The Tom Song – Milestone or Millstone?

[imported from MySpace, appropriately enough]

OK, so I really was thinking of deleting it and pretending it never existed. I mean my song “Tom Is Everybody’s Friend”, which is about Tom Anderson, the founder of MySpace.

But I see it’s very nearly up to 20,000 plays, so I guess I should let the clock tick round a bit more before I do anything rash.

It’s not that I don’t like it – I actually think it’s one of the best things I’ve done, but, well, you know, MySpace was sooo 2006 and the song is inextricably linked with it to most people. (Although I don’t see why it shouldn’t stand up on its own – you don’t have to know who the Maharishi is to appreciate Sexy Sadie.)

And over a year later, I guess MySpace Tom isn’t going to make it the MySpace anthem and somehow make me a lot of money out of it.

I was thinking of re-recording it with some other name to try and cash in on some other craze. Maybe even “cash in” literally this time. Any ideas?

– DC

ADDENDUM, 2012

Tom Anderson finally heard the Tom song and commented on it when I sent it to him on Google + in July 2011!

 ———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Tom Anderson (Google+) <noreply-58f0a4f0@plus.google.com>
Date: Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 6:17 PM
Subject: Re: Fun Photos for Google+ Part II
To: dc.cardwell

+DC Cardwell nice song! There was a guy who wrote about 10-15 — an entire album “songs about Tom” — they were parodies. I’d never heard yours ; it actually sounds legit 🙂

What’s Happening In My Life?

My first newsletter, from 8th October 2007

Well, here it is: the first DC Cardwell Newsletter. Thanks so much for reading it – I really appreciate your interest in my music.

I don’t want this to be simply a duplication of stuff you can read elsewhere. On the other hand, it’s also aimed at those of you who don’t hang around Myspace or Facebook, so I do want to keep you up to date with what’s happening with my music.

MySpace Tom in the 50s
MySpace Tom in the 50s

Well, I’m still in the day job, in case some of you who know me from way back are wondering what on earth has happened. But a few years ago I started writing some songs and singing them myself, a bit of a departure for me. I seriously thought no-one would ever hear them, and in fact, even my own family didn’t hear them until relatively recently. However, I’d heard a lot about Myspace and decided to sign up for an account there, and pretty quickly I got fed up explaining to even newer people who its founder Tom Anderson was. I’d say “Tom Is Everybody’s Friend”, and of course, that’s just asking to be a song title. So one day when I was off work sick (really!) I recorded the song. I don’t think I’ve ever written and recorded another song so quickly and carelessly. I put it up on Myspace and suddenly found that people liked it, and they liked my other songs too.

And if you’re wondering why I’m not “David Cardwell” anymore, it’s simply because there are already more well-known “David Cardwell”s than you might imagine, and I didn’t want to have to compete with them on Google. Try searching for “David Cardwell”. Now search for “DC Cardwell”. See?

So if it ooks impressive, it’s really not. I’m still a medical scientist, still only play music for fun, and I still haven’t made a dollar out of my songs – I’ve sold a few mp3s on Martian Music but still haven’t recouped my sign-up fee! Nothing would make me happier than to be able to give up the day job (I’ve never liked it), but at my age, it’s probably not going to happen. But it has been an absolute joy to be able to make music and have people around the world listen to it and appreciate it! That, in itself, is success!

To bring you right up to date, my family and I have built a new home, in a suburb of Melbourne called Langwarrin, not far from Frankston where we live right now. It’s almost finished and we’ll be moving in sometime before Christmas.

DC in his new home recording studio, Oct 2007
DC in his new home recording studio, Oct 2007

THE BAD NEWS: I’ll be really busy for the next few months, as you can imagine, and probably won’t have time to write or record any new songs.

THE GOOD NEWS: Our new house incorporates a small (one room) soundproofed recording studio! Yeah! It will still have the same paltry recording gear in it, at least to begin with, but if the soundproofing is as effective as I hope it is, I should be able to make lots of noise more easily without annoying the rest of the family and the neighbours quite so much. Bear in mind that the rooms I recorded in up until now have been upstairs in a wood-framed house and so I have had to try and record extremely quietly, except for when I did the drum parts, at which time half of Frankston could have heard me. The other advantage will be that I can keep my gear set up and ready to use when inspiration strikes!

This photo is not exactly exciting, but in future newsletters I’ll include pictures of it as it starts to look like home. I hope to add to my gear to some extent as time goes by – with a proper audio interface for my computer and a better drum kit high on the list of priorities, but don’t expect a huge mixing desk – it’s not Abbey Road, just a small room, and I don’t really need a lot of inputs.

WHERE CAN YOU HEAR MY MUSIC?

MYSPACE: www.myspace.com/dccardwell [Yes, my MySpace page is still there as of 2012!]
I’ve already mentioned MySpace, which most of you are probably familiar with. This is where I first started to get some attention for my music, and really, let’s face it, right up to the present time just about my whole virtual “career” exists there! You don’t actually have to be a member to view my profile and listen to my songs there, in fact I think you can even read my blog without signing in. However you can’t send me messages, comments or friend requests or see my photos (big loss). On the other hand, it’s very easy to sign up if you can’t live without any of those features.

But if you dig around MySpace profile a little bit you’ll find all kinds of interesting things. It would be pointless to go into them here, so all I can say is, check it out!

If you want to help me out there, sending bulletins, comments, blogs and messages with some of my ReverbNation “widgets” would be fantastic. You can find a couple right on my MySpace page. Bulletins are probably one of the best things, as they go to a large number of people. Give them a catchy title. Repost some of my bulletins that you think might appeal to your friends. Also, you can put a widget on your profile. Mentioning me in groups or forums, or really anywhere, would also be good. Be creative! If you don’t know how to do this kind of stuff, ask me and I’ll help you out. My greatest weapon is you guys spreading the word around!

As well as MySpace, I’ve put some of my songs up on various sites over the last while but I haven’t really had time to “work” them the way I have with MySpace. Some of them could use input from my fans to give me a higher profile.

REVERBNATION: www.reverbnation.com/dccardwell
That’s the site which hosts this newsletter. Again, you can view my profile there without becoming a member. However, I highly recommend it for musicians because of the widgets and the FanReach system, which is how I run this newsletter. [Not any more – as of 2012 I’ve switched to Fanbridge] You can also sign up as a “fan”, and add me and other artists as your favourites. (I’d love you to do that!)

GARAGEBAND: http://www.garageband.com/artist/dccardwell/ [dead link]
This site is supposed to be good for the system whereby other people review your music and you can make it into contests and up charts. The catch is, to be eligible for entry to these you have to review a certain number of other artists’ tracks. I’ve started to do that but haven’t got around to doing enough reviews to gain entry to the charts… someday!

TRIPLE J UNEARTHED: www.triplejunearthed.com/dccardwell
An Australian site associated with the national radio station Triple J. Signing up here and writing a review of my songs would be cool.

NEIL YOUNG’S LIVING WITH WAR SITE: www.neilyoung.com/lwwtoday/lwwsongspage.html
This is a page which Neil Young set up as part of his neilyoung.com site, where he posts songs that are in some way related to questions of the war in Iraq in particular, and also war and peace in general. My song Peace And Love actually reached No. 3 there at one point, when I was actively encouraging people to go and click on it there, but now it has dropped down to number cough cough! Speaking of Peace And Love, did I ever tell you why I wrote it? My friend Tony told me that Ringo Starr uses the phrase “Peace And Love” all the time on his website, so he said I should write a song of that title and maybe Ringo would cover it. So I did. Of course, I haven’t the slightest clue how to get Ringo to pay any attention to a song of mine, and even if I did, I don’t exactly think it’s the kind of jolly singalong anthem that Tony had in mind!

YOUTUBE: www.youtube.com/DCCardwellsMusic
Videos… and more to follow presently!

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/dccardwell
I was amazed to find that you can add a few of my songs to the iLike application in FaceBook! I think it’s because they’re on Garageband and they automatically get linked across. So if you’re on FaceBook you can easily dedicate my songs to people or add them to any of your message or wall posts. Please feel free – it all helps! [“iLike” never really took off, did it, but Facebook did, and so did “like”… it’s now the best place to share my music – 2012 DC]

~ DC

[2012 note – for places to buy my music (and Marjorie’s) go straight to madcarrecords.com]

 

Some less well-known MySpace artists that I like (by DC)

[imported from MySpace – note that some of these links may well be dead by now]

Again, this list could be a mile long. I’ve been really enthralled by a lot of beautiful music on MySpace over the last year or so. I’ll try to keep adding to (or amending) this list, but it’s like “top friends”, it’s impossible to truly represent my feelings! Tell you what, though – these artists are all well worth listening to so why don’t you click on a few and tell them I sent you!

  • Don McGlashan (Former leader of the wonderful Mutton Birds and certified National Treasure in New Zealand – unquestionably a genius, and one of the best singers you’ll ever hear)
  • The Desert Downtown and Marshmallow (One of the secret weapons of The Mutton Birds was their bass player/occasional songwriter and singer, Alan Gregg, and these are two of his projects, both achingly tuneful in nature)
  • Maxi Dunn (One of the few women on the Jellyfish Tribute album. She’s just so good. I don’t know what it is about her songs – I can’t analyse why I like them so much. On the surface they sound a little 80s-ish for my taste, but I just want to play them over and over again, so she’s doing something that moves me!)
  • Martin Okasili (He’s from my hometown of Portadown, Northern Ireland, but I never met him. I read a rave review of him in Mojo once and eventually found him here on myspace, and, would you believe it, it turns out he is brilliant!)
  • The Electrolites (Don’t miss them)
  • Darren Sheppard (Clever guy from England who still knows how to write and play songs like the British bands of the 60s – many try but few succeed)
  • The Taters (Actually, this band from Virginia do a pretty good job at capturing that 60s sound, too! And I’ve heard first hand that they’re one of the greatest live acts on the planet!)
  • Steve Singh (Like the Beatles, but not like The Beatles. You know what I mean, even the Beatles were “like the Beatles, but not like the Beatles”, in that they never did what anyone expected)
  • Linda Draper (I love this music deeply)
  • Tender Slider (Brilliant music from my good friend Achim Degen in Germany)
  • The Aloha Mountain Groove Band (The name says it all! Features Renn Tiki)
  • Mike Dees (Rootsy pop songs from Memphis)
  • Crab Bubbles (Infinitely enjoyable pure pop from Japan)
  • Peter Farnan (This guy from Melbourne is a treasure – spends a lot of time working in various projects but is working towards a solo album which I’m looking forward to)
  • Jane Bayley (Partner of Mr. Farnan and equally wonderful – check out her Blossom Dearie-esque “Lovely Wife”)
  • Darren Keith (Amazing range and depth of material)
  • Jenny Queen (Americana, but don’t let that put you off!)
  • Teri LaBrecque (Writes and records all her stuff at home by herself, just like myself, but she’s a better singer and plays a more interesting range of instruments!)
  • Honest John (Sydney band – just got their new EP and it’s as good as anything new I’ve heard this year!)
  • Marty Williams (Marty is kind of a perfect singer and a great supporter of local music round here on the Mornington Peninsula, south of Melbourne, and he’s also in this band with his brother…)
  • Cousin Leonard (You’ll never see a happier crowd than those at their regular Sunday afternoon gigs at the Heritage in Balnarring!)
  • President Roots (Another excellent band from here on the Mornington Peninsula – their leader, Simon has a new song about Professor Longhair that I heard him play recently, and it’s an instant classic.)
  • David Rice (Folksy yet Beatle-tinged and eclectic Swedish artist.)
  • themillionstars (I’ve just discovered this duo, Rose and Malcolm Moore and I fell in love instantly. They make tough music.)
  • Father Bloopy (Quite a few people have likened me to Ray Davies and the Kinks, but this band’s singer deserves the comparison. Even better, the band have brilliantly strong songs and sound.)
  • Hugh Hamilton (Never mind his beautifully accomplished guitar playing and crafty songwriting, check out that wonderful Claptonesque voice of his!)
  • Ernie Dufour (This guy’s singing really affects me – you know how singers used to be back in the good old days of the 60s and 70s?)
  • Richard Cummins (Richard lives very near where I used to live in Canada, but we never met each other back then. He’s very accomplished and makes beautifully Beatlesque music in an effortless manner.)
  • Marjie Cardwell (Marjie is my wife and after a break of some years she has been doing some new recordings with me – on this page she has posted some covers that we have done live in our home studio, with Marjie and me on guitars, Samuel on bass and Chris Haylock on drums.)
  • The Good China (This band’s from here in Melbourne, where there’s a lot of good music made, but not much of it sounds like this. There are, like, nine people in it and they are a little like a slightly mellower New Pornographers. Nice visual style too!)
  • We All Want To (This band’s also from Australia – and, like the band above, they also sound like a more human New Pornographers. This is my kinda thing!)
  • Victor Stranges (Victor is a Melbourne artist with a huge talent for songwriting and a big, expressive voice. If you like classic Elvis Costello you’ll definitely like his songs and his sound. Check out his Myspace and say hi – he’s a nice guy too!)

Honest John is an Australian band I just got their new 5-track EP and it’s absolutely excellent. Not earth-shatteringly pushing forward the boundaries of music or anything like that, but there’s something about Glen Colley’s voice and his songs and the way the band delivers them that gave me the kind of feeling I used to have as a youngster when I discovered for myself people like Neil Young.

Another band is from here on the Mornington Peninsula – President Roots. I know their leader, Simon, and on Wednesday night he came along to the Balnarring Muso’s Night that Marty Williams runs. He did a few songs, sounding fantastic as usual, and he included a new one he’s just written which was just thrilling – a bit of a Nirvana feel to it, but it’s all about Professor Longhair, Fats Domino and, oh, just all kinds of mad stuff and it gave me a real kick!

Oh, and, to round the evening off he did “Dancing Queen”, segueing into about 6 other tunes, with me on bass and, though we say so ourselves, it was pretty darn funky and the dancefloor was hot! It was a little different from my rare version of Dancing Queen which brings out the song’s depressing, morose side.

~ DC

Songs about Tom – you think *I’m* Sad?

Was Tom Anderson YOUR friend in 2006?

[imported from Myspace]

There’s a bloke called Count Boogie (possibly not his real name) who has a whole profile devoted to Songs About Tom. (www.myspace.com/songsabouttom)

I think that makes me feel better… I think!

The same aristocrat of dance was kind enough to say good things about my Tom Song, so that’s cool!

I had an email from one music biz person (hi!) who said that I have to decide between comedy and serious music. Well now, I never considered Tom Is Everybody’s Friend a comedy song! If it was, it wouldn’t be a very funny one. It’s just faintly humorous, but it’s not a novelty song, any more than Dedicated Follower Of Fashion is a novelty song.

And didn’t The Beatles put Tomorrow Never Knows and Yellow Submarine on the same album, Revolver, widely acknowledged to be their best?

While I’m rambling, thanks to the two radio show presenters who put such encouraging comments on my profile – I wish I had real product to send you, but there are CDs on their way in the meantime!

Cheers – DC

2012 ADDENDUM: Tom Anderson never acknowledged “Tom Is Everybody’s Friend” at the height of MySpace (and why would he?) but in July 2011 when he was reigning over Google+ as its guest guru, he heard the song at last and commented “Nice song! There was a guy who wrote about 10-15 – an entire album “songs about Tom” – they were parodies. I’d never heard yours; it actually sounds legit :)”

DC Cardwell's Tom Song in Myspace player - screenshot from August 2007
DC Cardwell’s Tom Song in Myspace player – screenshot from August 2007