Many of you who have seen my video “Watermelon Nights” have told me that the song was stuck in your head for days. It’s definitely a catchy tune, that’s for sure. But not too many people have heard other music by it’s composer… the mysterious underground musician John Crave.
I myself have never met him in person, but I’ve been a fan of his strange songs for years. You can’t really buy his albums anywhere, you just have to know someone who thinks you’re cool enough to send you an mp3. That’s how underground he is.
Luckily for all of us, some fan started a new blog in which she posts a different song from John Crave’s prolific catalogue every day. It’s great. She’s even uncovered as much research as she can about each song and shares the secret info. John Crave is a mystery but thanks to this blog there’s going to be a lot more people sharing the mystery.
Click here to go the John Crave blog.
The newest Meth Minute Cartoon is my tribute to the strange animation of Eastern Europe. I’ve always been interested in all things Eastern Bloc, probably because my family lineage originates from Hungary, Belarus, Romania, etc. If we had never immigrated to America, I might be making cartoons like this:
When I had finished the animation and was looking for a background soundtrack, I knew it needed some E. European instrumentals to keep it authentic. The choice was obvious: My Hungarian-born grandfather Abraham Meth’s very own opera overture.
This past November, we flew to Arizona to see Grandpa’s opera (composed in the late 1950’s) performed by a professional orchestra. Although it’s the story of Moses and the Exodus, I had a feeling it’s instrumental overture would be perfect for my cartoon about anthropomorphic hands that spill coffee on each other!
The performance was recorded and the CD came to me in the mail hours before the cartoon needed to be edited and distributed all over the internet. A couple splices of the music with the cartoon and it was appeared to be cosmically destined.
Collaborating with my 95 year-old grandfather on a film was awesome. He was a student of Bela Bartok and Zoltan Kodaly at the Budapest Acadamy of Music in the 1930’s and wrote music and drew all his life. Abraham Meth is where I inherited any of my musical and artistic traits from so I guess it’s all come full circle.
This week’s “Meth Minute 39″ cartoon is about the late great Syd Barrett. For those of you who are unaware, Barrett was the original singer for Pink Floyd until he drifted off into a insane world of LSD fantasy and became a mysterious recluse.
For the cartoon’s soundtrack, I needed to create some songs that sound just like Barrett’s own. I turned to my friend William Rahilly, a longtime musical collaborator. Will has a closet-sized recording space in Brooklyn crowded with instruments, analog-replicating tube amps and more.
First, I had made a list of words and phrases that I felt like Syd would use in his lyrics.
Then Will started strumming his acoustic and I put together some lyrics with the words from the list.
Next, we started recording all the instrumental tracks.
Finally I laid down my Syd Barrett imposter vocals.
And that’s all it took. Without further ado, here is the outcome: