I do not remember how we got the idea for the STD for the Holidays compilations. It was probably Brett or Shawn who suggested it, and I, being the autistic specimen that I am, was instantly compelled to make it happen.
The plan: If you contribute a song, it will be on the album (although I reserved the right to shorten tunes if they went on too long) and all songs must be recorded by the artists, on their own equipment. This was before everyone had Garageband on their pocket computers, when it was actually a bit of a chore to get a quality recording. But Sparky the Dog does not especially care about quality, as you should be learning by now.
The plan worked marvelously. We got twelve songs, including one from my mom, one from Lucas (Official Artist of Sparky the Dog Studios, no musical experience...in fact, let's discuss Luke's song for a moment. First, he didn't record it himself, since he didn't have any idea how to do anything music-related, so he came to the STD headquarters where he and I waxed his song in a hour, right before heading to Shawn and Chrissy's for a holiday party. I had been suffering from one of my nasty headaches that afternoon. This headache being especially rough, I'd resorted to pharmaceutical solutions, some sort of pill, Midrin or something, as prescribed by a doctor many months ago, but which I'd never before used, as I'm wary of pills, due, mainly to the facts surrounding the death of Elvis Presley.
Lucas shows up with, like three lines of lyrics:
I'm a Hanukkah boy in love with a Christmas girl.
She believes in Santa.
I believe that we're the chosen people.
Meanwhile, I'm drooling on the couch, deep into a heavy, headache-free mellow zone. I mushmouth instructions and Lucas sets up the microphone. Press record, I do my Simon and Garfunkel finger picking routine, and Lucas tosses off a vocal. No time to listen to playback, head to the party, talk to a cat, do Owen Wilson impressions, and accidentally start a fire in the barren lot behind Shawn and Chrissy's back porch.
Next morning, I wake up, listen to the track and shout, "This is a number one hit!" It wasn't. Later on, when Luke's mom heard it, she said, "I can't understand a word you're singing.)
Also, Chrissy Deal, Uziego, Andy Gross (who recorded his absolutely terrific tune on a mini-disk player while trapped in a cheap apartment in Nashville), Brett Duesing with his most-depressing-holiday-song, made on a broken computer, The Monikers ode to snow days, and so on.
The CU radio station played the album in its entirety the week I mailed it to them, and this made everyone very happy.
Maureen and I listen to it every year as we hang up our holiday decorations.
released December 25, 2003
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