Jingles and Videos and Randroids, Oh My!

It started because I wanted to clean my computer.

Ayn Nation Under God – The Jingle

I had just downloaded my video program, and it had also installed a “FREE” optimizer.

I clicked. It opened. It asked, SCAN?

Foolishly feeling that there is plenty of time in life and that we are not mortal and doomed to die far too soon, I said, “SURE.”

I booted up the freeware proggie I had, and, naturally THERE IS A NEWER VERSION! WOULD YOU LIKE TO UPDATE?

Foolishly feeling that there is plenty of time in life and that we are not motel and doomed to die far too soon, I said, “SURE.”

Cheapos that they are, the server redirected me to CNET to download.

And, of course, CNET had a FIVE STAR SUGGESTION of other related software.

smoke-up-ass

This has no relationship to the narrative whatsoever

Foolishly feeling that there is plenty of time in life, I said, “SURE.”

Software downloaded, scan begun.

And, wasted hours later, I clicked “fix” and guess what?

ONLY $49.95 for the Über Softvare Wunderbar  da da da da da da …

Screw you! breathes I and hits the “X” in thet upper right hand corner. Activating the new popular anti-leave-this-page popup blocker in its newest incarnation.

WAIT! YOU CAN GET THIS PROGRAM FOR FREE …

Usually, I snarl again and hit the “X” again, but I still wanted to clean my computer.

compuwriter-jr

My wood-burning, steam computer
activates by the use of giant stone floppy disks

Foolishly feeling that there is plenty of time in life, AND having wasted a morning already I gave in to the zeitgeist and said, “SURE.”

And was taken to a large page of offers … buy our program; subscribe to our magazine; book your hotel with our website; book your hotel with our website; book your hotel … you get the idea.

And I ran across an offer from something called “Fiver dot com.” For five bucks, people will make things, perform services, all kinds of stuff.

fiver screencap

screencap

And I thought: Yeah. I can do five dollars.

So I scrolled through the various almost random pages of people who would put a Santa Claus hat on your cat’s picture for five bucks, or make a video of a dog barking your name, or immortalize your name in lucite … and I found a page where a guy says: I will make a jingle for anything, five bucks.

‘I will create a PROFESSIONAL jingle for you, your company, your youtube channel, your radio for $5′ by ****.

Description:

I will record in my studio an INSTRUMENTAL JINGLE for you, with a professional quality, mixed and mastered ! You will be able to use it for your radio, your YouTube channel, your company, an advert, or whatever you need this jingle to be used ! It can be anystyle you want : 20s, 50s, 60s, 70s, Disco, Pop, Grunge, Rock, Hard Rock, Electro, Minimal, Dubstep, Jazz, Dance, Bossa Nova, anything ! Just ask me the style you need, as I have lots of instruments here !

Expected duration:

2 days

Foolishly feeling that there is plenty of time in life, AND having five dollars in the exchequer, I said “SURE!” What the hell, I’d just published the ebook, and the evil of mediocre modernity now demands that books have videos, or “book trailers” and if we’re going to go down THAT route, why the hell not a jingle for your ebook?

[* for the actual skinny on the book itself, see THIS blog posting.]

Two days, it said.

Great. I did the epay and got my e-receipt. Then I went BACK to the zuper-duper cleaning program.

I happily went through the bells and whistles and my cleaning program was thence UNLOCKED!

shamrock

Faith and begorrah! ‘Tis a MIRACLE!

It scanned yet AGAIN and fixed said problems.

And, jeepers. The computer runs a lot faster, lots of clutter has been cleaned, the registry is backed up and optimized, and it turned out I hadn’t wasted my morning after all.

Case closed.  Except …

I received this communique from Mr. Jingles:

Oh my god Hart Williams !
I’m deeply sorry, so so so so so so so so so sorry !!!! :(
I stopped coming on Fiverr because I thought my gigs were never going to attract people ! And I came back today and saw 6 orders in queue !!!
I’m so sorry again my friend !!! Please do not cancel the order ! It’s so interesting for me to create this jingle !
Don’t cancel it please ! I start thinking about it now ! You’ll get it here tomorrow (I am working at the moment :/ ) . There is no problem for the musical genre ! I can do it of course !!!
However, I can’t add lyrics :/ . Is that ok ?
Excuse me again, and again, and again, and again… :(

(about a month ago)
****
HW: No problem, my friend.

And I have never heard another word since.

But I’m in a Catch-22: If I cancel the order, the cleaning software will be deactivated. And for five bucks it isn’t worth the hassle.

But, lest you think this is a problem, Fiverr was very good about informing me about the deadline and suggesting I cancel the order.

And I got the narrator and narration for the long-form video on another Fiverr page.

I like Fiverr. This is an endorsement of that, while noting that some of its independent contractors are, shall we say? flaky.

But I still didn’t have a jingle.

radiodiall

And the idea still intrigued me.

You see, so much about the publishing industry is bullshit and flim-flam games. I can’t honor any industry devoted to artwork that demands “book proposals” for books that haven’t been written. That HYPE things that aren’t finished, that shamelessly abuses the very notion of hyperbole with blurbs that ascribe to any hack a felicity for expression that would put The Bard to shame; that hides behind so many masks and mirrors and sells books by getting celebrities to manufacture book tours around.

Think Paris Hilton. Think Snookie. Both are “New York Times Bestselling Authors!”

Paris Hilton autographing her book.jpg

‘author’ Paris Hilton autographing

And, by comparison, a jingle seems an appropriate book marketing vehicle — or, if not so, certainly a MORE appropriate marketing vehicle than a bunch of flim-flammery about recognizable functional illiterates supposedly “writing” books. I’m not putting any musicians out of business, after all.

But I didn’t have a jingle. And then, sitting on the back porch, the ‘oven timer’ went off, and the first lines appeared with an appropriately ‘patriotic’ song:

Ayn Nation Under God
is available for your iPod
or mobile device …

In my head. The jingle!

Foolishly feeling that there is plenty of time in life and that we are not mortal and doomed to die far too soon, I said, “SURE.”

Then, pulling out an old midi file I did long ago, the old Church Hymnal Soprano-Alto-Tenor-Bass piano version of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”

lady liberty

sweet land of libertines

Which is, of course, actually an American insult to the British, since the rest of the English speaking world knows it as “God Save the King/Queen.”

Kind of like eating ham for Easter dinner. I GET that it’s an insult to Jewish dietary law. But both insults are deeply woven into the fabric of American Rubery, and the rubric of that rubery is to not get all riled up about it, so it’s probably a perfect song for the jingle.

I voiced the lower Tenor and Bass parts with classic Oberheim pulse/saw and the Soprano and Alto with sampled orchestra (bassoons? I don’t remember).

Like this:

tis of thee, straight from the hymnal – mp3

And it sounded pretty good. But it needed something. So I laid a sampled percussion track under it, and altered the speed and pitch.

tis of thee with great strangeness – mp3

Then, I recorded the jingle as low as practicable and overlaid it with the same vocal jacked up an octave.

squirrel&nuts

No relation to Alvin

Trust me, it was easier and cleaner to do it on the old reel-to-reels, recording at half-speed and playing back at full speed.

Mixed the vocals over the top, added subtitles, and, voilà! Presto chango … jingle.

And here it is,

final mix – fast – mp3

or rather, the final product is up top.

But I started OUT to clean my computer.

Foolishly feeling that there is plenty of time in life and that we are not mortal and doomed to die far too soon, I seem to have wandered far afield.

Fortunately, while we may know HOW short this voyage from birth to death is, we also have no idea WHY we’re taking it.

So why not a jingle?

And, as anticipated, the first Randroid commentary appeared on the long-form video:

I hope Ayn Rands ideas spread, and when I say Ayn Rands ideas I mean Ayn Rands ideas, not the waterdowned crap conservatives spread. [sic]

Mysteriously, the comment was not approved. Gee.

ViolaC

guess the clef and win a no-prize!

If I’m gonna do “marketing” and “publicity” then I sure as hell am going to have some fun with it.

And my computer is clean.

Courage.

PS: The book is three bucks. Ab0ut the price of a fancy cup of coffee and half the price of a pack of cigarettes. Help a writer out and maybe I can recoup the cost of Mr. Jingles sending my five dollars into electronic oblivion. Hey we ARE talking about Abraham Lincoln here.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Jingles and Videos and Randroids, Oh My!

  1. I love you, you crazy man! Pretty C-clef, alto C version.

    I already won, because I bought your book 12/17/2012. Just in case the world was going to end, wanted to read it first.

    Keep calling it as you see it, thank you.