Adam WarRock

TrackLog 66 – Call Me Johnny Wander

(Click all images to see the original comic)

Download the track (link)

This is a song about the webcomic Johnny Wander.

I’m going to write a good amount to explain the backstory for this TrackLog song, so let me make it easy: right above this, there’s the song. Right there. Click on it. Go ahead. It won’t bite you.

And while you’re here, why not check out the debut single, “The Silver Age,” from the upcoming Adam WarRock debut album, The War For Infinity, out October 7.

Long-winded Backstory of “Call Me Johnny Wander”
I wasn’t initially a fan of Johnny Wander. Weirdly, I’d seen both of the creators on twitter through mutual friends, had come across the comic a couple of times, but really, I  have such a hard time keeping up with all the webcomics I read, it just slipped through the cracks. So when I went to SPX this past weekend, I kept hearing people talking about the Johnny Wander Volume 1 book that creators Yuko and Ananth were selling. So I walked up and bought a copy, walked outside, and sat down to rest my weary, achey legs, holding the book in my hands. And I started reading it…

…and 50 minutes later, I looked around and realized that I had read the whole book, and was laughing to myself in the corner. By myself. Like a crazy person. But more importantly, I realized that I had been smiling more than laughing. Think about it, it’s a hard thing for a comic, especially one that’s not necessarily a continuous story arc, to accomplish. It’s easy to make jokes, and when a comic makes good jokes, even great jokes, you laugh…a lot. But when a comic makes you truly smile, it’s rare, it’s special, and it’s amazing. That’s what Johnny Wander is. I wandered back into the convention floor looking for their table and told Ananth what had just happened. That I was now a fan. That I maybe sorta did music and sorta would like to do a song about their comic. I took out a card and showed it to Ananth. And weirdly, he immediately knew who I was, and talked to me about his roommate, John, being a big fan of “Ira Glass,” and that he’d heard my music before. As if they needed to do anything else to hook me into their world, that was it. Fan for life.

Anyway, that was the origin of this song. The actual execution of the song was interesting, because taking a slice-of-life/auto-bio comic isn’t an easy thing to flip in a unique way. Most of the time, it just becomes a shout-out-a-thon,which while fun, doesn’t really translate well to a 3 minute song. I took the idea that each verse in this song is loosely based around the 3 cities the group has lived in for the past few years (Rochester, Rockville, Brooklyn). I took the concept of post-college young life, and knew I wanted it to encompass this “I’m not lost, I like to just wander.” And I sung in the chorus with a horribly hoarse voice, so excuse the…less than stellar vocals. What can you do.

But really, it was just one of those moments that made me glad to be in this community, made me feel good about what I was doing, and I wanted to make sure I captured it in song form for history’s sake. So thanks Ananth, Yuko, John, Conrad.  And if you don’t already, go read their comic. You won’t regret it.

Beat Used: Thes One “Northwestern Bell 2″; Ol Dirty Bastard “Brooklyn Zoo”

[The Tracklog is a free, never-ending mixtape of rough song ideas, mixtape verses, and unmastered b-sides.]

22 Responses to TrackLog 66 – Call Me Johnny Wander

  • Meli says:

    I…. I love this. So much.
    JW has always been my favorite webcomic, probably cuz I live in Rockville and it was cool that it was so close to home.
    Same with Questionable Content.

  • A. WarRock says:

    I actually sing the “Don’t go back to Rockville” song in my head when I go to that side of town (I live in NOVA), so it was a joy to use it in the song.

    Thanks for the kind words! I’m sure a QC song can’t be far behind somewhere in the mental queue I have.

  • Matt says:

    Is there a chance we can actually download the song? I would love to listen to this on my Ipod.

    Though at the same time, can you post the lyrics? Sometimes I can’t catch what you’re saying. But then again that’s the way it is with most music anyway.

  • A. WarRock says:

    If you right click and save as on the link part of the “Download the track (link)” right below the embedded player, that will allow you to download an mp3 of the track. It’s yours for free!

    As for lyrics, I usually don’t post up the lyrics to the tracklog stuff. But I’ll see what I can do.

  • Ally says:

    I cannot stop listening to this. Which is great, because every time I do, I catch a reference I missed the last time.

    Awesome, thank you!

  • Sid Altman says:

    You, sir, are amazing. Below is a summary I have posted on Facebook.

    “Guys, gals, those of indeterminate gender, you should all listen to this. Adam Warrock retells the story of Yuko Ota, Ananth Panagariya, John (aka Tall John who dances the Angry Shuffle), Conrad (aka Conye, the alter ego of Conrad who wears stunner shades and doesn’t afraid of anything), and the rest of their merry “multicultural squad” (as seen in Comic 96), in a delightful four-minute track. The website for the Johnny Wander autobiographical comic is GO READ AND LISTEN NOW.”

    Keep on being awesome, Mr. Warrock.

  • A. WarRock says:

    @Sid thanks man! I appreciate the fb love

    @Tom Thanks! I usually don’t post lyrics. I am considering putting up a lyrics section on the site since people are asking more and more. check back!

  • Mistress Pyro says:

    This was truly amazing. I don’t particularly like rap or hip hop. . but I like your voice and if an album ever drops I will have to pick it up. I will also have to facebook this to my friends. :3

    Also, about how the comic made you smile. I think thats why so many people are attracted to it. The same thing happened with me and I have gone back to the website EVERY tuesday and thursday.

  • A. WarRock says:

    Wow, thanks so much! Like I always say, I love when non-rap fans like my stuff. It’s a testament to me wanting to make great music, not just great hip hop.

    And yes, I have a feeling I will be visiting tues and thurs for a long long time. ;)

  • Nick says:

    Well, you’ve sold me, sir; I’m now a fan. I’m a big time hip hop fan, but I don’t like the song just because it’s good hip hop, you’re a good musician overall, and it’s real easy to see you care about your craft. :)

    This is gonna be on repeat in my car for awhile (Also love the usage of the “Brooklyn Zoo” sample, both thematically and musically).

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  • Nessa says:

    Ohmygod it’s like the opening theme if Johnny Wander ever gets animated. 8D

    Excellent job. I caught quite a few of the references. The pepper part made me giggle.

  • FiZ says:

    Blue (of Hello, The Future!) just showed me Johnny Wander at SPX this year and I love it. This track is an amazing compliment to the comic.

    though the “Don’t Go Back To Rockville” line makes me sad.

    …because I work there, and live in Silver Spring. Yeah, it’s pretty brutal.

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  • Indie hip hop about pop culture. Nerd and geek stuff. Creator of The Browncoats Mixtape, Parks & Rec EP, Gravity Falls Rap, and a ton of other ephemeral Internet hits. Over 2 million views on Youtube. On tour performing everywhere. Loves pizza...

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