Kavalier Calm's Crowdsource Inspiration

I'm KC, The People's Bard. I write songs and poems inspired by the people I meet on the internet. Ask, and I’ll write something for you.
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  • The red ring of death. This song is for anyone who’s experienced this tragedy. I was crushed the first time it happened to me; sure, it’s not too difficult to get a new Xbox 360, but I built a relationship with that specific piece of hardware. I was sad to retire it. This song could be about a lover; but Xbox players will enjoy the metaphors. For listeners who don’t intuitively recognize subtle emotional satire, this is a joke—just like the emotional intensity in my zombie apocalypse love song. I hope everyone enjoys it; I’m slowly rounding out my album of songs for gamers, geeks, and other nerds. I dedicate this tune to these awesome Xbox/gaming blogs; I’ll bet these bloggers understand the sadness in this song: girlsonxbox, x-360, brogamer, geeksngamers, pwnlove, gamefreaks, and dotcore. Free downloads of this song are available here, and you can listen to it on YouTube here. — Kavalier

         The Red Ring of Death

    You used to respond when I pushed your buttons;
    you’d hum and get hot,
    and we’d play for hours, on the bed, on the couch,
    from dusk ‘til dawn.
    We’ve been on an adventure or two:
    Angel, I rode your Halo through space;
    and we lived a fairytale, a Fable;
    you were my Lady Grey.

    But all at once, you put up a wall:
    a red ring of silence—the death of our love.

    And I thought we could save the world;
    in fact, we did a dozen times.
    But now you won’t respond to me;
    who will stop the Locust Horde?
    You committed Grand Theft—
    Auto-matically stealing my heart—
    when you went cold to my touch;
    oh, you can’t refurbish such hurt.

    CHORUS

    Now I’m heartless and homeless,
    looking for a new box to settle in.
    I’ll trade in your memories, pawn all your stuff,
    and find love again.

    Tonight’s post is for Tiffany, a friend of mine and Eli’s who works at the 930 Club in Washington, DC. She did a bit of a favor for us, and we only know one way to return favors: songs. I asked her if we should go acoustic or distortion; she said she likes “electric melodies.” Well, she got them. I wrote the lyrics during lunch today, Eli wrote the song a couple of hours ago, and we recorded it real quick. To bring a few other people in on the fun, this song is also dedicated to these bloggers, for their solid whiskey content: whiskeybackpocketgang, thankyoujackdaniels, whiskeymonologues, whiskeysoaked, and wayfarersandwhiskey. Eli has another song about the power of whiskey, too, which can be heard here. I’d say it’s unhealthy how much we love whiskey, except it’s too delicious to be bad for us. Right? Enjoy everyone. — K.C.

         Electric Melodies for Tiffany

    Tiffany, lots of girls wear black—but few girls wear it like you.
    I love you like I love the night, and so I wrote this tune.

    When we first met, I bought you a drink;
    when you asked for whiskey, I heard my heart break.
    And you told me you love just two things:
    strong drinks and electric melodies.

    Tiffany, if you give me a ticket to your show,
    then I’ll give you a ticket to where you wanna go.
    'Cause I know how to find the two things you like:
    strong drinks and electric melodies.

    Since that first drink, it’s been a fight to get the next.
    Every man in this club thinks they know you best.
    But I know you only want two things:
    strong drinks and electric melodies.

    CHORUS

    REFRAIN

    It’s a special night at the CI project; we’re announcing the release of our second album, Bedtime Stories, an EP written and performed by Elijah Cash. Eli decided to release these four narrative pieces together, so we recorded them last week. These barebone songs are full of magic and purpose, like good bedtime stories. But they aren’t for children or the faint of heart. Tonight’s song, “Mudhole”, tells the story of the life and death of a gravedigger from Pleasanton, TX—Eli’s hometown. It’s macabre and beautiful. Over the coming week, we will post each of the four tracks. Tonight’s post is dedicated to poeticallyundead—a storyteller/poet that we enjoy—and these great blogs about death/graves: trixietreats, fyeahgraves, girlsingraves, thedeathofcool, and thedeathofyouth. And if you like Eli’s work, share it (put in on Facebook, Twitter, whatever). Remember, the only way he’s going to find his lost love is if she hears his music. Enjoy everyone! — K.C.

         Mudhole

    In the deserts of Texas one man digs the graves.
    He’s named Mudhole, for he only digs in the rain.
    Now Mudhole, he’d lose himself with thoughts of better days.
    By doing so, he’d forget his arms’ burning pain.

    Mudhole, keep diggin’ them holes;
    just don’t dig your own damn grave.

    Well, one day ol’ Mudhole’s mental drifting got carried away,
    thinking on life and death, and how they’re just one in the same.
    By time our friend came to, it was dawn of the second day.
    He’d thrown dirt over his shoulder from dusk ‘til day break.

    Mudhole found himself in a grave ten feet deep
    and, though he clawed at the sides, he found no escape.
    Panting, he sat down and laughed that day away,
    for though he may have dug a way out, our friend never worked on a sunny day.

    CHORUS

    By time the townsfolk found him, he was all sun baked;
    the very shine he’d always loved is what took his life away.
    Without a thought or care the townsfolk threw his dirt
    right back on him ‘til it was well over his head.

    CHORUS

    That’s how ol’ Mudhole dug his own damn grave.
    Now he’s in a place where the sun shines all day.
    And our dear friend, will never again
    have to dig in the rain a home for the dead.

    This track from Eli’s new EP tells the story of a man finding God so he can convince a woman to be with him; it’s a twisting of the classic tale about Robert Johnson selling his soul to the Devil to learn to play guitar. Because of that, we devote this posting to these blogs which recently tagged Robert Johnson: mewithoutmybobbymcgee, rustle-your-jimmies, jabdust, diedindenver, supernaturalmusic, and tellyourfriends. Enjoy everyone. And—as always—if you like it, share it. — K.C.

         For the Girl Behind the Bar

    Well, I was in Mississippi, and I went into a bar.
    I yelled, “‘Tender give me a whiskey,” as I took a seat.
    To my sweet surprise, a pretty little thing brought me my drink.
    And I said, “Hey, baby, why don’t you take a seat?”
    But she laughed as she walked away.
    So I took my shot and went up to the bar.
    And I said, “Hey, baby, what’s it gonna take?”

    She said, “Are you a God fearing man?”
    I thought, I could be if that’s what it takes to get in your pants.
    But I just grinned and said, “Baby, I ain’t afraid of nothing.”
    She said, “If I was yours, you’d be afraid to lose me.
    And a jealous man is the one who beats.”
    With that she turned away and for the first time in my life I prayed:
    Lord, lord, what will it take?

    You know they say Robert sold his soul to the devil just to learn to play guitar.
    Well, I sold my soul to Jesus for the girl behind the bar.
    Oh, Devil, I miss you and all of your sweet sin.
    But I’d trade it all in to be in a Kingdom with her that never ends.

    Hadnot Creek tells the tale of a murderous gypsy/witch, and it is the first track from Eli’s new EP. He learned it while traveling through North Carolina some time ago. It’s not for the faint of heart. We devote this posting to Tess at tesslynch—for her great stories and audio content—and to these blogs with great gypsy content: gypsymess, clutteredgypsy, thedrifterandthegypsy, dreaming-gypsy, thebohemianmuse, and befreeandindividual. Enjoy everyone! And, if you do, share it! — K.C.

         Hadnot Creek

    In the heart of Carolina runs Hadnot Creek,
    home to the Bog Bride: half-Southern, half-Gypsy.
    She’ll lure you in with the smells of her cookin’
    and keep you in the girth of her hips.

    By the cool waters of Hadnot Creek
    lips are moving, but they do not speak.
    Don’t accept her charity;
    the hearts of good men is what she seeks.

    They say she’ll dance ‘til your eyes blur and close.
    They say she’ll sing ‘til your ears become your toes.
    Crawlin’ across the floor, crawlin’ into her arms.
    You’ll be found dead and naked by the end of the week
    in the muddy bend of Hadnot Creek.

    CHORUS

    The Bog Bride’ll end your marriage by takin’ life.
    But some of these boys’d rather die by her pleasure than stay with their wives.
    But if your love is true and lasting, pinch your nose and whistle this tune
    as you walk the waters of Hadnot Creek where the Bog Bride croons, looms, rooms.

    CHORUS

    I’ve written another Disney Princess song, this time a satire about Ariel. This song’s about why I’d rather not fall in love with a mermaid. Sorry, Ariel. This is tasteful humor, I assure you; the lyrics are wonderfully subtle (until the last word). I’m devoting this post to some of my favorite blogs with inspiring LOL/audio content: stream.pleated-jeans, alan-hanson, carolineeand, and kellaroot. Couldn’t go a day without posting for my followers—even though I’m on the road—so I wrote and recorded this in the back seat of my car. The grainy audio has a certain charm at least. My other Disney Princess songs can be found here and here. As always, if you like CI’s work, share it! Enjoy your weekend everyone! — K.C.

         Mermaid, You Ain’t Got The One Thing I Want

    When I fished you out of the ocean, you told me you were on the run—
    from a Sea Witch, from opulence, from the water.
    You begged to be saved, you promised to give me love;
    but Mermaid, you ain’t got the one thing I want.

    Mermaid, you can’t have what I want between
    if you don’t have legs.

    I was trying to catch a meal, and I caught a problem.
    Why would I  take the baggage of a woman without the one joy that follows?
    Something smells fishy and not in the way I like.
    This is a raw deal; your sashima ain’t shaped right.

    CHORUS

    You are a miracle, a rare magic maid,
    but it don’t mean nothing to my common need.
    Sorry, Mermaid, but I’m throwing you back.
    Don’t grab my bait again ‘til you find legs. And a snatch.

    So, I was thinking about Stella Artois (because I like thinking about beer) and realized I could write a song about a foreign girl name Stella. After I finished the lyrics, Eli said he wanted to work with them. Bam! We devote this to a few foreign girls we follow—a-sloth, littledarlin, neuewave, getmeoutofamerica—and to these blogs that recently tagged Stella or blues: missindiependent, yourrollingtrain, floraa-, perpetuallypreoccupied, and kittiesandbeer. Enjoy everyone. And share it with the American boys and foreign girls you know. — K.C.


         American Boys

    Stella, I’ve never been with a foreign girl.
    I don’t know what you’ve felt, what you’ve learned.
    But we American boys have a few talents of our own;
    darling, I’ll show you when we get back home.
    I can show you what American boys are good for:
    a laugh, a dinner, a show, and a moan.
    We American boys have a few tricks up our sleeves,
    and I can show you, darling; it’d be so easy.

    Stella, I know you won’t regret one night with me.
    In fact, you’ll probably beg for more.
    I plan to leave you begging for more of that American boy.

    Yeah, let me whisper sweet nothings in your ear.
    You’ll laugh at my accent, but it’ll make you warm.
    We American boys know how to use our words;
    like keys, turning, turning you on.
    These hands of mine are bruised and broken from years of work;
    but they can be gentle when the job demands.
    American boys know how to use their bodies;
    and, darling, I know how to use yours!

    CHORUS

    Tonight’s love song is for Marceline from Adventure Time. (Score! 10 more campy points!) We almost never watch T.V. at CI (we are too busy writing songs for you beauties); but if we do, it’s Adventure Time or The Regular Show. The music on both shows is ingenious in that it takes common structures, with simple hooks, and pairs them with odd lyrics. They all are instantly stuck in my head. It was a wonderful challenge writing lyrics that are intentionally awkward for this song. Fans of the show will revel in the references and recognize some language (i.e. “emotionally exhausting”). I truly believe if Marceline was real, she’d be the perfect woman; my lyrics explain why. I went for short and sweet with this—just like the tunes in the show. I apologize for all the white noise; the only way to record my Beemo (pictured here) singing b-l-o-o-d was with the mic turned up too loud. I devote this song to Marceline at—marceline-the-queen, marceline-your-vampire-queen, and je-marceline—and to these blogs with great Adventure Time content: adventuretimefan, dettsu, itsliketotallyadventuretime, fyeahadventuretimefanart, adventuretimeconfessions, merryadventuring, and shadowofmefisto. Thank you for the inspiration, bloggers! This song can also be found on YouTube here; free downloads here; and, if you like it, share it! If people really enjoy it, then I may write more songs based on the Land of Ooo. If you have any requests/ideas, message me! — K.C.

         Marceline, Be My Vampire Queen (Part 1)

    Oh, Marceline, be my Vampire Queen;
    it will be emotionally exhausting
    but worth it.

    You may be the only shot I have at love;
    you may be the only one who values the red of my blood.
    And Finn can have Bubblegum—I hate pink, and I hate sweet.
    I want a dark woman who plays electric bass.
    And you may be 1,000 years old, but you’re emotionally unstable like a teen (like me):
    your fry song made me cry for weeks.
    I know about Hambo, I know you feel love.
    And my love only comes in shades of red;
    I’ve got so much, you’ll never be hungry again.

    CHORUS

    "Jake Suit" by davidthejoyner

    When I saw this animation from davidthejoyner today, I instantly thought of the words to this song. This battle cry should be sung every time Finn wears his Jake Suit! Absurd? Yes. But it has a trumpet part! I dedicate this to davidthejoyner for first inspiring me and to Finn at finn-theheroguy for his encouraging words and Finn at askadventurerfinn. If there are any other artists/AT fans out there who have ideas for songs, share them with me. I’m actually learning a lot working on these small tunes (I wrote one for LSP today, too), so I’d like to do more. — Kavalier

         Finn the Barrel-Chested

    He’s Finn the Barrel-Chested!
    He wields a sword; yes, he does!
    He’s Finn the Barrel-Chested!
    He fights for good; yes, he does!

    This is the CI process at its best: I started the week writing a song for a cartoon vampire (the lovely Marceline), and the conversations with bloggers that ensued pushed me down an existential rabbit hole. What would it really be like to love a vampire? Hence, this song. My followers will note this is darker/more serious than most of my work; well, I’d like to have a huge arching career that ends with decades of Leonard Cohen-like music-making (i.e. poetry-level lyricism). We only dream the biggest dreams around here! I devote this tune to these awesome vampire blogs—reasoningwithvampires and fuck-yeah-vampires—and to these Blade Runner blogs—fuckyeahbladerunner, 1187hunterwasser, and fuckyesbladerunner. Whoa, how did I jump from vampires to Blade Runner? Because that film (and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) are dealing with the same question I am in this song: what is mortality? And my song’s title and the lyrics in the chorus are inspired by this classic moment in the film. So, what would you say if someone you loved offered the opportunity to live with them forever? Here’s my answer. — Kavalier

         Bright Flame

    When you offered me your kiss, it was hard to say no.
    I’d like to stay here with you, leave death’s shadow.
    But I know I love you because I can’t forever.
    I know I want to hold you because my time is short.
    My flame burns bright; yours burns slow and low.

    You’ve seen so many years, time has no meaning.
    But now you’re diluted, there’s no feeling.
    REFRAIN, CHORUS

    You can’t love me as I love you;
    you’ll find another a thousand times over.
    REFRAIN, CHORUS

    Today’s post is for Mitch Welling at flatsound. When CI first got spotlighted a few weeks ago, I checked out most of the featured musicians. And I was horribly underwhelmed—not by the quality of the music (subjectively, I think most is superb, or at least different); no, I was underwhelmed by the amount of audio content. Of course, with CI’s post-a-day goal, I judge quantity as well as quality. And I think that’s fair; too few music blogs are posting enough music to warrant following. But then I found Mitch and his original and real sound project. When he isn’t putting up engaging songs/sound experiments, he’s posting about the process or himself. I, for one, find knowing a bit about the person adds to the listening experience. Followers, you all need to check his work out. It was a real honor to write this for Mitch. I just stared at his blog until this song idea came to me; I borrowed his ever-present theme of drowning, and I aimed for his lo-fi sound. I don’t run on cassettes, sadly, so I had to use the lo-fi effect on my Tascam, which is very harsh. Still, I like the way it turned out. Enjoy everyone, and keep listening. — Kavalier

         sorry and drowning in a puddle

    when you said you weren’t coming back,
    i chased you out that door.
    i slipped a fell face first in the mud
    and swallowed that word, that sorry word.
    i was stupid to let you leave,
    and i’m too stupid to lift my head and breathe.

    what a sad way to go.

    it’s funny what you think of
    when choking on life.
    do you know you left your favorite coat
    in the closet upstairs?
    next to that christmas sweater you got me—
    the one I never wear.
    and i’m too stupid to lift my head and breathe.

    what a sad way to go.

    Tonight’s song is in response to a special request from Lydia over at find-the-light-in-the-darkness. She asked that I write a song about tattoos and challenged me to give it some jazzy edges. I spent Sunday morning reading up on basic jazz theory and came up with solid chord progressions/riffs. But I really wanted to push it on the vocals—take jazz-like risks. I managed it, especially as the song fades out with layered vocal tracks. And now I’m super grateful for Lydia’s request because I feel I’ve knocked down a mental roadblock I had about my own voice; I didn’t know I could sing a song like this, and now I do. Now, if I only knew a drummer with some brushes…This song is devoted to Lydia and, because of the extended inky metaphor in the lyrics, I’m also devoting it to these great tattoo content blogs: notattoosdienaked, fyeahtattoos, tattoos, fuckyeahtinytattoos, and tattoosong. Enjoy everyone! — Kavalier

         Tattoo

    I’ve been looking for a girl to give my ink—
    a woman just like you.

    I’d like to make you permanent,
    etch your name deep in my skin.
    Mark me, sugar, brand me as yours,
    'cause that's what I is.

    Baby, I’d like to give you my ink,
    cover you from head to toe.
    I’d like to make a tattoo out of you.
    Oh, live with me until I die.

    CHORUS

    Most things aren’t meant to last:
    bonds break and knots fray.
    But this promise I make won’t be erased.
    I’d like to make a tattoo out of you.

    Tonight’s tune is for JP over at lowfield. I recently found his blog where he posts some original audio. I’m always a fan of such initiative, but in this case, I’m even a fan of the music. We had a brief dialogue the other day and agreed to do a song swap. My man Elijah Cash has been working on this song we’re posting now for weeks (this is one of about six versions); we’re envisioning this—or some variant of it—to be the title track for his next album. It’s about not being afraid to create anymore, and not being afraid to share your creations. I encourage all my followers to let their inner giant wake up, but especially you, JP. Keep making music—and don’t be afraid to get loud. — K.C.

         Sleeping Giant

    I’ve been swallowing who I am
    all this time, all this time.
    I’ve been short on my fire and my pride,
    all this time, all this time.

    Well there’s a rumbling, a stirring growing loud:
    a sound, a volume that just wants out;
    and I’m about to let it out.

    I’m a mountain, a volcano,
    and I’m about to explode.
    I’m a new born baby’s cry;
    and I’m the rattle you’ll hear when you die.

    CHORUS

    I contain a sleeping giant,
    and I’m about to let him out.

    CHORUS

    After reading The Picture of Dorian Gray, it is difficult to grasp what Oscar Wilde’s true feelings on aestheticism and Hedonism were; he was likely uncertain himself. Given Dorian’s tragic death, I want to say Wilde doubted the idea of a life of vice and art for art’s sake; but in the preface to the book, he writes gems like “no artist desires to prove anything.” Whether Wilde truly agreed with the sentiments in the preface or not, they are self-defeating. To say artists are not trying to prove anything is, in fact, a claim that demands proving; this is an inescapable catch-22 that aesthetes cannot conquer. And yet, maybe Wilde attempted such a conquering with his novel; by having characters tout so many counter-intuitive philosophies simultaneously, readers are left wondering what the moral is—which is, in some ways, the same as there being none whatsoever. It seems as if the book proves nothing. Except I do feel a point in the story because while my head wonders, my heart knows: Dorian’s life and death are tragic things. Tonight’s song is an audio rebuttal to many sentiments in Dorian Gray. I believe in didactic art, art that has a point. I am always making a point when I create. Always. Now, I do not claim my view is right (I’m doubtful there even is such a thing as right and wrong); rather, I want to prove that my view/idea/emotion merely is—that it exists—and, in existing, is valid. The best part of this creation is that the lyrics make a point about making a point, thus achieving a double whammy of an up-yours to aesthetes. I dedicate this post to these great blogs with Oscar Wilde/book content: fuckyeahoscarwilde, oscarwildeassembly, owildeapproves, and fitzfaustus. This was fun, so if you listeners have any other pieces of fiction that you’d like to hear a song about, make a request! — Kavalier

         The Song of Dorian Gray

    Lord Henry certainly is a fascinating fellow,
    with his mouth full of Hedon’s jello
    and endless chatter about pleasing the senses.
    And narcissist, you soaked it up:
    every word of that yellow-covered book.
    Now you’re against nature,
    and it’s against you.

    Dorian, you Faustian devil,
    Sibyl’s death was not a one act play;
    and it was you, not the knife
    who took Basil’s life away.

    The point is, you can’t escape blame.
    The world doesn’t happen to you;
    you happen to the world
    and everyone around you.
    We aren’t objects;
    we aren’t just stones.
    We are a living, breathing,
    destiny shaping gods on thrones.

    The choice is you,
    you are what you choose.
    If there’s no point to what you do
    then, Dorian, why do
    anything?

    This was the fourth song written in the CI studio last Friday; it was a very productive day that ended with Eli suddenly, furiously belting out this tune. The recording is raw because, per usual, I can’t get the man to sit down for longer than one take. It’s about that woman again—the woman who got away. You can read about her and his quest to find her in the description to Eli’s first album, here. Tonight’s track is devoted to these cool/interesting blogs we found searching #blues and #snake: girlvsthecynic, jake-blues, snakepeople (so wonderfully weird), fuckyeahsnakes, and s-n-a-k-e. Check them out! We’re dropping this post quick tonight; Eli and I had a dozen good song ideas today and got some great requests from followers, so we need to get to writing. Here’s to another four song night! Enjoy everyone. And, if you do, share it. — K.C.

         Cold Blooded Snake

    Why’d you leave? Was it for another man?
    Did he treat you right in ways I can’t?
    And now you’re back and expect me to let you in
    to the void you made when you left.

    You’re as cold blooded as a snake
    if you think I didn’t mourn your loss.
    But I’ve been better off
    since you’ve been gone,
    you snake, you snake.

    And you dare think that you can just slink
    back into this warm bed.
    But I remember you, all of you,
    that means the good and the bad.

    CHORUS

    You can take your venom elsewhere.
    I don’t want to buy what you sell.
    And if the choice is between you or living slow,
    I choose to skip your poison and die alone.

    CHORUS

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