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Musical Pairings Theme Song: Dubious Ranger – Love Is The Dish

November 24th, 2009

So it’s official. Like “Shaft, the Dukes of Hazzard and Darkwing Duck” before us, Musical Pairings @ eating/sf has its own theme song. And it feels good. I mean, just having an official theme song feels really, really good. The fact that the song is actually good makes it feel ever better. So how did this happen? Burgeoning San Francisco indie-rockers Dubious Ranger are to blame. They have devised a “brilliant plan to sell out with such extreme forcefulness that it will make Gene Simmons shrug and walk away.” So what is this evil plan? Check it out:

“For the absurdly low price of only $25, San Francisco indie-rockers Dubious Ranger will write and record a song that you can sing along to on your podcast, play on infinite repeat at your ex-girlfriend’s wedding, or obsessively guard until some meddling hobbits throw it into the fires of Mt. Doom. As long as your credit card clears, the possibilities are endless.”

You simply select the following elements: “1.) Genre: (Pick a primary and optionally a secondary genre) indie rock, folk, classic rock, modern rock, 60′s pop, 80′s pop, psychedelic, indie pop, country, hip hop / R&B, classical/church, electronica/techno/dance, world music, experimental, commercial jingle, Ween (“wild card”). 2.) Lyrics: Give entire lyrics, specify a few lyrics, or just give general subject matter. General absurdity is encouraged. 3.) References: Name 1-3 songs you’d like this song to sound like. 4.) Instrumentation: (pick as many as you want) Rock drums, hand percussion, piano, organ, synth, electronic noise, beats, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, electric bass, acoustic bass, the soft but resolute footsteps of Hugh Laurie barefoot in the foyer, classical strings, horns, woodwinds, mallet percussion, etc… 5.) Vocals: None, Some, Lots, Oodles; and 6.) Tempo: Slow, Mid, Fast, Ludicrous.”

The songs can last from one to four minutes and can be ordered from the band’s website: http://www.dubiousranger.com/v1/buycustomsong

I asked them to devise a song using piano, acoustic guitar, and hand claps that sounded like an indie-folk cover of a classic rock song. 5 days later “Love Is The Dish” was waiting in my inbox. They explained the creative process this way:

“The idea of pairing music with food in a folk song led us to the obvious choice of framing the two concepts in a love story (and also opened our lyrics up to numerous shared descriptive language such as “sweet”, “delicious” and “Vanilla Ice”); much like you guys being married and working on this blog together, there’s something wonderfully romantic about these two concepts “finding each other”. From there, it was just an issue of framing the chords and melodies in an Iron & Wine-like progression, and using a standard folk trope of describing objects and scenery in order to convey emotion, all while making sure our hooks could also somehow fit in a hair metal anthem if they were covered by Def Leppard. We’re quite satisfied with the outcome, and hope you like its playful romance and softly humorous imagery as much as we do.”

We loved it actually. I’d say the result wouldn’t have sounded out of place on the Magnetic Fields classic 69 Love Songs. It has a sense of humor, it has a beautiful piano melody, it has lyrics that reference Mudhoney and Vanilla Ice, and it has a quality that I’d describe as “awesomeness.” Check it out below, and then go order your own theme song. While you are at it you should stop by the band’s website to download their latest EP which is a fun collection of covers of songs by Radiohead, David Bowie, Blondie, Talking Heads, etc.

Dubious Ranger – Love Is the Dish (the Musical Pairings @ eating/sf theme song)
Dubious Ranger – Heart Of Glass (Blondie Cover)