Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Everything I’m responding to in this blog is a response to 2 posts on this site: http://calliopeva.livejournal.com/

In hopes of clearing up some confusion on JoAnn’s part, I’ve decided to respond to a few more of her misguided & off the mark public statements.

“Until Round 3 of Spintunes 5, even though he had lost judges in the past, he had always been able to get someone else to fill in, and in fact from ST1 onward he usually had between 1-3 alternate judges doing reviews and scores just in case one of the main ones was unable to do what he had promised.”

I don’t go looking to get people to “fill in” when a judge fails to do their job. The alternate judges I get are typically planned ahead of time (before songs are even posted), and not last minute plug in’s. This fact puts a big fat hole in most of your conspiracy theories, but I’ll continue with a few other points that do the same as we go along.

“In ST5 Rd 3, he had no such back up plan, even though he knew that Hazen hadn't turned in anything. Well, he COULD have used Dave Leighs review of course- Dave had been a judge in the past, and had a review up for the better part of the week.”

There’s a few problems with your logic here. If for some reason I needed a last second replacement judge I wouldn’t go out and get someone that had already posted reviews. That gives me a bit too much power. Someone could easily say, well he used this or that review because he agreed with it. I don’t want to have my opinion matter much in the final outcome, and I’ve went out of my way to avoid that on a number of occasions.

"Travis usually/often had discussions with the judges after the listening party to see if there were any obvious DQ's,"

False. If I’m in a Google+ Hangout with someone that happens to be a judge, I’ll talk about it with them. Other than that, I usually just post in the forum about possible DQ’s. And not all judges are active in the forums. It’s very common for me to not hear from a judge until they turn in their reviews the night of the deadline. That’s another reason getting a last second replacement is not really practical, and exactly why I’m always an alternate judge. I try to get guest judges, but it’s not always easy to get people to guest judge. And get this...sometimes the guest judges flake on me as well. It’s happened more than once.

I wonder- did you talk to ANY of the other judges before the deadline for them to turn in their scores, Travis?

I messaged Hazen a couple times via e-mail to see if he would be able to get them done. I don’t remember the exact wording, but it was basically a “probably not” answer. I gave him as long as I possibly could before I had to post the results. Did I talk to the others? I only discussed a few things in the forum. I didn’t nag them daily for reviews. They signed up to judge, they’re adults, but sometimes life happens & things take priority over judging a free songwriting contest. That is, unless your name is JoAnn Abbott. In that case the songwriting contest takes #1 priority & harping about things that don’t go your way becomes your damn life as you hunt for people to blame & clues to back up your cockamamie theories.

"Hmmm…for ST3 Rd 2, you had three alternate judges lined up- why didn’t you have any for S5R3?"

It’s a free songwriting contest. There’s no BIG GRAND PRIZE, the judges don’t get paid, and it’s a time consuming task that takes effort. It’s not always easy to get people to agree to guest judge & I don’t ask just anyone to do it. This time around the people I asked just weren’t available for that round. Guest judges are never promised anyways. I even think that’s somewhere in the rules. Let’s take a look:

* There could be "Guest Judges" who drop by from time to time. A guest judge has to be approved by me ahead of time. I'm not promising anything, but if I can swing something cool for you all I want to leave that open as a possibility.

There will be 1 or 2 guest judges each round if I can swing it. No promises though.

Yep...right there in the rules...imagine that.

Now...onto the topic of you joining the SpinTunes Facebook group after I banned you from it.

I banned you from everything SpinTunes. Competing, shadowing, commenting on the blog, the official SpinTunes Facebook group....hell I even blocked you on Twitter. I told you how long your banning would be, and I never came to you & told you that I would unban you early. So yeah, when I saw that you had been added back into the group by someone else I kicked you out again. I have no issues with Caleb, I assume he didn’t know I still wanted you out. The annoying part is this...you knew you weren’t supposed to be there. And instead of removing yourself from the group or asking me if it was ok to rejoin, you just posted a new topic. You even quoted me in your blog post...you know...the line where I specifically said I didn’t want you there.

My first instinct is to just extend the banning another contest or make it permanent. I’ll stick to what I originally said though. I’ll wait until after the next contest then chat with you before making a final decision. Crap like this that insinuates that I could have intentionally arranged your departure isn’t helping your case. Even the 2 times I’ve ran into you at JoeCast’s you totally ignore me, so when it’s time for our meeting I can’t wait to hear why I should let you back into SpinTunes. *roar*

Since I posted this blog, JoAnn has responded to her being banned from the group.  So I'm adding this little update:

"Not like I am ever going to compete in another ST Challenge after all. No way am I going to try to win a rigged game like that."

Saturday, October 20, 2012


An Unfair And One-Sided Review by Sammy Kablam
SpinTunes #5 Round 3

You can leave comments for Howie below, on Ocean Of Bees, YouTube or on Twitter.

You can listen to (and download) all the music Sammy is reviewing on the SpinTunes Bandcamp page.

(Normally people seem to put the disclaimers at the bottom, but this should probably go up top...and in bold. Sammy & Howie's reviews do not reflect that of Spintown's, and have no influence over the contest whatsoever. The over the top reviews in Sammy's "NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT" series aren't meant to be 'constructive', and you should read the sub title. If you think he's picking on you...just listen the reviews he wrote for the others...he can be an equal opportunity ass. - Spin)

Monday, August 20, 2012


An Unfair And One-Sided Review by Sammy Kablam & Howie Kapow
SpinTunes #5 Round 2

You can leave comments for Howie below, on Ocean Of Bees, YouTube or on Twitter.

(Normally people seem to put the disclaimers at the bottom, but this should probably go up top...and in bold. Sammy & Howie's reviews do not reflect that of Spintown's, and have no influence over the contest whatsoever. The over the top reviews in Sammy's "NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT" series aren't meant to be 'constructive', and you should read the sub title. If you think he's picking on you...just listen the reviews he wrote for the others...he can be an equal opportunity ass. - Spin)


An Unfair And One-Sided Review by Sammy Kablam & Howie Kapow
SpinTunes #5 Round 1

You can leave comments for Howie below, on Ocean Of Bees, YouTube or on Twitter.

(Normally people seem to put the disclaimers at the bottom, but this should probably go up top...and in bold. Sammy & Howie's reviews do not reflect that of Spintown's, and have no influence over the contest whatsoever. The over the top reviews in Sammy's "NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT" series aren't meant to be 'constructive', and you should read the sub title. If you think he's picking on you...just listen the reviews he wrote for the others...he can be an equal opportunity ass. - Spin)


An Unfair And One-Sided Review by Sammy Kablam & Howie Kapow
SpinTunes #4 Round 4

You can leave comments for Sammy & Howie below, on Ocean Of Bees, YouTube or on Twitter.

(Normally people seem to put the disclaimers at the bottom, but this should probably go up top...and in bold. Sammy & Howie's reviews do not reflect that of Spintown's, and have no influence over the contest whatsoever. The over the top reviews in Sammy's "NEGATIVE REINFORCEMENT" series aren't meant to be 'constructive', and you should read the sub title. If you think he's picking on you...just listen the reviews he wrote for the others...he can be an equal opportunity ass. - Spin)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

SpinTunes #5 Round 4 Review

Governing Dynamics - Houses
If the message of this song is to stop waiting around for things to happen, and to start making things happen I don’t really like the line “Start building houses”. If I completely missed the point (strong possibility), I suggest less metaphors. ;p If the message is simply to create rather than destroy, I’m not sure I would have chose to focus just on building houses. I like the overall sound, and the pacing of this song. You have a shot, so good luck.

Ross Durand - When The Tide Comes In
Once again you’re in the final round, and once again you’ve got a shot at winning. I like the acoustic guitar work, and the message of the song. At first listen it brought back memories of fighting the tide as a kid building sand castles in Florida. With a few more listens, it reminds me of various other fights you have to go through over & over in life. Good luck.

Edric Haleen - My Friend
The idea is very obvious. I heard a few people bring up bigfoot right after the challenge was posted. The SpinTunes reference got my attention, but since I don’t hear people use the phrase in that way, it felt too out of place. The Ohio line automatically drops you to the bottom of my list. (kidding) It’s not a bad song at all, but it just felt way too predictable, which I know is something you don’t like to be. Good luck.

Mariah Mercedes - Footprints
That bio really helps a lot, and is a great example of why I tell people it can’t hurt to include extra info like that. I totally get the song, but you’ve got some issues with the recording. The audio has to be turned up to understand all the lyrics, but if you turn it up some of the instruments are so loud it’s distracting. With a better mix this could be pretty awesome, as is, I would have to put you as my 4th pick this round. The only part of the song I had any issue with (other than the low audio) was the pauses after each of these lines:

“It was time for a redirection
It was time to take action
Trust me, my friends, you will not be forgotten
I refuse to feel heartbroken”

It just felt strange to have everything stop so often. Maybe that’s just me, but I would have rather had the music continue through them. Good luck.

RC - Orange Beach (Shadow)
I love the music, it’s very relaxing & mellow. After the first listen though, it’s a really sad song. Probably got the biggest emotional response this round. Solid song, and can’t wait to have you back for another SpinTunes.

Dr. Lindyke - Carbon Footprint (Shadow)
Interesting idea, that I don’t think anyone else would have thought of. The chorus failed to be catchy...at all. That’s really the biggest issue I have with the song. Holds my interests up to that point, then makes me want to skip to the next verse.

JoAnn Abbott - The Mermaid's Waltz (Shadow)
Doing a song inspired by “The Little Mermaid” is kinda risky. I mean there are so many great songs in that cartoon already, that it’s going to be hard not to think about better songs that have already been written. If you don’t think of the cartoon, then you don’t have enough backstory to hold someone’s interest. (imo) So yeah, this is a tough road to take. It’s an ok song, that is inspired by something that makes me think of great songs with more fitting vocals.

Gray Havens - Onward To The West (Shadow)
First off, your voices sound great together. Unfortunately, this isn’t my type of song. It’s slow as heck, and even though you’ll get a lot of phrase from others...it’s just not up my alley. This type of song just makes me sleepy. Love you both, and look forward to having you both back in a future contest. That is...if Brian isn’t too scared to take on his own kin. ;p

JoAnn Abbott - First On My List (Shadow)
Well, you can’t say I didn’t warn you. You will not be allowed to compete or shadow in SpinTunes 6. Not just because of this song, but because of all the whining, poor sportsmanship & flat out lies that have been spread on multiple social networks...even after the warning.

After I made the decision to ban you from the next contest, I blocked you from all social networks, and I don’t wish to hear from you again until after SpinTunes 6. At that time, if you can convince me that you’ve grown up, you’ll be allowed back in. If anything happens after that, there will be no more chances.

I did get your apology e-mail, and I don’t know if it was heartfelt or not. Too me, it’s too little too late anyways. I won’t go into detail about that since it’s not something that was made public. It came after your warning, after various other jabs, after I blocked you, and after I decided to ban you for at least 1 contest.

I guess I should review this...but I don't feel like it.

Boffo Yux Dudes featuring Osmium - Wash Away (Shadow)
I think this is the first song I’ve heard that didn’t directly mention footprints in the sand. I enjoyed the lyrics, except for the last verse. It just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the song. The vocal performance seemed a bit bored, and needed a bit more energy. Solid shadow, but better luck with the record in SpinTunes 6.

Boffo Yux Dudes featuring Denise Hudson & Mick Bordet - Sand In My Toes (Shadow)

There will be 5 judges who are not participating in the contest & who will not shadow rounds until the contest is over.

I think Mick found a loop hole. He didn’t shadow, he just contributed to a shadow. In the future that might be addressed, but lets get on with the review.

There was music, but it was like music that’s played at the theater before the previews even start. Like the stuff they play while they have “Did You Know” facts & trivia questions on the screen. It was more of a spoken word performance than a song, and unfortunately I didn’t laugh when I was supposed to.

Boffo Yux Dudes - Footprints (Shadow)
I think this is the best idea you had for a shadow. Very funny, and I think it could be even better if you weren’t spread so thin trying to do multiple songs. Smooth out a few lines that feel a bit clunky, and this is a winner. Well done.

Boffo Yux Dudes featuring Dr. Lindyke - Foot In The Sand (Shadow)
You forgot to post lyrics, and to stay consistent with my past reviews...no lyrics...no reviews. ;p

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Poking The Bear

I wasn’t going to address JoAnn’s whining any farther than I already had, but I’ve read a couple comments that could insinuate that I ranked her low just because I didn't want her in the final round. That is completely false. I ranked her low primarily because of what I said in my review (the song bored me). I’ll copy & paste the original review at the bottom of this post.

Now to address specific comments:

“Since it is apparent that composition, orchestration and lyrics do not matter in the face of a judges bias/prejudices,”
Just because I didn’t mention something, don’t assume I liked it. Let’s use lyrics as an example since I’ve ALWAYS ranked heavily based on lyrics. Sure Hamlet has always bored me, but that’s because the dialogue is hard for me to follow at times. When it comes to lyrics...just ask Governing Dynamics or Denise Hudson if I’ve ever ranked them low because their lyrics were hard for me to follow. Ranking you low based on that was not an inconsistency.

I didn’t really mention the music in the review, but the fact that you assume I would have found it entertaining is part of the problem here. I’m not saying it was bad, but it held my interest as much as the lyrics. It’s not a tune that makes me feel like dancing or singing...it’s just something I’d expect to hear in the background of a movie I was probably being forced to watch. It may be appropriate, but not something I’m going to pop into a mp3 player to listen to.
“One thing, I don't know why / It doesn't even matter how hard you try / I tried so hard and got so far / But in the end it doesn't even matter”
7 other people tried just as hard as you, so keep your Linkin Park to yourself.
“Since Spin doesn't like Hamlet though, it didn't matter if I met the terms of the competition. He didn't want me to go forward, and ensured we couldn't by putting us dead last.”
IF you’re saying I ranked you last just so you wouldn’t move onto the last round that’s BS. I didn’t even know my reviews/ranking were going to be used until after I wrote them. I wrote my reviews first thing in the morning on Saturday, and didn’t even hear from the last judge until 6PM. I even wrote to him around 11:30AM that day to see if he would be able to send them in late. And before your screaming & cursing fit that you directed toward me in G+, I e-mailed him again saying he could just send rankings if he didn’t have time to write full reviews.

I ranked you where I ranked you because the level of enjoyment that your song brought to me put you there. That’s it. I tried to avoid using my reviews, and even waited until the last possible minute to post the rankings in case I got a last minute e-mail with the last judges rankings.
“I hope Hamlet is there with a bloody daggar haunting you”
“Well folks, in spite of winning the popular vote, one of the judges said he has never liked Hamlet, and so he gave us the lowest possible score, neatly putting us into fifth place- we cannot go on in competition for Spintunes. We worked hard, but it just wasn't good enough. Read his review on http://?spintown79.blogspot.com/ and if you want to, let him know how you feel about his decision.”
“Write whatever you want to, Dave, it's a shadow after all. I started my song a hour ago, before this was posted”
Really? This is just an example of how childish you’re acting. In the previous contest you whined a bit when you were eliminated, and were a bit of a poor sport. But you’re taking it to a new level this time around. (at least I didn’t have anything to do with the last time) This is the first time you’ve made it past round 1. I would think that getting INTO round 3 would be something to celebrate.
“I am still really depressed at not getting to the final four in Spin tunes, aaaalllll because of Travis C. Langworthy who does not like one of the greatest plays if all time and made sure we would be dead last and couldnt move along.”
Yes...I was the only person to have any say in who moved on... If my review for round 1 had been used, would I have gotten full credit for you going to round 2?
“Most judges I have seen here in the past competitions go first for the question "Did it meet the challenge". No matter how much they may have liked it, if it was supposed to be a song about a puppy and all they got was a song about going to work, then it didn't meet the challenge and would be dropped. Spin said that I clearly met the challenge. The judge would next sort by other criteria, such as "Do I like this?"”
I was very lenient with the ‘meeting the challenge’ issue for 2 reasons. A few people expressed concern about the examples, and how they could have caused problems with the interpretation of the challenge. Also, I’m often more lenient when it comes to technical challenges since I’m not a musician and it’s hard for me to judge certain things. There were no DQ discussions this round, and so I felt that I shouldn’t knock someone much if (in my eyes) they didn’t hit the challenge squarely. Not that it matters much, if I felt like ignoring the challenge EVERY time I’m allowed to do so if the song isn’t DQed.
“Spin said that I clearly met the challenge. Had he judged my song like things usually are, I would have placed fifth on Spins list, tied for a position and my having the highest popular vote would have gotten me in. He knew that.”
I don’t think there’s a need for judges anymore. You seem to know where each judge SHOULD place you, so what’s the point? Once again I did NOT know where you would be placed in the overall standing when writing my reviews. IF you're saying that I did, it's just a flat out lie. I wrote my reviews before I heard from the last judge, and before I did the math with the 4 judges that I had heard from.

You could be the perfect poster child for SpinTunes. SpinTunes is meant to push you to do new things, and to help you improve along the way. You’ve done both over the past few years. Instead you’re on the verge of no longer being a part of SpinTunes because of your attitude and poor sportsmanship. I’ll leave it up to you, but keep in mind, that if someone is a pain in my side long enough, I don’t have to deal with them after SpinTunes 5.

I hope you decide to continue with SpinTunes,

(If people have a problem with this message to JoAnn being public, when I could have easily e-mailed her, you shouldn’t. She decided to make this issue public, not me.)


Menage a Tune - Poison, Or, All Of Hamlet In 4:04
I’ve never been able to read (or watch a film or stage version) of Hamlet all the way through. Puts me to sleep...every time. This really isn’t much different...although I made it to the end...multiple times. You hit the challenge right on. Unfortunately for you...this is about the worst topic you could have picked to hold my interest.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

SpinTunes #5 Round 3 Review

Since there are no guest judges this round, I had to make sure that my reviews were done on time & ranked.  And here they are.  I had some extra time this week, so I went back & reviewed the shadows from Round 2 as well.  They've been added to my review of that round.  I plan on going back & ranking the songs from round 1 as well.  Don't know if I'll get to that today though.  For anyone that wants to listen to the songs that I'm reviewing in this post, just click the image below.

Ross Durand featuring Bryanna Acosta - Apart
I like everything except the ending. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but I like my happy endings you sob. Great vocals from your friend Bryanna (I hope to hear from her again), and great job of telling a story...again... The only bad thing I can say is that Bryanna’s vocals made me wish yours were better...and I never have issues with your vocals.

RC - He’s Dead, Jim
Just as a song...this is my favorite song of the round. It’s pretty much a 1 sided conversation which I’ll knock it just a tiny bit for. Had our examples been better I’d probably knock it more. It’s a great song, I just wish I got more from Bones.

Edric Haleen featuring Kevin Savino-Riker - (Vows)
Well...I’m not surprised by anything, which is a disappointment considering the e-mail I got from Edric made me think I would be. I kinda figured that Edric & maybe a couple others would collab with other SpinTuners for this challenge. Getting Kevin was a GREAT choice, because their voices sound great together...just not surprising. Having a love song that could be sung by a straight or gay couple isn’t all that shocking either. It’s a great song, but as a straight guy who likes to sing along in the car...this is more than a little odd to sing along to. As great a job as Kevin did, I don’t think I’ll be singing along this time around.

Governing Dynamics featuring Rebecca Brickley - Dark Places
It’s about time that you 2 worked together, you’ve been talking about it forever. Was it worth the wait? I think so. Travis has improved his vocals a lot over the past couple years, and you 2 sound pretty good together. I don’t know how comfortable Rebecca is with this style. There are a few times where it seems like she’s wanting to hold onto a note longer than needed, and can’t do to the structure of the song. In her defense, she can hold a note & it’s a joy to hear her do so. It’s hard to say if you’ll make round 4...to me you’re right around the cut off mark.

Mariah Mercedes - Dear Jeremy
I’m glad to see that Luke decided to join in the fun. Unfortunately the only problem I had with this song was in part Luke. I think he did a great job in the parts where it’s simply spoken word. He performed those parts. But when he’s asked to sing, there is no performance value at all. The vocals are as clear as I’ve heard from Luke, but the singing sounds as if he’s reading them off a page for the first time. I think Luke can do this & do it well (based off the spoken word parts he DID do well), but I don’t like this take.

The Chocolate Chips - The True Way
You really seem to do your best to stretch yourself for each challenge & approach the contest with a great attitude each round. I’m just not sure I get what’s going on here. At some points the vocals get a little lost with whatever you filter you ran them through. There’s plenty of dialogue, but I’m not into the story. It’s too weird & not quite clear enough for my liking.

Felix Frost - Lyman Boone And The Moonshine Scoundrel
“This took 100% more focus to review than it did to write. I keep thinking I’m jumping between multiple songs, and never stay in 1 long enough to get into it. The transitions aren’t even very smooth, you’re just suddenly into something else. It’s not just musically all over the place either. Your lyrics are all over the place as well. It’s a shame that you couldn’t FOCUS on something smaller in scale because you do some interesting things musically & your voice is pleasant. I love me some 8-bit music...but more focus is needed.” - Spin (round 1 & 3 review for Felix Frost)

Menage a Tune - Poison, Or, All Of Hamlet In 4:04
I’ve never been able to read (or watch a film or stage version) of Hamlet all the way through. Puts me to sleep...every time. This really isn’t much different...although I made it to the end...multiple times. You hit the challenge right on. Unfortunately for you...this is about the worst topic you could have picked to hold my interest.

Dr. Lindyke - Mr. Nobody (Shadow)
You should have signed up. Based on what I’ve heard from your shadows so far...you would be my favorite to win going into the last round. I’ve only heard Williams voice once, and I had no idea the man could sing. I think you’ve used up all your allowance of going meta for a long time, but this was a lot of fun. I’d have ranked you #2 this time around.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

SpinTunes #5 Round 2 Review

Different things motivate different people.  This challenge is so wide open lyrically that it is hard to say that anyone didn’t meet the challenge. (unless you didn’t include lyrics) Just because your song didn’t motivate me, doesn’t mean that it didn’t motivate you or someone else.  My rankings will mostly reflect how much I liked your song, and not how much I thought it met the challenge.  That being said...if I hear something that really does motivate me...it could bump you up a little in my rankings.

The rankings were the hardest part of the judging process this time around.  I thought it was a REALLY strong album, and it was hard to put anyone near the bottom.  Great work everyone.

Ross Durand - Win
I was looking forward to this song more than any other this round.  Mostly because of “Let's Get Bloody”, and I enjoyed putting a little extra pressure on you by mentioning that.  Now...on to the new song.  It was worth the wait.  Probably the song that pumped me up the most, and it was also a lot of fun to sing.  This is something that can (and will) be played in my car as I’m going to basketball games.  Heck I might even have to ask to use this in another Pain For Laughs video.

Edric Haleen - One More Step
It doesn’t SOUND like this pushed you out of your comfort zone...  At first I’m thinking it’s a song about running, and it could be, but it can also be about anything.  Just improving & pushing yourself at anything really.  Music & vocals were as usual great, but it would be nice to hear you sound like you were challenged for once.

RC - Get Up
You win for best idea of the round.  Who doesn’t need a little extra motivation to drag their ass out of bed some days?  If I had a fancier alarm clock, I’d have this play in the mornings.  Aside from having a great idea, everything else works as well.  Music is upbeat & fun, I enjoyed the lyrics & it was catchy.

Gorbzilla featuring The Gorbzookies - Superwoman
Funk...cool.  Not all that motivational for me since I’m a guy, but it’s a lot of fun, and I would have to think it goes over great with it’s intended audience.  Between Zoe & The Gorbzookies we’re certainly getting our fill of cute kids in this contest.  Well done Gorb & company.

PS: Happy birthday Superwoman.

Mariah Mercedes - Hurricane
You improve from contest to contest, and this is my favorite song yet.  The music is as powerful as a hurricane & you really let loose on the vocals.  Not really sure I can relate to being a hurricane, but it pumps me up nevertheless.

Rats Of The Sky - Dance To The Groove Libido
I know that boasting & self-praise is a part of rap, but it’s one of the things I really don’t care for.  In this case I don’t knock you much because the self deprecating kinda balances it out.  The beat & music work well to motivate, but lyrically I’m not sure this would motivate many.  The lyrics were creative enough to hold my interest, but the chorus was a little weaker than I’d have liked.  Overall...good entry, that I hope gets you to round 3.  Well done.

Caravan Ray - Pump It Up
Like The Boffo Yux Dudes, this was the obvious direction for you.  I’m going to give you props for having some difficult lyrics (even though the Latin shadow trumped you), and despite being repetitive as hell it was still fun.  I didn’t care for the Tour de France line, but other than that I enjoyed the lyrics.

The Boffo Yux Dudes / Chris Cogott - Big, Bigger, Best
There are a couple lines that didn’t really get a laugh from me, but for the most part I laughed more than groaned.  The music & vocals were about perfect.  Could this pump you up?  Musically yes, but lyrically it’s more like the anti-workout song.  The take on the challenge was a bit obvious...at least for the Boffo Yux Dudes.  If you’re going to do obvious, you should at least do it well...and you did.

Glen Raphael - Pump Down The Volume
Great idea, but the subject itself doesn’t seem that motivational.  The music sure hits the mark, and it got me bobbing my head.  The breakdown was funny, and you come off sounding like an old man with lawn issues.  One of my favorite songs from you thus far.

Godz Poodlz - In The Zone
I like everything about this, but I want more.  It’s just a little too repetitive for me in the end.  The sound is awesome, lyrically no issues, but you need to leave the zone long enough to write at least 1 more verse.

Governing Dynamics - Forward
I thought the music was more interesting than most this round (but it could have been shortened a bit), and lyrically I didn’t really get it at times.  The music held my attention, but overall I don’t think it’s all that motivational for ME.  It was just the opposite at times.  I mentioned I wasn’t grading too hard on the challenge this time around, but I always knock people if I don’t really dig the lyrics.  That’s the main reason you dropped in my rankings.

Jailhouse Payback - Kick Your Routine
Change your name to Schoolhouse Rock Payback.  Seriously...I got a Schoolhouse Rock vibe from this.  Working out has got to be one of the most boring things to do in life.  Which is why some people need music to help motivate them.  A song / lesson plan on working out wouldn’t be that motivational to me personally.  BUT, I am a huge Schoolhouse Rock fan (have them all on DVD), and I still managed to enjoy this track.

Felix Frost - The Frost Mine
Ok...I thought you had the most difficult task this round.  Your 8-bit style & your very youngish voice just didn’t seem like fits for this challenge.  That being said I do enjoy brentalfloss videos & his music...and there have been some games that have soundtracks I still find motivational. (Mega Man, Contra, Zelda, Life Force)  So lets see how you did...

The intro is interesting, but I’d shorten it some.  Not all that motivational yet...oh but wait...the chorus is pretty cool, and it’s pumping me up somewhat.  But once again this sounds like 2 different songs pushed awkwardly together.  Your story is a bit weird...and going to be hard for some people to get into.  Especially since your vocals need to be brought up in the verses.  Whoa...that ended quickly.

In the end there were parts of this song that I could see being included in some really kickass NES game.  But in the end I still think less could be more in terms of types of sounds you’re throwing at us.

Menage a Tune - Run!
Musically this is fine, but lyrically I don’t really see this being motivational for many people.  You don’t really ever give a reason to keep going...just that you should.  It’s rather depressing for me.  If you’re going to motivate someone I would think you would focus more of the positives of your story.

The Chocolate Chips - Nothing Can Stop You
OOOOooo...love the opening.  Don’t like whatever you ran your vocals through though.  Not all that catchy.  “You will taste fresh if you begin to plant the seed”????  The music throughout could have held my interests, but the vocals & lyrics didn’t pull their weight.

Jeremy Lambright - Shut Up And Dance
I know you ran out of time, and that’s why there are no lyrics.  If you would like to finish this track later, we would be happy to play it at the next LP.  The music is chill yet at the same time seems to push me towards something.  So I would love to hear this finished.

Jeffrey Powers - If I Finish This Workout, I Can Go Get A Beer (Shadow)
You may have a drinking problem, but I’m glad Tom wrangled you into the contest. You seem more like a happy drunk than an angry one. The song doesn’t meet the 2 minute minimum, but it’s a shadow, so that’s ok. For what it is it’s effective, but there are a couple lines that need cleaned up. For instance: “If I run, I can make the happy hour earlier than late ”. It sounds like you crammed too much into that line. Minor issues for what’s not meant to be a serious song.

Dr. Lindyke - A Tune For You (The SpinTunes Montage) (Shadow)
Yeah, I didn’t know I was getting a SpinTunes theme song this round? It’s more like a ST5R2 theme song because of lines mentioning the examples, but it’s the best I’ve got, and it’s really fun to sing along with. In the contest...you may have been at risk for going meta, but I love this. I wish there was a 2nd FULL verse.

Dr. Lindyke - Monastic Workout (Shadow)
I have a policy against reviewing things I can’t understand that are not official entries. I just started it.

Ménage a Tune - Rat Race (Shadow)
I really think you missed the boat...again...with the lyrics. I find them depressing...not motivational. And anyone who uses the phrase “Hamster wheel of life”...needs a rewrite.

Zoe Gray - Mine (Shadow)
You sound like a villain from the show “My Little Pony Tales” that’s trying to take over the world with cuteness. When I send out my feedback forms to all the participants of SpinTunes 5 I’ll ask them what it feels like to have their asses (Brian you better bleep that out) handed to them by an 11 year old. Extremely well done.

Trader Jack - Let Nothing Be Left Behind (Shadow)
Better late than never. I’m glad you sent this in, and I enjoyed parts of your lyrics a lot. It did get a little weird for me in parts, but for some reason it held my interest. At first I thought it was going to be a bit too slow, but I think it worked as being motivational. Well done.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

SpinTunes #5 Round 1 Review

Caravan Ray - The Beginning Of The End
I guess the 3rd time is the charm. This is the third time you’ve signed up, and the first song you’ve turned in. In this case it was worth the wait. It’s upbeat, fun, and the jokes got a laugh. Of the people who took the challenge on directly...this is one of the better ones.

Governing Dynamics - Swing Shift
Hit the challenge square on, and rocked it hard. The ONLY thing I didn’t like about this entry was the slower section toward the end. I won’t say it sounded out of place, but I didn’t think it was needed or added much to the song. I’d just cut it.

Francis Wms. - Redundant Redunit
I’m not sure what to make of this. You’ve taken clips from other places that aren’t really lyrics, and used them as the only lyrics in your song. At least that seems to be what you did.  Did you recreate all these clips?  Either way I wouldn't call them lyrics.

Whether it’s DQed or not wouldn’t change my opinion of the track. I couldn’t really make out the vast majority of the words/lyrics by listening alone. The last time I heard something like this was the last time I tried to tune in a radio station in that was just barely out of range.

RC - Goodbye Everybody
Wow, this sounds awesome. The music & vocals just hit the sweet spot. Lyrically it was the most predictable song of the bunch in my opinion though. The lyrics aren’t bad, it’s just that nothing surprised me. I think everyone would like to blow up or burn down their place of employment at some point. Obvious or not, it’s a great song & it’s going on my MP3 player. I REALLY look forward to hearing more from you in round 2.

Mariah Mercedes - Ending(eternal)
If you were fishing you would go home empty handed. You take on the challenge really walks the line. But “work” was left open to interpretation, and you stay within the boundaries. Not really my kinda lyrics, but your biggest issue is the first item I mentioned.

Jailhouse Payback - Escalator
The vocals & music is fine. Better than fine, it’s very easy on the ears. The lyrics...eh... I mean I don’t get a clear picture of anything other than it’s the last day at work. The story behind it is a mess. I think you’ll move on...but I’m not confident in that prediction.

Edric Haleen - The Death Of A Meme
Great take on the challenge, I didn’t really see that coming. I know everything you do with a song is intentional, but I didn’t care for the abrupt ending. Other than that, move along into round 2, do not pass go or collect $200.

Felix Frost - Leaving Lyman’s Liquor Store
This took 100% more focus to review than it did to write. I keep thinking I’m jumping between multiple songs, and never stay in 1 long enough to get into it. The transitions aren’t even very smooth, you’re just suddenly into something else. It’s not just musically all over the place either. Your lyrics are all over the place as well. It’s a shame that you couldn’t FOCUS on something smaller in scale because you do some interesting things musically & your voice is pleasant. I love me some 8-bit music...but more focus is needed.

Army Defense - You’re Not Paid
There’s just not much there. It’s extremely repetitive & the song really does feel like a boss harping on an employee. Not sure that’s a good thing, but there needs to be more substance here lyrically.

Alex Boyd - The Bastard Had It Coming
Some of the lyrics feel awkward, and I question the slapping of your boss. I mean if he’s so bad to warrant hitting, why not make a fist & knock that asshole out? I don’t really get the line about being late & getting wrote up. That kinda seems like how it should go down. The 1 man, 1 uke approach is a difficult road to take when you’re going up against people with more weapons, but it can be done. Robert Borden looked to be a real threat to win in the last contest, and that’s all he used. His lyrics were not as clumsy, and he had a great voice. When you have less to your song, it’s easier to see the flaws in it. So make sure it’s polished up as much as possible in round 2.

Glen Raphael - Naked
I hear a lot of excuses from people who miss deadlines. Some of them are better than others, but this is at least the 2nd time you’ve turned something in while traveling with limited resources. Well done. I’m fairly dense when it comes to getting lyrics at times, but I’m not getting how the chorus really ties in with the verses all that well. The performance & production suffer due to being on the road, so I won’t get into the flaws there.

Milton - Today’s The Day
Ok...you just used the title of my favorite song of all time...this better be good. *listens* Well, it’s not Inverse, but it MIGHT get you to round 2. I didn’t dislike the vocals, or the music (although messy at times), but nothing really stood out as great. Not the most creative lyrics, but I did find myself mouthing the chorus towards the end...so that’s a good sign.

Menage a Tune - Crowning Glory
Enjoyed the music throughout. I hope your new team sticks with you, cause they’re good. Easily one of the best this round in terms of lyrics & story. The vocals were good about 66% of the time. Enjoy your first non-shadow entry of round 2.

Rats Of The Sky - Two Weeks Notice
One of the best raps to be entered into SpinTunes thus far. Granted, there hasn’t been A LOT of them, but this meets the challenge twice, it’s kinda catchy, and the lyrics are what I’d expect from a rapper. (creative) I hope you make it to round 2.

Wait What - Middle Management
This was going along ok until the line, “But she smells like a wet chihuahua with gas.” The line didn’t get a laugh (for the right reason) & it didn’t really fit either. Right after that line we get a pretty weak chorus. Musically this is the best I’ve heard from you. Lyrically I only dig about half your lyrics & hate the other half. So I end up with moments I enjoy, but an overall experience I wouldn’t seek out again. I’ll keep listening & look forward to the moment you put it all together just right.

Ross Durand - I’m Lyin’
Hey, look at that. Someone went for an emotional response other than anger or joy while using a creative take on the challenge...and they did it well. I hope everyone else is taking notes, cause this is how it’s done. Great EVERYTHING.

“Buckethat” Bobby - On The Pogey
This song is so much better after a quick Google search of “Pogey”. :p Musically...it’s...well...not much. But the performance & story telling is comedic & well done. You’ll probably have this stuck in your head even if you’re too lazy to look up “Pogey”.

Hudson And Day - It Worked Out
After hearing the first song from Hudson & Day I was more than a little scared to click play on this one. I’d have changed bandnames just to distance myself from that one song. But with my cursor on the mute button I began to listen....and I was SHOCKED. The music is nothing like the music I’ve heard from Hudson in the past (that’s not good or bad just a fact), and Day can actually sing. The overall feel of the song was perfect. Relaxed & pure joy. I liked how most of the lyrics didn’t really go into detail about the job because then I can be about anyone’s job. My least favorite lyrics were “My last day filling the paper tray / My last day getting your coffee” because they DID mention details of the job. Excellent work...and hopefully this is what people find if they ever Google search “Hudson And Day”...and not that other song.

The Orion Sound - Praying
You tried to cram a bit too many words into a few places & in a couple spots you don’t pronounce everything all the way through, but this is entertaining nonetheless. I don’t think you’ll need the popular vote to save you this time around.  It's always risky joking about the things you talk about in a contest though.  We've had judges knock songs down for being "offensive" in some way in the past.  This got the biggest laugh from me of this round. Loved it.

Emperor Gum - Pygmalion
Nice interpretation of the word “work”. I know you’ve improved your vocal recording a lot over the past few years, but you seem more confident as well. The vocals still need work, but it’s yet another step in the right direction. The idea you had isn’t bad, but the lyrics weren’t all that creative & the length of the song made me lose interest about halfway through.

Jeremy Lambright - Empty Spaces
My only compliant with this song is the vocals. They aren’t clear enough & they’re too low in the mix. If I didn’t have the lyrics in front of me I would have missed half of it. The song is pretty long, but I’m not sure that’s a problem. It’s hard to tell until I can hear a mix with better vocals. The music was cool, so if the vocals were better it might hold my attention for 5 minutes.

David Ritter - Graveyard
This song started before I had released the mouse button. What’s the hurry? You take a cool topic like zombies, but don’t bother to tell an interesting story lyrically. This just seems more rushed than your other recent entries.

EvelBist - The Beginning Of The End
You have a nice sound here, but the lyrics aren’t for me. I like detailed stories that are easy to follow, and I don’t really want to have to think about meanings of specific lyrics. It doesn’t make your lyrics bad, it just makes them again...not for me.

Gorbzilla - The Last Last Day
I like the fact that you used the challenge to make a personal statement on a political issue that directly affects you. I like your vocals, but I think the song needs a little more than the guitar. The lyrics are ok, but I’d change the line, “Because life is such a bitch”. It just sounds awkward, and if you’re going to use strong language to make a strong point or emotional peek, it shouldn't come off sounding so unsure.

The Boffo Yux Dudes - The Ballad Of JJR
Toward the end you hint that he might be leaving town or quitting, but you never really say what he’s doing for sure. Just sounds like he’s in fear of his life & going off the grid for a little while to me. I don’t know. You walked the line, and there’s going to be discussion about this one... The song itself isn’t bad, but whether you hit the challenge enough is the issue.

Trader Jack - Last Day
I’ll start off by simply saying I enjoyed this. It’s another just really joyful song, that could be about any job. But there are 2 things that keep this from being really high in my rankings. The first thing is the vocals. The second thing is the really weird section that you forgot to write actual lyrics for & instead used a lot of “What’s”, “Woah’s” & “I don’t know’s”.

Godz Poodlz - It’s A Great Day At BigMart Today
I’m not a fan of the audio effects & stuff used in this. I actually had to double check the file to make sure I didn’t upload some sort of corrupted file. I can see a really cool music video being done for this, but the song as is, takes too much work to listen to. Too much going on. “Made in China, destroyed right here. . .” is a great line though.

Heather Miller - Not Gonna Miss Your Face
Rotten eggs to the face huh? I don’t think you’ll be working for me anytime soon. ;p You mention on your blog about waiting until the last 3 hours to write & record this, and that’s what it sounds like. It sounds like a REALLY rough demo of what could be one of the better songs of this round. But since production does count in SpinTunes, and you have none of it...I don’t know if you’ll make it to the next round. Well done though.

Chocolate Chips - My Own Boss
4 lines for an entire song? Really? You stretched it out to make the minimum requirement, but come on, you have to know you’re going to have trouble holding someone’s attention with this. I can understand if there was some other element that was just so incredible & amazing that it made us forget about lyrics...but that element just isn’t there. I used more words in this very short review than you did in your song.


Dex01 - Brand New Life (Shadow)
I think you did a fine job of telling the story, and I could hear the vocals. (if I remember correctly I had trouble with your previous entry) There is a problem with the vocals though. Aside from not being the greatest performance & a little bit too up front, however you recorded them just didn’t come out clean. The music isn’t bad, but it needs something to mix it up a little more. Not bad.

Dr. Lindyke - Mayan Holiday (Shadow)
Lyrically it’s probably my favorite of the bunch, and the idea is different from everyone else so you get props for that as well. The production is...not there, but I know you don’t care, and your performance always makes up for that anyways. As is, if you were in the contest, this is a top 5 entry for me.

Zoe Gray - Say Goodbye (Shadow)
Whatever Sammy & Howie say about you, ignore it. You just kicked some serious butt & you’re only 11. Tell your dad I can give him Sammy’s address if need be.

Greg Hosack - I’m Gonna Go (Shadow)
It’s disappointing that you didn’t find out about the contest in time to sign up. Vocals need to be brought down at bit in places. It runs a little bit long for me, but other than that...I have no issues with this song.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Song Fight Review: Better Than Before

(I fucked up the formatting of this review...but I'm too lazy to fix it. And I'm fine with that.)

Wow...it’s been awhile.  Matter a fact, I haven’t reviewed a single fight this year.  Here’s my list of excuses: new job, took a 2nd job, & Minecraft.  Ok...so maybe only 2 of those reasons are good excuses...but I’m back now.  It’ll take some time, but I do plan on reviewing all the fights I missed, all of the most recent Nur Ein, and of course SpinTunes 5.

Because I’m so behind (and I’m still stuck working 2 jobs), I will only be reviewing songs that have lyrics posted in the Song Fight Lyric Forum.  The last fight I reviewed over at Song Fight was titled "In Time Of Crisis", and my favorite entry was from Ross Durand who finished 2nd.  Billy And The Psychotics ended up taking the victory, and had a great song.

Better Than Before” is the fight that came next, and it's long been over. My favorite entry was from Caravan Ray, but it was Paco del Stinko who took the victory.  I'll leave my thoughts on this fight below.

Caravan Ray - I can't believe you used the phrase, "me love long time" in the song.  I enjoyed this so much that I just might.

Billy And The Psychotics - Wait a second...I think Billy accidentally sent his lyrics to Caravan Ray this round.  Not a huge fan of these lyrics, and I wasn't blown away with the vocals from Denise this time.  The music was pretty rockin', but I'd rather listen to a karaoke version.

Sockpuppet - Musically it was interesting, but lyrically it was depressing & failed to tell a compelling story.  The vocals didn't really help matters.

King Arthur - Too many vocal tracks, and it feels like it's missing something else.  Enjoyed the lyrics.

Paco del Stinko - You've been better...before.  It's not bad at all, but for me, nothing really stood out.

Infinity Point Buck - Well...it's a good thing there's a lyric forum.  Otherwise nobody would ever know what you wrote.  That mix is just horrible.  Personally I enjoy rap, but it's all about the lyrics with me.  ESPECIALLY with rap.  And yours just didn't cut it.

Micah Sommer - It's like a song physically materialized in front of you, then you picked it up, and threw it into a brick wall.  Everything feels like it's just randomly splattered throughout the track, with some awful vocals layered on top.

No Lyrics Posted:

Radio Show - Berkeley Social Scene - Ross Durand - Smashy Claw - sonofsupercar