Happy Star Wars Day 2019 (a little early)! Two years ago today, we released our Beatles/Star Wars parody Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans and it turned out a lot of people liked it. Then we wanted to perform it live, so last year we put out a call for help, support, and most of all, money so we could perform the entire album at Hertz Hall with the Awesöme Orchestra Collective. And we not only put on the show, but we managed to donate a good chunk to the non-profit orchestra as well, thanks to our donors! We also recorded that performance as both audio and video. The good news is that the recording is ready for public release! The bad news is that it is not as complete as we’d hoped.
Unfortunately, our audio recording suffered from an unrecoverable error after the 20-minute mark, and we didn’t get nearly as much usable video footage as we’d hoped. As a result all we have to share is a 5-song EP (through “Imperial Holes”). This is definitely better than nothing but definitely a disappointment, and we had intended to document the entire night (including encores of “Leia Organa” and the giant “Hey Jude” singalong with the orchestra and audience). But fate had other plans, so we’re taking what we can get and passing it on to you! Here are the MP3 and FLAC versions — we hope you enjoy either or both!
A side note: Due to the fan-tribute nature of this work, we still can’t offer this project through major streaming services like Spotify or Amazon Music, but we appreciate all the folks who like it enough to want it there. We will continue to post our content for download here on our Music page and streaming at http://soundcloud.com/paletteswapninja.
We are also releasing these songs in video form. The footage we got wasn’t optimal (would you believe Dan accidentally turned off one of the cameras? LOL), but these two videos it should serve as proof that we did, in fact, pull this off. Feel free to share these videos on social media if you like what you see. Those are at http://youtube.com/paletteswapninja or you can just watch them here in a YouTube playlist:
The live performance was a very special event for us, and it seems unlikely that we will ever get the chance to perform with an orchestra again, but we would love to work with any local organizations that feel up to the challenge. And if Princess Leia taught us anything, it’s that we always have hope!
Thanks for everything, spread the word, and MTFBWY!
Hey all — we’ve got one more song to offer before we stick a fork in 2017. After Princess Leia’ Stolen Death Star Plans was released, we got a lot of questions from folks who liked what they heard. “What about Empire Strikes Back to Abbey Road? Return of the Jedi over Revolver?” Honestly, PLSDSP was as rewarding as it was challenging to create, but we really considered it to be a wonderful, fortunate, singular combination. But, as we said a few times in interviews, we still love The Beatles and Star Wars, so we’d be interested in combining them again if an idea presented itself.
So, a few months ago, Jude presented the idea: “I was thinking…’Lady Madonna’…Leia Organa? Here’s some lyrics that came to mind.” Dan agreed wholeheartedly, and the result — through no coincidence, just in time for The Last Jedi — is a tribute to Leia from ANH through TFA. It’s a short song, so we had to be brief! You can download the MP3 and FLAC files (all our music is downloadable here at no charge) or just enjoy the YouTube video, once again created by the amazing Katrin Auch. It’s all free, so please share if you enjoy.
This year was a huge one for us, and this song feels a bit like an encore. Please accept this as our thank-you for everybody who supported PLSDSP back in May, either through social-media sharing or tip jar contributions. But it’s also our love letter to Carrie Fisher, whom we lost last year around this time and will miss forever. Her bravery as a person and her importance representing a strong female character both had profound effects on us. But she was also known for her wicked sense of humor, both about herself and her place in pop-culture history, so we really hope she would have gotten a kick out of this.
We hope you do too. Thanks for all your support and encouragement in 2017 — from a creative standpoint, it’s been a fantastic year, and we owe it all to you. Enjoy your holiday season and we’ll see you in 2018!
Last month, Dan was invited to take part in Martin Azevedo’s Raiders of the Lost Ark: A Musical Emergency in Alameda, California. It’s basically a musical potluck: A movie is chosen, everybody picks a scene to turn into a song (original or parody), then everybody shows up and performs it for the first time — no group rehearsal, just making the show in the moment. It’s very loose and pretty cool. But when he found out the topic was Raiders, he immediately said, “Oh, I hope someone takes the scene where Indy is pointing the rocket launcher at the Ark and Belloq says ‘Blow it back to God.’ and does a parody of ‘Kiss Me, Son of God’ by They Might Be Giants.”
So, that was that. Dan performed it live with Matt Montgomery and Brian Adam McCune, but we wanted to record it too — and since it was under two minutes, we figured even we could record and release it pretty quickly. So now that you know the context — and why we would choose this one short scene and this one short song — here’s our studio version, once again with a spot-on video from Katrin Auch.
We chose the Miscellaneous T “alternate version,” which is literally one accordion and two vocal tracks — this is also how TMBG performs it live. After the massive undertaking that was PLSDSP, it was nice to make something this short and simple. As Indiana Jones might never say…we hope you dig it.
Remember that big project we said we were working on that would be worth the wait? This isn’t it. This is just a little thank-you for being so patient because it’s taking so darn long.
This song — based on Peter Schilling’s 1983 hit “Major Tom (Coming Home)” — was something we concocted a few years ago; probably 2010, because I remember working on lyrics during PAX East in Boston at the Hynes. We finished the lyrics and Jude got most of the synths worked out, but it just didn’t feel like the time was right, for a few different factors. So we shelved it and moved on to other projects that seemed more exciting and timely (or in the case of our current secret project, timeless). (more…)