Archive for January, 2011

Song 4 : Mr. Grumpy Pants

Posted: January 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

Well yes, I’m sorry I’m late. I’ve been very busy as of late, and also struggling with the cursed writers block, but thankfully late last night, that block was lifted (albeit probably temporarily) and I’m back writing at your face now.

In my last blog I said I was part way through writing this (well, last) weeks song, and I’ve got to be honest with you, I still am, but I’ve written another song, which would have been this weeks song, but I’m coming down with something, and last weeks song (which I’ve still not finished) is just a bit painful for me to sing with how I’m feeling right now, so that’s probably going to be left until I’m feeling a bit better, whilst I do some songs easier on the voice (and due to that, a little shorter than the previous few), but in my opinion, just as fun!

I’m actually quite pleased with this song, it’s inspired by a curmudgeonly, but lovable poster on The Ukulele Cosmos, and it’s only taken me an hour to write. It’s the sort of song you’d expect to feature in a web animation, or maybe a kids show. This ain’t no high art, but I think it’s fun to dabble with different styles. Last week I did a ska/gypsy/punk song, before that I did a couple of comedic (ish) songs, so the logical progression is onto a kids song. It’s really easy, two chords, and repetitive lyrics. I don’t really care that it’s so simple, as I like it, and I’m going to be humming it for a while now.

Here’s some lyrics. You can listen to the song in the Box.net widget on the left hand side of the blog.

“Mr. Grumpy Pants” – Ukulele Kris

Mr Grumpy
Mr Grumpy
They call him Mr Grumpy Pants

Mr Grumpy
Mr Grumpy
They call him Mr Grumpy Pants

He don’t laugh
He don’t smile
Well he’s an angry crocodile

Mr Grumpy
Mr Grumpy
They call him Mr Grumpy Pants

Never ask him if
He wants to dance
Coz he’ll just bite your head off
And then start on your hands

Mr Grumpy
Mr Grumpy
They call him Mr Grumpy Pants

Mr Grumpy
Mr Grumpy
They call him Mr Grumpy Pants

He don’t laugh
And he don’t smile
Yeah he’s an angry crocodile

Mr Grumpy
Mr Grumpy
They call him Mr Grumpy Pants

I’m sure you will agree, that childish is the way forward.

Kris xx

I have to confess, I’ve not done this weeks song. I’m about 2/3rds of the way through writing it, and I’ve really been struggling with writers block this week, and on top of that, I’ve been really busy.

I hope you will forgive me, as I’m not going to have it up by tonight, as I’m absolutely jiggered and need to get an early night, I’ll try and get it up by Sunday, and then also do next weeks song all in this coming week.

Apologies once again, I’m not quitting the project, just an unexpected delay.

Kris x

Song 3 : Hey Sonny!

Posted: January 16, 2011 in Songs

Hello, it’s currently 3.13am, I’m still awake and I’ve not yet recorded this weeks song, and I’m not even going to post this blog until I have recorded it, however, I feel whilst I am in the right frame of mind to talk about this weeks song, I may aswell write about it whilst awake, and then send it to my blog when I’ve recorded it.

As you may have noticed, yesterday I changed the rules to make life easier on myself, for instance, if I’m out having a social life on a weekend, I don’t have to worry about getting the song done before the weekend is upon me, and schedule the post to go up at a certain time, to then be ignored because I can’t get on the Ukulele Cosmos or Facebook to post that I’ve put a new song up. I mean, for example I had issues I had to sort out which came far above writing and recording a song. However, I already knew what chord progression I wanted to use, and how to write it, it was just a case of writing lyrics.

Originally I thought about writing a song about Uri Gellar, everyones favourite fraudulent, spoon bending, mentalist. Shit, can I call him fraudulent without getting sued? I hope so, as I just have done… moving on, I also have written some lyrics about mermaids, but I just felt this music warranted some proper lyrics, not my usual whimsy/comedy style, but something more akin to the music I used to write when I was in Blackpool’s premier (only) ska punk band, The Emotional Problems of Dirk Diggler (seen in the video below doing our cover of The Time Warp), and and Blackpool’s premier (only) ska pop band, Peter Simple.

In TEPODD, along with the bassist, Ryan Mullholland, we wrote a song that we played at every gig called “The Ballad of Sonny Gritts” (click “play direct from…”), which told the story of the grizzly demise of a 1920’s New York mobster, and his demise. It was part of a trilogy of songs about the life of Sonny Gritts, I think we wrote four in the end, I definitely remember three, “The Overture of Sonny Gritts (Instrumental)”, “The Genesis of Sonny Gritts” (or something like that) and “The Ballad of Sonny Gritts”.

With the second band I was in, Peter Simple, I loved “The Ballad of Sonny Gritts” so much, I decided to play it with that band, which was a bit naughty of me, as I never asked Ryan if he minded, so sorry about that Ryan, if you’re reading! haha!.

So, here I was, listening to this music I was playing about with, humming melodies, and wondering what on earth to write about. I’m not good at writing completely serious songs, about feelings and that, because I’m not a very open fellow, I keep feelings close to my chest, and rarely talk about them, let alone sing about them. However, I love writing about fictional characters. It means you can go anywhere with the song, and doesn’t limit you to singing “Oooh I luv u gurl” or something similar.

I decided to bring Sonny Gritts back from the dead! It was the only thing to do. I guess this probably comes sometime before “The Ballad”, although the original concept behind the Sonny Gritts songs, was start with his death, and end with the story of how he got involved with the mob. So that puts it after “The Ballad”. Which is all getting confusing. Basically, this is a song about Sonny Gritts, who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and it’s asking “What the hell do you think you’re playing at?”. I think.

You can listen to “Hey Sonny!” in the Box.net widget to the left hand side, and download it from there, too. Direct links to the file don’t seem to be working, so I’m going to leave it in the widget, and if anyone is having problems with it, can you leave a comment please saying so, and then I’ll try and sort the issues out.

“Hey Sonny!” – Ukulele Kris

Let me tell you a story,
About a guy I used to know,
He got mixed up in the wrong crowd,
And his life got thrown away,
Got thrown away,
Yeah his life got thrown away.

He called himself Sonny,
‘Coz he thought it sounded fly,
Didn’t realise that the mob life,
Would be the reason he would die,
Yeah he would die,
Yeah he would die,
It would be the reason he would die.

CHORUS:

Hey Sonny,
What’re you doing today?,
You don’t have to be like this,
Your life doesn’t have to be this way
Hey Sonny, why are you doing that?
Did nobody tell you crime doesn’t pay?

Look into those dark,
Brown eyes you will see,
The child that is lost inside,
He’s wondering what he’s doing here,
With this crowd,
What is he doing here with this crowd?

CHORUS

Oh Sonny Gritts,
You’ve made some mistakes,
Didn’t realise that this lifestyle,
Would cause you so much pain,
And so much sorrow,
Cause you so much pain and sorrow.

CHORUS x 2

So, I hope you enjoyed this lengthy blog post, and more importantly, the song.

Kris

P.S. I recorded it in one take and got it exported to MP3, there’s a couple of fluffed up lyrics in this demo recording, but as it’s just that, a demo, I didn’t trust my PC not to crash if I tried a second take. lol!

Infact, I’ve just worked out the chords for the song I’m trying to write, now just to write some lyrics for it.

It’s not going to be a comedy/whimsy one, something more along the lines of Streetlight Manifesto meets Gogol Bordello. It’s quite catchy, and I have a few melodies whirring around my head, it’s too good just to use for something as throwaway as a comedy song (which have a short shelf life in the grand scheme of things)

No song today/Rules change

Posted: January 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

Hi all, I’m just posting a quickie blog post to let you know I’m not going to be uploading a song today. I’m changing the rules to help me not have to panic about things.

My week now begins on Saturday and ends on Friday. I’ll try to get a song done closer to the Saturday than the Friday, though.

I’m doing this because my life has gone absolutely tits up, and today I need to look into what bailiffs can legally take, whether T-Mobile have been absolute cunts and if I can do anything against what they’re putting me through.

This is a bit more important than a song.

Kris

Song 2 : Jesus’ Roadside Cafe

Posted: January 8, 2011 in Songs

Well then, it’s been a week since my last original recording, and once again, I’ve had computer troubles. Once again, as soon as I finished recording, and went to click “save”, the bloody PC turned off on itself. I’ve been advised by my friend Rob Collins that it’ll be the heatsinks clogged up with dust and other gunk turning off the PC to stop it frying, which as much as it sort of makes sense, surely the process of recording uses more PC processing power than clicking “save”. I really just think the computer hates me. Boohissboo.

Anyway, about the song, it’s called “Jesus’ Roadside Cafe” (pronounced “caff”, not “caff-ay”, because everyone knows that a nice place is a café and a grotty shithole is a cafe. Yeah?

The song takes it’s inspiration from the journey home from Hollesley Ukulele Festival in Suffolk, 2010, in the car with the fantastic Claire “Winger” Deakin, who is one half of Perilous Mojo, with the aforementioned Rob Collins, a ukulele duo from Hebden Bridge. Hooray!. Anyhoo, as we were making our way back t’north, we spotted one of those roadside signs saying something along the lines of “accept Jesus into your lives and be saved” or some other religious “convert convert convert” (to be said like a Dalek) slogan, but right next to it, there was a sign that said “Roadside cafe, next layby”, so the following half an hour was spent talking absolute bollocks about the roadside cafe being ran by Jesus Christ. I said I’d write a song about it, and proving just how lazy and feckless I am, 5 and a half months later, here it is.

“Jesus’ Roadside Cafe” – Ukulele Kris

We were on our way back,
From a camping trip,
And we decided a little snack,
Would really do the trick,
We didn’t know where to go,
Then we saw an almighty glow,
Coming from, Jesus’ roadside cafe.

CHORUS x2:

Jesus has a roadside cafe
On the A1,
But because he’s Jewish,
He won’t serve you sausage or bacon.

Well we looked at the menu,
And decided what we’d have,
I ordered a cup a soup, and a buttered bap,
Well he looked quite dissapointed,
As he told me what he had,
A loaf of bread, and some fish fingers.

CHORUS x2

Now the fish finger butties, were very tasty,
But then we realised, we were getting thirsty,
So he took some boiling water, and turned it into tea,
And a cup of coffee

CHORUS x2

As per usual, you can listen to it in the box.net widget on the left hand side (it’s the file marked “Jesus.mp3”) and you can download it from there, too… or if you don’t have flash or something enabled that stops you from seeing the widget, you can visit http://www.box.net/shared/934nludll7 where it may or may not work for you. Who knows. I’m now going to get away from technology for a while and eat some food! Yay! Pizza! 🙂

Sincerely,

Stressed in North West Lancashire

Well, I tried

Posted: January 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

I wrote and recorded this weeks song. But every time I click “save” after recording it, my PC shuts down.

Annoyed.

Going to give it another couple of goes. By which I mean one more attempt. I even have the audacity project saved on my desktop, but it won’t open that for me to export it to mp3.

ANGERANGERANGER

Friends

Posted: January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

So noone told you life, was gonna be this way… sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you with the opening lines the theme song to a rubbish (yeah, I’m totally going there) sitcom. Well, it could have been good, if it wasn’t a gazillion episodes long, all with roughly the same plot.

But I’m not here to talk about axed comedies, that would be rubbish, and completely irrelevant, I’m here to talk about music.

You see, after the previous post, I’ve had itchy fingers to blog again, but I planned on uploading my song for my 52/52 challenge on the Saturday of each week (though I expect there may be some situations when it may not get done until Sunday if I’m busy), so I couldn’t just do my song now, because it would mean I couldn’t do anything for a week and a half now, so I’m blogging now to let you know what else I’ve been recording in between.

On the Ukulele Cosmos, each month we have a thing called “The Open Invitational”, where people suggest songs for everyone to upload their own take on it, one person is chosen (by the previous chooser) to choose a song (are you following), then everyone plays the song chosen by the chooser, and then near the end of the month the chooser chooses the next chooser to chose a song.

Simples.

I was chooser in 2009, and have since be asked to be the chooser three times. But the unwritten rules of the cosmos say you can only be the chooser once. Ho hum.

Back on topic, this months song was Randy Newman’s “You’ve Got A Friend In Me”

Look at him go on that piano. I wonder if he still does “Short People”? I love that song.

Anyhoo, here’s my version http://www.box.net/shared/1zcz55y1pt

I guess you could also consider it a little tribute to my friends.

I’m off now, because I’ve been trying to write this blog post for three days, I first started it, and then was told the original recording sounded crap, so then the following day I did a new recording, and tried to finish this blog post, and every time I got up to “Short People” my PC crashed. I’m currently borrowing my dad’s laptop to finish this blog. He doesn’t actually like me using this, so I really need to shoot off.

See you on Saturday.

Kris

Song 1 : Fuck Your New Year

Posted: January 1, 2011 in Songs

Blimey, that didn’t take me long, did it? I was originally going to leave my first song until next Saturday, but if I think about this right (which I probably haven’t), it would mean that my 52nd song would be in 2012, but even if I have thought about it all wrong, and this now means I am able to write 53 songs this year, it’s not as if that’s a bad thing, is it?  Think of it as a bonus feature, or an encore (but there’s a whole year to go to the “will he/won’t he” have an extra song, I’m not going to exert myself working it out right now, I’ve other things to do)

I had so much hassle getting this recorded, I was going to take it easy, and then my friend, Hannah, convinced me to record it and try and get it up for bang on midnight… and I was so, so close. I recorded it, I was reasonably happy with it, for demo standards, I clicked “File” on Audacity, I clicked “Export As MP3”, and then my PC went to a blank screen, as it crashed. Noooooooooo, I internally cried, why do this to me you bastard machine. The clock had just hit 00.01.

The first thing to happen to me in 2011 was my PC crashing, and taking a recording with it. But never fear, I rebooted, opened Audacity and it crashed on me again.

The second thing to happen to me in 2011 was my PC crashing. So, I rebooted, again, and re-recorded, I didn’t listen to it’s playback before exporting to MP3, I was taking no risks. Even if it sounded shite, at least I would have something recorded for prosperity, until I did a re-recording.

I uploaded it to Box.net, listened to it, and fuck me, it sounded better than my first, lost recording. So my first annoyance of 2011 actually helped me improve my recording, clouds and silver linings and all that.

Here’s a link to download the song, or you can listen to it in the widget on the left hand side. It’s called “Fuck Your New Year”, which I think is a very cheery sentiment indeed

“Fuck Your New Year” – Ukulele Kris

Well it’s another new year,
There’s still some leftover Christmas cheer,
But not for me, No not for me.
‘Coz I know I’m a grumpy bastard,
But that’s just me.

Yeah I know I’m a pessimist,
I’m fully aware of what my problem is,
It’s just another day, more problems to come my way
Things won’t be much different,
To yesterday.

So I’m wishing you a Happy New Year’s Day
Though things probably won’t change,

So fuck your New Year
Fuck your New Year
Fuck your New Year
Fuck your New Year
Fuck your New Year
Fuck your New Year
Fuck your New Year

http://www.box.net/shared/uh2tsvk4j7

Erm, so yeah… happy new year, folks.

Kris