O! What a Life of Luxury!

Stand back: I’ve recorded another song. This is a song about not quite getting things right. (Excuse-makers take note: such a subject offers an excellent situation for insouciantly disavowing any apparent flaws as being illustrative and on purpose. Foolproof!) It’s also a song that fulfills a sadly overlooked function, that of having there be more songs whose titles are the same as the name of the act that recorded them.

Here’s one of my favorite album covers of all time, which rather illustrates much of what’s going on here:

Without further ado, here’s Monkey Typing Pool with their smash-hit waxing called (wait for it) “Monkey Typing Pool.”

Those who wish to armor themselves with information before listening to the track are advised that some information is available at the link clickable hereon. Those who’d rather let the song be the song without any of that pesky background may ignore that link, until later (a vaguely defined period of time not exclusive of “never”).

Addendum 9/25 10:30 pm: I’ve put up a remixed version that corrects a few problems in the original version. And hey – you get four more seconds of fade out, during which you can clearly hear the ghost of John Lennon say “cranberry grubs I picked from Paul’s hair.”

Monkey Typing Pool “Monkey Typing Pool”


Filed under indulgence, noise

10 responses to “O! What a Life of Luxury!

  1. flasshe

    I’m impressed! Sounds very professional. Catchy too.

    But how did you get David Thomas to do the vocals?

  2. 2fs

    Oh, you mean the high-register backing vocals on the chorus? Well, I wanted Neko Case. But don’t we all.

  3. Anonymous

    Fab song, Jeff! I really enjoyed it.

  4. Anonymous

    You’re branching out into children’s music, Uncle Jeff! “Monkey Typing Pool” is great for dancing and jumping up and down, and gets four opposable thumbs up at Casa Como – two large and apelike, two diminutive and monkeyish.


  5. 2fs

    For the little ones, Janet, that line is “our ship was getting tossed.” The rest of us might hear it a tad differently. (Not that you could hear the lyrics well in the original mix…)

  6. flasshe

    No, I meant some of the lead vocals sound Pere Ubuish…

  7. Tris McCall

    super. less arto lindsay and closer to the good things about later talking heads records. or maybe it’s just the monkey making me say that. lately i have been appreciating how kevin barnes from of montreal uses vocal effects in choruses, a la “oslo in the summertime”. this is a similar concept, and it gives me ideas. did you use a delay or reverb unit, or did you digitally clone your voice? i am trying to decide on a vocal effect to throw on every song on the new album, just to say i did.

    i like how some of the backing vocals sound as if scott miller could have said them. “test hypothesis”: a very scott millerish intonation!

  8. 2fs

    Lead vocals: slapback echo, software-generated. Chorus vocals: doubled with the same software (super-short delay). You can barely hear it – but the harmony on the chorus (that same E over and over again) is actually a loop of the same instance of me singing “monkey typing pool.” Much could be revealed, comparing the naked vocal tracks with the final, much manipulated ones. I haven’t mastered breathing and mic technique: lots of exhalations excised, pops diminished, etc. Plus, major compilation: there are maybe two lines in the song that were actually sung consecutively. Cut and paste, cut and paste, cut and paste. Mostly cuz I’m not that good a singer – although I’m much happier with the way this one turned out, compared to the last one. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, man, practice!

  9. Anonymous

    Hey, this is really good, 2Fs! I’m hearing totally different influences here, though–I hear latter-day Talking Heads or early solo David Byrne in both the sweet melody and happy-feet rhythm, and your vocals–which are winsome and handsome–remind me especially of Pete Townshend on his Empty Glass album. However, of course, it mostly just sounds like 2Fs.


  10. 2fs

    The David Byrne thing is interesting…I didn’t consciously try for any particular sound or influence, but there’s something about the sort of abstracting, bemused distance of the perspective that just says “David Byrne.” The oldest (as in: can legally drink) part of the track is “I’ve got an infinite number of monkeys,” whose next line was originally “writing a love song to you” – but then where do you go from there, I couldn’t figure. So it was updated to our wacky 21st century world. The chorus was popping around in my head for a while, as well as the concept of lotsa percussion. Monkeys, banging on things, you know. Initially I was going to try to steal rhythms and other musical material from various “monkey” songs – but I think I only used two. (“Monkey Man,” and the bass rhythm was kind of borrowed from Elvis Costello’s “Monkey to Man.” Elvis, a champion borrower, I’m sure wouldn’t mind.) The rest of the parts, and the vocal melody, were pretty much improvised then developed – in sharp contrast to the extensive cogitations involved in all the parts of “Study Rain.” The hardest bit was the vocal phrasing – as usual I couldn’t be arsed to actually use any actual meter, so I had to figure out how to fit a whole buncha different number of syllables into the same spaces. It turned out alright, I think. (Pete T. lent me his nose, actually – that accounts for the timbre.)

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