Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Fringemunks to end episodic recaps after Season 3

As announced on Facebook earlier this week, I will cease to produce The Fringemunks' episodic recap parody songs of Fringe, after Season 3 (and after a total of 65 recap songs have been completed and released).

For me, this was a simple and easy decision. I do love the project, but I know that to continue on past this season would be too much of a burden. Having said that, I have nothing but great things to say about the project, the fans, friends and supporters - all in all, a win-win situation that grew out of thin air.

So does this mean the end of The Fringemunks? Not exactly - you may see/hear them pop up in some odd project or song once in a blue moon. But it's the grueling one-song-per-episode schedule that was becoming a bit of a chore.

However, keep in mind that there are still 19 more songs left to be released before the project's episodic run ends at 65 songs, so the ending - while clear - is still only on the horizon. Until then, enjoy the ride!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The current state of "The Fringemunks" project

Truly a global audience!

It's hard to believe that, as of this writing, The Fringemunks project is now 45 songs old (not including the odds-and-sods tracks of Bloody Rare). I thought I'd share a few thoughts about where things are with this project.

What started off as a fun 2-song joke has turned into the flagship project of my website, and I never expected it to go this far, this long, and this deep; and never did I expect that it would help me obtain an audience (however big or small) from around the globe. Each time someone overseas listens to a song, someone's dream (mine) is coming true!

That's not even including the possibility that the "David Wu" character in Episode 2.18 may have been more than just a coincidence; and I haven't even mentioned the plug by Alyssa Milano earlier this year. Meeting the cast in Feb. 2009 in New York was an amazing experience. These are great stories to tell my future grandchildren.

I'm not by any stretch of the means an "expert" in TV series, nor do I share the same type of enthusiasm or passion as some other amazing Fringe-ies, and that makes the accomplishments of The Fringemunks project all the more remarkable!

But, as you can imagine, it is a huge epic project and - not an easy one. If it were easy, more people would be doing it, I'm sure!

The toughest part now is actually the lyrics - that's the phase that takes me the longest - scrutinizing every phrase, every word, every line, every verse, every chorus - to make sure it flows and that it is accurate. The music is a little easier. Season 3 storylines involve so many moving parts, to the point where it is hard to recap an episode from only one person's POV per song.

On top of that, each song now is now under a bit more of a microscope than, say, the Season 1 songs - in those early songs, there was hardly any pressure. Now each song is reviewable and ... may I say ... sometimes The Fringemunks can be a tough act to follow, even for The Fringemunks themselves!

I find that I have less and less time to work on the songs nowadays, so in the very spare amount of time I do have, I try to make it count - and means sometimes doing tracks in one take and leaving things raw (which is actually not a bad thing to do). But it also means that it can be tough to keep up with an already-busy schedule. I'm 45 songs in, but there are currently already 51 episodes out, so I'm 6 behind.

I have stated my complaints about FOX for Fringe's timeslot, yes. I have stated that the move to Fridays could very well mean the end of the show by Season 3's finale, yes. There is a chance I might need to cut off The Fringemunks' episodic songs after a certain amount of time, yes. But I need to make it clear in case it isn't already clear: I don't personally want the show to end, nor do I want it to end merely for the sake of relieving me from parody-making duties. If I really want to quit, I'll quit, regardless of whether or not the show continues.

If there's a bit of a constant shift back and forth between wanting to continue and not wanting to, then that is also the mark of any longterm project. Whereas a project can last 3+ years, life changes month-to-month and week-to-week, and I'm essentially not the same person (or in the same state of being) as I was when Fringe started.

But while things change, there is a constant - the released music. The project evolves, and the music approach changes song-to-song, but once a song is released, it remains as is. And I have found that they actually age well in time, like red wine. I thank the supporters/fans of the project for this, as they are the ones who really make the project worthwhile! They even show more passion for my productions than I do at many times! Some know my own lyrics better than I do!

So, moving forward... let's continue to have some fun. And thanks for listening.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How I Lost 30 Pounds

In August 2008, I decided to take control of my health. Since then, I have lost over 30 pounds. Here's how I did it:

1. Eating 3 meals a day, including breakfast.
2. Eating more vegetables/fruit.
3. Eating healthy portions. (This is key - no food is off limits, but higher-calorie foods should be limited.)
4. Recognizing which foods are healthier - no need to count calories if this is practiced.
5. Drinking more water.
6. Limiting sugar intake, in both foods and drink.
7. Exercising, including running and team sports (dodgeball/softball)
8. Limiting the amount of times I eat out after 9 PM.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Fringemunks: Some random thoughts as I near completion of Season 2 songs

Just wanted to say that The Fringemunks project, in retrospect, almost single-handedly resurrected my music career. Before it, my music career was in shambles, and was in disappointment mode. With music ministry coming to a screeching halt in 2007, and with my music not generating much buzz, I led the life of many a-musician, just inching by, making music and hoping people would listen. Not too many people did over time.

The Fringemunks and all the buzz resulting from it gave me the adrenaline/motivation I needed. It really is nice to know people are listening to the songs - even in a silly project like this. The fact people actually come to me and ask me "what song is next?" rather than me having to motivate people to listen, is something I'm not as accustomed to. Some celebrities have heard the songs, too. Who would have thought?

So, anyway, 5 songs left for me to recap for Season 2. Epis. 2.18: The Man from the Other Side will involve the 'munks singing about the David Wu character in one part, which will be fun. I'll parody Red Hot Chili Pepper's "Otherside." I'll use an instrumental stripped down to its bare essence.

Then Epis. 2.19: Brown Betty will be one of the most talked about productions of the entire Fringemunks repertoire, I can predict. How do I recap a somewhat "musical" episode with music? I think I found a way.

Then Epis. 2.20: Northwest Passage. Well, since that Pearl Jam dude scored this episode, would it be feasible for me to parody Pearl Jam? I haven't decided if I will yet, but that would be an obvious option.

Then Epis.'s 2.21 & 2.22: Over There, Parts 1 & 2 ... being that they were separated out, I will opt to create 2 songs, one for each part. If I try to combine it into 1 song, it will either be too long because I want to mention all the details, or it will be at regular length and I will end up missing out on mentioning some key details. Considering that there are zeppelins in the sky on the other side, would it make sense for me to parody a Led Zeppelin song to recap one of the parts? And how will our final Season 2 song end? I think I found the most epic way.

And perhaps I'll sing, without my voice sped-up, for a verse or so in one of the 5 remaining songs. Who knows? And can you believe that there will be 43 Fringemunk songs about Fringe in existence? ...and counting...

Monday, May 10, 2010

Fringemunks songs for Fringe episodes 2.16 and 2.17 will go "back to basics"

The past several songs of the Fringemunks have been fun, rewarding, but also a bit complex. The project is definitely in a different place now than it was a year ago at this time. At the time, the project was merely a "side project" to say the least. Nowadays, it is near (but not totally in) the forefront of my music career - it is, after all, my most successful "brand" of music, even if it is not at the heart of my music career as a whole.

So admittedly, the bar I've been setting for the songs has been so high that I find it hard to follow it sometimes. The difficulty level of the songs (having to learn the songs, perform them well instrumentally, create lyrics, harmonies, etc.) has been hard to keep up with at times.

I've received more comments and encouragement for the past 8 songs (I'm already up to 36 songs) than any time before - but I think it's time for a slight change of pace so I can continue the journey in an efficient manner. Not that I've strayed away from the original intent, but I think for the next two songs (2.16: Olivia. In the Lab. With the Revolver. / 2.17: White Tulip), I will take it back to basics. Lyrics lyrics lyrics. Songs that drive the plot. The essence of Fringemunks - well, I'll strive to meet it. Let's roll.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

APRIL FOOLS! David Wu is not retiring from The Fringemunks after all!


No, I am not retiring from The Fringemunks

Original April Fools Message:

After 32 Fringe episode song recaps, I have come to the decision to retire as producer of The Fringemunks. At this point in my music career and after pondering my options, I felt it is time to start a new chapter in my music. It has been an amazing journey, and I thank all the fans as well as the various podcasts and websites who so graciously helped distribute the music.

So today, I walk away with no regrets. I knew this day was coming as soon as I played the very first piano chord on the "Epis. 2.05: Dream Logic" song, and over the last 7 songs, I started to make my peace with it.

Thanks, all, for a wonderful ride.

David Wu
Creator/Producer of The Fringemunks

Friday, January 8, 2010

Firing of Mora: Smart Move for Seahawks

A smart move, indeed.

Many will say that Jim Mora only lost so many games coaching the Seahawks because he was handed a bad team. Those people will argue that not even the greatest NFL coaches in history could win with this team. But based on what we saw in these last two months - and with the sudden emergence of a better option, namely USC's Pete Carroll - the Seahawks made the right move and severed a question mark from their thesis.

Mora came to Seattle as sort of a "prodigal" of sorts, having roots here in education and via familial coaching connections. He lived and breathed the Pacific Northwest - his destination was here (whether as a Seahawk coach or a Husky coach, that will always be a simmering debate), and he arrived heralded. The Seahawks announced his hiring as head coach an entire year before he started.

It's all about face, and the Seahawks saved face by performing an about-face. And hopefully its timeliness will work out - because this NFC West is by far the weakest division in the NFL - and they have an opportunity to right the ship in a three- to four-month period.

If I were to pin down what I think was Mora's downfall in his tenure, I would say his demeanor. His softness and lack of aggressiveness always came to light, even if he was telling the truth and being open to questions and criticism from the press and public. He's not Mike Holmgren, and he doesn't need to be. However, with lack of aggressiveness comes lack of control and faulty organization, and it was time for the Seahawks to knock down the leaning tower and get its foundations in line.