The latest EP from The Society Of Poor Academics, Whatever Happened To Blast Processing?, collects four video game themed songs. You can buy digital copies from bandcamp here, or physical copies here. The physical print run is limited to 25 copies, and available on mini CD-Rs. As with most of my music so far, it’s pretty lo-fi, performed in one take on old keyboards and out-of-tune pianos and recorded with my trusty Cowon iAUDIO U2 DAP. This probably limits the potential audience to fans of early Daniel Johnston, early The Mountain Goats and early CFTPA, but hey, they’re probably among the better and more friendly crowds.
I also have this idea of doing another version of this EP sometime in the future, re-recording all the tracks and giving them a slightly more professional sounding (but still probably somewhat lo-fi) synth pop treatment. The cover would feature a drawing of a Sega Mega Drive with the Mega-CD add-on, but it would probably still have the same title.
As a treat, i.e. to try suckering people into buying the whole thing, here’s a free track off the EP: Meaningless.
Here’s a rundown of the EP’s four tracks and what they’re all about.
B A Start. The code for Contra. This was actually recorded on New Year’s Eve 2008, when I had the house all to myself and had no plans for the evening. At around thirty to fifteen minutes before midnight, I recorded this little song. I considered calling it Be A Start instead, but I felt the pun was too obvious and silly.
My Horse & Me. “Wouldn’t it be funny to write a song inspired by this game?” I thought to myself when browsing a piece of spam from Amazon that advertised for My Horse And Me, and not long after that I got the idea of doing an EP of basically video game inspired songs. I’ve never actually played this game myself. Recorded early 2009.
This song is a lot more surreal and less straight-forward than most of my songs are. It’s basically about the following: A man who works mining coal every day is addicted to the game My Horse & Me. He suffers from nightmares, and sleep deprivation, and starts mixing reality and fiction. His wife died in labour, and his daughter died years ago, after which the nightmares started. The town he lives in is a dreary place devoid of happiness and with filthy air, and it’s what killed his family. His daughter loved the game and had her own horse there which she cared for. Her father starts playing the game to remember his daughter, the game and her daughter’s virtual horse being most of what he has left of her. The virtual horse, in a way, is a part of his daughter that’s still alive, and it’s all that he has left. He dreams of getting away from the awful town that cost him his wife and his daughter’s life, and which will eventually take his life as well. He daydreams about riding off with his virtual horse. He uses the nights playing My Horse & Me. If this would ever be made into a short visual narrative of some sort (which it probably won’t), the real world should be black and white whereas the world of virtual horses would be colourful and inviting.
Meaningless. Weren’t you angry when they censored the European release of No More Heroes? Or when they removed content from Yakuza 3 for the Western version? Imagine how the developers feel about those things. It’s a constant struggle between artistic vision and marketability, and it seems the latter too often wins. Recorded 2011, but I’ve had the demo for it laying around since probably 2009 (which basically consisted of the chorus and the instrumental part at the end).
I Know You Can Do It. Also recorded 2011, and also had a demo for it laying around since, probably, sometime 2009. Miles “Tails” Prower tries to cheer up his downtrodden and ridiculed friend, Sonic T. Hedgehog. My feelings about the blue blur are mixed, but there’s something innately rad about the concept of a blue hedgehog battling a villain who’s turning other animals into evil robots. I wish I hadn’t sold off my Mega Drive and Mega CD and had gotten to play Sonic CD.