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

    Tonight’s inspiration comes from two main sources. Firstly, Leonard Cohen in general is a constant inspiration; he is one of the few musicians who operates as a poet first, which is my aim. He doesn’t have a personal blog, so I will thank Hannah over at fuckyeahmrleonardcohen for posting great Cohen content. Secondly, I’ll thank the blogger at s-p-r-i-n-g- for posting warm and sunny images. I found this blog on my phone while I waited in the freezing cold for the bus this morning. While looking at it, my head started piecing together these lyrics. Enjoy!

         Spring nights

    Those spring nights are lost; and this winter is long.
    But I won’t forget your warmth.
    No, I won’t forget

    When you loved me on those spring nights
    I almost knew why I’m here.
    I tried to grasp the truth like water,
    but my fingers only found your hair—
    and that was good enough.

    CHORUS

    When you loved me on those spring nights
    I whispered away my pain.
    Too quiet for you to hear the words,
    but loud enough to hear their meaning.
    I wanted you to respond, but you only smiled—
    and that was good enough.

    CHORUS

    When you loved me on those springs nights
    I confused the humid air with lust.
    We were a spark, and we were fire itself.
    I sank in the steam, willing to drown,
    but I floated to the surface on your body—
    and that was good enough.

    CHORUS

    Today’s tune is for Alejandra and her sketchmyvibe blog. Great inspiring images of youth, living, and dark beauty. My song is in response to an image of graffiti she reblogged that reads: “Every living creature dies alone.” Song’s short and sweet. Enjoy!

         Don’t let go

    If every single living creature
    is cursed to die alone,
    Better find someone,
    grab ahold of them,
    and don’t let go.

    We can’t know what’s next,
    but I’m sure it’s cold and dark.
    You got to make sure your days here
    are bright and warm.

    Darlin’, I know your scared
    of what comes next,
    but that’s no reason
    to not make the best…

    of the time we’ve got here.

    Let’s stand up to fate,
    wear a smile on our face.
    Laugh at what’s cruel,
    and forget all that’s sour.

    If every single living creature
    is cursed to die alone,
    Just grab ahold of me
    and, darlin’, don’t let go.

    Tonight’s song is about a gypsy, and I devote it to two neo-Bohemian bloggers: bohemian-tea-party and givemeaburger. Both blogs host images of natural beauty that a minimalist like me can’t get enough of. Thanks for the inspiration, ladies, and enjoy the tune!  

         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

    This post is for Eleni over at jackmegwhite, who writes: “I love Music, Jack White and Whiskey.” Those are three of my favorite things, too, so I’ll imagine she’s my girl behind the bar. In this narrative blues tune, I twist and make new the story of Robert Johnson selling his soul to the devil to learn to play the guitar; instead, the speaker in my song sells his soul to Jesus in exchange for a woman’s love. Enjoy!

         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. X2

    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.

    This song is for Alex over at strawberriesandcigars. I like her blog, her taste in music, and her smile. This is a simple tune full of complicated feelings. Enjoy!

         Wonder

    Well, I’ve never met a girl quite like you before.
    You ain’t so tall, but you’re sharp and a bit unusual,
    and I’m beginning to like that you never say what I expect:
    the same old fluff about love eternal and how the heart never forgets.

    And I don’t know who hurt you but, Lord, praise him
    because your heart’s in two beautiful pieces; won’t you let me heal it?
    And if you say I’m not your type, I would agree with that.
    But your type’s never done so well in the past, so why not give mine a chance?

    And I bet you wonder why I wonder…X 2

    What it would be like to love a girl like you.
    One who ain’t so tall but stands so tall she fills the room.
    A girl so strong, she makes me quake with fear;
    a girl so far gone, I ain’t even sure if she’s here.

    And I bet you wonder why I wonder…X 2

    Tonight’s post was inspired by the blogger over at amourdemivida. When I found this blog yesterday, I went delving into its archive; it’s full of wonderful images of love and thoughts about love. The blog’s main title is “Amar es un Verbo.” Such a simple statement, but so true. I think sometimes people think of love as some static thing—an object waiting to be found. But really it is an action, something we each have to do, to make. This should be liberating, really, for all those blindly searching, hoping they’ll just stumble upon it one day. They only need to find someone else who’s ready to do the work, take the necessary actions, and live the verb—a much easier task. Thanks for the inspiration and enjoy!

         Love is a verb

    Love is not just a word.
    No, it’s a verb,
    and I want you to act like you want to be in it with me.

    Love is a fuel,
    it make me move.
    And I’d like to move you with it.

    And I refuse to love anyone else but you;
    so, Darlin’, you better start lovin’ me.

    Love is not just a dream.
    No, it’s built on sweat and tears,
    and you aren’t putting in the work that I am.

    Love is not lazy.
    No, it should fill you with a fire.
    And it’s crazy how you’re treating me.

    CHORUS

    Love’s not just a thing to throw away.
    No, it’s a treasure chest,
    and it’s time to get into it.

    Plunder, what we got between us,
    and I know you’ll be pleased with
    everything I’ve got to offer.

    CHORUS

    Team Coco — Today’s song is for Conan O’Brien and everyone else on Team Coco. Conan’s been a constant source of inspiration in my life, as there is no fuel that burns hotter than laughter, and few people make me laugh more than him. This song is devoted to the six best Conan content blogs I’ve found; special thanks to you bloggers and fellow Coconuts for ideas/laughs: conangifs; conan4latenight; conan-confessions; simpleconanthings; conansfallonite; and conina. And, of course, check out teamcoco. Enjoy! — K.C.

         Team Coco

    Being on Team Coco is mighty fun.
    We’ve got a fiery 6’4” mascot.
    He tells his jokes on a certain spot
    right in front of The Basic Cable Band.

    Team Coco is the one for me,
    'cause in the year 2000,
    we’ll still be rocking.

    We don’t need NBC,
    'cause only old people still watch network TV,
    and old people don’t like masturbating bears,
    redheads, or horny manatees.

    CHORUS

    Andy Richter as a side-kick is one of a kind;
    Mort from Madagascar’s the only character I like.
    And sometimes I miss Joel,
    but I really miss that Asian man in a Speedo.

    CHORUS

    You better join Team Coco,
    or the Ginja Ninja will cut you down.
    Keep cool, my babies. Keep cool.

    Tonight’s post is for the charming dead slug Selina and her blog: f-i-r-e-b-o-l-t. A couple of new artists recently came to me with some song ideas. Good ideas. Big ideas. They aren’t ready to fully reveal themselves, but they agreed to let me post a demo we recorded the last time they were in the CI studio. That day, we stumbled onto Selina’s blog together; I enjoyed her hip-as-hell images, but they were excited Selina is a fan of the band Foals. They giddily told me about the dreamy, enveloping, soundscapes that are Foals songs—a style they aspire to. I’m becoming a fan quickly. Selina, this songs is posted for you and other Foals fans. Enjoy! — K.C.

         Mess

    This is it, I can tell.
    Arms ready to brace.
    And losing something so big
    leaves too much space.

    Can’t tell you what “it” is
    or how it should feel.
    And if we knew the rules,
    there’d be nothing to steal.

    Thought I knew how it worked,
    but you broke it apart.
    Let’s live in this mess,
    there’s nothing to fix.
    just start.

    I’m nothing much to see.
    Have dollars stashed,
    but when I watch you move,
    I wanna burn them to ash.

    Used to look straight ahead,
    one thing at a time.
    You’re everything at once,
    can’t see the old lines.

    CHORUS

    Tonight’s song is devoted to two cool blogs. The first is l-aeroport, which is full of wonderful images of airplanes and airports. I use the word wonderful literally here. Something about planes fills me with wonder; the physics can be explained to me a thousand times, but a little boy inside of me will always think it’s a bit magical. The second blog is madeforus, managed by a young English teacher, Celesté Marie. I approve of this blog’s content. Teacher, I’m hoping that you approve of the extended metaphor in these lyrics. You may notice that each line below isn’t even sung; some of the second verse was a casualty of the war that is my chaotic, ultra-fast recording (forgotten and swallowed). Enjoy! — K.C.

        Airplanes

    We must look like two airplanes about to crash from ground level.
    But we are miles apart—and we ain’t getting any closer.
    Yeah, we read all the same books,
    and listen to the same songs,
    but we ain’t got no interest in each other.

    Yeah, we both like flying solo.
    Yeah, we don’t need no co-pilot to go.

    I run a one man show; I’m used to taking off alone.
    You are a strong willed Captain of this vessel; you don’t want anyone to hold your hand.
    Everyone says we think the same way,
    and we finish each other’s sentences.
    But we don’t know what the sense is in needing another.

    CHORUS

    Tonight’s post is about a not-so-nice hipster girl. This is not about all hipsters; in general, I find hipsters to be kind. Plus, they have good taste in music, which is about all it takes to befriend the folks working at CI. But in every hipster crowd there is a character or three like the one in this song. If it all seems too mean—well, it’s self-defacing, too, trust me. This song is devoted to these blogs (and I have a sense that their bloggers are the good kind of hipster): death2hipsters, hipsterssssss, indie-indeed, indiebreakfast, and urbanindiebrownchick. Regular listeners of the CI project will note that this song is more coarse than usual; I am truly sorry if it offends anyone, but the music has a will of its own, and it will not be denied. I will probably re-record this soon with  distortion and a more punk-like driving rhythm. Enjoy! — K.C.

         Hipster Girl

    Who wears scarves in the summer and glasses without lenses?
    Only you and your friends who are too cool to know they ain’t cool,
    with their blogs, rescue cats, unwashed hair, and vegan food.
    You wield the word “obscure” like it’s a fucking trophy.
    And you like to say “you’ve probably never heard of it.”

    Well, I know two things you’ve never heard of;
    they’re called kindness and love.
    And hipster girl, of mine you are getting none.

    You have a state funded college education
    and a credit card or two paid off by mom and daddy.
    So tell me something, darling: how is that indie?

    CHORUS

    It’s no coincidence hipster and hypocrite
    have the same beginning.
    And did you know they have the same ending?
    An end of loneliness.

    CHORUS

    You know the best thing about this song, girl?
    Everyone who hears it is going to love it,
    and then it’s going to be mainstream to fucking hate you.

    This rock and roll song is about cats. Damn right. Cats. It all started when I mentally twisted the phrase curiosity killed the cat into contentment killed the cat. How can you be content? Don’t you want more, girl? Okay, so this song is really a metaphor about a woman. (No, not Cat Woman, though that’d be cool.) I can’t very well devote this to her, but I can devote it to cats. These are the best cat content blogs I’ve found: fuckyeahcats, postitkitties, meowwwzzzaaa, welovefatcats, cats-ondev, catswearingleashes,  I hope you all enjoy the song. And I hope your cats enjoy it, too! — K.C.  

         Content Kitty

    Contentment killed the cat;
    it wasn’t curiosity.
    And your happiness
    is killing me.

    Come here, kitty, kitty.

    Wipe that smile off your face;
    you don’t have everything you need
    if you don’t have me.

    Today’s song is for Spencer over at oldblueeyes. His blog’s content is genuine, funny, and thoughtful all at once. Since I first found his blog a few weeks ago, I have wanted to write him a song. But no inspiration was coming to me. So I broke the mold and went directly to Spencer—I asked him if anything in his life warranted a song. He said two things: the “silly” situation of his being a filing clerk for a major record label and that he had just had a nice romantic weekend in NYC. I told him I’d work on the filing clerk bit—as it seemed more unique—so he gave me some good details about his job (now in the lyrics). But after I puzzled out the verses late last night, they felt…empty. I needed to fill this filing clerk with a goal, a memory, a…something. So, that romantic weekend became the chorus. This was a pretty quick and dirty recording: the guitar parts are harsh (if I had money I’d get a nylon string with a pick-up), but I like how the second vocal track beefs it up a bit. Thanks for playing along, Spencer. I hope you and anyone else who listens enjoys! — K.C.

         Papercuts: The Life and Times of a Filing Clerk

    The smell of cardboard and paper is always stuck in your hair,
    and you buy extra strength lotion for those dried out hands,
    but you can’t (lotion won’t) heal that dried out soul.
    Papercuts are your prize; filing’s your goal.
    You alphabetize by title ‘til those cabinets are whole—
    whole, unlike you.

    And you daydream about the last time,
    the last time you were with someone;
    how you counted her breaths,
    and she counted yours.
    Oh, her skin didn’t cut; it healed.

    All the other temps are no consolation
    because they mirror all your lonely feelings.
    All those Johns and Jackies gasping for air,
    laughing hollow laughs, sucking on cut fingers
    to hide the blood that proves they are human.
    'Cause they ain't whole, just like you.

    CHORUS

    You pray for some distraction—a way to kill the time.
    You treat the mailman like a long, lost friend, and order pizza for the delivery guy.
    And when they have to leave, a part of you dies.
    You try and hold on, ignore that tension leaning towards the door:
    you tell one more bad joke, ask one more big question.
    You’re holding on to what you lost.

    CHORUS

    Today is a special day at CI. With this song we announce a new session artist at the project: Clementine. Clem’s got a big voice and an even bigger heart, both of which will be used heavily around here. We thought it best to make her official debut with this rockin’, racy piece. She wrote the lyrics, I wrote the guitar part, she made her lyrics fit, and then I made the mix. It’s pretty powerful for just three tracks, and it’s easy to imagine how beautiful it could be with a band. The magic of this is that we made it despite being a 1000+ miles apart (thank you, again, internet gods for email). Clementine works for a traveling circus, so we have to create on the sly, from afar. Her whole bio can and should be read on our Artists page. In honor of her coming to the scene, we devote this song to some awesome blogs with heavy doses of female power/rock content: fuckyeahfemalemusic, afuryofchicks, projectionofme, and strawberrylemonadedream. We hope everyone enjoys this tune because we promise many more in the near future. — K.C.  

         Be Quiet

    Don’t speak.
    Without words, only touch is left,
    And that can’t be faked.

    Be quiet to me
    Oh, please, oh
    Be quiet to me.
    Hush your mouth,
    Use it like this.

    Stand still.
    We’re easier to catch and keep
    in a trap of is bare skin.

    Don’t speak. Just shhh.
    Anything you could say now
    could wake us from the dream.

    CHORUS

    In silence like this
    everything pulses, booms and beats.
    Can’t mishear fingers, no.

    CHORUS  

    Tonight’s post is for all the Cinderellas in the world! Boys don’t often admit it, but just like girls would enjoy being swept off their feet by a prince, most boys would like to find a princess to do this for. This song realizes that impulse with a modern re-telling of the Cinderella story. It follows the classic story arch of unjust oppression/triumphant reward. I dedicate this song to these blogs with great Disney and princess content: deepdisneyconfessions, walter-disney, the-disney-difference, fuckyeahdisneyfanart, letterstodisney, disneyslove, and beliveindisneyforever.

         Cinderella, I Can Be Your Fella

    When the clock struck midnight,
    you ran out the door.
    You were in such a hurry,
    you left your coat at the bar.
    It wasn’t ‘til then
    I realized you came alone,
    and the key to finding you
    might be that coat.

    Oh, Cinderella,
    I can be your  fella,
    I can be your man.
    We can run away
    together, my queen,
    just take my hand.

    Well, we danced for hours,
    and I bought you a drink,
    and you told me
    you were paying your way,
    living as a maid
    with the ungrateful and rich,
    and you have an itch
    to just run away.

    CHORUS

    I remember your laugh,
    and I remember your walk,
    but I don’t remember
    where you said you’re from.
    So I’m gonna take your coat
    to every big house in town,
    and ask for the girl
    that cleans the rooms.

    Fans of this tune might like to know that this song will be a part of a larger album concept, which includes songs for Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and this one for Cinderella. Just send me a message if you’d like a heads up when the digital album is released. Oh, and this is the first project on CI to feature the banjo, played by Elijah Cash. Eli crashed at my place last week after a night of heavy drinking and gambling. He was missing his shirt—which he lost on a dice roll—but had this banjo—which he won on a dice roll. Now we all profit from his winnings. Enjoy! — K.C.

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