Song 44 - Pfund - 7th October 2011

Okay,we’re going to pretend I actually uploaded this on Friday.  Just play along, mmkay?

The segmented video style is something I discovered with Just The Way I Am, one of the earlier songs in the project.  I did it again mainly because it’s one of the ways you can get iMovie to look interesting when your actual video content is quite boring.

It’s weird getting back into the swing of things having spent so much time away.  I left everything absolutely to the last minute for a number of reasons, and I feel kind of bad about that.  Then again, I’m not sure why I feel bad about that.  This is something I’m going to try to address in a Just Riffing video later in the week.

More information and Lyrics can be found in the video description on YouTube.


I did an 8-bit(ish) cover version of ‘Bonfire’ by Knife Party, using a sample from Street Fighter.

Re-creating a dubstep drop using basic synths is tricky.


I was re-watching some early Wikiriffs videos last night, and for “WVNY” I turned on YouTube’s audio transcription.  There was some pretty funny stuff.  “Who wants to be a millionaire” turned into “wants to be a marionette."  "WVNY” turned into both “WGN wines” and “Greenspan’s y."  And also it was "based on this article from Wikipedia, zinc in the video description.”

The full transcription:

killing instead mom
seventy one sixty films
the station for government syndication television channel
like the london zoo final few minutes wants to be a marionette
i do and they are paying its name is derived from his duties station beyond
compare expose n_b_c_’s my six-year-old
swapping foods and by el sayyid broadcast quality means you’ve got the
worst of american on my own mind
this musical citizens are still without a system
that’s casualty he watches the game shows are enough
so in the late in those instances on when they’re going to continue with
television set w_b_ etc
from from americans p_h_d_ class maintenance problems
challenge t_v_ movie something’s equally type
is everybody else and raymond’s busiest rooms salazar system even solve every
short terms of things in his boat basin listening and comfortable alphabet at
abcd colour n_b_c_’s consumed
food there but i will see in the broadcast quality means that portion of
americans mind of mine
anesthesia palestinians also led youngsters
casualty and he watches the game’s renowned citizen burnings and someone’s
head on intentionally television set w_b_n_i_ login
annual remaining
one billion its broadest possible ranges speeches for rent
a montreal residence behind the times that because evening french canada i
think you’ll find they collect any stains west seafood
w_g_n_ wines from exam by l c evoke cosmology t_v_ interview dot the
landscape of america
because he’s the author of the results always knows this mail
castles keeping watch his game shows are enough so in the living modems and
someone had gone continue television sets don’t you turn in bonds da
greenspan’s y
dumping t_v_ dinners winds have been dublin painters

accounts so that was the first song hope you enjoyed it
is based on this article from wikipedia zinc in the video description if you
want to redefine roughness of the president’s the video works by the rules
and my mind channel take crusade is such a fuss dies out if you haven’t already

it’s all about it
four months later
and i think that’s quick


You know how I normally post a bunch of things every day? My queue died, so I’m now working to build it up again. After Friday when I went home I haven’t had internet other than my phone and tumblr’s a bit of a bitch from the phone so was just like ‘I’ll get to the Internet later’ and then I was life-ravished in a horrible way. 

I’m now in Reston for Thanksgiving. So i’ll be working on class work and interneting for the next 4 days. Then I’ll be out boozing, because Reston sucks and alcohol is delicious. 


If you don’t follow me on twitter then you (luckily?) missed my keek-spam of Saturday. I went out to Friendsgiving on the Eastern Shore (Virginia) and keeked my journey there, I would have recorded more, but my phone died. I lived in the moment, it was awesome but i have some traveling keeks and I have a special little thing I’m going to try to get going tomorrow, I hope people participate. If not, oh well. I’ll have the Keek post here an on twitter tomorrow so more people can participate! I also think my name for people on Keek is 'keeksters’ I’m sure i’m not the only person using it but WikiRiffs uses Keekachu and I don’t think Matthew Gaydos remember if he has a name for his followers.

[This is the first of my weekend keeks, so yeah, they’re a little out of order, sorry]

Speaking of Gaydos, if you want to be really awesome, check out his youtube channel and subscribe, he’s shooting for 1000 subscribers by the end of the year and is really close, only 26 to go. He plays music, my 2 favorite songs are Why is My Princess In Another Castle and Start Runnin’ It. That MF is a Z is a close third. You can also hear them on his bandcamp.

WikiRiffs is another youtube musician who makes songs based on a random Wikipedia article. I’ve heard a few of his songs and I follow him on Keek and he’s a pretty chill dude. If you want to check them out that’d be cool. I get nothing for pimping them, it’s because I think they both deserve a broader audience. 


Lastly, thank you to the last few followers I picked up, I have 99 people who like the crap I reblog and my bits of opinion when I post that. Salutations, ask me anything I may answer honestly or snarkily. I don’t know yet. 

Buck Factor is happening and it’s a talent search type thing on YouTube.  I’m trying to get my friend Jonny and his project WikiRiffs noticed because it’s seriously good stuff.  If you ‘like' this facebook post and enough people do as well, Buck will notice and promote him.  And Jonny would never stop smiling.  Ever.  So go thumbs it up, watch his videos, and marvel at his awesome.  Thanks!


Song 43 - Hayes MacArthur - Friday 2nd September 2011

Since this video was never going to be about the actual subject of the song, I made a video that suited the instruments and style of the song better.  The synths and piano lent it more of a Muse-y, Space Rock kind of feel so Kristina and I went down to Brighton Pier and shot a video of anything with flashing lights.

Kristina is a ridiculously good Director of Photography, did I mention that?  She’s genuinely awesome, and she’s also the reason I’m now taking a break from WikiRiffs; we’re getting married this month.  I’ll be back at least in time for Friday September 30th, which is actually WikiRiffs’ first birthday. 

I’ll have been doing this for a year.  Wow.

More information and lyrics can be found in the video description on YouTube.

Playlist for April 13!

So the song logging website we use doesn’t show me our playlists for the month of April.  Luckily, by searching by artist (i.e.: Mike Lombardo and WikiRiffs) I can find our logs because no one else plays these guys! Awesome.

  1. Kate McGill - Someone Like You
  2. Alex Cornell - Control
  3. Benjamin Poole - Bravery
  4. Lizzie Radio - About the Weather
  5. Todd Kuffner - Ghost
  6. Steve Pethel - Changing Times
  7. Raven Zoe - Visions of You
  8. Skyway Flyer - I’ll See Her There
  9. Meghan Tonjes and Mike Lombardo - King of Anything
  10. Julia Nunes - Baby Mashup
  11. Pomplamoose - Beat the Horse
  12. Logan Fitzpatrick - Juicebox
  13. Kina Grannis - In Your Arms
  14. Dr. Noise - Rock Band Revolution
  15. WikiRiffs - Religion and Alcohol
  16. Ryan Lerman - Rhymes with Nothing
  17. songsfrompaul - Grounds for Divorce
  18. Hank Green - World Wide Web Girl
  19. Give Me Motion - Hopelessly Hoping
  20. Driftless Pony Club - Inspectors of Inspecting
  21. Mike Falzone - More Than Just a Little Bit
  22. Mike Lombardo - Caroline

Song 41 - Thurston Dart - 12th August 2011

So last week I wasn’t able to spend enough time on the song, and this was a pretty difficult topic, so I decided to write An Open Letter To Mike Lombardo instead and left the song until this week.  Inspiration struck late, but I think this one’s quite catchy.

I’ve been a little unhappy with the video-making side of things recently - not having enough time to work on a video during the week, and being unable to make more professional videos given that I’m now working from an old camera and iMovie again, I’ve had to cut corners and the quality of the videos has taken a back seat to actually writing a decent song. 

Hopefully in future I’ll be able to make the move back to HD, get a copy of Final Cut and bring the standard back up.

More information and lyrics can be found in the video description on YouTube.


Song 15 - United States Congress Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War - 6th January 2011

So the first song of the new year is the longest title I’ve had to deal with thus far (although I dare say there’ll be many more).  I spent a lot of time on the video for this one - the U.S. flag was used as a background image and each stripe was coloured and layered on as a green-screen cutaway (which, since I’m using iMovie, involved a lot of exporting and re-importing) until it was all done. 

Kristina was my accent coach for this one - at one point I started singing ‘fight’ in an Irish accent because I had no idea how to pronounce it in an American voice.

Next week’s song is almost certainly going to be a funk track.  I tell you that now.  Stay tuned.


More information and lyrics can be found in the video description on YouTube.


Song 45 - St David’s Hotel & Spa - 22nd October 2011

As I mentioned in the video description on YouTube, I wasn’t about to head to the actual St David’s Hotel to film this video. After all, Cardiff is some way from Brighton and it’s a five star hotel, and I have better things to spend my money on =P 

So, instead, I tagged along with some friends on a road trip to Eastbourne filming short clips of our trip, our meanderings, and the hotels that line the seafront.

A welcome return to HD this week, as I’ve upgraded my phone to a Samsung smartphone that’s capable of shooting in full 1080p! That’s a little excessive though, so I’ve stuck with 720p (which consumes less memory on my phone, and therefore transfers quicker and exports quicker!).

More information and lyrics can be found in the video description on YouTube.



The acoustic guitar part from this song is basically cannibalised from a song called ‘Childish’ which I wrote in college. The lyrics, of course, are original - the chords are a little changed, and the guitar solo is new. Sometimes I just need an old idea to get something new started!

A commenter who goes by 'Kimrichaaards’ on YouTube left the following comment on the video for 'Midwest Federal’:

“This is just me, but I think that I prefer your videos where you just sit in front of the camera with a mic and your acoustic guitar.”

This song needed a little more than just that, but I tried to take a more stripped-back approach to the video this time around.


One Year On

As mentioned in my previous post, WikiRiffs is one year old today.  Whilst I’m blowing out the candles, take the time to watch this video I made to celebrate.


Guest Artist Will Dixon - Adam Warlock - Friday 26th August

I got in touch with Will about doing a collab just after he’d released his EP ‘Tremors In The Bannister’.  You can find that over at his Bandcamp page for the princely (and Pi-inspired) sum of £3.14, and it’s worth every penny.  

Will replied the following day and we settled on doing a song swap, since that had worked out pretty well for myself and Paul Turner.  After putting it back a week or two so Will could focus on King Of The Web, Will landed the 'Adam Warlock’ article and I decided to cover his song 'Run For The Border’.  A link to that will be posted around here soon.

For now, enjoy Will’s fantastic take on the Adam Warlock article.

More information and lyrics can be found in the video description on YouTube.


Collaboration time! You lucky devils. Here’s the wonderful Chazz Repton performing her very own random article song, “Anterior Horn of the Lateral Ventricle”. I think she did an amazing job, especially with an article about neurobiology. Jeebus.

Lyrics are in the video description on YouTube.

Watch on

Guest Artist - TheLuminousOwl - ‘Level Field Fund-Swimming

Another YouTube fella has taken on the WikiRiffs challenge! Tomas (aka TheLuminousOwl) wrote a song about the Level Field Fund for Swimming, and you can check that out here!

We originally intended to upload this to the WikiRiffs channel but unfortunately software was giving us trouble.  So it’s on his channel for now but it’s also in my Favourites on YouTube if you want to dig it out again =)

Happy Birthday To This.

Tomorrow it will be a year since the first video, WVNY, was posted on the WikiRiffs YouTube channel.

In the last year I’ve recorded and filmed videos for 43 songs, done two covers for other people’s channels (and had reciprocal songs written for my channel), participated in the YouTube Project For Awesome, done a few vlogs and a spoken word poem, and said the words “It’s based on this article from Wikipedia and there’s a link in the video description” a lot.

I’ve written songs about obscure sportspeople, small towns in the USA, minor historical figures and even, occasionally, people you’ve heard of. 

My most-viewed video may or may not have become an anthem for a small-time Irish sports team. 

So what have I learned?

I’ve managed to turn an experiment into something I really enjoy doing.  I’ve learned that you can do awesome stuff just by mucking around in iMovie, and even more awesome stuff in Final Cut - and, in a platform like YouTube, that video content (if not actual visual quality) matters just as much as audio content in finding and keeping an audience. 

I’ve learned that it’s much better to have a small but awesome following, and build on that, than be suddenly exposed to everyone who passes by and have every kind of opinion thrust at you.  I’ve learned that the support of strangers can be incredibly helpful - and that, when asked if they’d prefer Death Metal or Rock Opera, people will always go for both.

I’ve learned that YouTube is about community, about leaving comments and replying to comments, about video responses and about other people so much more than the individual.  Without an audience this wouldn’t be as fun as it is, and an audience can be any number from one upwards.

Tomorrow I’ll post a video to the channel talking about this, and then I’ll get back to writing songs on a weekly basis. If things continue as they have… I’ll always enjoy doing this.

Next week’s song will be based on the article for Pfund.  Bring it on.


Song 39 - Race - Spin Out - Cryptogram - 22nd July 2011

I’ve been going through a bit of a Chiptune phase at work.  When I’m answering emails I can’t listen to music with lyrics in (because I end up concentrating on the lyrics instead of what I’m writing) so I find instrumental music to listen to, and recently I’ve been loving Anamanaguchi and Unicorn Kid.  I wanted an excuse to write something like that, so when this article came up I thought I’d give it a go. 

More information can be found in the video description on YouTube.


Song 38 - Morrat - 1st July 2011

In this video I painted myself green.  In the process of doing so I also painted my lovely fiancée’s hands green, and the neck of my guitar green, but I think it was worth it.

For the record, here’s what Morrat looks like:

External image

I really wish I could have had the full costume but sadly I have no budget for this project so I had to make do with the body paint. 

More information and lyrics can be found in the video description on YouTube.


A-Z of Covers - H is for Hoppipolla (Sigur Ros cover!)

So when Paul suggested a collaboration in which we swap channels for a week, I jumped at the chance.  He said the “H” week would be best since he had a break from university around that time, giving him more time to work on the WikiRiffs song.  It worked out pretty well for me too, since this week I started 7am-3pm shifts at work and doing a cover was much less stressful!

The stars from ‘Krasnoludek’ are back for this video =D Really pleased with how the song came out.  Would love to know what you think!


Song 29 - Postage Stamps and Postal History of Yugoslavia - April 14th 2011

I was debating, back when I started this project, whether I should make it a rule that I had to include the title of the article in the song.  It’s articles like this that make me happy I didn’t!  I also wish I’d had longer to work on the song and the video, because both could have been more detailed.

Having said that, I’m really happy with it!  I thought the stamps were a pretty obvious idea but it looks great now it’s been done. Musically, the song is pretty similar to both “Garwick Glen Halt” and “List of States and Union Territories of India by Voters”, but I like to think it’s different enough to be a good song in its own right.


More information and lyrics can be found in the video description on YouTube.