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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  • Tonight’s post is for the gamer girl at insanelygaming. Mallory’s blog shares wonderful video game images and music, including artsy and funny interpretations of classic gaming themes. Seeing her posts make me remember a not-so-distant past when I feverishly gamed. I smile every time I see an image of Ash Ketchum on her blog. One of my all-time favorite games is the Blue Version of Pokémon for Gameboy. I love that game for the same reason I enjoy a lot of minimalistic music; it is so simple to understand and play, yet profoundly imaginative. I wrote this song today for Mallory because her blog made me remember the good times I had playing that game. When I was a boy, the thought of a girl who played video games seemed more mythological and magical than dragons. So, this song posits a ridiculous way I could get Mallory in my life if I lived in the world of Pokémon, using a Ditto. I think anyone can enjoy this tune, but aficionados of the first-generation Pokémon games will revel in the references (I hope the intro/solo is recognizable). Free downloads of this song can be found here, and you can stream it on YouTube here. — Kavalier Calm

         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

    I wrote this song years ago, before the CI project began—before I was smart enough to realize I wanted to write songs every day. It was written for an old roommate, George, after the real scene detailed in the intro took place. Because this song is about finding love—filling your life with light—I devote it to these blogs: bby-leen and itswhatourheartsareallmadeof (for good thoughts on love in general), temporarynostalgia (because your blog is beautiful and because I want to tell you that you don’t have to wait to find him), onbeingcheesyandpathetic (because that’s what this song is being, really), and lastly to commutermusic (because of your blog’s originality!).  Enjoy everyone! — K.C.

         Do I Need A Lamp?

    George, you need a light
    but not the bulbed kind.
    Don’t just get a lamp at Wal-mart
    because it’s discount priced.
    You need a lantern lady
    to brighten up your days.

    You’ll see soon enough,
    you’ll see in the dark.
    If you find a girl of
    one million watts.
    You need a lantern lady
    to brighten up your days.

    Don’t hesitate, don’t wait,
    everyone is looking.
    And it won’t be long
    until all the good lights are taken.
    Find a lantern lady
    to brighten up your days.

    Come on everyone,
    let’s shed our light on each other.
    We don’t need lamps
    made in factories in China.

    Come on everyone,
    shed your light.

    Today’s song is for Stephanie over at stephanieisadork. She answered my song request post by suggesting that I write a song about:

    How your bed can be so lonely, yet so comforting, at the same time.

    I liked this suggestion, so I checked out her blog, and I found a poem that she wrote. With her permission, I used much of the language from this poem to shape the lyrics for this song. I managed to combine her poem and the heart of her suggestion into a single tune. This was a wonderful exercise for me because I am a poet first; I originally picked up a guitar to give something extra to some of my poems, some poems that were begging to be sung. If any other poets out there would like to collaborate with me to turn their verses into a song, then please contact me. I also devote this song to some other great blogs I found that are about sleep, poetry, music, or all three: hipsterssleeping, loveletmesleep, sleep-and-poetry, and thetidalsleep. Enjoy everyone, and thanks for the inspiration, Stephanie! — K.C.

         Waking Up

    There is a time to witness the morning,
    to hear the sun wake up
    to see the wind erase the night’s mistakes,
    to smell the sky turning into a blue giant.

    There is a time
    to relive the dreams or nightmares
    soon to be locked away in your head
    in a drawer with a lost key.

    And we roll over, burrow down into
    pillows and sheets to hold onto this time.

    There is a time
    before time and space and theories
    catch up to us—
    when anything is possible,
    when we are greater than the sum of our parts.

    There is a time
    when everything is written
    by one hand,
    a sameness uniting
    the flawed and the perfect.

    CHORUS

    Zombies, sex, and a beautiful face are the three topics for this rock song. When I hinted to Bella over at elusivezombie that I wanted to write her a song, I asked which of those three topics I should focus on. She said, “I dislike restricting artists.” What a lovely answer. Thus, I thought up a way to write about all three. I imagined seeing Bella in a coffee shop and what type of story it would take to get her to come home with me. The one in the lyrics just might work. Her only request was distortion, and I gave her heaps of it. I took snippets of language from her poetic blog, like “cozy lies,” “teeky,” and the idea of love-making as a “flow.” Bella, thank you for the inspiration. This post is also devoted to i-heartzombies (who requested a zombie song just last night), to zombiepussyliquor and zombieslaughter (hot zombie lovers like Bella), and to nixombie, zombie-island, and zombiemania (good zombie content blogs)!! When I started this songwriting project, I didn’t know I’d write a zombie-based love song, let alone two. Maybe there will be more? If you want to hear the first one, also, go here. — K.C.

         Cozy Lies

    You are sipping on coffee
    and reading a book on the films of George A. Romero.
    I study your face like it is the first I’ve ever seen,
    with dark eyes like windows,
    and dark curls like frames.

    And I know you are my muse.
    And I know I have to have you,
    and to get you, I’ll tell cozy lies.

    I sit down and tell you I have a secret.
    You humor me and look up from your book.
    I tell you I work in a lab,
    a medical lab, and tomorrow is our big day,
    when we release the virus, a zombie virus,
    and infect the whole population.
    Your eyebrows raise and you cover your mouth
    with your hand all in mock surprise.

    CHORUS

    You are too beautiful to suffer this fate, I exclaim.
    I have the vaccine, and you’re the only one I want to save.
    I have the vaccine, and it’s back in my room, hidden under my bed.
    Come with me, and I’ll give it you; I’ll give you all I have.

    So we teeky back to my room,
    and I give you the cure right there on my bed,
    all the cure I’ve got, until you feel far from dead.
    Until we flow, flow together, and feel far from dead.
    And we lay, cozy and living out my lie.

    Home. Clementine said she wrote this song because she feels “in between homes—sort of unmoored.” As I detail in her bio, Clem is working for a traveling circus; the desire to settle, to “come home,” is growing in her. This song is generally devoted to anyone who has this feeling. Specifically, it is devoted to these blogs about homesmyidealhome and yourdreamhome—and these blogs with great love content: bringhappinesstome, babyhush, daisydukes-, these-things-i-love. Enjoy everyone! — K.C.

         Home

    Someone once said, “Home is where they take you in,”
    and I like the sound of that, I do.
    But I don’t wanna go someplace I’ve already been;
    I want to be home for someone, for you.

    Yeah, I wanna be your coffee in the morning.
    I wanna be your kiss goodnight.
    I wanna be your pajamas, your picture
    on the refrigerator door.
    I want to be what feels right.

    I’ve seen it written: “Home is where the heart is.”
    A little sweet for me, but sounds about right.
    Learning how to belong doesn’t take much thought;
    your head shouldn’t put up a hell of a fight.

    CHORUS

    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.

    Tonight’s song was inspired by this compelling photo taken by jorejanus. I went effect heavy for this song (out of character); I wanted wet, thick, and drippy distortion. It just seemed right for that rusty car and that beauty’s rusty hair. This is the CI project’s second collaboration with this photographer; our first can be seen/heard here. I would love to try this with some other photographers’ work; if you have a photo that you think could inspire a song, message me. Enjoy everyone. — K.C.

         Cops and Their Cars

    When the cops showed up,
    we ran down the hill—
    away from the fire and music,
    towards new thrills.

    It was:
    cops and their cars,
    dogs and their yards,
    you and my heart.

    When we found that junkyard
    and heard the barks of a dozen dogs,
    I said we should run,
    but you put your hand on my arm.

    The dogs came close and played at your skirts;
    you whistled to them, and they didn’t make a noise.
    You laughed and sat on the hood of a car;
    the rust matched the red in your hair,
    and the red fire burning at my core.

    CHORUS

    When the junkman came at dawn,
    we ran with the wind,
    we ran with the dogs.
    We made a home in the woods—
    just us, our pets, and our love.

    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.

    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

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