Kavalier Calm's Crowdsource Inspiration

Hi. I'm Kavalier Calm. I write songs and poems inspired by the people I meet on the internet. Ask, and I’ll write something for you. Really.
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  • I wrote this love song in response to this quote. Free downloads here. Much, much love. — Kavalier

         Nothing Left To Chase

    Every morning you have
    two choices:
    sleep with your dreams
    or wake and chase them.
    But now that you sleep in my bed,
    the choices are the same.
    You, darling, were my dream.
    I have nothing left to chase.

    They say somewhere over the rainbow
    is a pot of gold.
    But who needs gold
    when you have a rainbow?
    Now that you sleep in my bed,
    I can finally see.
    Why would I go hunt for more?
    I have all that I need.

    Now that you sleep in my bed,
    there’s no decisions left to make.
    Any time I can have with you
    I should clearly take.
    VERSE 1

    Im curious about how or why you started doing this, and even more, why tumblr? how you found tumblr and why you use it? idk :P

    I started CI because I love songwriting but need motivation to consistently work at it. Why on Tumblr, though? My kid sister showed me Tumblr one day, and I was instantly intrigued by the idea of micro-blogging. I decided it would be fun to focus a blog on songwriting because I noticed the Tumblrverse was very 2D (all photos and text), and it would be original to bring music to it. I also appreciated the Ask/Answer and messaging features. There’s a natural, collaborative community on Tumblr that makes it a good fit for CI. When I started the blog, I used to just post open asks about song concepts, and I relied on input from you lovely strangers to shape the songwriting process. In general not enough people responded, though, so I started just browsing through blogs until I was inspired. And then I’d surprise people with a song for them. Who doesn’t like surprises? By total accident, I dedicated a song to someone on Tumblr’s staff, and in response I was given the opportunity to spotlight my blog under /musicians. It was an honor, and I like to think I haven’t wasted it. I’m still eagerly bringing audio to Tumblr’s 2D environment (even if Tumblr doesn’t make audio posts very friendly for the user or consumer). Some days I don’t know if it is the best medium for my project, but I’m not sure where else I’d go. Plus, I like everyone here too much! — KC

    Tonight’s love song is based on some lovely words sent to me by Gemma at gemz16 and input from the bloggers at kcritchlow and sixfeetunderdreamin. At first, I thought I had to know what the girl in question had done wrong to write a song about her pain. But then I realized that sometimes we never find out what haunts the people we love. This song is about about being in that situation and trying to convince the person that you care about them. I devote this song to my contributors gemz16, kcritchlow, and sixfeetunderdreamin. I also devote this to Rebecca at brunettee-swag, who asked for a song like Bieber’s “Be Alright”. Well, I’m no Bieber, but this, in a way, is a song about how everything will be alright. Enjoy, friends. — K.C.

         Forget Your Pain

    I know a girl who sits alone as the rain pours in her mind.
    Her broken face is quite a picture, and I can’t help but wish she was mine.

    And she’s always holding back tears ‘cause of what she’s done,
    and every time she starts to run, I beg:
    Darlin’, won’t you forget your pain?

    She won’t talk about old love; I know she’s lost something beautiful.
    And I know she’s burnt down bridges, and I want to help her burn down her whole past.
    CHORUS

    Darlin’, won’t you forget your pain?
    I don’t care who you were, just who you are.
    Darlin’, won’t you forget your pain?
    I’ll love you and your scars.

    For this song, I used suggestions from three bloggers: pale-alice-bones sent me the beautiful, poetic line “a rose, a petal fallen from grace, to which the moonlight sighs and so she suffers”, which I slightly tweaked for the intro. The lyrics are also based on the language in her blog description and a message she sent to me stating she likes poetry and unusual combinations. This is the most subtle song I’ve written topically…can you guess what it’s about? I also used smashbrotherhood's suggestion “loop into the madness” and craftily slipped in/denied adoram's suggestion that I write a song about a medicine cabinet. I like the way it turned out for just an hour of work and a one-take recording. Thanks to everyone who played along. All the suggestions were great, and when I have more time, I may use the others. Enjoy, friends! — K.C.

         She Suffers

    I know a girl, a rose, a petal fallen from grace.
    And the moonlight sighs as she suffers fate.

    Handsome gentlemen make her weak.
    She thinks all their flowers pretty.
    And when she is mine, I try to find
    her innocence and her crime
    because she suffers,
    because she suffers fate.

    And all the shades of gray, and all the talk of right and wrong,
    help me draw the fault line between the world and us.
    And we keep on spinning, loop into the madness,
    but there’s no cure in the medicine cabinet
    CHORUS

    Two hours ago, I asked if any artists wanted to collaborate, and J at phartography answered:

    This sounds like fun, you should go to my soundcloud and just pick something. http://soundcloud.com/ihasded

    I dug his work, and got excited about the challenge of playing with dubstep/electronic/beats because I’m all about two-track, acoustic minimalism. We chatted, and he directed me to his song Junkpilot, in which he imagined someone traveling to space in a jerry-rigged ship that regularly malfunctions. After listening a few times, I knew I couldn’t sing with it, but I felt I could give it some poetry. Something about the adventure in J’s sound reminded me of my grandfather, and I hit record and just started talking. Somehow these words flowed out of me, improv, in one take. And it felt so right, like magic. Not only did the words come easy, but the timing was spot on (the lyrical topics fit the instrumental moment). Enjoy this, friends. And, please, check out J’s amazing work and blog. Support him like you support me. And J, thanks for letting me play with your sound. — K.C.

         Junkpilot

    Day 7.
    Outer space.
    Alone. And it’s wonderful.
    I remembered my grandfather today.
    He was a cowboy.
    And when I was a boy, I wanted to be just like him.
    I suppose being an astronaut is the next best thing.

    When I built this in the junk yard,
    I should have guessed that some things would break.
    I should have guessed that I would break.
    But there’s nothing a good kick can’t fix.
    Just like when grandfather used to hit the top of the T.V.
    to make the fuzz go away.
    Cowboy tricks work in space, too.

    Day 3156.
    I’m alone, and it’s wonderful.
    My ship, my vessel, my horse
    carries onward.
    No man has ever had a pony like this before.
    The universe is my oyster,
    and I’m greedy for its pearls.
    Grandfather would be proud
    that someone else lived the cowboy dream
    in an age when cowboys aren’t needed.

    Here’s song #2 in response to the requests I received last week in this post. It’s a song about going back to a high school reunion and trying to reconnect with an old flame. Reunions sound dreadful to me, but it made a good song topic. I stretched to fit in these disparate requests, but lyrical stretching in some ways makes for more believable stories. Real life is odd, after all. I devote this song to these bloggers for their great requests (which I likely answered in an unexpected way): im-a-real-hipster answered: “Write about graduating from middle school or high school, and how you’ll keep those people in your heart, but you know you have to move on”; listen91 answered: “A Green Hotel Room” (which made me think of Loudon Wainwright III’s Motel Blues); purplebloodedmajesty answered: “ MOTHMAN”; and smashbrotherhood answered: “Pirates and Lasers”. Some listeners have requested that I put up more videos of my playing, so if you want, you can watch me perform this song on YouTube here. Thanks for listening, friends, and please keep putting in requests. — Kavalier Calm

         Green Hotel Room

    When the invitation came I cringed,
    but I sent the RSVP “Yes”
    in hopes that I’d see you again.
    When they sat us down by last name,
    I knew you’d be right beside me,
    as you’d been from kindergarten to 12th grade.
    You said, “How’ve you been?”
    And I held back a grin;
    I was glad to have you in my sights again.
    We ignored the Class President’s speech,
    held our hands over our mouths
    to hide the laughing. And I knew I’d confess:
    I never fell out of love with you.

    Our old classmates addressed us as a pair;
    they remembered those cartoons we drew
    about The Mothman and Pirates and Lasers.
    They remembered we were class clowns,
    but they didn’t know that
    we got around when no one was looking.
    They didn’t know
    that my favorite thing to draw
    was you without your clothes on.
    You weren’t Best Smile, and I wasn’t Best Eyes;
    you weren’t Most Likely To Succeed,
    and neither was I. But I confess:
    I never fell out of love with you.

    "So listen
    I’ve got this green hotel room,
    and I’d like to remember you.
    Yeah, wait ‘til you see this place.
    I know you’ll think it’s funny.
    The green wall paper is right out of the 70s.
    Oh, you have a date.
    I thought you came alone.
    Oh, you have a husband, and you have two kids.
    Well, I was just kidding.
    Tricked you again just like old times.
    Yeah, the wall paper in my hotel room ain’t even green.”
    And I confess to nothing.

    Elijah Cash wrote a song for the good people at our favorite bar in Washington, DC: The Getaway. If you’re ever in DC, you should make a trip. Enjoy, listeners! — Kavalier

         The Getaway

    I know a place in Columbia Heights
    where everyone goes to get high.
    They pour your drinks nice and tall,
    so you can forget it all.

    At The Getaway, that’s just what we do.
    Come on, my friends, I want to get away with you.

    Some get away from their desk jobs;
    they’re tired of wearing a suit.
    They slave away all day
    for The Man in their cubes.
    Some get away from the bad news
    up on The Hill:
    Politics and back stabbings,
    white-collar cheap thrills.
    CHORUS

    Some get away from the loneliness
    filling up their mind.
    Once they have a drink,
    everything feels just fine.
    Well the gods of booze and a few good men
    built us this place,
    so we escape artists
    can get away.
    CHORUS

    This song answers a brilliant request from  kevinapocalypse at the great gaming blog theredherb. He suggested that I write a song for the true hero of early Resident Evil games: The Save Room. These rare rooms had a typewriter for saving and an inventory box for swapping items. After dealing with the undead chaos, these rooms felt like “sanctuaries” to him. He also noted the beautiful music in these rooms, which I listened to much this week and like to think affected my writing (I had about a dozen creepier riffs that didn’t make the cut for this). So, I always push a request’s envelope, right? I agree with him that these places are sanctuaries—as the room with a save point is in many games. But there is another side to the coin. Programmers don’t give us a save point to congratulate us for our hard work; it’s usually a sign that something very bad is about to happen. Thus, save rooms are sanctuaries, but they are also just the calm before the storm. I dedicate this song to theredherb and also to these rad RE blogs I’ve been following for some time: hellyesesidentevilseries, residentevil-fanart, girls-kill-zombies-deader, resievilfan, and f***yeahresidentevil. Free downloads of this track are available here. Enjoy RE fans and fellow-gamers! — Kavalier Calm

         The Calm Before The Storm

    Finally. A place to rest.
    You’ve pumped bullets into so many zombie heads
    you only have half a clip left
    and HP in the single-digits.
    The music here is soft,
    and you have the time to collect your thoughts,
    organize your items,
    and plan for what’s next.

    But don’t let your guard down.
    This safe place is not a prize
    for all those hard fights;
    it’s the calm before the storm.

    What do you think this ammo’s for?
    Why did the programmers let you save your state?
    Because a boss is just around the bend,
    ready to make you RESET.
    Did you think it would get easier?
    You’ve won a battle not the war.
    The undead are plotting their offensive
    right outside that door.

    So you better save, maybe in two slots.
    Grab all the ammunition you got.
    Leave that unused weapon behind,
    so you can carry all the herbs you find.
    'Cause it's coming, the final push;
    wave your calm goodbye.
    You won’t feel safe again,
    'til those final credits roll by.

    Elijah Cash just wrote this song because he’s playing at a bar tomorrow night and wants to sing something situationally appropriate. We devote this post to some cool blogs we just found that recently posted about #whiskey: novembersilence, 90s1hitwonder, imgur, arcticsounds, pulpfcknfiction, and therewillbebourbon. Enjoy listeners! Oh, and the first round’s on us. — K.C.

         Whiskey River

    When the week’s been long, and you just want to let go.
    There’s a drink that will make you feel right at home.

    Won’t you come and take a swim with me my friend?
    In whiskey river.

    If you’ve never been to a watering hole,
    I can teach you how to hold your own.
    The bite of fire water can make a man drown,
    but he’ll be smiling the whole way down.
    CHORUS

    You’ve got Jack, and you’ve got Jim, and you’ve got John Jameson.
    Serve it warm or on the rocks, I’ll take it any way you got.
    We’re all just one shot glass away
    from diving head first into whiskey haze.
    CHORUS

    An unavoidable side-effect of some of my work getting love is it also gets hate. I’m fine with criticism, mainly because I’m my biggest critic. I’m not very fond of sweeping and unexplained rude comments about my craft, though. And I admit I almost let a troll win recently; for a millisecond I doubted what I’m doing with CI, thought about throwing in the towel. But then I remembered the enormous support I’ve had from listeners so far. I felt guilty about my self-doubt and realized I had to combat the emotion and what caused it. So, I wrote a song for trolling trolls. Whenever someone trolls on my work, I’m going to share this YouTube link of me playing this song. I welcome you to do the same to the trolls in your life. This could be like rickrolling or trolololing for the good guys. I should clarify that I’m not opposed to all trolling; in fact, I enjoy and participate in the craft of witty, logic-based trolling. I’m against hate-based trolling, the kind that needlessly hurts feelings and adds ammunition to the people and companies trying to rob our right to anonymity on the internet. I dedicate this song to these Tumblr blogs with great trolling content: f***yeahtrollface, trollfacecomic, trollhatesyou, trolldadcomic, trollthisway, trollney, and foreveralonecomic. Downloads of this track are available here and on YouTube here. I hope others enjoy this and find it to be a useful counter-attack. — Kavalier Calm

         Troll

    Troll, I bet you were bullied in grade school:
    the kids laughed at your macaroni art.
    And now in the name of karma,
    you use the internet to spread your hurt.
    Well, two wrongs don’t make a right,
    and you hurt our right to anonymity.

    I bet you’re pushed around at work
    all day by some a-hole boss,
    and rather than stand up to him,
    you power trip on message boards.
    Your troll mother should have taught you:
    if you have nothing nice to say, shut up.

    Troll, you don’t like my song?
    Well, it wasn’t written for you.
    Shove that comment somewhere dark
    and find something better to do.

    And I know you’ve never been in love
    ‘cause you don’t know how to forgive flaws.
    You must get tired of being right all the time,
    as tired as everyone is of you.
    Well, haters gonna hate,
    and haters gonna be lonely.
    CHORUS

    And troll, don’t give up hope; we can still be friends
    if you learn to be nice and see the bright side of things.
    But if you insist to be glass half-empty, cold, cruel, and rude,
    then I only have one thing to say to you.
    CHORUS

    Tonight’s Final Fantasy-themed song—featuring FFIV’s Rydia, FFX’s Lulu, and FFIX’s Vivi—answers three great requests simultaneously. First, the blogger at blackmage-lulu asked me to give her favorite FF character some love, which I was glad to do. Next, the blogger at Xenite, who also manages the great gaming-music blog videogameosts, challenged me to write a song about FFIX. Vivi is one of my favorite characters ever, so I knew I wanted to write about him. Lastly, I asked the blogger at fyeahff to name another FF mage I could write about; I was unfamiliar with Rydia, so I enjoyed researching about her. After reading extensively about each character, I wrote this fictional tale about how they work together to save the day. Fans of these characters and games will appreciate the references. Free downloads of this song are here, and you can stream it on YouTube here. Thanks for the great requests, bloggers, and enjoy everyone! — Kavalier

         The Ice Cube Queen

    There once was a Queen who was cursed to a frozen tomb of ice
    when an evil, jealous witch rehearsed a spell out of spite.
    People came from all around to see The Ice Cube Queen
    and hear the King, from his royal edict read.
    The King wept at the loss of his love and promised half the royal jewels
    to any witch or wizard who could undo the curse and wash away his blues.

    The first witch to arrive was Rydia of the Mist.
    A summoner with black magic blood raised by Leviathan.
    She called upon Bahamut, Hallowed Father of Eidolons,
    But his Megaflare didn’t make that ice sweat one drop.
    CHORUS

    The next witch to give it a shot was Lulu, Queen of Voodoo,
    loved for her fur-lined dress and feared for her short fuse.
    She asked her cactuar puppet to cast 10,000 needles.
    But as those spines bounced off the ice, her attempt looked feeble.
    CHORUS

    The last wizard to appear was a Master Vivi.
    He tripped as he entered the throne room, and the King cried out hopelessly.
    But Vivi stood, straightened his hat, waved Lulu and Rydia close,
    and as he whispered in their ears, his black aura took over.
    They both grabbed his gloved hands and faced that giant cube,
    and as one they cast fire until a firaga grew.
    The heat melted the King’s gold throne and filled the room with steam.
    When it cleared, there in a puddle lay the queen.
    The King wept as he held his love, his one true royal jewel,
    and thanked the three for lifting the curse, and washing away his blues.

    Gamers, who is your favorite FF character?

    Reblogging the first #gaming song I wrote for CI—“Ditto”, a Poke-love-song—with one of the funnier comments inspired by my work yet, courtesy of the blogger at allpokemonallthetime. You can find the original post here, free downloads here, and stream it on YouTube here. Enjoy! — Kavalier Calm

    allpokemonallthetime:

    one day i will find a pokeboy and i will be his pokegirl and we will cosplay as ash and misty and go to a con and everyone will take our picture and say how cute we are and then he’ll teach me how to not write run-on sentences and i will be so thankful

          Ditto

    I’m tired of living a Blue Version life.
    Day after day, everything appears more wild.
    I’m gonna hang up my red cap, and quit the gyms
    ‘cause I got a plan to fill my life with love again.
    I’m gonna catch me a Ditto and have it read your website.
    And when it transforms into you, I’ll ask it to be my wife.

    Cause I don’t got to catch them all.
    I just got to catch one like you.

    We’ll settle down in Pallet Town, and I’ll build a bird house.
    Pidgeys will come from all around to play in our yard.
    We’ll grow Cut flowers in the garden and go Surf at the beach,
    and we’ll Fish with my Old Rod for Magikarp.
    We’ll go spelunking in caves with our Flash(lights),
    and Dig our escape from all those Zubats.
    CHORUS

    On days you don’t feel special, I’ll brew you elixirs
    to restore your PP (and your feelings for me).
    We’ll teach you how to swallow your laughter,
    so you don’t ever return to your true form.
    I’ll finally be a Master of a household.
    You’ll fill every page of my heart’s Pokédex.
    CHORUS

    (Source: thenintendard, via flaaffytaffy)

    The poet-blogger Ana at dreamwriteinspire put in a request last night that we write a song about getting through tough times in life. She said:

    The battle I can’t win easily is against myself.

    I know what this means all too well. I just came through a rough patch in my life, full of self-doubt, so I thought about this all day. I wrote these lyrics during work, sent them to Eli, and he came up with this in about 30 minutes. Sometimes we just have to tell that negative voice in our head to shut up. Life’s always hard, but we have to keep positive—have a glass half-full view, unlike our inner devils. Thanks for the request, Ana. Enjoy everyone! — K.C.

         Devil On Our Shoulder

    Some days I wake up smiling, and a voice in my head laughs.
    He clears his throat and recites the laundry list of problems I have.
    Other days I wake up sad, but that voice don’t take a rest.
    He stokes the fire with his big breaths of sorry, ‘til I wish I was dead.

    We all got a devil on our shoulder with a glass half-empty view.
    When you’re down, he wants to take you deeper. You know it’s true:
    Your worst enemy is you.

    If I like what I see in the mirror, he points out all of my flaws.
    And every time the sun is shining, he swears the rain’s about to fall.
    And every time someone does me a good deed, he wonders what’s in it for them.
    Every time I pat myself on the back, he reminds me of all my sin.
    CHORUS

    I’ll tell you what to do:
    Grab that devil and scream in his ear,
    "Devil, I’m sick of you living on my lapel. Shut your mouth and go to hell.
    Life is good and so am I, and I plan to have a damn good time.”

    When I first played Final Fantasy VII as a 13-year-old, a part of me really did love Tifa. She was tough and smart, and she really cared for Cloud. I remember envying Cloud during that flashback with he and Tifa sitting by the well in Nibelheim. I wanted a girl to ask me to be her hero. I think most boys have the heroic capacity; we are all just waiting for a girl to ask. But Cloud blew it! When he first sees Tifa again in Midgar, he is distant and acts like he’s too cool. Well, this song’s lyrics are what Cloud should have said—what I would have said if I found my childhood love working in a bar in the Sector 7 Slums. True fans of this classic will catch all the lyrical references and recognize the bits of music I borrowed from the game for the intro and outro. And don’t miss the chocobo’s wark!  I devote this song to the many awesome Tifa/FF7 blogs I read during my research: awyeahtifa, nibelheimsweetheart, lockhartsenpai, barmaid-tifalockhart, sweettifalockhart, badass-barmaid, finalheaven, cloudxtifa, clotiheaven, victoryfanfare, finalfantasyviiforever, a-false-memory, and just-use-a-phoenix-down. Thanks for the inspiration, bloggers! Free downloads of this track are here, and you can stream it/follow us on YouTube here. Enjoy everyone! — Kavalier Calm

         Final Heaven

    Tifa, a girl like you don’t belong in a place like Midgar.
    Don’t you know the ceiling is going to fall in on this bar?
    Run away with me, and I’ll take you to Costa del Sol and Gold Saucer.
    Oh, if you want, we can start a chocobo farm.

    Tifa, darling, how long you gonna work this dive?
    I can give you a better life.
    I can be your cloud, your cloud 9, your lucky number 7.
    I can be your final heaven.

    I know you’re tough as nails and pack quite a punch.
    But Shinra’s gonna come down hard on Sector 7 and AVALANCHE.
    I want you to look into my mako eyes and know the truth:
    I’ll use this here Buster Sword to protect you.
    CHORUS
    I’ve reached my limit, so here comes the break.

    Don’t tell me I lost my chance; I was just a boy when we sat by that well.
    I want to make good on the promise I made beneath those stars.
    I’m your hero, and I’m here to rescue you, Lockhart.
    I’ll do everything in my power to care for your premium heart.
    CHORUS

    Question to the Listeners: Are you a bigger Tifa or Aerith fan?

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