Monday, December 22, 2008

A quick note on the CHANGING OF THE ENTIRE NATURE OF CULTURE

Today's Fresh Air featured an interview with Lawrence Lessing, a law professor who's been working on issues of copyright in the new media marketplace and who is the chair of the Creative Commons organization.

Terri Gross is entirely overrated as an interviewer, and though perhaps some Volvo-driving middle-aged white people have merlotgasms over her incisive questions, here she just does a somewhat passable job of Devil's advocate in between descending into misunderstanding fits of giggles. (I exaggerate a bit, but I still don't see why I should be in awe of this woman).

There's an interesting anecdote about John Philip Sousa railing against the phonograph, that infernal machine which caterwauled day and night and had destroyed the old amateur culture of group singing and non-professional instrument playing. Well, machines did completely destroy that, and the 20th century was a long period of decline in amateur craftsmanship and creativity as huge media groups controlled the mechanisms of mass distribution. Everyone could play professionally-produced CDs and watch fancy movies full of fiery explosions made by TV commercial directors, but they had no power to use, reuse, parodize, build on, and spread around what they were enjoying. The internet is changing that, and the giant corporations are violently thrashing around refusing to accept it. Let me rephrase, with my typical color:

You allow giant corporations to own you as a slave and fuck you in the mouth so often and so deep that you can no longer speak. You don't mind choking on sweaty phallus because the corporation gives you diamonds and fur coats to wear. When, at last, you discover a way to speak through your nose, and discover that having that voice is better than wearing fur coats and diamonds while a fat greasy CEO slaps his flapping nuts against your chin, the CEO is affronted and tries to beat you to death with a rubber hose. BUT YOU WILL NOT DIE. Inspiring, non?

***

One place to follow up would be a CBC Ideas feature about much the same subject. Public broadcasting, in Canada just like here, makes some excellent investigative reporting that nobody watches because they're too busy sniffing glue and vegetating in front of Momma's Boys or reruns of Friends. Oh well.

Also, Congress gave itself a phat pay raise. Yes, the same blowhards who worked themselves into histrionic fits of crocodile tears and false rage over CEO bonuses just rewarded themselves for failing to deal with the auto industry bailout and punting oversight of it to Emperor Cheney and Assistant Emperor Bush, and the thousand other letdowns they've foisted upon us lately. In searching for a link to this story, I found it confusing: there's been a story like this every year, for years. Never mind, then. We obviously don't care what they do to us.

Also, Happy Holidays! MitE will be out soon to help you celebrate.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Greater MitEiverse

Some of my favorite influences (e.g. The Simpsons, seasons 1-9ish, Home Movies) wring an extra dimension of enjoyment out of long-time fans by developing and returning to specific characters, locations, and ideas in their fictional worlds. What starts out as a mild throwaway joke - the name of a coffee shop, some television show the characters watch - can become something that carries the metaphorical smell of your favorite meal your mom makes. Hey, I remember that minor character from an earlier episode, and there he is again, still doin' his thang. There's Troy McClure again on "I Can't Believe They Invented It," etc.

However, I want to make sure I don't repeat the mistake of later seasons of The Simpsons, in which the characters started knocking against the fourth wall by being overly familiar with each other. The main characters shouldn't know "Snake" by name, for example, but you'd probably see that happening if you could force yourself to watch the bloated corpse of the show being dragged through its 20th season long enough to see it. I can't. I don't want my characters to start being snarky about the episodic nature of their lives; I generally don't like fourth-wall-breaking because it offends the intensity with which I've thrown myself into my imagination since childhood. If you want to make some "director-level" aside to the audience, employing what I think was one of the sorts of irony, which I can't remember from the distant past of my education, then fine. But I can't enjoy the characters' conflicts and resolutions as much if they're not even really involved.

My point is, I have a paper tacked to the wall on which I scribble every minor character, TV show, and fast food joint that has appeared, and I want to return to these and lend the world around the show some permanence. Every time the characters flip on the radio and hear KBUX, or Captain Furburt and Buck pop up again, or a celebrity news report covers the seventeenth narcotics-possession arrest of RALF, I know I'll be tickled. But of course, that's the whole reason for doing all of this after all. Sweet self-tickling.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Squentes: All of joo ladies may meet me backstage

Squentes has only appeared in episode 6 so far, but believe me, he is always sashaying about in the forefront of my mind.

Way back in junior high, I attended a big Mexican party of some sort and heard a song whose lyrics made their way into my brain as "Squente squen, squent squente squente, squente squen, squent squente squente," etc. I'm going to guess that those weren't the actual words, but oh how they've stuck! And that is his origin story. "Squentes" is my go-to word for anything in Spanish I don't know (which is nearly everything).

Squentes is, in my mind, forever in a Zorro outfit. He must mask his face because of the irresistible power it holds over ladies, and although he makes much time in the day for the act of love, even he needs a little down time. I intend to have a big band number for Squentes next time like Desi Arnaz or Harry Belanfonte's "Jump in the Line," which we all loved in Beetlejuice. Right now I'm thinking about an episode where Snobberson loses confidence in his manliness and is encouraged by various testosteroney characters, including a mad Scot and the aforementioned Squentes. He's seducing his way back onto the show sometime, I assure you.

Sure, he's one-note, but that's why you use him as seasoning. You wouldn't want to eat him all day. Well ...

Urgent Updates

The script for the second Christmas episode is done, and one of the three songs. Well, I'll need one to end on too. Fuck, and a theme. Oof. I'm going to be nose-to-the-grindstone to get this out before the season. That's the problem with theme episodes - I can't pull songs out of the big folder of nonsense I've built up; they have to be custom-built. Plus, I've given myself an arranging/instrumentation task that is ambitious indeed for someone with the musical education of a deaf walrus - I want to sound like an old Bing Crosby tune. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To Show or not to Show? Also, Score!

Music in the Evening is supposedly a variety show, and as I keep cranking out episodes, I fiddle with the formula to see what I can accomplish. I know about 3000 words gives me about 30 minutes of epsiode, depending on the length of the songs, and I like to have a narrative consisting of little scenes broken up by the music. But should they all be set behind the scenes at the fictional show, I'd like to know.

I've had a comment in support of getting out of the theater, and I like to do it. It started with episode 8, I think, in which the show traveled across the country on the Oregon Trail. However, since the entire auditorium just became the wagon somehow, inexplicably, one could make a case for episode 11 being the first one to not be a show. That was the high school flashback episode, and the songs were sprinkled into the narrative with different excuses. No, wait. That was a show too! But not a MitE show. I'll leave it to future generations of scholars to debate.

Some episodes I score more than others - you know, just music accentuating moments. The Forsaken Realms ones, for example, or the coda of episode 4. I still haven't decided about the propriety of doing this. Is MitE supposed to be cinema radio verite? Overtly "comedic" scores on TV shows or in movies bother the living shit out of me. "Wump wump wump," says this kind of score. "There was a joke; did you notice it, you stupid fuck? Wuh oh! Isn't he silly? Now is when you should laugh, you cornfed fuckhole." I'll decide whether your program is humorous, thank you. I want to avoid that, definitely. But I think I mainly use score-type music either in an ironic way or to support an elaborate parody, and these I do approve. For example, the western-style music at the end of episode 8, the battle music in the Forsaken Realms episodes.

Episode 4, the Amateur Night episode, interests me these days. I'd just busted my rump doing episode 3 the hard way, and it took a tremendous and concentrated effort. I cleansed my palate by just making easy songs with just guitar or some really poorly played piano. As I'm writing narratives that pull away from Snobberson on stage vs. the audience, I'm beginning to feel that tickle of yearning again to just have a straightforward one. Another amateur night, perhaps. I'll add it to the big heap of episode ideas sitting in Google documents.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'll see you in court, Groening!

So, I'm watching Futurama: Bender's Game, and guess what the plot is? The main cast get transported into a Dungeons and Dragons fantasy kingdom! I'm in serious talks with my team of bloodthirsty lawyers, and I won't settle for less than ten million!


... actually, since this is an animated movie, their plot's probably been in the works since before there was a Music in the Evening, and no more than five people have even heard of MitE. But don't worry, I'm sure there's some loophole. In the meantime, guilt checks, preferably blank, may be mailed to me.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Mice

I introduced the mice because I was getting tired of my own voice (already, by episode 3) and wanted ways to introduce characters with different flavors. Pitch-shifting algorithms have become pretty good these days, but I preferred the Chipmunks trick of just speeding up playback. It minimized audio artifacts, and anyway, I'd assume mice live their lives rapidly. Although it does mean I have to perform the mice's lines more slowly than normal, which is ... odd.

Perhaps it's also interesting that the mice's dialog has to be recorded separately, so I can speed it all up. Nowadays I've switched to reading scripts straight through instead of breaking them out by character - more on that in a different post, but the mice need special technical attention.

One thing I'd really like to work on is regional British accents. I doubt I'd ever get good enough to "pass," but I've got a good broad West Country, pirate-type one, a decent if overblown Liverpudlian, and a Cockney in my arsenal. I listen to James Herriott books on tape often and try to nail down a Yorkshire, with its gloriously gulped vowels, but I keep slipping into a Groundskeeper Willie brogue. I've got two flavors of Scottish, the ach me wee bairns Glaswegian and a more flutey Edinburgh, and one Leprechaun-style Irish. I haven't worked out a Northern Ireland one yet, though you can hear them on the BBC World News radio. And then there are accents I don't even know the locations for, like wherever Wallace and Gromit are from. There's a touch of those northern vowels that I find so appealing. One day, I shall perfect it. Until then, I have the mice as practice.

As for the mice's behavior: we have two rats. Don't recoil in horror - pet rats have been bred for a while until they've apparently lost all their hard-edged, gutter-living street smarts. Our more adventurous one stupidly begins walking off shoulders into the void unless you restrain her, and they keep themselves surprisingly clean, and go to great lengths to organize their immediate surroundings to their liking, like little homemakers. Their round bellies, fine and soft fur, and twitching noses are almost cute enough to completely offset the long brown chisel teeth and the nasty scaly tails, which admittedly they need for balance.

They are, however, raging kleptomaniacs, and are mysteriously compelled to do precisely what you most do not want them to do at any given time. I think of these charming traits when I think of the mice. I really should have made them rats; mice are so small and frantic that they don't strike me as having the right attitude. Our rats waddle unhurriedly around their cage, when they can be arsed to wake up that is. Most of their time is spent sleeping in a heap, piled on top of each other in an apparent display of affection. Introduce food into the equation, however, and you will see nature at her most selfish.

Rufus, the dumb mouse, is in the same boat as Jack: surely there must be more a dumb character can do than deliver lines demonstrating his dumbness. Dumbity? We were watching My Name is Earl earlier tonight (we only get one channel and sometimes simply accept whatever is shoveled onto us, unfortunately) and their dumb character, Randy, is a mess. His intelligence fluctuates, he delivers long laborious set-ups to lame and obvious jokes ... compare this to the Australian Kath & Kim. While Kath and Kim aren't really dumb, as in slow speech and drooling and such, their speech is sprinkled with malapropisms, in the same way Adele's coworker pastes other words into the suspect holes in her sentences. They fly by and aren't punctuated by a dopey bloop in the score or a face-twisting mugging by the actor - HEY LOOK AT ME I AM SAYING THE WRONG WORD BWA HA HA HOW RISIBLE.

I aspire to write better interactions for the three mice including Rufus; I think buying approval of characters by making them appealing and then letting their personalities react and conflict in response to new events is the best way to end up truly earning a recurring role.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Queen Elizabeth is a Biddy

My dear but thus-far useless history degree, and the great and abiding fascination I feel when I gaze into the infinite gallery of the past, lead me to try and develop some sort of history project. It doesn't look like I'm going to be an academic historian - I'm terrible at social networking, dislike competition, didn't bother to get fabulous grades - but that doesn't mean I don't fall into brain-bubbling transports of glee when I get my teeth into a really juicy book about dirty rustics fighting and fucking and living in the distant past.

I want to start making History Minutes, or somesuch, that capture some of the fun I had taking history notes in college. Yes, fun. It's possible. This would be a video project, making use of my drawings. It's something to ponder and develop for, and in the meantime, more MitE. I'm off to work on the script. Ta ta, dahhhhlings.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Podfading

I'm guilty of it myself, but it hurts to be on the other end of it. What is "it?" Podfading. I'm excited by this relatively new medium. Homemade radio! No transmitter tower necessary, non-live so you can listen anytime, the infinite distribution of the internet. We all have a crack at semi-fame!

Except that so many of the feeds I greedily stuffed into my Google Reader have tapered off. Some become more sporadic, some just stop as if the entire cast have all died in a single plane crash a la the Day the Music Died. I react with sorrow.

For example, there's this Dungeons and Dragons podcast (shut up) I listen to, among many others (shut up!). Now this one is actually rather annoying, as it's done by these obnoxious nerd powergamers, who are almost certainly enormously obese, definitely have goatees or the dreaded chinbeard, and one of them ends every sentence with " ... okay?" in a wheedling, rising inflection that reeks of the defensive accumulation of arcane knowledge which marks the mature nerd. I know this condition very well, I assure you. The podcasts dried up a month or two ago, and on message boards devoted to it, the reaction was curious. It was anger and annoyance! Where the hell is my podcast? These n00bs podfaded, might as well erase the forum, etc. I think people haven't quite grasped the concept of the non-professional, spare-time enthusiast in entertainment content delivery. Either that, or we all have a bit of the dark urge to criticize as cruelly and lackadaisically as possible that infects so many Youtube trolls inside us.

That said, I want a new Arby 'n' the Chief, damn it!

P.S. Arby 'n' the Chief is not a podcast, but rather a short video series. It's sort of about Halo, although I have zero interest in Halo, and even thinking about the mouth-breathing 14 year-old wiggas who do like Halo makes me slightly nauseous. I also have never actually played a game of Dungeons and Dragons. And I listen to a bunch of video game podcasts despite not being able to afford any current generation console. Explain that to me and I'll mail you a dollar.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Lone Voice in the Wilderness?

I can't be the first person to have this idea, but despite a few rounds of searches and trying, I can't find another podcast quite like MitE. Yes, thank you for your applause. But seriously. Someone named Bob Narley (oh, I get it!) has a site full of parody songs and such, but not a show. When I look for comedy podcasts, what mainly turns up in the search results are shows which advertise themselves as "brutal," "mean," "vicious," etc., discussions between people (men, undoubtedly) who think they're quite funny. Shock Jock DJ-type stuff, probably, and I have no interest in that.

It doesn't help matters that the few podcast aggregators out there are pretty clunkily designed and cluttered. I'm about to go audition a new candidate now. Until I find others, I suppose I'll just have to suffer the burden of PEERLESS GENIUS alone. Sigh!

Mordox: Why Will You Mortals Not Take Me Seriously?

Somewhere I have a list of words I think I should use more often. These are the words that powerful evil characters bark - behold! Seize him! Fools! Speak. If you take the hackneyed figure of the Big Bad Guy and want to make it funny, I figure there are a few options.

First, you could make him inept or ridiculous but leave his surroundings relatively serious, as if Jerry Lewis had played Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies. Nice LAAAADYYY! Alternatively, you can keep him serious and put him in mundane or incongruous surroundings - Darth Vader storming through a Hawaiian resort hotel instead of the Rebel base on Hoth, for example. Or you could go for a blend: a villain with foibles deals with a world full of foibles, but still aspires to the grandeur of Villainy. The Monarch from Venture Brothers, for example.

So we have poor Mordox trying to very seriously pursue the object that will give him ultimate power, and being treated like no one special, even kicked in the nuts by Jack. What if Thulsa Doom had been kicked in the nuts in Conan the Barbarian? Mighty Villains don't get kicked in the nuts. His facade cracks a bit when he discovers the mice have eaten his treasure, though for the most part he's committed to his role. He's much the same when I come back to him in episode 14 - except more comfortable in the fantasy world, living in a stronghold, ordering goblins around. That's a world that makes sense to our friend Mordox.

Episode 3: The Day MitE Became a Man

I made MitE 1 and 2 one after another, discovered I was taking a shine to it, and got all uppity and grandiose for 3. I wrote a script - 1 and 2 had been ad libbed (obviously, not straight through, but one conversation at a time). I still wanted the tenuous, adversarial relationship between the audience and Snobberson, but wanted more characters around to make things more interesting, and not just an antagonist sidekick like RALF.

Looking back on it, I sure made a lot of characters. Not only do Sadie, the mice, Trevor, Mack, Jack, and Jerry all make their first appearances, but also recurring faux artists like Streetfeld and Tom McGoo too. I also got ambitious with the structure of the show. If I was going to tell a story happening backstage as well as onstage, I had to figure out how to have each going on simultaneously. In retrospect, I tried too hard, because backstage action happens while songs are being sung onstage, muted. In the future I'd shy away from that and just fudge it - though it would explain why Snobberson's audience is so cantankerous if bands finish playing and five minutes pass before Snobberson reemerges.

Speaking of the audience, making this episode was an enormous pain in the ass. I recorded every round of applause, every bit of muttering in the audience, track by track, often long takes minutes on end. It took for-fuckin'-ever, and I'd later develop a lot of shortcuts that let me crank episodes out without getting quite so frustrated. Largely for this reason, episode 4 scaled back on the story and complexity, but the story bug had definitely bitten, and from 5 on, they've all been story-oriented, and I use my main cast frequently. Except Jack. Sorry, Jack.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Background Noise: The Eternal Struggle

Computers open nearly infinite possibilities for home recording. Multitrack software, plugins that do everything from simulate guitar amps to perform all the equalization, compression, modulation, and delays that take recordings from "amateurish" to "amateurish, but listenable" ... I couldn't do it without 'em. However, they also have case fans, and these fans make NOISE.

In the background of all my microphone recordings, especially the dialog recordings, is a soft whirring of case fans. You might not notice it's there, until I start editing files and laying them overtop one another, when suddenly the noise multiplies, bursts noticeably in and out of existence, and generally drives me crazy. In dialog for the mice, which is sped up, it's even more noticeable. Sensitive condenser microphones are necessary to avoid the way dynamic microphones sound obviously like someone's speaking into them - fine for characters who are supposed to be performing onstage, but not naturalistic. These mics pick up everything in the room, in greater detail than dynamics. Fortunately and unfortunately.

One anti-noise strategy is to employ a gate, a piece of hardware, or in my case a plugin, that cuts off the audio unless it's above a certain volume. You can twiddle settings to set this threshold, determine how quickly the gate opens and how quickly it closes again, and whether it looks ahead in the audio file to be ready to open when a loud signal is approaching. This is the method I think I've settled on; you don't really notice the noise if it only happens while people are speaking, and it eliminates the noise during silence which makes editing less of a headache.

For a while I attempted a very fancy workaround using Reaper's ReaFIR plugin, with which the computer built a noise profile for the background noise and then subtracted that from the sound. It worked miraculously, but also produced weird metallic-sounding artifacts in the output. So for now, I'm back to finessing the settings on the gate, and it works pleasantly.

Favorite Songs

I like almost every song as I'm making it, of course, but looking back on the bloated MitE catalog, a few stand out. Actually, two.

"The Ballade of the Light-House Keeper," from episode 7, is the big long 5-minute one with multiple parts. I recorded most of it during a time when my computer was broken, so I was somewhat more limited using a laptop, without my keyboard and various fancy plugin effects I generally use and abuse, though I went back later and added drums.

Phallic Light House
There's the long breakdown/buildup part in the beginning, which is either annoying or kind of neat, depending on your point of view. I also like the slapback delay (that is, a delay of less than 200 milliseconds with no feedback so you only get one echo) on the vocals, which was described as Arcade Fire-y. And hey, they're a good band!

The middle segment, which I informally refer to as "Song of the Sailor Girl," is the high point, I think. The shaker percussion is a bottle of aspirin. I've since moved up to using a pair of egg shakers instead (which, incidentally cost much less than a big bottle of aspirin). And the bass line is that rare feat for me: one that's actually interesting and does its own thing while complementing the other instruments. My usual epic struggle with timing and fretting mistakes is less evident, and the whole thing has a positive ending and a dick joke.


I've been sitting on the song "Now is the Time" for a while, and I'm glad it fit into episode 16. Not only am I satisfied with the production, and almost entirely with the singing (though I cringe every time I hear the backing vocals blunder into the lead on "on top"), but it's actually a comedy song that works on a concept rather than on profanity or just lampooning the conventions of a genre.

Revolutionary Puppy
I like Rage Against the Machine. I don't play them really loud in my car, nor am I at all interested in revolutionary socialism, but their albums are lovely confluences of attitude, subject matter, and style. I also enjoy Belle and Sebastian and Pony Up and the dancier strain of twee represented by, say, Los Campesinos, although they in particular shout an awful lot. So transplanting the vitriol of the furious Zack de la Rocha into the instrumental milieu of the innocuous twee poppers, I have thusly created a Comic Incongruity.

"Bad Rabbit" and "Let Me Rise" and others are up there, sure, but these two stand out for me. Do YOU have a favorite? There is a comments feature you are more than welcome to use.

Up and Coming (Not the porn series of the same general name)

I know sometimes there are long breaks between episodes, but I've actually got enough episodes planned to complete a second 13-episode "season." I get myself a title and an abstract and fill out the scripts as humorous things occur to me, and then sprinkle in some songs - some of which come out of a stockpile I build up, and some written as specific tie-ins. The stockpile is fairly well-stocked at the moment, but as the holidays are fast approaching I want to quickly shit out assiduously craft another Christmas episode.

P.S., omg? Already the second Christmas episode? Listen, you may not know this, but being interested in one project for over a year is not something I do. That's part of the reason I feel I'm actually on to something here - it keeps me entertained.

I'm thinking the Christmas episode will bring back the character whose voice is honestly my favorite to do: the Ghost of Marlon Brando. I think he's a delightful comedic character: gluttonous, slothful, selfish - an unbridled id, unabashedly pursuing pleasure and no longer concerned with any social niceties. Now, Marlon Brando and Laurence Olivier for a time represented the polar opposites of British and American acting - Olivier the master of cerebral attention to the details of a performance, the architect of a character; Brando all fire and fury, smoldering or raging, letting the character animate him and releasing the mind from the duty of Acting.

So it's fitting, I think, that these two be at each other's throats in the eternal confinement of Actors' Heaven. I imagine it as a small place where they can't really avoid bumping into one another - something like a nursing home. The enemies glare at each other from separate sofas. Olivier's frosty politeness, Brando's open contempt and visible discomfort as he searches for pieces of food in his mouth with his tongue.

All this will touch off another visit to the show by Mr. Brando; I think I want to revisit the Black Priest and Igor (who, incidentally, owes his Karloffian voice and general fatigued wily-servant demeanor to Terry Pratchett's rendering and an audiobook I heard). The problem will be making three songs (my lower limit now, I figure) in time. And I do want to be on time with this one. Once it's in the archive, who cares if it's topical, but I feel bad about the election episode coming a MONTH after The World Changed(tm).

For the record, I'm not pessimistic about Obama, just wary. So far he's charting a very centrist, Washington insider-heavy course, and that is not how he was sold to the enthusiastic public. What's transformative about all these Clinton administration people getting their jobs back? Didn't this whole deregulatory, anything-goes credit mess get going in the roaring 90's? Snobberson, of course, can be much more acidic about the situation, but that's because he's got a defensive Basil Fawlty-ishness about him. More on that in some other post.

Genesis, Profanity

For those who don't know, I've been cranking out non-serious musical snippets for years. Despite numerous hard drive failures (or reformattings I brought upon myself by stupidly running some virus or other), I have a CD floating around of collected early work called Various and Sundry by the F.C. Walther Band.

Even before that, in the dim mists of time swirling around the faint afterimage of the 1990's, my friend Dakota and I made a tape called Myron Yeats, which featured humorous songs. Or at least, they were humorous to a couple of teenagers. I wonder how they hold up. One thing I remember is that Dakota felt he used too much chorus, but I think that's forgiveable as it was one of the few features his solid-state Crate amp boasted. Technology has advanced, and now I use too much of everything in his honor.

Music in the Evening was an idea I had to string together a few of my sub-2 minute, nonsensical, error-riddled experiments in the framework of a variety show. Then there were the silly voices I'm incessantly doing, at the top of my lungs, as I walk around the house, which deserve their own post at a later date. As I did the first couple of shows, I thought there would be more  segments like the Professor Frabjabtonium bit in the first episode; these sort of fell by the wayside as the show became (another topic for another post) more of a narrative interspersed by songs about your mother's anus.

Your mother's anus brings me to another way the show has changed as I've thought about it more: the first few episodes contain some really disgusting profanity, and lean heavily on that for (what I hope passes for) humor. As I learned terrifying things like: Adele's parents listened to the show, I began to feel very guilty and immature, and lazy as a "writer," for relying on foul words. Things like The Simpsons, Fawlty Towers, Kath & Kim (the Australian one ONLY, thank you), Home Movies - these are the shows I come back to and which influence me, because it's the characters much more than the filth that make for actual laughs and actual audience affection. Cf. Family Guy, which I initially was very excited about, but grew extremely tired of as it became just a disjointed delivery vehicle for very mean show-biz jokes about how certain celebrities are ugly, or whatever. Meh in the extreme. Now, that doesn't mean I've put aside filth. I have a character in mind who has not yet made an appearance named Tex the Birthing Coach whose catchphrase is ... rather horrid, but I think filth should be the salt, not the beef.

I think about how the characters interact with one another, what kind of comedic business they could get up to based on what sort of business they really would be inclined towards, and though I don't revise much and have not developed any sort of professional sense of writing a real story, I hope the show is more satisfying for attempting to create a skewed little world rather than just saying the word clitoris really loud.

Oh, also a shout out to Syd, whose blog about comics and a colossal story he's planning is not only so interesting that I, someone who gets a headache just looking at a comic book page, read it closely and repeatedly, but also inspired this one. Because hey, there's an awful lot of room on Google's servers, apparently, so it's our duty to try and fill them up. But have you seen hard drive prices lately? I'd better get my typing gloves oiled up.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I sound my barbaric YAWP over the rooftops of the internet

I figure it may be a fun experiment to start up a behind-the-scenes type blog about Music in the Evening, my slapdash collection of dick jokes sophisticated foray into comedy writing so that the four thousands of devoted fans can get wind of things I'm considering including in the show, what I think about the characters, and what (if anything) I'm learning about home recording, audio production, and making funny voices. Also, comments can be posted! I don't know enough HTML to hit the broad side of a barn, so don't expect a forum or comments ability to appear on my website anytime soon. There's just this, baby.

The first thing I'll reveal may shock you: There is no actual Myron Yeats. That's right; he's a construct, a figment, a glitch in the Matrix. A cat's paw, if you will. The Mouth of Sauron. Sarah Palin. You get the idea. You may need to sit down awhile. I'll wait.

So consider this blog inaugurated (inblogurated?). I'll cook up some meaty posts posthaste.