Radio Faux Show Volume 2, Number 42 (November 13, 2022): First of October

Radio Faux Show Volume 2, Number 42 (November 13, 2022): First of October

This Week’s Theme: First of October

With this week’s show, I have now made the First of October an annual Faux Show theme. To be clear, this is not a show released on October 1 but is a show inspired by the group First of October. The basic concept is to focus the show on music and artists that express joy and humor. As I stated in last year’s show:

If you’ve read past Faux Shows, you know that I am a fan of joy in music. Sometimes that equates to humor or silliness, but often it is shown simply by the artists enjoying the process and truly having fun making music. One of the most refreshing examples of artists enjoying the music-making process can be found in the recordings of First Of October. This week’s show could include all four of their albums in their entirety (they are not that long), but I’ve thrown in some other music that makes me happy. Mostly, though, this week’s show is focused on smiling.

Unlike last year’s offering, this year’s show provides less music by the band and more music by other artists that make me smile. The main purpose of this year’s show is to listen to music that is fun because sometimes you just need to laugh a little.

Welcome to Radio Faux Show volume 2, number forty-two.

First things first – click a link to start listening and then come back to read about this week’s songs.


Amazon Music

Who are they?

First of October are a band consisting of Rob Scallon and Andrew Huang. Rob Scallon is a YouTuber and multi-instrumentalist from Chicago. He has produced a diverse catalog of music over the last fifteen years, including some viral videos of metal music performed on non-metal instruments, and has a Guinness World Record for longest guitar effect pedalboard (319 pedals, 34 individual pedalboards, and 500 feet of cables). Andrew Huang is a Canadian YouTuber, multi-instrumentalist, and singer/songwriter. He is known for a variety of musical endeavors that involve use of non-instruments and challenges of his musical ability. He has released more than fifty albums and his YouTube channel has over 250 million views and two million subscribers. To be honest, I am not very familiar with either artist on their own. I know them as First of October, a band they formed in 2018.

What are they?

The concept behind the initial First of October recordings was that Scallon and Huang would spend one day in the studio and record ten completed songs. They entered with nothing pre-arranged and wrote, arranged, recorded, and produced ten songs in ten hours. They filmed the project, and then released a short YouTube documentary of the event, along with a streaming version of the completed songs. The end result is not Bach or The Beatles, but that was not the goal. The songs are good, some great, and simply viewing the event is worth the time. The first session was held on October 1, 2018, and thus, their name was determined to be First of October. In 2019, they joined up exactly one year later and did the same thing, with even better results. They skipped 2020, but completed album number three on October 1, 2021. The fourth installment was just released at the end of October 2022.

Why do I like it?

As a concept, this endeavor could fail miserably. In my opinion, it works wonderfully for two very basic reasons. First of all, Scallon and Huang are extremely gifted multi-instrumentalists. They trade off drums, guitar, bass, piano, song-writing, lyrics, vocals, and a variety of other instruments with ease. They share a common lyrical aesthetic that focuses on silliness, absurdity, and tales of odd characters, but they can also be very thoughtful (especially Huang). Secondly, and most importantly, these projects are a wonderful showcase of the creative process and the joy of making music. The situation is incredibly stressful, yet they find the ability to laugh through it all while maintaining their focus and creativity.

The First Album: Ten Hours

Their first is not their best, but it is still great. Some of the basic themes are laid out in the first album. In addition to the basic concept, ten songs in ten hours, this first album is a great introduction to the musical chops of Scallon and Huang. It also shows the humor that you can now expect from all of their albums, as well as the hard rocking energy that Scallon brings to his riffage. The album, on the whole, is not as diverse as the next three, but it is still a solid start. Most importantly, “Don’t Go To My House” introduces everyone’s favorite First of October character, Greg.

The first documentary

The Second Album: Gourmet Ravioli

The second album maintains the energy of the first, but begins to provide more diversity in the songwriting. There is still some excellent riff-mastery, but songs like the inspirational “Climb That Mountain,” the funky “We Didn’t Have Time To Get Lyrics On This One,” and the self-titled explanation of the concept “First of October” show that they are able to do more than just rock. The joy that Scallon and Huang feel in their collaboration is also on display much more on this record. In addition, thankfully, more background on Greg is provided in the song “Thirty-First of October.”

The second documentary

The Third Album: Gotta Record Everything Good

The third album, Gotta Record Everything Good or G.R.E.G., was recorded with a new technique that led to an even more diverse and improved set of songs. Instead of recording all of the music for the ten songs and then returning to them later to provide vocals and overdubs, Scallon and Huang made the decision to record the drum and guitar tracks, and then, while one member wrote the lyrics, the other member recorded the bass and other overdubs. This not only gave them a little extra time to record overdubs, but, most importantly, it gave them more time to work on the lyrics. There is still the now-expected humor throughout, but the extra time allowed Huang to write a beautiful ballad about the birth of his child, Scallon and Huang to perfect the lyrics for a song about Scallon’s bookmobile-driving mom, and the entire crew to take part in the anthem “Greg!.” Speaking of “Greg!,” this latest song in the now-trilogy about Greg not only provides more background on this enigmatic character, but also led to the anagram album title.


The third documentary

The Fourth Album: CHAOS

The fourth album, CHAOS, was recorded with the same technique as the third album. Although it isn’t as good of an album as the last one (at least not after two listens), it is still a solid release. There is a follow-up to “Miracle” called “Love to Say I Love You,” and a few FOO classics, but the focus on Halloween-themed tunes weakens the flow a little bit. There is also no song about Greg, so that is sure to disappoint their cultish fanbase. Still, it is worth a listen – especially the fantastic “Headless” and oddly enjoyable “Jangly Bones.” If nothing else, they have now added four songs to the Halloween canon that people can enjoy every year.


“Left My Pants In Chicago”

“Riff Lord”

The fourth documentary

Artist of the Week: First of October

I thought that was obvious…


The Beach Boys “Fun, Fun, Fun” (#5 2/22/64)

Johnny Cash “One Piece At A Time” (#29 5/15/76)

The Coasters “Charlie Brown” (#2 2/9/59)

Dickie Goodman “Mr. Jaws” (#4 9/13/75)

The Lovin’ Spoonful “Daydream” (#2 3/12/66)

More Hits

Napoleon XIV “They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” (#3 7/30/66)

Nilsson “Coconut” (#8 7/8/72)

David Seville “Witch Doctor” #1 4/14/58)

Ray Stevens “Gitarzan” (#8 4/26/69)

The Trashmen “Surfin’ Bird” (#4 12/28/63)


Three songs from CHAOS by First of October

It’s hard to believe, but this is the last regular Faux Show of the year! I’m going to take a two-week break and be back on November 27 with the first of several holiday-themed Faux Shows. Until then, keep on listening to music!

Thanks for listening (and reading)!

TrackArtistSong Title
1First of OctoberHeadless
2Allan ShermanYou Got To Have Skin
3Beach Boys, TheFun, Fun, Fun
4WeezerSurf Wax America
5Frank ZappaCan’t Afford No Shoes
6Bonzo Dog Doo Dah BandJollity Farm
7Trashmen, TheSurfin’ Bird
8Dickie GoodmanMr. Jaws
9Lovin’ Spoonful, TheDaydream
11DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh PrinceI Think I Can Beat Mike Tyson
12Fat Boys, TheStick ‘Em
13AnthraxI’m The Man
14First of OctoberRiff Lord
15First of OctoberBookmobile
16Emo PhilipsMy Childhood, Yes
17Brian Setzer OrchestraJump, Jive, an’ Wail
18Wynonie HarrisGrandma Plays The Numbers
19Louis JordanAin’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens
20Spike JonesLeave The Dishes In The Sink, Ma
21Eddie CantorDoodle-Doo-Doo
22Louis PrimaI Love To Laugh
23Napolean XIVThey’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!
24David SevilleWitch Doctor
25Johnny CashOne Piece At A Time
26Jerry ReedShe Got The Goldmine, I Got The Shaft
27First of OctoberLeft My Pants In Chicago
28Rachel BloomHistorically Accurate Disney Princess Song (When Will I Find My Prince?)
29Bootsy CollinsPsychoticbumpschool
30“Weird Al” YankovicWord Crimes
31Chips, TheRubber Biscuit
32Coasters, TheCharlie Brown
33Honeydrippers, TheI Got A Woman
34Ray StevensGitarzan
35They Might Be GiantsIstanbul
36Fats WallerYour Feet’s Too Big
37Victor BorgeBorge Plays Requests: Tea For Two

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