About this project
Hello! My name is Mary Jo Pehl.
You may know me as the the leggy (-ish), blonde (kinda) co-star (sorta) of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Cinematic Titanic.
I am recording an album of original songs that pay homage to bad movies of Mystery Science Theater 3000.
After the phenomenal, chart-topping success of “When Loving Lovers Love” from the episode “Overdrawn At The Memory Bank”, tens and tens of people clamored for more.
And so, the Chanteuse of Cinema is back.
I will be singing four or five imagined theme songs to such MST3K favorites as Mitchell, Space Mutiny, Eegah, and of course, Manos, The Hands of Fate.
The songs will be written by veteran Twin Cities musicians Michael Warren, Claudia Hankin, and Tony Balluff, and performed by yours truly in a variety of genres such as power pop, ballad, pop-country, and perhaps a duet even a very special guest singer (wink!).
We will be making this CD available online, available as a download, and at any of my appearances. One or two may also be featured in a solo show that I have been developing over the past couple of years, a version of which debuted in Austin, TX in 2011.
Mary Jo Pehl is a writer/performer/producer with Cinematic Titanic, the live version of the Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000. She was a writer and actor in the recurring role of “Pearl Forrester” on the show. As a standup comedian, she has appeared on Comedy Central and A&E, and in stage productions in the Twin Cities, New York and Los Angeles. Mary Jo has also contributed to RiffTrax. She’s written for Austin Monthly, Minnesota Monthly, Austin Chronicle, Minneapolis StarTribune, and Salon.com, and has contributed to NPR’s All Things Considered and Life’s A Stitch: The Best of Contemporary Women’s Humor. Her book, Employee of the Month and Other Big Deals, is available through Amazon.com. ￼
Mary Jo sez: I, together with this ace songwriting and producing team, will be laying down some phat beats and taking the train to funky town in some loving tributes that these movies so richly deserve - after all they’ve been through.
Songwriter and producer Michael Warren is a Minneapolis musician who has worked in a variety of capacities from cruise ship piano player to being the synth guy in improv space rock bands. He currently plays for Minneapolis bands Humanda, Dream Crusher, and Sean Anonymous. He has produced, composed, orchestrated and performed a whole bunch of stuff for various groups, individuals, theaters, and whatever corporate monster needs some peppy music played for the CEO before he tells a convention room full of people that the company is being sold and half of them are fired as of now.
Mike sez: Me and my pals Claudia & Tony have been MST3K fans for years and are thrilled to be a part of this endeavor to bring Ms. Pehl's voice to the world. We hope to get her to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Claudia Hankin is a playwright, novelist, admin, actor and editor. She has previously contributed lyrics to The Best of Midwest Burlesk festival, chanteuse Nadine DuBois, and the Southside Aces’ Christmas album. She lives in Minneapolis and makes a mean cocktail.
Tony Balluff is a bandleader, arranger and clarinetist for the jazz band Southside Aces. He also plays with Patty and the Buttons, The Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band, French 75, and whomever else will have him. He even once backed up writer Neil Gaiman.
OUR GOAL: $7,500
The funds will be used for:
• Stipends for the musicians/songwriters and producer
• Two to three days in a recording studio • Mixing and mastering • Graphic design of the CD cover, including photography
• Printing CDs, full color liner jackets, and jewel cases
• Mary Jo’s travel to the Twin Cities from Austin, TX to record with Mike
• Shipping and fulfillment costs for some of the incentives
• A percentage goes to Kickstarter, of course
• Taxes If we’re lucky enough to exceed our goal, any additional funds will go to bump up the compensation of the musicians/songwriters, and producer Mike Warren.
We estimate this project to be complete by February 2014. Thank you for taking the time to consider contributing to this campaign. If you have any questions, please email me at mjopehl @ gmail-dot-com. Please spread the word about this campaign if you’re so inclined.
Risks and challenges
For the past six years, I’ve been a producer, writer, and performer with Cinematic Titanic, the live stage version of Mystery Science Theater 3000. As part of an artist-owned endeavor, I’ve been part of a team that has had to coordinate the gamut of such thing: working with venues to advance shows, coordinating travel and hotel arrangements for the team, writing and editing scripts.
I have written and self-published a book. This involved coordinating and overseeing all aspects of its editing and publication.
Each of us involved in the project - Michael, Claudia, Tony and myself - have been independent artists/entertainers for decades. We have created numerous solo projects, be it theater, bands, writing, and collaborated many people to bring our endeavors to fruition.
But we also know that every project has risks and unanticipated roadblocks. We plan to record in January 2014 in Minneapolis; however, with each of us trying to take gigs as they come along, there may be issues in coordinating our schedules. Costs for DVD copies may increase.
However, we are nothing if not gifted improvisationalists! Being so experienced about how these things can go, and being creative and committed, we know we can "punt"! We are resourceful and responsible - and Midwesterners, fer cryin' out loud! - so you know we're good for it!
Just as important, we are all excited and committed to this project and are already having a ball in its preliminary stages. I think I speak for Michael, Tony, Claudia and myself when I say we can't wait to do this project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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