Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Jason Morris: #39

Jason Morris is the consumate musician. He's a composer, drummer, singer, guitarist, and does everything incredibly well. The very fact that he participated in The Masters of Song Fu #2 gives him indisputable street cred among musicians and geeks alike. The fact that he lost to the Rifftones in the final round with a respectable vote tally means he has chops. Great, big, powerful Chuck Norris chops.

Jason also competed in Masters of Song Fu #5. Now, he hasn't posted most of these songs elsewhere so you'll have to follow the link to the competition to get them. They're worth tracking down. Jason had to step down in the third round, thus never answered the challenge, "write a winter holiday song that is not about the holidays". Who cares? He made up for it by totally running away with the Holiday Special challenge, "Create a brand new character for this holiday season, and write a holiday song for him/her/it."  The result of that challenge was Twangles, the Christmas Squid:
Original art by Kimberly Johnson for The Periodic Table of Geek Musicians
copyright 2011

While the other competitors were (almost) uniform in offering scandalous or cynical ditties, Jason alone threw his heart and talent into the competition and came up with the first truly original, family-friendly character I know of since Frosty and Rudolph. This is just a really great song. Have a listen and see if you don't agree.

A squid who brings toys to the children of Atlantis, where Santa can't go. Folks, it doesn't get more creative than that! And now you know why I've been saving Jason Morris for December's spot on the Periodic Table!

While many geek musicians play with tongue in cheek, or in a niche, Jason just comes right out and plays good old-fashioned ROCK AND ROLL. He gives his clever lyrics on odd topics a mainstream delivery that sometimes has you wondering "what did he just say?" especially in "adult" numbers such as "American Doll" or "Burning for You".

One of the best parts of doing these reviews is that I get to go back and listen to all the music to refresh my memory. In going through the old Song Fu entries, it strikes me how few of them (and by that I mean none of them) sound as though they were written for a competition. No matter how weird the challenge, Jason rises to it as though it was his idea from the start. And when the topic calls for it he's ready to set aside the hard Rock and change genres, as he does in "The Ballad of Rufus Amos Adams" and "The O'Sullivan Stomp".

This is stuff you'd be happy to pay real money for, and Jason gives it away for free!

I'm glad that Jason's got his Bandcamp page up now, and I'd like to encourage him to gather these harder-to-find items up there so people can get full enjoyment out of them.

And now... STUFF!

Jason very kindly allowed me free reign on placing product, and this being December, we're going with the Twangles theme. So there's a LOT of stuff here to choose from. I think you'll find something you like.

NOT ONLY THAT, Jason has marked Twangles on his Bandcamp page as a "name your own price" download, with the proceeds going to RiteCare! So say you don't want to shell out 30 bucks for swag, but you still want to help RiteCare. Just go Bandcamp and download Twangles, and pay what you want. It could be zero, or any amount greater. Any amount is appreciated.

I'm not going to link everything here, but click on the link and visit the shop. We've got mugs, steins, bibs, clothing... even Christmas stockings and ornaments. Order now for prompt delivery!

   Jason's Bandcamp Pages      

(I do want to take a second to recognize Kim Johnson for the original Twangles artwork that she provided to me on very short notice! I've been short on time, and she really came through. Now if I can only get her to take paid commissions from the public she'd be wealthier and the world would be more beautiful.)