I set the bar high for "funny music." Paul and Storm (whom some of you--I mean, if anyone's actually reading this stuff!--might know as one half of Da Vinci's Notebook) make funny music, no question. I just re-listened to their wonderful fake commercial for Pillsbury cookie dough...it's on this album, and more of their work can be found at www.paulandstorm.com.
This little piece is from a Washington City Paper feature called "One-Track Mind," which covers new releases by D.C.-area musicians.
Published Nov. 18, 2005.
Standout Track: No. 5, “Epithets,” an educational number— “An epithet’s a word or phrase that people can use/When ordinary words and phrases simply won’t do”—that would be rendered even more so without the 28 bleeps effacing much of its verbiage. The third verse goes local: After “the mayor” discovers that his hooker friend was “working undercover/Then Hizzoner started utterin’/Epithets!” Cue Greg “Storm” DiCostanzo’s spoken part: “Bleepdamn bleep set me up! Bleep bullbleep this is bleep bleep bleep…”
Inspiration: “Epithets,” says DiCostanzo, stemmed from “our love of Schoolhouse Rock. Paul [Sabourin] had wanted to do something like ‘Interjections.’ We blatantly ripped it off, but they were ripping off Handel anyway.”
Actually, “Epithets” is like Handel’s “Hallelujah,” reimagined by whoever wrote the zippy old Maine-to-Mexico Texaco jingle—and embellished with DiCostanzo’s creative “scatting.” “I would never say some of those things,” the Arlington-based singer protests. “But I’m still proud in that playing-a-character kind of way.” DiCostanzo praises sound engineer Alan Johnson for his bleeps: “Comedy is about timing.… He leaves in little tiny shards of [the] words.”
Technical Constraints: For live performances, the studio bleeper is replaced by a buzzer from the game Taboo. “We don’t really curse in concert—that could be dangerous,” admits DiCostanzo. “But I’m feeling it. And my lips are doing it.”—Pamela Murray Winters