Music Monday!

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Music Monday!

Here at Joe’s Dump, we’ve got a lot of music going on…

So, to help keep it all organized and handy, we’ve added a new Music Menu Item (at the top of every page)

A few of the articles you’ll find there include:

… Plus: Personal Profiles, Politics, Parodies, and plenty more!!!

Music Trivia Two-fer

This week, I’ve also got two trivia stories about some surprising back-stories to popular songs.

First up: You Don’t Bring Me Flowers (duet by Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand)

Did you know that this famous duet came from a radio program director’s divorce?

Neil Diamond recorded the song first in 1977 as a solo, followed by Barbra Streisand’s solo version in 1978. This is where WAKY-AM/Louisville KY program director, Gary Guthrie, comes in. He spliced together a duet version as a parting present to his wife after their divorce. His version became so popular that the record label got Diamond and Streisand to record an official version that was released in the fall of 1978!

(Click here to read the full story on Wikipedia)

… and here’s Gary Guthrie’s mixed version on American Top 40:

And second: Mike Sammes – the backup singer for Olivia Newton John’s “Let Me Be There”

The bass part in “Let Me Be There” by Olivia Newton John is so prominent, I’d almost classify the song as a duet. Out of curiosity, I checked into who the bass singer was. His name was Mike Sammes, and his credits are amazing. He also sang backup on The Beatles “I Am The Walrus”, and for the TV show “Supercar”.

(Click here to read Mike Sammes full bio on Wikipedia)

… and here’s “Let Me Be There” for your listening pleasure:

Enjoy!
Joe

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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The Hell of Diets!

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The Hell of Diets!

“The Hell of Diets!”
by Joe J Thomas

(a parody of “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed and Simon & Garfunkel)

Copyright 2016, Joe J Thomas, Joe’s Dump
All Rights Reserved
Not a Quinn-Martin Production

The Hell of Diets! (title card)
~~~ Lyrics ~~~
“The Hell of Diets!”
by Joe J Thomas Continue reading

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Singing Impressions

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Singing Impressions


A new demo from Joe J Thomas

13 Voices in 60 Seconds: Singing Impressions by Joe J Thomas

… and the LP Audio Version for those that want to hear more:

      Joe_J_Thomas-Singing_Impressions(long)

More information at: JoeActor.com
Singer: Joe J Thomas
Audio Producer: Mike Finkel
Voice Coach: Charles Ion

Copyright Joe J Thomas (JoeActor.com) 2016
All Rights Reserved
Not a Quinn-Martin Production

How This Demo Came To Be…

As a bit of background, I’ve been singing for several decades. Musical theatre, choir, stage performances with bands… Even traveled with an Elvis impersonator. All of it laid a great foundation. However, it had been a while since my last public performance. Most of my singing now is in the car or for the occasional animation audition.

So, I’d decided to brush up on my singing early in the year, and sought out a new vocal coach. Turns out there is a great guy who teaches at a local college and also gives private lessons.

After getting some of the cobwebs off and learning some new techniques, it was time to put my training to work.

In early August, 2016, I started working with my voice coach and an audio producer on the tracks for the finished demo. The idea had been rattling around in my head for quite some time, and I was already adept at several singing impressions. My voice coach was crucial in getting me to find the right placement for each singer and song.

I recorded a full or partial take of each song (vocal only), and sent the voice track and backing track to the audio producer. We’d also worked together in the past, so he was familiar with my voice and able to give precise feedback on what needed to be tweaked.

Once the base tracks were in a rough edit phase, I enlisted the ears of my wife, and several of my good friends. Each of their feedback went into my decision on which tracks made the final cut.

The last step was for my audio producer to assemble the tracks into a balanced, finished demo.

As a side benefit, I also picked up a lot of new knowledge and techniques.

Now… On to the next challenge!

See you in the booth,
Joe

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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Ban Ki-moon Tune!

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Ban Ki-moon Tune!

Even an incomplete project can be a fertile testing grounds for growing new skills and fostering creativity. Here’s just one recent example from Joe’s Dump…

Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, didn’t have a song!
I couldn’t believe nobody had made one. Seemed like a shoe-in for a viral hit 😉

So, I created one for him – a parody of Herman’s Hermits “I’m Into Something Good”:

      Ban Ki-moon Tune! (Joe J Thomas)

Sometimes my initial goal gets expanded and leads to a more complicated project.
This time, I though I’d make a music video featuring a cartoon version of Ban Ki-moon!
Ambitious considering my level as an animator and the limitations of the software.

In the end, the video never came together… but I did learn some very valuable techniques for future projects:
Continue reading

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Singing For VO

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Singing for Voice Over

Singing offers a lot of tangible advantages to anyone in Voice Acting.
For those of you who sing, I know I’m preaching to the choir! (rim shot)

But how long has it been since you’ve had a refresher?
And if you’re in VO and don’t sing, why not?

Although I’ve been in many musicals, sung with choral groups, and even performed musical improv, it had been a few years since I really sang.

Time for a tune-up!
I recently started taking lessons with a new teacher, and it’s given me a renewed sense of confidence in my vocal abilities.

Here are just a few of the areas singing can help with:

  • Tone:
    The pitch of your voice… high, medium, low (Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone Bass)
  • Breathing:
    Proper breathing allows you to better control your sound.
  • Timing:
    Learning musical rhythm can help in setting your pace for both segments of the copy and for the overall read.
  • Vocal Placement:
    Chest voice, Head voice, Throat, etc. Placement is especially useful in creating characters and accents.
  • Core Support and Strengthening:
    A strong core is related to your breathing, and can give you more power and energy in your voice.
  • Volume Control:
    Knowing when to sing soft is just as important as being able to belt out a tune. Having a solid control of your volume takes practice.
  • Conveying Emotion:
    Even in a language you may not understand, songs can elicit a great deal of emotion. Learning how to deliver that to your audience is directly applicable to VO work.
  • Communication of Ideas:
    Clear communication is another win for any voice work. Knowing how to form your words and phrases so that they convey ideas is the core of it all.

My friend Marc Cashman even has a chapter in his book “V-Oh! Tips, Tricks, Tools and Techniques to Start and Sustain Your Voiceover Career” dedicated to the concept of “Finding the Music in Copy”. Here’s a short excerpt:

“Copy or text is musical. It has ebb and flow and different keys. It has sharps, flats, rests, words that are held, chopped off, high or low, soft or loud, all the same emphasis or wild ups and downs, with dynamics and crescendos. Copy reads (or plays) like a story/song, with a beginning, middle and end.”

(Marc’s book is available on Amazon, or click here to order an autographed copy)

Sometimes, I’ll even sing the copy just to get a different feel for the way it flows.

Do you sing? If so, how long has it been since you performed or had lessons? It might be time for a refresher to tune-up your instrument!

To close, here’s a number that I’ve been working on.
It’s called “I Won’t Send Roses” from the musical “Mack and Mabel” – Enjoy!

      I Won't Send Roses (Joe J Thomas)

 

All content written and voiced by Joe J Thomas online at: JoeActor.com

 

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Carving Meat Loaf

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Carving Meat Loaf

In honor of Meat Loaf‘s upcoming birthday on Sept. 27th (Happy Birthday Mr. Loaf!!!)…

Today I’d like to dissect his song “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad“.
Meat Loaf: Two Out of Three Ain't Bad
It’s a great rock ballad from 1977. Packed with deep emotions and hidden meaning, it strikes a chord in me every time I hear it.

But what if we look at it from a few different perspectives:

  • His viewpoint (he’s a romantic)
  • Her viewpoint (he’s a jerk)
  • Neutral viewpoint (psycho-logical)

Here’s how the song is seen in each of these cases:

Continue reading

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Livin’ with Fast Food!

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“Livin’ With Fast Food”

(parody song of “Life in the Fast Lane” by The Eagles)

Concept and Lyrics by: Joe J Thomas
Voice, Guitar, and Mix by: Power Salad

Copyright: Joe J Thomas and JoesDump.com 2015
All Rights Reserved
Not A Quinn-Martin Production

—— Lyrics ——
“Livin’ With Fast Food”
Continue reading

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You Don’t Mess with Donald’s Hair!

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You Don’t Mess with Donald’s Hair

(a parody tribute for Donald Trump)

Written and performed by Joe J Thomas

      *** DOWNLOAD THE MP3 HERE ***

~~~ Lyrics ~~~ Continue reading

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Copyright, Copywrong?

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Copyright, Copywrong?

*** Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and I don’t claim to know the law. The following is just my personal experience in one area of copyright… Reader discretion is advised! ***

How is a major record label making money off of my song?

Well, if you do parodies, sooner or later someone’s gonna notice and claim copyright.

For me, that happened with a parody I did of Brad Paisley’s “Mr. Policeman”, and posted it on YouTube. Ironically, my parody is about Legal Disclaimers:

Copyright is a thorny issue, to be sure. I can understand both sides.
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Legal Disclaimer Song

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Legal Disclaimer

a song parody by Joe J Thomas

(with apologies to Brad Paisley)

Legal Disclaimer Song
Audio:

      Legal_Disclaimer_Song_-_JoeActor

Video:

~~~~~~ Lyrics ~~~~~~
Continue reading

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