Behind the Music: "I Wanna Make Out With You at Cons"

By “Lucky” Annie LeBlanc

Buy the song on our second album, “Sloppy Seconds!”

1. This is the first original I've written that was actually performed! My friend Phoebe helped me with the uke chord progression and I practiced it for months before I nervously brought it to the band. I was so excited that they liked it and wanted to perform it.

2. I have a bit of a... history? reputation? for developing crushes on cosplayers at fandom cons. In a few, shining cases, those crushes have evolved into makeout buddies. More often, they have resulted in either me failing to work up the courage to ask them, me being unavailable for casual makeouts, or asking and embarrassing myself.

3. The best improv banter we've ever had for this song was at Dragon Con 2018:

Me: "This song is NOT based on a true story."
Saber: "Maybe someday you'll be able to say that with a straight face."
Me: "Oh honey, I am FAR too queer to do anything with a straight face."

Fun postscript: a dude came up to me after the show to tell me he thought I was awesome, but "it's too bad you're gay!" I paused, and said something like, "I'm pansexual, not gay - I like all genders, but I'm taken right now" and he was like, "Oh," and walked away.

4. The breakdown, with "I finally worked up the courage to ask you, but then my heart just broke because your Facebook status changed to 'in a relationship'" is based on a true personal experience, and is actually the incident that fueled me to write this song in the first place. So thank you, dude who ended up being taken off the market. I think the song was worth the rejection, and I'm pretty happy with my current relationship situation. Everybody wins!

5. It's always a thrill when we perform this live at the point where, just before the final chorus, I yell, "Everyone!" and people sing along. I want to bottle that feeling.

Behind the Music: "Bunnies in My Brain"

By “Lucky” Annie LeBlanc

1. It took me the better part of a year to write this one. Who knew it would be so hard to write about something that I deal with every single day of my life? I ultimately had to set a hard deadline for myself to get it done.

2. When I only had a couple fragments of lyrics, this one started in my head sounding like a big-bandish, loungey sort of classic swing song. One of the things about writing music, though, is that you have to write the type of music your band can actually perform - and a song in that style wouldn't sound right without several instruments backing it up, and we just don't have that, unfortunately. Not only that, I wasn't sure my range/vocal talents were up to the task of a big, rich, sweeping jazz song.

3. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of another melody that would work with the song, and with my self-imposed deadline looming, I decided to make it a parody instead. I looked around for folk songs that had a frenetic pace, and I remembered performing "Chicken on a Raft" with Pirates for Sail. Once I figured that out, the lyrics came together pretty quickly. (I find lyrics a lot easier to write when I have a rhythm in mind first.)

4. The concept of this song is that the song itself is a long, anxious overthink of a concept - in this case, being in love with someone who tends to ease your anxiety when they're around, but being conscious of the fact that you can't rely on them to ease your anxiety (co-dependence is never a solution, kids!). As someone pointed out, sometimes being in love increases your anxiety, and that's VERY true, but I decided not to work that into the song because I didn't think it was as interesting or complex as the idea that sometimes you have people in your life who decrease your anxiety just by being around, but knowing you can't get dependent upon that effect, that you have to manage your own mental health and be able to do it independently.

5. I did a songwriting stream on Twitch for this song - the first and only time I've done that. It was really fun and I want to do that again sometime.

6. The song was written by the end of June 2018, but we didn't actually start rehearsing it until early 2019. One of the delays was the need to learn a couple of new songs that were written specifically for Dragon Con, and then we focused on other music we had to prep for studio recording first, and then we had a bit of a holdup where we were trying to find a version of "Chicken on a Raft" we wanted to emulate for the purposes of building harmonies.

7. I wish we had a good recording of us performing this at the Limerick Pub a couple weeks ago - Saber added the cajone (drum) to it, and it makes the song even better.

8. Yes, the song will be on the new album coming out this year (and it will include the cajone).

Behind the Music: "Bibliophilia"

By “Lucky” Annie LeBlanc

"Bibliophilia" is my favorite song I've ever written (and I love the photo below that Saber took for the cover art!). I'm so psyched everyone can now buy it as a single.

Some background on the song:
1. My mom is awesome and took me to the Rochester Public Library, pretty much weekly, from a very young age (I think my earliest memories of it were when I was 3 years old or so). We also visited the Bookmobile every other week when it came to my neighborhood, though I preferred the main library because they had a dollhouse that changed seasonally, and puppets you could check out! I've had a library card of my own as long as I can remember (and now I have cards for three different county systems, whaaaat).

2. I've always been in awe of libraries - even more so today, recognizing that in our consumer-driven culture, libraries are one of the only places you can go without having to spend a single cent, and you can come away with education or entertainment. You don't even have to physically GO to the library to gain its benefits - through services like Overdrive (which is name-dropped in the song), you can get ebooks and audiobooks delivered to your electronic devices for free. And there's usually a reference librarian available by phone or email to help you answer questions, which is phenomenal.

3. I was inspired to write this song as I was getting ready to go volunteer at a local library for a day. I was flirting with my boyfriend and we started coming up with terrible and wonderful library and book-themed double-entendres and puns, and...well.

4. The song originally had a completely different melody, but when I sang it at rehearsal, it clearly wasn't working. I went back to the drawing board, and came up with the melody you hear today.

5. I do not advocate having sex in libraries. Consent is mandatory, and that includes the consent of people around you in a public place who might hear you, see you, or have to clean up after you. And note that the punchline of the song is that we are actually singing about reading erotica in the library.

6. I had to change one of the lyrics after we'd started performing the song (and after the YouTube video of it was released). Originally we said "I'll meet you in 649.65" because when I Googled "Dewey decimal sex education books," that's what came up. Repeatedly. Buuuut then when I was looking around at my library I realized that section is embedded within child psychology, and consists of books intended to teach very young children about where babies come from, and I was kinda horrified. Not the vibe I was going for at all. So we've since changed the lyric to "Shelf 306.7's where I feel alive," which is the adult sex education book section, my original intention.

7. One final note as a pitch for libraries: libraries may be taxpayer-funded, but have been subjected to massive budget cuts over recent decades. Most libraries have a foundation you can donate to, and sometimes there are special perks for being a monthly contributor. And if you're trying to de-clutter, most libraries accept donations of new and used books for their Friends of the Library program, and possibly for their collections. One of my habits to support my favorite authors and libraries is to pre-order hardcovers from my favorite authors, then donate them to the library as soon as they arrive. The benefit is threefold: 1. The library gets a new release they can either throw into their collection or sell for a decent amount at their Friends bookstore, 2. I'm helping my author friends boost their sales numbers (since hardcover orders count more than ebook orders, and I always order the ebook too), and 3. If it's added to the collection, it can help my favorite authors find new audiences, especially if the library hadn't already ordered a copy.