ange on 03/05/2013 at 01:59PM
The votes are all in from our incredible panel of judges, and these three winning songs took the cake!
At this party everybody gets a present now that we have this dynamic Free Birthday Song Repository available for your projects. If you explore for a while, you'll find birthday songs that are incredibly touching, starring adorable children, offered in multiple languages, full of every foul word imaginable, and fun to share with your friends. Plus, the special happy birthday song that America just isn't ready for.
FIRST PLACE: MONK TURNER + FASCINOMA
After collaborating on the concept album Emergency Songs, Monk Turner + Fascinoma weren't sure is they would ever work together again. "I almost killed him a few times," Fascinoma told us. Monk explains that when they collaborate she's the John Lennon and he's the Paul McCartney. She brings a certain kind of melancholy, and he brings a pop sensibility. You can hear how these different styles compliment each other in their winning song. "It's Your Birthday!" captures a feeling of heartfelt well-wishing with a sound so polished you'll want to run out and buy a tablet computer.
Though the winning song lacks the opportunity to shout out the birthday person's name, there is room to build in a call and response element. You can download the sheet music in the key of B (pdf, google doc) or the key of C (pdf, google doc). Also, check out the alternative versions of the song including two piano tracks and an instrumental version.
ange on 12/03/2012 at 10:00AM
Monk Turner is a proud defender of the concept album, and has shared many of these projects here, including Songs About Emergencies and Songs About Location. Turner's concept album #23 (!) called Kaleidoscope brings together over 40 artists from all over to explore the many shades of color with a new creative depth, united by his special brand of his Costello-inspired catchy pop.
idiotprogrammer on 06/07/2011 at 02:00PM
(See also Robert Nagle's article profiling Monk Turner, Monk Turner's official website and Monk Turner's musical blog. All of his albums mentioned here are free for downloading and available on FMA) His Emergency Songs album was reviewed on FMA in March, 2011.
How has your biography or geography affected the kind of music you make? What do you think is unique or different about your music?
When I started playing guitar, I learned mostly classic and alternative rock with deep roots in the blues. Then when I did the band thing, my focus became surf, hardcore punk and Latin music. Towards the end of my ‘band’ career I was playing gospel and country music. I had grown up playing in bars since the tender age of 15 and was getting burned out on it. I loved the art of songwriting but I was done playing music for drunk people and making money for alcohol companies. It was at this time I started focusing my efforts on writing and recording.
Geography has also definitely played a huge role in my music. I’ve been doing solo music under my name for 10 years as of 2011. For about 4 of those years I lived in Texas where, as you probably know, the weather sucks and there isn’t much to do. During this time I had the most creative output but a lot of those songs are pretty rough around the edges. Living in LA where the weather is almost always beautiful and there is an abundance of distractions, my output has slowed down quite a bit. I’m lucky to get one album released a year. The flip side is that quality of my music has improved dramatically because of the incredible pool of talented musicians in Los Angeles. Living here is an inspiration unto itself.
As for the music itself, what makes it different is that I’m not restricted by genre, distribution, band members, or money. There aren’t a whole lot of people doing concept albums these days either.
What other musician or musicians have inspired you?
Elvis Costello is a huge influence and is by far my favorite recording artist. Not only do I love his voice and his music, but also I also love his artistic integrity. He’s never compromised and always made the music he wanted to make without worrying about a label liking it. That is such a rarity and thanks to that philosophy he’s got such a deep range of music.
That said, I’ve always considered myself more of a fan of music than a music creator. I just love good music regardless of the genre. I’m constantly inspired by music that is completely opposite from what I do. I’m also inspired by the musicians who play on the albums. The majority of the time when I sit down to write a song, I have a specific person in mind who I think would sound great on it. Duke Ellington did the same thing when he was writing his horn parts.
Can you name someone who is NOT a musician who has provided inspiration for your creativity?
I can think of something that is not music related that constantly inspires me. That would be advertising and the creative process. I studied creative advertising at University of Texas which gave me a strong foundation in conceptualizing. Think of a campaign like the famous ‘Got Milk.’ That is a huge idea that has been executed a ton of different ways but maintains its strong central idea. I also feel the role of the copywriter and art director in advertising is similar to the role of a lyricist and composer. I draw a lot from the ideas of effective mass communication when approaching a concept album.
Click below to read more of this insanely long interview!!!!!!!!!