Category Archives: The Football Project

The Football Project Finale: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Spectacle

Well, here we are. It’s the end of a project… and I decided to end it with a doozy. Going into this tune, I knew that none of these tunes had cleared the 5 minute mark (although a few came close) and I wanted to clear it by a wide margin this time. As a result, there is a LOT more going on here than usual… so much so that I think the song can be divided into three or four sections.

Lyrically, the chorus is a nod to the song title and its origins. I stole the subtitle from the movie “Dr. Strangelove” and replaced “Bomb” with “Spectacle” for this song’s title, so I thought “It’s a strange love, doctor” would make for an excellent chorus! Otherwise, it’s just kind of a romp through a typical Super Bowl Sunday night… again, far more from a fan’s perspective than a player. HOWEVER – and thanks to my friends Mike Huurman and Brandon Fess for this – the players get involved as a challenge flag is thrown at around 2:40.

I couldn’t stop with just that stuff, now, could I? Oh no… so I added MORE! Look out for commentators, clean sections in an otherwise heavy tune, and the requisite end-of-season montage at the end, sending this track over the 9-minute mark. Enjoy! Thank you for listening and for sticking around to see the end of this whole project. This has been a lot of fun for me and I hope it shows in the music.

How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Spectacle

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The Football Project, Week 17: No More For Me, Thanks – I’m Driving

We made it! It’s the end of the football regular season! What a long, fun trip it’s been… This week, I close out the regular season with a song in the style of a band I’ve liked but have never really tried: Minus The Bear. I’ve been told I sound like their singer – even fooled my mother once or twice – so why not, right? That and the fact that the first thing I came up with for this tune was the tapping riff in the verses. The song kinda dictated itself from there…

Lyrically, it’s the logical regular season conclusion for our chair-dwelling hero. Instead of sitting at home watching the finale, he and a few of his friends decide to haunt their favorite local bar instead. Drinks are had, their favorite team gets blown out… and you know what? It was a darn good day anyway. Enjoy and I’ll see you next time.

No More For Me, Thanks – I’m Driving

Programming note: The Football Project’s next tune – which will be the last – will arrive shortly after The Game Of Largeness In Indianapolis.

The Football Project, Week 16: For All The Marbles You Don’t Deserve

FINALLY! We’ve made it to Week 16 – the last week of the Fantasy Football season! So, naturally, that’s what this tune is about. Our hero gleefully ignores the holiday party he’s attending (maybe he’s even hosting it!) to keep tabs on his fantasy team because it’s in his league’s championship game. Kind of a jerk move, yes, but what can you do? Well, people try to lure him out in the bridge… to no avail.

Now, the music… The beginning bit is one of the first ideas I came up with when I decided to do this project. Nearly four months later, I finally got to use it! Otherwise, this tune is straight-up pop-punk with a part of “Deck The Halls” in the bridge. It’s public domain, so why not, right? And finally, to put a nice little bow on the proceedings, That’s my brother saying “Nobody cares, Ed. Nobody cares,” at the end of the track. Enjoy this here thingy and I’ll see you next week with the final tune for the regular season.

For All The Marbles You Don’t Deserve

The Football Project, Week 15: Archaic Rules and Paid Programming

Hey, yeah – the Football Project! Don’t worry, I wasn’t neglecting it. It just took a slight back seat to the Christmas music, that’s all. So technically this is a day late, but hey – better than nothing, right?

The musical explanation is simple: I like speed metal. I don’t know if I’m particularly good at it, but I like to partake in it every now and then… like, say, this week! It’s a little raw in spots, but I like it anyway – makes me think of more old school thrash that way.

The lyrics to this one were inspired by recent events around this area where I live. For the second time this season, this past week’s Buffalo home game did not sell out. Therefore, by football rules, the game is blacked out in the team’s local market. I was bummed… mostly because I knew full well that game had the potential to be really entertaining (for the wrong reasons, yes, but still…)! Oh well – there’s always next year, I guess… Enjoy the speed metal and I’ll see you next week.

Archaic Rules and Paid Programming

The Football Project, Week 14: Paradigm Shift

Well, after a fun little diversion, it’s back to the heavy stuff this week. Lyrically, this one is simple. This song here – as the title may suggest – centers around a football guy who decides to make a change… so he – gasp! – turns the TV off and goes outside. That’s really it. Throw in a few big words to go with the overall feel of the song and we’re good to go!

Musically, this is heavily inspired by an album I recently picked up and loved from the start. The album is called “Traced in Air,” the second release from the band Cynic. In order to get a more accurate depiction, I did take a copy of the main vocal track and shifted the pitch up an octave (but I buried it in the mix more than Cynic does, so there’s that). Also, it turns out I can, in fact, still play some haulin’ double kick drum parts! That’s always good to know, isn’t it? And, as a final note, I think this guitar solo is a personal best for me. Enjoy! See you next week.

Paradigm Shift

The Football Project, Week 13: Gloomy McDoomerson

This week (a little later than usual, which I’ll explain later) is a big ol’ changeup for the project – a very simple guitar and vocal tune! Recorded with one microphone (the good ol’ Yeti Pro – I still haven’t found a thing it can’t do), no less. The acoustic-type mellow song is something I enjoy doing in the latter stages of a hard rock/metal project like this one… and this felt like the right time to do it (considering I know how I want the next three weeks to go). This is a standard electric guitar in Drop-D tuning, recorded on the neck pickup through a Roland Micro Cube amplifier. A small operation for a small song – only seemed fitting, really…

Lyrically, this one falls into a pattern I’ve hit a few times during this project – the bummed-out fan who still tunes in anyway… probably out of a force of habit more than anything. Since I live near Buffalo, I figure I have to have a pretty high authority on this sort of thing, wouldn’t you say? So yeah – gloom and doom over a mellow guitar thing. To further drive the pattern home, the lyrics at the end are lifted directly from Week Six’s tune.

So there you have it. A nice little acoustic-style number to break up the heaviness… and a few days late because I lost my voice over the weekend (which you can probably still hear the effects in this recording). BUT the show must go on! Enjoy this one and I’ll see you next week with what looks to be a pretty crazy one.

Gloomy McDoomerson

Week 12 Addendum

Like “What The Hell Was That?!”, I decided to film myself recording “Tryptophan”. Shortly after I posted the song here, I began a furious video editing session and ended up with not one, but TWO videos! First, here’s the actual video:

And here’s the complete drum take:

Enjoy!

The Football Project, Week 12: Tryptophan

Aahhh, Thanksgiving. The one holiday where it’s completely OK to stuff yourself silly and sit around doing nothing. I also like it because it seems to serve as a day to sort of collect yourself before the insanity that is the holiday season kicks in… but I digress. So what else happens on Thanksgiving? Football! So this song is about… well… stuffing yourself silly, sitting down on the couch to watch football, and passing out on that couch while the game is still on. The tune is called “Tryptophan” in homage to the amino acid within turkey that people suspected was the culprit for making us all sleepy after the feast.

Now, in regards to the song itself… there are no words. Literally. I feel the best way for me to convey a dreamlike state is to abandon vocals and take the instrumental route. Also, about half of the tracks on the original Football Project – recorded in college on a 4-track – were instrumentals, so this project had to have at least one track without vocals. Also, I decided against repeating sections (save for the guitars in 7/4 at the beginning of the tune) in order to give the tune a sense of forward motion. At the end of the day, a LOT of guitar tracks were recorded and I’m really happy with the results. Enjoy! I’ll see you next week.

Tryptophan

P.S.: I filmed myself recording this song and will (hopefully) have the video up within a day or two. 

The Football Project, Week 11: Ice Packs For Everybody!

This week’s tune is… well… probably one of the strangest songs I’ve ever written. Believe me, I’ve written some weird stuff over the years, and this one is right up there. Unlike a lot of those, however, the vast bizarre-ness of this track is mostly intentional.

Let’s start with the lyrics, shall we? I think we shall. Considering last week’s tune was about getting whacked in the head, it made sense to write about team doctors this time. The fun part was writing the second “verse” (for lack of a better term) where I yelled out maladies and the doctor spewed out quick fixes (my favorite is still “get some duct tape”). Like last week, there’s an arcade game reference here, but this one is a) right off the bat and b) much more obvious.

Musically… I think the oddest part of this song is how quickly it came together. The stacking guitars at the beginning, the guitars dropping out for the second verse, the speed metal parts, the borderline-atonal chorus in 5 (needless to say, tracking the chorus vocal parts was not easy)… it just all made sense.  I wanted this song to be really uptempo and kinda hyper… and the quickness in which it was written helped accomplish that.

Finally, the chaos at the end… yeah, that was a lot of fun to record. The voices over the last chorus were improvised (no surprise there). My brother dropped by at some point yesterday, so I had him record a couple tracks as well. When he burst out laughing at the end of that bit, I knew this section was going to work… Enjoy it and I’ll see you next week with something quite different.

Ice Packs For Everybody!

The Football Project, Week 10: Scrambled Eggs

Well, here it is – the Football Project tune about getting popped in the head. I had this idea from the beginning of the season, but I wanted to save it until about halfway through… like, say, now! Our protagonist is a quarterback for a team whose game isn’t going well. On, let’s say, a third and long, he gets driven out of the pocket and sacked. After he gets drilled in the noggin, he thinks he’s a medieval knight and talks like one for the rest of the song (If you listen closely, you’ll hear a king on the left side knight him, dubbing him “Sir Back of Quarter,” in the freakout section). I guess wearing all those pads might do that to a guy…

Musically, it’s a return to the progressive rock that has been a big part of this project. The real change of pace for me, however, is the… um… change of pace. I rarely write tempo changes into my music, but this tune called for them. Combine those with the host of time changes (which, considering this is me we’re dealing with, had to happen) and we have ourselves a nice little challenge here. Ultimately, though, the end result is worth the effort and brain-wracking… and this one was actually quite fun to put together, too. Enjoy the ride and I’ll see you next week.

Scrambled Eggs