Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

Monday, September 15, 2014

Robin Williams Tributes

This post is a little late, but I thought I'd gather a few of my favorite tribute videos to Robin Williams. Certainly one of the funniest people to ever walk this earth.

Seize the Day
Melodysheep probably had my favorite tribute video.

Robin Williams singing a littel Bruce Springsteen as Elmer Fudd.

Remembering Robin Williams
Ellen put together a pretty nice tribute featuring clips of Robin on her show over the years.

Friend Like Me
Scott Bradlee pays tribute with his piano.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

SpinTunes #9 Round 3 Reviews

It's been awhile since my reviews were needed as an alternate judge.  With no guest judge lined up, and John being unavailable this round, I guess it's time to make a come back.

This is how I'll be ranking you...  Was your song DQed?  If not, I simply rank them based on how much I enjoyed them.  Simple as that.  Since I'm not a musician, don't expect much technical feedback.  I focus on the lyrics a lot, and I usually enjoy upbeat songs.  I do read any notes that you may attach to your song on the album.  If you don't provide any background I normally don't do a lot of research to figure out what you may be trying to get across.

I don't see how you made a catchy song with this subject matter, but you did.  Outside the box thinking going on here.  I think each round you've gotten stronger, and I can't really find anything I dislike here.  I've enjoyed your work so much that I think I want to hire you for a project after the contest is over.  Start practicing your banjo!

I've not read the book, but this song makes me want to read it.  And if there's a movie, I'd see it.  So...well done!  I think the topic helped my enjoyment of the song as well.  I've got a huge collection of books about VR, gaming history, violence in the media...  If only there were banjo...you could have pressed all my buttons.

I really liked the sound of this, and your vocals.  Didn't really get the story you were telling, although I'm sure if I had read the book I would.  I think this will stick right in the middle of the bunch for me.  If I could connect with it lyrically I'm sure it would be higher.  With banjo...you would have won.

Honestly...I was getting bored at the start. But...before I could zone out...the chorus came.  And it made me sit up in my chair as I felt a mild aderaline rush!  Then I got bored again.  Then I got pumped again!  In short I think not knowing the source material kept me from knowing how awesome this probably is.  For now...I was bored with the verses...LOVED the chorus. Maybe if you added banjo to the verses?

I've enjoyed all 3 of your entries so far.  The last round, you flat out owned everyone (imo), but this round not so much.  I enjoyed it, but there were a couple things I didn't care for.  The multiple vocal tracks distracted me at times, and didn't really add anything to the song for me. The other thing I didn't care for....no banjo.

Although not my favorite song of the round, it felt like it belonged in a movie more so than the others.  At least to me it did.  Was a pretty arrangement, but it's hard for me to rank a more mellow song high when it was a strong round.  I'm beginning to think people didn't get my e-mail telling them banjos were required this round...

You just creeped me out.  Just sounds really spooky.  Overall I enjoyed it, but it's a little jarring going from the first verse to the chorus.  Almost sounds like 2 songs mashed together musically.  Biggest problem for me (aside from lack of banjo) is the transitions.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Outside In (Album Review)

Album : Outside In
Artist : Shagpile
Release Date : 12th July 2014
Genre : Singer/Songwriter
Homepage : www.shagpile.org
Wow, it’s been awhile since I reviewed music here.  But with SpinTunes 9 coming up, I guess I should try to get back into the habit.

Recently I was lucky enough to download/listen to Jason “Shagpile” Vare’s new album.  How new is it?  It gets released July 12, 2014.  So...pretty new.  I’ve been following Shagpile on YouTube for years now.  I know for a fact it’s been at least since August 2010...maybe longer.  He’s one of those guys that doesn’t get the views he deserves.  Whatever the reason, it isn’t for a lack of talent.  From the originals to the covers that he posts each song he uploads is worth watching.

The new album (titled “Outside In”) is his 4th solo effort.  When I started listening to it last night I got through the first 3 songs & started to worry the album was going to be full of very sweet sounding ‘missing you/thinking of you’ love songs.  All 3 were very impressive (especially “Lately”), but an entire album of the same thing would get old quick.

Those concerns were soon put to rest, as the next 6 songs took you through a range of stories & emotions.  The album is proof that whatever emotion Jason wants you to feel...he can get you there with just his voice & guitar.  Not that there isn’t anything else to these recordings.  For instance the strings in “Story Time” were amazing, and none of the songs felt empty or left you feeling it needed something.

The last 2 tracks of the album are a bit more quirky than the rest.  But whether it’s zombies or a lullabye that a lot of people will relate to, the quality never falters, and makes this an album you can listen to from start to finish.

I don’t really rate albums or anything...but I will certainly say this is an album you should check out for yourself.  For more details about the album visit his website: www.shagpile.org

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Roar (Part 2)

Some of you already know that in SpinTunes 5 Round 3 I had to step in as an alternate judge.  I did all I could to avoid using my reviews, but we didn't have a 5th judge that round.  In my rankings I put Menage a Tune's entry last.  JoAnn was in a Google+ chat that night with me & a few other SpinTuners, and she had a unpleasant reaction to narrowly missing out on making it to round 4.  She yelled & cursed at me & put 100% of the blame on me for her not getting through.  Even went as far as publically insinuating that I rigged SpinTunes so she couldn't win.  Personally I know that's total bs, I don't care who wins, but it's not exactly something I want spread around the internet.  I don't really care that much what people think of me, but imagine how hard it would be to get new people interested in SpinTunes if you had someone telling them it's rigged.  There were some other smaller instances of poor sportsmanship as well, and I decided that it was best to just ban her from SpinTunes...so I did.

The ban had some conditions though.  I told her I'd be willing to talk with her in Google+ after she was banned for a certain length of time.  During that conversation I would decide whether or not I thought it was a good idea for her to be a part of SpinTunes again.

When it came time for that discussion, I wasn't looking for an "I'm sorry" as much as I was looking for signs of her being able to control herself & not cause issues in the future.  In my mind the worse case scenario is her flipping out on someone that I got to volunteer their time to the contest other than myself.  A friendly debate or disagreement is one thing, but I don't want them slandered just because they didn't like Hamlet or something else.

In my discussion with her she still believed all the things she had in the past.  I was given a couple different sob stories to justify her behavior, but not much that showed me she wouldn't be an issue in the future.  I really don't like banning people from SpinTunes, so I came up with a compromise that in the end I shouldn't have.  She wanted to compete...so I let her, but I kept her banned from the social media aspects of SpinTunes.  For instance the LP's, the Facebook group, etc... were things she was not allowed to be a part of.  I thought that maybe limiting her contact with the judges & others would lessen the chances of any more issues.  She was told this is the way it would be until I told her otherwise.

When the current contest started, I guess she forgot about this, because she seemed surprised when she was kicked for joining the LP.  I never implied that the conditions had changed, but now I was getting grief for it.  I was advised by a few people that I should just let her back into the contest totally.  In the minds of some a half banning was worse than being totally banned because she enjoyed the social part of SpinTunes more than anything.  So I scheduled another chat with JoAnn to discuss things.

In that chat...it was very evident that nothing had changed, and she nearly got herself completely banned again.  But after about 15 minutes of trying to talk some sense into her I gave up & just told her how it was going to be.  I told her if she continued with the stuff about me she was done with SpinTunes for good.  I mentioned multiple times that it wouldn't take very much.  A single misguided tweet would be enough because I was tired of dealing with it. (and honestly I was pissed at this point) If she attacked a judge, guest judge or another competitor, was a poor sport, or caused any issues at all she was done.  There was no way I could have emphasized this any more.

A few weeks later I was shown a blog post by JoAnn.  In it she mentioned me being the one that kicked her out of the round...but worse...she throws all of the people who had been willing to work with her in the past under the bus & was complaining about the song topics people wrote about.  That was the point in which I said I'm completely done with her.  She has been rebanned from SpinTunes with NO chance of ever being a part of it again.  No shadows, no collaborating with someone else (that's an instant DQ), no social media participation...she's done.

Before I ranked her group last that one time I would have considered JoAnn a friend.  We weren't best buds, but we talked dozens of times on Google+ & ArtiFicition, I had liked a number of her songs in the past & had given her positive reviews.  Too bad none of that measured up to getting 1 low ranking in her mind.