Jim Cooper – DRAC I

BEFORE WE START TODAY’S BLOG, A COMMERCIAL:

In their continued epic struggle for supremacy, THE M’s and DETHOLZ! pit two giant custom-built robots against one another in a vicious mecha-duel that promises rampant carnage, death and destruction!  Watch from the sidelines, or feel free to participate in the slaughter yourself!

THIS FRIDAY, NOV. 21
THE M’s vs. DETHOLZ! REPUBLICAN ROBOT CHALLENGE
Hideout
www.hideoutchicago.com

In one corner, DETHOLZ! mount up their custom-built, constitution-eating steely chasse known as DIKK CHAINEY, who spews motor oil from his 10-ton cannons and eats Colin Powells for breakfast!

In the opposite corner, THE M’s power up the gigo-normous & steely moose slayer, SARE A’PAILIN’!  Watch her eviscerate and devour the English language as her gaping metal jaws work the system like a mega Johnny Cochran!

Watching two giant Republican robots battle to the death was never this exciting!

Hope to see you!

Also: buy a copy of the new Jukebox of the Dead cover album at www.detholz.com/merch.html !

XXOO
VORTECS Corp. Federalist Society Dept.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program…

Welcome back to the Detholz! Mp3 Blog, and mucho apologio for the missed week last week.

There is a reason for my tardiness. Allow me to explain:

Lujo Records, the doughty DC label that releases Baby Teeth’s records (new album “Hustle Beach” coming this Spring, incidentally!), has decided to release 3 solo albums from the 3 Baby Teeth members, Abraham Levitan, Peter Andreadis and myself, in advance of the release of “Hustle Beach.”

Since I have been writing for Detholz! for so long, I don’t really have much in the way of Jim Cooper solo repertoire. So I was stumped for a few days. Do I write an album of tear-jerking, convulsion-inspiring, vomit-inducing “serious” songs that really plumb the depths of my incredibly complex and interesting emotional construct? That seemed narcissistic and, frankly, my emotional construct isn’t that complicated. (Example: after an extremely irritating evening last night, my wife made me a plate of spicy sausage. Problem solved!)

Another idea: write an album of montage-inspired music, much in the vein of FLEX (see previous Oct. 08 posts). I was ready to jump that train but then rethought it: after the third song or so, the joke would get old. Besides, who wants to listen to a novelty record any more? I might as well record myself reading Yakov Smirnov jokes.

So, for better or worse, I decided to challenge myself and write in a format which I have virulently detested my entire life: I decided to write a MUSICAL. (Cue thunder and lightning)

Musicals have traditionally chapped my ass something awful. I have a big problem suspending disbelief when people suddenly and inexplicably burst into song. Additionally, the sort of humor typically found in musicals is what Dick Cavett might call “bridled hilarity.” In other words, it’s poncy as hell.

My wife has slowly been changing my mind as to the viability of the Musical format, starting me off gently with Sweeney Todd, which, all things considered, is really pretty great. The songs are complex and layered, plus there’s a sufficient amount of good gore and violence to hold my Neanderthal male interest. I am also slowly coming around to “Jesus Christ Superstar,” though I’m not all the way there yet. The first South Park film stands on its own merit as a great piece of musical satire.

I feel like I’m slowly lowering myself into the Hot Tub of Musicals, testing every inch of the water as I descend. As Eddie Murphy once said: “It’s HOT in the Hot Tub! It’ll make you sweat-a!”

I’m not going to divulge what this musical is about yet, but suffice it to say it’s loosely based on the classic Dracula story and most of the action unfolds in a trailer park in the mountains of Western Pennsylvania. To get things started, I began with an instrumental piece:

DRAC I

The scene: a dishonest, sleazy country lawyer is driving higher and higher into the mountains on the proverbial dark and stormy night.

More to come…

See you next Wednesday!

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14 Responses to “Jim Cooper – DRAC I”

  1. Phil Says:

    Nice job! Sounds like a cool project.

    I dig the song – sets the mood really well.

    Kind of ironic that you chose to do a Dracula themed musical, as I just saw Forgetting Sarah Marshall the other day (which, if you haven’t seen it, has the main character working on a Dracula Musical).

  2. Cort Says:

    This is ripe for primetime, cinema, stage, animation, etc…

  3. kebabdylan Says:

    did you ever get around to reading “the historian”?

  4. detholz Says:

    Phil: Thanks! Haven’t seen that movie– actually refused to see it on principle after the insidiously pervasive advertising campaign pushing it last summer. Those @#!$@# posters were EVERYWHERE.

    Heard it wasn’t too bad, tho– and that’s certainly good for me to know. I’ll attempt to write this in such a way that people can’t help forgetting “Forgetting Sarah Marshall.”

    Cort: Let’s hope so. This is my year to “break into the biz,” if I can. Let me know if you run across any projects that need scoring. I work fast and cheap!

    ‘Bab: I’m assuming you told me about this book already & I just forgot about it. I looked it up on Amazon and it looks pretty great. My vampire fixation is really spinning out of control.

    I’ll have to finish my current read, “Pig Island,” which is basically a more savage Scottish version of the Wicker Man story involving insane preachers and people with prehensile tails. It’s better than it sounds.

  5. fragileporpoise Says:

    This project sounds hideously promising and I believe I am adequately excited about it.

    Actually, “people with prehensile tails” probably makes that sound better than it is.

    Appy polly loggies for lurking a while before getting the guts to post a comment.

  6. detholz Says:

    Porpoise: “Hideously promising…” I appreciate that turn of phrase.

    Thank you for piping up– actually, I am jealous for the shy ones among you to speak up! The entire reason for the blog is to get input from listeners– I want to know what you love, what you hate, what you desire. This is the magic of Blog. Thank you for speaking up! We exist but to serve!

    If anyone feels shy about weighing in, please don’t! I wouldn’t write this thing if I didn’t want input. As musicians, it’s virtually impossible to know if what we’re doing is of value without input from listeners.

    In fact, I’ve been feeling like this Musical project has been bleeding the life out of me– that no one would give a damn if I finished it. Your comment alone helped give me the confidence to see the project through, for better or worse.

    So, welcome! Please, folks, tell me what you think. There are no right answers here, and certainly no reprisals in store. I need to know if what I’m doing matters to you in the least.

    Since the first venture into Musical Land was met with some approval, I’ll finish it. I can’t write to pander, but the blog is the testing ground. We’ve been doing Detholz! for 12 years, so I am stuck with experimentation.

    The blog is set up to let you guys weigh in. If you feel like I’m going down a rabbit trail that’s worthless or sublime…. I want to hear you!

  7. fragileporpoise Says:

    Let there be no life bleeding on account of moi but please do continue the solo project. As long as you don’t let the western aspect of it turn it into another Paint Your Wagon, it will more than likely be amazing or at least amazingly entertaining.
    Ok, I’ve never watched Paint Your Wagon but let’s just assume it’s not that good. Or is it? I think I have to watch it now.

    I’ve only recently begun my journey into the world of Detholz! but so far I am very pleased to have found my way here.

    Keep it foolish.

  8. kebabdylan Says:

    i am pretty much at a loss for comments about instrumental openings to musicals. Love the idea of you doing a vampire musical, though. just seems right. I will chime up once it gets into the “song portion” of the musical.

    As for the book, I had mentioned it back with your previous vampire toned song a while back. It is a pretty fun read and has maybe the worst, most absurd ending in modern fiction. It does delve seriously into the history and legend surrounding vlad

  9. bp Says:

    Jim, I still haven’t had a chance to sink my teeth into this week’s clip, but I have to say it’s so great to hear you say “my wife”. (“My wife has an inner ear infection…”)

  10. detholz Says:

    Porp: Welcome to the wily world of Detholz, where everything is exactly as it seems!

    ‘Bab: I am currently devouring “The Historian.” Nice descriptions of places, scenery, etc. but where’s the GORE?!?

    bp: Actually, my wife had an ear infection just a week or so ago!

  11. kebabdylan Says:

    sorry. not much gore… some munching on necks and creepy felllas though.

  12. Wotsac Says:

    YOU CAN’T FIGHT THE TRUTH!

    There are copies! YES!!

    We’ve made copies! We keep them hidden, we wait until the time is right.

    WE WILL NOT FORGET!

  13. kebabdylan Says:

    i am sitting here, with children throwing up all over the floor upstairs, watching the film adaptation of phantom of the opera, drinking wine, and thinking for the first time, maybe jim shouldn’t do this…

    i think maybe it’s just the kids throwing up… can’t wait to here more (what happened to part II?)

  14. fragileporpoise Says:

    Where indeed is this elusive continuation, good sir Cooper? Don’t fight the musical within, the seed has been planted.

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