Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Friday, September 11, 2009

Episode 9 Update

Hello everyone, I'm back with another sneak peak of Episode 9 for you and this one is beautiful!

What the heck is going on here?! And why are the colors so nice?

Well, good thing for you, Episode 9 is being edited as I type this. Oh the wonderful agony of anticipation. How will you ever survive?!

Well, I could give you another sneak peak. Let me see, what's going to really peak your interest...

I know! How can you stand it?!

Sorry, I'm stuck in sarcasm mode today. Just know we are working hard to get this next episode done and out to you wonderful viewers as soon as possible.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Episode 9 Sneak Peak

Get ready, ladies and gentlemen, for a sneak peak at what's coming up in Episode 9 of Life From The Inside...

Oh how exciting! What's going on? Who the heck is in that photo?! Well, I guess you just have to wait and see.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We're Stuck in the 80s

You can tell we're stuck in the 80s by that song posted there, just above this sentence. If you haven’t started playing it yet, maybe you should. It’s the perfect accompaniment to this blog post! Isn’t that strangely coincidental?



It’s New Music Wednesday!

Okay, so if you’ve been reading this blog regularly (and if you are the person who reads this blog regularly, I just want to say “Hi, mom. Don’t worry, other people will care about this stuff someday. I know… I know, mom! Don’t say that, mom… They can’t possibly all just be jealous… Okay. I love you too.”) you’ll know that I’ve taken “great” pains to come up with original 80s music for our last episode. And some of it has been more successful than others.

This, I think, is one of the more successful attempts.

It’s a tune called “Stuck in the 80s.” It’s funny, when we conceived episode 8, the 80s were but a quaint memory. A novelty. Little did we know that just a few short months later the 80s would come roaring back. Most notably in fashion. In fact, every time I see a skateboarding kid wearing tight, tapered jeans and spiky hair, I just want to grab him and shout, “we tried that! It didn’t work. We’ve lived in regret ever since. Don’t make the same mistakes we did. Oh, and teal is never a good color.” But they wouldn’t listen. They’ll chalk it up to “experimantation.” But we’ll know the truth. It’s misguided rebellion. And it’ll ruin every photo they take for the next year-and-a-half.


So, Stuck in the 80s was my attempt to write a song in the style of Oingo Boingo. I never really listened to Oingo Boingo when I was a kid. I wasn’t really into New Wave music. Actually, I wasn’t really into anything contemporary. When other people were listening to Cyndi Lauper and Madonna, I was listening to Glenn Miller and New York Voices (Yes, I was a strange kid, and yes, my jazz tastes have matured since then. I was pretty into Duran, Duran and Hall and Oates if that helps? It doesn’t, does it?). But, I do have a great appreciation for bands like Oingo Boingo. They were just a little too hip for my young ears.

Anyway, I had a good time writing and recording this song. I had a good time writing all of the songs for episode 8. I can’t wait for our next episode. I think I’ll keep this soundtrack thing going. But who knows? Episode 9 is really long. There may not be enough time for a lot of music. Plus, it’s not really a genre piece. Though there might some need for early 2000s music… hmmm… I’ll let you know.


By the way, if you’re dying to put this song in context, you can hear it during Episode 8, Part 3! Why not go here and see for yourself! In fact, why not just watch the entire episode over again?!

Why not indeed.

Also, this song has been posted to the Life from the Inside Facebook Page! We would love it if you went there and became a fan. Loooove it. Not on Facebook? Well, why not? It’s fun. It’s free. It’s face-y.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Episode 9 is Alive

It's funny how life works out sometimes. I like to think that things happen for a reason and the casting of Episode 9 has definitely had several moments that fall into something of that sort.

As of last night, we finally have this episode fully cast.

Not that anything has gone horribly wrong (although I have on a couple of occasions joked about the universe not wanting this script to be produced)it's just the normal pitfalls of producing an online show. Hell, the normal pitfalls of producing in general.

But, in the end, fortune has smiled on us and the fixes have proven to be pretty darn awesome.

I can't wait for our rehearsal next week, to finally get all of these players into the same room and watch them interact.

So now we go into the midst of rehearsing, prop finding, costuming, location scouting and so on.

It's going to be good.

Very, very good.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Slip

Reason has given me the slip. At least it did about a month and a half ago when I wrote the lyrics for the tune that I’m about to share with you.

Tune? Did someone say “tune?!” Yes. I did. Haven’t you been paying attention? No? You’re looking at that graphic there on the right, aren’t you? It is pretty swell. You’ll get to see a lot more of it in the future. But that’s a topic for another post.

Today it’s New Music Wednesday!

The only reason to get out of bed in the middle of the week when you really think about it.

Anyway, today’s offering is in the classic 80s style. In case you don’t remember, in the 80s there was strange fascination with the 50s. I blame the movie Grease. Even though it came out in ’78. That’s close to the 80s. And things took longer to catch on back then. Yeah, sure. Why not.

But some of the most famous 50s/80s musical crossbreeding was accomplished by the new wave band The Cars. They were unmistakably planted firmly in the 80s new wave scene, but there was a lot of 50s throwback in their style. Especially in Ric Okasec’s vocals.

I’ve always liked The Cars. When I think of the 80s, The Cars invariably come to mind. That’s why they were a shoo-in to be emulated on the LFTI Episode 8 soundtrack.

Now, I’m not sure exactly how well I actually emulated them. I wasn’t really going for a sound-alike or anything. I was mainly going for their essence. Plus, they’re very talented musicians and I’m just one dude with half of their talent (on a good day).

The lyrics were something that came as I was composing the song, though they weren’t finished until after the episode aired. This didn’t matter too much since the version in the episode is instrumental. Like 80s musak. In case you’re curious, you can hear it in Part 4 after the “time-elapse” montage (around “Universal Truth #37”).

But now you can hear the lyrics here! They’re fascinating. I had a lyrical theme for all of the music in this episode. Since the episode is about a cult and brainwashing and such, all of the songs have something to do with mind-control or subservience or group think (albeit, sometimes very tenuously).

So, without further ado, I give you The Slip!

Pretty slippery.

You can also hear this song on the LFTI Facebook Page! Why not go there and become a fan if you haven’t already? Sure. It’ll be fun!

LFTI Facebook Page

Now I’m off to get some very important design work done. What am I designing? Well, it’s for LFTI…

And it’s a secret.



Fun Fact: If you listen closely just before the vocals start in The Slip, you can hear my Blackberry go off. It sounds like a baseball hitting a metal fencepost (at least that’s what it sounds like to me since, during my little league days, most of my hits went foul. Straight behind me). Or, if you will, it sounds like a metal chime. A little “dong.” Maybe that’s a poor choice of words. And hurtful to some. I guess the real question is “why the heck didn’t I edit it out?!” The answer: because I didn’t know it was there until after I mastered the tune. And now I kind of like it anyway.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Let’s Get Violent

And effeminate?

Sure. Why not? When I was younger, I, like most red-blooded American kids of my time, was a fan of the early 80s, folk-punk stylings of the Violent Femmes.

Of course, like most red-blooded American kids of my time, I wasn’t a fan until around 1991 or so…

But the important thing is that some of the Violent Femmes most influential and popular music was created in the early 80s. And even if it didn’t enter the general American zeitgeist until a decade later, it’s a moot point here.

Authenticity is my only concern. And thus it was when I set about creating the soundtrack for LFTI Episode 8.

But, hold on, why am I talking about the soundtrack from LFTI Episode 8? Because it’s…

…say it with me…

New Music Wednesday!

I’ll wait for the applause to die down.

Done? Good. For this soundtrack I was trying to span across a few different early 80s music genres. I never quite got around to full on pop music (though I do have a discarded Huey Lewis-type song. And, no, I can’t post it because I never actually finished it. There’s a distinct possibility that it’ll appear in a more contemporary fashion in LFTI Episode 9. We’ll see.).

And I wanted something that sounded contemporary without destroying the “integrity” of what I was trying to do with the soundtrack. The Violent Femmes fit that bill nicely. I’ve always been impressed with how ahead of their time they were. It’s an obvious solid decade at least. They gained popularity in grunge era even though they created their music in the punk era (yeah, okay, “potato, potato”). When you hear a Violent Femmes song you think of the 90’s (unless you’re an OG). Like how when you look at the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and say, “man, how 70s!” And then the more enlightened people around you point and snicker and belch out, “you mean, how 1910s and 20s, ignoramus! Ha ha ha! What a dolt!”


Anyway, being a Violent Femmes fan and caring more for historical accuracy than verisimilitude, I decided to add a Violent Femmes-y song. Of course, you don’t really hear the song too well in the episode. And that’s just fine. I’ll post it here instead. That way, instead of being heard by thousands, it can be fully enjoyed by tens. That makes you, as a person which I just know is about to listen to the song, super-duper special.

So, this the point of the post where I would direct you to our Facebook page to hear the song. Well, screw that. I’m posting it here today too! How’s that for “added value?!” Of course, I’ll still direct you to the LFTIU Facebook page so that you can become a fan and such.

LFTI Facebook Page

Now, listen to the song! (and marvel at a new music hosting site that I’m trying out. The sound quality is a bit lower, but it’s definitely stylish!)

Oh, yeah. Maybe I should mention the lyrics? It’s about co-opting the whimsy of youth to sell the truly materialistic world of adulthood blah, blah, blah…

I know! I’m no Violent Femmes! I could never write “Body and beats. I stain my sheets. I don’t even know why.”

And here’s the tune from last week. You can read all about it here.

And don’t forget to check back here for the next New Music Wednesday! Of course, it seems like it’s nothing but New Music Wednesday around here. That’s because Tanya and Steve broke all their blogging fingers.

Pray for their speedy recovery.


Oh, snap! Yes I just called Steve and Tanya out on this blog.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Whether You Need Rent or a Crack Rock

Just give Pawn Pete a call!


Because it’s New Music Wednesday!

Okay, you caught me. Those two things really have nothing to with each other. But I need some kind of introduction, don’t I? And since my brain is fried from working on some writing for LFTI Episode 9, you’ll just have to bear with me.

This week’s musical offering may sound a bit familiar, but I assure you, if you write it off as recycled material based on the first part then you’ll be missing out on something. Namely the rest of the song.

This tune is a continuation of the Pawn Pete Jingle that I posted earlier. Once I wrote the jingle I knew that I wanted to expand it into a full song. Mostly so that I could post it here later as “value added material” but also because it was fun to write and perform.

Moreover, I wanted to say a little something about pawnshops in general with the song. Pawnshops make me sad. Most of the stuff in there was hocked in desperation (not all). But I bought my bass at a pawnshop in Lubbock, TX for a great price (Lubbock has a lot of pawnshops by the way), so pawnshops make me happy too. Did I care that the previous owner probably sold the thing after having the sad realization that they’d never be able to play like Les Claypool from Primus (showing my age here)? No, I did not care. I wanted a bass, they had a bass…

I’m sure that most people probably feel the same way about pawnshops. Hate pawnshops because they prey on people’s desperation and aggression. Love pawnshops because they’re like a savings fiesta!

That’s what I was going for with this tune. The dichotomy of whimsy and reality. Did I get it right? You tell me. You can hear the song this week over at our Facebook page:

The LFTI Facebook Page

The song is called “Pawn Pete” It’s down the page on the left under the “Music Player.” (This gets tedious every week; I wish Facebook would publish the songs as an update too. Sheesh!)

You can hear it next week right here on this blog. Until then why not visit our Facebook page and become a fan? We would appreciate that immensely.

Also in the meantime, why not take a second to listen to the rap song I posted to Facebook last week? It’s here now, on this blog, for your enjoyment.

You can read all about it here.

And stay tuned for next week’s New Music Wednesday where I’ll be posting yet another song from LFTI Episode 8. What?! You haven’t watched LFTI Episode 8 *may be addictive yet?! Well, go here and catch up!

What’s that again?! You say you’re getting tired of me pretending as if we’re having a conversation when in reality I’m simply answering rhetorical questions that were never actually asked?!

…Deal with it.


Oh, and the LFTI tune “Brainwashed” has reached 38th in Indy Rock at! Hooray! (You can hear it on last week’s post) AND “Thanks for Nothing, Mason” has reached 29th in Jazz! Eclectic! (Hear that song here)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Bum Rap

Sounds like something Sir Mix-a-Lot would do. …Or did…

I’m not here to talk about the Good Knight of Gluteuses. I have my own song to discuss. Why?

Because it’s New Music Wednesday!

Today’s offering is a different kind of fare. Music of the rap variety. Not my milieu. I don’t spend a lot of time listening to the rap music. It was a minor source of stress when I sat down to write it a few months ago. I mean, I hadn’t listened to a substantial amount of rap since about 1984.

What providence! It just so happened that I needed to write a 1984-style rap.

I had to channel my early Beastie. I had to re-run my DMC. I just needed to add and extra “B” to my “Boy” and I’d be set.

And what I came up with was… well, it was something. You can hear it in episode 8 just as the break dancing exhibition is about to begin (haven’t seen the episode yet?! Watch it HERE!). Or you can go to the LFTI Facebook Page and hear it without interruption! (Don’t forget to become a fan!)

Look for it in the “Music Player” down the page on the left.

It’s called “Mighty MC.”

LFTI Facebook Page

I wanted the song to be “sample heavy.” Like the early Beastie Boys stuff. But airy too like Run DMC. So I created a simple drum loop and added some cinematic “samples.” I use the quotation marks because they’re not really samples. I made them. Well they’re technically samples, but they’re apropos of nothing. They don’t come from anything in the form in which you hear them (this is getting technical). Though there are a few Apple Loops thrown in for good measure. (To be honest, I didn’t have a lot of time to write and record these tunes)

The lyrics are more self-aggrandizing than they would have been at that time. 1984 pretty much marks the end of the socially conscious rap artist. Things get a lit more self-serving and cartoonish after that.

I just thought it would be fun to rap about what a good rapper I am.

I’m not.

On another note…

If you didn’t go and listen to the song I posted last week (why didn’t you?), have no fear! It’s here!

Brainwashed (You may feel a slight prick at the base of the skull):

You can learn all about it HERE.

And don’t forget, there will another New Music Wednesday next week! And, for those of you who just refuse to go to the Facebook page, I’ll be posting Mighty MC here also.

So, you’d think I’d need better justification
To tell myself I’m the flyest in the nation
But I think that if you were me
You’d agree you’re a Mighty MC!

…They just don’t write ‘em like that anymore.

Thank god.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I Need My Brain Washed

Because it’s dirty.

And very soon you’ll need your ears washed because it’s New Music Wednesday!

Today’s musical selection takes us on a journey. A journey back in time. All the way back to LFTI Episode 8. Remember that? It seems like it was only a few weeks ago.

It’ll also take us on a journey through the Internet. Because this New Music Wednesday is taking place exclusively on our LFTI Facebook page!

LFTI Facebook Page

Don’t worry; you don’t need to be a “fan” of the show to hear the music. Just scroll down the page and you’ll see the Music Player on the left. The new song is at the bottom of the list (but while you’re there it wouldn’t hurt if you became a “fan.” Just sayin’.)

Maybe I should tell you a little about the tune?


It’s called “Brainwashed.” The goal here was to write a “radio” song that would fit in with the theme of Episode 8. One that had some 80s influences, but was a modern song. What came out was an 80s punk/00s pop/alternative fusion thing. A catchy little tune. But not so intrusive that it couldn’t be used as background music. It was always my intention to put it under the scene of Jennifer and Lou racing to rescue Ashleigh. So… I did (you can hear it in LFTI Episode 8 (Part 3 of 4).

It was one of the first songs I wrote for this episode. It was the second song I recorded for it.

And it’ll be the first Episode 8 song posted to the internet! There are 5 more. I went a little crazy with the music for Episode 8. But it was fun. So there.

Head on over to the LFTI Facebook page and give it a listen!

LFTI Facebook Page

And also don’t worry if you don’t want to support Facebook’s attempts to take over the world. The song will be posted here next week! You can give it a listen then!

Don’t forget that another New Music Wednesday will be coming next week (along with this particular song… I hope this doesn’t get confusing)!

Stay bitchin’!


ALSO Nice write-ups at The Comics Waiting Room and Thanks!

Friday, April 17, 2009


It's been an exciting couple of weeks around these parts.

First there was the feature on iTunes.

Then there was the feature on the Zune Marketplace.

And now, we've been culticized! Yes I just made that word up.

I just wanted to give a big thanks to Nicole Martinelli of Cult of Mac who wrote about LFTI and our lampooning of Mac enthusiasts in our newest episode "May Be Addictive".

We are so excited about the attention we are receiving. Thanks again for watching Cult of Mac!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Our Apple Episode has been Zuned!

We are still being featured on iTunes, which is incredibly exciting. Our feature moved from the first thing you see to being the second or third in the feature image cycle, so our iTunes viewings have gone down a bit this week. However, our numbers at, which supplies our feeds, have been holding steady, with a mysterious "other" the source of our feed views.

A friend of Robb's told him LFTI is now available on the Zune, so we have a Zune podcast page now. Which is cool, and would explain the "other" source. But why were we getting so many views? We had to be featured somewhere...

Just for fun, I went to the Zune site, and lo and behold:

(Click to see it larger.)

We are also featured on the Zune podcast page. Did they decide that, if we are good enough for the iTunes podcast page, we are good enough for the Zune podcast page?

iTunes podcast page:

Zune podcast page:

Well, whatever the reason, we're very glad to be featured. We're whores that way. Of course. What tiny, independent Internet web show isn't, really?

Whatever side of the Apple/Microsoft fence you fall on, click below to subscribe to the show!

iTunes link

Zune link

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Dizzy LFTI

I know, we’re always a little dizzy, but in this case it’s more than the general disorientation that we’re known (some may say “loved"?) for.

I refer, of course, to a particular piece of “music” that I arranged for the latest episode of LFTI (haven’t seen Episode 8 yet?! Watch it! But be warned, it may be addictive).

It’s “New” Music Wednesday! Hooray!

For those of you who love us enough to have watched the episode already (see that? I’ve always found that guilt can be a great marketing tool. After all, it got me to empty a lot of garbage cans in my day, and make a ton of phone calls. I never realized until now that my mom must’ve been working for both the phone company and the sanitation department!), you’ll know that in the episode, Mason becomes enamored of an iPhone and various applications contained thereon.

One of those applications is a game that he plays while having a conversation with Guy. I’m not quite sure I can mention which game that is here. Needless to say the game contains a lot of dizzy bees.

But we couldn’t use the music from the game (there really isn’t any to speak of while playing). That’s a licensing nightmare that is best avoided. So, I figured that the best bet was to create some original “video game” music. And seeing as how the episode dealt with the early 80s, I felt that the video game music should have a retro flavor. But it should also tie into our show in a subtle way.

Well, I ditched the “subtle” part and went straight for this:

Do you recognize the tune? No?! And you call yourself a fan?! …oh… you don’t. Well, fair enough.

Anyway, here is the song in its original form:

The LFTI theme!

Man, this thing has gone through more permutations than Madonna. It’s had more lives than Shirley MacLaine. Can I get my point across with any more hackneyed old jokes?

Nope. I’m even too lazy today to think of bad jokes.

Oh, wait! It’s been rearranged more times than Lindsay Lohan’s sexual orientation.

Oh, snap! I’m cappin’ on the Lohan!

That’s right, the LFTI Theme. And, incidentally, according to IMDb, Shirley Maclaine was known as “the girl with big red curls and weak ankles.” And she loves horses.

Nicknames were more specific back then. I was known as “that fat kid.”

I’m pretty indifferent about horses really.

So, there you have it. A glimpse behind the scenes of LFTI’s music (and Shirley MacLaine’s childhood). Be sure to watch Episode 8! And don’t forget, if you have an iTunes account, we would love it if you went there and rated us and wrote a little review! Also, if you’re on YouTube and haven’t already, why not subscribe to us? That would be fun! Become a fan on Facebook! Really, it would be swell if you did.

PLUS I’m going to release the music exclusively on our Facebook page first! And I like to think that some of this music is pretty cool.

Thanks again to iTunes for featuring us again this week!


Monday, April 6, 2009

Tonight We're Gonna Print Signs Like It's 1984

Well, episode 8 is going swimmingly, with our iTunes feature and some great feedback from our YouTube fans. Time to talk about some of the work that went into the show. Robb's already been posting some wicked cool music from this episode, so today I am going to show you some classic Neo Amish literature and signage.

First of all, do you remember this?

If you do, you should enjoy today's tale. Print Shop (no one ever called it THE Print Shop) was a revelation in the early age of personal computers, especially for a type-loving kid like me. I could make signs and banners and greeting cards on the Apple IIe! No more messing around with hand-drawn stuff! (That's not really true in my case... I still made hand-drawn posters, but I won't get into all that here.)

Print Shop's output would, today, be laughable,with it's extremely low resolution and reliance on dot matrix printers. But it was a great program at the time. I loved it. So of course, since the Neo Amish could use no technology created after 1984, I wanted to make sure their flyer and bake sale signs looked like they were printed with Print Shop (or something similar) on a dot matrix printer whose ribbon was very well worn.

Creating retro computer printouts is rather hard. First of all, the font could not be all laser-printy smooth, but had to be pixelated. To do that in Photoshop meant creating a bitmap document, 11" x 8.5" at 72dpi. In this mode, it's just like working in an old graphics program. Type would not be re-editable once I'd laid it down. It was draggable once after being created, so I could do some rudimentary layout. Moving it afterward meant cutting out the text using a marquee or lasso tool and dragging it along with its white background. Does this all sound familiar?

Though I did not have the Print Shop font, I chose fonts that looked like they might have come bundled with Print Shop: Times and Galleria. Amelia BT was used in the Neo Amish logo, which Robb designed. (He did not realize he got the N backwards until much later. I hand't brought it because I thought he'd done it on purpose. It was perfect that way!)

After the layout was done, I spent a few hours in the Hall of Trial and Error. Here, I was trying to get a dot matrix look, including some pixels, ink smear, and the stripes where the ribbon was wearing out. I applied three different layers to get something that would hopefully pass muster on screen. Here's an enlarged detail, best showing the smear. Click the image to see it full-size.

Here, then, is the entire Neo Amish flyer, fresh from the Image Writer! Click on the pics to see them full size. (1984's full size is not as terrifyingly huge as today's full size.)

The front:

The back:

I didn't spend as much time writing this flyer as I had the ABSRD flyer for episode 7, but I can assure you that all typos were created on purpose. I was very happy to bring back the original, full term "douche bag," progenitor of today's popular "douche."

The flyers we used in the show had the NA logo taped into place, like it was just easier to paste the logo onto the flyer and Xerox the whole thing. But we did use the pixelated logo for the bake sale signs. Mostly out of laziness.

Ah, yes! The bake sale! Here's where the dot matrix printer ribbon mess could really shine. Most signs had both a Times and a Galleria version. Here's a sample. Again, click them to see them full size.

So there you have it! Can you just feel the authenticity? I'm sure someone from one of those font archaeology sites would have many nits to pick. If so, leave a comment. I love font archeology sites. I'd put a link here so you could visit one, but I seem to have lost them all...

Thanks for reading, and be sure to watch the exciting conclusion to episode 8 next Monday!

Friday, April 3, 2009


So, if you don't follow us on Twitter, or on Facebook (and why don't you, I ask?) then you may not know the latest news around these parts.

Life From The Inside has been a featured Podcast for the past few days - and we will be featured until Tuesday, April 7th!

So, if you follow this link

and go to our iTunes page, you can download all of you favorite LFTI episodes (I know, it's really hard to pick ONE that's your favorite, you should download them all to be fair) and you can take us with you on your iPhone or iPod. Then you can watch LFTI absolutely whenever you want. I know, it really blows the mind, doesn't it.

Seriously, this is just really awesome for us. We can't thank the Eric at Blip enough. Or Pete and Pat at iTunes. It's a huge honor and we're so excited that it happened.

So, go and rate/review the show! Show LFTI some love, baby!!

And don't forget to check out part 3 of Episode 8 - online Monday, April 6th!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reverse Engineered

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on this blog. Let’s just acknowledge it and move on shall we?

Good… wait. Don’t look at me like that. Fine. Whatever. Let’s just pretend that we can be adult about this then. Does that work? Pretending to be an adult is easy. I do it every day.

Yeah, so, this post is going to be a short one. Sorry. I’m still trying to finish up some Episode 8 music believe it or not (those of you in post-production won’t find it hard to believe).

But I wanted to take a break from LFTI music to talk a little about… well… LFTI music.

That’s correct! Gird your loins, it’s another New Music Wednesday!

And this isn’t one of those lame ones where I talk and talk about what “inspired” me to write a certain tune or nonsensical crap like that (forget I said that last sentence the next time I post a New Music Wednesday). No, this one will be “informative” for “real.”

In Episode 8 (watch the episode), Mason (me) complains that his own successful jingle is driving him crazy. Since Kate (Mason’s old agent, wherever she is) has sold his new jingle through Mason’s backward nemesis Dixon it has been reversed and perverted from Mason’s original “progressive” masterpiece. Thus, whenever it plays on TV (which is a lot) Mason is tortured with reminders of his own inadequacies (ooops, sorry, getting nonsensical again).

But the question remains, what did Mason’s original jingle sound like anyway?

As it turns out, if you’ve seen the episode, you’ll already know the answer to that question. Hmmm?! Yup! It’s the first music cue coming out of the opening title. It’s been jazzed up a little bit (or maybe Dixon “jazzed it down?” It’s actually “Latin-y.”), but it’s the Pawn Pete Jingle backwards alright.

And now you can hear it here:


And, just for comparison, take a listen to the Pawn Pete Jingle:


Alright. So there you have it! Don’t forget to watch Episode 8. Rate, comment, subscribe!

Oh, and if you have an iTunes account, we would really appreciate it if you rate us and write us a little review (or just rate if you’re internet shy).

Don’t make me bribe you!!!

Thanks to Eric and Thanks to Jessica at Sevenload. Thanks to Alex at Revver. And thanks to all the wonderful YouTube people who have left us such nice comments. We’ve missed you!


Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy 8 Day!

Oh, glorious day! Episode 8 has finally arrived! Part one is up now! I have been waiting to share tidbits and todbots about this episode for months. A lot went into making this episode, and we want to tell you every little detail.

But not today. We're still working on a few issues. For instance, we have finally fixed our iTunes syncing issue, so episode 8 will finally sync to you iPod and iPhone without hassle! We're going back to re-encode all our iTunes files so they will all sync to your iPod, iPhone, iWhatever. This will be a day long remembered.

What's that? You aren't an iTunes subscriber? Then get thee there now! Subscribe! Rate the show! We need you!

After you do that, please go watch the show everywhere. See it on our site. See it a See it at YouTube. Rate it and favorite it. Comment. Roll in it like a dog rolls in—

Sorry, that was about to be very inappropriate.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Five Interesting Things about 8

Happy mid-March, tutti! Yes, 'tis eye, Steve, back again to tell you that episode 8 of our show will begin airing next Monday. That's March 23rd.

To give you something to do until then, here are a few tidbits of information about episode 8. None of them are spoilers, and none of them reveal any important jokes. None of them, therefore, are going to be very nightly news magazine-worthy. But they are loved by their mothers, so I hope you'll stick around and give them a read.
  • Episode 8 features the most location-rich shooting of all our episodes so far. I'd surmise a full 50% of the show takes place in locations other than Mason's apartment building. Totally rad!
  • Episode 8 contains 5 songs. Five! No, it's not a musical; it simply required more musical ingenuity than our previous episodes. I'm sure you'll get to hear all those songs in their entirety online soon. Wicked!
  • Episode 8 has a cast of thousands. Well, okay, not thousands. Just 12. All of whom have at least one line, unlike the baby parade people from episode 7. Righteous!
  • Episode 8 will be the episode to watch for all Apple, Mac, and iPhone fans. Why? Hey, like I said, no spoilers! Well, no good spoilers, anyway. Bithcin'!
  • Episode 8 contains some of the most frightening costumes in LFTI history, even if you count Guy's get-up in episode 5. Gnarly!
Is your interest piqued? Is your whistle wet? I sure hope so. Be sure to watch LFTI episode 8, "*may be addictive," next Monday!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Save the Date, Date Saver

Gentlemen and lady (only one female reads this blog), we have exciting news for all six of you! Episode 8 is nearly done, and the first episode will be released on...

Oh, the tension! Can you believe it? An actual release date? Who would have thought we'd get to this point? Not us, to be sure. Certainly not Robb, who's been working so hard on this episode that he's now literally a part of the computer. (It's kind of gruesome, in fact. During our last meeting on Sunday, he could only stroll within a three-foot radius of the Mac, and his motions were limited by the wires and tubing that had attached themselves to his body, which has itself become rather gray in pallor. On the plus side, he was able to instruct Tanya from afar on the proper way to make home-made biscuits.)

As this episode nears completion, all of us are getting very excited. It's quite a gem, I feel. Robb's music is top-notch, and there's about 40 hours of it, all crammed into 28 minutes or so. Yes, it's that good! There are moments of genuine drama and tension, and moments of newity. Yes, NEWITY! LFTI moments so new, I had to make up a word.

So be at your computer and ready to click Play on March—

AH! I can't stand it! I can't believe it! An actual date! Wow. It's like I can't even bring myself to say it. Or type it. Or say it into the microphone and have the Mac type it for me. I can do none of those things. I also can't say the three bushels of other things about Episode 8 that I want to, like how Mason does that one thing, or how Guy dresses that one way, or how Ashleigh becomes obsessed with that one item, or how Jennifer practically does that one thing with the other, or how Lou transforms herself into that other whatever. So exciting!

But after the release date, all these things will become clear. After March 23rd, the world will be a funner place.

I did it! I said it! March 23rd! March 23rd! March 23rd! (And, as legal is advising me to say, every Monday thereafter until April 20th.)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ides? What Ides?

I know. The Ides of March is in the middle of the month, but so what? Considering it's been a month since we last posted, accuracy should be the least of any of our concerns right now. I know my concern is loss of connection, loss of momentum, loss of my car keys (where the hell are they, anyway?). In fact, you might be reading this and not even remembering why you subscribed to this blog in your RSS reader in the first place. A month is a long, long time on the Interwebnets!

In consideration of such, hello. How are you? I'm Steve. I co-produce and act in an online sitcom called Life from the Inside. It's very funny, and the cast and crew are a bunch of cut-ups, which provides this blog with unending source material. Er, or not. Actually, I'm not sure if we've ever written about the cutting-uppiness that goes on on the set. Have we? I doubt it.

Remember the Duke of Doubt? He was the single most annoying character* in the Burger King ads in the early '80s. I hated him, even from an early age, and if you think the word "hate" is too strong a word to use in this case, you'd be dead wrong. I loathed the ads, but I hated the Duke of Doubt. Those stupid ads, coupled with my dislike of Burger King's nasty burgers (shouldn't flame broiling make meat taste more like it's been barbecued and less like it's been passed over lightly with a Zippo scented with yuck?) make me, to this day, a McDonald's man.

"McDonald's?" I hear you ask. "Really? You think Burger King's burgers are nasty, but McDonald's's are okay to you?" I answer you in this way: "Yes. Yes, I do. And here is why..." I then launch into a paragraphs-long dissection of the difference between nasty yucky food and totally wicked delicious yucky food. To spare you that, because I know you are a busy person and can barely read this through the shock of me having posted in the first place, I'll boil it down to some comparisonal foodal examples. Del Taco? Nasty yucky. Taco Bell? Totally wicked delicious yucky. Pizza Hut? Nasty yucky. Papa John's? Totally wicked delicious yucky. Dunkin' Donuts cake donuts? Nasty yucky. King Soopers butter cream-filled, chocolate-covered, raised long john donuts? Totally wicked delicious yucky.

Now you try! _______________: nasty yucky. _______________: totally wicked delicious yucky.

Well done!

All this talk of totally wicked delicious yucky food has me recalling what my friend, Greg, told me on the phone last night. He said his son, Liam, has a book about Yummy and Yucky things. Liam loves the book, but he tends to get the two words mixed up. Which I understand. I do it all the time with alliterative words. So Liam will walk around the house, drinking a yummy drink he loves, and saying "Yucky!" all the while. Très, as the French say, funny.

Which brings me rather tidily back to this blog post. How? Well, obviously, you can now see what happens to us when we take some time off from our official fan communication duties. We become unfocused, a point this whole, useless post proves with aplomb.

To salvage this post from complete uselessness, I shall say two very interesting things to you that have to do with the show, Life from the Inside, for which I'm a producer and actor (see above).

Uno: Big thanks to John for helping us out with publicity. PUBLICITY! I know, right? Get ready to see us on The View!

Divi: Episode 8 will be out in mere weeks. Robb is finishing it up as we speak. Though you and I are not really speaking, are we? I'm more typing, and you're more reading, which isn't really speaking at all. It's more... corresponding, except without the immediacy of paper, stamps, and the U.S. Postal Service. "The what?" Oh, you youngsters!

Thank you very much for reading. See you next month!

* * * * * *

*Sir Shake-a-Lot and The Burger Thing were just as annoying, but the Duke of Doubt wins because someone has to win. Life's all about winning.


The Duke of Doubt: YouTube Link

Sir Shake-a-Lot: YouTube Link

Monday, February 2, 2009

Eight Things You Did Not Know About LFTI

Hello everyone! Happy Monday. I hope you all enjoyed the Super Bowl. I sure did! I was in a theater watching The Wrestler. Brilliant movie. I had no idea Mickey Rourke looks so much like William Shatner these days. The two could play brothers. Isn't it fun to learn new things?

With that in mind, today I present 8 things you did not know about LFTI. They seem to be fairly Guy-centric, but that's pretty much because I know a lot about the things I did and not as much about what other people did. That's what actors do. They're selfish.

Episode 1: In the original pilot script, the subplot of the microwave did not exist. Watching it now, it seems impossible that the episode could have existed without it.

Episode 2: I bought two giant suckers to use for shooting. There were some questions whether we needed a stunt sucker or not, but the purchase paid off. During shooting in the alleyway, the stick broke, and the sucker shattered all over the pavement. I had to suck a new notch in the stunt sucker to get it ready before we continued shooting. You can tell when I'm using the new sucker because I'm holding it higher up on the stick, so it won't break!

Episode 3: The little paper things in the basket that fly everywhere when Guy's ass is grabbed by Olava are the packaging cups from a tin of Danish butter cookies. Practically, it makes no sense for Mason to have a basket of these in his apartment, but comedy won out over practicality that day.

Episode 4: I was incredibly ill during one day of shooting. Scary ill. But not contagious.

Episode 5: The costume Ashleigh was originally supposed to wear under her robe was a flowery, elegant, Ren Faire affair.

Episode 6: This was our hottest shoot ever, which was unfortunate, since it was shot in HD. Even shrunk down for the Web, the HD footage accentuated our sweatiness something fierce! (Contrast that with Episode 2, which was supposed to be incredibly hot, but turned out to be the coolest shoot we've had. Go figure.)

Episode 7: This script was a merging of two separate ideas from both Steven R. and Robb; Mason's unnamed, reverse-engineering nemesis was combined with Mason's brother, Dixon, who had some kind of claustrophobic issue and thus could not come into the apartment.

Episode 8: The boom box used in the episode is my Casio KX-101, which I've had for over 23 years.

Wait, Episode 8? Was that just a sneak of some kind? It was, dear reader! It was!

I hope you found this informative. If somehow you already knew any of these things you did not know, then I present you with this prize: The end of the post!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Too Dark?

Hey, as I promised…2 weeks ago, it’s time for another special installment of “Really Old Music Wednesday!”

In this chapter, we look at yet another song that I had written, recorded and subsequently discarded for LFTI Episode 1: The Mason Menace.

I should probably preface this by saying that a lot of factors go into choosing music for our episodes… wait, let me correct that. A lot of factors used to go into choosing music for our episodes. Especially the pilot episode.

One thing we were very conscious of was “tone.” We tried to be careful to set the right feel for LFTI. It was the first episode after all, and if you’re not at least careful on the first episode, well, then why are you doing a show anyway?

Nowadays, the music selection process is a bit different. Back in the Episode 1 days, specialty music was…special. Now I tend to write fun music just for the hell of it. Which makes for a lot more variety and fun (and also a lot more recording). But in the early days I wrote a bunch of “sitcom” music. Stings, intros, outtros, etc… all with a similar melodic and harmonic structure, though differing in styles. The plan was to use this music in every episode. That’s why the first and second episodes (which were released at the same time) have the same music. Needless to say, I got bored with that so we started adding more and more music starting in Episode 3.

Anyway, back to this particular tune. It’s called “In The Dark.” At least that’s what I named the file and since I don’t feel like changing it now, that’s the title (deal with it). Again, this song was recorded before I got the new computer and software, so it had a “rough demo” sound to it. But it’s somehow appropriate. It was also written before we actually shot the show (I think. Before it was edited anyway.). And we discarded it because it just didn’t seem to have the right “tone.” It was a bit too raw sounding. A little dark. Very “indie artsy.” Anyway, that was the feeling at the time. Let me know if you disagree, I’d be interested to know if you felt the music we used was a better choice that either of the alternate tunes that we rejected. The other tune is here.

So, without further ado here’s me doing my best “Tom Waits and Bruce Springsteen’s Love Child” impression with “In The Dark.”

Yeah, so… that’s that I guess.

It’s quite the contrast from the tune that I’m working on right now. I’d love to give you a preview, but I’m not going to upload part of an unfinished song. Plus, I’d like it to be a surprise!

But I do want to give you a sneak peek. So, for all you piano players out there…

Have fun!

Episode 8 is coming soon!


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Old Music Wednesday


It’s that time again. It’s time for New Music Wednesday!

One small problem though. I have no “new” music to share with you. I will have new music soon, don’t you worry. After Episode 8 is released, I’ll have lots of it! And it’ll be “cool” new music too. Alas, until then you shall have to resign yourself to some old music.

But I’m even running out of that! I was thinking “hey, I could post Dream Girl! It’s a cute song about a man’s love for a puppet that appears to him in his sleep. The LFTI fans might like that!”

And they might.

But I already posted that song. And, really, no one listened to it. But it’s still a good song (IMHO).

Then I thought, “maybe I should post that tune I wrote for Guy’s Boot Camp in Episode 7?! That’s a fun tune.”

Already did that.

“The piano music from the LFTI short Pairing?”

Done did that too.

“Hmmm… I have to beat Steve's last post though! It was cool and behind-the-scenesy and chock-a-block with factadactadilloes! Perhaps it’s time for me to really dig deep into the LFTI archives?”

And that’s what I did. Today I present the first song ever written specifically for an LFTI episode and actually used in an episode. (I wrote “Fine Print” the LFTI Theme earlier, but that was non-specific.) And here it is, a song I titled “Tongue Tied” mashed together with the jingle for Brenda’s Bridal Boutique:

Why don’t I separate those two songs and let you hear the full version of “Tongue Tied” you ask?

Well, because there is no full version of “Tongue Tied.” That’s all I wrote. I wrote it to sound like a full song that gets interrupted by that stupid jingle, but in reality, it was always meant to be that way. It made it easier to combine the two.

If I had written this recently, I would have written an entire song. In fact, someday I may go back and finish a full version of “Tongue Tied.” But who knows? Who has the time for that stuff? I have new music to write!

Okay, it’s a little known fact that the song you just heard, the song we used in the first episode of LFTI isn’t the original song written for that episode. I wrote another song to be used instead. But, ultimately I think I felt that it was a little too… sappy? I don’t know. It just wasn’t right. It was a full song. And that was probably one of the issues I had with it. I couldn’t combine it as easily with the Bridal jingle.

This original song is more about how Mason feels about Jennifer and I wanted to write something that was more about how Mason feels about not being able to talk to Jennifer, his situation and so on. That’s why I went with the one we went with.

But the original song isn’t bad. So, I thought I’d share it with you here! (It’s actually been on the long-neglected LFTI MySpace page forever, but no one ever goes there… including us.) So, without further ado, the unused LFTI tune “I’d Go”:

These songs do have that certain “demo” feel to them, but that’s because they are so old. I wrote and recorded them before we had even shot an episode (if I remember right). I made them on my old PC. Things have been upgraded substantially here at LFTI HQ since then. I love my Mac. I love Apple Computers. Oh, so much. Some might say too much? Nah.

And that’s it! Another Wednesday, another tune.

But I did promise some more sneak peeks of Episode 8, didn’t I? Okay, you win, here are a few more (I already gave you one without your knowledge, because I’m sneaky like that). You might find these sneak peeks handy.

Ha, ha! Get it?! “Handy?!”

Oh my god, I think I’m funny!


Monday, January 12, 2009

Who Wants to Know about the Holiday Video? I Do! I Do!

Well, hello there, stranger! No, you're not the stranger, I am, but still, to me, that makes you the stranger since I haven't seen you in many, many moons. So, I say again, and without hesitation, "Well, hello there, stranger!"

Where have I been? Hmm. Let me answer that as a character on Lost might answer it: "Where do you think I've been?" Good. Now that that's cleared up, I'm here today to get back into the swing of my Monday postings. Not posting makes me feel very guilty, while posting makes me feel creative and useful. Sounds like a no-brainer to me. So here it goes.

Yes, here I go with a post. I will write one now. A post filled with interesting tidbits about our show. Hmm. Yes. Tidbits. Like pineapple tidbits. In their or its own juice, depending on... your... on your grammatical... usage structure.

Okay, so I began this without an idea of what I was going to write. Robb is teasing with teasing teases about our next full episode, so maybe I should talk about our last video. That was our holiday video, though, and who wants to hear about the holidays when they're over? Except Robb?

Well, I shall swallow my post-holiday holiday aversion and tell you some things you may not know about our holiday video. Instead of calling them "factoids" or "factinos," I shall call them "factadactadilloes."

Factadactadillo #1

The holiday video was not originally intended to be sped up as it currently is. No, the reason it's sped up is because we ended up shooting too much footage. In fact, we were worried we would not have enough footage, so during brainstorming, we just kept adding stuff to shoot. We shot 98% of what we set out to shoot, but that left Robb with too much to put in. He left only one thing out, which was something with singing snowmen, and the rest he sped up to fit the song. It was a very, very happy "accident."

Factadactadillo #2

The snowy frame at the opening and closing of the video is cotton batting and paper snowflakes pasted on cardboard (a Mac Pro box, to be exact). We once again wrote ourselves into a conundrum; at the end, we thought it'd be quite funny for Robb to slide the frame back into frame (cinema is so self-referential). The other options were to just cut to a new shot with us all behind the frame, or for the frame to close in on a hinge. But sliding is funnier. So we spent some time constructing an apparatus solely for this purpose. The apparatus consisted of four light stands, three casters, and two closet door sliders, all held together with gaff tape. Getting it to work right was more time-consuming than we expected. No doi!

Factadactadillo #3

There's a blooper built right into the video! When the candy canes on the string of lights fall down, that was entirely unintentional. I think you can tell that by all our "out-of-character" reactions.

Factadactadillo #4

This video was meant to be very quick and simple to shoot. That was our goal. But as you saw in factadactadillo #2, we just luuuu-uuuu-uuuuuv a good challenge. Such good challenging did not stop with the snowy frame. No, we also came up with the little gingerbread Wizard of Oz reference. This meant we needed a spinning house and, if possible, a spinning cow. Cue the lazy susan, the blue screen, and the gingerbread house kit!

As an added bonus, here's a short video of us testing the fully-automated mechanical spin feature.

Corrie did her kung-fu poses in front of that very same blue screen for the attacking cookie shots.

Factadactadillo #5

It's harder than you think to find very tiny, sparkly red shoes. I ended up buying a whole doll just for the shoes, which we then had to hand-paint with sparkly red paint.

Factadactadillo #6

In last year's holiday video, the gingerbread man cookies were cardboard cutouts. This year, to save on time, we used real gingerbread man cookies from a gingerbread man cookie decorating kit. They tasted terrible, but so did the cardboard, so at least we got some realism instead.

Factadactadillo #7

I know a magician never reveals his secrets, but this is movie making, and movie-makers do it all the time on DVD and E!, so I'm going to spoil some magic here for you. The popcorn on a string in the microwave thing was indeed one shot. We put a divider in the bowl so one side could hold the popcorn kernels and spool of thread, and the other could hold the pre-stringed, popped popcorn.

And that, folks, is it! I hope you found that informative and fun. If you didn't, you should have your head examined by a certified clinical holidaycologist. But not a holidayecologist. That's an entirely different branch of the holiday sciences.

Have a great week!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year!

Hope you had a great holiday season and New Year. It’s always hard getting back into the swing of things after the break. Time to take down the holiday decorations and get back to work.

Of course, just like when I was in college and used to leave my Christmas tree up until it started to turn to dust, the LFTI Holiday video will probably stay on the front page until July. You know, because we run a classy establishment here. Plus, one never knows how to get rid of Holiday videos, I mean are you supposed to recycle them? Drag them to the local park to be fed into a wood-chipper? Or can you just leave them on the sidewalk and let the garbage truck deal with it…? It’s a hassle, really. So, the front page it is, I suppose.

No, I’m kidding, that won’t happen. And how do I know? Because LFTI Episode 8 will be up way before then!

That’s right! You heard correctly. LFTI Episode 8 is being edited right now as we speak. And if things go well (cross your fingers) it’ll be online before you know it!

I think the biggest challenge will be the music. I have a few “ambitious” ideas. Nothing overly complicated as far as concept goes, but not the usual LFTI fare. Although, the observant viewer would probably note that LFTI hasn’t really had a “consistent overarching musical identity” lately. Which is fine with me, to tell the truth. It’s more fun this way.

Plus if this show had a more homogenized musical distinctiveness, it would be a different show altogether.

Speaking of… let’s talk about the future. What can you expect to see from LFTI Episode 8?

Would you like a sneak peek?


I can’t hear you.

…really. Don’t talk to the screen. You look crazy.

Here are a few screen grabs from the scenes I’ve been editing:

That’s right! I’ve given away Ashleigh’s outfit for the episode!! I’m crazy! But what pants is she wearing?! Wait and you'll see. (Note: if you're British and "pants" means something different to you, then I wouldn't get too excited. I didn't mean it that way... Though if it'll get you to watch...)

Mason is holding something, Lou looks ashamed. Hmm… from such things great dramas spring.

What’s this?! Interesting…

But where’s Guy? Why have I not uploaded a picture of Guy?!

Because I hate him. That’s why.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into the future. Check back here often because I will be updating the sneak peeks as I edit! It’ll be fun!

In the meantime, why not go and check out the brad spanking new LFTI Facebook page!

Become a fan! It would be rad, sweet, bitchin’ and awesome to the max, like totally!