Paint By Numbers Which shade do you prefer, Picasso Blue or Kapoor Vantablack? In this music parody, songs with colors in the title were rewritten to be about famous artists.
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Paint By Numbers

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Paint By Numbers

Paint By Numbers

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(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JONATHAN COULTON: This is NPR's ASK ME ANOTHER. I'm Jonathan Coulton. Now here's your host, Ophira Eisenberg.

(APPLAUSE)

OPHIRA EISENBERG, HOST:

Thank you, Jonathan. Hey, Picasso, I'm walking here. That's my impression of me in an art museum bumping into people.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: And our contestants Michael and Constantine will soon play a game about famous artists, so let's check in with them. Michael, your family is, as you said, very into Thanksgiving.

MICHAEL MARINO: (Laughter) We are. Yeah.

EISENBERG: OK. What does that entail?

MARINO: So we - everyone submits five songs for a Thanksgiving playlist.

EISENBERG: Oh.

MARINO: And then that is the soundtrack for Thanksgiving weekend. So the playlist is introduced on Wednesday night before Thanksgiving...

EISENBERG: This is hilarious.

MARINO: ...Which we call injection Wednesday...

(LAUGHTER)

MARINO: ...Because we inject the turkey with marinade. And everyone gets a turn to use the syringe.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: Yeah. Constantine, you're an aviation lawyer, and you collect katana samurai swords.

CONSTANTINE PETALLIDES: Yes, indeed.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So can you gate check a katana samurai sword?

PETALLIDES: Funny that you mention that because the last one that I got was from a couple of friends in Japan, and they made the mistake of bringing it over to the airport. Guy asks, oh, what's in that particular box...

EISENBERG: Yeah.

PETALLIDES: ...When they're trying to check it. And he says, oh, a sword. Guy immediately gets on his little walkie talkie, says something in Japanese. And just as my friend thinks he's going to be hauled off by Japanese TSA, this little, old man with an attache and a jeweler's loupe comes out and just takes the sword out, looks at it, pokes at it with a couple things to make sure it's not an ancient artifact and signs a piece of paper, and it was in JFK.

EISENBERG: That's interestingly frightening.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: So this is a music parody game about famous artists called Paint by Number. Michael, stay in the lead, and you are in the final round. Constantine, you need to get more points, or we're going to make you stare at paint swatches...

MARINO: (Laughter).

EISENBERG: ...Until you break down in tears in the middle of a Home Depot.

MARINO: (Laughter) Wouldn't be the first time that happened.

EISENBERG: Yes.

COULTON: We rewrote songs with colors in the title to be about famous artists. Ring in and tell me who I'm singing about. And, if you get that right, for a bonus point, you can name the song or artist who made it famous. You ready? Here we go.

(Singing, playing guitar) Fifty-five self-portraits made in the blue house down the street. Monkeys, birds and dogs appear on my shoulders, at my feet. Fifty-five self-portraits made, black hair woven in a braid. And if you look above my eye, 55 unibrows go by.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Michael.

MARINO: It's Frida Kahlo.

COULTON: It is. That's correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song or artist?

MARINO: Yeah. It's "99 Red Balloons."

COULTON: That's right, by Nena. That's correct. Here's your next one.

(Singing, playing guitar) I see a circus, and I want it made of dots. I see a river, and I want it to be dots.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing, playing guitar) I see the people lounging on the Grande Jatte. And pointillism is the only thing I've got.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

PETALLIDES: Seurat.

COULTON: Constantine - Seurat, Georges Seurat. That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

PETALLIDES: And the song is "Paint It Black."

COULTON: "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones.

(Singing, playing guitar) These other painters tried to forge me, but they should know that I'm the only one. Don't even ask, I can't work faster. You shouldn't rush a damn Dutch master. More blue and yellow - I'm done. It's a nice day for art again.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: (Singing and playing guitar) Here's a nice girl with a pearl earring.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Michael.

MARINO: Is it Rembrandt?

COULTON: I'm sorry. It is not Rembrandt.

PETALLIDES: Monet?

COULTON: Constantine, do you know the answer? Neither is it Monet. So what we're looking for was Vermeer. The song was "White Wedding" by Billy Idol. Here's your next one.

(Singing, playing guitar) Ancient vase shattered on the floor. Installation - give the man what for. Chinese gov wants me locked away. Still protest no matter what they say.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Then there's a lot of guitar playing. Yes, Constantine?

PETALLIDES: Ai Weiwei.

COULTON: Yeah, that is correct. You got it.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: For a bonus point, can you name the song or artist?

PETALLIDES: It's out of my head.

COULTON: It's out of your head. That was "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix. All right, this is your last clue. (Singing, playing guitar) Guess who - da ba dee da ba dye, he's an anonymous guy painting stencils so wry and murals done on the sly. Shred it after you buy. You'll never see him - he's shy. Da ba dee da ba dye.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

COULTON: Constantine.

PETALLIDES: Banksy, Eiffel 65.

COULTON: Yeah.

(LAUGHTER)

COULTON: That is correct.

(APPLAUSE)

COULTON: The song is "Blue."

EISENBERG: All right. Let's do it. Banksy, please stand up.

COULTON: Yeah, he's here.

(LAUGHTER)

EISENBERG: OK. You both did very, very well.

(APPLAUSE)

EISENBERG: Nice job. Nice job. And, after two games, Constantine is moving to our final round.

(SOUNDBITE OF SMALL BLACK SONG, "PHOTOJOURNALIST")

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