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

    Be Your Muse — Today’s song is for Nicole over at louisebread, who asked:

    What’s something realistic I can draw?

    Last time someone suggested a baby elephant, and apparently everyone loved it :)

    I trust you guys, so any ideas?

    When Eli read this question, he turned to me and said: “If I knew a girl who could draw, I’d want her to draw me.” We both nodded to this, and I kept nodding as Eli picked up his guitar and slide. Enjoy the tune, Nicole, and thanks for the inspiration! — K.C.

          Be Your Muse

    Well, you’ve been showing me your sketches for years,
    and I remember each and every one.
    Them tattos, that baby elephant,
    and them racy ones you’d never show your mom.
    And you ask me what should be next,
    and I think something real:

    Something like me.
    And the way I feel about you;
    Yeah, darlin’,
    I’d like to be your muse.

    I’d like to watch the way
    you hold a pencil,
    and the chh, chh, chh it makes
    as it glides across the page.
    I’d like the watch the way you bite your lip
    as you focus on me.
    So, when you ask what should be next,
    I think something real:

    Something like me.
    And the way I feel about you;
    'Cause, baby,
    I’d like to be your muse.

    And, darlin’,
    you’re getting good.
    You got a sense of light and shading
    that most never could.
    But somehow you’ve missed the light that’s in my eyes
    everytime I look at you.

    Baby, I want to be your muse.

    Eli and I have decided to find devotees for his album tracks to help spread the word about Lonely, Hungry, & Throat Exposed. It’s the only way he’s going to find his lost love. For this special tune, Eli told me to find someone that knows about the beauty of trains or knows the pain of being cheated on. I was getting sick to my stomach reading all the bad posts about infidelity on Tumblr (searching the tag “cheater” is not recommended; bad vibe alert!), so I hunted for someone who knows trains and found this awesome blog—rageonrails—run by a Belgian train driver who posts images of trains tagged with graffiti (and has good taste in music). We are grateful for the images and so devote this song to you. Enjoy! — K.C.

    Tonight’s posting is for the blogger over at billygayvegan. For weeks, Eli and I have enjoyed this blog’s rock and blues-centric images. And then this post just came up:

    I really want something new.

    Here’s something new for you, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy your blog. The lyrics are based off an image of words that has been floating around the Tumblrverse lately: “Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. Yes is the answer.”

    And remember listeners. Eli’s only going to find his lost love if you share his music. It’s the only way she’ll know he’s looking. Your help is priceless to us. — K.C.

    Silent Sister — Tonight’s song is for sisters, especially little sisters. And it’s for big brothers, too. I can’t be the only big brother that has felt this way about watching my sisters grow up. In general, it’s sad how siblings grow distant as they age, considering how close they were when they were younger. That closeness—based purely on common experience—is so rare, too rare to just give up. This song voices a hope for keeping close. Enjoy! — K.C.

         Silent Sister

    It’s true what they say,
    nothing runs thicker than blood.
    We stole cookies from the jar together—
    and never told anyone—not even Mom.
    I taught you how to tie your shoes
    and took the training wheels off your bike.
    So I just have one request—
    don’t go silent.

    Don’t go silent on me, sister.
    I’ve always been there for you.
    Other boys may come along,
    but they don’t know you like I do.

    When you had a nightmare,
    I’d talk to you until you fell back asleep.
    I gave you rides to parties,
    and I bought you your first drink.
    And the first time a boy made you cry,
    I said it was his loss—and meant it.
    So I just have one request—
    don’t go silent.

    CHORUS

    Now, this other boy who’s come along,
    you tell me you’ve given him your heart.
    He understands, and he makes you laugh,
    and he’s patching up all your hurt.
    But I was first, yes, I was there,
    when you became you.
    So I just have one request—
    don’t go silent.

    CHORUS

    Tonight’s tune is for the self-declared “ordinary girl” over at suckkss. I started following this blog the other day for its quality image content, and then to my surprise, I got a message from the blogger—she approved of the CI project’s intent. I don’t know if she wanted to be the next muse, but I always assume the best; so I interrogated for details about her life—the wonderful details in the lyrics of this song—and despite all these things, she still described herself as ordinary. Well, call yourself what you may; but if you’re ordinary, then ordinary’s just what I need. Enjoy and thanks for the inspiration! — K.C.

         Ordinary

    When we met, you were tapping your toe in brand new boots.
    You told me you love the cold, and I wanted to touch your red lipstick.
    I could tell you were strong and kind, cause you gave me a chance.

    And I knew you were no Plain Jane,
    but you said, “I’m an ordinary girl, just like the rest.”
    But if you’re ordinary, then that’s just what I need.

    I picked you up at your place and saw you smile in the mirror on your way out the door.
    And we went for burgers and saw Breakfast at Tiffany’s at that drive-in theatre.
    And as our first date ended, I felt you shudder when I kissed your forehead.

    CHORUS

    And I like that smile, even when it’s  fake.
    Good intentions are behind every word you say,
    and now I intend to be good, too.
    Whatever it takes to be with a girl like you.

    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.

    This post is for Megan at megandear. Found her blog by accident and was struck by her humor and unique bio (a girl who likes horror movies and video games!?) And those eyes. I couldn’t figure out if they were green or blue, but I enjoyed studying her pictures trying to figure it out. I know I’m not the only one to imagine surviving a zombie apocalypse; but I might be the first to turn the situation into a love song. Enjoy, Megan, and thanks for the inspiration! Free downloads of this track are available here. — K.C.

         My Green Eyed Zombie Killer

    If the Zombie Apocalypse
    comes tomorrow, and I am left for dead,
    I hope I’m left in a musty, dark cellar
    with you.
    We won’t have much besides piles of movies
    (both Romantic and Scary), and a cache of weapons,
    and canned food and Twinkies,
    and an Xbox.

    And every time we push back the brain-eating horde,
    we’ll fall into each other’s arms.
    And I’ll tell you: There’s nowhere I’d rather be
    than here with you, my green eyed zombie killer.

    We’ll spend the hours between Undead surges,
    gaming and laughing and counting ammunition.
    We’ll draw escape plans for all situations,
    though we both never want to leave.

    And every time we push back the brain-eating horde,
    we’ll fall into each other’s arms.
    And I’ll tell you: There’s nowhere I’d rather be
    than here with you, my green eyed zombie killer.

    And if you get infected,
    I’ll deny it with every ounce of my being.
    I’ll tie you down in a chair
    and put on all your favorite movies.

    And every time I push back the brain-eating horde,
    I’ll come as close as I can to your hungry arms.
    And I’ll tell you: There’s nowhere I’d rather be
    than here with you, my green eyed zombie.

    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

    Eli and I went to see The Kills last night. It was a fantastic show. You can see a couple photos I took here. Here were the highlights:

    1. Watching Jamie and Alison’s shadows interact on the leopard-print backdrop; though they weren’t touching, the shadows were.
    2. They played Black Balloon, a long-time favorite, right after I called out for it (I don’t claim it was because of my yelling; rather, it was the set list gods smiling down upon me).
    3. When Jamie used the vertical metal shaft of Alison’s mic-stand to play slide guitar.
    4. Alison’s dark black denim.
    5. The two percussionists wearing red pocket scarves over their faces like post-Apocalyptic cowboys (and when Eli pulled out his and tied it over his face the same way; lots of high fives from strangers for that).

    When Eli and I got back to my place, we were exhausted, but Eli said we had to record, that he had a rhythm rolling around in his head. Thanks to whiskey, we hardly remember recording these tracks. They’re imperfect, and yet this is precisely the type of raw, inspired product we love most. There’s something to the rambling rhythm and blues riffs that hint at Jamie’s craft—now if we could just get a drum machine and an Alison. As always, our posts have devotees. So, this song goes to Jamie and Alison and to our favorite blogs with Kills content: thekillsareinlove, babyruthless, graspthesanity, thekillschile, getmeoutofamerica, and emptybrain. Enjoy, bloggers, and keep rocking! — K.C.

         Killer Soul

    I’ve got a soul,
    but it’s black as tar.
    Where I’m going,
    there’s no light.

    I know a place
    that’s never far.
    The home of the rich.
    The days are like nights.

    And I want to know,
    will you come with me?

    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.

    Today’s song is for girls trying to lose weight. Some girls have good reasons; they just want to be physically healthy (like these bloggers: skinny-w-i-s-h-e-s and selfesteemdaybyday). But many girls just have image issues; it’s more of a mental problem than a physical problem (like…well, it would be cruel to say; I see 1000s of blogs like this every day). Many of these girls are beautiful and just can’t see it. Ladies, don’t you sometimes think someone else is beautiful, but never tell them? Well, the same is certainly happening to you. There are people in your life who think you are beautiful just the way you are—whatever your weight is. The world would be a better place if we just shared our nice thoughts. Then again, some people are told they are beautiful 1000 times a day and still won’t believe. Well, consider this song 1001. Okay, okay, that’s enough Dr. Phil for one post. Patronizing is awful, so I hope I don’t sound like I am. I don’t know the strangers blogging on Tumblr well enough to criticize; but I don’t need to know people to wish that they felt beautiful.

    I rarely feel inspired to do a cover; but, then again, I rarely feel music is well-intentioned like this tune is. This song’s about loving a girl, and after she gets skinny, everyone else starts to love her, too. It’s about missing being the only one who knew she was beautiful. It was written by an awesome band a little bird told me about, Hooking Up. If you like my cover, please check out their music and wallow in the good vibes. Maybe even pay to download their tracks? Yes, my cover is acoustic—had to make it my own somehow. Thanks to Hooking Up for the inspiration and enjoy! — K.C.

        Heavy

    i like it still heavy
    i liked it when you were slow
    i liked it when you were hot shit
    i liked it that you didn’t know
    now i’m all ready
    i feel i’m all fit to go
    i only wanna be hot shit
    tell me do i fit the mold

    i ain’t even grown
    i can get stoned with you
    am i really on my own
    i thought i was just having fun

    i like it still heavy

    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

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