Tag Archives: Pandas

The Song and the Process. I Must Be a Genius by Dean Jones

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Dean Jones is busy these days recording other peoples music.  When I called he was in a session with Molly Ledford (Lunch Money) and Billy Kelly who are working on a project (they had stepped out for lunch). He also works or has worked with with Story Laurie, Recess Monkey and those two Grammy winning children’s music impostors (they’re really great folk musicians in disguise) The Okee Dokee Brothers and many others.  Dean’s really a go to guy when it comes to music production but he is also a most talented songwriter in his own right and likeable fellow as well.  There aren’t a lot of smartly written love songs in the kindie music world that I know of.  The two that come to mind are Pandas are Dangerous by The Boogers and I Must Be A Genuis by Dean Jones. While the Pandas song isdog on fleas bogof totally Punk Rock (still sentimental) this one is more charming and sweet reminiscent of the 40’s piano driven pop song.  I think Bing Crosby but I digress…  When asked where the song came from Dean said “Out of the blue. Some of the best songs are BOOM. The Phrase just came out.”  So he had the I must be a genius and the love me, love you too part so he needed music.  He went to his default chord structure.   A bunch of chords he was used to writing in (mine is E A D). Dean wasn’t always a kindie music guy.  He had a band like all those other bands out there and one day his  friend who owns a toy store told him “his songs where juvenile.  Why not write songs for kids?” So that’s what he did and Dog on Fleas was Born.  When not writing or producing music he also plays out professionally, accompanies  a puppet company plus Dad and dishwashing duties. Dean is married with two kids one of whom is already songwriting at 7 yrs old and in his (Dean) words “Writes good stuff.”  Me, I’m thinking Dean writes really cool offbeat tunes and with this song he is quite genius indeed with this shuffling drum, trombone highlighted, piano driven two minute masterpiece.  Go check out  this song on Buy One Get One Flea!  Go check out all of his work and go support an independent artist today!

The Song and the Process. Pandas are Dangerous by The Boogers.

the boogers stepWhat I love best about Pandas Are Dangerous is that is a Punk Rock Love Song from Paul to his kids and it makes no apologies and takes no prisoners.  Paul Crowe, aka… Crusty Booger of power punk trio THE BOOGERS was watching a video with his wife that was posted on Facebook. It is about a silly panda that’s attacking people which triggered the thought, “Pandas are Dangerous”. It then flowed from there with first the chorus and then the melody.  Paul is another person who sing into his phone (Molly Ledford does as well).  He usually hums into the phone and then “mines that later to see what full ideas  comes together.” Cover_-_Extractum_small_hires_RBG-343x311On Pandas first came the chorus and then the melody.  The song then became a metaphor for the parent child relationship.  How kids are trying to assert their independence from the parental units.  The idea is that each of us has to raise our little pandas and one day the little pandas become big pandas and will raise pandas of their own.  That in the parent/child relationship neither usually sees the compromise necessary to make it work better.  Did I mention Paul is a Doctor in Developmental Psychology (How cool is that? That he understands the psychology of why kids love punk rock music. We had a very cool discussion about that once. A report for another day…)  Paul has composed this tune with lyrics, chorus and melodies so it’s time to record and he takes it to… Himself.  That is correct Paul self produces all of the Boogers music.  You see he gathers up his musicians and records at home.  Actually he gathers up himself to record himself.  While The Boogers are a rocking Power Punk Trio almost all the recorded CD is performed by Paul.  For me this is daunting but for Paul this is how it works best. It “allows him recording freedom”.  Being a father of three he is able to record when the78 musicmaster bass opportunity presents itself. He owns a 78 Musicmaster Bass (named April) and a Gibson Firebird  he plays through Marshall and Mesa Amps. On Pandas he also used a Telecaster thru a Marshall 5 watt for a backround chime sound that blends in.  Given the nature of hard rocking the song is it’s very cool that he uses subtle techniques to keep the music full without overloading it. The simple but full motto has been mentioned here before (Dean Jones).  His son Nathaniel has a lot of input on songs and (Paul) says his family should probably be given credit as his co-producers as they give a lot of feedback on his work.  While he might not record with the band they do rehearse once a week doing 30 songs a practice!!!  Running crusty jump01through them to keep up with the cardio of their show which I have seen and is best called (awesomely) frenetic!  They rock hard till the show ends.  Finish one song and it’s 1, 2, 3, 4 and they drop the hammer again.  Have a listen to the song on the youtube video below and then go buy it. Go buy the whole Extractum Victoris CD. This is a great song by one of my favorite bands that’ll get you pumped up!  Support the artist so they can keep making great music!