Saturday, November 29, 2008

Evolution of The Mall Santa

Before I heard of someone named Weird Al Yankovic in 1980, I would make fun of songs by changing words in them and the songs that were the most fun to do were those from the holiday season since they would always be there unlike contemporary songs which change each year. Usually they would last one or two verses and they were not finished pieces as the joke was there up front.

As I got older a pattern developed in many of those songs as diagrammed here:

Shortly after my daughter was born in 2000, I met a bunch of people who appreciate the same music that I like and even create it themselves and eventually I started going to sci-fi conventions where they performed it.

Once of the fans, Carrie Dahlby, became by best friend after meeting her in March '04. She is a trained classical performed with a degree in music theory and was able to provide female voices and vocal help to songs by other people most noticeably to the great Luke Ski who also became one of my best friends as I would help him out at cons with selling and moving merchandise and props. Occasionally they would ask me to help them on stage with a song as mostly a prop and one time in a song where they found a part that suited my tone deaf lack of singing ability.

In the summer of 2006, Carrie wanted to create her own album as she had ideas of her own. Knowing what I did with holiday music she asked me to tell her all my song parodies and then she would decide what was best to pursue. After rejecting songs like "I Saw Mommy, Dad, and Santa Claus (underneath the Christmas tree last night)", "Get a Ho", and "Terror on Santa Claus Lane" (I had that idea before Weird Al did "The Night Santa Went Crazy", She decided on Santa Claus Pulled His Pants Down. (Note: since it would not apply with her singing, I did not suggest "I Came Upon a Midnight Queer".)

As I was trying to figure out lyrics for a complete song instead of the two verses I had and after seeing the Boondocks holiday episode where Riley attacked a mall Santa the previous December, I decided to make it "the mall Santa" since I felt a human being acting that way is more plausible than Santa himself and then put in a line about him not taking his medication to explain why he was acting that way.

Wanting to add something to it, I decided it would be cool for me to do the voice of the perverted mall Santa and added those lines and then added lines for my wife and daughter for the song and then with a midi file I found on line, recorded me trying to sing to it for Carrie to analyze. I did pay someone to master a good version of the backing track.

After a month of her and I changing lines and ideas and putting in sounds of Riley's attack at Dragon*con '06 on Labor Day weekend, Carrie with Luke Ski's help recorded the song for an extended play CD for that weekend. Later with better recording equipment, everything was rerecorded for the album version.

With my wife and daughter and Luke as "Riley", we performed a live version of the song at a con in November 06 and with just Carrie, Luke and I at a con near St. Louis in 07. To our surprise Dr Demento decided to play it each of the last two years on his show and I have Carrie and Luke to thank for that.

Last year Carrie wanted me to come up with another holiday song idea. Unfortunately I thought of it too late for the holiday season and it was not done. Per another suggestion from her, I also came up with a non holiday possibility but there has not been the time to get it done.

Actually, that is what inspired me to create My Not So Normal World in the first place since I can get my thoughts out there without needing help.

1 comment:

Carrietastic said...

Only one more chance to see "The Mall Santa" on Dr. Demento this year. I hope he plays it next weekend!