Thomas Boutell

Just some guy who made a thing.

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I posted this to Facebook on time last night, then I just had to get some shuteye. Sorry I'm late, creative accountability pardners.

Creative prompts from Aaron Humphrey: Nicholas If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned Barbon, a candelabra, "the wifi is down."

YouTube absolutely crucified the audio here. I don't know why. It pains me to say this but it sounds way the hell better on Facebook. Lyrics below, it would be nice if you could hear them.

Some
Some people
Some people make
Some people make it up as they go along

Some
Some people
Some people can
Some people can do anything they want

Some
Some people
Some people will
Some people will say anything

Some
Some people
Some people have
Some people have a lot of fucking nerve

An asymptotic curve
Approaching infinity, ay ay o
You thought you were the grasping man’s Galileo

And the only thing that bothers you
Is posterity

So you wrote and wrote and lectured with
Such clarity

And you tried to sell the rights to what you’d never owned
As the lord protector shoved the sword back in the stone
As you fought the lawyers in the street
I admit that part was kind of sweet
But you did it all for you and you alone
Nicholas Barbon

Now
Now I don’t
Now I don’t know
Now I don’t know how to get along
Without your shiny toys

Now
Now I see
Now I see why
Now I see why the end of every song
Became a royalty check

Now I’m insured against
All acts of God
You’re betting that he won’t show up
The cobbler’s kids are wonderfully shod

And if the candelabra ever falls
You’ll have plenty of time to pack and skip town
While we’re all still asking why the wifi is down

And you tried to sell the rights to what you’d never owned
As the lord protector shoved the sword back in the stone
As you fought the lawyers in the street
I admit that part was kind of sweet
But you did it all for you and you alone
Nicholas Barbon

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11/17 '17 7 Comments
I have to respond to this using the Liz Lerman method, because I don't just like this, I have questions and thoughts.

MOST MEMORABLE/MEANINGFUL ELEMENTS: The simplicity of the verses when contrasted with the bridge. The human, accessible, "yes this song is about me" -ness of the verses.
"The cobbler's kids are wonderfully shod."
"An asymptotic curve
Approaching infinity, ay ay o
You thought you were the grasping man’s Galileo."
It was meaningful to me that you alluded to his middle name without straight-out using it.

QUESTIONS:
Why did you choose to avoid deliberately using his middle name?
Do you feel that Barbon's work as one of the first proponents of the free market makes him a forerunner of Creative Commons licenses? Is that why you used the phrase, "the wifi is down?"

OPINIONS:
I think your points about Nicholas Barbon are excellent and relevant to life today. I think this is an important song, though it needs some practice and refinement: I'm well aware that this is a first or early draft.

I have an opinion about your guitar playing and the melody, which could be helpful, or not. Do you want to read it here, or should I keep it to myself?
Lindsay Harris Friel 11/19 '17edited
Go for it. I'm well aware that picking up my guitar twice a week for an hour doesn't really improve my game...
Thomas Boutell 11/19 '17
I wasn't going to say, "practice more," but practice never hurts.

What I was going to say is, when you are really relaxed and confident with playing this musical composition (it's clear this song is new to you, as it should be), write a second guitar part to go with it and fill it out. You may find that having a guitarist and songwriter who is unbiased about this song may be a good choice to write that, rather than having you do it, because they may be able to see a contrast of your melody more easily than you can.

Really, you shouldn't have a second person write the second guitar part, you should just write it when and if you feel like it. I know nothing about music composition. But, I benefit from my collaborators having a different perspective on my work than I do, so my gut always tells me to say, "find a collaborator!" when that may be totally unnecessary. Which is why you should take my opinion with a grain of salt.
Thank you for all this!
Thomas Boutell 11/19 '17
I used the phrase "the WiFi is down" because it was assigned 😁 I may or may not have succeeded in writing a verse about how if you pull off a big enough insurance sale, it takes an act of God that would shut down civilization anyway for you to go broke.

The song is a bit scathing but my actual views on him are more sympathetic. Whadda fuckin' guy.

His middle name is really long and would take the song over... Or maybe drive a great verse about the English revolution and the dawn of free market theology. Hmm.
Thomas Boutell 11/19 '17
I forgot the phrase was assigned. And it was right there in front of me. D'Oh. See how I got pulled in?

His middle name would entirely take the song over.
You know what I really want? I want somebody good to run with one of these songs. I'm even OK with them chucking the music entirely if they dig the words.
Thomas Boutell 11/20 '17
 



E                          D

Teach your kitties Python,

A

Teach your kitties Perl,

E                           D

Teach your kitties C++,

A       B              E

That’ll melt their world.

Miaow!


Teach your kitties Fortran,

Hey they’ll always eat.

Teach your kitties COBOL,

Join the obsolete elite!

Miaow!


Teach your kitties JavaScript,

Now they are confused.

Teach your kitties Eiffel, it’s

A skill they’ll never use!

Miaow!


E                      D

Kitties haven’t got much RAM

E                                 B

They can’t draw UML diagrams


But all the boss on Upwork knows:

They’re experts on stack overflow

Miaow!



When you’re kitty’s ready,

Call the agency.

Soon she’ll be debugging

Thermostats in C!

Miaow!


Teach your kitties Python,

Now you’re living large!

Ship them off to SpaceX

On an automated barge!


Miaow!

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11/9 '17 7 Comments
That was fun!

My cat only knows Kibble++ and she refuses to use any kind of source control.
Chris Herdt 11/10 '17
IHNJH, IJLS "obsolete elite." :)
Thanks guys!

With this song I learned exactly why nobody listens to anything I put on SoundCloud and then link on Facebook... They make installing the app mandatory if you're on a phone.

Even YouTube links get very low levels of play on FB, probably because Facebook is arranging it that way to promote Facebook video.

I get the most views, I suspect, when I upload video directly to FB, but lately they make the sound a lot worse. Hmm.
Thomas Boutell 11/11 '17
Thank you for telling me this. I'm looking at some ways to get Jarnsaxa out to people who don't do iTunes.
Lindsay Harris Friel 11/11 '17edited
I clicked the link above (here in OPW) and it opened right in my browser. No app download required. Hmmm.
This is true, but in the Facebook app for mobile devices it goes right to the soundcloud app install and people say uh no. Thus comments here but only one on FB from my girlfriend and she let me know it was a pain, which was good Intel. 😁
Thomas Boutell 11/12 '17edited
This is really fun. :)
 

In completion of my weekly creative challenge.

For Lindsay, who gave me these prompts:

Micky Dolenz, an avocado, and "you do and you'll clean it up."

  G
You fake it till you make it
G
You fake it till you’re there
C                    D
It’s like an avocado
G
You don’t know what’s in there

G
You’re really really green but
G
You’re really really good
C                       D                     G                                  
If you can just align the coulda should with the grain of the

A
Wood

                  C                      D                  G
Like Micky Dolenz you persisted till you could

The lie is well intended
The lie is made of gold
The liar can lie down with the lamb I am told
It’s just a funny story
It’s just a little fib
And you’ve been telling stories since the hour you crawled out of the

A
Crib

D                        Am
And even at the pearly gates
     D                           G
As your performance demonstrates
      C                D              G
It’s perfectly all right to ad-lib

You break it and you bought it
You do and you’ll clean it up
And if you start the drinking game you’re draining the cup

You have a penny, leave a penny
Leave it all behind
Cast off all your possessions and embrace the intended

Design

As you’re defying entropy
And we’re pretending not to see
The emperor’s shiny behind

I have to hand it to you
But I can’t reach that high
It was a noble effort
A remarkable try

You nearly told the truth once
You nearly sold the bridge
You had us in the desert
Hanging half off the grid

   C             D
A colony of artisans
        G                        D
Who couldn’t play the drums
          C                       D
We’re standing by the highway now
       G
And rapidly running out of

A
Thumbs

A broken tale of lightning strikes
For what it’s worth, it struck you twice
And finally you’re stricken

Dumb

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11/2 '17 3 Comments
I needed that. Thank you.
"standing by the highway now and rapidly running out of thumbs"
somehow reminds me of
"exporting bass to pedestrian nations"
Brian Rapp 11/3 '17
<3
Rabbit 11/3 '17
 

A tiny ditty in completion of my weekly creative challenge. It's very short and trivial in structure but I think it's a good song that would not be enhanced by further elaboration.

Written in response to prompts from my dear old friend Anne Galvin:

"Schrodinger, a cat, 'how'd that work out for ya?'"

Strictly speaking, I cheated a little on the character, but hey, representation matters.


G Dm Am7

I went to a lecture by Schroedinger’s cat
And she said
History is written by the lucky and the fat
My sisters, half my sisters, statistically anyway half, they’ll tell you
Don’t worry
This is fine

And the other half… (silent verse)

And this, yes this my kittens
(And her gaze became imploring)
Is the reason I never ask:

“How’d that work out for ya?”

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10/26 '17 2 Comments
oh this is fantastic! I could listen to you sing all day. These words are so clever and sweet.
Robert Bryan 10/27 '17
Huzzah sir huzzah!
 

People get confused. They think the monster is the man...

In fulfillment of my creative challenge for the week. And by the bye: it's Thursday everyone. Where's your installment?

People get confused
They think the monster is the man
They think the man is a scientist
But he's really just a hobbyist

And the monster is confused
He never really thought it'd come to this
Just a scare, just a little kiss
Just a clever ruse

But they made him the mayor of this fucked up town
And the cops want to drive him around
And I hear a giant sucking sound

Oh my Frankenstein
You used to be a friend of mine
We had dinner parties all the time

Until the villagers came and took you away
And dressed you in a cape
And crowned you king

You thought it would be fun
But then you stepped on everyone
And the bastards cheered you on
It's about time someone got something done

I don't understand
This is not the second life we planned
This is not the second life we planned
This is not the second life we planned
This is not the second life... we... planned...
Oh my Frankenstein

The ideas that I put into your mind

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10/19 '17 5 Comments
Bravo!!
I heart your voice. Those words are clever, and that long-freeze at the end is absolutely top quality.
Thank you for sharing that.

As for me, I wrote and mailed these 5 paper letters:
Three Quaker Friends in retirement homes / rehab / live by themselves.
Two people I couldn’t speak to at the funeral on Monday.
It’s helped to know I have to report progress.
Robert Bryan 10/19 '17
Glad it worked for you!
Thomas Boutell 10/19 '17
Great song! I like the idea of a Frankenstein (Monster) mayor. Minneapolis has an upcoming mayoral election, I wonder if there's time to get on the ballot. Captain Jack Sparrow is an official candidate, it's not unprecedented: http://www.citypages.com/news/captain-jack-sparrow-officially-running-for-minneapolis-mayor-photo-6562757
Chris Herdt 10/19 '17
These lyrics-- ow ow ow ow. (And by "ow ow ow ow" I mean "Wow. They reflect the reality I do not like." The song though: STRONG WORK!)
Thanks Jill! That is where I was going for sure.
Thomas Boutell 10/22 '17
 

Gather your spoons
Our trip to the moon
Is on hold today

Gather yourself
We’re sharing the wealth
Hey it’s on display

Finding the means to say
If you’re suffering in this present emergency
Come home with me
We’ll watch TV

A weekend march
You’re doing your part
Ineffectually (or so it seems)

Just stick to the job
And Peter will rob
Paul eventually

Rome wasn’t sacked in a day
The rot took time to set in
We’re going to win
Wear your flag pin

Your bubble blew up
And you don’t know what
That’s supposed to mean

The sky isn’t blue
And one equals two
Counterfactually

And every cow has a voice
If you’re living in flyover country
You must be pleased
Wave up to me

Well some of us should move to Missoula
And some of us to Cedar Falls
And some of us will settle in Asheville
That won’t be hard to sell at all

And then we’ll teach our cats to pray
We’re not a very disciplined bunch we do things our own way
I guess we’ll stay

Snowflakes falling by the ton
And you know they can’t drive in snow
In Washington
They’ll come undone

Let’s walk together
We’ve such pleasant weather
Look who’s arrived

Wear a pink hat
Well how about that
We’re organized

And hope will always be a place
Even if it’s in a solid red state
We’re still alive

And let that be our battle cry

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2/15 '17 4 Comments
A Lai?
Rabbit 2/15 '17
Nice! I particularly like the verse about the snowflakes.
Thanks Linds! I was pleased with that too.
Thomas Boutell 2/15 '17
I'm not in a place where I can listen (yet), but these lyrics are FREAKIN' WONDERFUL. My memory is crap so I'm likely forgetting something, but my sieve-like skull says this my favorite thing of yours I've ever read.

Thank you!!
 

This sat in my OnePo draft folder for weeks while I thought up new verses on long bike rides, shot selfie video so I wouldn't forget them, worked out chords and finally recorded it. It's the second song of the current Single Tom Is Madly Creative era. I'm still not back to where I used to be with the guitar but I'm getting closer. Fortunately I can sing a little.


      D            Am         D


Oh Gwyneth, statistically

Am                                D                          C

There's a lot of other people who are perfect for me

D

Charming and sweet

         Am                  D

With ten toes, two feet

        Am        D            C

And ideally suited to snuggery

       A           D                G

But lately I feel what I won't admit

         A                          D                     G

That something was out there and you were it

          A             B                              E

But I don't do despondent and I don't do depressed

        A               E                 D

And I will find someone I guess


B section:

A                                                       D

Thought I had a glimpse of a universe

                                                                              G

Where time runs backwards and it could be worse

                                                                               A      B

And for a moment there there was a second verse

D

Yes you dumb fuck,

            Am            D

You're not out of luck,

                       C

You're just a pain in the ass

        D                    C

But this too shall pass

A                          D              G

And everything comes to he who relates

A                                 D                G

And observes and absorbs and then restates

A                                   B

You're as cute as can be,

                  E

You're on top of your league

A                                     E         D

And you'll be with the queen presently

And you'll be with the queen presently

      D                   Am  D

Oh Gwyneth, soliloquy

    G                   D                      C         D

Is not a conversation and I'm not a creep

      G                     D             C                     D

So peace out, au revoir, I won't see you round

     G                  D                         C                D

I'll take the remainder and I'll round you down

          A                            B                  E

I'll be on OKCupid and Tinder and Match

                A                         E                     D

'Cos you know what can happen with that

                A                         E                     D

Yes, you know what can happen with that


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9/11 '15