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A public conversation about our worlds.

  • Monday: Morgan J. Locke
  • Tuesday: Madeleine E. Robins
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Brain Activity

Fast Zombie Blues

November 18th, 2007 by Rory Harper

A few months ago, She Who Is Awesome forced me to watch ‘Walk the Line’ one night in exchange for being allowed to crash at her place.

I liked it a lot. And it got me to thinking….

If you’re my True Friend, you’ll click on the pic and view Johnny and Kris tearing it up in an excellent live performance of ‘Folsom Prison Blues’. If you don’t do this first, you may not realize just how relentlessly, mind-bogglingly, self-aggrandizingly clever are the lyrics that I’ve written.


Then: Fast Zombie Blues


EDIT: I’ve gotten some really good critique from the maniacs at KVR and done a remix of this song. Mostly just some balancing of track levels, changing some reverb, EQ’ing a bit, and a few other tweaks. Not a done deal yet; I think I still need to sort out the bass line more. But I think this mix sounds a lot more polished and am quite pleased with it.

Fast Zombie Blues Remix


I played it live at the recent Samhain gathering outside Dripping Springs, and John realized, as I hadn’t, that this is actually a teaching song. This is the sort of wisdom that needs to be passed on by the tribal elders around the campfire, so that the young ones who’ve never experienced an infestation will have a framework that gives them a better chance of survival.


I’ve spent the entire weekend recording and mixing my magnum opus, and my ears and brain are fried. I have no perspective on it any more. I’ve tried it on two speaker systems and through headphones, but mixes sometimes translate poorly. And I think it’s a little slow. I may revisit it and speed it up some.

I welcome comments on the mix and other relevant items.


EDIT: Okay, so I’m a little obsessive. I bumped the speed on the song from 95 bpm to 105 bpm, and replaced the original in my link above with the new Fast Zombie version. Fortunately, Reaper, which is my recording software and is the best goddam software in the galaxy, uses Elastique Pro, the very best pitch and time-stretching algorithm on the market. I can’t hear any artifacts in the new version.

It’s a real toe-tapper now.


Posted in mp3, Music, Rachael is Awesome, Rory, Zombies | 15 Comments »

15 Responses

  1. Rachael Says:

    Awesome zombie song! And the fast one is definitely better. I like!

  2. Steven Gould Says:

    Oh, my goodness, it needs a video.

  3. Rory Harper Says:

    I thought about that.

    It might be a group project….

  4. Bradley Denton Says:

    We can make the video happen.

    This is swell, Rory — you know, “swell” as in “swollen brain.” I love it.

    (And it’s one second short of three minutes. Perfect!)

    The only thing lacking is a Zombie chorus in the background at the end of each verse: “Braiinnss! BRAIIIINNNSSS!!!”

  5. John H. Says:

    Outstanding! As you well know it’s not ‘if’ the Zombies attack….. It’s ‘when’ Qapla’ John

  6. Rory Harper Says:

    Brad — I’m actually pretty interested in doing a vid and putting it up on YouTube. I can see it now — Caroline as the Queen of the Zombies, you and the pups all zombified and still bonded in un-death, hunting as a pack.

    Barb is forced to put you all down in the interests of peace in the neighborhood. But she can’t bring herself to do it, so Rach has to flame you all. She enjoys it, of course. Oh, the possibilities are endless…

    John — Glad you liked it! Uh, you’d make a great anti-paramedic in the vid, if you know what I mean.

  7. Becca Says:

    I’m in love with Johnny Cash, so the song is doubly awesome. Any zombie-themed anything brings back fond memories of those formalin-soaked days in gross anatomy lab, late at night, Janis Joplin blaring through my .mp3 player, hoping against hope that none of the bodies got restless…..
    Seriously great song.
    I expect an encore live performance at Yule.
    I’m sure we can convince the troops to supply a ‘brraaaaiinnns’ chorus, and to shamble about in an appropriately complimentary way.

  8. Madeleine Robins Says:

    I am awed. I would lay my brain at your feet, but those damned Zombies would probably get it away from you…

  9. Rachael Says:

    Wait? An opportunity to flame thrower you all?!

    Had I but known, I would have done it years ago!

  10. Steven Gould Says:

    Kids these days. Hot heads every one.

  11. Rory Harper Says:

    I just added a remix of ‘Fast Zombie Blues’ to the body of my post.

    Like I said, my ears were toast when I finished on Sunday, and I agree with the guys at KVR that the vocals and lead guitar were mixed way too hot.

    This one probably isn’t a final master, but I like it a lot better than the original.

    I can’t tell from my home monitoring whether the bass is going to translate well, so would appreciate some feedback on that. I used a free soundfont for it, and have sent off for a pro sample set to replace it with.

    Got an amazing deal on the bass software. (Rachael is laughing at me when she reads this…)

  12. Shakti Says:

    BRAAAINNNSSS…. I am obsessed with this song. Have it playing right now at work. Great job, Rory! You rule and will save the world! Hugs & flame throwers –

  13. Rory Harper Says:

    Hey, Shakti! It’s great to see you here! I’m glad you like the song. I’m just trying to do my small part to educate people about the threat.

    I hope you hang out here some more. In any case, I look forward to seeing you and the gang next month. Hugs right back.

  14. Aspen Says:

    Hearing this played “live” very late Saturday night at the campfire was amazing! Thank you for posting it up, and I’d be happy to lend anything left of my voice (post-decay) to the chorus of “Brraaaiinnnses!”

  15. Rory Harper Says:

    Hey, Aspen! It’s great to see you here! I thought you’d be in Japan by now.

    If you’re going to be able to make it to Yule camp-out, I’ll bring some recording gear with me and we can lay down a track or two…


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