New Song: Farmer Joe’s

Posted in Call it what you like!, Holiday Special, Nerd Rock on October 30th, 2008 by admin

Time for some holiday schtick. Early, for your convenience!

A while back, Ben and I, inspired by other monster-themed novelty tunes of yore, set out to write a great Halloween song. Perhaps THE great Halloween song. One that had it all: life, death, magic, and mystery. But first, we needed a monster. It’s sort of required for the genre. So, we sat and thought, and sat and thought, and emailed back and forth. And what did we come up with?
I’ll tell you what we came up with: a big pumpkin. A really big pumpkin. That eats people. And likes it.

Ahem. Quake in your sheets, Burt Bacharach, we’re breathin’ down your neck.

May I present, in recorded form for the first time EVAR:
Farmer Joe’s Bigass Monster Pumpkin (click for mp3)
words and music (c) 2008 Mark Frey and Ben Collins-Sussman
On a Halloween night much like this, many moons ago
a grumpy guy who raised great gourds was known as Farmer Joe
the farmer hated children and hated Halloween
to scare away the village kids he hatched a wicked scheme

The greatest gourd he ever grew was larger than a barrel
the farmer used that pumpkin huge but knew not of his peril
with his knife he cut all night, and wrought a gruesome face–
giant fangs and burning eyes, of kindness not a trace

It was Farmer Joe’s Big-Ass Monster Pumpkin
mean product of a grouchy hand
but you know how this kind of story goes
Farmer Joe got more than he planned

The fearful sculpture done, evil visage thus bestowed,
Farmer Joe picked up a hat which blew in off the road
but there must have been some voodoo in that greasy cap he found
For when he dressed the Jack-O-Lantern it devoured him with a bound!

The pumpkin growled, licked his lips, and cackled with delight
With bloody maw and endless hunger he vanished in the night
now trick-or-treaters everywhere are shaking in their shoes
for if you meet this hollow beast, your life you’re gonna lose

He’s Farmer Joe’s Big-Ass Monster Pumpkin
Always lookin’ for someone to eat
On Halloween, watch out at every porch,
or you’ll be the next yummy treat!

As porches proudly put their mangled pumpkins on display
He’s lurking, camouflaged, for tasty costumed prey
The plump kids dressed as farmers are his very favorite kind
and when noone’s looking out, he rolls and grabs them from behind

He’s Farmer Joe’s Big-Ass Monster Pumpkin
gettin’ high on candied meat
On Halloween, watch out at every porch,
or you’ll become a yummy treat!

Archival footage!

Posted in Call it what you like!, Excuses on October 20th, 2008 by admin

It’s after 10 on Sunday, and my tracks are pretty shaky. Looks like it’s lame excuse time.

Captain Ambivalent was in town last weekend to mix his upcoming album. We managed to get through 22 songs in a chock-full weekend, but as you might imagine that left me a bit burnt out and behind on things. 
I gamely tried to get it together for tonight’s posting anyways, and made it halfway through three different songs. Sadly, each turned out to be the kind of thing you can’t rush. Ack!
So, today y’all get one from the vaults. This is a song I recorded with Two-Fisted Frogkicker (a.k.a. Implied Trampoline, a.k.a. Tim and Billy and Demus and Mark) back when I was living in Buffalo. A few folks heard an early mix of it at a friend’s art-in-progress party a while back, but I never put it up on the site. Until now!
It’s kind of instructive, actually–the mix was done in 2003, with a tiny bit of pseudomastering slapped on it tonight. As I listen to it, I’m struck by how much I’ve learned about recording and mixing since then. I think it’s a fun tune (which might profit from one more edit pass on the lyrics), but it’s definitely got a lo-fi vibe. Luckily, Tim and Billy and Demus are awesome players, so the groove comes through regardless.
I may be able to squeeze out some brand-new acoustic sketch or something later this week-we’ll see. In the meantime:
Lyrics (c) 2000 Mark Frey, Music (c) 2000 Mark Frey, Tim O’Connell, Bill Bosinski, and Demus.

New Song: The First Time

Posted in Nerd Rock, Songs for Sarah on October 6th, 2008 by admin

So, marg and I are going to be new parents soon. We recently had the big ~20 week ultrasound (actually, it was 12 minutes; I know because they gave us a DVD movie of the event, if you can believe that) where they count and measure the parts and tell us it’s a girl!

A few days later we’re sitting in the front room with our good friend Taki, who’s visiting from Cincinnati. marg demands I play a song. Generally the stuff I make up on the spot tends to be silly and topical, and this one is no exception.

I should note that right about now is when the ears are fully functional.

The First Time <--get the .mp3 here!
(c) 2008 words and music by Mark and Margaret Frey

The first time that baby heard electric guitar
mommy was sitting on the couch, not very far
–not far from the amp, so Daddy didn’t turn it up loud
but he jammed on three chords like he was playing to a sellout crowd

The first time that baby heard electric guitar

The first time that baby heard thundering bass
the notes just seemed to come from all over the place
’cause those waves were bigger by far than baby’s little head
so directional cues from the sound could not be read

The first time that baby heard thundering bass

The first time baby heard the pounding of drums
they were digital fakes played by Daddy with his fingers and thumbs
but baby didn’t mind–the beat was simple and strong
it made her want to kick and kick and kick and kick all night long

The first time that baby heard the pounding of drums

The first time baby heard Hammond B-3
it was gratuitous solo time
gratuitous solo time…

The first time baby heard the band bring it down
she thought that maybe the Universe had up and run out of town
but with a kick and a wail they brought it all back up again
and baby, she liked it
yeah baby, she liked it

The first time that baby heard electric guitar