Cover Day! Karma Chameleon by the Culture Club  

Here is a cover of the song Karma Chameleon by the rock and roll band Culture Club.

Released in September 1983, this song was written by Boy George, Jon Moss, Mikey Craig, Roy Hay, and Phil Pickett.  It was the band's top charting hit in the US and won a bunch of awards and stuff.

My good friend Robert J. Baumann suggested doing a roots-y cover of this song years ago and that idea stuck.  I finally did it this year.

Hey Culture Club alums: please don't sue me.

Cold War Demo  

Oh, hi.  Here is a demo for the song Cold War.  Enjoy.

17 (Demo )  

Here is a demo of a song called "17".  Enjoy.

Track 13 - If You Say 

Track 13 – If You Say

Once again, I got this idea while taking a walk. As I was walking, I said aloud to myself, “I’m gonna walk my legs off.” The image of someone walking so much that their legs fall off, like in Looney Tunes or something, was very funny to me. I start spinning out the consequences of walking my legs off. Suddenly the song was writing itself.

I used a lot of the same end rhyme in each verse, which is very fun. I made a lot of jokes and references. The lines move pretty quick, so it has a…

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Track 12 - Good Morning, Mourning Dove 

Track 12 – Good Morning, Mourning Dove

This is another bird song from a time when bird-kitschy stuff was at its apex. I was walking down the street once and I heard a mourning dove. Out loud I said, “Good morning, mourning dove.” This may sound like a fib, but I immediately thought, “Great. I have to write a song about that now.” So, here it is.

At this time in my life, I was listening to BBC news to fall asleep. I realized after a while that it was all bad news about war and violence. I also realized…

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Track 11 - Ghosts and Plastic Bags 

Track 11 – Ghosts and Plastic Bags

Once I saw a plastic bag moving in the wind. I always get worried people are going to think of American Beauty when I say that, but it wasn’t caught in an updraft and beautiful to my artistically enlightened mind. No indeed. It was upside down and moving horizontally down the sidewalk. It looked like a Pac-Man ghost. It made me think, “What if ghosts lived in plastic bags?” After some thought I decided, “No, plastic bags, in fact, ARE ghosts!” I immediately started…

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Track 10 - Every Trick in the Book 

Track 10 – Every Trick in the Book

While I often fabricate song origins at performances, I usually tell the truth about this one. The thing is that this one started in many different places. I read the book The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton and loved it. I loved the goofy slang and the crazy plot. And they got away with it! Is this book great literature? No. But it is a decent read. That is one point of origin for this song. Also, once I was driving in Arizona and I encountered the most…

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Track 9 - A Song About Birds 

Track 9 – A Song About Birds

Here is a song that is not actually very good. I made a lot of jokes at the time about writing bird songs because it was fashionable. I didn’t realize how true that was.

The song began because I was visiting my parent on a snowy weekend. Late one evening we took a walk in the park across the street. There was a lot of new snow and it was very quiet. Then we heard again and again Great Horned Owl calls. As we walked we saw many of these owls calling to each other from the tops…

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Track 8 - A New List 

Track 8 – A New List

Here is another song, like “Baseball Diamond” that went through many titles. I don't remember them in this case, perhaps because I ended up finding the right one.

“A New List” has a little more personal experience closer to the surface than many of my songs. I won't tell you which part, and I won't tell you how I disguised it, but it is certainly there. I will tell you that I really did know a cat named Lola. While this song isn't the top shelf material that “An Estimation Song” is to…

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