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about

I used to do soundtracking and effects for Jesse Cowell, SUNY Albany's resident superstar student filmmaker. A true craftsman, Jesse would slave over every shot, every cut, squeezing almost professional quality out of the school's shitty amateur equipment.

We were all shocked to see a student filmmaker from California represent on one of the late-night talk shows (was it Conan O'Brien?) after winning a contract with Columbia Pictures in some sort of contest. This person's winning entry was a five-minute short about her friends eating Atomic Fireball candy and making dumb faces.

We were struck by the unfairness of it all - the implication that the cutesy quirkiness of this dopey short film was somehow more artistically legitimate than Jesse's painstakingly-constructed and throughly-entertaining action dramas. So I wrote "Good Movie" on Jesse's behalf.

The song required two voices - a reserved tone for Jesse's story, and a more over-the-top lounge-lizard thing for the other filmmaker. For my original demos I just recorded myself at two different speeds, but here the main vocal was perfomed by the wonderful Marta Garrett.

Don't miss the big 20th-Century Fox Hollywood ending!

lyrics

This guy named Jesse
He made a movie
He worked for hours
And hours on end
He thought out plot twists
For entertainment value
He wrought a screenplay
And then he filmed and filmed and filmed

You had some money
You bought a camera
You had some candy
Laying around
Your friends came over
You filmed them eating
Threw in some music
And you made art and art and art

And meanwhile Jesse
Was blocking angles
And checking lighting
And buying props
And finding actors
(And dealing with them)
And shooting retakes
And then he spliced and spliced and spliced

But you knew someone
Who knew someone
Who knew someone
Who gave awards
And so you entered
Your friends and candy
It was so brilliant
Of course you won and won and won

And meanwhile Jesse
Made a good movie
It had some action
It had big laughs
It didn't insult
Anyone's intellect
But he didn't become
An establishment superstar
'Cause his film wasn't brilliant like yours
It was not art
It was not art
It was not art.

credits

from Song Foundry 3​-​Pack #002, released April 20, 2021
Produced by Jed Davis
Music and lyrics by Jed Davis, published by Eschatonality/ASCAP

Jed Davis: vocals, organ
Marta Garrett: vocals
Davi Mello: guitars
Itaiguara Brandão: bass
Adam Alesi: drums, timbales, cowbell, conga, shaker
Yuri Villar: alto and tenor saxophone
MisterRubato: vibraphone
Ali Bello: violin
Joe Zeitlin: cello

Recorded by musiversal
Additional recording by Jed Davis at Pile of Sound
Mixed by Henrique Vilhena​
Mastered by Chris Hanzsek

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Jed Davis Bristol, Connecticut

Jed Davis is a designer who works in lines, dots, words and sounds.

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