Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Niveous » Wed May 15, 2019 6:18 am

Congrats on your win Glenn, but I do have to say

Oh great, insulted by this washed up jerk
Who could only get plays from the Rock Band Network
Sorry, Glenn Case, you don't ROCK.
All you do is bite hard on Ellis Paul's jock.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by vowlvom » Wed May 15, 2019 6:26 am

Yeah, it looks like Glenn worked hard on his spreadsheet
In the cells he excels - but elsewhere he's a deadbeat
Fourteen years and he's never had immunity?
I guess the previous judges applied a little more scrutiny.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Spintown » Wed May 15, 2019 11:12 am

Before I get to the individual reviews I just want to say that the talent level in this contest is amazing. So it pains me that so many of you either didn’t like the challenge or didn’t have the balls to really embrace it. I normally focus on the lyrics & this was a lyrical challenge. You can make the argument that most of these were diss tracks, but most diss tracks I’ve listened to actually name a target or at least don’t leave you wondering who the target was. If you left me wondering, went after a group, or idea...you fell in the rankings. A diss not directed at someone specific doesn’t really diss anyone. (imo at least)

Abominominous
Started off with a chill “Why can’t we be friends” vibe. I actually liked your first couple lines as well. I thought it was the good jumping off point for a diss track even if the song didn’t set the mood I was expecting. However I wasn’t able to pick out who your target was, and it didn’t take long before (again) I just couldn’t follow anything. Aside from that, there were places where the song slows down or gets distorted & feels out of place. The first example that bothered me was, “we built this city on exploitation”. And I don’t know if anyone told you, but your song ended around the 3:30 mark. It’s always awkward when the musician is last to know...

Agony Sauce
This is the exact thing I was hoping for. Pick your targets & rip away. I didn’t care for the fact that you included yourself in this though. I'm pretty sure everyone is mature enough to know that it’s a joke & part of the challenge. So that felt weak. Most of the insults are clever as fuck, and you’ve got some solid flow. There was never a time when I was bored listening to this. Still with the multiple challenges? *tips cap*

Berkeley Social Scene
At first I thought you were going to target James Charles since he’s an internet star who was trending the past few days. But you never named a target, and it clearly wasn’t him. If you had a target in mind I didn’t figure it out, so I assume it was meant to be generic. The lyrics were solid with a few memorable lines, and the music was good enough. Overall it just felt like a weak “diss” track. But I’ve thought the same thing from everyone who didn’t name a specific target.

Boffo Yux Dudes
I like the idea of making a your mama diss track, and it seems right up BYD’s alley. The tone of the music doesn’t really feel like a diss track, but I think it works. My biggest complaint here would be that the jokes are stale. If you want to do a your mama diss track that’s great, but don’t just Google very common old jokes.

Faster Jackalope
Like a lot of people this round, the music doesn’t really set the mood for a diss track. I mean there’s a glockenspiel in this for crying out loud. ;p I actually really enjoy the concept, the music, the lyrics & the vocals. Yet together this just doesn’t seem to work for me. The mood is wrong, and the vocals (despite being good) don’t sound like Popeye or Brutus. I am so conflicted with this...I like so much about it...but it’s like peanut butter & pizza together.

Frankie Big Face
You paint a very clear picture here, and I really enjoyed it. The music was driving & appropriate for the story. Because this wasn’t your typical “diss” track I was worried at first when you didn’t really name a target, but your storytelling gives you a great mental image of your nameless target. Something that others this round didn’t do as well. To me at least, this is a huge turn around for you in this contest.

Grumpy Mike
You really set the mood & you picked a tough target. Props for both. Lyrically I thought you did a fine job, and liked that you were letting your presence be known as much as you were dissing someone. Vocals a little out of your range at times, but it’s not too distracting. You get bonus points for the “I’m Not Impressed” reference. #Impressed

Lucky Spoon
The anti diss track? I can maybe see how this technically meets the challenge, but you’re stretching it a little too much for my liking. Just based off the music, lyrics and performance I’d have to rank this pretty high. But I’m also factoring in the challenge, and you’re getting dinged hard for that. Just know that I enjoyed the song, despite where it is in my rankings. Sometimes it’s worth walking right up to that line & maybe going over...sometimes it’s not. Good luck with the other judges.

Mandibles
No lyrics posted.

Max Bombast
Man this was short, but you got immunity, so I get why. I’ll keep my review just as short. Challenge...meh. Song...ok.

Merisan
Sounds nice. Not much of a “diss” track though.

Nick Soma
I think we should have asked people to name the target of these diss tracks. Like a number of others this round the lack of context I’m given takes away from the enjoyment. The mood you set isn’t what I’d expect from a diss track, but I think you make it work. The ending sounds too muffled & gets hard to make out the lyrics. I mean I was reading along so I didn’t have an issue, but I imagine I would have without the lyrics.

Rachael Layne
I think it’s pretty clear how he got there, but I can’t help but agree with the rest. You come nonstop with the disses which is great. The part where you repeat “You’re a buffoon” actually seemed out of place. No major complaints with this song, but going political is always a bit of a risk. Fingers crossed there aren’t Trump fans on the panel.

Rain Watt
I grew up in a religious right wing family & community so I can clearly picture the people you’re targeting here. This is not a topic or POV I can claim to understand at all, but the performance & lyrics in this song are extremely powerful. It’s not your typical diss track, this is more wishing for understanding & revenge than straight up disses. I think this song is great, and might end up being the best of Nur Ein 14 in terms of evoking raw emotion. When I take into account the challenge & the music (which is a little to muddy for my liking) it will fall in this rounds ranking a bit. Great work though.

The Sunday Colors
Your actual recording has improved each round. Guitar playing is great, and the vocals are clear as a bell. As a diss track I felt this missed the mark, and I didn’t really connect with the story. I did like the twist at the end, but I fear you’ll rank low. My favorite lines were,

“I watched you drooling in your hospital gown
And I thought all you’ll ever be is all you are now”.

Give me more of that in a diss track.

Third Cat
Glad you named a target, cause for most of the song I was thinking, “Why should I care about this random Billy guy?” I didn’t know if he was a fictional character just for this song (and he still might be), or if it was a real person. This song lacks a hook...or at least a catchy one. I was never really ready to start singing along to this. I’m not sure this will hold much interest for anyone other than the 2 people it was meant for. But I always say write songs for yourself first, so if this song did something for you great. Not sure it’ll do much for you in the contest though.

Ujn Hunter + Friends
The singing & the music was pretty good. Didn’t really like the hook though, just wasn’t catchy or creative. Lyrically it’s fine aside from the fact you don’t really target anyone specific. That’s kinda my issue with a lot of the songs this round. You’ll probably do better than most since at least yours sounded good.

Vowl Sounds
Dissing your ex’s next? If even there’s nothing to it, people would read a lot into that. I liked the reference to your first song. I also like the “Charlie Brown adult or pissed-off Sim” line. Your voice is almost too sweet to be dissing people. That actually did feel a little out of place. But overall nice work. Picked a target, and went after her...or him. Guess it depends on if I’m reading too much into it. ;p
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Lucky Spoon » Wed May 15, 2019 12:06 pm

Spintown wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 11:12 am
Lucky Spoon
The anti diss track? I can maybe see how this technically meets the challenge, but you’re stretching it a little too much for my liking. Just based off the music, lyrics and performance I’d have to rank this pretty high. But I’m also factoring in the challenge, and you’re getting dinged hard for that. Just know that I enjoyed the song, despite where it is in my rankings. Sometimes it’s worth walking right up to that line & maybe going over...sometimes it’s not. Good luck with the other judges.
Thank you for articulating the logic of the ranking, I respect your decision. I wasn't going for an "anti diss track", I really did want to come down on anger and negativity in general, not just on diss tracks--which often are not really that angry and can be fun. The inspiration for my lyrics came more from the divisive nature that anger can have in all kinds of discourses. If you're angry at someone for something before you even know them personally it's easy to write them off as stupid or dismiss their words without even trying to understand their position. I've experienced personally what can happen when you become friends with someone before finding out their stances and it has changed my views in several cases. The "diss-track-tion" line was a cute pun I came up with early and I didn't think it fit my message (as it leaned more towards anti diss track vs anti anger/negativity) but I threw it in anyway which was a risk. And hey, if it wasn't for you I wouldn't have been in this round in the first place... so no hard feelings ;)
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Chumpy » Wed May 15, 2019 3:41 pm

I guess we're not pumping the brakes on this whole podcast thing. Here is the evidence: Tell us things at: feedback@twojerksonevote.com.

INDEX: Pump it up!
Last edited by Chumpy on Wed May 15, 2019 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Cybronica » Wed May 15, 2019 4:03 pm

Nur ein xiv 2

No particular order:


Grumpy mike - WOW I love those Awooo’s going on!! Also excellent are the hard crunchy guitar, the tasty rhymes, the false ending, and the mix, which is perfect. Hoo boy am I impressed by those vocals. I’m reminded a bit of dragon force. Hearing them makes the Opera singer in me shudder for the sake of your vocal health, but damn they are exquisit.

Nick soma- love that opening bass riff. Bass throughout is pretty awesome. I like the wood blocks, and the music overall is really good. Not wild about the use of the title, but this week’s title was rough.

Agony Sauce- the clear and obvious winner; I thought so as soon as it came on. More than any other, it hit the challenge right on the bullseye. Declamation is amazing, and I love the way you played the the band names. You even had a good incorporation of the title. Bravi.

Lucky Spoon- every time I hear this, I imagine it with a tap dance number. I love it. It’s so fun! And positive! Love the bass line. I know some people who need to hear this... It’s fabulous. Sorry to see you get out too. You didnt deserve it. I really loved last week’s song too, and I hope you’ll keep doing shadows!

Sunday Colors: the start of this remind me a bit of Mumford and sons. All you need is a banjo and 3 other men. It’s a sweet sound, and the song is sad, though it doesn’t feel like a diss track so much as an angry song about someone in your life. Well sung, well played. Title incorporation is rough.

Merisan: this was my favorite song from you in nur ein xiv. The vocal harmonies are delicious, and the music in entrancing. Not much of a diss track, though, and the connection to the title is slight. Great song, though. No idea what it’s about. GoT? I don’t/watch or read it, but I imagine dragons (no pun intended) when I hear it.

Mandibles: not surprised to see us get out- this song deserved it. The mix is poor, and we didn’t have a chance to redo the vocals. This challenge was particularly difficult for us, especially since on Thursday the subject of our original song came back and said they did not want to be the subject of our teasing. That left us scrambling pretty hard, so we ended up writing and recording this song in about 60 hours. Given that, I’m glad of what we got, but the guitar is too loud, and the whispered bits were ill conceived (I was just so inspired by vowl sounds!). Alas. See you on the shadow side!

Boffo Yux Dudes: Clever choice! The lyrics are fun, and you have some good singers, but the constant yo mama jokes get a little tedious. I like the backing vocals.

Rachel layne: great song, great disses, good delivery, though I think I liked last week’s song a bit more. What I LOVE about this song are the vocals on the chorus. It reminds me of Emmy Lou Harris on her album with Dolly Parton. The you’re a buffoon line caught me off guard, but other about the only think i didn’t like.

Ujn h&f: this isn’t as exciting as your other two tracks, but it still has that hard drive that I’ve come to live from you. For some reason, it seems to me like if the beach bits did punk.

Frankie big face: this is a lovely song and one that I like, but it feels less like a diss track and more like a laundry list of insults with a comforting chorus. I really like that high harmony you have going on. I like the bend/break/mend/make rhyme

Third Cat: I love your use of echo. This is a cool song and I like how you formed the lyrics. Good music.

Abominominous: I like the lyric “barrel merrily along” being used to to tie the title. This has a really cool groove and some nice sounds going, but it feels a little less tight than your other songs. Its a little loose. The vocal bloom on “puuuuuut” is awesome.

Rain watt: I wasn’t sure about the stuttering intro at first, but this song is really amazing, and really really important. Your vocal delivery is impeccable. The drop in instrumentation at the bridge and then slow build into the chorus is amazingly done. This is truly great, and even though it’s more of a rage track than a diss track, I don’t care. Stuck it to them and sing your heart!

Vowl sounds: “that’s the closest she’ll ever get to reflection” killed me. Hilarious. This is something I expect to hear from the best of the 80s. I like the narrative of this song, the synths, the singing is great, and the use of the title is great.

BSS: I was underwhelmed. You have a cool intro, with really cool emerging sounds, but once the vocals came in, it went into a more conventional, and one of the vocals on the chorus has a sound that makes it sound to me like you’re sticking your tongue out. You have some cool harmonies on the pre, but the chorus kinda spoils it.

Max Bombast: im glad you didn’t follow us on the playlist, but that seems not to have helped us... I like the p p p p pump the brakes at the beginning/throughout. The bass is really groovy. This is more of a divergence of your sound (I think? I haven’t listened to your backlog), and i think it was a success! A good use of immunity.

Faster Jackelope: m y f a v o r i t e . This was by far my favorite song of the round. The mix was great, the singing was great, the challenge was taken tongue in cheek, the topic worked perfectly, and the lyrics were well done. I am especially charmed by the delivery of “belly bump.” I’ve listened to it so much that I’ve almost got it learned. Great job guys.

Shadows:
I can’t open the files on my phone, but I listened at home and from what I remember:

Lichen throat: your singing and music is improving each week. I like how you craft the lyrics.

Iveg: I like this song a lot more than your previous two. It feels more “you”
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Cybronica » Wed May 15, 2019 8:03 pm

Thanks for the podcast guys! I agree with everything you said, especially the bit about fresh ears... There's always next year, I suppose.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Lunkhead » Wed May 15, 2019 9:15 pm

Nur Ein judge: "I have a hard and fast requirement and if you don't meet that I'm going to rank you poorly"

Same Nur Ein judge moments later: "I know this song didn't meet my hard and fast rule, but I love it, I ranked it tops"

:P
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Lunkhead » Wed May 15, 2019 9:43 pm

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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by frankie big face » Thu May 16, 2019 7:15 am

Chumpy wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:41 pm
[*]00:22:06 - Frankie Big Face
Appreciated your comments very much. Thanks for making this.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by vowlvom » Thu May 16, 2019 7:38 am

Chumpy wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:41 pm
[*]00:58:55 - Vowl Sounds
Thanks for the kind words! I've heard people complain about the difficulties of judging before and thought "pffft, how hard can it be?" but this round was genuinely brutal. So much good stuff.

Let's all hope that everyone* drops the quality substantially for Round 3.



* except for Vowl Sounds
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Lucky Spoon » Thu May 16, 2019 8:12 am

Chumpy wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 3:41 pm
Awww, thanks for the appreciation of my printer cartridge. Getting a lot of good reviews while being cut is not the worst way to go out.


re: vowl's comment on judging: I absolutely think judging would be difficult. You're not just assigning a grade to each song, you're ranking them. So if you find 10 songs fairly comparable you have to decide who will get 10 more points than the other one (and everyone in between). At that point it becomes about minute details and it would become very difficult to be consistent since it will inevitably become quite subjective. Quantifying your subjectivity so that participants can get a feel for what they'll be judged on would be even more difficult.

My feedback for twojerks would be to rank songs before the podcast. Talking about songs will inevitably affect your opinion on them, and it seems the point of 5 judges is to have 5 separate opinions to balance the subjectivity.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by noma » Thu May 16, 2019 8:26 am

OK, so, to make things a little clearer about my song. This is a very personal lyric about a specific guy I know, so I guess some of the references are hard to get if you don't know him. Didn't think that would be a problem; Green Day, for example, did a lot of diss tracks in the 1990s where you would have a hard time guessing the target from the lyrics; Chump, In the End, F.O.D., Platypus, Reject and others.
The guy this is about is someone very proud of his achievements, even if he didn't have to do much for it (as with the money Trump got from his dad), and bragging all the time about his wealth and what he perceives as his great character (also, like Trump.) He likes gold ("shiny and decorated", "show off your bling-bling".) If he donates money, he does it mainly for his ego, as it gives him another excuse for bragging ("the greatest benefactor".)
He tries to appear calm, polite and serious ("phlegmatic sheen"), but is easily enraged at the slightest criticism ("such an awful actor"), especially when made fun of. Hence he is advised to "pump the brakes" as he gets criticized and grows angrier and angrier. The line "There's so much more I could mention" is meant to be taunting; a little is enough to make him lose his temper, yet there's so much more.
Now as for the cryptic "Listen to the rain fall, carrying a ray gun" - when I recorded a first demo on my acoustic guitar, I sang gibberish along to it as I didn't yet have lyrics. This part came to my mind out of nowhere, and I liked the sound of it, but wasn't sure about keeping it in, since it didn't seem to make much sense. I noticed the similarity to "Reagan" (perhaps I was subconsciously influenced by a line in the White Stripes' The Hardest Button to Button, which is a pun: "it was a ray gun, and it was 1981", the year he became president), which I liked since the person this song is about shares a lot of similarities with Ronald Reagan, so "carrying a ray gun" could be interpreted as "doing like Reagan does", "following Reagan's example", etc.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by frankie big face » Thu May 16, 2019 8:46 am

Spintown wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 11:12 am
Frankie Big Face
You paint a very clear picture here, and I really enjoyed it. The music was driving & appropriate for the story. Because this wasn’t your typical “diss” track I was worried at first when you didn’t really name a target, but your storytelling gives you a great mental image of your nameless target. Something that others this round didn’t do as well. To me at least, this is a huge turn around for you in this contest.
Thanks for your review. I couldn't do my normal thing last week because of being sick. Hopefully, this will be the norm from now until the end (whenever that is).

I'm going to take this opportunity to talk about the challenges. Probably very few people will read this because I'm burying it in this comment, but maybe some people will. I'm not looking to start an argument anyway.

I like the challenges. They inspire me. I know other people, great songwriters, who don't do Nur Ein because they hate the challenges and often feel like they're shoehorning these ideas into their music. But for me, I know I wouldn't have written this song without the challenge because I would not have been pushed in this direction. I started by coming up with a few "disses" I thought were clever and then I put into a context I could personally live with and that is representative of my music. In the end, I want a song that I can share with people outside of this competition and they will like it. So thank you for this challenge - it was effective. I mean that sincerely.

Where I feel this competition sometimes goes off the rails is when judges put more emphasis on the challenge than they do on the songwriting. For this challenge, knowing that this is not a rap competition but a songwriting competition, and especially after posting examples of non-rap songs and telling us "don't do bad rap - stay in your lane," I really expected a lot of leeway. Which I think we got for the most part. (although I haven't heard from the judge who hammered me in the rankings :evil: ) But there's still seems to be so much emphasis on how the challenge was handled and so little on the actual songwriting part. At least that's frequently my perception.

You don't have to listen to me at all (obviously), but I would recommend that challenges like "dynamics" be rephrased to "creative use of dynamics," which would imply more of what I think you guys were expecting and that once you've briefly explained the challenge, just stop there. Don't post examples, don't give advice, don't encourage pandering, don't have lengthy discussions (I'm having a flashback to "metal"). Just let people write their best song that incorporates the challenge and then judge the songs not the challenge. My 2¢.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by vowlvom » Thu May 16, 2019 8:51 am

Lucky Spoon wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 8:12 am
re: vowl's comment on judging: I absolutely think judging would be difficult. You're not just assigning a grade to each song, you're ranking them. So if you find 10 songs fairly comparable you have to decide who will get 10 more points than the other one (and everyone in between). At that point it becomes about minute details and it would become very difficult to be consistent since it will inevitably become quite subjective. Quantifying your subjectivity so that participants can get a feel for what they'll be judged on would be even more difficult.
That's true! Although part of that micro-management appeals to me in an odd sort of way. And the power, obviously. The sweet, sweet power...

...I'm going to have to give judging a go at some point.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Chumpy » Thu May 16, 2019 9:13 am

Ranking is definitely hard. I personally try to score the song in three equal areas: title, challenge, and a more subjective 'do I like it and want to listen again?' I give an extra scoring boost to whomever I feels best exemplifies one of these areas.

Title
Should the song rightfully be titled something else? Is the title usage prominent? Is it used in a catchy hooky way? Do other lyrics in the song support the title, or is it more like a non-sequitur? The Max Bombast track is an excellent example of using the title in a hook. Vowl Sounds and Frankie Big Face did a great job of writing lyrics to support the title. The Abominominous track in my mind should have been titled "When You're Right You're Wrong", great song though.

Challenge
Was the challenge embraced or did it feel more like box checking? This is going to vary from challenge to challenge, but In this case I awarded full points to sharp disses against specific people (fictional or otherwise) or things, and dinged for vagueness or half-assedness. Also, there is a difference between being angry with someone for legitimately shitty things they've done, verses petty insults designed to disrespect. Agony Sauce and Vowl Sounds were standouts here.

Do I like it and want to Listen to again?
You might wonder why this isn't the only axis on how to judge the songs, or why this category isn't given more weight? I could simply just rank the songs in the order that I like them best, but that's not exactly fair and my specific musical biases and tastes would unduly color the rankings. I'm not saying this doesn't happen anyway, but it'd be even more pronounced. Rain Watt's song was my favorite this time around, and had she done better with the title and challenge I would have been happy to have been able to rank her at the top.
"How did these fuckin' guys get signed? Bring on the Beach Boys meets Ween." --boltoph
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by grumpymike » Thu May 16, 2019 9:24 am

I’ll say it again: I recommend judges using criteria as reward rather than penalty. It will help avoid this type of sour discussion. Unless someone is flagrantly not competing in the spirit, you just kind of come off a little mean-spirited by emphasizing penalty.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by thirdcatmusic » Thu May 16, 2019 9:53 am

some quick thoughts on all of the songs (in order of the judge's rankings since I'm streaming them from here https://nurein.songlander.com/titles/BB ... 65F4B123EC )

Agony Sauce - you nailed the challenge and I can see why you won the round. fun stuff and it's pretty sweet to get to be namechecked.

Rain Watt - you're killing it with the indie rock vibes, great vocals and energy. cool lyrics. even if I hadn't read your comments on the boards I'd hear that you are singing about something that actually means something to you. definitely helps to draw me in.

Rachael Layne - I almost went with the anti-Trump thing but I'm glad I didn't because you did a better job than I would've. I went another direction because I decided he is too easy of a target and I'm tired of hearing about the motherfucker. but I still enjoyed this. I liked the touch of not mentioning his name. and I really liked the "you're a buffoon" when the instruments drop out. nice.

Vowl Sounds - good as always, seems like you guys are incapable of making a bad song. I really like the guitar lines.

Faster Jackalope - one of my favorites of the round for sure. really like the vocals. the chorus is catchy, love it. "spinach is gross and so are you chump." fun instrumentation.

Grumpy Mike - the Soundgarden/Chris Cornell style verse is super impressive objectively but my favorite part is the chorus. that bit is surprising in the context of the verse and I think makes it a much more interesting song than it would be if you stuck with the verse style the whole time. Great guitars and the "awoo" vocal thing is very cool. my favorite grumpy mike song I've heard so far. I would have had this a bit higher.

The Sunday Colors - as you can probably tell by my own fussy arrangements/productions I'm not a huge guy & guitar guy - I tend to get bored by simple arrangements ... but you do this style very well and I can see (hear) why you are doing well in this contest. Good playing/singing. Your lyrics paint a picture. Good stuff even if not so much my cup of tea.

Frankie Big Face - I think this should have been higher, I probably would have had it #1. I like the lyrics and I love the music.

Merisan - I really like the vibe of this song. Has kind of a soft menace to it that I find very engaging. This one is actually my favorite of your three songs so far this Nur Ein but this one did the worst re: judging. Taste is pretty subjective, eh? I'd have this in my top 3 I think.

Abom - Really grooves, I really like the harmonized guitar lines and the vocal performance is pretty great. Sweet mix/production. On the negative side, maybe it goes on a little long. I really like the "we built this city on exploitation" line.

Nick Soma - I really like the music and the vocals work pretty well I think. some interesting lyrics. I think this one is a grower for me as I'm liking it more with each listen. as far as my own personal taste this is probably towards the top. I have a hard time being objective. not sure it's really possible anyway? reminds me a lot of some stuff from the early '90s Brit Rock scene.

Third Cat - Hate this one, haven't liked any of my song so far, but this one is the worst. really fucked up the vocals. bad performance and then I ran out of time & patience on the editing. vocals are mixed too high.

Buffo Yux Dudes - "your mom's a smelly old crone" made me smile but overall I'm not a big fan of the 'yo momma's so fat' style jokes.

Ujn Hunter & Friends - Strong vocal performance I think; especially on the verse & prechorus. Drums are maybe a bit too low in the mix? Mix seems a bit sparse/guitar heavy.

BSS - I like the music, especially the verse which has a really cool tripped psyche rock vibe which is up my alley. For me this one falls apart a bit during the chorus and I think the vocals could've been stronger. I like the guitar solo section quite a bit.

Lucky Spoon - I was surprised this one got you eliminated. Vocals are good. And I like the diss of online trolls (that's how I'm hearing it anyway.) I like the chorus, it reminds me of something that might've been a hit in the 1920s (I mean this as a compliment, I'm a big Gershwin fan.)

Mandibles - this one didn't seem as strong your stuff usually is. still I liked the main guitar. drums seem a bit buried.

Max Bombast - you seem to have a real knack for getting a lot out of a little. there's just a vocal, a big octave riff, and drums but you make it sound like this big ol' monster. impressive. your vocals are so well mixed/recorded.

Lichen Throat - I'm going to read Bleak House because of you.

Inflatable Veggies - I love the tripped out music. This is up my alley. I do think maybe there could be a bit more solid low end tying it down a bit so it doesn't totally float away with the phasing, but that does kind of defeat the purpose maybe. Vocals aren't too bad either. I like this one much more than your "Shock Value."
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Phil. Redmon. » Thu May 16, 2019 9:58 am

thirdcatmusic wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:53 am
long.
yeah, i know. I had just gotten a new guitar and wanted to give it a showcase.
everyone else wrote: other stuff
true, true.
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by Chumpy » Thu May 16, 2019 10:21 am

grumpymike wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:24 am
I’ll say it again: I recommend judges using criteria as reward rather than penalty. It will help avoid this type of sour discussion. Unless someone is flagrantly not competing in the spirit, you just kind of come off a little mean-spirited by emphasizing penalty.
You can characterize it as a penalty or a lack of a reward, but ultimately I think it's the same thing. I'm OK with each judge having their own unique criteria for their rankings, I just want them to own it and try to be transparent about it. I realize that you've been a judge before, but for others out there who are passionate about how this contest should be judged, I recommend you volunteer for the thankless job of judging. I've found that sometimes when you think to yourself "this sucks, even I could do a better job than this" it can be quite rewarding to test that assertion and see if it's true. You may find that it's harder than you think.

I'm judging this time because it was getting down to the wire and Niveous still hadn't had any volunteers. Also, I had some pretty strong feelings around transparency and accountability of the judging and thought I might be able to influence things from the inside. The last time I judged Nur Ein, I got zero satisfaction from it. Lunkhead thought I was an idiot, Glennny said I was one of the worst judges and flipped me shit for my lack of reviews, and my challenges were roundly criticized on the boards. Yay judging!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by lichenthroat » Thu May 16, 2019 11:25 am

thirdcatmusic wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 9:53 am
Lichen Throat - I'm going to read Bleak House because of you.
This is the best review I have ever received. Enjoy!
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Re: Nur Ein XIV Round Two "Pump The Brakes"

Post by grumpymike » Thu May 16, 2019 11:49 am

I've been hesitant to talk too much because it's always like putting a bullseye on your face in Nur Ein. I know being a judge is difficult work and it's more fun to compete, so we're all grateful that we've got judges and those judges are so transparent, thanks to your advocacy.

So, I want to say I'm not criticizing or trying to put you on the defensive. I'm not even saying I was a particularly good judge or did anything remarkably well. All I'm doing is trying to help make things more enjoyable for you and for everyone else by opening up our understanding of one another so we can continue to have a good time in this stressful, crazy game. Kumbaya and all that.
Chumpy wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:21 am
You can characterize it as a penalty or a lack of a reward, but ultimately I think it's the same thing.
What I advocate for is to rank the songs how you like them, and then bump up positions if the title or challenge is done particularly well. For you, it might end up being the same effective ranking. But, if you arbitrarily ignore your own 'rules', you're kind of picking the option that allows for the worst interpretation of your actions. Someone who's not rewarded appropriately might be pissed, but someone who is cut because they've been inappropriately penalized will be bitter. (Side note: I think a lot of the focus on pedantry of the contest has some to do with simply not wanting to hurt feelings with "I simply don't like this". Think about how effective that is when turning down a date by saying you're busy this weekend... and next... and you're allergic to Asian food... and... but really I want to go on a date with you, it's just my grandma is sick....)
Chumpy wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 10:21 am
You can characterize it as a penalty or a lack of a reward, but ultimately I think it's the same thing.
There's a significant difference if only in words that become communicated. There's a difference between saying "I didn't rank this one quite so high because it didn't handle the title well" versus "I ranked this one toward the bottom because it avoided the title." - especially considering we're all introverted artists who are putting our hearts on the line with some of these songs. (Note: I still think the focus on the title is awkward, considering songs like... oh... "Cochise", which you would probably rank at the bottom with that heuristic, but we can hold differing opinions on that without being jerks.)

Everyone needs this reminder sometimes: phrasing is important. (Especially me, all the time.) If you approach things from a more positive angle - even if it's the same effective ranking result, you end up with a different mindset, which verbalizes differently. Unless someone is especially trying to skirt the spirit of the contest or pull a fast one, there's no reason to assume that they are and place shame on them. We're all just bustin' our asses to make good music here for a contest where we don't win anything; not trying to cheat our way to a free vacation.

Finally, when you come into a position of "authority", it significantly amplifies even the slightest negative things you say, and puts your words in a completely different light. You might be wondering what everyone's problem is because you're just acting how you normally would. Then you learn they're bitter about something you phrased that you don't even remember saying...

What I've written above is for anyone, contestant or judge, and it's not solely directed at you, Chumpy. It's all straight from my emotional cheat-sheet because I've screwed up so many times. I'm sure everyone here knows I'm not tremendously successful or consistent at following my own advice and that's why I have it stapled to my forehead.
Last edited by grumpymike on Thu May 16, 2019 12:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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