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Today is the anniversary of our nation declaring its independence from Great Britain. It is not, however, “America’s birthday.” Let’s break this phrase down a bit.

Listen to the annual July 4th song while you read.

When the word “America” is used in a phrase like “America’s birthday,” it is a metonym for “United States of America.” Obviously, the geographic hemisphere that accounts for the Americas had a birthday several million years ago.

The United States of America as a nation did not exist until the ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America. We have come to understand Constitution as a word meaning “the document that outlines the basic laws and organization of something” but at the time, they really meant that this was what constituted the new nation they were creating.

The United States of America was born 17 September 1789. That’s its birthday. From the moment independence was declared in July 1776 until that date, the thirteen independent colonies were nation-states, autonomous and sovereign, loosely connected first by the Continental Congresses and then the Articles of Confederation. And while the phrase “united States of America” appears in the Declaration of Independence, it was not referring to any such organization, but instead the fact that the States had decided unanimously to declare their independence.

We must remind ourselves that the word STATE means a self-organized governmental entity.

July 4th is the anniversary of our (using our loosely since only a few of us have ancestors who actually acquired their independence on that day, or at least declared it) independence. Our independence, once it was finished being fought-for, enabled us to give birth to a nation that was the United States of America.

July 4th is an anniversary. September 17th is the birthday. Both are important.

Also, today is the day gluttons gather in New York. You already know how I feel about this event, and who I will be cheering for.


Tomorrow Brazil will lose to the United States in THRILLERBOWL. Here is my song and video for the occasion.


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I’m not only making songs, I’m MAKING VIDEOS.


The USA lost in the Confederation Cup today thanks to a turncoat traitor scalawag named Giuseppi Rossi.

I dedicate this song to him.

(1:55 mp3)

One million is a lot

So I made this little video and titled it Classic Hits by Microsoft Songsmith: “Wonderwall” by Oasis.

That was three months ago, to the day (when incorporating February’s short month).

And today it went past 1,000,000 views.



LA Weekly wrote about us this week:

YouTube user azz100c has become the most prolific Songsmith remixer, with a channel full of consistently entertaining clips.

Thanks, LA Weekly!

“Nightswimming” by R.E.M. is one of my favorite songs — period. Here’s what it would sound like if instead of Mike Mills’ piano playing and John Paul Jones’ orchestra, Michael Stipe had simply sang into Microsoft Songsmith.

Today’s Classic Hit by Microsoft Songsmith is an actual Classic Hit! Here’s Elvis Presley, The King himself, face to face with The King Of Cheese, Microsoft Songsmith. Enjoy!

Today Microsoft Songsmith takes on one of the classic hits of 1980: “We Got The Beat” by Go-Go’s. Did you know that Belinda Carlisle contributed very little actual writing to the Go-Go’s songs? Of course you did: the real artistic genius in that group was Jane Wiedlin.

Anyway, here’s some steel drums, bongos, and wood blocks.

Today Microsoft Songsmith takes on “Shock The Monkey” by Peter Gabriel. This is one that WNYC’S Soundcheck episode delved into pretty deeply. They liked it, saying it forces you to really listen to the song in a new way, and perceive some of the emotional value lost from the 27 years of commidification at the hands of pop culture.

Okay, those are my words. Here’s the video.

Take two of Microsoft Songsmith frontin’ and maxin’ with Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

Post coming later with a publicity update. WNYC in New York City covered us yesterday for about 20 minutes. It was freakin’ awesome.

I don’t know if No Doubt’s “Hella Good” is a Classic Hit. I do know that Songsmith turned it into something from Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina Of Time (the Lost Forest theme, I think) as performed in an auto repair shop… in Osaka.

Another day, another Songsmith. I kind of like the groove Microsoft Songsmith put together for this track. I wonder what Pet Sounds would sound like if Brian Wilson had been given today’s technology.

Probably not like this.

Another new Classic Hit by Microsoft Songsmith. Michael Jackson told me to show him how FUNKY STRONG is my fight. So Songsmith gives you STRONG FUNK.

Download the mp3

I apologize. I am so far behind on posting these here.

It’s no secret that polka is one of my favorite musical genres. So here’s Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train” as sent through Microsoft Songsmith. I think it does an amazing job. As a polka.

Download the mp3 here

You asked for it, you got it. There will be a series of these, but here’s the first one: Rick Astley, Microsoft Songsmith, and metal. BITCHIN’!

Download the mp3

You’ve probably been calling them THE Eagles this whole time. Microsoft Songsmith renders Hotel California a club for alternative lifestyles. Enjoy.

We’re back with one of my favorite creations: “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor, which Microsoft Songsmith managed to turn into a Bob Seger song. Seriously, this would fit perfectly on Stranger In Town.

Download the mp3

We went over 1,000,000 channel views today, roughly 925,000 of which came in the past seven days. That’s better than your average cable drama, so I’m happy. Here’s celebratin’ with one of my favorite songs, ever. Weezer, “Buddy Hollly,” and Microsoft Songsmith come together to make gloriously creepy babies.

Download the mp3

Some have called it “Hillbilly Idol.” Others, “Shotgun White Wedding.”

I call it hilarious. Microsoft Songsmith does wonderful things with Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.”

Download the mp3

This features a 909 and I then realized that The Postal Service uses 909s in a lot of their songs.

So, basically, this is what it would sound like if The Postal Service covered “Tom Sawyer” by Rush. Or if Geddy Lee had sung into Microsoft Songsmith. Either way.

Download the mp3

Trying to catch up with the YouTube action… here’s what happened when I sent the vocals to “Creep” through Microsoft Songsmith. It makes the Radiohead song even… more effectively creepy.

Download the mp3

Microsoft Songsmith takes on another classic Marvin Gaye hit from 1968 today, with “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” in the style of.. wow, I have no idea. It’s just noise.

Download the mp3

Microsoft Songsmith was brutal to the Beatles this time around, making “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” even more of an assault on the senses than it was back in 1967.

Download the mp3 here

Microsoft Songsmith gets romantic today with its interpretation of “Just What I Needed” by The Cars.

Download the mp3

Microsoft Songsmith continues to astound, impress, annoy, and inflict ear pain. Upon being fed Sting’s vocals from “Roxanne,” Songsmith spat out a weird amalgam of Latin/Reggae. Strangely, the YouTubers seem to like it.

Download the mp3

One of my rules for importing vocal tracks into Microsoft Songsmith is that I use whatever the default music style is when the program first starts.

And that is how you end up with a techno version of Oasis’ 1995 hit “Wonderwall.”

Download the mp3

“Long Train Runnin’” is my favorite Doobie Bros. song, and one of my favorite songs of all time. This is, undoubtedly, because it is played relentlessly by the Ohio University Marching 110, the Most Exciting Band In The Land.

This is the vocal track (technically, the lead vocal + background vocal) from the 1973 recording of Long Train fed into Microsoft Songsmith. Songsmith does less well with this material than it did yesterday’s.

Download the mp3

So Microsoft released an application called Songsmith. You might know it from the goofy commercials where the little girl sings some goofy song she wrote into the computer, and magically Microsoft spits out a complete song. It’s actually kind of a neat concept, but I was curious to see how well it worked.

So I took the vocal track from Marvin Gaye’s 1971 recording “What’s Going On” and fed it into Microsoft Songsmith. This is the result. To be honest, I’m actually a bit impressed.

There will be more of these to come.

Download the mp3 here

President Bush is a great athlete

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Say what you will about the implications or humor of the President having shoes hurled at him, but really, this is my only reaction:

“Dude has some great reflexes.”

Holiday 2007 Omnibus Archive --> all the new songs!

Note to regular readers: is routing to this entry for the time being, to allow everyone who gets their cards and CDs to see all that went into this year's editions. If you don't want to ruin the surprise, back away. If you don't think you're on my Christmas list (and why aren't you? It's up to 85), or are too curious to hold back (or wait until after Christmas, when most of you will be receiving your cards/CDs anyway), click the jump.

It's Christmas Time

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Yes, I know you're all anxiously awaiting your CDs. They're going in the mail tomorrow. Here's the hidden track from this year's album to tide you over. Obviously, a parody of Flight of the Conchords.

Christmas Time (4:06) (mp3)

Christmas Time (4:06) (m4a)

music returns

It's Thanksgiving, and you know what that means.

The recording process for Holiday EP 2007 has begun. Note I said "process," and not "recording."

That's Track #1 you're looking at right there. If you missed the past few years of Holiday EPs, you can find them here.

Elijah Dukes is My Daddy

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Elijah Dukes is my daddy. It's true. My momma's real white. Like, albino.

"Elijah Dukes is My Daddy Blues" (2:30, blues, intoxication)

mp3 version (4.3 megs)
AAC/m4a version (2.7 megs)

It's in 12/8 time! 'Cause that's how many kids he has! By how many women! I'm so clever!

BTW, this is the first song I've recorded with my new guitar, who doesn't have a name yet, but it might just be Tiffany. Or Debbie. Or Belinda Carlyle.

Bernie & The Boomer!!! Finished!


If you lived in Ohio during the late '80s, this song will make sense to you. If you didn't, but are a football fan, it will make sense to you. I just played it for five women from Connecticut and they looked at me like I was an alien.

Bernie & The Boomer sit together for a meal...

Bernie & The Boomer - mp3 (3:18)
Bernie & The Boomer - m4a (3:18)

The only thing left to do for the Holiday EP is record the new vocals for Single Christmas 2006. Then we can get to drawing the cards... and getting them in the mail. I have to grade 60 finals at some point, too.

"They could agree on just one hero: the mighty Mr. Paul Brown."

Two to go!

We've finished recording on all but two songs -- Bernie and The Boomer and Christmas in Bavaria. We just finished mixing This Christmas, and as far as I can tell, it sounds great!

This Christmas - mp3 - 3:13
This Christmas - m4a - 3:13
This Christmas - WAV - 3:13


It's Tuesday morning, 7:00am. I have to be on campus even earlier than usual, so I'm headed out to my car and it's barely warm enough so that I don't see my breath, and I'm angry, because I wish it was.

Something catches my eye, sitting in the middle of my driveway.

It's a cheap cassette tape, unlabeled, the kind you'd get three of at the dollar store.

I throw much junk in the car, grab the tape, and put it in the deck as I head screaming down Northfield Lane.

It takes about two seconds for me to recognize what it is.

It's a tape I haven't seen in at least ten years. It didn't fall out of my car, because I lost track of this tape long before I even bought this car six years ago. I don't know where it came from, or how I got it back.

Here it is, in handy flash-player format.

Or download it. (mp3).

That would be the earliest-known original recording of yours truly. Actually, it's myself, Sicky (now married), Progman (now married), and Barry (now married) in my parents' basement, sometime in fall 1995 or spring 1996. I'm playing the beatbox, I think, and singing. Sicky is playing guitar, though you can only hear him at the beginning and end. I'm not sure what Progman and Barry are doing, but I definitely remember them being there.

That song, the "Ich bin also blau Polka," was written that afternoon. I wanted to see if I could write a polka in 12-bar blues. It's also the only song I know to have actually been on the radio... once... on the Napoleon Sunday afternoon polka show. It might have only made it halfway through before the deejay (also known as my mom) yanked it.

The first verse really is the German version of the English second verse, just badly translated and worse-ly pronounced. I still, internally, refer to my car keys as "meine autotasten."

Anyway, it's a bit of a miracle, because I haven't the slightest idea where this tape came from, and I think it's hilarious, especially my line after the song's over. There's other stuff on the tape I'll record when I have time; a B-side metal version of the same song, and a duet of Stealers Wheel's "Stuck In The Middle With You" by Sicky and I -- and neither of us know the words. Very strange. Very old.

Very old.


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I know it's your favorite part of the holiday season.

Track one of the 2006 Timothy Burke Annual Holiday EP is in the can. Get psyched! Get ready! It's here!

An Anarchism Christmas (2:22, mp3, other formats coming)

Oh, and the story I promised you yesterday is on its way too.

A truly astounding discovery

This morning, at 7:00, I walked out to my car to leave for class and found quite an interesting object laying there in the middle of my driveway. I can't begin to describe how bizarre and wonderful this discovery is, from out of nowhere, laying in the middle of my driveway.

The rest of the story in the afternoon.

WOXY is dead | I just got older | Here's proof


WOXY is dead and gone. The last time I was with a girl, we listened to it. It was a great station; perhaps the greatest. It will be missed.

This weekend is my birthday, so I'll be busy. Here's an old song I once wrote about a girl who liked girls better than boys.

The Next Best Thing

Or use the handy player

The Ballad of David Blaine


David Blaine failed at his attempt to break a record that probably wasn't even the record anyway.

I bear witness to the event and testify with The Ballad of David Blaine.

Hey, we all need slump-busters. 2:42


Two new songs

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Two new songs. Stewardess is something I wrote in the plane on the way back from Boston in November. Shopping Mall is my attempt to mashup Tara MacLean, Weird Al, and James Taylor. I found the words scribbled in an old notebook, though I don't know when or even remember writing them. As usual, click the name to read the lyrics in a new window.

Stewardess Download mp3, AAC, or WAV length: 2:40
Shopping Mall Download mp3, AAC, or WAV length: 2:57

A Lenten Song

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Okay, it's not a Lenten song. It might be, as far as you know. That or it's about how long Josh Hartnett's career lasted. But it's really about... something else.

40 Days And 40 Nights (3:52) (click for the lyrics)


Meanwhile, it's my half-birthday. In some parts of the globe, my half-birthday is referred to as "St. Patrick's Day." The bishop back home has apparently decreed it okay for we Irish boys to eat our corned beef despite the fact it's Friday. That kind of misses the point, if you ask me, but whatever.

Last year, on St. Patrick's Day, I was in Nashville, Tennessee. I spent the day at Eddie George's sports bar drinking copious amounts of beer and eating terribly, before my friends arrived and we went out on the town. I chased skirts and rolled with the late D.Lowe, in what was the last night I ever spent with him. It was pretty special, and we had a really great time. There's nothing like the NCAA tournament. Nothing on earth.

Speaking of the NCAAs, I hit 13 of 16 yesterday. I guess that's okay. If you picked Montana, you were doing it purely randomly. Just admit it.

Could it be? A new song???


I have no idea where these ideas come from.

John Mayer Leaves His Girfriend A Pipe Bomb (3:40)


Fed up, but here's the final product


I got fed up with trying to make it sound better. It's still one of the best songs I've recorded, but i have some serious sibilant issues. It's almost becoming a lisp. Ack.

A Single Christmas - 4:30 6mb mp3

Edit: Some people have problems with the main EW server. Here's another one that will work.

A Single Christmas - 4:30 6mb mp3 alternate server

I ought to go to jail for this

Not sure what I was thinking.

Frosty 2 - 1:48 2mb mp3

New Christmas Song

Wrote and recorded song #1 for the Christmas EP today. Remind me to tune my guitar before recording next time.

Don't Feel Like Christmas At All - 4.6m 3:35 mp3 version

Don't Feel Like Christmas At All - 5.1m 3:35 AAC version for you iPod people

New song

Needing new material to perform at the Sunday night comedy open mic at the Hangout, I threw together a new jive and recorded it so I'd remember it. It's kind of gross.

Jail - 2mb 2:06 mp3

I arrived and found myself the only white person a room containing about eight other comics. Being that my material is pretty much cracker-ass white boy guitar jamming, I was a bit concerned, but it went over well, considering the main joke was about a guy I knew at the prison, a sweetheart 6'6" 300lb black dude who was in for drowning a guy in a bucket of bleach. I had to leave during some of the other sets; I may sing about some disgusting topics, but I'm not down with gaybashing, which apparently is the core of a lot of these comics' routines.

Ended up staying there until two or so, hanging out with some folks who liked me enough to buy me drinks all night. A few girls were there, for once, celebrating a 21st birthday. The birthday girl was more hammered than I've seen anyone in a *very* long time. Usually people pass out or throw up by the time they get that wasted, but this girl, I mean, WOW. She was a broken woman, and of course attracted about seven guys who were trying to take her home. My friend Chantal got involved and basically picked her up and threw her into a cab to the dismay of the creeps who wanted to take advantage of her. Just another night at the Hangout...

Stupidest song ever

Don't let me turn the recorder on while I'm drunk anymore.

Dinero (3:26 2.0meg mp3)

All I got is towel dispensers

Recorded. Standard disclaimer about the server being fussy applies. (3:44 5meg mp3)

also, here's something i recorded a few days ago as a joke. (1:50 1.3meg mp3)

The Next Best Thing

I just wrote what I think might be my favorite song I've ever written. Unfortunately, I wrote a song that I'm not yet skilled enough to play. (I know, real smart of me.) So I will be practicing playing this song for a few hours which is probably a huge waste of time, but, then, I'm pretty good at that. I'm open to suggestions on the lyrics, btw, I pretty much pop these things out in a minute or two so there's not much thought that goes into it.

the next best thing. 28 july 2005, 2:00pm

You said i'd like a bagel
with some cream cheese and a slice of pear

well all i have's banana
but it goes together just about as well

You want a soda, a Dr. Pepper
well that's okay

I only have Mister Pibb but
they pretty much taste the same

i know i'm not what you had in mind
and i won't ask you to leave your dreams behind
but take a look at what i bring
'cause I'm the next best thing

you love your dogs, i think that's great
but i like kittens

and when it gets cold outside you ask me for some gloves
but all i have are nice warm mittens

you ask me for my screen name on AOL
but i only use IM from Yahoo!

your favourite israeli prime minister is ehud Barak
but i loved netanyahu!

i know i'm not what you had in mind
and i won't ask you to leave your dreams behind
but take a look at what i bring
'cause i'm the next best thing

and if you want to talk litra-ture
your favorite author's Joyce
I'm more into Spenser

And in the bathroom you'd like hand driers
but all I have are towel dispensers

You want a snack and ask me for some Ho Hos
i dig Swiss Cake Rolls

you love the red sox
well phhhhhhhhhhf i can't help you on that one, the red sox suck

i know i'm not what you had in mind
and i won't ask you to leave your dreams behind
but take a look at what i bring
'cause i'm the next best thing
Current Mood: accomplished

a new song

This song is, in retrospect, some kind of failed attempt to sound like the Rolling Stones. oh well. recorded in the downstairs bathroom for reasons i have yet to understandCock Blockers - 3:30 2.4m mp3it was a clever idea when i came up with it in the car the other day, i swear. and like most of my songs, true stories


Pegasus was a blast last night. Played an early set of Waterfalls, VD, and Black Gold, then a late set of Gold's Gym Guy, 37, I was Just 15, What The Hell Happened to Jewel? and Handjob on a Churchbus.

Darren informed me he was going to send a demo to some places for me, so I had to "hit the studio" which I haven't done in a few weeks. Luckily Caitlin and Jen were gone this morning.

37 - aka the hot dog song - my new favourite. 2:51
Jailbait 3:05
V.D. (It's Hard Not To Notice) 2:19
I'm In Love With A Lesbian 2:00
Bush Voter 3:27
Blondie's Got A Boyfriend 2:56

I really pumped them out today. Of course, all the important things I had to get done today were left untouched. But that's what Thursdays are for.

June 21, 2005 - Pegasus Lounge, Tampa, FL

1. Intro (1:41)
2. (I'm in love with a) Lesbian (3:01)
3. Bush Voter (3:52)
4. It's Hard Not To Notice (VD) (3:30)
5. Blondie's Got A Boyfriend (3:13)
6. Monkeys Coming Out Of Your Ass [Poltz] (3:01)

While I had a few stumbles owing to my songs all being only a day or so old (except for Lesbian, which I played by request) I think it was my best night at the Pegasus. I like my new songs; I think they're better "songs." Bush Voter went over a lot better than I expected. Who knew the Pegasus was a hideout for liberals? All in all, it was just a fun time and I think my voice sounded good for the most part.

May 26, 2005 - Pegasus Lounge, Tampa, FL

1. Intro (1:10)
2. (I'm in love with a) Lesbian (2:50)
3. Haunted (3:14)
4. Cow Brain Sandwiches (3:09)
5. Lights in California (3:33)
6. Handjob on a Church Bus [Poltz] (4:30)
7. Mother's Day/Jennie's Song (4:36)

Handjob went over amazingly well, the whole bar participated. The rest of the night was just okay.

The Razor's Edge

Courtesy Aaron, it's my full performance at the Pegasus Lounge on May 19th, 2005... I'll put up the May 26th performance tomorrow or Thursday.

I was hammered as shit

1. Intro (1:43)
2. Woke You Up (1:40)
3. Coffee In Your Cup (3:41)
4. Spur-M (2:18)
5. Shawn Kemp Is My Daddy Blues (3:32)
6. Waterfalls [TLC] (3:23)

eh, whatever

here's the song i wrote that i think kind of sucks but i had five minutes before i have to hop in the shower and go to class, so here it is. maybe you'll like it. it's a lot more honest than i usually am. (4:15, 1.5meg, summer?)


Today's song is titled "Sea." (900k, 3:31, paranoia)

All my songs seem to be 3:31. Weird. Off to take a midterm I didn't study for.


Busy week. In the middle of studying for a midterm this afternoon, then teaching, then Team Trivia, then I fly to Ohio tomorrow. So, probably no new songs over the weekend, unless I take my harmonica or subject you all to my parents' woefully out-of-tune piano. Actually, I believe my brother owns a halfway decent bass guitar, so maybe we'll throw something together.

I do have an artifact for today, behind the cut, and yesterday's song. I'll try and write one today but, shit, I have a midterm to study for.

Yesterday's song was written for my performance last night, which went very well. It's about ten minutes long, 9 megs, so be patient. It's the first instrumental I've recorded, but not the first I've written. I'll get to those when I get to them. (9:45, 9megs, HAMMOND B3 ORGAN (i'm becoming an addict))

As promised

Actually just the verses are "new," I came up with the chorus a long time ago.

The Coffee In Your Cup (3meg mp3, 3:41, emo)

Now on a faster server!

Artifact #3

Today's song is titled "Home." I think all the beating on my guitar is putting it out of tune. Oh well. (4:03, 2megs, cheesy poker references)

Here are the lyrics, I think they are poorly served by my musical abilities.

Bartender, give me just one more
Stonemason's lying on the floor
I'd pick him up but I was told not to do heavy lifting.
Sunglasses perched upon your head
Hair like you just got out of bed
Eyes wide as dinner plates and I'll be damned there's someone cookin'
I'm chuckin' snowballs at the sun
You say it's not all that much fun
Giv eyou the finger and you chase me down into the cellar
Press you up against the wall
You smell rustic just like fall
I take your breath away but I'm so nice I let you have it back

'Cause everybody wants a place they can call their home
A place that makes 'em feel just right
So, c'mon, tell me, baby
Where you sleepin' tonight?

Bartender, can I get a light
I'm throwing down big slick tonight
I got the Hammer but the next hand I'll be floating bullets
You're curlign rocks along my pond
You're throwing bricks and I'm not fond
You know you're safe with me but then again it's barely raining
Give me a sign of what you mean
Can't understand what's in between
The sign and signified I'm semiotic George Steinbrenner
The cafe walls are filled with names
Of people who called and complained
She broke teir hearts but they just didn't learn their lesson on the side

I'm staring rainbows in the eye
You're floating up into the sky
I'd wave goodbye
But I know that you're not really leavin'

With apologies to Tom Waits

It seems I rip someone new off every day. Fitting that with a hangover I do Tom Waits, though. Also, Day #2 of the artifact project. (2:17, 2 megs or so, "fuck")

Here is your artifact for the day.

Woke you up

I called a girl I like last night and woke her up. I felt bad, and this song just now came into my head.

So I recorded it. Of course, I'll never let *her* listen to it. (71 seconds, 400k)


I am doing a performance tomorrow about Spam. I am putting four randomly selected spam emails from my Yahoo! spam folder to music.

Here is a preview I just recorded.


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