Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. Lindyke: #23

Dr. Lindyke is the nom de plume of William Hoover and Dave Leigh. They've been writing music much longer and more competently than they've been writing bios about themselves. That is, they've been writing since their high school years in the *ahem* late 1970s, when Dave tripped over one of William's poetry notebooks and fell onto the piano. The result was so melodious that they've been writing music in pretty much the same fashion ever since.

Why "Dr. Lindyke"?  Well, there's a well-known maxim that you should never, never, ever name your band after a song, and of course having never heard of this maxim, that's exactly what they did. This song, in fact.

Their style is mostly piano rock/ballads (with a little guitar thrown in), which is unsurprising, given the influence of groups like Elton John and Supertramp in their formative years. To that they add a healthy bit of experimentation, as with this little bit of oddness called "Harvey Ray", composed almost entirely of Three-Letter Abbreviations, delivered in that odd Shatnerian style of sing-talking that for lack of a better term I'll forevermore label singcantation:

The Doctor also experiments with singcantation in a sort of mad scientist "Peter Cushing" mode. Here's a cover of Inverse T Clown's "Sexy in the Rain" in that style.

You won't find Dr. Lindyke's music for sale... it's free. They're much too sane to harbor delusions of rock stardom. That's not to say they don't have some delusions; they're just of a different variety. They think of themselves as songwriters, not performers, and that their music is best performed by somebody other than themselves. They're quite sure that someday, somewhere, they'll find an immensely talented band of musicians who can't write songs for love or money, and who would rather play this stuff than real music.

You can find demos on various sites in a deliberately unfinished, sometimes quirky style.

Among the songs you'll find on Bandcamp are their songs of Song Fu 6, which they lost with ease to that upstart Mike Lombardo. Included in the mix you'll find the song that explains their placement on the Periodic Table at element #23.

Dr. Lindyke's Bandcamp Page

Dr. Lindyke's Blog

       Dr. Lindyke's YouTube Channel       

Dr. Lindyke's most memorable accomplishment may well be their creation of the Periodic Table of Geek Musicians, a site devoted to promoting independent musicians for the purposes of charity. This website.  If you'd like to help Dr. Lindyke in providing the gift of communication to children at no cost whatsoever to the families, their insurance companies, and the government, click on through the merchandise and buy a thing or two. While you're in the shop, look at some of the items for sale by the other selfless geeks on the Table.

A mad-scientist beaver. It doesn't get better than that

The Doctor is IN!

Here's the full design of the mug. Truth in Advertising. Click to embiggen it.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Force 925

Due to some unforeseen circumstances (I'm learning a new computer language for work) I won't be posting a new entry to the Periodic Table this weekend. Instead I'll tell you about a corner of the web where you're likely to hear the musicians that are and will be featured here... because you won't find most of them on your local AM or FM stations.

The Force 925 ( is an Internet radio station, newly formed by General Manager Peter "DJ Pied Piper" Allen and Assistant General Manager and Programming Director Julia "Jules" Sherred, aka "Geeky Jules" of the "Geeky Pleasures" radio show. I had an opportunity to talk with Jules this week about the station and what differentiates it from what you normally hear.

Some of these differences aren't the sort of things you'll recognize by ear... you'll still hear DJs patter between songs. You'll still hear periodic station identifications ("The Force... ninety-two five") just as you would with a broadcast station. And you'll still hear a great mix of musical numbers.... and it's in this last bit that you'll start to notice something really different. You might be used to hearing "a Country station" or "an R&B station" or "a Rock-and-Roll station". The Force refuses to be pigeonholed. You'll find all of that here, and some Zydeco, and talk, and eclectic mixes, Japanese pop and God-knows-what-else. You might find something by an artist who's only appeared on YouTube, or in some obscure songwriting competition. The DJs at The Force know what they like and they play what they like, and that's a Good Thing. Says Jules, "The only thing that hinders us is our imaginations."

It's not the Wild West... it's radio done right, where the DJs have quite a bit more creative freedom within their 3 to 5 hour blocks than you'd normally encounter on a broadcast station. The Force currently airs DJs from 4 countries (or 5, depending on how you count them) catering to listeners in 41 countries. It plays on just about anything that will stream an Internet broadcast, so you need look no further than your computer or smartphone for a radio fix.

From that same computer, you might want to log in to The Force's chatroom ( and interact with the DJs during their sets. It's a veritable party some nights. Show up twice, and you'll start getting that same welcoming feeling that Norm gets at the Cheers bar.

Folks, go and visit The Force. Take a look at their schedule and try the shows that interest you. Also try some of the shows that don't interest you right now and see if they don't change your mind. I can't tell you everything because some of the on-air talent also happen to be geek musicians who are likely to appear on this Periodic Table; which is one more reason to check it out. Now. Really, why are you still reading this?

(Sorry about the delay in updates. It's part and parcel of being a computer geek... periodically, the world changes around you and you have to adapt, or become Bob the Dinosaur. Hopefully, I'll be done with the language course soon and get on track with this schedule. I could've rushed it, but really don't want to do that. Thanks for your patience.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Boffo Yux Dudes: #107

In our most ironic placement to date, the Boffo Yux Dudes check in as #107 on our Periodic Table, the spot reserved for Bohrium on a periodic table of the elements. Ironic because "boring" isn't an adjective usually applied to these... erm... gentlemen. Wacky.. yes. Irreverent... yes. Totally off their nut... now you're talking! But not boring. When I asked the 'Dudes to describe themselves, they responded, "The Boffo Yux Dudes are a multimedia comedy troupe from the 80's and 90's who are now older, balder, and much more cynical." I vehemently disagree... they're not that much more cynical. (whistles idly)

If you listened to radio in the US during the 1980s and '90s you've probably heard Pat Montello, Tom Giarrosso, and Scott Mercer doing comedy bits, interactives, liners and songs, though you've probably never heard their names. These days the Boffo Yux Dudes are Tom Giarrosso and Allan Morgan, "with occasional co-conspirators". More often, though, you'll know them as "Elvis Presley", "Alfred Hitchcock", and a seemingly endless host of other celebrity and character voices. I first heard them as "Elvis", and then "Al the Blues Singer" from Song Fu 6, and I must confess that my first reaction involved the letters 'T', 'W', and 'F'... not necessarily in that order. Experience that feeling for yourself:

I knew I was in trouble when I realized that their stuff grows on you. Now I feel like Jordy Verrill.

BYD firmly establish their geek musician cred with SpinTunes entries such as "Elf Shot the Food", "One Level Down", and "The Ballad of Henry Pym". In short these are funny and talented guys. And a big "in your face!" to the teachers who told us all that you can't make a living by goofing off.

How does one keep up with these guys? Here!

Here you may learn that Pat just did a diner scene on "One Tree Hill" last week as an extra. You may learn that Scott's been writing a screenplay in LA. You may learn that Al is one of the founders of the band Pop Machine. You may even learn that Tom's been working through a vast backlog of material (VAST!), posting it to the web at a rate of at least one comedy bit a day. Or you may just hear a fart joke.

Tom and the rest of the BYD know the value of communication in their own lives and careers. I'm very happy that they have put their support behind Rite Care, lending their names to this important work. And that, my friends, is no laughing matter. As Federal budgets are cut and government early intervention programs are scaled back, we'll have to depend more programs like Rite Care ... funded entirely by donations and purchases made by folks like you... to pick up the slack.

How can we thank Boffo Yux Dudes for their support and help provide the gift of communication to a child at the same time? By ordering this great stuff!

First up, is the Boffo Yux Dudes trucker cap! Don't think of this as a mere hat... think of it as advanced sunblock (oh, yes, I went there!) It's available in glorious black and white to remind us of those days when having a color TV set meant you painted the cabinet.

Click on the hat to get yours!"

Our second item is the Boffo Yux Dudes T-shirt featuring their astonishingly realistic and flattering likenesses on the box of "Komedy's" cereal. This is the shirt that stays funny, even in milk!

Click on the shirt to get yours today!
(Boffo Yux Dude sold separately... you can probably find one at W00tstock)

I just received an email from Tom calling my attention to a rather important oversight... I'll just give it to you in his words:
The original Artwork was created by Dan Klass - one of the original podcasters (The Godfather of Podcasting) who literally wrote the book on the subject. He's also in a current Chevy Malibu commercial. And is a stay at home dad doing his 5th year of 'The Bitterest Pill' out of his garage in the flight path of LAX.
Dan played the Harmonica for our 'Al's Blues' Song Fu entry.
Tom also points out the appropriateness of placing the Boffo Yux Dudes in Bohrium's spot, in that they have always been "radio-active". You may groan now.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mike Lombardo: #87

Representing Element #87 on our table is piano rocker and YouTube staple, Mike Lombardo! (87... Francium... is a GREAT spot, and though I've said I'll be telling you the whys of my placements, I think I'll let this one hang there for a little while. Let's see if you can figure it out! Remember, this is a periodic table, so think outside the box.)

I don't know where to start with Mike. I first met him on-line when I joined the TMA community he co-founded and started participating in the Masters of Song Fu songwriting competition. Mike cleaned house in Song Fu 6, easily wiping the floor with his competition (including... ahem... me). He cemented his position as a Master of Song Fu by signing with a record label, releasing an album, and going on tour!

Mike's specialty is old-school piano rock wrapped up in the New Model. From "Rock Song" to "Colby's Song", his music is intelligent, catchy, well-produced, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and always brilliant. Have a listen to his "Songs for a New Day" album and see what I mean:

You'll find Mike on YouTube, Twitter, and a venue near you. He's grown up on-line from a gawky kid to an outstanding performer, and is making real a dream that all of us have had. It's not easy, and it's not luck: he's a graduate of Berklee with a degree in songwriting. He works every day to improve himself in some way, readily sharing what he's learned with the community. I think if Mike's ever stopped to wonder whether he could do something before making a go of it, he's keeping those doubts to himself. This is a guy who's going places.

Mike's music is released under Creative Commons, and for sale on DFTBA Records.

The place you're most likely to find Mike Lombardo, though, is under his military hat... and now you can have one of your own! Here it is, the Mike Lombardo Trio military hat:
Click on the hat to get yours!
Available in Olive, Mocha, and Black

Every purchase supports an amazing charity, Rite Care, that provides language therapy for preschool children regardless of race, creed, or the family's inability to pay. I want to thank Mike personally for lending his support!


Mike tweeted about the hat as soon as it was done. But this next item was developed silently, quietly, in my soooper secret lab. I took the hat's ML3 logo and spun it and tessellated it and applied it to an item priced for anyone... because cool doesn't have to cost more.

Here's the Mike Lombardo Trio T-shirt! Now with radial symmetry!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Answers to Questions You Didn't Ask

I'd like to take a moment to thank everybody for the reception they've given this project. This is really and truly a great way to have some fun and make a huge difference for the children that receive language therapy through Rite Care.

I've got a little better idea of how this website will work than I did a few days ago. My target is to post two geek musicians per weekend, placing them on the Periodic Table, and offering merchandise that you can get nowhere else. I may not hit that target. Some weeks you may get one, some weeks you'll get three.

What makes a "geek musician"? One thing for certain... it's not limited by genre. These folks offer songs with a bit of intelligence, but you'll find them playing everything from pop-synth to acoustic ballads. They know who they are, which is why the criteria here is that they select themselves. By simply signing up they've identified themselves as geek musicians, and that's good enough for me.

I'm also not just looking for "famous" artists, although their participation would be fantastically cool. I'm hoping to introduce you to musicians that you've never heard of before. You're sure to find a few diamonds in the rough.

One really fun aspect of this (for me) is the placement of people on the Periodic Table. The first thing you'll notice is that I'm not placing folks in linear 1, 2, 3... order. At first glance it may seem as if I'm filling the table in haphazardly, but I know why I'm putting people where I am, and there is a method to the madness. I may explain this as I go. A sometimes more subtle puzzle will be the choice of Symbol. Sometimes it will simply be based on initials, but sometimes you may need to know something intimate about the artist to figure it out. Comments are unmoderated, so feel free to speak up with suggestions, shout-outs, and questions.

There are 118 elements in a Periodic Table, so completing this project should take a little over a year. Beyond that... well, people aren't elements, and new artists are always being discovered.

And yes... I've already got my spot staked out.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Inverse T Clown: #21

ITC is preparing an album for release. Patience, Grasshopper.
For our second installment, Box #21 goes to Inverse T. Clown... "ITC". A mysterious figure who coaxes magical MIDI from raw silicon. Some say he wears that mask because he's in the witness protection program. Others think he's just shy. Some say he wears it because he's hideously deformed. Whether he's a target, bashful, or just plain ugly, his talent is undeniable.

I know what you're thinking... why isn't he Element #2? Well, let's just say that this is a Periodic Table, and there are certain groupings and properties to be respected. As it so happens, I've reserved the big block in the center -- the one that would contain transition metals in a periodic table of the elements -- for that group of musicians which started out in Song Fu, and which continued through a community called TMA, and finally landed in  Box #21 is the first of this series.

ITC deserves the first spot in this series for good reason. Inverse is a master of under-promotion. As he sits on a reservoir of raw talent that others would die for, he would have you believe that he's not doing anything special. On the contrary, of all the musicians that have competed in the various songwriting competitions I'm familiar with, ITC is the one guy who never touches an instrument, yet cranks out stunningly detailed orchestrations in record time. Every note is entered on a musical score and played by his computer, one track at a time, then traditionally mixed. Are you getting this down, folks? Add in some seriously clever lyrics and you've got a recipe for... well, for this:

ITC is often accused of writing videogame music, with some justification. But it's good videogame music! This stuff hits the perfect geek chord (pardon the pun), and I have found myself covering a good number of his songs, including the ubiquitous Today's the Day, which should be covered by every self-respecting musician!

Enough of this... either you like him by now or you need professional help. How do you properly show support for this musical icon?

Well, we've put ITC's mug on a mug, just for the purpose. And we've chosen just about the most disturbing image we could find of him and amped up the anxiety just a bit, just to drive home the point that ITC ain't no Bozo. That's the face of a clown who's not foolin' around!

And remember please, that all proceeds go toward the Rite Care Centers for Childhood Language Disorders.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Edric Haleen: #0.99999999 ad infinitum!

What started as a little joke on my music blog could very well turn out to be something very special, and for that I will count myself as Edric's #1 fan... or #0.99999... if you prefer. So I think for this inaugural posting I'm going to simply show you what I posted there, plus a special update.

Oh, and if you're wondering what all the fuss is over this odd number, listen to the song.

So you think you're into geek musicians? Well, if you don't 'get' the above reference, then you're Johnny Wannabe. Move aside, Coulton! Back of the bus, Paul and Storm! Edric Haleen is a brilliant musician whose work shows influences from Sondheim to Tom Lehrer, with a few stops in-between. Those of us who have participated in or followed the Song Fu or SpinTunes songwriting competitions know Edric well as someone who's sure to wow the crowd with a show-stopper. And so what if he never wins? That's only because his music is over the heads of the Neanderthal judges. It's probably over YOUR head, too.

I was discussing this in chat with some fellow musicians, and it occurred to us that anybody so infuriatingly talented... so impossibly intelligent... and so disgustingly pleasant... deserves his own merchandise. So I set out immediately to remedy that injustice. So here it is... The EDRIC HALEEN FANBOY T-SHIRT!

click on the images to supersize them.

Believe it or not, this shirt can be yours! NOT A JOKE! Be the first on your block to get one, before Edric notices this blog entry and makes me take it down!! (It could be tomorrow, or it could be next week. Edric's currently music-directing a play. That's right. As if you didn't feel inadequate enough*)

Look folks, you can't BE Edric. But at least you can admire him.

* Edric is currently busy music-directing a show by Adam Gwon called Ordinary Days. The show runs from January 27 - February 5 in Lansing, Michigan, which means you might still have a few days to get your shirt before he notices he has a fan club.

** UPDATE **

Due to popular demand (that would be JoAnn's demand), I've added the MATH QUIZ version of this shirt. to the store. Now's your chance to weigh in on one of the more important issues of our age... does 0.9999999999... equal 1? Well.... does it?  This is a True/False test presented as multiple choice for those who like to sit on the fence (or are simply partial to fuzzy logic). So buy the shirt, use a Sharpie to answer the quiz, and don't forget to show your work!

Now here's the really AMAZING part of this product... If you happen to be in or near Lansing, Michigan, you can answer the quiz, explain your answer, and then stop by and have Edric himself grade your work! Right there on the shirt! Is that cool or WHAT?!?

I've also added the Edric Haleen fanboy MUG, because I WANTS ONE, Preciousssss...

The Beginning

Hello, all...

I'm Dave Leigh, aka the vocal half of the songwriting team Dr. Lindyke. While not programming or writing songs, I also spend a portion of my free time supporting a charity called Rite Care Centers for Childhood Language Disorders. Rite Care provides speech and language therapy to pre-school children at absolutely no cost whatsoever to their parents, insurance companies, or the government. It's funded entirely by members of the Scottish Rite through fund-raising project (not all of which are as harebrained as this one).

YES, this is a fund-raising project. But more than that, I'm hoping it will be a FUN-raising project! A while back I had an idea to create a "Periodic Table of Geek Musicians", and set about doing just that. I actually have the table. But I think we can have a little more fun with it than just having me put the names in the boxes. A few days back, I created some swag for Edric Haleen. It was a joke, and I really didn't expect to sell any; however, I have sold a few T-shirts, and Edric was gracious enough to allow me to donate the proceeds to Rite Care. So what I want to do is this...

If you're an independent musician with any kind of presence on the web, and you would like to be on the Periodic Table of Geek Musicians, sign up. Give me permission to create a T-shirt, a mug... some kind of salable item. I'll take care of the design, the fulfillment, the shipping, everything. All you need to do is give me permission, and Rite Care will be able to use the proceeds to pay trained therapists to assist the kids who need it. This is really critical work... a child who can't communicate gets left behind in school and rejected by his peers. Many of them wind up dropping out. By taking care of this problem early, you can change a life for the better. You'll also have some great swag that you can point your fans to. I will do my best design work for you, free of charge. These particular designs will only be available here.

A few people have chosen to step up already. As I mentioned above, Edric Haleen is the first. So for that and other reasons, he gets pride of placement with Atomic Number 0.99999 ad infinitum.  It does, in fact, equal one (I heard it in a song). He'll have the first of the announcement blog posts here, as well. Other early signers are Inverse T. Clown and my co-conspirators in the "HaleenSwag-gate", Boffo Yux Dudes and JoAnn Abbot.

The Periodic Table itself will indeed be hosted on this site and will be linked in the tabs at the top of the page. Names will be added as they sign up, though expect an initial delay while I get the table ready.