Pair #32: "The Owl and His CRX"

Original Post Date: October 11, 2008
Runtime: 3:25
Genres: Electronic/Pop/Children's
Compilation Album: Sweat Pants

Prompt Summary: [Paid Song] a song, in the style of Perrey and Kingsley, about an owl named Enrique who drives a baby-blue Honda CRX among the trees, crashing for fun ; prompt includes other details about Enrique to incorporate into the lyrics

I can't wait any longer:* I gotta discuss "The Owl and His CRX." You don't yet know how incredible this song is, and I write that with zero sarcasm. It's one of my absolute favorite Songs to Wear Pants To, and it's probably in my top 50 songs overall.

This paid song is the result of a mosaic-like request, with a lot of pieces that together form a strangely wholesome, well, whole. The star of the song is Enrique the Owl, whose bestest friend EVAR is a baby-blue Honda CR-X, a compact sports car that was only manufactured from '83 to '91. Enrique drives the car between trees, somehow defying gravity, but always ends up crashing into the trees. Like George of the Jungle, except it's an owl in a car. So…not like George of the Jungle. The truly wholesome part is how much Enrique cares about his CR-X, as well as the chorus:

Enrique the Owl
The Honda CRX
Enrique the Owl

Let's go for a ride!

I mean, that's just incredible stuff. Lyrically, it's sweet, but combined with a mega-catchy hook, it's absolutely delightful.

The instrumentals rely heavily on Moog-y synths, as inspired by the music of Perrey and Kingsley, an electronic music duo from the 1960s who were among the first to use the Moog in the studio. (The Moog synthesizer, pronounced "mohg," was the first widely-used electronic music synthesizer. If you've ever heard classic rock music from the mid- to late-60s, you've almost definitely heard a Moog.) The result is a bright, retrofuturistic sound with a beat that kids, kids-at-heart, and basically anybody with both a soul and the ability to hear will find infectious.

Hoot-hoot, y'all. And honk-honk, too.

*Ironically, I started writing this post in March, a full eight months before I actually finished and posted it. I guess I was able to wait to discuss this song, after all? Let's pretend otherwise.

Pair #31: "Shoot the Zombies"

Original Post Date: January 16, 2007
Runtime: 1:15
Genres: Pop/Novelty
Compilation Album: Pink Pants

Prompt Summary: [Paid Song] a short, upbeat, catchy song about zombies' habits and how to kill them

Like a zombie rising from the grave, I return with a post about the song I promised on last Halloween to cover this Halloween. Where have I been?* Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…brains???

One of the most treasured Songs to Wear Pants To, "Shoot the Zombies" is a hilarious tonal mismatch between music and lyrics. On the one hand, you have some rather graphic lyrics about zombies and zombie murder, while on the other, you have a jaunty pop beat, complete with jangly guitar and a fast pace. Truly a magnificent combination of pop-culture phenomena: upbeat pop music, zombies, and violence.

If you're squeamish, you may or may not want to steer clear of "Shoot the Zombies." One particularly gruesome line, sung against a sparse yet ironically cheerful guitar instrumental, is, "They'll limp around in blood and cover things in stains." While not as explicit as it could have been, it still paints…quite a picture! The song also explains that "the best way to kill zombies is by shooting them in the head," which is a profoundly violent piece of advice that is especially jarring to hear in such a peppy melody.

It's that juxtaposition of dark lyrics and light music, paired with the beloved, memetic topic of zombies, that likely shot this song close to the top of STWPT's all-time list. I'm personally not a fan of zombies—I find them uninspired and boring—but I can never get enough of "Shoot the Zombies." It's one of Andrew's funniest and, violence aside, most fun songs.

In the original STWPT website post for this song, Andrew tagged this song with some heavy-hitters, including "Andrew's Favorites," "Fan Favorites," and the prestigious "Front Page" tag, which ensured that it would show up on the site's front page after the project died down. Another curious tag included was "Instruction Manuals," which only showed up on a small handful of songs throughout the years, including—as I just noticed almost a full year after writing about it—"How I Make a Rap Song…." These seem to be analogous to narrative songs, but instead of telling a story, they provide directions for accomplishing some sort of task, like making a rap song…or killing zombies effectively. (Can you actually kill a zombie, though? Aren't they technically already dead? I dunno. Stupid.)

One of the last Songs to Wear Pants To was a remix of "Shoot the Zombies," in an even lighter musical style reminiscent of "Pink Fluffy Unicorns…," which makes for an even wilder tonal inconsistency. This remix apparently never showed up on the STWPT website, but it is included towards the end of the last album, Corduroy, with Tassles (2011). You can also check it out on YouTube. As of this posting, the remix is one of the top 5 most listened-to songs by Songs to Wear Pants To on Spotify.

If you go trick-or-treating tonight, please leave your firearms home. Any zombies you see are definitely living human beings in costume and/or makeup and not actual zombies. Probably.

*I started another post back in March(!) that I completely forgot about until today lol. It's, like, at least 2/3 done, so I'm not sure why I never got around to finishing it. Oh, well! I'll do that in the near future. I pwomise!

Pair #30: "Haircuts, They Are So Magical"

Original Post Date: June 14, 2010
Runtime: 0:25
Genre: Ska
Compilation Album: Corduroys, with Tassles

Prompt Summary: "a song that lists all the different kinds of haircuts"

Hey, you.* Time to make some New Year's resolutions. It's been almost a year, or longer, since your last haircut. Go get one. Specifically, get a bowl cut.

…And scene. That was my excellent attempt to tie the season into today's Song to Wear Pants To. I accept tips in the form of kittens.

Speaking of today's Song to Wear Pants To, I present "Haircuts, They Are So Magical," a fun short from late in the site's lifespan. It's also the first track on the sixth and final compilation album, and it's probably the best opener of any of them.

This high-energy ska song came about after someone asked Andrew to make a song listing every kind of haircut, a tall—like a beehive—order, considering new haircuts are invented basically every day. It opens up with the title, describing haircuts as magical and plentiful. And then Andrew starts his list. It has one item in it.

Yes, folks, apparently, we all have bowl cuts. And Andrew thinks it looks bad, too. So if you've ever wanted to be gaslit—assuming you don't actually have a bowl cut—and insulted within a ten-second timespan, this song was made for you.

*I addressed this post's first article to a very specific person. Assuming he ever reads this, he knows who he is…