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!