Category Archives: Angela Blogs About Things

Happy Pi Day: a story about our Uncle Geek

It’s Pi day, which seems like a good reason to give you a free download of our children’s song “Uncle Geek’s House.”

This is a song I wrote for our Uncle’s big-number-birthday a few years ago. Our Uncle Ed is an awesome, awesome person. He taught Computer Science at a University in Missouri from the days when computer sciences involved punch cards and wizards and cauldrons.

When I was a kid and would visit Uncle Geek (I would stay with him a lot when I would visit my ailing grandparents) he would set up a laptop for me to check my Internets (AOL and neopets 4 life), which often involved stringing ethernet cables around his house in complicated patterns. He made us a mix CD of Weird Al and other parody songs that stayed on my CD to iPod to laptop rotation for years. When I got my first computer, a PC in a Mac household, and proceeded to ruin it with viruses because none of my family had ever needed to protect from things like that, he rescued all my photos. He and I would go to Target and buy bargain DVDs of old comedies. He’d take me to his “nerd gatherings” at the local pizza buffet with all his friends who were professors, IT guys, and wireless-thing-installers. As a very awkward, very lonely kid, seeing happy nerds was a really, really big thing for me.

When we started the band, Uncle Geek (not his real name) was a huge supporter. He ordered one of our t-shirts custom so he could get a pocket T – he, like my grandfather did, wears his pens and notebooks in a pocket protecter in his t-shirt, unapologetically rebelling from the norm.

In our touring life, we’ve met a lot of awesome people who have adopted the “Uncle Geek” role. Not everybody can have nerdy parents (I didn’t)… but having that geeky Uncle to show you the way… the way of Linux and Monty Python and Weird Al… that’s a wonderful part of growing up.

The Doubleclicks: 2012 TOTALLY HAPPENED you guys!

Happy Christmas from our parents’ house in Massachusetts! It’s time to get all reflective up in here!

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2012. It seems like the year went so fast, and so slow – you know that feeling? Like, you set a bunch of fitness goals and “I should really figure out how dry cleaning works” goals and “I should know how to cook” goals – and then 12 months pass like no time at all…. but at the same time… well, let’s just look at a few things that happened in 2012.

Continue reading

Show Report: Amanda F*#(ing Palmer

Music is beautiful, you guys. So freaking beautiful.

Aubrey declares victory as I try to capture the moment. Photo by Karen Cooke. More on Facebook!

Let me tell you a story.

I will start in fall of 2006. My very first college boyfriend is big into music. I am big into “music,” but by “music,” I mean “They Might Be Giants.” And that’s pretty much it. He introduces me to a lot of bands, and takes me to a number of concerts. The first concert – The Dresden Dolls. Before that concert, he lends me all of their music, and I listen to it. Constantly. By the time we see the show, I know all of their songs. They put on a fantastic show. Cary & I stand in front and see it all. We are moved.

Cut to: 2012. Continue reading

Song Fu 1: “The Way I Glow”

This month, we had to write and record a song “about bioluminescence,” because John Hodgman told us to, and we’re doing a thing called Song Fu, which, among other things, requires that we occasionally do what John Hodgman tells us to do. (This is a blog post I wrote explaining Song Fu.)

We recorded a podcast with Ken Plume & Molly Lewis about the songwriting process for this month. YOU CAN LISTEN TO IT. (mp3 link)

And you can listen to the song we wrote about Bioluminescence, and even download it, if you want:

It’s called “The Way I Glow.”

The Songwriting Process

When the prompt for this month’s challenge was announced, I immediately decided that I didn’t want to be “too literal” in the interpretation of the challenge. This is one of the many winning strategies that I’ve learned from the reality fashion-designer-TV show Project Runway: don’t be too literal about the challenge. (Also: be true to your own aesthetic, be nice to nice people, and don’t use tulle).

There were a lot of ways still to go with Bioluminescence, however. For example: did you know that there is a bioluminescent creature with a Latin name that literally means “vampire squid from hell”? It’s true. Ask Wikipedia.

“The Way I Glow” is a song from the point of view of a bioluminescent girl, who is heartbroken and angry and maybe a little confused about why this dude broke up with her.

We must thank the scientists on Twitter (and my Bio 100 teacher) who helped us understand the affects of Green Fluorescent Protein: I’ve learned, for example, that if you tried to make a person glow the way you make mice glow with GFP, it would mostly show up in a person’s mucous membranes–mouth, nose, eyes, etc. Learning! Yay!

Plugs & Links

Stay tuned for next month’s Song Fu. The prompt will be announced on the Song Fu website on February 6.

Just over a dozen songwriters responded to this month’s Song Fu prompt. You can see all those entries in the Song Fu forum. You should also listen to and spend money on the song Molly Lewis wrote for this prompt, which I will embed below.