Tuesday Dec 8 2009 marks the day I will officially get to add a new section to my resume. That’s right, suckas, I’m almost an actual singer/songwriter/recording artist. Almost.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Phredd, the crazy guy who writes goofy songs for kids like Awooga, Baby Bottle Boomerang, If Coffee Smells So Good Why Does It Taste So Bad, and My Mom is a Pirate. Well, not only is Phredd the mind behind those catchy tunes, but he also happens to be my boss. And I’ll be honest: My boss is way cooler than your boss. Not only does he let me make crazy videos for work like this one
and this one,
but he also lets me appear on his forthcoming album, Phreddtastic.
That’s right. Phreddtastic drops next week and I’ve got two songs on there and a co-writing credit on a third! I know, I know. That’s just messed up. I’ll explain:
Almost a year ago, I wanted to make a video for the station promoting the fact that you can listen online. I asked Fred if he would write a song, something light and catchy, in the same vein as those Free Credit Report ads. But of course, just like in the TV ads, the song would be lip-synched by a guy who didn’t actually sing the song (in this case, me).
Fred came back to me with the idea that we co-write the song via email. I gave him the name of the song and he emailed back with the first line. And then I added the second line. And so on and so on. After we were finished, Fred tweaked it to make it fit the musical phrasing and then wrote the tune and melody. And then when Fred started working on his new album he decided to re-record the tune, Jingo Jango.
To tell you the truth, giving me a co-writing credit is really generous seeing how all I did was make up sentences that sort of rhymed with what Fred wrote. But it’s a co-writing credit nonetheless and I’ll take it. (By the way, you can see the original version of the song in the finished video here. I even let Fred appear as the guy singing backup vocals despite the fact he’s actually singing everything and I appear nowhere in the audio track. Wasn’t that nice of me?)
And then there’re my other two songs on Phredd’s new album. The first one actually shouldn’t count. It’s like 10 seconds long. I was working on a radio ad in Garage Band and heard a ukulele riff and of course, thought of Fred. So I started humming along and 30 seconds later Another Fred Song was born. I realize I’m not a singer, though, so instead of singing I just kind of talk to the rhythm in a sing-songy way like I’m Colin Mochrie in the hoedown game.
The other song I did…well…I’m gonna play that one down, too, because I didn’t actually write the song. Fred did. I just Weird Al’d it. Fred had a song out a few years ago called Floating Zoo, where he went through the alphabet and named animals that were on Noah’s Ark (armadillo, baboon, cougar, dingo, etc.).
Back in the year 2000, I was working on the air at the station and played Floating Zoo and I started singing “Scooby Doo” instead of the title phrase. What can I say? I’ve been listening to Weird Al since I was in Junior High School, 20 years of listening to parodies will have an effect on you. I started trying to come up with a word for each letter of the alphabet that correlated to the classic cartoon and after my shift I went into the production studio and recorded a really rough version of the song. Fast-forward nine years later to Fred asking me if I’d record an updated version for Phreddtastic.
I mean come on, if that’s not flattering, then I don’t know what is. You parody the guy’s song and he turns around and asks you to record the parody for his album? That was cool.
Realizing I still can’t sing, I decided to morph the song from a fun ukulele ditty to a mash-up of styles over which I do this weird pseudo-rap. It’s hard to explain. You’ll just have to hear it.
But don’t pick up the album because of my little contribution. Pick it up because it’s a fun listen and Phredd once again brings the fun for the whole family with a batch of tunes you’ll be humming for hours. In a good way. I just wish you could hear the whole thing. And, whaddya know, starting Dec 8, 2009, you can. :)