The Seventh Day of Mellowmas: Crazy Train

Written by Mellowmas, Mellowmas 2015, Music

All aboard the Clip Art Express for Dale Hansen’s holiday Elvis “tribute”

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Jason: Hey Jeff! I had a horrible dream!

Jeff: Was it a dream where Mellowmas kept going after this year? You son of a bitch?

Jason: *Mellowmas quitting dance*
But seriously — and when I use the word “seriously,” I obviously never mean it — you know what I’m jonesin’ for this Mellowmas? I’m jonesin’ for someone who is one part singer-songwriter, one part Elvis Presley tribute artist.

Jeff: Oh, there are so many artists to choose from!

Jason: Someone who loves writing songs that have what they believe is a memorable melody with a catchy bridge or chorus.

Jeff: I experienced several of them while searching for new Mellowmas songs.

Jason: You experienced several Elvis Presley tribute artists?

Jeff: Well, I don’t know if “tribute” is the right word.

Jason: Pretty sure it isn’t.

HOLY CRAP I FOUND WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR

Jeff: Is it the Greek rockabilly singer Manos Wild? Because that guy is kind of Elvisy and also sings about Christmas.

Jason: I understand three words in that last question.

Jeff: Never mind, we can talk about that during next Mellowmas. OH WAIT.

Jason: Look, I found Dale Hansen!

Jeff: Dale Whatsen?

Jason: Dale Hansen!

“I am a singer songwriter and an Elvis Presley tribute artist. I love writing songs that have what I believe is a memorable melody with a catchy bridge or chorus.”

Jeff: That’s AMAZING. Good for you, Dale Hansen.

Jason: He’s released a song called “Christmas Train.” Judging from the artwork, I’m guessing this is not a clever re-working of “Crazy Train.”

Jeff: “Pat Monahan’s podcast is pretty solid.” –Matt “Crazy for Train” Wardlaw

Jason: Although again, judging from the artwork, I am willing to bet that Dale Hansen is TOTALLY Crazy Train.

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Jeff: Crazy Train full of clip art!

Dale Hansen, come on, man. Surely you know people that can help you out here.

Jason: I don’t know if anybody can truly help Dale Hansen.

Jeff: I’m starting to feel like no one can help ME. Won’t anyone stop me from listening to “Christmas Train”?

Jason: Not me!

Jeff: Son of a bitch.

Jason: I love a song that starts with amplifier hum.

Jeff: I prefer amplifier hum to this Casio noise. Oh, and those vocals.

Jason: I am pretty sure he missed the third note in.

So I hear a vague Presley thing going on, if Presley was tone-deaf.

Jeff: And palpably disinterested in what he was singing.

Train whistle!

Jason: Wow, the train sound was off-key too!

BTW, these drums are real.

Jeff: Oh my God, this is garbage.

Jason: SYNTH SOLO, BITCHES

Jeff: Those strings are hurting my heart.

Jason: PIANO SOLO, BITCHES

HORSE HOOF SOLO, BITCHES

Jeff: I’m picturing Dale Hansen leaning into his mic while tapping his cheek.

Jason: I heard that after this was released, the creators of GarageBand hung themselves.

JINGLE BELL SOLO, BITCHES

This just gets worse and worse. It’s amazing.

Jeff: I love how Dale Hansen’s idea of “production” and “arrangement” is just adding whatever sound effects are referenced in the lyrics.

Jason: The bells at the end! I’m crying.

Jeff: WOW.

Jason: He couldn’t find a single sound effect in the same key. It’s like he went out of his way to find them. Like he recorded the song and misread the key it was recorded in.

Jeff: When he said “Merry Christmas, everybody,” I got sad. I think there’s a good chance we might be the only two people who ever listen to this.

Jason: I would have loved it if he had been like “Merry Christmas, everybody!” and just started rattling off the names of his cats.

You know, Jeff…he’s got other Christmas songs. I’m just saying.

Jeff: I was just about to say that!

The best thing about Dale Hansen’s artwork is that it’s virtually identical from song to song.

Jason: Except for that one song where he puts the title in quotation marks, for no apparent reason. “COME TO ME”

Jeff: Pretty sure he’s wearing the same shirt on the covers of “Come to Me,” “I Want to Write You a Love Song,” and “Christmas Train.” And then his other good shirt on the covers of “Reindeer and Santa Claus” and “Christmas Day with You.”

Jason: The red sweater is probably covering up a stain.

Jeff: The stain was left there when Roland Trevino spilled coffee on Dale Hansen’s shirt.

Jason: In the “liner notes” to “Christmas Day With You,” he says “I just love to write good easy listening music where the melody is memorable and the lyrics are clear.” Why does he sound so defensive? We’d love that for you too, Dale!

In the “liner notes” to “So Christmas Time is Here”: “This particular melody and lyric came to me early in the month of November, 2013. I was inspired by a music track from an old movie. I went to my keyboard to try to play the melody, but instead, came up with the one in this song. I went back to the music track off the movie I had been watching to make sure the two melodies were different, and they were very different. So I knew that this melody was of my own creation.”

You know how, in sitcoms, when someone is clearly lying, they overtalk in an exaggerated fashion?

Jeff: Wait, are you calling Dale Hansen a plagiarist?

Jason: I am saying no such thing.

Jeff: Because I’m pretty sure if he did steal this song, the person who actually wrote it would sue to avoid being named the real author.

Jason: “This song, “So Christmas Time Is Here” is my latest effort and I have received great and positive feedback about it.” Okay, buddy! We believe you!

Jeff: “From my cats.”