A couple of years ago, Madison-based comedian and musician Nate Bjork released Bridge Party, an entire album of songs inspired by the three-season TV adaptation of Stephen King’s Under The Dome. The 13-song effort, which Bjork wrote as he watched his way through the show’s first season, covers Under The Dome’s basic plot points (“There’s A Dome”), memorable characters (“Scarecrow Joe”), Bjork’s own subjective observations about the show (“Ollie Dinsmore Looks Like Neil Young”), and finally, in a track that serves as a punchline for the whole absurd exercise (“The Worst Show In The World”), the disappointment of a jilted viewer who thought it would be a cool show.
“I’m not mad the show’s bad, I’m mad ’cause you tricked me,” Bjork sings in that closing track, but his efforts didn’t stop with Bridge Party. He recently released another Under The Dome-inspired EP, Ghost Agent Keen, and says he’s stored up two more albums’ worth of material that he’d like to record soon. Bjork, who used to be a regular at local stand-up comedy shows, says the project has helped him learn more about songwriting and playing several instruments (drums, guitar, banjo), and hopes it will leave him better equipped to record more serious original material. And the songs are funny, especially Bridge Party‘s “A Dome Cut My Legs Off,” in which Bjork imagines the story behind a couple of severed legs discovered in the show.
Bjork met up with me recently to talk about how he got started on this whole project, and what’s kept him going. We also discussed his habit of using Internet jukeboxes to torment bar patrons.