Hey there Somethings!
If you’ve listened to our show (and… who hasn’t?) you know we’re fans of Bonnie Gordon and Xander Jeanneret, collectively known as “The Library Bards” (/jazzhands). Well, they’ve recently had the release of their second album “BomBARDed”, a follow up to their debut album “Bardcore”, and let me tell you.. this is an amazing and worthy follow up.
I grew up on the likes of “Wierd” Al and Doctor Demento, so for me, when it comes to parody songs, the bar is rather high, and I’m pleased to say “BomBARDed” delivers. One of the key things for me that makes a great parody song is the mixing of the parody lyrics into the original lyrics, and nothing is a better example of this than “Princess Bride”. The way Bonnie and Xander tell the story of the story while mixing the parody lyrics to those of “Mr. Brightside” feels not only flawless but natural.
Being a child of 80’s music, I also enjoyed the focus on music from that era. Using song such as AC/DC’s “TNT” and Styx’s “Come Sail Away” as the basis of “DnD” and “Come Fly Away” respectively really brought me back. “BomBARDed” also does an amazing job of touching a number of different (and overlapping) fandoms. Browncoat? Check (“Come Fly Away”). Trekkie? Done. (“Klingon”) Gamer? In to Comics? Want to clone dinosaurs? Check (“DnD”), check (“Comics Fan”) and check (“Welcome to Jurassic Park”). If you’re a sci-fi and/or pop culture fan, this album has something, and most likely multiple somethings, for you.
Not only do Bonnie and Xander show their musical ranges in styles and harmonies (I LOVE the way they growl out “DnD”, and their inter-song banter is amazingly spot on), but the music supplied by Bonecage and Sam Johnides does masterful job of staying amazingly true to the classics while adding enough of their own flourishes to make them fresh and original.
If you like great music, witty pop culture references and supporting independent artists, do yourself a favor and check out this album!
I have to admit, I’m a bit of a fanboy, and I’m a firm believer in amazing art comes from amazing people.
A little background.
I caught a little show called “The Quest”. In doing some research about the show, I stumbled upon contact info for one miss Bonnie Gordon. Blindly reaching out to her to tell her I quickly became a fan of the show and had been rooting for her, I fully expected things to end there. What I shock I got when I received a reply a few days later.
We booked her as a guest on our “Reality Show” episode, and she said she’d bring Xander along too since he was on “King of the Nerds” and that they’d Skype us with some time from a con they were at in Houston.
That, and an over 3 hour conversation with two of the most genuine and friendly people you’d ever meet, became the start of something special for us.
Through their hard work and non-stop con schedule, along with a healthy dose of raw talent, the Library Bards started to blow up (as the kids say) We had the honor of meeting them in person at Anime Fan Fest NJ in 2016 and catching their concert live, so when they launched a Kickstarter for their first studio album, we had to help them make it a reality.
I can safely say, it’s fantastic.
Are they a comedy parody band? Yes. Do they take themselves too seriously? No. But by no stretch does that mean they don’t give it their all this whole album. From the soulful tone in “Black and Red” to the growling refrains in “Now You Have The Bridge Spock” Bonnie’s voice has a great range of intensity while never losing herself to the mimic of the parody. And Xander’s harmonies are airy yet solid while his own verses in songs such as “Accio” and “Regeneration” prove he’s not just a pretty face who can do harmonies, but a great vocalist in his own right.
Beyond the quality of the voices, the lyrics are slick and witty and never feel forced for the sake of the parody or the rhyme. It’s easy to see why this duo’s star is on the rise.
You can find “Bardcore” on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon and wherever else you download your music from.
You can find The Library Bards on Twitter @LibraryBards, Youtube and Facebook at /librarybards, find their merch at dftba.com/libratybards and at librarybards.com
If you’re a fan of all things funny, nerdy, geeky and awesome, do yourself a favor and get this album!
If you’re looking to hear us talk to the Bards, take a listen to Episode 52 right here!
Last weekend, Podcast Rob and I had the pleasure to go check out Anime FanFest!
After our obvious love affair with the Library Bards, we heard they were going to be in town and there was no way we were going to miss it for the world. Along the way we got to go and see the sights at NJ’s newest Anime Convention, filling in the empty space left by quite a few shows that have moved on to other locations. Having been a frequent visitor and guest of some of those other shows, it was nice to see the old convention hall.
I’ll give you the honest positive and honest negative.
The positive. These guys know what they’re doing in terms of space and arrangement. The convention, being first year, definitely has room for growth, but it didn’t feel like you were marching around to far corners of the world. They kept the show condensed and easy to get to everything. The vendors all arranged with a spacious layout. The media area carpeted and accessible. The guests visible right as you walk in on the other side, with the artist alley right in the middle. The show was even progressive enough to have all of the cosplay artists in the mix with the Artist Alley folks, which is nice to see that the craft of cosplay is being given its own section right up front at a show. The entire presentation was sleek and streamlined so that there were no bottlenecks to speak of, and the panels/halls were curtained off right off the con floor.
The negative really is that the show didn’t have tons to see and do. The company that put it together had sleek packages and promotions, so there is definitely some umpf behind what they’re doing, but everything they’ve run previous has been comic book shows. (This is solely based on their website MAD EVENT MANAGEMENT, and if I’m wrong – please correct me) Anime shows live and die by their panel work and by their fan service and interactivity. A big anime con features non-stop panels running non-stop in five rooms about everything from fanfiction to art to crafts beyond what is being sold in the vendor hall to specific analysis on shows and subgenres. The panel list was threadbare with only a few fan-oriented panels, and even those seem to be polished a little too shiny. There is room to grow there, and I think the first direction they need to do is look at their audience as very different from their comic show roots.. they’re totally different machines. The New York Anime Con failed just as quickly for very similar reasons.
We got to see their Masquerade, Karaoke, and Greggo’s Game Shows – and they were all put on with the same pizazz I would expect – as they were hosted by folks that have done anime conventions for years. I hope next year there are tons more people there to see them.
We of course also stuck around to see the Library Bards performances during the Masquerade, and it was great to finally get to hang out with Bonnie and Xander, and they were just as charming and wonderful and fantabulous as we always expected them to be. Dinner and drinks along with some of the staff and volunteers of the show later, and it really was just like we were talking to friends we had known beyond just podcasting interviews. Thank you Bards, we can’t wait to see you tour around this area so we can be shameless fanboys for ya, yet again.
Welcome back Somethings.. or perhaps you are new to this whole thing. Thanks for showing up.
What originally started out as a show about reality shows has spiraled into SomethingMadness by gettingthe fantastic opportunity to spend some time with The Library Bards!
Who are they intrepid Something Listeners? Well they are the nerdy singing duo of Bonnie Gordon and Xander Jeanneret! How do they relate to reality shows? Well Xander was on Season 2 of the TBS show King of the Nerds and Bonnie was on the first season of The Quest. Do you see how this went? No? Not yet? Fine. We explain it better during the show.
We want to thank the Bards for taking time out of their convention schedule to hang online with us and we look forward to everything they do next.
Ok – here we go!