You saw the logo. You saw the shirts. (Thank you — some of you have already bought one!) Now, you can finally download our newest parody song “Learn to Spell” from our Songs page. It’s a version of “Gives You Hell” by The All-American Rejects, and it’s dedicated to anybody who posts like English is not a second language, but a distant third or fourth. Seriously — typos are one thing, but simply not caring enough to learn how to communicate with the rest of the world is something else. It’s a pet peeve, and it makes gamers look bad. So next time you see someone doing it, drop a link to this song into that discussion and run.
Remember that YouTube compresses/normalizes stuff and doesn’t sound as good as the MP3.
Full lyrics and special credits after the jump. (more…)
It’s a first for us in several ways. It’s the first 80s song we’ve done, it’s the first song we’ve done that isn’t overtly about games, it’s the first time we’ve had a YouTube video of any kind on day one, and it’s the first time we’ve dared cover a song that Weird Al had already parodied first.
This is also the first time we’ve worked in conjunction with someone else’s production. The song was written for the Very Special 100th episode of the Maximum PC No BS Podcast. We are both fans of the mag — if you’re a geek and you’re into PC hardware, you should either be reading Maximum PC on a regular basis or you should feel deep and personal shame for not doing so.
When Editor-in-Chief Will Smith approached us about helping write some parody lyrics, we brainstormed this song (with some key input from Dan’s wife Kat) to fit into the show’s narrative. Part of the fun of their podcast is hearing their editors sing it themselves, but we wanted to do our own version too, so what you’ll hear on the podcast is totally different (and yet remarkably similar). There actually is a slight lyric difference between the two; we gave them some alternates and they used one of them. We’ll leave you to spot it. (Dan and Kat also wrote the parody lyrics for the very last song you hear in the podcast, but we won’t ruin the surprise.) In any case, we were honored to be involved, and it gave us a nice hard deadline for a new song.
Note to the music nerds who A/B this with the original recording by Survivor: Yes, we transposed the key, but so did Al when he did his parody. And we at least think we did a better job than Microsoft Songsmith.
If you like what you hear, tell your friends. Tell a web forum. Hell, tell Bungie.
This one took a while. Jude and I have been talking about this song for about six months, maybe longer, and working on it in earnest for about three, on and off. I had some time off from work so I used it to crash through all the parts I was neglecting — little things like guitars and bass and vocals.
Part of the problem was that “Snow ((Hey Oh))” is far more complicated than it sounds. I knew John Frusciante was a great guitarist, but I didn’t think he’d be quite so impossible to rip off. There was some trickery in getting the guitar part to sound anything like the record; I ultimately recorded it at half-speed. We do what we must.
The other part was that Jude and I really like to tell stories with our dumb little songs, and it took a while to really sculpt the lyrics so that they hit all the points we felt needed to be hit. We wanted a progression through the song so that the lyrics paint a picture and tell a story about this jackass.
And yes…that’s kazoo. I’ve been wanting to sneak in some kazoo for a while now, but since I could not get my Line 6 POD to feed back and I didn’t have an Eventide Harmonizer, this was the right opportunity to bust them out. And I would like to note that this is not just any kazoo. That is three kazoos in three-part harmony, with the lead kazoo having been a gift by a very special gaming musician: