Where Music & Dance Fall Face First Into The Internet

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First Light

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

SpinTunes 14 Round 4 Reviews

Prior to SpinTunes I'd offered up my services to Dave to be a judge IF needed. But I also made it clear I had no intention of judging while JoAnn Abbott was competing. The SpinTuners who've been around awhile know why, but I'll assume not everyone reading this knows the history here. So in short, JoAnn went off the deep end after I gave her a bad ranking 1 year. She cursed me out & blamed me for her losing even though I gave my honest opinion. Eventually I just banned her from the contest for being a poor sport & even while banned she was claiming the contest was rigged by me. There's a lot more to it than just that, but that's the gist. So even though I wanted to help if Dave needed it, I couldn't pretend to be unbiased & honestly I just didn't want anything to do with her anymore. So when she was eliminated I stepped in to guest judge.

But when I heard her song at the LP, I actually WANTED to review it. Not because I loved it or even hated it more than I expected, but because of the topic combined with who wrote it. So in the end I DID review it, and sent it to Dave. I knew the review wasn't really appropriate, so I told Dave I was fine with him not including the Menage A Tune review, and he didn't. I originally planned to post it the day after the results got posted, but as the days went by I got less annoyed, and decided not to bother. She wasn't doing anything wrong NOW, even if the song was insanely hypocritical when you consider her history. So I just decided to forget about it.

About a week or so later I was talking to a friend who knew what I had originally planned to post, and they asked what kind of reaction my reviews got. I told them none as far as I knew, because I didn't make the post. This did however spur me to check, because JoAnn does have a blog she used to complain about me on. So on June 4th I check, and see she did in fact complain about me on May 29th. Here's the post:

Here's the part that referenced me:

"Any review, if meant to be helpful so we can improve is good. Ted really lives for them, and was pretty hurt by the rather glaring omission from one judge, who reviewed the other shadow song but not ours.  Makes him (the judge) look bad, really.  Dump on me, not on my partner please."

So when I review you I risk getting cursed at & called a cheat for years, and when I go out of my way to avoid reviewing you...you're still not happy?  Piss off.  As for Ted, I have no issues with your partner.  I like Ted, always have, and he's been a HUGE asset to SpinTunes over the years.  If he was hurt by my lack of review, he could have messaged me on Facebook, but he didn't.  Since he's been around awhile, and I've actually spoken with him in the past about our history...I'm pretty sure he knew why I didn't review you guys.

Now...since you want my reviews, you shall have them.  Keep in mind I'm well aware of how off topic I get in my review of you, and it's one of the reasons why I was fine with Dave not posting it.  This was written very quickly after I heard your entry & was still annoyed with it.  You can ask Dave if you like, but this is exactly how I submitted my reviews.


Ok, first off great work everyone up to this point.  I don’t run the contest anymore, but I do listen in & enjoy it as a fan now.  Like the competitors, the judges have done a wonderful job, and I’m thankful for their time & efforts throughout.  HOWEVER!  When I heard what the round 4 challenge was, I was not thrilled.  I thought it was a bad challenge for multiple reasons.

1.  It seems too self serving.  I’d have been worried that newer SpinTuners & possible future SpinTuners would see this as someone just trying to get a free theme song with the challenge & nothing else.  I’d thought of this challenge before, and that’s exactly why I never did it.  I’m sure that’s not the only reason this was selected as a challenge, but again...bad optics in my opinion.
2.  The final challenge in past SpinTunes has been a lot more interesting or challenging than this one.
3.  It’s bound to create an album of songs that will have little replay value other than being played at the SpinTunes listening party.

I’m not trying to throw all the judges under the bus for this 1 bad challenge though.  Hell, I ok’ed the worst challenges ever (Sad song about birth).  I also ok’ed a challenge that I knew would have little replay value (jingle challenge).  So yeah, everyone makes a bad call from time to time, and I just thought this was one of them.  Oh, and maybe link to the examples mentioned in the challenge considering both aren’t exactly well known.  Enough time talking about the challenge...onto the songs.

Micah Sommersmith - The Tunes Are Spinning
I was at the listening party, and while this was playing I couldn’t think of anything good to say aside from the fact that I love accordion.  AFTER the listening party I listened to everything again on BandCamp and it sounded so much better.  The audio quality on YouTube really sucked I guess, because I didn’t have any major issues with this song.  The lyrics got the point across in a catchy humorous way.  You had the break in there.  Thought it was sang well enough, and did I mention I love accordion?

Because I feel the need to nitpick there are a couple things I felt could have been better.  I enjoyed the build up for Tom, but the line “I’d tell you more, but I think he might be onto me” feels off.  I mean I get he’s about to have to judge you, and it’s a joke about your sucking up to him with this song.  But in future contests, he won’t be judging you...and this is a theme song for future contests.  So it didn’t feel like a good choice.

The other small issue I had was with the line “Rhymes so sick you’ll need to take a couple days off ”.  I actually LOVE the line, but you rhymed it with “face off”.  Not exactly a sick rhyme. ;p

But like I said...nitpicky because overall I really enjoyed the song, and if this wins, I’d say it was deserved.

Megalodon - STLIP-15
Creative title…  Again this sounds way better on Bandcamp than it did on YouTube.  The first thing that jumps out at me is the fact that “Spintunes Listening Party” is too much of a mouthful to be catchy.  Should have just went with “SpinTunes”, cause I don’t think “Listening Party” needs to be forced into the theme.  Something like “Welcome to SpinTunes” could be worked into the lyrics easier & people would still know it’s the listening parties theme.

Really enjoyed the instrumental section, and the music throughout was really catchy so nice work there.  Lyrically I don’t always mesh with Megalodon, but I think you did a really good job aside from the chorus.  Vocals, performance...I just really liked everything other than your chorus.  Solid entry, you got a shot.

Temnere - Saturday Morning SpinTunes
I wasn’t really sure how your sound would translate into a theme song, but it turns out pretty well.  There are parts that I listened to without the lyrics in front of me, and I swear I couldn’t make out what was being said.  But when I had the lyrics in front of me I was like, “Oh yeah, I hear that now.”  Not sure if that’s just me, or if the vocals need brought up a little or what.  “where war's fought mind to mind” was probably the line that got me most.

You definitely make the contest sound pretty badass, and you do it while laying out exactly how the contest works.  Honestly I don’t think anyone could have done a better job of making it sound so epic.  Up until the line “set your mark and write the perfect tune” the song could’ve been about something completely different...yet it still fits SpinTunes.  I don’t know what else to say other than well done, and you’re probably getting my top vote.

Bubba And The No Longer Amiable Kraken - Listening Party Theme
Another nice title…  Dang, another I could see winning.  Obviously I’m going to have a favorite, but I see all 4 having a legit shot at winning.  You did a better job of making “SpinTunes Listening Party” catchy than Megalodon did, but I know less about SpinTunes from listening to your theme Vs the others I think.

No question you got a bouncy feel that honestly suits what I personally envisioned for a theme more so than the others.  The production was good, vocals good, just wish you could have worked in a little more detail about the contest.  Also, what happens if Tom changes the time or day for the listening party? ;p

Glen Raphael - SpinTunes Listening Party (Shadow)
Acapella is a bold choice.  I think in parts it turned out great, and in other parts it felt like a “wall of sound” which I think is how you put it in the chat room?  And really those moments come so close together, there’s a fine line that you seemed to step back & forth across multiple times.  Lyrically it’s a bit sparse in terms of detail about the contest.  It was certainly fun to listen to, and I always love getting shadows, but I think it’s where it belongs this round when compared to the actual entries.

Menage a Tune - SpinTunes
Ok, I wasn’t going to review this because of my history with JoAnn, but when I heard it at the listening party I HAD to review it because of my history with JoAnn.  The music was enjoyable, but I could have used something with more bounce that was a little less wispy.  Again...not bad at all, but I didn’t feel it was well suited for a theme song.  Vocally, I could cut & paste a past review of JoAnn.  She gets it done & attempts to put some personality in the delivery, but in the end I’m still reminded of an church lady singing children’s hymns to a Sunday school class.

Lyrically I wouldn’t have any major issues with it had it been written by anyone other than JoAnn.  I mean she hits on most of the things I’d expect someone to hit on given this challenge, and there’s no hamster wheel of life mentioned, so that’s all good.  But the fact that she includes the lines...

“Even if you do not win,
You can take it with a grin.”

...is a little much coming from JoAnn.  What happened when you got a bad ranking from me in SpinTunes 5 JoAnn?  You sure as hell didn’t take that with a grin.  You actually cursed me out in Google+, complained about my honest opinion of your song, and eventually just flat out started saying the contest was rigged by me.  You were such a pain in the ass & poor sport that I eventually just banned you.

Then let's look at the lines…

“And cheer your friends along!”

You must only mean friends that write songs that you agree with?  Right?  I remember how you handled it when someone wrote a song that didn’t line up with your opinions or beliefs.

Either way...you writing a theme song for SpinTunes is like asking Sean Hannity to write the forward for Rachel Maddow’s next book.  It wouldn’t make much sense & it would leave everyone a little unsettled afterwards.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Friday, June 8, 2018

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sunday, June 3, 2018