For those of you not familiar with XKCD, I suggest you venture there first and read through some of the archives to get a feel for it. This particular project was formed off of an idea Dave Halperin had concening a meet-up of XKCD readers. The meetup, as explained in the Dream Girl comic, took place at the exact corrdinates at the exact time expressed in the bottom left corner, namely a small park in Cambridge, MA at 2:38 pm on September 23, 2007. Dave expressed to me at the beginning of this project how, when reading the comic about the meet-up, the song "Only In Dreams" by Weezer had come to mind, and how he thought it might be fun to take our guitars and play it there as our contribution to the festivities. I mentioned how that particular comic reminded me of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here". Further discussiosn yeilded more song/comic pairings, and the idea took off. We enlisted the vocal and guitar talents of Ian E. Muller, settled on a final set list, and began preparing.
During the few months leading up to the meetup, we began polishing the songs and bouncing ideas around on how to pull everything off. During one of these jam sessions we all agreed that it would be cool to throw together an original composition to commemorate the event. Thus was born "The Edge of the Bell Curve", which you can find more information on below, in the section of the same name.
The meet-up itself was an incredible amount of fun. When we arrived at 2 p.m. there were already a hundred or so people there, centered on a childrens play structure located at the exact coordinates from the comic. We threw our guitars on and took on the role of wandering minstrels for a while, playing through some of the songs, and watching some of the entertainment. It quickly wound down to the time when the meet-up was supposed to take place, which was celebrated with a countdown, a lot of cheering, and the arrical of XKCD creator Randall Munroe and some very large pieces of poster board. After the crowd quieted down he said a few brief words, and gestured to the posterboard located behind him. He told us all that it was time to re-write the original comic wiki-style, and that we should all contribute something to it. The end result can be seen here.
After putting up a little blurb about this band on the board, the three of us reconverged and set up under a tree towards the center of the park. We started to go through some other songs, and some other singers and musicians that had come to the meet-up wandered up and started singing and jamming with us (including one bad-ass kid with a Psaltery). We got a good little crowd going and just had a lot of fun playing and hanging out. "The Edge of the Bell Curve", as well as our general endeavor seemed very well recieved, getting compliments from a few people that it really added something to the festivities. All in all it was a great idea (thanks Dave!), a lot of fun, and a lot of good time spent with great people.
Below is the set list of songs we prepared for the meet-up, complete with the appropriate tab, lyrics, and a link to the related comic.
|Dream Girl||Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd||http://xkcd.com/240/||Tab||Lyrics|
|Dream Girl||Only In Dreams by Weezer||http://xkcd.com/240/||Tab||Lyrics|
|Words that End in GRY||Karma Police by Radiohead||http://xkcd.com/169/||Tab||Lyrics|
|Tabletop Roleplaying||Hook by Blues Taveller||http://xkcd.com/244/||Tab||Lyrics|
|Beliefs||Imagine by John Lennon||http://xkcd.com/154/||Tab||Lyrics|
|Classhole||Asshole by Dennis Leary||http://xkcd.com/72/||Tab||Lyrics|
|Choices: Part 4||Pure Imagination||http://xkcd.com/267/||Tab||Lyrics|
|With Apologies to The Who||My Generation by The Who||http://xkcd.com/274/||Tab||Lyrics|
"The Edge of the Bell Curve"
As mentioned in the overview of the meet-up, this song was written as a commemoration of the event. Even though we had all agreed that we should write a song for the event long before this came to fruition, this particular song was born out a comment by Davle Halperin about the Dating Pools comic. To quote Dave, "If there is still interest in writing a song for the get together the last text bubble in today's comic seems to have potential to me." Later that evening, during one of our pre-meet-up jam sessions, I started messing around with a fun chord progression, threw in the last text bubble from that comic for the chorus, and things just took off from there.
The verses were each written by a different member of the band, and based on a comic of our choice. I contributed the lyrics for verse one, which was inspired by the Angular Momentum comic. Verse two is compliments of Ian Muller, and is based off of the Nighttime Stories comic. Dave Haplerin provided the final verse, based off of the Interesting Life comic. The bridge is on one hand a step in to my daily routine, but also a mild reference to the Compiling comic.
Note: We are in the process of setting up to record the song so that it can be shared among people who were there and anyone else who may care to hear it.
For musicians/anyone interested:
"The Edge of the Bell Curve" by
Brandon N. Schory, David Halperin, Ian E. Muller
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
This work was based in part on work by Randall Munroe at xkcd.com.
Brandon N Schory's Personal Website by Brandon N. Schory is licensed under a
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This site is designed and maintained by Brandon N Schory