Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Song #239 of 9999 - Unholy Alliance by Frankie Big Face

Two more weeks of writing about my own music (as mentioned in my post of July 20) and then back to my normal blog!

Song #239 of 9999 

Title: Unholy Alliance
Artist: Frankie Big Face
Year: 2011
Album: Nur Ein 6

Click here to listen!

In Nur Ein 4, I scored big with a novelty duet called Schadenfreude, an unusual love story between two men who never quite get in sync with one another. In Nur Ein 6, I attempted to take this to an all-new high (or low, depending on your perspective) by incorporating Old Testament religions. Once again paired with John Benjamin of the John Benjamin Band, Unholy Alliance tells the tale of a Muslim and an Orthodox Jew who face a moral dilemma while trying to reconcile their respective religions with their love for one another. This track is campier than the previous and exploits stereotypes a bit more than I would have liked, but I think the laugh tracks and audience applause signal playful admiration as opposed to cynical derision. The whole thing unfolds like a vaudeville duet and ends with a universal love-conquers-all sentiment.

I included all kinds of inside jokes, ranging from the subtle (the Wal-mart in Detroit) to the obscure (Umm Kalthum!) to the hilarious (that Mindy Cohn joke is money). Writing comedy like this is fun yet complex and the musical composition has to be well-structured and tightly woven into the lyric. I worked really hard on all of the little faux accordion counter-melodies that pepper the verses and I'm particularly fond of the bouncy synth that comes in on the third verse. John added some really great backing vocals ("we're in love!")—he has a gift for this kind of thing. I only wish the ending was a little tighter but, as with many Nur Ein songs, time was of the essence. This song still makes me laugh out loud and I know when all the jokes are coming so that's pretty good, right?

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