Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Discuss the many little competitions/projects that spring up amongst the Song Fight community.
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thirdcatmusic
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by thirdcatmusic »

chumpy; I was more drawn to the slower tracks partly because I didn't think I could pull off a decent cover of one of your more manic fast songs. I did consider "liquid starshine" for a quick second as I liked that one a lot. but it's just not a style I'm too comfortable doing, although that might have made it a good challenge! maybe if I had unlimited time. but with the deadline I figured I should go for something I thought I could actually pull off in some way. (I guess I could have also slowed down one of your faster manic songs... for some reason that thought didn't occur to me until just now.)

any which way I very much enjoyed climbing inside your "ocean of blood" in order to learn it for this cover. definitely a fun thing to do and I plan on taking part next time there's one of these original covers coverfights. cool thing indeed.

much thanks to mike lamb for putting it together. and no hard feelings to jocko for being late on mine, i know things come up, it's all good. looking forward to hearing what you do and which song you picked.
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Paco Del Stinko
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Im at work on break, so not much time. But have to thank JB for the great cover of Auld Lang Syne Interesting choice, but what an improvement. The bittersweetness of that classic melody done by an actual singer is delicious. That's a song, original original and this cover, that as it goes, you know its going to end and you dont want it to. Like life, I reckon.

Thank you JB, I am honored.
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

I'll check in with the others later. But big thanks to all who particpated and Mike for reelin' it all in. Bravo!
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jb
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by jb »

Tex— I dig those covers. The ending of SysPan is really fun, and All Tan totally captures the obnoxious spirit of that song. Thanks for having fun with them!

JB
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by Caravan Ray »

fluffy wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:06 pm
I finally know which song I'm gonna do and the recipient is either gonna love it or hate it. Or maybe a bit of both!
LOL. Great job Fluffy! You really skimmed the cream of my repertoire. I don't even remember that one!

It seems to be an early experiment at using a computer generated voice. Weird - since I used a computer generated voice for my cover of JBs "All Tan". The quality of those things seems to have improved a lot.

Anyway - once I got over the embarrassment of having written that (if "written" is the right word?) - I enjoyed your version very much! It was certainly far superior to the original. It was like it was a proper song!!
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by Caravan Ray »

jb wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 6:01 pm
Tex— I dig those covers. The ending of SysPan is really fun, and All Tan totally captures the obnoxious spirit of that song. Thanks for having fun with them!

JB
Yes. I did have fun with those. Thank you.
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by Jocko Homomorphism »

Owl, this is a really sweet cover. Thank you.

I'm working through some personal issues, but I hope to have the energy to finish my cover soon.
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by owl »

I commented in the listening party that I was planning to write up reviews, but I kept feeling like all my reviews would consist of "Great cover! Great original! Good job!" so they wouldn't be very helpful. That review still stands for each of these. NEVERTHELESS I decided to write a few brief notes on these below!

Caravan Ray for JB - All Tan - wow, the mood from the original has really changed! I heard the cover first and was not at all expecting the sound of the original track when I heard it. I like how you've reversed the electronic/acousticness of the two JB covers. This song is ridiculous and brought a smile to my face. The computer vocals work really well with those swaggery weird lyrics.
Caravan Ray for JB - Systematic Panic - Loses a bit of panic in the translation, but this has a lovely warm feel that I really enjoyed. I like the sound of your guitar and vocals!
Crumpart for Micah - Zero Gravity - A song about space! Of course this is the one you picked, that's perfect. I dig the somber, desolate feel of this, it has a sort of stately Renaissance dance feel with the recorder (?) and violin and castanets. Micah's piano version is really lovely and full (in the parts between verses, anyway) in a more conventional way; this arrangement has a sort of raw emptiness that works really well too. I really like the staccato violin stabs.
Glennny for Fluffy - Cindy on the Bus - This reminds me of the Violent Femmes. It has a classic, familiar feel to it. Nice production--the vocals and acoustic sound good, I like the energy level of this cover, and the synths are really cool--the croaky one in the back and the little organ-ish noodles between vocal lines.
JB for Paco - Auld Lang Syne - Gorgeous, otherworldly whistling, I am so envious of your whistling abilities. Listening to this cover of Paco and Paco's cover of crumpart make me really appreciate the uniqueness of Paco's musical style! I really like the swells of layered vocals and acoustic guitar as this picks up.
Jerkatorium for Vowlvom - The Sugary Goo Inside - One of my favorites of the coverfight, you really did a great job with this one! Infectious and the production is excellent. Love the tinkly toy piano stuff and the crunchy stop/start guitars, the chorus really soars with the harder-hitting guitars in this version. The subtle backing vocals add a lot, and Chumpy crooning the wonderfully disturbing lyrics is giving me slight Misfits "Saturday Night" vibes.
Jerkatorium for Vowlvom - Your Discarded Cigarette - Vom's original version has a very appealing dark synthpop feel but the upbeat power-pop Jerkatorium version is excellent too and still feels like it would be totally on-brand for a VV song.
Johnny Cashpoint for Lichenthroat - I Used to Know You Better - Funny how you guys drew each other as partners! I'm glad this got picked, this was one of my favorite Lichen Throat songs lyrically. The cover has a bit more of a relaxed feel to me but keeps much of the same kind of dark, melancholy mood, which is interesting, in my original review of this song I had commented that the music felt much darker than the lyrics. I'm glad the one-note guitar line got preserved in at least part of the song as synth, but that there were some additional melodic bits added in too for extra interest. Really enjoyed hearing the new take on it; it's fun when I remember the originals and then I see the new versions posted!
Lichenthroat for Johnny Cashpoint - When it Snowed - I enjoyed the production--glad that descending guitar line stayed in, and I really liked the part where it kicks in with the drums. I admit the first time I was listening I wasn't really paying attention and thought "oh how nice, a nice song about a snowy day" and then I listened more carefully/looked up the lyrics and whoa that's not what it is at all. I think the cover reflects a bit more of that lyrical darkness in there whereas the original has a somewhat more ethereal sound with the choir pad and chiming guitar.
Micah for Sleepysilverdoor - You'll Know It When You See It - Brilliant, this made me laugh. Very well executed stylistically and it actually works so well with the lyrics. I liked the lo-fi, noisy drone and energy of the original version, the cover has somehow preserved that onslaught of lyrics and the melody while doing a 180 from the energy level and musical style.
Owl for Jocko - We Were So Grand - The original has just acoustic guitar, the cover has everything but guitar... I switched the key to get into a better range to get the harmonies in there, and started with just the synth pad and shakers and slowly layered in all the other stuff like the ukulele and guiro. (I want a real guiro!) I went back and forth on what to do in the solo for a bit, including considering a kazoo, and ended up playing it on melodica and then running it through some effects. I love the affectionate nostalgia and sincerity in Jocko's song, it is really a sweet tune (and I like that I'm also sort of doing a bonus Pigfarmer Jr. cover to boot!) I had figured I'd do one of the Spintunes ones from the last round that I quite enjoyed, but changed my mind when I heard this one.
(I played real bass on this and the neutronflow GOM as well, I should do that more because despite being not great at it so it takes a long time to record, it turns out I really enjoy it--it satisfies my urge to play constantly once I'm holding an instrument in my hands, without anyone telling me to "leave space for other instruments" or "stop noodling for a minute"!)
Paco for Crumpart - Right Town, Wrong Address - This is great! Another where I remembered the original (which was charming!) and it really was transformed. I looked up my old review of this and I had written "it starts to feel like a lot of stuff all going on all the time" which you (Paco) have taken to the next level here, it kind of made my head spin. I love the manic pace of this and the jangly guitars, there's a part like 3/4 of the way through where there are some guitar stabs on the off beats that I really liked, they help change up the arrangement a bit. Criticisms: I would have enjoyed it more if all the instruments were played with food.
Phlebia (Sleepysilverdoor) for Owl (Vowl Sounds) - Shock Value - Thank you for my excellent gift! This was so very Phlebia, which makes me happy. It's nuts, and it's great. I'm sure I would have enjoyed hearing a full version that sounded like the first section, because that was great and a bit more easy for me to appreciate in a traditional way! I love the ominous pounding bass and drums, and the effected vocals work really well. Someone on the chat compared it to Slowdive which I can definitely see and +1 to the comment that I'd love to hear more songs from you in that vein. But I appreciate the creativity of the procedurally generated noisy drums, too. I never did manage to see the link to whatever you used to generate the drum MIDI in the second section because I think the Youtube chat hid the external links, but I'm curious, you should post it!
Fluffy for Caravan Ray - ABCD Puppies - This cover brought a smile to my face! Of course it's a goofy and lightweight song, but it was cheerful and exuberant and fun to listen to. I like those little swirls of piano. I don't have a lot of notes about it, but I enjoyed it a lot.
Third Cat for Jerkatorium - Ocean of Blood - This ties with Jerkatorium's "The Sugary Goo" as my other favorite of the fight. I love the melody of this song and I think your arrangement of this version really worked well to showcase it. I don't think you were in the listening party chat, but I commented there that it reminds me of Fight Test by the Flaming Lips/Father and Son by Cat Stevens, not so much in the original version but in your cover definitely, I guess it's probably the drums + acoustic guitar. Love all the swirling textures, especially that shimmery harp strum thing that starts coming in at the end of the bridge. I keep coming back to listen to this again!
Vom Vorton for Glennny - My Favorite Monster - The textures of this cover are great, I love the lo-fi drum machine sound and all the synths and contrasting guitar tones. Glennny's song has lots of cool interlocking riffs and parts and you did an excellent job getting them all put together in a new and interesting way!
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by crumpart »

owl wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 12:28 pm
Paco for Crumpart - Right Town, Wrong Address - This is great! Another where I remembered the original (which was charming!) and it really was transformed. I looked up my old review of this and I had written "it starts to feel like a lot of stuff all going on all the time" which you (Paco) have taken to the next level here, it kind of made my head spin. I love the manic pace of this and the jangly guitars, there's a part like 3/4 of the way through where there are some guitar stabs on the off beats that I really liked, they help change up the arrangement a bit. Criticisms: I would have enjoyed it more if all the instruments were played with food.
Ha! I went back and listened to my original after listening to Paco’s about five times, and thought “hey, I played melodica in this”! And then I remembered that I played it with bananas.
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by fluffy »

owl wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 12:28 pm

Glennny for Fluffy - Cindy on the Bus - This reminds me of the Violent Femmes. It has a classic, familiar feel to it. Nice production--the vocals and acoustic sound good, I like the energy level of this cover, and the synths are really cool--the croaky one in the back and the little organ-ish noodles between vocal lines.
This song was intended as a Violent Femmes style song in the first place, and yeah it's really great how that especially came through in Glenny's cover.
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Owl, since you asked -- I'll just post it here directly!

Code: Select all

use MIDI;
use List::Util qw/shuffle/;
use strict;
use warnings;

my $tick_length = 96;

my @events;
my $tick_count = 0;
my $is_kick = 0;
while ($tick_count <= $tick_length * 4 * 48) {
    my $num_events = 2+int(rand(6));
    my $hit_length = 10+int(rand(15));

    for (my $i = 0; $i < $num_events; $i++) {
	my $channel = $is_kick ? int(rand(5)) : 5+int(rand(5));
	push @events,
	    ['note_on',0,$channel,60,120],
	    ['note_off',$hit_length,$channel,60,120];
	printf "%d %d %d %d\n",$tick_count,$hit_length,$channel,$is_kick;;
	$tick_count+=$hit_length;
    }
    $is_kick = $is_kick == 0 ? 1 : 0;
}

my $track1 = MIDI::Track->new({ 'events' => \@events});
my $opus = MIDI::Opus->new(
    {'format' => 0, 'ticks' => $tick_length, 'tracks' => [$track1]});
$opus->write_to_file('shockvalue.mid');

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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by fluffy »

Wow, I haven't seen Perl used in generative music code in a long time.
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

fluffy wrote:
Wed May 06, 2020 4:48 pm
Wow, I haven't seen Perl used in generative music code in a long time.
I did most of an album that way last year...I was using Clojure, but Perl's MIDI API has better syntax (and the variable scoping and loop syntax are way more conducive, not to mention the smaller runtime). I got burnt out on that approach and decided I needed real instruments again...so here I am!
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by jb »

So I was looking for a song of yours that I could slow down and strip down, because there’s no way I could compete with your original arrangements. They are too complex and inventive and you have just too many instrumental chops it’s quite ridiculous. :)

So I asked my wife to listen to just your winners, simply as a way to narrow it down— winners as we know are not the best songs, they just got the most votes that week. But with such a metric tonnage if songs I needed a way to zero in. So she listened to them and gave me a short list of her faves, and Auld Lang Syne spoke to me as a good candidate for taking it slow and pretty.

I enjoyed making the cover and rooting through your songs again Paco!

JB
Paco Del Stinko wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 4:18 pm
Im at work on break, so not much time. But have to thank JB for the great cover of Auld Lang Syne Interesting choice, but what an improvement. The bittersweetness of that classic melody done by an actual singer is delicious. That's a song, original original and this cover, that as it goes, you know its going to end and you dont want it to. Like life, I reckon.

Thank you JB, I am honored.
blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by MicahSommer »

crumpart wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:48 am
I accidentally chose the first song I listened to.

I tried to give some others a chance, but I keep coming back to that first one because it killed me dead. What a song.
Thanks crumpart, and thanks for your cover. It has a kind of eerie otherworldliness to it which I love and which I think is implied by the lyrics but I was too chicken to bring out fully in my original recording.
sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 11:15 am
MICAH THIS IS BEAUTIFUL THANK YOU FOR TURNING MY LO-FI KEYBOARD NOISEFEST INTO A BOSSA NOVA
Thanks! As I said in the youtube chat I knew I couldn't compete with you on your own turf so I had to radically reimagine the song. It turns out though that as I was learning the melody, the Latin jazz rhythms came pretty naturally for the accompaniment, so it didn't really feel like a conscious choice, so much as uncovering something already buried deep in the song... very deep. ;)
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Re: Original Flava Coverfight - COVID-19 Special Edition

Post by crumpart »

MicahSommer wrote:
Thu May 07, 2020 7:20 am
crumpart wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 5:48 am
I accidentally chose the first song I listened to.

I tried to give some others a chance, but I keep coming back to that first one because it killed me dead. What a song.
Thanks crumpart, and thanks for your cover. It has a kind of eerie otherworldliness to it which I love and which I think is implied by the lyrics but I was too chicken to bring out fully in my original recording.
I love your version so much. It's really beautiful and airy and heartbreaking.

Also, I was originally going to go for "everything vocoder" until I listened to to you on the Jerks podcast and went for "all real instruments" instead. Except then I added an arpeggiated marimba at the end because it needed it, and I don't own a real marimba so deliberately chose "Realistic Marimba" and made it sound as fake as possible. The other instruments are recorder, violin, bass guitar, frog shaped guiro, cymbal played with the wrong end of a paintbrush, tapping the back of my guitar, tapping a piece of copper with a constellation etched on it, and scraping a wire brush over that same piece of copper.

Here's a picture of me playing a cymbal for you.
Devil’s got me Lindt! Devil’s got me Lindt!
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