Saturday, December 11, 2010

...Red is Roseville 2

One of the nice things about the Sabertooth Tiger vision of what defines an album is the ability to keep bringing new singles into focus and re-imagine the moods and the themes of the sense of time and place that encompasses. One song on Red is Roseville that teaches that is the aptly named "Theme" a three movement piece that begins with a fast paced party melody (originally written at a party) which parlays into an acoustic lullaby and ends in a visceral roar of folk-fanfare emotion.

This song has been years in the making and encompasses some lyrics and melodies that were written when I first picked up a mandolin. Back then I wasn't dactyl enough to play what was in my trance, although now it's second nature. Three distinct, infectious melodies; hooks to get hooked on and whistle all day long.

Theme is the black sheep track on the album. Not an instrumental, not a lyrical piece in the sense of the folk songs and raps. Theme is a powerful pop-concoction, but it's long and atypical. It's the new pop music. If you're putting the effort into downloading a single song, you need one that can hold your attention span for at least the duration of the buffer. So, it's an amalgam --pastiche one could even say, not a new idea by any means but definitely one overdue for resurgence. Bam bam bam.

Friday, December 10, 2010

...Clipart Desktops

Adam downloaded a lot of old MS Offices on a computer, plus a bunch of insane early 90s clipart discs. He made some really great collages for us to use as desktops that I thought I could share with you today.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

...Describes Cereal Commercials for Blind Children 2

For today's commercial I picked a classic representation of the 80s, courtesy of Cocoa Puffs. This cereal is chocolate powder sprayed onto puffed corn, and it's mascot is an anthropomorphic birdman with a big yellow beak shaped like a banana and orange feathers that look like blobby gelled strands of hair. In this commercial, the bird (named Sonny, supposedly after someone's son) is dressed like a character on Miami Vice. He dons a white pant suit with the sleeves pushed up, and a pink t shirt with sunglasses hanging on the neck. His eyes suggest he hasn't slept for days.

A back up band of three normal human children playing guitar, bass, and drums are on the left of the stage. Behind Sonny on the right side are three anthro birwomen. All three have voluminous purple hairdos, and are wearing sunglasses indoors. They all have figures that would be described as bird-like, with flat chests and prominent beaks.

Although his syrupy pop-singer voice suggests a feeling closer to ambivalence towards the subject (ie cereal), his animations suggest a darker, murderous passion. As the fading 80s rock star wanders squinting in the stagelights, angry and drunk his bandmates tempt him with his personal demons. This is where Sonny differs from most cereal mascots. Where other cereal commercials usually revolve around a chase or cat and mouse game (see, Fruity Pebbles, Cookie Crisp, Lucky Charms), Sonny is actively trying to avoid the product he is trying to sell. It's possible that he's just diabetic but the literal suggestion is that his avoidance is based on the prior knowledge that when he encounters his favorite cereal he goes into a state of temporary insanity wherein he loses control of his actions and cannot distinguish right from wrong.

When "this superstar" begins to describe the breakfast which represents all that he loves and hates, a cloud of smoke takes us into his inner consciousness where we see a non-animated box of cereal which opens like a book to reveal the words "Chocolatey Taste" (sic) above a mound of fudge. The book closes and is now joined by a complete breakfast, including milk, orange juice, and toast.

When the dream is over, a prepubescent temptress with a bass and rave goggles pours cereal into a bowl in front of his face, and his eyes bug out of his skull. A blond boy brings a pitcher of mother's milk to add to the concoction. Finally, an Asian boy in glasses and suspenders gives his encouragement from behind a drumkit. Sonny's eyes are now Mesmer wheels, and he manages soar into the air and fly around over the stage. Being that he is a bird, this is not unusual, but the way in which he flies is like a bottle rocket at first, straight up into the air and then like a popped balloon in an unpredictable direction. Then he falls into a floor tom.

Never bothering to eat the cereal that gives him this violent reaction, the commercial ends with Sonny lovingly stroking the boxtop with one finger. The life of an addict is difficult, but there is hope for Sonny.

Monday, December 6, 2010

...Zoo Puma and Vampiger

According to the Sabertooth Tiger website (to be launched this month, as soon as I get hosting):
"These guys are pop musicians and happy people. Their music makes you think about dancing in a scary place. These albums are instrumental synth jams."

For the most part, the Zoo Puma and Vampiger series is a chronicle of the expanding library of sounds that open up as the studio grows. The human body is poly-rhythmic, and the off-beats and noises represent the passage of time, with each a brushstroke on the canvas of memory. But there's a few over-arching themes and moods here. Like the house cats that they are, the music is imbued with a naivety and lethargy of the bucolic family pet.

"I can play guitar as fatigued as Jeff Tweedy/
This guy on MicroKorg is a fuzzy-face sweetie/
Together we can take this town/
Lay out during the mixdown/
Swimmin' around in the lazy sound/
We don't put the tapes out and then lay around/
WE ROLLIN'/ We makin' mas songs/
Bikin' round all day or hittin' on bongs/
WE STOLE IT/ From the artists that we love/
Holding shotgun mics in our likes, aiming at the crying dove/
It's picturesque, it's art qua art for art qua's sake/
It's fun for me-but it really hurts the head/
Not that it's some compulsion like wishing you were dead/
Some days when I awake I want to stay in bed/
But music stores ring out and pull me into them instead/
It keeps one zen, skippin' rocks across the lake/
Not much fuss, to ride a bus or bike 'tween both the banks/"

  • Zoo Puma/Vampiger
    • Garbage, Sunglasses Indoors, Pump 8 + a Pack, When I'm Alone
  • Dance/Trance+CD Power
    • Theme (Instrumental)
  • Wireweb+Tapeeater
    • M Precious, Gulag, Summer Street
  • Brownie Sundae
    • Theme (Instrumental)
  • Zoobatman
    • Zoobatman

All of these albums will be available for cassette purchase within the winter, and the singles listed will also be available for free download. Even though we're backlogged in content, we're still looking for more. If you'd like us to record some of your songs for community distribution, hit me up!

Friday, December 3, 2010

...Travel Log: Lighthouse of Alexandria

Let me just start this post by saying that, yes, I do have a time machine and, no, I will not field any questions pertaining to it.

When I arrived in Alexandria at the airport I was extremely bushed from the over 2,000 miles, and 3,000 year flight. I got a nice feta salad from a cafe within walking distance of the hotel and decided that I'd start sightseeing tomorrow after a good rest. I fell asleep in the hotel watching a marathon of Murphy Brown and when I awoke it was only six o'clock so I decided to see what the night had to offer.

The bars and clubs near the hotel were an outstanding example of Alexander's influence and the spread of Grecco-Roman court culture in hip urban settings. I saw an elephant take ex and go on a killing spree that ended far into the Hindu Kush mountains. Needless to say, Alexandria is party city USA. The girls are hot, and the pedagogy is even hotter. If your looking for a Las Vegas adventure without all the risks, pre-Christianity Egypt is the place for you.

The next day I set out for the lighthouse. Over six stories tall and topped with massive searchlights to rival the 20th Century Fox logo, Ptolemny's baby glistened white in the harbor. Although it once functioned to lead ships into port, modern GPS technology has made it irrelevant and the lights now act to draw attention from the ancient world's clubgoers, signaling where the scene is.

From the outside, the limestone walls glow with a transluminescense that only Jupiter himself could rival. But on the inside, Ptolemny's crib is blinged out the crunkest dirty rapper. The first floor is the media center with a record 30 big screen TVs, each one running a constant loop of a different Rodney Dangerfield movie. Although I knew that the whole structure would inevitably sink into the sea, I couldn't help but be amazed by the consumer electronics and stereo systems that Alexander the Great's triumphant reign over the Old World had furnished. I sat down with the tower's owner and general of the great army, Ptolemny.

ST: So, the question on everyone's mind is "Why?" Why build this massive gleaming lighthouse in your capital city?
Ptlomeny: Well, when I was chillin' one night in Giza wit Alex and his gf we got to thinkin' that we needed to be shinin' in a way that didn't jus impress the ladies and the little boys, know'm sayin'? We needed to be outshinin' da gods themselves.
ST: I see, I see. So there wasn't anyone in particular that you were trying to impress?
P: Well, I got my eyes on this Macedonian babe... Queen of Egypt and all, but, she's taken. Married her brother, and all that.
ST: I think I know who you're talking about, and let me just say that she's trouble. That bitch is crazy. She'd fake her own death to drive you to suicide.
P: Pff, whatever man. Bros before hos, right dog?
ST: Totes. So tell me why you decided on limestone for the finishing?
P: Well, I knew it needed to be stone, so it would last forever, right, but granite and marble are too hard to carve into the designs I wanted.
ST: You aren't concerned that the saltwater will eat away at the lighthouse's foundation and eventually send it into the sea?
P: Shit no. I got the same contractor that did that fucking giant in Rhodes, and the Colloseum. Do you think those things are going to sink into the sea in a thousand years? No sir, you don'.
ST: Um, sure. Well. Thanks for your time, I must be heading back now.
P: Peace!

At the end of the tour I bought a flashdrive that was shaped like the lighthouse and an "I Conquered Nearly the Entire World, and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt" shirt. I got my picture taken with an bubble-headed Alex the Great mascot, who tried to pull my shirt off before I got away. I can see how the tourism industry has changed the seat of the African empire and the ensuing gentrification that set in on the city. But Alexandria still has it's own unique flavor that I think we'll hear a lot about in the coming millenia.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

...Red is Roseville

Today I put the finishing touches on the least impressive website you've ever seen. But I think the content speaks for itself. I hope you like websites that contain rap lyrics with html coding.

One of the albums in production that it's worth doting on for today's post is called Red is Roseville. The singles are called "Red is Right" and "An Album's a Place". The overarching themes of the lyrical and narrative content come in two pills: a) songs about the essential skills and methods involved in music production and b) songs that serve as driving directions and tour logs of Roseville and the metro.

Although the "Red is Right" single provides the trademark noise and synthesizer throb of it's composers, the overall album presents a much more ethereal mood and songs like "Silent Cone" and "An Albums a Place" are much folksier fair than one hears on the Zoo Puma/Vampiger series. Classical nylon guitar flourishes abound and mellow pipes waver through the glissando transcendence in the peaceful snapshot of suburban sobriety.

Here's some lyrics:
No we're not far away, but the thresholds hold/
We put the bikes away when airs get cold/
The bus routes lonely- the stops barely told/
Cubits and cubicles climb the frost skyline-/
We're always waiting for the face to explode/
Like video-game retreats to reload/
I'm only a couple miles east on this road/
White lines to trace the spills where salt melts the ice-/

Glitter in the fall/ Data streams into the storm sewers and rooftops/ Cinderella at the ball/ The city answers the call/ Now we wait for them at bars, cafes, and pawn shops/

I left the rap out so that you have to get the tape.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

...Describes Cereal Commercials for Blind Children

This is a description I have written as a favor to the blind children of the world of the visual content of a cereal commercial. In particular, a Fruity Pebbles commercial circa 2010 in which Barney is a snowboarder.

It opens with a red sign on a snowy mountain slope reading "Fruity Pebbles Trick Off", the camera pulls back and Barney Rubble (a cylindrical caveman from a 1960s cartoon with blond hair and dots for eyes) on a snowboard flies over it, eclipsing the sun and creating a radiant prism of colored light behind him, that then shines from the cereal bowl in his hand. The underside of his snow board says "Pebbles" and he is wearing blue pants, green coat, orange scarf, purple hat, and goggles. A mountain goat atop an icy peek watches on.

"Mmm, extreme fruity flavor" retorts Rubble when he is accused of the theft of Fred's Fruity Pebbles by an unseen announcer. To prove his point, he slaloms between snowy trees and off a ramp-trailing a rainbow behind him. At the top of the ramp, the aurora shines in the colors of the cereal in Barney's bowl. Then the fruits represented by the cereal appear in the sky. Cherries, Orange, Blueberries, Lemons, Grapes, and Limes.

Suddenly, it is day again and Barney's rainbow rampage lands him in the path of a snowman on skis with bones for arms and a carrot and coal for a face. He is also wearing a top hat with a leopard print band (signature look of Fred Flintstone) with earmuffs under it. "What's this?" an obvious ambush as meaty, mittened arms pop out of the snowman and grab the bowl from the bewildered Barney, who slides past streaming rainbows from the sides of his goggles with a discontent on his face.

Skiing forward, Fred's got his Pebbles, and the snow melts off him and the top hat flys away. Fred has black hair and wears his trademark orange with tiger stripes one-piece dress. Again nighttime, Fred skis over a cliff face gap, and the aurora again shines to reveal the fruits: cherries, orange, blueberries, grapes, lemon, lime.

Barney's back, and he slides ahead of Fred. He crashes into a tree with his snowboard, miraculously bouncing aside and causing the tree's boughs to drop a pile of snow that stick his skis and sends Fred skyward and into a cave composed of two flat rock slabs leaning against each other with a pile of rocks in front and a log. The cave, which seems barely large enough for Fred, let alone the bear which breaks it open and chases Fred- causing him to "fumble the bowl" by throwing it directly up into the air where Barney catches it. He lands to find Fred hanging onto a defoliated tree with an angry bear, large enough to see Fred at eye-level and easily capable of reaching him, roaring. But then the bear turns around and gives a "What the...!?" grunt as Barney slides past.

Fred screams, and the scream is animated as concentric yellow rings representing the soundwaves of his fury as they ricochet off the mountain peaks. This causes an avalanche that reaches Barney, now on flat ground, who escapes it. Fred does not, and as the camera focuses on the complete breakfast in the foreground (composed of a box of cereal, glass of milk, grapes, oranges, a crude stone bowl and primitive spoon for said cereal, and four slices of French toast with a large pat of butter on top of a flat rock.) Fred emerges from the snow with the cereal bowl, always glowing with a rainbow of sugary light, on top of his head. A squat dinosaur shaped like a dog with a spike on it's snout and plates on it's back approaches nonchalantly with no sign of commitment and a small cask worn on it's collar in a nod to the St. Bernard dogs that helped alpine skiers with rum in the 19th C.

But he stands up revealing himself to be Rubble, as he rips off his dinosaur head. and streaks away.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Alright. I decided to make myself a little bit more focused in getting my project off the ground through blogging. To think, if I heard myself say that six years ago I'd probably shudder. Either way, this blog is to serve the purpose of sharing, promoting, and organizing the Sabertooth Tiger Tapes Distro.

Within the month we'll be launching a simple html website with links to download-able and playable versions of some free digital singles as well as an option to purchase tapes via PayPal or by sending money in the mail. Singles are representative of the polished final piece, and tapes are the formative demos, jazz, and noise that create the inspiration for the singles.

We also want to start filming full length music video tapes for distribution within the forseeable future. There is enough pre-created content to keep the website capable of daily updates of art, writing, drawing, and video. I hope you'll enjoy following the process with me as I turn my dream of helping people make and hear their own simple music a reality.