Last week, I appeared on Morning Edition to ruminate on one of the most significant events of the past decade in music -- namely, the debut of American Idol in the summer of 2002. Included in the piece was the chorus of a "song" I'd written: a parody of the sort of mawkish ballad the Idol winner always sings at the end of each season. You can read or listen to the piece here, though I should warn you that listening means hearing me actually sing something I call "On the Wings of Dreaming Eagles."
I was striving to emulate the booming stridency of a Clay Aiken or a David Archuleta, both Idol runners-up, and naturally wound up making Aiken and Archuleta sound like pint-size Pavarottis by comparison. But reader Timothy Trudeau and his colleagues at Syntax Records had a different idea, and instead opted to transform me -- using AutoTune, looping and other studio imagineering -- from a 12th-rate Archuleta into a fourth-rate Cher. I'd already received some sweetening and reverb with the assistance of ace NPR engineer Mark Greenhouse, but the Syntax remix is... well, it's something else entirely.
At 63 nauseatingly infectious seconds, "On the Wings of Dreaming Eagles" now functions as the perfect soundtrack to your short-but-grating dance party. Second for second, it may indeed be the worst song ever written, and yet it's available here for free download -- suitable for rousting out hostage-takers, driving away loitering teenagers, or enacting revenge on noisy neighbors. I heartily recommend listening to it when the clock strikes midnight on Jan. 1, thus ensuring that nothing worse happens to you for the rest of 2010. Enjoy!
(Unbelievably, the good people at Syntax also made a video.)