Ian Schwartz and The Sour Candy Orchestra

So what do True Blood, Mean Girls, and a folk festival have in common…?


Behvin and I play in another group (essentially an instrumental chamber ensemble that plays pop rock covers and some originals) which I shall refer to as “the band formally known as Audix.” (or BFKA)  Though we currently go by the name of “Revamped” until we can come up with something better, I will refrain from using that as it will be painfully ironic in many ways in about two minutes.

Anyway, I compose and arranged for BFKA.  And this blog is about the sordid tale of one of our songs, “Glenn Coco”  (yes, I am terrible at naming things, and it is a far from subtle reference to Mean Girls, even thought the piece has nothing to do with the movie)

Here is the opening little snippet.

Let’s rewind back to July 2005.  I attended the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival for 4 days in the Berkshires on the NY/MA border.  I was stoked for the pretty big names there that year, including Ani DiFranco and Dar Williams.  But probably the group I remembered the most was a band called Crooked Still.  I didn’t know anything about them at the time, but I was blown away by their live performance that I left the festival with a copy of their CD.  I also bought a copy of their next release when it came out the following year…and I listened to them a bunch.  But, like my ADD self, I slowly drifted out of my folk music obsession and I didn’t listen to them for probably a couple of years.  Mainly because the CDs became lost in the mess in my room and I hadn’t imported it into my iTunes.

Fast forward to this past March.  I began churning out pieces for BFKA.  The second piece I finished was “Glenn Coco”.  We played it.  Recorded a crappy demo of it.  etc.  Then, months and months later, probably over the summer, I was going through my music library and listening to old stuff I haden’t listened to in awhile.  I found Crooked Still and listened to their second album, “Shaken by a Low Sound”.  I got to the mid part of the album and the song “Ain’t No Grave” came on…and I got all excited, I remembered this song…it was kind of awesome. 

Then, I realized…it sounded very familiar.  A little too familiar….  I went and listened to “Glenn Coco”.  No way.  No freakin’ way.  The similarities between the two were unreal.  Same “riff”.  Same key.  Same damn cello slaps!  

I had unconsciously ripped off the intro from “Ain’t No Grave” for “Glenn Coco”.  It was completely unintentional, but it was scary how exactly my mind must have remembered that song…then after years of not hearing it, it became completely divorced from its original source in my head, and then some how came out through my little musical fingers.  It kinda sorta blew my mind at the time.  I went back and forth between the two tracks just listening to the opening.  I showed Behvin the Crooked Still song, and, well, I guess she can speak for herself…but I think she was kinda shocked by it, too.


Let’s move to the present.  After not watching TV for 8 years, I’ve decided to finally catch up on shows I’ve missed.  So I got Netflix.  I received the first two discs of True Blood on Wednesday, and immediately watched all four episodes on those discs.  Now I can say I’m hooked on True Blood.  Anyway, Behvin texts me last night while I’m at work and she’s like “omg youll never guess what the closing credit song for last episode of [True Blood] season 1 is.”  Oh yes.  It was “Ain’t No Grave.”

Man.  Now I don’t think I can ever play “Glenn Coco” again.  It would’ve been a little less heinous if no one knew the song…but now!  arg.

Anyway…I know this post is kind of random…but being reminded of that song kind of made me want to post this random story.  That, and I really want to actually blog on here quasi-regularly now.


SO.  To sum up my endless rambling.

1.) Check out Crooked Still if you don’t know them.  They are actually from Boston (the founding members were actually students at NEC and Berklee), and have been hailed as “the most important folk group to emerge from Boston since the early 60′s” by the Boston Globe.

2.) It’s kind of crazy how music sticks with you and you don’t even know it.  Like your favorite song from your childhood?  I bet you still know all the words…even if you haven’t heard it in ages.  (Like Ian so sheepishly admitted to in rehearsal while we worked on a rendition of the “Rainbow Connection”)  In my case, it somehow was able to even manifest itself in my writing, unknowingly.

3.) Vampires like good music.


- beth

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