Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

SpinTunes #3 Round 2 Review

(To listen to the songs mentioned in this review, just click the picture above.)

Reviewing this round was kinda difficult. There were less songs, which helps, but having people write about a headline in a newspaper presented 2 problems.

1. I had to read news stories I wasn't really that interested in just to review the songs.

2. It really opened the doors for people to go political this round. Nothing wrong with that, but even a well written & performed song can be difficult to listen to if you disagree with what it's saying. I normally rank the songs simply by how much I plan on listening to them in the future. I think that would be a bit unfair of me this round, so I'll try to avoid knocking someone based on their chosen topic.

3. These were done a couple days ago, but the shadows I did yesterday/tonight/this morning. I decided to put them in the current album order so the songs are easier to find if someone wants a quick reference.

Charlie McCarron - The Mountain Will Not Yield
Right off the bat the wind sets the mood, nice touch. The music held my interest the entire time, and it was actually kinda odd (but good). What I mean is that it was very atmospheric sounding, but it actually told a very clear story. The ONLY thing I didn't like was the repeat of the opening at the end. To me at least, it seemed like there was just too much going on with the extra vocals. Other than that...perfect.

Chris Cogott - Welcome To Kabul
Loved the instrumental bit, your guitar is always great. I thought you did a good job of putting the listener in this guys shoes.

Matt And Donna - A Tight Spot
I'm a little shocked that more people didn't go with shorter stories like this that allow a little leeway in story telling. I thought the idea of telling the story from the POV of an older brother (who may or may not exist) was great. Lines like "But let's calm down / Try to get our story straight" is something I think I might have said a few times. And "Now I'm stuck behind the bars" is the perfect way to end the song. Leaves me with a sad picture of a little boy sitting on his bed grounded. Great story telling.

Pat And Gweebol - The Story Is Mine: Confession Of An Undocumented Immigrant
Man that was a long article...but I won't hold it against you. :p I thought it was a good song, and I liked the peppy tune. After that long read I would have liked it to be more about the individual person. This song was kinda split on it's direction. I liked the fact that you worked "Breaking News" into the song, and overall this should get you into the next round.

The Offhand Band - Program aids food stamp users
Another song that worked the title of the round in...nice. Really liked the piano, and overall the music held my interest. I know you were trying to mimic a newspaper article with the song, and I think you did a fine job in that department. The vocals would at times be distracting. Seems like they were walking a fine line of being ok & off most of the song. For instance in "with discounts on the freshest local produce in town" the first syllable in "produce" was enough make me wince. It's not that bad really, but the rest of the song was so well done that a few spots like that stuck out more for me.

Steve Durand - When Frankie And Johnny Get Married
With the "Frankie And Johnny" title & opening...I expected Frankie to find Johnny cheating with another man & getting shot for it. Thought you nailed the style, cause I felt like I was watching an old musical with lines like "We'll have a gay old time" & "To wed your tootsie wootsie". And as always...nice horns.

Jutze - Re: Your Oil
I didn't really care for the transitions between the 2 styles in this song. The line "All we want is your oil" was memorable, but it might be the only thing I remember about this song in a week. Mostly just because each time I started getting into the song, the transition would throw me right back out.

Ross Durand - The American Way
After the challenge was posted Noah McLaughlin told me, "You realize you just let Ross Durand win this next round, right?" As if to say, "Yeah, this shits easy for me" Ross went out & used multiple articles to rant about many things that don't make sense to him. It's a simple song with 1 man & 1 guitar, but it's the perfect team for this challenge. I didn't find it as memorable as his round 1 song, but Ross ain't going anywhere this round.

Dr. Lindyke - Prayer For Peace
In my round 1 review I mentioned I like upbeat funny songs, but Dave doesn't give a rats ass. He should either, you can't write for 1 judge, and especially not an alternate judge. The song was purdy, but so was Fran Drescher, and I don't want to listen to her either. Stylistically you took most things I avoid & used them in the song. How did you know I hate Hebrew? You'll probably move on to the next round, cause everything I disliked about the song was based on personal preference, and not the quality of what you chose to do.

Jon Eric - North Dakota (I. Five Years, II. Fargo, III. Panic, IV. Rain, V. Dry Land)
You have balls of steel to enter this. We have a piano player who went to Berklee for songwriting & a professional whistler judging. So what does Jon do? He enters a 9 minute song that's piano heavy 9 & includes whistling. BALLS! I admit there was a little dread at the idea of listening to a 9 minute song multiple times to review it...but the song was pretty dang good. The song was much BIGGER than the human interest part of the story that you based it on, and that's fine. I thought the "Rain" part would be BIGGER...I was actually waiting for that part & was disappointed a bit. Wasn't epic enough after waiting so long for it.

Gold Lion - Message For Vivian
Ok, the music was cool & laid back. The main vocal was enjoyable. I didn't care for the 2 vocals together after the instrumental though. You added more content than you did in round 1, so that's great. This feels like an entire song, unlike your first one. Lyrically I see references to the article & everything, but I don't really follow your story telling all that well. You'll find out soon enough that I'm pretty dense at following along if the stories aren't crystal clear. Just ask Denise Hudson....Travis Norris....Spencer Sokol....etc...etc... :p

Wait What - Bunny Please Don't Go
When you submitted your article I was really looking forward to the song. I can't say it lived up to my hopes. Some lines made me laugh, while I was distracted by the autotune during others. I liked the cowbell, but it needs banjo. Whenever the contest ends for you...I REALLY want to hear a produced version of your round 1 song. I just hope this round wasn't your last.

Caleb Hines - Too Soon To Say Goodbye
First off you told the story really well & I enjoyed that. I liked how the verses were broken up into 4 sections & the first 2 built up to the next 2. In the 4th section of the verses I didn't care for the strings. Small gripe maybe, but it annoyed me both times. Sweet entry overall.

Edric Haleen - What About Love?
This blogger does not want this review to be available for Internet distribution. I don't want to chance that Edric's students will read the strong, coarse language that I use about him in this review. A copy of this review will be e-mailed to those I trust upon request. Sorry about the inconvenience. Thank you for understanding.

Inverse T. Clown - Something In The Air
I think everyone added a little fantasy to their stories, what makes this different is that it adds fantasy to fantasy. Lyrically this shows why you're one of my 3 favorite lyrist in SpinTunes (Edric & Ross are the other 2), and I really can't complain about anything else either. I don't know if the music is catchy enough to make me come back often, but I'll come back.

Alexa Polasky - Infidelity
After reading that long article, then listening to the song...I find myself asking did you send the right article? Since it's like 7 pages long, I won't read again to make sure, but I took something different away from it than you did I think. The song itself is ok, it doesn’t jump out at me as something to vote for, but it's not bad. I think it needs a stronger hook, and a song bio...a song bio would be nice for this one.

Governing Dynamics - Cameras, Streetlights, And Things Worth Fighting For
Too busy, couldn't really get into it cause there seemed to be too much going on, and it wasn't coming together for me. Lyrically I thought you did a good job, but the music was fighting the lyrics.

Godz Poodlz - Independence And Freedom For All
Vocals weren't the best I've heard from the Poodlz. When I got to the chorus I felt similar to how I felt with Alexa's song. Did you read the same thing I did? I think you did a great job of telling the story with the verses, but the chorus just seems to be from another song.

Alex Carpenter - The Last Launch
Your tweet about recording this in the bathroom during a sound check is the single coolest #SpinTunes related tweet ever. Unfortunately, even though it's good for a last second bathroom recording, I don't think it's tight enough to pass into round 3. The sudden end, stumbling for lyrics at one point, and rushed production makes for a good start to a song. But I don't think the demo is strong enough yet. Would like to see what you can do with this when you get some free time away from the road & tour. Rock on.

Matt Walton - Take Your Placards Down To London
I'll be honest, I didn't know what that sound was until about 1 minute into the song. I'm not a big fan of bagpipes, but that was more annoying than usual since I couldn't even tell what it was for a 3rd of the song. You did a fine job of telling the story in the article, and the vocals were pleasant. Overall it just felt too empty, and the bagpipes....ugh...

Happi - Double The Fetish
"My song is pretty terrible as I wrote it the night before recording (there was no inspiration anywhere to be found)..." As you did at the end of the song, it's probably not a good idea to GIVE people reasons to not vote for you or knock you down. Your topic was gross & strange, but had potential to be a funny song. I'm not usually a fan of cursing for cursing sake, and lines like "just fuck off and die" just didn't seem to NEED to be there. Matter a fact that whole section is pretty weak. As for the verses, there were some I thought were good, and some that seemed to have no effort put into them. There were good moments, but it wasn't nearly as enjoyable as the round one song you put up.


Glen Raphael - Billion Metal Dollars (Shadow)
You did this with your i-Pad? Very nice. I wouldn't have thought a song about this topic would have held my interest, but it did. You just reminded me of Ross Durand, and that's good company to keep. My favorite shadow of the round, and if it was a regular entry, it probably would have got a vote from me.

Doom SKITTLE featuring Luke Brekke, Esquire - Going Undercover (Shadow)
The Onion? Really? Ah, you're a shadow, what the hell. Might as well have fun with it right? The lyrics seem awkward & rushed in places as well. The course doesn't really leave a lasting impression, and since the vocals get mostly lost in the mix, not much has a chance to leave an impression. The guitar picking was probably the highlight of the song. Your review just ended, the following is Edric's review that I'm hiding inside of yours just to be a prick.

This is tough. Lyrically it's great, and the flow is better than any other rap track this round. The LOVE section fits in perfect. What I didn't really care for was the performance. It's not that I would expect a 'funny' rap from Edric, but this sounds like he's pretending to be someone else & not Edric. I'm not buying into the performance, and maybe it's cause Edric didn't find a way to be Edric within "rap". This probably doesn't make since, and it sounds like I dislike the song, but I did like it. It's not something I'll listen to in the car with the windows down...but it'll get played on my MP3 player with the headphones on...even if it's just to hear Edric say naughty words.

Noah McLaughlin - Fear Drive (Shadow)
I liked how you tacked each POV in the article, and lyrically I had no problems with it. And I liked the last two lines of the song. What I didn't like was the guitars, and some parts of the song it was hard for me to make out the lyrics by hear. Great ideas...only ok execution.

Menage’ a Tune - The Furries Are Heading Back To Pittsburgh (Shadow)
You're about 15 seconds short of the requirement...but it's a shadow...I can let that go. The piano & singing just seem awkward the whole way through...not going together. Lyrically it does it's job, and telling about the Furries coming to Pittsburgh, but the most entertaining part was a part you borrowed from a musical. I'm sure the organizers of this event would be happy with it, but it's a REALLY narrow audience that you're shooting at right now.

Young Stroke aka Young Muscle - One Dollar Robber (Shadow)
Best opening of the round. But from there on out my review is similar to Happi's. Few lines were fun, but most of them just didn't seem that creative or flow well.


  1. Thanks for hosting SpinTunes. Godz Poodlz took our inspiration for our song from such classics as Springsteen's "Born in the USA," and John Mellencamp's "Pink Houses." In both those songs, depressing verses are juxtaposed against overly enthusiastic, rave choruses. If you just listened to the chorus of Born in the USA, you would think there was nothing wrong with the USA. Some Presidential Campaigns and Car Companies actually wanted to use "Born in the USA" in the advertising! The same is true for Pink Houses, from the tone of Mellencamp's chorus, you would think that "Little Pink Houses for you and me," is something we should all want. I think our song suffers because we aren't nearly as talented as Mellencamp and Springsteen. But we wanted to point out the irony of a man who was seeking freedom from hardship, pain and disease by getting himself thrown in prison. He is actually seeking his Freedom by going to jail. That is what the chorus meant. But a song that you have to explain, is a song that doesn't work. Thanks for the review.

  2. If you just start up the iPhone's "voice memo" app and put it on a table in front of you it produces a surprisingly good recording quality for small-group guitar-and-voice sort of stuff.