Food, Wine & Just Good Living With SaucyJoe

It started with a love of food, wine & fun and blossomed into a maddening pursuit of the best recipes, techniques, grills, smokers, wines, crafted beers, rubs, marinades and sauces... We do more than play with our meat though -- we review and discuss all things cooking, drinking, reading, laughing and living at SaucyJoe's.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Will Compose for BBQ?

We found this online after an "Esquire Minute" on XM caught our attention. Seems a few months back contempo-crooner John Mayer issued a challenge: to take song lyrics he had in a half-baked state and convert them to a song worthy of inclusion on his next cd and for an Esquire "ta-da."

The results are in, and over 2200 song writers responded and blew back Mayer's hair with their creative abilities and fervent response. Pretty cool stuff. Here's an excerpt from the article, and links to the winning songs are below. AND, just a reminder to support your local music education programs -- good info can be found at Support Music, Music Education Madness, and American Music Conference.

Tim Fagan Is A Winner
By John Mayer

And so are the other 2,212 aspiring musicians who gave my orphaned lyrics a home.

When I offered up some lyrics in this magazine a few months ago, I knew that for every submission Esquire would receive, there would be a story. Sure enough, when the entries started flowing in, they all sounded unique, yet they all shared a common inspiration. Every single person decided upon reading or hearing about the contest that this was something he or she was capable of doing. And 2,213 people proved themselves right.

For those of you who don't sleep next to songwriters, music is an all-consuming project, I promise you. The heart I heard in these songs made me feel instantly silly for having thought to place myself as any authority on songwriting. Then it occurred to me that I could help the winner of this contest get a leg up in his or her music career. And so I didn't feel so ashamed.

When I heard Tim Fagan's song, I yelled out loud at the speakers, pleading with him not to drop the ball on his way to a touchdown. He didn't. His song has a spare piano intro that's amazing in its economy. Tim's vocal performance is delivered with heart but not hurt. His composition is a string of events laid out so that there's always something else to look forward to, namely a nice blues-guitar solo at the end. It's a tight little number that took him two weeks to finish.

So Tim Fagan's my pick as the winner. He's just recently moved out to Los Angeles and rented a room, and he plays the area clubs when he's not working his part-time job. But there are 2,212 other winners as well, each of whom felt called to contribute in a personal way. They all hit that same "record" button and sang that same first lyric. And each of them conquered one of the most daunting places a songwriter can visit—the long line at the post office. Thank you all.

Q+A: Tim Fagan, Winner
When John Mayer called you, you told him you were going to soil yourself.
TF: My head is still kind of spinning. I was sitting in my car on a lunch break eating Chinese takeout. I answered with a mouthful of rice and it's John Mayer on the phone. He started singing my song. It was bizarre. I sang along with my best moo-goo-gai-pan voice.
ESQ: On paper, those lyrics look tough to work into a song, don't they?
TF: Masochistically isn't a word that gets a lot of credit in songwriting. But its time is now.
ESQ: You have to choose one: "Daughters" or "Your Body Is a Wonderland"?
TF: I play a mean version of "Your Body Is a Wonderland." The funky part in the middle gets going nice and low.
ESQ: How long before we see the Fender guitar you won on eBay?
TF: EBay isn't in the picture on this one. This guitar's getting played the minute I get it.
ESQ: Unfortunately, winning the contest doesn't lift you out of poverty.
TF: One day it's Chinese and John Mayer. Today it's tacos and Esquire. If I stick to my fast-food regimen, I can stay afloat. I'm getting closer every day to an actual meal.
—Andy Langer

The Songs:
Put Those Hands Together

Here, Tim Fagan's winning recording and those of the five runners-up

The Grand Prize: Tim Fagan, Los Angeles

The Frank Zappa Award: Keith Rubin, Fort Lauderdale

Best Dorm-Room Duo: Brandon Paddock/Greg Perrine, Chicago

The Emmylou Harris Award: Liz Thurman, Nashville

The Smell the Glove Award: Chris Feener, Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland

Sexiest Import: Sonal D'Silva: Mumbai, India


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