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Archive for the 'music' Category

The Universe is Laughing

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Jessica and I have been singing together pretty much since the first day we met, but it took us a long time to figure out how to do it properly. Something about our blend never sounded quite right. One day, we were in the car singing through Rites of Passage by Indigo Girls, and when we got to “Jonas and Ezekial” I think I was drinking some water or something and she got to the lead part — the Amy Ray part, the part I should be singing! — before I did. So I sang Emily Saliers’ part instead, which goes into the stratosphere near the end. I blew out my voice, but it actually sounded okay.

And that’s when we figured out the secret to us singing together: she needs to take the low part. It makes sense. Telemarketers call her “sir” and me “ma’am” when they get us on the phone. She’s got a deep voice, I sound kind of like the pimply-faced kid on The Simpsons. She fixes stuff in the house when it breaks, I suggest calling someone and paying them too much money to do it. She wears the pants, I look good in a dress. (Not that I do that sort of thing (regularly), but c’mon. These legs? Please.)

The other night we took a stab at singing one of our favorite songs, “The Universe is Laughing,” by one of our favorite bands, The Guggenheim Grotto. Not too shabby. I like singing the high part more anyway.

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Irene Cara Never Happened

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Acoustic ’80s is back in rehearsals and learning new material for a bunch of gigs over the next few months. That means we’re digging through our ’80s collections, picking out songs we’d like to try, and adapting them to our style. And sometimes that means changing the keys on the songs — especially the ones originally sung by girls. To find the right key for me, I use a pitch-adjusting program on my computer.

A couple of years ago, we were contemplating doing “Fame,” which you may remember from a movie, also coincidentally titled Fame. Or the TV show, which, holy crap, was also titled Fame. The theme song was sung by Irene Cara.

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Well, I sure as shit can’t sing it in this key. So I lowered the song by five semitones. And this is what I heard.

Manly Fame

Two thoughts instantly came to me:

1) Ha ha ha ha ha ha! I shall name this version “Manly Fame.”

2) You know who this sounds like?

It’s Billy Ocean, seen here at 1/78th of his normal size and holding on to a Pick-up Stick for dear life. Maybe I’m crazy, but to me, the resemblance is uncanny. The key, the tone, presumably the beard — totally Billy Ocean. So at first, I was like, wow, if you lower Irene Cara five semitones, you get Billy Ocean.

But wait a second. What if Irene Cara is — and always has been — Billy Ocean raised five semitones? What if Irene Cara never happened?

Look, I know it’s a crazy theory. But Billy Ocean, though on the scene in the late ’70s/early ’80s, didn’t really hit it big until 1984. What if he was just used by the industry to create Irene Cara? His real name, Leslie Sebastian Charles, is even a female name!

Just think about it. Don’t come to a decision now. But have you ever seen them in the same room together?

We did eventually perform “Fame,” by the way. We just decided to perform it with our friend Jen singing lead.

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Mellow Gold, Chart Attack And Others…at Popdose

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

It occurred to me this morning that there may be some people following jasonhare.com who either haven’t jumped on the Popdose train or may have missed my posts over there. As I mentioned earlier, the majority of my musical content will now be featured at Popdose, but when I do post an article, I’ll try to post an update here with a specific URL for you. In the future, you’ll be able to click on my author page at Popdose, and automatically pull up any articles I’ve written. For now, though:

Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold: Come join us as we make fun of smug ol’ Paul Anka!

CHART ATTACK: 2/7/87: More than you ever wanted to know about Billy Vera!

Songs For The Dumped: Come find out why getting dumped on my ass reminds me of Ann-Margret writhing in baked beans.


Introducing Popdose

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Happy New Year! It’s time to officially announce the worst-kept secret in the world!

For all of you who have wondered for months on end about the eventual return of Jeff Giles, aka Jefito of Jefitoblog, gather ’round, for I have news. Effective today, Jefitoblog moves to a brand-new, even bigger-and-better location. And, as most of you could have predicted, I’m packing up my bags and moving in with him.


Simply put, Popdose is going to be everything you love about Jefitoblog and more. Jeff has assembled a crack team of staff writers to cover all aspects of pop culture: music, film, television, books, current events – you name it. And, as you’ve come to expect, each article will be full of thoughtful – and yes, sometimes snarky – commentary.

As for me, I’m signing on as Managing Editor, which means I’ll be doing a fair amount of work behind-the-scenes. I’ll also be bringing over my two series, Adventures Through The Mines Of Mellow Gold (which has become an occasional feature these days, but you try covering one shitty song a week for a year and see how far you get), and of course, CHART ATTACK!, which will now run every other Friday opposite Jeff’s collaborative feature CHARTBURN. I’ll be featuring over a dozen guest writers over the course of 2008, so if you’re sick of my writing style, don’t give up – a new perspective is just around the corner!

As for what happens with jasonhare.com, I’m still working that one out. (I can’t have all the answers, you know.) I will continue to use my site to promote my artistic endeavors (I have more music gigs coming up in the new year, and I’m doing a fantastic Off-Broadway production in February), and will post items – probably short, link-related posts that aren’t appropriate for Popdose – as I have time. If you’d like to keep me on your radar, I’d love to have you around, but if you’re here merely for the music-related posts, you know where to find me.

So…thanks for reading. And what the hell are you waiting for? We’re having a housewarming shindig over at the new place, and it’s not a party until you get there.

See you on Popdose!


Little. Poppy. Different.

Monday, December 31st, 2007