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The Kingdom of the Dwarves

A song from BUMS! THE MUSICAL, In which I sing about unicorns, dwarves, and the wonders of anarchy.

Lyrics:

In my dream last night,
A magical unicorn
Was trotting through
The glimmer of the moon.
I climbed onto her saddle,
And then to my surprise,
She took me to
The kingdom of the dwarves.

All around were little men
With silly hats and silver beards.
Though I was roughly twice their size,
No one laughed and no one feared.

Some were flying golden kites
While others chipped away at stone.
Though some were dreaming, others cleaning,
Everyone seemed right at home.

But how could their economy
Support this strange anomaly
With some at work and some at play
And no one bossing anyone?

Did this happen every day,
A world of sweet tranquility
Where each with his ability
Pursued his calling, never stalling?

Though I longed to join the fun,
I knew I really had to run,
For I had duties far away,
Important business left undone.

I asked around, “Who has the time?”
But all I got were empty stares.
For in the dwarvish world, I learned,
There is no time nor need for cares.

I would soon be late for work.
The stress was driving me berserk.
But still they could not understand,
For in the dwarvish tongue, you see,
There is a secret oh so grand,
They have no word for work at all,
For work is play and every day,
Nothings drives their dreams away.

No systems,
No victims.
Freedom never felt so good,
Till I fin’ly understood.
No compulsion,
True propulsion.
Every man fulfills his part
Following his yearning heart.

When I woke up, I knew I’d miss
That dreamy place of never was.
Still when I face this dreary world,
The hope I saw fills me with pause.

When someone goes against the grain,
They lock him up in heavy chains,
But I know there’s a better way:
To blur the line ’tween work and play.

No systems,
No victims.
Freedom never felt so good,
Till I fin’ly understood.
No compulsion,
True propulsion.
Every man fulfills his part
Following his yearning heart.

No systems,
No victims.
Freedom never felt so good,
Till I fin’ly understood.
No compulsion,
True propulsion.
Every man fulfills his part
Following his yearning —

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All 8 Star Wars Episodes A Cappella

My vision for this one was not to show my Star Wars fandom through cosplay or geeky obsession but to illustrate how its glorious themes and ideas affect my everyday life. Deep down, I believe we all long to be Jedi knights. (It’s currently at 12,000 views on Youtube … which used to seem like a lot. But with our “Mario Parkour” video at 3M, it’s all relative now … which is good.)

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Puppets Cover “Where Do We Go From Here” | The Gashler Family

Bet you’ve never seen such mad ventriloquism skills!

Another installment from our album VALHALLA | A NORDIC ROCK OPERA (https://stephengashler.com/product/valhalla-nordic-rock-opera/).

It’s always a struggle to teach a child not to act like an imbecile when they get a puppet on their hand. But when it came time to edit, some of my favorite clips were when they were acting like imbeciles.

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“Lifelight” (Theme From Super Smash Bros. Ultimate) | Covered by the Gashler Family

For anyone who may have been wondering why I’ve been sporting a mustache, here’s why:

The fake mustache from our last Nintendo fan film was awful to wear, so I vowed never again.

The goal was to release this video before Christmas, which I worked tirelessly toward, but on top of all the audio and video editing, when Christmas Eve rolled around, and it was two in the morning, I could only assemble so many bicycles and gymnastics equipment before collapsing in exhaustion. Though I released the video in time for Boxing Day, which, I guess, is more fitting :-).

Fun Facts

  • Percy and mommy hate the ending scene. Everyone else seems to love it.
  • Teresa’s spectacular Zelda costume was made by her sister Heather Peavler for a Comic Con event.
  • If you listen closely near the end, you can hear the Nintendo 64 Super Smash Bros. being played in the background.
  • All of the music was recorded in my bedroom (as is all of our music).
  • All of the video game scenes were shot in our laundry room.
  • We didn’t do any of our own stunts, but if you want to see us doing real stunts, check out our other Nintendo fan film, Jump Up Superstar.
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Katy Perry’s “Cozy Little Christmas” | Covered by the Gashlers (A Capella)

We covered a brand new song by Katy Perry (not our usual cup of tea). Following the advice of a famous Youtuber in our neighborhood, the goal was to create something that people are actually searching for. Brilliant, right? So we did a little research and found something so new, it doesn’t appear that anyone has covered it. There’s not even an official music video yet. At the same time, we’re not exactly trendy people, and we wanted to do something unique, so we tried our hand at a capella. Perhaps we were inspired by the BYU Vocal Point concert we attended a few weeks ago.

After I made the video of Teresa and I in our studio, something seemed lacking. I thought of shooting some B roll, but as I listened to the lyrics, I realized I already had all the footage I needed in our previous music videos. It was a perfect opportunity to resurrect Evil Robot Santa, me falling in the snow, Teresa standing in fire, and a love scene between clowns.

It’s too early to say, but since I released the video last night, it’s performed about 4 times better than our usual videos. Neat. Also, in order to stay in line with our cheesy values, we committed a faux pas and changed the lyrics for one phrase. Can you guess where?

At the end of the video, I thank the Katy Perry corporation. I felt inclined to do this after learning more about how the pop music industry works. Without disrespecting any chart-topping artist (as I do love this song and think Katy Perry is talented), the truth is that it takes large corporations and massive amounts of money to make them what they are. Seldom are they self-made, and seldom do they write their own songs. Knowing this makes me feel better about being an underdog. Instead of being dwarfed by superstars with all the talent, independent artists are really up against a bourgeois of music tycoons. Just a few decades ago, it wasn’t this way, but it seems that the proliferation of music through iPods and the Internet was so threatening that it caused a struggling music industry to turn in the opposite direction, scrapping the democracy of the free market and becoming the sole arbiters of what is hot and what is not. In the process, creativity has been stifled, and what’s popular has only gotten harder, louder, more predictable, and less … musical.

Thus it may appear that I’m selling out by covering popular music. In my defense, I’ve created so many videos with original songs that have gotten virtually no traction, that I see no harm in riding a wave in order to gain some momentum. In other words, if the proletariat is to make any advances against the bourgeois, first they must learn to play their game. If projects like this are successful, my other projects will naturally gain more exposure. At the same time, I’ll continue to create original works whether or not they see the light of day. For the most part, what I create is for me and my family.

For example, with our last video, Jump Up Superstar, I knew that we were a year behind the wave, and, not surprisingly, though we poured and our hearts and souls into the video, it’s gotten few hits. But that’s okay. We primarily created this video to record our family’s parkour, gymnastics, and singing skills that we’ve been working on this year, and we’re proud of it.

I create because I have music and stories bubbling inside of me, and I have to get them out. I create in order help my family up their skills and record priceless memories. And I create because it’s fun.

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Come Little Children (From the Movie Hocus Pocus)

My wife is scary.

A week and a half ago, Teresa proposed the concept for this project, and I was sold immediately. But there was a problem: how could we possibly add to Jame’s Horner’s brilliant melody or make a better cover than other artists have made, such as Kate Covington? I wanted something unique, dark, even a little scary, and I’m proud of what came together. Kudos to whoever can identify what the witch is chanting.

The children add a lot, Teresa is bewitching, and Heather Peavler did a great job on her makeup. I love including the whole family in projects like this. Though I’ll add one word to the wise: if you value your sanity: don’t work with children 🙂