New video for “ZANZIBAR!” plus exciting Patreon news!

A couple weeks ago Jared and I made a dance video for ZANZIBAR! And there it is.

And somehow, magically, a bunch of lovely people are giving us a total of almost $160 per music video we make on our Patreon page. This is just huge. I mean, this is a significant amount of money for us and I just can’t even believe that this Patreon thing is working. Just know this…there was lots of happy crying happening last week when I realized that this number, $159.11, wasn’t a big mistake and that I can relax at least a little bit about paying rent within the next couple days. Oh, and spend my time on this blog post, and editing another video, rather than applying for a job at a coffeeshop, as a friend urged me to do last week (which I was considering doing for the course of an evening).

And now I must get back to work editing what is my favorite Happy Gland video we’ve made so far. But not before I pet this cat.

Plimothy Danderfield Ortega - Sage and Jared's Happy Gland Band

And a sneek peek of videos to come!

Sage and Jared's Happy Gland BandSage and Jared's Happy Gland BandSage and Jared's Happy Gland Band - Soap Floats

The Clever Wife—New Video

We’re entering a contest! It’s this contest. It’s a contest where you make a video (hey, we do that) of you playing music (hey, we do that, too) with a desk nearby (hey, we have a desk), and maybe you get to play at the NPR Music offices in Washington sometime. So we did the things they asked us to do and now we’ve made another video!

For this contest, as you can see, we made a video for a song that I wrote called The Clever Wife. It’s about the wonders of being a 1950s housewife.

ALSO, this is our FIRST PATRON-FUNDED video! Hooray! Since we launched our Patreon page, a coupla’ really lovely ladies actually decided to take money out of their own wallets or pants or PayPals or whathaveyou and…gave it to us! What’s more, they’ve promised to give us money every time we make a video. (And boy, oh boy, have we got some plans.) Well, all we have to say is…thank you!


Become a Patron of Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band!

Happy Gland Band - Patreon - Sage Harrington

We just launched our Patreon page! What’s that, you say? Patronage died out nearly hundreds of years ago? Yes, well we thought so too. Turns out there’s a website out there trying to bring the patron/artist relationship back. If you’d like to help us in our wacky quest to make fun music and silly videos, this is one way you can do that.

Here’s the low-down:

We make videos. We upload them to YouTube for free. We love doing this. With Patreon, we’re trying to make this more of a money-making venture. We’re asking you to pledge an amount of money—$1, 2$, any amount you’re comfortable with—per video we release.

We made this short video to help explain what the deal is. (Warning: it contains a unhealthy amount of dog tongue—but we think it’s really funny, anyway.)

And there’s stuff in it for you, too! We’ve got rewards set up for different levels of patronage, including mp3 downloads and ukulele tutorials. More info is on our Patreon page!

AHHH we can’t tell you how excited we are about this! Best to you and yours and we hope you’re having a super spectacular extra-fandangled New Year!

Artistically yours,
Sage and Jared

Behind-The-Scenes Costuming Adventures of DEAD SLOTH: A photo essay

Sage Harrington - Happy Gland Band
Sage Harrington - Happy Gland Band
What can’t you do with an Ariel wig? Well, eat. It’s far too cumbersome. But you can take a mighty satifyingly blurry photo.

Last Friday Jared and I emerged shivering from the Happy Gland Band dirigible, cursing the fact that we had once again forgotten that the fabric covering of our airship provides poor insulation against the chilliness of Hallow’s Eve eve night. We shook it off, though—we’re not ones to whine and complain that a cruel draft had slipped in through the beaded curtain that separates the dirigible’s expansive kitchen from the sleeping area, and down into our toes through the avocado green comforter that covers our bed.

Rather than shiver like nervous chihuahuas, we got out into the sun and started hatching video-making plans for the song we had recorded the previous evening.

Sage Harrington - Dead Sloth - Happy Gland Band

And now, for some behind-the-scenes costuming action, or A Dead Sloth Photo Essay:

Jared Putnam - Happy Gland Band
A sexy man-lady in a sexy winter fur-lined hooded mini-coat-dress.
Jared Putnam - Happy Gland Band
Oh, Christina Aguilera! How my heart pitter patters for your sultry gazes.
Sage Harrington - Eric the Squash - Happy Gland Band
Eric the winter squash holds a special place in our Halloween hearts.
Jared Putnam - Happy Gland Band
Everyone knows a blue suit goes best with a red merkin.
Jared Putnam - Happy Gland Band
Something’s awry—he’s wearing the tutu upside down. Drat! If only we had noticed, this wouldn’t be so horribly embarassing.
Shaved Sage Harrington - Happy Gland Band
Oh, and we had shaved my head that morning.
Sage Harrington - Happy Gland Band
You can shave a lady’s head, but you can’t take away her pink hair. Proof.

Dead Sloth – A new video from the Happy Gland Band

The Happy Gland dirigible is looking quite festive draped in all its poly-cobwebbed, orange belighted glory. Let’s just hope the fire marshal doesn’t find out and shut us down.

After we decorated the dirigible with gourd after gourd after bat-shaped piece of confetti, Jared and I decided to record one of our deeper, more emotional waltes, DEAD SLOTH. We also had some spare wigs lying around, and decided to make good use of them. Hence the video you see above.

Happy Halloween!

You Don’t Know Jack Shit About Auditioning: What I Learned When I Auditioned for ‘American Idol’

Old Town Gazebo - Sage Harrington
The gazebo in Old Town Albuquerque, where the “American Idol” auditions took place, and where I have played ohsomany times. Yeah, it felt weird to be there on different terms. Photo courtesy of Joel Kramer.

Originally published at Pyragraph.

I’m not sure if the internet needs my American Idol audition story. (This American Idol audition story already lives online, after all.) I don’t know if you need me to recount a day I spent mostly standing in a line that was not as long as it would have been in, say, 2004. I mean, they brought the American Idol bus to Albuquerque? As one of my friends said, “Their ratings really must have fallen if they’re coming here.”

My mom was the one who told me about the American Idol audition. Of course my mom thinks I should go to the American Idol audition.

Tons of people think that American Idol is one of the only surefire ways to a career in music. Ain’t necessarily so, and I’m assuming you also think there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Er, earn a living making songs.

But I kept thinking about it. I thought about how Amanda Palmer promoted a contestant of The Voice in her blog. And I thought, hey, if Amanda Palmer is endorsing a certain lady competing in a teevee show and if other independent artists are using it as a platform to increase their visibility, it might be worth looking into.

So I read the gross waiver they make you sign. They say things like this, but in legalspeak:

  • We are allowed to say defamatory things about you!
  • We may require you to sign other creepy documents!
  • We own any video taken of you and will pay no royalties on any original material you perform!

So this is where the hey-I’m-an-indie-I’m-in-control-of-everything-including-my-extremely-small-mailing-list thing butts up against corporate-town. Who’s in charge, if they let you in? Not you.

Oh, and they also encourage you to bring the waiver yourself, because they have “limited supplies” of it at the audition site. Bullshit. They want to cut down on their paper costs. I can’t blame them for this. I want them to cut down on their paper costs, too, but not for the benefit of their coffers, but for the benefit of, you know, the earth.

I decided to go in spite of this.

I got up early and stood in a line in the rain, feeling waves and waves of nervousness crash down upon me. This happened because I am no expert at taking auditions. I hardly ever feel nervous performing in my little town of Albuquerque anymore—our community is so small, and the venues I play at so familiar, that I can hardly ever get my adrenal glands worked up, ironically enough. So it was nice to practice managing that type of anxiety. I don’t know that I did that great of a job.

At the end of the day four of us were there at the head of the line and we were—gasp!—sent before one of the two ominous tents where the—what to call them?—magical glowing beings sat, who bestow upon you the blessing of Talented! or Not Talented!

You are a singer. You stand on painted tape. You step forward and hand your creepy paperwork to the magical auditioner being, who is really just a person. The other three step back onto their strips of tape. You stay, plink your ukulele, sing this song, and you quickly realize that you don’t know jack shit about auditioning.

I chose exactly the wrong song, I think, to sing in front of exactly the wrong judge, (need I say this next part?) in exactly the wrong competition.

Of course I spent the next day or two mulling over the auditioner man’s comments. “You have a soft, pretty voice, but we are looking for more developed voices…” What does this even mean? What am I supposed to do with this information? I tried to take it as constructive criticism, but I really don’t know if I even should, when it’s certainly a canned phrase he uses endlessly in his line of work.

Here’s the moral of my story: I realized that if I actually want to audition for something again, I gotta get my shit together. I gotta practice and talk to people who know what the fuck they’re doing. I gotta go to auditions, and take them, and get rejected, and then do more. This is what actors do all the time.

So, I’m not sure if I’ll want to, or feel the need to, do a cattle call audition like this again. Honestly, making DIY videos in my home is probably a better use of my time. But if I do, at least I’ll know a little bit better what I so didn’t know this time around.

A Happy Gland Band Ode to Columbus Day

You can buy this song here.

Columbus wasn’t just a brave and smart navigator, he was also a raping, murdering, genocide-committing piece of shit who deserves a Happy Gland Band song to be written about him. With much vulgarity.

I quoted from Inga Muscio’s Autobiography of A Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society liberally in writing the lyrics for this song:

We all know the story
We know what we’ve been told
Columbus, he was brave and smart and worth his weight in gold
But here is something I didn’t know
I wasn’t taught back in the day
It was quite a revelation to learn
To hear somebody say

Columbus was an asshole
A wholesale piece of shit*
This holiday’s a total sham
Let’s do away with it
Imagine your nine year old daughter
Sold as a sex slave**
What a fine thing to celebrate
This Columbus Day

S—Hey Jared—you know what I feel like doing this October 13?
J—What’s that, Sage?
S—Oh, you know, just getting in on a little US-Government-sanctioned celebration of someone who raped, murdered, and started a pattern of genocide of indigenous people that we’ve kept up over the past five hundred years.
J—You don’t mean Columbus, do you?!? I thought everyone loved Columbus!
S—Well, in 2011, Venezuelans tore down a huge statue of him and renamed Columbus Day, “The Day of Indigenous Resistance.”*
J—But that’s in Venezuela!
S—Actually, the Seattle school board just voted to rename Columbus Day “Indigenous Peoples Day.”***

Columbus was an asshole
A wholesale piece of shit*
This holiday’s a total sham
Let’s do away with it
Imagine you tried to escape him
And were fed to a dog the next day**
What a fine thing to celebrate
This Columbus Day

J—But Sage, Columbus Day has been a treasured family tradition for hundreds of years!
S—Actually, the Knights of Columbus, an all-male Catholic organization, convinced FDR to make it a national holiday back in the 1930s.**
J—But Sage, Columbus opened the door to a whole new world!
S—Yeah, for the Europeans who were interested in totally dominating the people who had lived here for 14,000 years.**
J—So Columbus Day is really just a bunch of white supremacist bullshit!
S—Now you’ve got it!

Columbus’s filthy white supremacist boots*
Never touched dirt we now call American*
So can somebody tell me why we here in the USA
Are honoring his memory today?

Columbus was an asshole
A wholesale piece of shit*
This holiday’s a total sham
Let’s do away with it
Imagine an entire nation
Worked, diseased to death*
In the words of Inga Muscio:
Fuck Columbus Day*

*quoted or paraphrased from the first chapter of Inga Musico’s really excellent book which you should totally read now, Blue-Eyed Devil: My Life and Times in a Racist, Imperialist Society
**paraphrased/sourced from The Oatmeal’s Christopher Columbus was awful (but this other guy was not)
***source: The Colbert Report on Columbus Day

For your interest:

An Ode to Columbus Day - Happy Gland Band

You can buy this song here, if you think that’s what you might be into.

The Souls of Unfinished Songs

Jared and I made this song—in a minor key, how unusual for the Happy Gland Band!—about what happens when the souls of the undead, irreconcilable songs haunt you. You can buy this song here, if that’s what you’re into.

The Souls of Unfinished Songs

A plague of red-eyed gnats 
Comes down upon me 
Drinks the tears from my eyes 
Sip, sip, sip 
Tiny feet upon my skin 
The rush of wings in the air 
All hope is gone 
For the souls of those unfinished songs 

The wings of a hundred bats 
Bring in darkness and strife 
Whipping up what I’d tamp down 
Cruel, dark, cold 
The ravens come on the wing 
From their perch of despair 
All hope is gone 
For the souls of those unfinished songs 

They hover around my ears 
Black wings beating 
Draining all hope from my heart 
Wishing they’d take to the sky 
I wish them away 
But can’t let them go 
The souls of those unfinished songs

News Roundup: the latest from Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band

I wanted to collect some of our latest videos together in case you’d missed ’em.

Walking: a new video from the Happy Gland Band

Buy this song on iTunes!

We at the Happy Gland Band are proud to announce the release of our latest blockbuster video hit, Walking. Starring my glue-stick-encrusted hands, construction paper, and the highest quality posterboad known to mankind. Intrigued? Read the “true” story of the video’s creation here.

If I Had You: another new video from the Happy Gland Band

Buy this song online!

We also decided to finally record If I Had You, the prettiest song in our repertoire that was written, interestingly enough, by someone else (three someone elses, rather: James Campbell, Reginald Connelly, and Ted Shapiro, who went collectively by “Irving King,” who is not Irving Berlin—confused yet? I am!) in 1928.

Plus, I been blogging!

I have been blogging about many things lately. I am very proud of myself for writing stuff down and hitting “publish.” I wrote about reading a badass book about racism and buying eyeglasses I don’t need. I wrote about learning some circus skills this summer. As I previously mentioned, I wrote about the “real” behind-the-scenes action of our latest video.

I’m currently writing a blog post about compost-pile maggots and their relationship to chickens, a new cat that has taken up residency in our futon, and a thousand tiny cardstock circles, marking the death of my dreams in this whole make-your-own-music-box-tune charade.

September shows:

Sunday, September 7, 4:30pm, Animales Animados, Tiguex Park, Albuquerque, NM
***This is a circus thing! You should come to it! It’ll be super fun!

Friday, September 12, 7:00pm, Charlie’s Spic and Span, Las Vegas, NM
a Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band show

Sunday, September 14, 11:00-noon, Urban Farm and Harvest Fest at Open Space Visitor’s Center, Albuquerque, NM
a Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band show

Sunday, September 28, 3:00-4:00pm, Old Town Gazebo, Albuquerque, NM
Walkingly yours,