This page is a transcript of the commentary included on the data track of Damn Skippy. The runtime for the commentary for this album is 1 hour, 1 minute, and 13 seconds.
Hello there, I’m Neil Cicierega, founder of Lemon Demon. This is the commentary for Damn Skippy, my new album.
Uh, this song’s called Dead Sea Monkeys, this is a little build-up I added on to the beginning just to sort of get you all psyched up for the song, and, nnnnnnnnn… and then it’s just, you know, da-da-da-da-da, happy music with cheesy synth drums and… This song is in 6/4 time signature, which is kinda cool, and also the lyrics don’t rhyme at all. I forget whether that’s intentional or not. Probably intentional. I said “last forever” there, but in the rest of the choruses, I sing “live forever”. That was a mistake, but it made sense, so. And also there was a Chewbacca sample. Clip of Chewbacca going “rrrrr.”
Dead sea monkeys… And this is a square wave solo. Not many songs have these… unless you’re listening to Lemon Demon. I’ve actually really only had like 10 different solos made out of square wave synth.
I’m not sure why I wrote this song, I was just probably thinking of sea monkeys and I realized that dying is what sea monkeys do best. And… that’s something we can all relate to, if you’ve ever had sea monkeys. I mean, nobody’s ever had them and kept them for more than like a month. Maybe I’m just really bad at it, I dunno. They also seem to mate sometimes, that’s pretty funny.
My family always laughs at me after that part because I sort of yodeled.
And here comes the breakdown. It’s great how I can open a song, open the whole CD with a song that has this blasphemous section in it. Jesus Christ. And that was Jesus flippin’ Christ. Not any other F-word. It’s been misheard for that before. Dead sea monkeys, oh-ho-ho-ho-ho-ho…
Well, that was a fascinating song, wasn’t it? I think it was a good song to open the CD on, cause it’s catchy, and… well, it’s catchy, but… [whispering] I don’t know.
Listen. That was my mom saying hello. And this song is called Sky Is Not Blue. I wrote this like, long time ago, and it sounded completely different, but then I never really came up with lyrics for — no, wait, I came up with lyrics for it, but never recorded them, and then I decided to… record them. Like, two days ago.
I’m not sure if they’re really called “construction paper dolls”, they’re just… I dunno… That’s a weird sentence [?]. A lot of my songs have falsetto in them, which is kinda odd because I don’t really have that good of a falsetto voice. But it’s always kinda funny because I have to record these in my house with my family wandering around and shooting me weird looks. I always feel embarrassed. Well, not always.
Week and me don’t really rhyme. Oh well. I don’t know what this song’s about. It’s about things that are usually one colour not being that one colour, but I don’t know why they’re not that one colour. I like this rhyme. Inhaling, yeah. And I invented that term, has-might-have-been. (Ooh yeah.)
More falsetto. And this part doesn’t really have a melody, which is… which is okay.
Yellow people as in Lego guys. I like the little… chord of vocals I just did there. I don’t do that often enough, but. Blah. This is my first commentary thing ever, I’m not very good at it. I’m very sorry.
But oh, what’s that? On the horizon. It’s…[whispering] Pumpkin Pie! First track to include accordion. I got my accordion, uh, for my birthday last year. It’s a very nice little thing.
This is sort of a medieval/country/gypsy/polka song. First thing I wrote before I came up with the idea of pumpkin pie was the first verse there. Then I had to think of something for him to be selling, and pumpkin pie fit and had enough things I could rhyme it with. Hmm, I like the chord progression. It’s that… F7 chord that gets me.
People always seem to get hungry for pumpkin pie when they listen to this song. I don’t. And I really like pumpkin pie too. It’s good with whipped cream. A lot of other people seem to get a craving for pumpkin pie when they listen to this song, I mean… I don’t know. At the very least, this song paints an interesting picture of this mysterious merchant man who refuses to sell out. But his uppitiness will cost him dearly.
Ah, the whistling. It’s a nice touch. Even though it’s sort of discordant. Ooh-ee. Hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmm hmmm hmmm hmm! Listen. Wanted all the… See I said ‘pain’ instead of ‘fame’ there, did you get that? And also my voice sorta drips down there. I pitched it down. I can’t really [deep] ‘lurlbruh’. I can’t really do that. And then we go to this peaceful woods setting and suddenly… some sort of electric chainsaw noise.
Ushers in… very distant mechanical stomping noise. Some soft synth sounds, hooweeoo! Here it comes.
This song was originally gonna be about Mr. Rogers but I decided robots would be better. The killer machines is the name of a 1980 episode of Superfriends. My friend Alora just put a post-it note on my computer saying I am lame. Actually, it says “You are lame,” but it’s referring to me. She’s probably not too happy with my commentary so far. But that’s okay. I’m open to criticism. I’ll try to be less na-uh, lame.
The high pitched voice on the left channel in this part always creeps me out. Hmmmmmm… There’s beeping in that part, if you didn’t notice. But no screaming in that part. Needed to put a Johnny 5 shout out in there. Did you hear the ‘ooh’? Panic…panic in the city, city, city under fire…*sigh* Robot, robot, robot. Now that I think about it, I should have put like, vocoder effects in this song to make me sound robotic or something like that. Never been able to get that to sound good, though, so…forget I said it. Robot, robot, robot, robot, robot! Robot.
I like that part. It’s like a robot sneaks up behind you and tells you to surrender or die. In man against machine- it sounds like a good line for-for the trailer of the movie based upon this song. Gonna have to get Don LaFontaine on that. Stat!
Now, this song is called Geeks in Love and it was written earlier last year in the summer for my girlfriend at the time because we were both geeky people. And it starts out with this creepy clown music, which is odd because she’s sort of afraid of clowns. But she didn’t seem to mind. That’s okay.
And I like the guitar sound, but it’s actually a synth guitar, but don’t tell anyone.
Esoterically is a good word. You should definitely use that word in your daily life.
This song’s sort of supposed to sort of half-mockingly tap into the hip geek perspective where everybody is…less smart than you.
Oh, and you should check out the lyrics for the scat-sounding parts of this song because- because there’s some interesting things in there like waffles and…you’ll see.
I like this part. It has sort of a circus-y feel to it. Never actually got to go trick or treating with her. Oh well.
There’s peppity bismol. Bubbly lava lamp. Spockity Nimoy. Ponkity ponkity, that’s a Strong Bad e-mail reference. Ho yeah. And here I had to make the song’s ending creepier than its beginning.
I actually had, uh, to suck down a balloon when I recorded that intro there. So that wasn’t digitally altered, that was me speaking with helium in my lungs. And this song’s called New Way Out. And my friend Alora always says that this song sounds like that Jet song about counting to three. And it’s because it’s a guitar driven song that has a bouncy yet rockin’ kinda beat. I can hear the resemblance, but my song is better because it has japanese parts and references to chupacabras. And “ya-ha-ha”s.
The lyrics to this are utterly meaningless. They’re not supposed to convey any sort of feeling. I just needed something to fill it up. If you try to pick this one apart, you have problems. I just like using lines like “serpentine alarm clock” and “Jimi Hendrix Jr.” Although Burger King fries on a dashboard is something I’m quite familiar with.
For some reason I decided to put Japanese in this song. I’m not too big of a Japanophile, but… it sounded good.
And this part has this quote from the movie I did called “Why the Hell Won’t It Snow?” Yeah-haha.
Oh, and this is a bitchin’ pieced together guitar solo I- I didn’t actually play it, I just played like one or two notes at a time and I just sort of cut them all together… on the computer. In your face Van Halen.
That was my tongue twister I came up with for this song.
I gave Christina Aguilera an extra syllable for all the hard work she’s put into her career over the years. Cheers, Chris-a-tina!
This is the Rhodes piano solo, which is not as cool as the guitar solo. Just sorta more laid back, I guess.
And that’s the end of this song. I think. It just sorta fades out I guess, right? Yeah. Sounds like it’s fading out. Oh yeah, it’s definitely fading out. Actually it’s sorta, like, phasing out too. It’s going sheeewoooo...
I love this little intro. Doo doo doooooo. This song is called What Will Happen Will Happen. Or, What Happens Will Happen. No. I forget. I wrote this song after the Bush election because some friends of mine were a bit more than disappointed, they were, in fact, depressed over it. And I figured, no matter who you vote for, that’s no way to… that’s no way to feel about it. I mean, just cheer up, you know?
My parents seem to like this song, and they always listen to it and they quote Fred Willard from, uh, A Mighty Wind and they go “What happen?” And it’s really annoying. But at least they like my music. That makes me happy. But not when they quote that movie. It’s a good movie, I mean…but…you know.
This part’s trippy. You got these sorta swirly synths in the background that are just like wheeoooooooo…
Misery’s Bitch would be a cool band name. I’m changing it. I’m not Lemon Demon anymore, I’m Misery’s Bitch. I’m gonna stop writing happy music. I’m gonna write miserable, bitchy music.
This is the mad half of the song where it goes into a more random direction but with the tune kicked up a notch. And I throw in a bunch of like non sequiturs about Martin Scorsese and…
That’s a Super Furry Animals reference to uh, forgot what that song was but there’s a part where they’re like “We got ways of making you think.”
This part’s funky. It’s got claps in it. [claps] [whispering] Just the claps. Sorry.
And the beeoowr guitar. Oh yeah, it’s happenin’.
Now, the Unabombers, they’re a local band, but that wasn’t a reference to them, that was more of a pluralized version of the actual Unabomber. Then I rhymed it with Jeffrey Dahmer. Clever, huh?
This is more or less the bridge of the song. And it’s sort of…circa mid-80, not mid-80, early- no- 1980 feel to it. Maybe not.
In this last stretch of the song I was planning on having this whole like acceptance speech style list of um, just me rambling off the names of various anti-depressants. But I figured that sorta just deterred from the message of choice over your own emotions. And also I just didn’t feel like recording it cause I’d already finished the song. You know how it is.
Meow. This is my cutest song ever. It’s called Kitten is Angry. Came up with the title first and I just sort of envisioned the song in my head. Actually, I had people vote for- I had all these hypothetical song titles, I put them on my internet blog and I had people vote for them. [laughs] And I think this was one of the winners. The other was Elvis Porn, which I did end up writing, but it’s not on this CD. Maybe the next one.
Such a happy, poppy song.
If you listen closely, there’s some jaw harp in it. Or is it jew harp? I’m not sure which it is but- hang on I have it here. This is the only song I ended up using it on but it sounds like this. [plays] Ah! Ouch. [plays again] That’s what it sounds like. It’s in the background. And I like the little “meow meow” backup vocals. Oh and Alora just gave me another post-it that says “Okay, I take it back. You are no longer lame.” Whee! I have a lot of cats, but they’re not this mean. They’re very nice.
“Random pieces of lint”, that’s another good band name, I gotta write these down. Or why don’t you write them down? Listeners at home. Aww, the purring.
And this song is called The Ceiling. Has whistling. Can you hear the whistling? [whistles] I’m a really bad whistler, but I do it anyway.
This song’s about ceilings. When I was young, I always used to like look at the ceilings in my parent’s room and we used to make a game of trying to see stuff in the swirly patterns on the ceiling. We still play it, actually. Well, I play it all alone now, ‘cause nobody likes me.
This song is not really silly enough so I’m just gonna make wacky noises. [clears throat] Nnnnnneeeebrrrr! Brrbrrbrrbrr! Drrruuuhhaahahahaha! Raawhooooowarrrarrar! Lllaallallll! Abllaahhppbbthhablapbth! Bbllbllblblarrarrarraralar! Ow. I just hurt myself. I think it’s serious.
Ooh deep, Neil. I just likened like the whole universe to the ceiling of my house. [whispering] Mind blowing!
Ooh, and here’s a good song. This one’s called Subtle Oddities. I can’t play the recorder but we had one so I recorded myself making little [recorder noises] noises.
This song has all sorts of weird time signatures in it. It’s like…1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6 1 2 3 4 5 6…5 6…
It also has some catchy organ in it. Doo doo doo doo doo doo. Doo doo doo doo doo doo doo doo. Oh, and some cool guitar.
And the hook of the song is this. That’s in 7/4 time. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. Somebody once said that that reminded them of Rush. That’s not fair. They’re the only ones who can use weird time signatures? No.
And that was the best line in the song, “chess pieces”.
I think this song is about a haunted house. Someone once said that it was about God. Sure, why not? That makes about as much sense. I think it was the “face in outer space” that…
There’s weird birdy noises in the background of this… Like birdy, spacey hmmmmmm noises. And this part’s just cooky. It’s just nrrrrrrrr. This is another cool peiced together guitar solo. I used the same method for the other song there. Although this time I doubled the guitars and I made them play a little harmony part. Not a very long solo, though.
[singing along] And this weird sound here is like, is Jeff from the Wiggles, him laughing or something. I modified it so it would sound like that.
This song’s called uh, Gonna Dig Up Alec Guinness. And the clapping part there in the beginning, Alora helped with that. Didn’t you Alora? [Alora can be heard saying something faintly] This is like, her favorite song for some reason. She’s more of a Star Wars fan than I am.
I don’t know where I got the idea for this song. I think it was another one where the title popped into my mind and it just sorta had a snowball effect into some weird— and I ended up making this weird satire on nerd obsessive-ness. And the length they’ll go to.
More robots. Mmhmm. And then the bass comes in. I’m not much of a Star Wars fan, I’m more of an Indiana Jones person. Shoulda wrote a song about…some actor from the Indiana Jones movies who died. This is really a sick song. Duh-huh. That was Alora doing an impersonation of R2-D2’s scream. Waaaoooh! I can’t do it. [clears throat]
This is the funky, 80s-ish segment. Sorta disco buh berrrn duh doo doo- oh wait, not yet. Theeen…now! Now it’s like full out. Duh duh derder derr derr doo doo. How can you deny the awesome-ness of that synth line there?
If I made a music video for this I’d probably just have, like, the corpse of Alec Guinness just dancing around on strings, you know? With all these disco lights. Oh, there’s Alora’s scream again, but this time it’s slowed down so it’s really creepy. Mmm, Gatorade. Blueberry. All-star’s thirst quencher.
Punch line! Sort of. He had the same first name, see.
This is the creepy build-up to Flamingo Legs because the song’s really happy, so I thought I should put like a really creepy sounding intro. And I uh, I used like a heavily modified sample from uh, Don’t Laugh, I Love You by Ween from the end of that song where they make all these weird noises. So I just sorta slowed it down to make it sound even more satanic. And then…happy music. Whee!
I really like wearing stripy socks, in fact, I’m wearing striped socks right now. This is another song that doesn’t really mean anything. I just, you know…pulled random stuff out of my brain. But at least it’s happy and pretty.
Not really much to say about this song, really. You can just, like, read something, maybe, I dunno. Do you know that there’s no fat in Gatorade? I’m looking at the Nutrition Facts right now. I find that hard to believe. A lot of sodium though. I think. No protein, either. Eh, whatever.
I didn’t like the title Living Underneath a Rock so I ended up choosing Flamingo Legs as the title for this song. Why not? That way, whenever you hear this song, you’ll think of flamingos throughout the whole thing, and that’s a good place to be in, I think. [burps] ‘Scuse me.
Ahh, and here’s Ode To Crayola. Crayola’s a product I grew up with. Back in grade school. Elementary school. And I always had the big box of crayons. I had this song finished for the longest time without any lyrics until it suddenly just dawned on me, ‘Crayola, yes.’ And it just wrote itself from there, just ‘Oh yes, I have to write this.’ And then I got my accordion and I recorded some accordion parts for it and it just worked. Course it’s sorta mixed into the background, it’s not a featured player in this song. More piano-based, I guess. And guitar.
I had to find this big list of all the crayola colors on the internet. And I had to rhyme them. It was actually fun. It was like, ‘Oh the memories.’ Razzmatazz. Purple Pizazz. Razzle Dazzle Rose. I was surprised, they were just like setting me up for that rhyme there. They had all these “a-z-z” things in their titles. Thank you, Crayola industries for making it so easy.
Crayola, Crayola’s all that I know. When me and Alora play this song live, I just play it solo on the piano and we have this big notebook- well not a notebook- it’s like a photo album and it’s got all these pieces of paper in it that we drew in Crayola crayons of the colors that I read off. And uh, we show them to the audience while I’m singing. And it’s just so corny, it’s good.
It’s been suggested that I send this to the Crayola company in case they might want to adopt it as their official theme song. But that’s probably not a good idea considering the creepy, naked cultish tone it’s taking right now. In the second verse here. But who knows, maybe they’d go for that. Or they could sue my pants off. Would that be ironic? I dunno. [humming] Yeah, this song’s probably too obsessive sounding to work as an official corporate anthem of any sort. And I don’t think they actually advocate eating crayons. But I’m sure they’d appreciate the thought behind it.
And this is Rainwater, another song with a 7 time signature. Doo-boo-doo boom boom boom. I like rainy sounding songs. I also like tea. Don’t like germs, though. Even without the thunderstorm sound effects, something about the instrumentation of the song reminds me of rain. It’s got these nice little vibrophone stuff and this guitar here. Sorta has a bubbly underwater type sound to it. Whaawhaawhaa. Hmmmmah.
Oh, listen. I gargled for this song. Hey, I can gargle now, why not? This time with Gatorade instead of water. Hang on. [gargles][chokes] Okay, I choked, nevermind. Now I’m covered in Gatorade. That’s okay though.
Hmm, it’s probably not that safe since it seems to have given me a malfunctioning robot voice.
And this song is called, uh, Smell Like A Cookie All Day. And it’s based on a quote, uh, by Crow T. Robot from an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. And I’ve never actually seen this episode, but I’ve seen the quote and I loved it enough to write a song around it. I’m not sure what episode it was, I should…I dunno, Google it, man. And there’s the quote there. Smelling like a cookie all day is something we all wish we could do.
The phrase “I wished I were dead” isn’t very well grammar. Smell like a cookie all day. Yes, you’ll smell like a cookie all day. Oooooh. Outer space. Wheeooeeoowheeahah. And this riff is sort of inspired by Gigantic by the Pixies. It reminds me of it, anyway. And those are real maracas. Rock rock rock rock rock rock rock rock.
And it goes back to the waltz. See, you thought that was a completely different song, but it’s really the same song. Hoho! Man, I wish the rock would come back. Oh, there it is. Doo-doo-doo-doo-doo. Doodoo-doo-doo-doo. Every rock song should have a triangle wave solo. I think that’s triangle wave, I think- yeah that’s triangle wave. Sounds too soft to be square wave. And the little waaaa synth noise, that ends up in the next track, you’ll see. Wheeoooo whoo-oo-oo.
And then the next thing…Dizziful Bliss. That’s the name of this song. You can hear spit in my mouth making little clicky noises in that part. I bet you’ll notice it every time you listen to it from now on. Ha ha. And hear that synth part? Well, yeah. That’s it.
Hmhm. How nice of you, not throwing up. I really don’t like being dizzy that much but it’s sort of the feeling that takes you back to childhood so… I dedicated this song to it.
Get it? Because there aren’t any stairs in a one-storey home. Oh snap.
Hmm. Now this guitar solo took weeks and weeks of practice. You can tell, listen. Oh, here comes the emotional crux of the song. How very poignant of you, Neil. Poignant, is that a silent g? I dunno. Poinant. Poignant. Poigant. Very poigant. Ho ho.
Something about this song makes me space out. How can you listen to this and not feel like spinning around, I mean… we listened to this in the car once and we ended up doing donuts on a busy highway. That was fun. Hang on, I’m gonna spin around right now. Oh wait, I have headphones attached, that won’t work. I’m gonna pretend I’m spinning. And here comes Word Disassociation. Right after this…wait for it…
Uh! Nice segue there. And that’s real piano. I recorded it slow and then pitched it up so it sounded fast and funky and unique. Like this, hang on. [plays piano] That’s the piano. That’s what it normally sounds like. It’s out of tune. But I managed to get it to sound good for this part.
This was a real concept song. Lyrics comprised of unrelated words. Took a surprisingly long time to come up with all the lyrics actually. I’m used to operating on a random plane, but this was a true test of my abilities.
I didn’t realize it when I wrote it but uh, Word Disassociation is a real game you can play. It’s like word association but you have to come up with a word which has nothing to do with the word your partner says. Try it, it’s fun.
And there’s more falsetto in there. But it’s mixed with non-falsetto. This was fun to record. Hell yeah. This part isn’t actually random words, this is just the title of the song, so it doesn’t count. But I think there was something like 160 separate random words in the song. I counted them once but I forget. And this is my horrible British accent. Flouncy, that’s a reference to The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers. Bouncy, trouncy, flouncy…plouncy…uh, fun fun fun…fun…fun…
I want a platypus parasol. Okay, this part took a lot of effort. Timing it all up right and recording it correctly. [sigh] But I like the effect it ended up making. And this part, if you listen closely there’s like me whispering in the background “Word Disassociation Word Disassociation” And it’s just creepy. It gives me the creeps. But then it gets all dancy like mrrrr.
If you listen closely to the fake turntable effect, it’s using a uh, clip from The Adventures of Pete and Pete of Artie saying “Artie! Strongest man in the world!” Artie! The strong- the strongest man…in the…in the w- world. This is probably the only song I’ve ever made that you can dance to. Most of it, anyway. Oh yeah. My favorite words from that song: concubine, lickity-split, flouncy, skulduggery, akimbo, and nipple.
Alora: You lied.
No, nipple’s in that song. Trust me.
Alora: No, it’s actually 205 words.
Oh, oh yeah, there’s 205. Alright. It’s too late. 205 words were in that song, though.
And this song’s called Eventuality. It sounds very drivey, very- er, driving- very synthy, very vocally, very not many lyricsy. A little more falsetto in there. And then just…
And those were the only lyrics in this song. They don’t actually mean anything but…oh well.
There’s not really much to talk about for this song. I’ll just say uh…this CD was quite fun to make. I’m very satisfied with it. I hope you liked it too. I hope you buy all my future CDs and my other past CDs from the past. And um, if I ever start playing live, like, not in a coffee shop, if I start playing live like with a full band and light show and pyrotechnics, I think you should come watch me. Maybe I’ll be coming to your town. You never know. Unless you live in, you know, like the Middle East or something. Because I’m probably not going to be, y’know, doing any international tours for a while. But who knows? Maybe I’ll be the next overnight sensation or something. Who knows? I don’t. But it’s fun to dream. Isn’t it, kids? Unless you’re dreaming about something like freaky like trying to get on the subway and you realize you’re naked. Not that I’ve ever dreamed about that.
Then, that’s the end of that song. Sort of. There’s… Those are wind chimes from my porch and the wind hwooo. Now…wait for it…wait for it…Commander Keen music! Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle from Apogee and ID Software. Music is by Robert Prince. God bless you, Robert Prince. And yes, that’s the sound of me playing. I’m sure you envy my skills. I rescued those old dudes. Every damn one of them. Dopefish couldn’t stop me, neither could those yellow slug dudes. Man, what a classic game. I wanna play it right now. [sings along]
Oh, the CD’s done. So’s the commentary. You’re still here? It’s over. Go home.
- “You’re still here? It’s over. Go home.” is a direct quote from the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
- The phrase “The phrase “I wished I were dead” isn’t very well grammar” is in itself not grammatically correct. This was intentional.