Chris Cresswell (Hot Water Music, Flatliners) remixed comedian Dave Ross (listen)
In 2019, Dave Ross released the comedy album The Only Man Who Has Ever Had Sex, and now he's roped in some musicians for a remix album, The Only Album That Has Ever Been Remixed. The description reads, "The Only Man Who Has Ever Had Sex is Dave Ross's first album. Dave is a comedian and definitely not a musician, but he's a music nerd who wants to everything his favorite bands do, so when a global pandemic destroyed his touring life, he had a full-blown meltdown alone in his room and started messaging artists he loves asking if they'd remix his jokes."
The album includes reworks by members of PUP, Hot Water Music, Saves The Day, Ceremony, Riverboat Gamblers, and many more, and Dave says "the contributing artists made acoustic songs, lo-fi hip hop, industrial, country, sketch comedy and more."
We're premiering the "remix" of "I Am The Governor of California" by Chris Cresswell (of The Flatliners and Hot Water Music), and it basically finds Chris taking Dave's jokes and turning them into lyrics for a rustic folk song. Here's what Dave tells us about the album and about Chris' song in particular:
Every single track on this album was written and recorded during lockdown in 2020. It took a certain amount of producing and coordinating from me, but every track was written and recorded individually by each artist completely on their own, without any guidance from me at all. I told them that a remix could be anything at all as long as it referenced my original track -- they could sample it directly, re-record it, use my words as lyrics...whatever they want. I did that because no one -- including me -- had any idea what a remix of a standup track was. Remixes and remix albums were familiar to all of us obviously, but remixing something that straight-up wasn't music left a lot of us scratching our heads once we actually got into thinking about making remixes.
I also wanted them to have that freedom, though, because they did this during a fucking pandemic. I'm sure you remember how hard it was. It was hard as hell, but it also felt like it shouldn't be. If you had a roof over your head and free time to do things like make a remix for your dumb comedy friend, it felt like the pain and angst you were feeling wasn't deserved, which added guilt to your pain and angst, despite the fact that every single person on earth was feeling so much pain and angst. So I wanted the artists to have fun, and I wanted them to feel unrestricted, and honestly I just wanted them to have the room to make a piece of art they were each proud of, because there was a pretty good chance none of us would make any money on this, no one would see this project at all, and the only thing we'd have to show for it would be the little bit of respite it gave us during covid.
I love Chris Cresswell. I've had the great pleasure of both working with him and getting to know him personally, and I don't think I know anyone with a better attitude. We met because he somehow found my old podcast Suicide Buddies, a comedy podcast about killing yourself. Not much later we were both on Fest in Gainesville where he introduced himself at the comedy show one day, to which I said something like "OH SHIT I LOVE THE FLATLINERS" in front of a bunch of people whose respect I want.
We stayed in touch after that, texting random positivities here and there, and then the world shut down. I don't think Chris knows this but his solo records and Inviting Light from The Flatliners were the soundtrack to my first three months of quarantine. (I would walk around Glendale looking at trees and listening to Chris's songs about how it's gonna be ok or whatever, and I'd feel a little better.) So I was trapped at home with Chris in my ear and also in my phone, and I had this remix record idea, and I honestly don't know if I'd done it if he weren't so encouraging. He was the third person I asked and the first person who sent me a remix. (The first two artists I asked were friends who make electronic music, because at the beginning I thought an acoustic artist would spit in my face if I asked them to make a remix.) He sent me a remix months before anyone else, which was especially encouraging because the song he made is like... unbelievable? It is a word-for-word recounting, in music form, of the longest and most complicated bit on my album, for which he wrote multiple movements and also included distant echoing samples of my voice in the background. I can't tell you how privileged I feel that this man made this insane thing for an album I'M putting out. It feels so fucking cool and I'm just thankful for him all-around.
Listen to Chris' version and compare it to Dave's original below.