In Which I Sing a Depeche Mode Song For Patrick Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders Charity

Yes, Patrick asked me to be a stretch goal for the charity this year, so I said, sure, when you reach $325,000, I’ll sing Depeche Mode’s “But Not Tonight,” accompanying myself on tenor guitar as I do so.

Guess what? They reached that stretch goal!

And for those of you saying “what song is that?”, here’s the original, with super cheesy 80s video goodness (apparently it was a song featured on a cheesy 80s teen movie. The 80s, man):


33 Comments on “In Which I Sing a Depeche Mode Song For Patrick Rothfuss’ Worldbuilders Charity”

  1. How about an epic rap battle between John and one of the (apparently large number of ) SFWA members who doesn’t get along with him? If you don’t know what those are google them they are on youtube. They have some language so they are not work safe.

    Basically each person gets about 45 seconds to rap insults at the other.
    There are 2 rounds. At the end people can vote to decide who won.

    I would think it would be possible for 2 adults to do this in ‘fun’ without it going too far. You would get a ton of hits for this…

  2. to keep it from being personal you could do as characters from your books… The Epic Rap Battles do alot of that. The most popular ones are Darth Vadar vs. Adolf Hitler.

    So for John it would be John Perry vs. someone from another authors books…

  3. Guess:

    Nah. I don’t like doing things with people I don’t like, oddly enough, and there are a lot of people I do like that I can do things with.

  4. I had another one… how about a Scalzi evercise routine? Your friend Stephen Boyett will design it. The more money people donate the harder you have to work. We hit certain stretch goals such sa

    john runs untl he pukes
    ‘no painkillers’ (medical marajuana included)
    John works out until the pain is so bad he sheds tears
    John eats only vegan food.
    no soda for john

    You record a video diary of your pain and suffering in your attempt to regain your youth by getting into ‘boyett’ style shape. I saw some of Stephen Boyetts videos. He is plenty capable of making this plan for you.

    With this you technically don’t have to do stuff with people you don’t like. However, many of them may donate to charity just to see you suffer. To be fair you did post that you needed to lose weight on your blog because you wanted it noted, then never posted again. So your benefit is that (assuming you don’t have a heart attack) is that when its over you will be very healthy and in good shape.

    Lets face it, its great marketing for Stephen’s exercise videos… if he can get an SFWA writer into great physical condition he can do it for anyone.

  5. Great performance on the cover, John, you brung it!

    And nice job on the signal processing. ‘o)

  6. A green T shirt will not do. For me to cough up any $, you gotta put on the green dress.

  7. I quit drugs at the start of the 80’s. Looking back, if I’d known how bad the music was gonna be, I’d have stayed stoned…

  8. Scalzi: “That would require hair.”

    Given how well you pulled off that long blonde wig for the pose-off, an 80’s ‘do should be Tee Ball for you :)

  9. Were there 80s teen movies that were NOT cheesy? I can’t think of one. In fact, I can think of very few teen movies from any era that were not.

    I’m not sure I would call that song cheerful. While it’s certainly upbeat, it’s about how nice it is to NOT be in a relationship. It seems more manic than cheerful to me.

    John, what processing did you use on your voice for that? It sounds like the heavily-processed DM singer’s voice (and you even imitated his accent). It sounds good, btw.

  10. “Modern Girls” – it’s where “St Elmo’s Fire” meets “After Hours”!

    Nice job on the song, btw!

    – yeff

  11. I hope my question wasn’t rude. The lead vocal on the original is obviously heavily processed (I’m guessing chorusing at minimum, and possibly some wave-form fiddling to give it that edge). Since you sound like him in more than accent (and your vocal track* seems to have some of that slightly buzzy edge too), I was wondering if you applied processing to your voice, and if so, what kind.

    Partly just general curiousity. Partly to help me figure out what the processing on the original was.

    If you don’t care to answer, I apologize for asking.

    *Because I’ve seen this misused a lot, I feel I should specify that I mean the voice track of the recording (which may or may not have been multi-tracked at all, come to think of it). Vocal tract is the one that refers to the biological apparatus used to produce speech and song, but it’s not what I mean here.

  12. Xopher:

    I’m happy to answer (and it wasn’t a rude question, I just didn’t see it until now):

    I used Adobe Audible, removed hiss (because I was using my computer’s crappy, built in microphone and not my Yeti mic), added in some reverb and then an eight-voice chorus filter. The filter, I will note, I put in more to even out my terrible guitar strumming than my voice, but as I did the recording live into one microphone, they both got treated (mind you, I would probably have put some chorusing on the voice anyway, had I recorded it separately; it gives the vocal a slightly fuller sound).

  13. Thanks, John! And yes, that’s what chorusing was for. I have an ancient hardware harmonizer, and I definitely liked the result of adding chorusing. But then it also has “masculinize” and “feminize” filters for voice (free to have when you already have a “mixed-choral harmony” filter)…definitely tempted to use what I call the “butch-up” filter for spoken word!

  14. The original was pretty listless, as though they grew bored with the song in rehearsal and couldn’t be bothered to bring any energy to the recording session. Your take on it had much more of a sense of line to it; I preferred it by a wide margin.