• Listen

Here we go again. Still no “Mellow Chihuahua (the song).” However, a new twist to this week’s cover. A special guest! JaimeLyn Beatty was kind enough to drop by Camp Manchild and lend her lovely pipes to this weeks cover, “Rose Garden” by Lynn Anderson.

This song is one of those mysteriously massive hits that time has somehow forgotten. I’d have still never heard the song (at least on the radio, or through friends) if not for finding this song on a country sampler at a rural Washington outpost a few years ago. But the song was a massive crossover hit at the time. Which was late 1970. It topped the country charts, hit as high as #3 in the pop charts, topped the charts in Germany, and hit #3 in the England pop charts. 

The original version has a bombastic orchestral intro that I have done zero justice to. But JaimeLyn does lovely work singing Lynn’s lines. It was a real joy to record someone with such a pure wonderful voice. I hardly had to do anything to it. A light coat of reverb is all. My voice often requires doubling, harmony parts, copious amounts of reverb and eq. What joy. 

I had some fun infusing this country number with a little more of my personality than recent posts where I’ve been pretty faithful and straightforward to the original. This version sounds like country met reggae in a spaceship and had baby named Dean.

My hope is to continue the trend of bringing in friends to help out with the covers project. We’ll see about next week since I’m heading to SF on Thursday, and won’t be back until Tuesday. But certainly the following week I’ll be actively harassing my friends into helping out here and there. Some friends you know already, others you’ll soon meet.

Enjoy. And special thanks again to Miss JaimeLyn Beatty!


  • Listen

Hey gang. This one’s pretty sparse. Not that it needs too much. I dusted off the Beatles bible and used their exact vocal arrangement for this week’s selection, “If I Fell” from “Hard Days Night.” I doubled the parts to give it a bit more heft. Actually if you listen closely, John doubles his vocals in many Beatles recordings. Amazingly, he hated his voice. Especially in the early days. I guess splitting vocal duties with Paul McCartney will make you second guess the quality and character of your voice. 

One or two of you may be wondering why the song “Mellow Chihuahua” didn’t get done again. I had a busy weekend at work and have been showing my apartment the past two days, and was working on a recording with Blim, Meredith, and Zwiderski on Sunday night, so time crashed down. But the lyrics are done! I’ve actually just gotta edit it down from 8 verses to maybe 4. NEXT WEEK. PWOMISS!


littlemissgirlscout answered your question: I have a question for Starkids: After Robin says “And then there is TEQUILA Time!” What does Green Lantern say?

I think it is the 2nd one because he holds up those two circle looking things. (:

 mellowchihuahua answered your questionI have a question for Starkids: After Robin says “And then there is TEQUILA Time!” What does Green Lantern say?

It is indeed “limes!”

 shelleywithane answered your questionI have a question for Starkids: After Robin says “And then there is TEQUILA Time!” What does Green Lantern say?


LIMES IT IS! Because it makes soooooo much more sense than light. The little circley things didn’t look like limes to me…..but what else could they be?!? YAY FOR LIMES cause I like that line way better.

Chords for "Sandwiches"

Dudes. Holy Musical B@man was probably the greatest few months of my life on nearly every level imagineable. People been asking for the chords to a little ditty of mine called “Sandwiches.” I had been emailing them directly, but to streamline the process a bit, I’m putting the chords up here for all.

It’s a deceptively tricky tune, so here you go!

G                                               Em
S-a-n-d-w-i-c-h I see a sandwich      In your future

C                                 D
On a croissant, on your Morning commute

G                                   C
Business men lunching in mustard stained suits

Am              D
PB and jelly    Are in cahoots

G                                C
What better way to eat  All five food groups than 

G                C               G
Sandwiches     Magical  Sandwiches

Verse 2

G                                     D
Triple decker, open face, large and petite, an ex-
G.                                    C
-cuse to eat mountains of mystery meat
Am.                                          D
I’ve had them on airplanes on cars and at see
G.                                                   C
Where carnivores and herbivores all can agree that…

G.                                          Em
They’ve satisfied sailors and soldiers and Sherpas
G.                                    Em
They permit condiments to serve their purpose 
        G.                                      Em
They function as finger foods at balls and galas
        G.                               Em
They make ‘em the size of umbrellas in Dallas
G.                         Em.      
I don’t need fancy halls or a palace 
C.                                     D
But when I meet with the fellas 

There bettuh be
G.                  C.          G.                C
Sandwiches! magical sandwiches,       magical

E(flat major)  F.            G
Sandwiches. Made for me.

E(flat major) F.      G.                G
S A N D       W I C H E E S E - Sandwicheese!

  • Please Please Me Cover 2
  • Nick Gage
  • Covers

This week we’re back with more Beatles. Their second ever single, and first American release from 1963, “Please Please Me.” A John tune. Though, only two minutes in length it packs in tons of hooks, from John’s harmonica intro (which he also did notably on other early hits, Love Me Do, I should have known Better, and From Me to You) to the Everly Brothers-escent harmonic trick of Paul holding the high vocal note, while John descends down the scale, to the sweet ascending call and response on refrain. 

The original has a little bit of a cha-cha vibe. I went in a slightly more Ramones-ian direction. I remember first getting the idea to do this song in this style about a year ago while listening to the Futureheads impossibly fistpumpingly energizing jam “Beginning of the Twist.” I think it works. I banged it out pretty darn quick. I’m a little upset about where my drumming is at, and I think I’m just gonna start bringing in guest drummers more regularly. Beat 06 on my Casio Previa is starting to drive me insane. My tambourine playing is improving though, and that has me feeling warm inside. See y'all next week.

  • Let the Train Blow the Whistle
  • Nick Gage
  • Covers

This weeks cover comes a little late. Holiday weekend screwed with my clock a bit. I fell off every wagon imaginable. 

It’s from one of my very favorite Johnny Cash albums, 1994’s “American Recordings,” (the original) which featured him solo with an acoustic guitar in his living room. Super intimate, and super powerful. It’s a road trip staple.

The song I chose is “Let the Train Blow the Whistle.” I’ve always had the hardest time not harmonizing to this song when it comes on, so I guess I’m just exorcising that demon. Cause I gussy this one up a bit.

Should be on for next Tuesday, and I’ll hopefully have some fun guest stars in the next few weeks.

  • Devil Woman Cover
  • Nick Gage
  • '12 Covers mp3

Can’t do a Tunesday a day before Halloween without at least grazing the realm of spooky. I will say, I’m not a huge Halloween nut. My reasons are manifold. A.) I never really had a sweet tooth (more of a meat tooth), so there are no ecstatic childhood memories attached to the binging of milk chocolate and hard candy. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed trick or treating, but nothing really could ever compare with the seasonal smells, sounds and melodies of Christmas for me. I was born on December 10th, so my first days were literally spent bundled under a Christmas tree. Near lethal doses of sundry goods, generous melody, and natural pine scent wired my brain irrevocably toward a supremely biased predilection for the Yule Tide Season. B.) Idiots have co-opted Halloween. They dominate the scene. Halloween (at least in Chicago) has become a more scantily clad New Years Eve. 

In any case…this week’s selection comes from 1976 courtesy of Cliff Richard. Richard is an interesting figure. Though history seems to have largely forgotten the 72 year old, he is the third biggest selling singles artist of all time in the United Kingdom, with total sales of over 21 million in the UK and has reportedly sold an estimated 250 million records worldwide. His popular peak came in the late ‘50’s and early '60’s just before the Beatles changed the entire landscape. He was really Britain’s first rocknroller, something akin to their Little Richard. 

He went on to find the Lord, and his music took on a more mellow if not milquetoast variety.

In 1976 he released a comeback record of sorts entitled “I’m Nearly Famous.” It had the effect of garnering the attention none of his earlier material ever could in the states selling over 1million copies. 

It’s kind of a silly tune. I copied this next part from WIKIPEDIA because I’ve been staring at a 'puter for 12 hours and am barely able to form thought. “The song is told from the point of a view of a man jinxed from an encounter with a stray cat with evil eyes, and his discovery that the psychic medium (aGypsy woman) whose help he sought to break the curse was the one responsible for the curse in the first place. The latter-mentioned have some notable parallels with Cher’s 1974 hit single ”Dark Lady“.”

So there you have it. This week’s cover. Devil Woman, by Cliff Richard written by Terry Britten and Christine Holmes. 

  • Sea of Heartbreak mp3
  • Nick Gage

This week we’re back on track with another Johnny Cash tune. “Sea of Hearbreak.” This one off of his American Recordings II record. In my opinion none of the following American Recordings records hold a candle to the austere and intimate beauty of the first installment. They get gussied up with session players, slick production, and muddled with questionable song selection. This one however is nice collaboration between Johnny and Tom Petty and Heartbreakers, or at least the twinkle of Benmont Tench on the keys. 

My version doesn’t deviate at all from the recording, though I add a third harmony on the last refrain cause like usual I just can’t help myself. I ape Johnny’s voice as much as I can, though I had the restraint to spare you all my Tom Petty imitation. But stay tuned, I might be unleashing it soon.

  • Take it or leave it cover
  • Nick Gage
  • '12 Covers

Hey gang. This weeks offering. I was gonna get started on Christmas covers but it felt too soon. I’m just not there yet. And I’m a pretty Christmas-y dude. I’m excited about Christmas tunes as my roommate Gloria is a wonderful singer from a small German Christmas village. Seriously. We drove up to Wisconsin for thanksgiving and when the radio pooped out, we sang duets of Oh Tannenbaum, and Stille Nacht to name a few. There are a lot of things Germans tend not to do well, but churning out timeless Christmas classics is not one of the things they don’t do well. Which is to say, they do it well. 

In any case, here I join in in celebrating the Rolling Stones (at least Jagger/Richards/Watts) in their 50th year of being alive and making music. This song was omitted from the American version of 1965’s “Aftermath” ultimately appearing on 1967’s odds and sods “Flowers.” A nice simple tune emphasizing Jaggers underrated melodic sensability. I particularly like the little goose he adds by coming in on the 6th of the A major chord on the arrival of the refrain. A slightly weird melodic move that hooks your ear. I’m sure Jagger was unaware of the theory behind it, but it’s possible the bands guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones wasn’t. He was the real genius behind the early Stones lineup responsible for the marimbas in “Under My Thumb” and the sitars anywhere you hear ‘em. On this tune he added the subtle texture of the Japanese Koto. That said, I omitted that part from my rendition.

See you next week. Likely with a hint of Christmas.