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New Song: What Would Swayze Do

By August 31, 2021September 4th, 2021music, Tuesday Groove Kabobs
what would swayze do mike votava

Every Tuesday I release a brand new song as a part of my Tuesday Groove Kabobs project.

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Here’s a fun new song that I just wrote. This song is called “What Would Swayze Do”.

It’s a new modern-day take on that old dumb Christian bumper sticker saying “What would Jesus do?”, only I replaced “Jesus” with somebody much more awesome and real— Swayze.  I’d like to think that this version of the saying is about ten thousand times better than the original. And I like to think that because it is absolutely true.

Asking yourself “What Would Swayze Do?” before you take action on a specific situation and then doing the thing that you think Swayze would do, will generally lead to good outcomes. Anyone who has studied the ways of The SWAYZE can attest to this.

We, as a society, still have much to learn about The Ways of the Swayze. Here are a few things the Swayze scientists do know about what Swayze would do:

He would stay calm and relaxed in any situation. He would never overreact and he would always play it cool.

He would BE NICE… until it was time to not be nice (then he might rip out a throat with his bare hands).

He would be sexy and handsome.

He would dance.

And if anything ever got too crazy, he would just surf away and call it a day.

I’ll be the first to admit that I have fucked things up oodles of times in my life. But I know in my heart that I would have fucked less shit up if, before I reacted to a thing and did something dumb, I stopped, took a few moments to chill out and ask myself “What would Swayze do?”.

I hope you like this song. Take a listen.

If, for whatever reason, you‘ve gotten this far into this blog post and you’re considering not listening to the song, please take a moment to ask yourself “what would Swayze do?” before you decide what to do.

I’ll tell you exactly what Swayze would do. He would one-hundred percent listen to the song and he would love it.


Bonus Song Nugget #1

I screwed up the words

There I was writing this song. Working on the second verse and trying to fit in another Swayze reference.  I wrote the line

You know pain don’t hurt
those hungry eyes will work to keep you from it

First of all, it’s not particularly a great line. I feel like it doesn’t make a lot of sense and it’s really “trying too hard” to exist in the song. There is nothing organic about it. The line is in there simply to be a reference to two different Swayze movies.

And second of all, I used the words “hungry eyes” thinking that was the song Patrick Swayze wrote and sang for Dirty Dancing. It wasn’t until I was finished with recording the tracks and on to the mixing phase did I realize my mistake.  Swayze didn’t write “Hungry Eyes”, he wrote “She’s Like The Wind”

The dumb thing is I knew this Swayze fact yet in my haste to finish the song I fucking blew it anyways.  I meant to use a “She’s Like the Wind” reference but I used stupid “Hungry Eyes” on accident. How embarrassing.  I will definitely fix this in future iterations of this song.

Yes, “hungry eyes”  does still kind of qualify as a Swayze reference since the song is in Dirty Dancing, but it’s a little too thin in my opinion.  I can do better. And I will do better.

Bonus Song Nugget #2

Get yourself a What Would Swayze Do T-shirt.

Many moons ago I designed a What Would Swayze Do shirt. It is available for purchase on my TeePublic online shop.

The shirt is my top seller!

what would swayze do shirt

what would swayze do shirt mike votava seattle music

Bonus Song Nugget #3

The bridge is my favorite part of the song.

I historically have a hard time writing bridges. Well… not this time baby. Fucking nailed it!

Not everything will point break your way
take a naked midnight walk
to process all your thoughts
with moonlight bouncing off your butt

I did something cool with the guitar in this section. The guitar line follows the bass line and it sounds rad. They Might Be Giants do this kind of thing in their songs a lot. So I guess that makes me as good as them.

Here they are doing it in Birdhouse in Your Soul. The guitar line kicks in during the first chorus. It sounds incredible.

Bonus Song Nugget #4

Reharmonizing is fun

… or at least I think that what I’m about to tell you is called “reharmonizing”. Let me explain.

A couple of weeks ago my buddy Nick Droz (Ding Dong) came over to give me a music lesson. We went over a few basic musical concepts I was struggling with.

I wanted to know how to build a chord progression for an existing melody. Nick taught me that one, that there is no magical “right” chord and that I should lean on trusting my own ear regarding the choices I make.

And two, he showed me that there are many different chords that will “work” with the notes of a melody.  The chord you choose to play under the melody will alter the way the melody is perceived, even if the notes in the melody stay the same.

This is a very new concept to me.  I still don’t totally understand it but I was eager to try it. I gave it a shot in “What Would Swayze Do”.

There are a few moments where I “reharmonzied”. The most obvious one happens at the end of the chorus.

On the word “do” the melody is three notes A G G#. And the chord progression underneath is A C E. Except on the very last “do” which instead of ending on an E chord I switch to the G# chord. The notes in the melody don’t change yet suddenly the melody sounds different. I successfully “reharmonized” my own song!

There’s another moment in the verse where I do it again. The second time through the verse on the line “million-dollar question” I play an F chord instead of the C chord that happens in the first part of the verse.  The melody didn’t change even though it sounds like it did because I’m playing a different chord underneath.

I don’t know if any of that makes sense to you or not. Keep in mind that I’m a dummy about most of this music stuff. There is a very good chance that I got it all wrong.

But before you send me a nasty email about how stupid I am, I encourage you to take a step back and ask yourself “what would Swayze do?” in this situation.

What Would Swayze Do
by Mike Votava

What would Swayze do
if he were in this exact situation
before you act the fool
ask yourself the million-dollar question
how about a roundhouse kick
or some dirty dancing and super sexy moves

What would Swayze do

When you’re just not sure
search your heart for Swayze wisdom nuggets
you know the pain don’t hurt
those hungry eyes will work to keep you from it
always be nice
until it’s time to rip out a throat or two

What would Swayze do

Not everything will point break your way
take a naked midnight walk
to process all your thoughts
with moonlight bouncing off your butt

What would Swayze do