Hot Fox Poker
Hi! I'm Shawn. I like being goofy. I like playing music. My RPM Challenge submissions are the convergence of these two passions. Why Hot Fox Poker? There is an implement used to harvest fox fur. It is an electrically charged metal rod that is rammed inside the fox to kill it and reduces the risk of damaging the fur. Gross! Well that is a Hot Fox Poker...
Shawn McCarty: Vocals, guitar, bass, keyboardmandolin, accordian, violin-uke, harmonica, fish, face pipe, rain stick, electronic drums, programmed drums, gourd, spoons, egg shaker, whatever I have laying around.
I was really happy with the creativity that came out this year. Sleep Apnea is probablt my favorite, although it is kind of like my children I love them all. I totally laugh at myself when I listen back to these songs and wonder where all the weirdness comes from... Sleep Apnea came out of my interest in single car auto accidents. Drunk driving is the number one cause, but Sleep Apnea is up there on the list. This somehow blended with the idea of a person who likes to act as if he is the owner of lost pets and answers the postings for "Found Dog" he sees as he travels. I wanted to write a "spiritual" song. I love coffee so I ran with the idea. Simple. Hot Damn only had a chorus. I mentioned it to a friend who said that the Hoover Dam was quite hot. So the lyrics became a historical account of the building of the Hoover Dam. Softer Than Cinderblocks and Sunny Day are linked together by the low sound of a distant train I recorded from the back porch of the condo I was living in at the time. MJ or Mary Jane...goofy old HFP song I wanted to redo. Like You Want To was inspired by this blazingly hot chick who was all saddy-sad-pants about some guy. I never knew what her real issue was, didn't ask...but I wrote this song thinking of all the things that were probably worse than what she was going through. Perspective. :-)
About to Get Poked(2008)
Some of these songs still crack me up. Some, eh...they are what they are...a snapshot in time. I had an idea about someone who couldn't approach this person they were interested in due to certain codes of silence that get imposed on us sometimes. This person strictly adheres and struggles to get noticed. That is the main idea of Code of Silence. I quit smoking every other week. I'm an idiot and I know it. One of the fabulous things about quitting smoking and using the patch is if you sleep in the patch, you will have the most vivid and whacked out dreams. These are my actual dreams from on quit smoking episode. Dick Wolf....I can't watch Law & Order without getting a chuckle from Dick Wolf. I researched the titles of Law & Order episodes and wrote the lyrics incorporating as many titles (48) as I could. Social Conscience...events from 2007. Spleentaur - half man, half bull with the ability to burst your spleen at will. Make sure you carry spare change. Trials of as Adkin's Dieter is one of the ones that I kind of sorta almost like....but in the end it reminds me that I fail at dieting almost as much as quitting smoking. Some Weeds Don't Make It stemmed from a short offhand one line comment in a James Taylor song "Country Road" and he says something to the effect that not every weed finds a home. I thought that was a pretty cool concept. Everyone wants to kill the weeds that they have, but they never morn the weeds that didn't make it. I researched a lot of reasons why a weed seed might not grow and there you go. Pool Guy is porn music with porn dialogue. How Sorry You'll Be is the song where I have played the most instruments to date. Sing, guitar, bass, drums, harmonica, accordian, violin-uke, face pipe, egg shaker, rain stick....pretty much anything I had here in the "studio" I used. It is demented and I like it bunches.
This year's bunch of thoughts. There was a lot of creativity that went into the first few songs like El Chupacabra, Jim the Pirate. El Chupacabra is a story of a farmer tracking El Chupacabra across Puerto Rico after several of his livestock fall victim. Jim the Pirate was inspired by the drummer in my cover band. Jim had a stroke and when I went to see him it really affected me. This was a way to get that out. I sent it as a get well song to my buddy. Running Out of Time was the crossing point from focusing on being creative and needing to get the project done. This might be the first keyboard based song that I recorded for RPM. Next I threw together a blues which was going to be the Data Analyst Blues...but went with Don't Tell the Boss Man. Any idea what my day job is? Things were coming to a close for Feb. What to do? I made a 1-4-5 progression where I started with the idea that I was totally phoning it in on this song. I immediately had the chorus and in the end I liked Phoning It In.
Pooting in Public(2010)
Man I had a great start knocking out two songs in the first two days of February. I think I got cocky and worked slowly the rest of the month. I figured out after the 4th year of doing this that I should not try to write an album's worth of music and record it, I should really go into Feb with stuff already written. I am guessing that would be easier. But anyway Morning Wood and Happy Doomsday were little ditties I had already rolling through my head going into the month and they popped out quickly. Morning Wood is a very subtle song. Happy Doomsday! is a jolly tune about end of the world scenarios. The rest of the month was pulling teeth a bit. I thought I would be clever, "Write a song in 6/8" I said. Sure that would be great, but it felt weird and slowed me down. Anyway, Tear That Thing Down happened from it and it came out reminding me of Accept from the '80s a little. Pooting in Public was almost two other lyrical ideas, but Scrumptious Unctuous didn't work and neither did I Want to Push Your Buttons...so I resorted to a fart song. I like it very much. Melancholy Addict was basically inspired from a person who shall remain nameless and who loves the drama in their life so much they will create it if they have to. Well Digger's Ass could be about anyone, but mainly about how I hate being in the crowd. I love being on stage, but being in the crowd bugs me. Monkey Around is another quit smoking song. Actually a lot less inspired than I wanted it to be, but time cut the creativity short on that one. Sotto Voce will be better in future versions. I've already started the rewrite on that one. And No We is a bit of therapy for me and I need a lot, thus the long song.