’s the second? Well, just like a Joss Whedon show, the Milne series will be aired out of order. The second piece is still being recorded; Joe and Isabel tracked some backing vocals last week while they were visiting, and now I have to fly the rest of the tune in. Soon, soon!

This one’s short and sweet: page 81 in my copy, Halfway Down. Sarah cackled when I played it to her, but Marg thought it was too dirge-like with just electric piano (and she was right). So I layered some clarinets on top. She wanted Calliope, but I don’t have one. So it goes.

Halfway Down <--get the song here!

Words by A.A. Milne, published 1924

Music© 2009 Mark Frey

Singing to Sarah 7: Special Georgian Edition

Posted in Guest Artist, Songs for Sarah on August 3rd, 2009 by admin

This week’s recording is an awesome guest appearance by Rho. She sings Shapenote and Georgian Folk music. The Georgian choir she works with recently did this piece in 3-part harmony, but I like the plaintive sound of one solo voice on the melody here.

This is a lullaby, traditionally sung to lure the evil spirits that cause infectious diseases out of a sick child. With any luck, it’s also preventative!

Batonebis Nanina

trad. Georgian
vocal: Rho

New recording: Build it up

Posted in Call it what you like! on July 20th, 2009 by admin
This week’s song was begun about a year ago, born out of thoughts on the economic hijinks on Wall Street and beyond. Much of the specific inspiration, though, came from this piece, which was part of the fantastic comic-art show Marg had in 2007.
Seriously, a couple of years ago you couldn’t swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a brand-new condo building. Giant barfing construction anime-critters are the ONLY POSSIBLE EXPLANATION. Most of these places never seemed to sell many units, and yet the developers made enough to take a vacation in Paris and then build the next one. Made no sense to me until everything went down the tubes.
I imagine something bigger and proggier for this one eventually, but this version gets the ideas across, I think.
Build it up (get yer .mp3 RIGHT HERE, folks. Step right up!)
Words and Music © 2009 Mark Frey

Build it up

then walk away

buy it out

then make them pay

fill it in

but never stay

build it up

build it up

sell it off

before it’s done

burn it down

just for fun

write it off

while you’re on the run

build it up

build it up

it’s all we know

and change, change comes slow

these are the cards we show

it’s all we know

grab a piece

but don’t pay cash

wring it dry

and toss the trash

ride it high

then let it crash

build it up.

New Recording: Lines and Squares

Posted in Songs for Sarah on July 6th, 2009 by admin
Really, I’m not going to turn into a writer of children’s songs. Promise. But indulge me this week!

I’ve been reading Sarah poems from A.A. Milne’s charming “When We Were Very Young” collection. Fun stuff. Even though she doesn’t get the words, she seems to like the sound of them. One day last week, I started singsonging a little melody to “Lines and Squares” instead of just reading the poem. This went over well with Sarah, and Marg liked it too. Then it got stuck in my head, and so I had to record it for y’all.

Lines and Squares (click for audio file)
Words by A.A. Milne, published 1924
Music © 2009 Mark Frey

Singing to Sarah 6: Cover Tuneage

Posted in Covers, Songs for Sarah on June 24th, 2009 by admin

I had an original number in progress for this week. However, despite a fair amount of effort it’s not clicking yet. Can’t figure out why, but it isn’t. Maybe not enough cowbell. Hopefully I’ll figure it out in the next week or two.

Instead, here’s the next in the “Singing to Sarah” series of impromptu acoustic performances. This time I’m playing a cover tune that Sarah really seems to like. I’ve noticed she seems to prefer sad songs.
Using the first take on this one. I did a second run-through, but the baby noises near the end of take #1 seemed to fit the concept better.
Singing to Sarah 6: tiv.mp3

The ever-popular artistic delay

Posted in Excuses, Guest Artist on June 22nd, 2009 by admin

This week’s recording will be a little late. My apologies! I’ll have something posted by tomorrow or Tuesday; check back soon.

In the meantime, if you have not already: you can hear the fully collaborated version of Virtuell Speckfrühstückskost, with vocal treatments by Gerhard Schinkenspeise, over here on his friend Tom’s blog.

(I posted the instrumental bed tracks for this piece here a couple of weeks ago; Gerhard added vocal magic in his secret lair)