Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

SpinTunes #1 Round 1 Review

If you've been paying attention, you would know that I started a song writing competition. Round 1 is now finished, and you can listen to (and download) ALL the songs for free at Bandcamp. (Round 1 Album) You can find out more about this competition by visiting "SpinTunes". There's a permanent link right up above. Now on to MY review:

As an alternate judge I'll be doing reviews each round just in case they are needed. Since this competition is based on 4 challenges, my rankings will strongly reflect how well you met the challenge, and not just on how much I liked your song. There's a few songs that got ranked near the bottom that I really liked. They just didn't meet the challenge...in my opinion at least. These are ordered from favorite to least favorite, with reviews of the shadow songs at the very bottom.

Thank you to EVERYONE who submitted a song.

Caleb Hines (The Memoirs Of Clockwork Man) - Caleb's voice isn't sinister enough to pull off that opening, but works perfectly for the song. He's just sounds so sweet & trustworthy....which sets you up even more for the shocking ending. All the clock noises were AMAZING in this song. This is my favorite song of the round. There were a couple that were right on his heels, but this song shows why Caleb was my favorite Song Fuer in "Masters Of Song Fu 6". He just keeps getting better & better.
Challenge: Met

Ryan Welton (Underdog Blues) - I almost had this as my favorite song. Just thought it had a really cool groove, and even if I'm not an Underdog fan, this could almost make me one. I can't think of anything to complain about, and it was fun to sing. This is an i-Pod killer for me.
Challenge: Met
<a href="http://spintown.bandcamp.com/track/underdog-blues">Underdog Blues by Spintown Tunes</a>

Steve Durand (Gamma Man) - The horns were amazing, and really set the mood. I could definitely see this as a TV theme song for some cheesy 70's or 80's superhero show. Fun story telling, and one of my favorite entries this round. Well done sir.
Challenge: Met
<a href="http://spintown.bandcamp.com/track/gamma-man">Gamma Man by Spintown Tunes</a>

Edric Haleen (A Letter To Humanity) - Beautiful in every way possible. Edric's constant mind games during the past week (over at Artifiction) only made the ending of his song even better than it already was.
Challenge: Met
<a href="http://spintown.bandcamp.com/track/a-letter-to-humanity">A Letter To Humanity by Spintown Tunes</a>

Godz Poodlz (The Human Bomb) - This song had me trying to think of a dirty joke about the Human Bomb & Bomb Squad Girl hooking up. I failed at joke making, but this song doesn't fail to entertain.
Challenge: Met

Jon Eric (Superman Sneezed) - Jon Eric is one of my favorite performers from Song Fight. I typically love his since of humor, and even if his vocals aren't great, the performance is usually entertaining. This song is both humorous & sad. Loved the idea, and you were the first to successfully get the "Howard The Duck" song out of my head. Thank you for that.
Challenge: Met

Governing Dynamics (Origin) - Your vocals aren't the greatest, but you do a great job of putting some emotion into them in this song. For instance the 2 lines about the needle FELT like you were nervous. I've listened to this 3 times carefully, and each time it jumps a bit on my list.
Challenge: Met

"Buckethat" Bobby Matheson (Super Villain Blues) - This song brings our attention to some unknown problems that supervillians must deal with all the time. I mean do you think death rays, nuclear bombs, and fantastical weapons of mass destruction come cheap? Of course not. And you know having your dreams crushed by a man in tights has got to suck. I really liked the accordion, but it could use some banjo (all songs need banjo, not just this :p ). To me this beats anything you entered into the last Song Fu, and is an example of why I'm a Buckethat fan.
Challenge: Met

Ross Durand (Don't Turn The Page) - The mixing of the two worlds is a bit awkward, but I think it works. The song as a whole is what I've come to expect from you, and that's a good thing.
Challenge: Met

JoAnn Abbott - When JoAnn signed up, I was worried for her. She plays no instruments, and wasn't working with anyone else. Acappella is nice, but some challenging times were ahead. She totally shocked me though. Her lyrics were SOLID & the tune pretty worked well. Dave Leigh was kind enough to add some last minute piano which helped the track a lot, but honestly it was good enough on it's own to get a nice pat on the back from me. The vocals were good, except I didn't dig the second to last line. The idea that this could be from the point of view of a superhero or supervillian was also a really cool component to the song for me.
Challenge: Met

Sara Parsons (Starlite: Ballad For A Noble Steed) - This really bends the rules of what's a superhero. Personally I think it is...but barely. Hey, it's a talking horse, with super intelligence (for a horse), and it can run on rainbows (I think...it's been a long time since I saw the show...forget you just read that). I enjoyed the music, and it's probably my favorite song I've heard from you in competition. Harmonies for the win...well for at least a purdy song.
Challenge: Met

Denise Hudson (Invisible Girl) - Your style doesn't really fit this challenge. I mean when I think superhero music your atmospheric Denisisms don't pop into mind. That said; you told a story that I could follow, the music & performance was solid, and you met the challenge. Overall one of my favorite songs from you, but it'll probably be a little lower on my list because it doesn't FEEL like a superhero song....even though it is.
Challenge: Met

Heather Miller (I'm Not Wearing Tights) - I really liked the idea for this song. It's a good first entry, and makes me look forward to more from you. The song itself doesn't jump out at me though. It's enjoyable, and will get some plays on my computer. It doesn't jump out at me as being a favorite this round, but it'll probably end up middle of the pack.
Challenge: Met

The Offhand Band (Step Back Swooperman) - I enjoyed most of the JW elements, but it felt out of place in parts. The first verse just didn't work for me. The lyrics are fine, but the music just didn't mess with them. The vocals are clear, and I enjoyed the chorus. The idea was original & interesting, and you can tell you do family friendly music. It feels like something that could be on a children's album. I enjoyed the song, but it'll probably go middle of the pack on my list because of the first verse.
Challenge: Met
(judges mix is different from bandcamp version)

Jenny Katz (Blofeld's Beginnings) - It's not first person...oh wait it is...well it sort of is. The music was simple, but very effective. I loved the vocal performance, and overall enjoyed the song.
Challenge: Halfway Met (p.o.v. half fail)

Charlie McCarron (Faster Than Superman) - I found myself ignoring the vocals, and just relaxing to the music. That's probably a good thing, because when I did focus on the lyrics I didn't think they were strong enough. It wasn't enough to get me to care about the super fast individual...whoever he is. The music was fine though.
Challenge: Met
(judges mix is different from bandcamp version)

Graham Porter (Costume) - It's a bit odd having a male voice sing from the point of view of a female (even though I should be used to it from Edric's shows :p ). Your song is a good example of why I had people send in lyrics with their songs. Overall I thing this is one of your better songs (that I've heard), but you really need to find some way of upping your production & recording techniques. Whatever the heck you're doing isn't working. It's a shame, cause like I said it's my favorite thing I've heard from you, but it's really hard to get past the crummy presentation.
Challenge: Met
(judges mix is different from bandcamp version)

Gorbzilla (Superhero Song) - Title sucks. Now to the song. I think you just hit a lot of G(eek) spots with this song. It's an interesting idea, and I loved the song. It's going near the bottom of my list though, and that's because it wasn't from the point of view of a superhero. It's about superheroes, it's about A LOT of (sub par) superheroes...but that's not the challenge. This will get a lot of plays from me...even though I think Aqua-man & Captain Planet both kickass.
Challenge: Not Met (p.o.v. fail)

Kevin Savino-Riker (Tough Jobs Vs Iron Gates) - The idea for the song is amazing, and you pulled it off nicely. Unfortunately I don't consider Bill or Steve a superhero or supervillian. The voice overs were a cool touch, and I thought you did a good job of singing from both view points. The Apple & Microsoft references were cool, but the fact that they were well thought out saved it from being too silly. It's a total challenge fail for me, but nice work noob.
Challenge: Not Met (superhero fail)

Bram Tant (Kebab Shop) - The opening had me a little excited, but then instead of the music taking off, it just stops. It turns into Bram's monologue (where did the song go). It had me laughing, and I do like humorous tunes. But as I pointed out....most of this can't even be called a song. I'm glad you're thinking outside the box, but next time think outside the box while still inside the challenge. The supervillian is certainly a bad dude, but being a bad dude doesn't really make you a supervillian...to me at least. Funny, enjoyable, but this has to go at the bottom of my list unfortunately.
Challenge: Not Met (song fail, supervillian fail)


Buffo Yux Dudes (The Ballad Of Henry Pym) - These guys were deadline casualties because of a miscommunication & an act of God. Weak excuse guys, PRAY HARDER! :p This is now my favorite song from you guys, and that's a real achievement since I hate Ant Man. As much as I love it, I still couldn't have put it too high on the list because it wasn't from the point of view of Ant Man. As a song, and taking the challenge out of it, it would have been a top 3 song. Considering the challenge, well it would have been the best of all the songs at the bottom that didn't meet the challenge.
Challenge: Not Met (p.o.v. fail)

Bryce Jensen (Dearest Firestorm: Love, Multiplex) - I've heard of love triangles, but I don't know what the hell to call this. I hadn't heard of Firestorm or Multiplex before. Apparently Firestorm is a hero that is 2 people combined? And Multiplex is a bad guy that can clone himself so that there are multiple versions of himself. And this is a love song being sung by Multiplex...to Firestorm. Very confusing, but very cool. Going acappella takes some guts, but it works really well for this idea.
Challenge: Met

Mick Bordet (They Don't Want Me) - I loved the idea for this song. It takes a superhero & puts him in a situation every high school kid has probably felt they’ve been in. Great way to get people to related to a song about a superhero.

Dr. Lindyke (Save The World) - Not a great recording, but good song. Dave is one of my favorite 'performers' and just little things like the way he delivers a simple "But no!" made me smile. This is a great superhero song, that pretty much takes you through the mind of half the superheroes in comic books. Which makes the fact that the hero is not named in the song itself great. I'm sure everyone has a different image in their mind while listening to it.
Challenge: Met

Danny Blackwell (Love Song From Robin To Batman) - This song is like when Ricky Martin announced he was gay. News worthy as far as entertainment news goes, but not really shocking to anyone. I think we all knew Robin was gay, and frankly I've had concerns that Batman was as well. I mean he is very secretive, and hangs out with a young boy in tights. It's simple & entertaining. Since it's a shadow entry I won't harp on the fact that it's under the two minute minimum. I'm happy you submitted this, and hope we get more shadow entries from you.
Challenge: Not Met (time requirement fail)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Song Fight Review: Dirt Nap

The last challenge over at Song Fight was titled "Dana Wears Dresses", and my favorite entry was from Flvxxvm Florvm. Well it seems like most people disagreed with me, because Seamus got the win. There's a whole new batch of songs over at Song Fight, so I suggest you go pick your favorite songs for the current round. My picks are listed below:

Voted For:
(Right Click "Save As" on the artist's name for a MP3 of their entry.)

Ross Durand - The songs are completely different, but you've got the vocal performance that Pigfarmer Jr was lacking. I didn't care for a couple notes you hit, but it's a fine song.

Holst - Some of the lines didn't grab me, but overall I enjoyed it. The strong vocals probably won me over enough for a vote.

A Far Off Land ft. Wise - Overall it was enjoyable. Lyrics, flow, & music (simple, but effective). The chorus is the weakest part of the track for me. "Dirty Dirt Nap"? Change that shit.

Pigfarmer Jr - The vocals were nice & clean, but the lyrics would suggest more anger in the performance. I didn't get enough feeling from your performance to match the lyrics. I think it would also benefit from being sped up a little. It's not bad, and you're getting a vote, but I don't know how much replay value this has "as is".

Not Too Bad:
(To download these songs head over to Song Fight)

Chekhov's Raygun - I hate raps in which the vocals aren't clear, and yours were very clear. Unfortunately they were way too quiet. The beat was alright at best, but for me lyrics & flow are more important in a rap. I can't say "Great job", but I'll give you a "Nice effort". I would actually like to hear more from you in Song Fight.

Side Notes:
- It was good to see more entries in this fight.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Songs For A New Day (Reviewed)

by Dave Leigh

The problem with reviewing Mike Lombardo's "Songs For A New Day" is that I can sum up the entire review in three sentences: Mike Lombardo is the kind of musician I wish I was. He's driven, motivated, and supremely talented. Buy this album, you won't regret it.

One of the things I like about Mike is he's not a one-trick pony. I really don't want to say that Mike is producing any particular kind of music, since I think that would be doing him a disservice. He's just creating music, and letting each song go where the concept will take it. Too often with 'Internet musicians', you find that they do one thing pretty well, and that's the one thing they do... always. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to have a 'sound', but you've got to be able to provide a little variety. I like a musician who can have an idea and say, "This needs to be gospel", or "This one needs to be jazz". Mike can do that. He easily goes from a driving rhythms of "Abby Never" to the soft ballad "I'm Right Here", to the 1940s film-noir sounds of "This Time Tomorrow". The songs themselves are all excellent. Out of ten tracks, I really like nine (and don't dislike the tenth, it's just not as well-developed). That's a better track record than most artists have for me. The lyrics are generally smart and well thought out. Mike is still growing into his voice... his vocals are much better than they were a year ago, and it's very clear they'll be better still a year from now. In particular, I want to hear "This Time Tomorrow" again after Mike's voice has acquired the patina of age. I can say this... Mike Lombardo's going to be around and writing great music for a long time, and you ain't heard nothin' yet. Get this album now and you'll be the one telling your friends about the early work of this up-and-comer when the rest of the world belatedly 'discovers' him in a few years.

The nice thing about 'new model' music is that you don't have to take my word for any of this. Go to http://mikelombardo.bandcamp.com and listen to all the songs yourself. I honestly have a very hard time pointing to any specific song on this album and saying, "this is my favorite," but I'm going to do it anyway. "Don't Blame Me" stands out for me, as I'm a long-time Billy Joel fan, and this particular number actually feels like something that Joel himself could have written in his "angry young man" early days. It's also worth noting that my wife likes "Colby's Song" so much that she can't listen to it very often: when she does, she bursts into tears and becomes an emotional pretzel for the next hour or so. Now that's art.

You can order "Songs For A New Day" for $12 on CD from DFTBA Records. But wait! That's not all! You also get a second BONUS album, "The Fordham Sessions", which includes an additional ten remastered tracks of previously released material plus an additional new track. If you don't feel the need for the physical disks, then Mike's Bandcamp page offers "Songs For A New Day" for direct download for $9.99 ("The Fordham Sessions" are a separate $2.99 download). This is absolutely worth the price, no matter what format you choose.

Editors Notes:
- I really love it when I get people like Dave Leigh, Sammy Kablam, Travis Norris & Mike Lombardo to review music here. They bring a lot more to the table as reviewers then I can, and it's much appreciated. Please go show Mike some love by visiting his BandCamp page, and giving his music a chance. One listen, and you'll probably have to keep listening. Also go thank Dave for his review if you enjoyed it. You can find him on Twitter (@leighdf) & he has a blog of his own: http://music.cratchit.org/.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dean, Jerry & Vic

- Episode 70 of The Comedic Genius Of Martin And Lewis was recently uploaded. This episode features Vic Damone (who had recently got out of the army) as the guest star, and Dean Martin sings about his home state....Ohio.

- Heather Zink made a new SpinTunes logo. You can see that on Twitter (@SpinTunes) or click the blog page.

Sunday, June 13, 2010


An Unfair and One-Sided Review
by Sammy Kablam

Fight: Dana Wears Dresses

Back from another unexpected hiatus, Negative Reinforcement returns full force! And, luckily, with a short list of competitors to complain about! So, without further adieu, let's find out why Dana Wears Dresses!


A studio version of this might be more interesting. But even then, I dunno. It's just kinda...boring. I get the feeling this is supposed to be deep and meaningful, but I don't really think it gets there. I It's nothing hideous or unbearable, but once I stop reviewing it, I'll never hear it again. And chances are, I'll forget about it by Monday.

Jeremy Dean

I cannot think of any song I've ever heard that sounded quite so uninterested in itself. Your vocals aren't necessarily bad, but they really don't go with the music or the message at all. You sound like your just going thru the motions, in a song that supposed to have an empowering message. And I realize the second half is supposed to be intense and "hardcore" if you will, but it really isn't. The lyrics are notably weak and the song never kicks back in, so it feels like a real disconnect. And again, I realize it never goes back because it's "art" and the song "dies" with the main character. But it just feels like two completely different ideas slapped together. It's almost like the song was so bored with itself that the vocalist gave up on singing and just read the lyrics to get them over with, and the music got so bored it left to find something better to do. Bottom line, I'm not sold on anything about this song. It's dull and it's a weird ass topic. There are a lot of things to consider improving next time, but maybe songs about unjustified murder of transvestites just isn't the niche to carve.

Flxxvm Florvm

The very first line made me smile. In fact, this song made me laugh -- in a good way. It's arguably generic in music, but so what? It's upbeat, it's fun, and it's funny. I can't say I could make out all the words the first time thru, but this is one song I would happily listened to more than once. Just turn up the vocals a little, and I don't think there's anything I can complain about. In fact, this is one of those songs that proves you can be entirely stupid and fantastic at the same time: it's not trying to be deep or emotional or anything beyond what it is -- and what it is, is entertaining. Not sure if I've ever complimented you guys before or not, so mark this down: great job.

Todd Mchatton

Weird. This is probably one of most complex songs I've heard in my Song Fight experience. This is, most certainly, the kind of thing that wins competitions -- or at least deserves to do so. Honestly, not sure I can make fun of anything here. Truly haven't been this impressed in a long time.


That's a lot of D's. I was going to make a comment about the repetitive nature of your music, but the more I think about it, it works. And it works really well. As does the simplicity; the song would sound great with the right additional instruments, but with just the vocals and simple guitar, it still sets a solid tone and is, dare I say, captivating.

Chad Fowler

Wow. I was all set to say you had an interesting "Hotel California" style sound going on, but then the vocals kicked in. And they're really stupid. Not the lyrics, just whatever effects are slathered all over them. Actually, from what I can tell, your lyrics are kinda dumb, too. But, they sound like you're being electrocuted underwater, so I can only hear so much. It's really a shame, too, because you might be a Secret Genius. And what the hell is with that ending? I'm going to politely assume it was an editing error, because otherwise...well, otherwise, I have no idea what you were thinking.

David Ritter

I have to strain to hear you. You're mostly audible, but some of what you say is getting drowned out. But a lot of your lyrics are less than stellar. (I swear, at one point in the first verse you say "He fell in the donut and he saw the smile".) Your lyrical rhythm could use a little work, too. The music for your hook is the most impressive part. But nothing really stands out or begs for attention.


I absolutely love Lonbobby's style. This is not my favorite Lonbobby song, though. I dunno, nothing about it popped at me. There's nothing specifically wrong with it, just wasn't my big winner this time around.

Well, that's all for Dana and her Dresses. It was fun (mostly) to be back in the saddle, and I was rather impressed with the quality of work: It was like the competitors all knew what they were doing, or something. WILD!

Until next time,
S. Kablam

Spintown News:
- You can some of my opinions about this Fight HERE.

- I updated the "Songs Of The Day" & "Music Videos" pages.

- If you haven't checked out the new "SpinTunes" song writing contest. Click the yellow button up on the top right.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nur Ein 5: Round 7 Results

Boop Boop is the champion of Nur Ein 5! Congrats to him, he earned it. Berkeley Social Scene was the final group eliminated, but they were equally awesome in this Nur Ein. This was the most fun I've ever had following a song writing contest. I'm ready for next year already. I'll probably do a Nur Ein 5 wrap up blog in the near future, picking my top 10 songs & favorite competitor. Well done Niveous, and good work judges. NUR EIN!

Round 7 Review
Round 6 Review & Results
Round 5 Review & Results
Round 4 Review & Results
Round 3 Review & Results
Round 2 Review & Results
Round 1 Review & Results
Round 0 Review & Results

Reminder: I have nothing to do with NUR EIN...I'm just a fan.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Song Fight Review: Dana Wears Dresses

The last challenge over at Song Fight was titled "Jewel Of India", and I predicted that Dan The Man Band would win. Well I was wrong again, and Torrentz got the win. Torrentz was ranked 3rd on my list, but it was a well deserved victory. There's a whole new batch of songs over at Song Fight, so I suggest you go pick your favorite songs for the current round. My picks are listed below:

Voted For:
(Right Click "Save As" on the artist's name for a MP3 of their entry.)

1. Flvxxvm Florvm - Ah, this can serve as an anthem for everyone who doesn't like big butts. Funny, fun & right up my alley.

2. Todd McHatton - You ass, I think this song gave me a speech impediment. I can't decide if it's annoying or catchy, but since I keep listening to the damn thing, I'll go with catchy. I should be used to your entries having a never ending loop, but those definately still annoy me. I seem to be pretty harsh with you considering I liked your entry? Maybe it's because I've lost the ability to say anything with multiple syllables out loud.

Not Too Bad:
(To download these songs head over to Song Fight)

Seamus - It's not bad, but the slow pace an lack of much music had me struggling to stay interested. I did enjoy your performance, but this isn't in my wheelhouse as a listener.

Jeremy Dean - Well the direction you went didn't really interest me much, but the music was keeping me into the song. When you started the poetry reading the only thing keeping me interested went away.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nur Ein 5: Round 7 Review

The final 2 songs of Nur Ein 5 have been uploaded. Will Boop Boop or Berkeley Social Scene take the win? Let's review the challenge, then you can read my opinions of the final songs.

Title: "See You In Hell"
Non-optional Challenge: Bring Your A-Game
Boop Boop - And to think that I wouldn't have voted for you in the last round...wow. The idea was golden, and I loved this song. The lyrics & humor struck me right in the funny bone. I lean toward the more humorous type of music personally, and this was great. I only have 1 problem with the song. When you got to the devils little vamp:
Baby, I'm burning for you
Literally and figuratively
Please commit a sin
Rape a kitty kat
Take over a country
And kill all of the indigenous people
Anything to get you to me
I had A LOT of trouble understanding the lyrics. Once I hit the lyrics forum, I have to admit I loved it. I shouldn't have had to go look up the lyrics to understand them though. Overall great, but I'd really LOVE a do over in that one section. Well done sir.

Berkeley Social Scene - I'm getting tired of saying your production is good. It's always fucking good, I almost want you to record something with a crappy mic, window open on a windy day, next to a busy street just so I can say something different. Anyways...your song is fine. Vocals, music, lyrics everything....fine. It was enjoyable, and if this was a Song Fight match you would definately get one of my votes.

However, it's Nur Ein, and there can be only 1. In this case, after listening to both songs Boop Boop just stood out more. Sure I had an issue with 1 part of the song, but the rest jumped up, smacked me in the face and said, "Don't look at that, look at ME!" So really good work BSS, but I think Boop Boop just aced your king of clubs.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nur Ein 5: Round 6 Results

I've been extremely slow about posting the results of Round 6. I sort of got side tracked with this new song writing tournament that I'm hosting. Anyways, if you haven't seen for yourself already, Berkeley Social Scene won round 6. I completely agreed with BSS getting the win, but I couldn't have disagreed more with Boop Boop taking 2nd. Oh, well. Boop Boop has produced some good music in this Nur Ein, so it should still be a good final match up. Chris Cogott, Milo Dunderville & Minty Handy were all eliminated, and Nur Ein 5 is about to come to a close. Round 7 is now underway...actually the songs should be posted very soon. So lets look at the challenge:

Title: "See You In Hell"
Non-optional Challenge: Bring Your A-Game
This might be my least favorite challenge of Nur Ein 5, but I'm still excited for the results.

Round 6 Results:
(A direct link to the MP3's of my favorite songs are provided.)

20 - Berkeley Social Scene
16 - Boop Boop
14 - Chris Cogott
13 - Milo Dunderville
12 - Minty Handy

Side Notes:
- Someone noted in the Song Fight Forums that "every contestant was ranked first by one of the judges." That's pretty cool.

- The man in charge of Nur Ein (Niveous) is one of the judges for my song writing tournament.

- We had a judges meeting today, and all the challenges have already been decided.

- There's also a pole in the side bar for you to vote on the start time of the listening parties.

- You can find more info on my tournament by clicking the links below:
Details - Official Sign Ups - Draft Of Schedule

Round 6 Review
Round 5 Review & Results
Round 4 Review & Results
Round 3 Review & Results
Round 2 Review & Results
Round 1 Review & Results
Round 0 Review & Results

Reminder: I have nothing to do with NUR EIN...I'm just a fan.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Official Sign Ups Start NOW!

YOU STILL HAVE TIME! 28 people have officially signed up by sending in their e-mail. Thursday, June 10th 11:59PM EST is the deadline.

We had more then 12 people express a commitment to competing so this contest now has the green light. I will need everyone who wants to participate to copy & paste the following text into your e-mail & fill in the needed info. Then e-mail it to me at the address I provided below. Make sure you put "Spintown Contest" as the subject of the e-mail so I don't think it's spam. Also use an e-mail that I can reach you at if need be.

I _____________ give Travis Langworthy permission to upload any music I submit into his contest onto his blog (Spintown) & bandcamp. I realize it will become part of an album consisting of numerous other artists, and that it will be available for anyone to download for free. I also promise to give my very best effort in each round to complete the challenges. Providing NEW songs that have not been released before in any form. I also agree that anything that goes wrong during this competition is Heather's fault.

Name: (Name you or your group wants to be referred to during the competition.)

Bio: (Give a brief description of your group/music/history in 500 CHARACTERS or less. I know it's brief, but it's more then Twitter allows. :p Besides, links to your sites will be provided if people want to learn more about you.)

Twitter: (If you got one & want to share. *optional* If there's multiple accounts for multiple band members that's fine.)

YouTube: (If you got one & want to share. *optional*)

Band Website: (If it's different then either of the above. *optional*)

Pictures: (I need a band picture or logo. The image should be 100x100, and if it's not I'll do my best to make it so. *don't forget to actually attach the picture*)
Here's a list of the people that will be making the challenges, reviewing your work & of course voting on the songs:

1. Heather Zink (The Spur In My Saddle)

2. Julia Sherred (webmaster of Geeky Pleasures)

3. Joe "Covenant" Lamb (winner of Masters Of Song Fu 5)

4. Sammy KABLAM! (Yes...that Sammy Kablam.)

5. Niveous (creator of Nur Ein)

- There is the small possibility that a fairly well known YouTuber/musician who is known for helping small independent artists will be a judge as well. I sent a request, that's still unanswered.

- I was orginally going to be a judge, but figured why not let the more talented folks have a go at it. I'll still review & be at the meeting/s.

- Judges, make sure I have your e-mail as well.

- Start brainstorming ideas for challenges. If for some reason you can't make our meeting (I'll contact you about the time & place), you can send a list of your ideas to me ahead of time. We will discuss them even if you can't make it.

Sign ups will last until Thursday, June 10th 11:59 PM EST.

The first challenge will be posted Saturday, June 12th 1AM EST.

That's the most I can tell you now about the schedule. I'll get to work on the rest of it shortly.

Listening Party:
I was hoping to have a listening party for each round. Hopefully much like Song Fu we can all get together in one virtual place while the songs are played for the very first time for people. Usually this took place shortly after the submission deadline, and the songs were posted onto the site after the listening party.

Jules has kindly offered to host the listening party, and seeing how that's less work for me, I jumped all over that opportunity. :p Jules has a U-Stream account, and the listening party will be held on her channel (HERE). So if you have time drop by Geeky Pleasures and say, "Thank you Jules." Times & dates of the listening parties will be posted on this blog at a later date.

For those of you that don't want to check this blog every day, but also use Twitter, I'll be posting updates on Twitter as well. You can follow me @Spintown. You can unfollow me right after the contest if you want, my ego can take it.

Side Note:
Niveous ran a couple ideas by me over on Song Fight yesterday that I really liked. I would love to try them out if this works out & we do a 2nd competition down the road. After last nights computer problems, I think I'll just leave things as is, and just get things rolling. I'll post the ideas below. Give your feedback if you have an opinion, because they might be used in the future.

- "No eliminations. You have all the bands compete in all four rounds and the judges vote. Whoever has the most points at the end of all 4 rounds wins. It would feel like a race. Can the person with the top score in Round 1 continue to be consistantly the best or will they be overtaken."

So basicially instead of taking Nur Ein's scoring system it would be more of a mix between Song Fu & Nur Ein.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Song Fu Withdrawl?

Ok...ever since Ken Plume pulled the plug on Masters Of Song Fu, some people that used to participate have been sort of wondering what to do now. I've been in chats with a number of people where the subject turns to starting a Song Fu replacement. I've suggested people try Song Fight & Nur Ein, but most were more interested in having their own thing. Russ Rogers is attempting a project called "The White Elephant" over on Facebook. That has interested some, while others seem to want a simpler more structured approach.

I know Jeff MacDougall toyed with the idea of starting something, but thus far it was only discussion with a few of the old TMA crew (as far as I know). Lots of ideas have been floated around by many people. A few have suggested I do something with Spintown, and I've always come up with many excuses for not doing it. A recent discussion over at ArtiFiction with Bryce, Heather & JoAnn finally got me to thinking it's something I can handle on a small scale here at Spintown.

If I do this, and right now I'm just seeing if there's interest from people to participate, it will NOT be Song Fu. It would be a cross between Song Fu & Nur Ein, hopefully taking what most people like best about each.

Official Sign Up Info

It will have a similar schedule to Song Fu. There will be 4 rounds. You will have 9-12 days to write, record & send in your song. There will be a short break of 5-7 days between each round. During this time the song will be voted on, reviewed & prep for the next round will be made. A final schedule will be made when we see how many people are interested in participating. (Rough Draft Of Schedule)

The voting will be done like Nur Ein. There will be 5 judges who are not participating in the contest (probably all from the old TMA community). Each round they will individually rate all the songs from favorite to least favorite. Then the judges scores will be posted & added up. There will be NO popular vote. Here's an example of what the scoring would look like:

Each round people will be eliminated from the competition. I can't say how exactly the break down will go until I know how many people are participating. But lets say 20 people enter; 6 would be voted out the first round, 6 the second round, 6 the third round, and then the last round would be the final two competitors. If you are eliminated or fail to enter the contest, you can still enter shadow entries. This is not a head to head contest, the competitors with the lowest vote totals are eliminated. Ties are settled by a popular vote in the form of a poll I'll start for each round.

Final Round:
In the last round, everyone who has been eliminated will be allowed to vote. Again, a popular vote will be used as a tie breaker. This round the judges have no say in matters. However they will still be required to review each song.

The challenges will be similar to the old Song Fu & "Non Optional" Nur Ein challenges. If you go through the old challenges you'll see that they could be anything. You could be given a theme, restrictions, and hopefully you're forced to do things you've never done before. The challenges will be created by myself & the other judges. You will be required to send in your entries as MP3's along with the LYRICS of your entry.

In the past when people suggested I do something like this, hosting was one of the excuses I used not to do it. However...I think BandCamp a long with a widget Heather Zink found will handle any problems I had. Each round the songs would be uploaded onto this blog with this widget:

Band email marketing
With this you can listen to all the songs right here at Spintown without going anywhere. The songs will also be uploaded onto BandCamp each round as an album/EP. So the songs will be posted on a temp basis here, but permanently on BandCamp. The songs will be set for free download only, and everyone would have to be ok with this going into the competition. BandCamp will make it easy to download songs, share 1 song individually or the round as a whole. I set up an account, but I am not very familiar with the ins & outs of copyright. So anyone with a BandCamp account that knows a little more about doing compilation albums...drop me a line.

I didn't plan on having there be a prize. No trophy. No cash. When we come up for a name for this competition I wouldn't be against someone designing & donating a T-shirt for the winner. But the real prize is knowing you won & the music itself. If you need gifts & hundreds of popular votes to motivate you to write songs in this competiton...it ain't for you. Nothing against those things, we just ain't having it. (aside from tie breakers) If this goes well, I will consider bringing in a popular vote in some form if people demand it.

Wrap Up:
I could get sign ups started as soon as next week if the interest is there. I mean I'm ready, my partner Heather is ready, I could get a couple more judges & everything started very quickly. One thing I promise is that I'll be more open & reachable then a certain someone who's name sounds like doom.

Your Input:
Most of this stuff is set in stone as far as I'm concerned. I could use input from yall in a couple areas though:

- Are you interested in competing? Give me a definate 'yes' or 'no' if you can participate....if you can that is.

- What should this competition be called?

- A little advice about BandCamp, and setting up a compilation album.

- Have I overlooked something or need to explain something a little more?

- If you don't have a Blogger account & want to leave a comment below that's fine. But leave your name in the comment or contact me via e-mail @

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nur Ein 5: Round 6 Review

Round 6 songs from Nur Ein 5 have been uploaded. Let's review the challenge then get to my picks for the round:

Title: "Headphones"
Non-optional Challenge: A Judicious Use of Silence
My Favorites: (right click "Save As" on the artist to download their song)

Berkeley Social Scene - I enjoyed the silent pauses & thought overall you met the challenge while providing a catchy tune. Probably my favorite song from you in this Nur Ein.

Chris Cogott - Enjoyed the story, and thought the music was catchy. Like BSS, I thought you brought some of your best work this round.

The Rest: (visit Nur Ein to download these songs)

Milo Dunderville - I enjoyed the verses (especially the first), but didn't really care for the chorus. Considering the direction the song took, I thought the intro was creative.

Minty Handy - The piano was beautiful. The story & lyrics didn't grab me at all, and combined with the soft relaxing piano it made the song feel really long....yet it wasn't.

Boop Boop - Yeah, the title wasn't "Headphones With A Bad Connection". I can't remember ever getting static on a radio station & thinking...."Sounds good enough." I mess with the damn dial until I fix it, and that's all I want to do while listening to this song. It's a funny idea, but the idea gets in the way of the music actually being listenable.