Cookin’ / Just In Time

lean and mean, supply chain logistically speaking
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In the year 2000 (in the year 2000), as I was preparing to leave Champaign, IL to take a job in Ankara, Turkey, I was asked by my friend Peter Asaro if I’d want to contribute a song for a documentary he was making, which would ultimately see release in 2002 as Love Machine. If I remember correctly, his project had started out as a profile of Monticello, IL’s own Dave Lampert, the developer of the Sybian (who died in 2021, at age 90). It grew to be a much bigger project about robotics, philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, love, sociality and social cues, and all that. I had a song called “Cooking” that I thought could fit the bill, and wrote another bit that could be sung alternately or simultaneously called “Just In Time” about invention & supply chain issues in the context of a croon-y love song.

It’s too bad we never got a chance to make him a proper recording of it, though he did use a live version he recorded from a show in the film — it’s The Viper & His Famous Orchestra’s only IMDb credit! I don’t have a copy of that recording, so I offer another live recording from that same summer made at the Red Herring in Urbana, IL. The quality of the recording is only okay — it was done on a personal tape recorder by someone in the audience, though I don’t remember who, so the sound is kind of distant — but the performance is pretty nice. You’ll hear me sing the “Cooking” section, then Rob Henn plays the “Just in Time” melody on trombone while I banter with him as though he were playing the actual (though as-yet-never-heard) lyrics, and then we bring both parts together backed by some nice oohs and ahhs by the rest of the Orchestra.

The Viper & His Famous Orchestra, “Cookin’ / (Just in Time),” Red Herring Coffeehouse, Urbana, IL, maybe Summer 2000?

the kind of music your great-great-great-grandparents warned your great-great-grandparents about