Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Discuss the many little competitions/projects that spring up amongst the Song Fight community.
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by j$ » Tue Apr 14, 2015 2:17 am

Was late; now submitted - one supremely odd version of 'Blasphemous Rumours'...

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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by Niveous » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:14 am

I will probably be posting up the songs tonight now that more have come in.

I am going to be late with my entry, due to a hardware issue.
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by cookie » Wed Apr 15, 2015 5:03 am

I'll hopefully manage to finish recording my entry tonight; sorry for the delay.
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by glennny » Sat Apr 18, 2015 7:24 am

Is this happening?
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by Niveous » Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:16 pm

Of course this is happening. Just chill. I had a rough week between work and the ill wife. Posting this had to slide down the priority list. But it's the weekend, so stay tuned.
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by Niveous » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:18 pm

I updated the first post...with songs!

I'm having troubles converting the Project Marv song from m4a to mp3 for some reason...
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by jb » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:50 pm

Niveous wrote:I'm having troubles converting the Project Marv song from m4a to mp3 for some reason...
Logic managed it, so I've attached it to this msg.
projectmarv_stripped.mp3
Project Marv's version of Stripped by Depeche Mode
(5.16 MiB) Downloaded 69 times
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by j$ » Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:02 pm

I made an m3u from what i could find - if i missed you, let me know and i'll update -

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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by Niveous » Sat Apr 18, 2015 6:18 pm

Thanks JB & J$!
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by Jerkatorium » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:49 am

When I try to "Stream all" it gives me the first 90 seconds or so of The Meaning of Love and then skips back to the beginning of the same song. The same thing happens on both my desktop and smartphone.

Don't get me wrong, the first 90 seconds of The Meaning of Love by inflatable vegetables is pretty sweet, but it'd be great to stream the other songs too. In the meantime I've listened to the rest of the submissions by clicking on each (OMG seven extra mouse clicks, what a hardship) and I'll post reviews soon.
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by j$ » Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:23 pm

*shrug* i tested before posting and it's working for me? I will test again from a different computer when I'm at work in the morning and correct any problems if I encounter them. It could be my crappy provider and bandwidth problems, I suppose ...

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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by Chumpy » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:01 pm

My first Song Fight review, I don't think I can review them all in one sitting, so I'm just going to post them as I seriously listen to them.

Inflatable Vegetables: "The Meaning of Love" from A Broken Frame (1982)
I really like your choice of using a very 80s guitar sound instead of a synth for the main melody. Different in a good way, and really takes me back to 1982. Nailed the vocals, except there is a 'love' vocal at 2:15 that makes me cringe. Maybe it's supposed to?

The Kraken Lives: "Everything Counts" from Construction Time Again (1983)
First thing I notice is that the production sounds good. Prostyle. Woah, thats a child singing right? If that's a vocal effect, color me impressed. If it's an actual child I'm also impressed, the bratty attitude comes through loud and clear. Is it a commentary DM's infantile lyrics? The "It's a competitive world" backup vocals are so on point. I think my mind may have been blown.

Johnny Cashpoint: "Blasphemous Rumors" from Some Great Reward (1984)
I love your accent, don't change. I also thought it was a crying shame that your Grim Reality didn't get a vote, and nobody reviewed it. I thought it was both brave and interesting. I didn't actually intend to listen to it, it just happens to play right after Jerkatorium's Grim Reality on the list, and it would automatically start playing after one of my many obsessive listens. I started listening because liked your voice and kept listening because it was an honest and interesting song about sex. Anyway back to your Blasphemous Rumors cover. I dig the industrial sound, I like the way you sing 'Jesus Christ', and the 'at me' at the end is a nice touch.

Project Marv: "Stripped" from Black Celebration (1986)
First of all, I adore the opening. The buzzing strings, the melancholy feeling, the imperfect timing all works for me. I also am a fan of songs that start one way and then suddenly shift. GBV's Paper Girl is one of my favorites that do this. Secondly I'd not heard this DM song before, and it's a good one, so thanks for that. Your folk sounding rendition of this song is quite pleasing to me, in particular I think your vocals on 'down to the bone' in the chorus sound especially good. I think this is my vote for winner.
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by glennny » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:37 pm

I love this cover fight!
We listened to it twice on our drive from Reno to the Bay. We were also particularly fond of Stripped and Blasphemous Rumours.

The Kraken lives has lead vocals by my son Django ( age 7) the chorus is my wife and my daughter Bella (age 9). I do the lower harmonies and competitive world bit.

The Kraken Lives also has entries with Django lead vocals in the Ramones cover fight and the Talking Heads cover fight.

Thanks for the review! I hope to do proper reviews sometime soon, we're still waiting for JB and Niveous right?
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by Chumpy » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:14 pm

Jim Tyrrell: "A Question of Lust" from Black Celebration (1986)
I should start out by saying I hate the song you're covering. It has all of the over-the-top wanky 80s synth drama that makes me remember why I have bad associations with this band, which all came flooding back to me as I listened to the original. Your lilting Americana sounding treatment was a welcome relief, and the lyrics in that context are actually pretty good. I especially liked the restrained mandolin (I think it's a mandolin) in my right ear that follows the vocal melody. Congrats on making that song accessible to me.

Jerkatorium: "Enjoy the Silence" from Violator (1990)
I did my best to try to do a faithful vocal rendition to do justice to the the spot-on synth instrumentation, but I still cringe at the choruses. Singing is hard, and I have a grudging respect for DM now. I didn't like the original song (see above) when I started, but after having listened to it for what feels like a few hundred times, I get it. It's a good song. I feel like if I spent 5-6 hours in GarageBand I could make relative volume levels on the vocals sound even. Recording is hard.

Cookie Blue: "Halo" from Violator (1990)
Great production. I dig the dreamy vibe you captured with the harp, soft wall-of-sound backing vocals, and music box. It really works with your intimate sounding vocals and trailing 's' sounds, has kind of a detached quality.
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by Jerkatorium » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:22 pm

In general I'm not a very good Song Fight reviewer because I like almost everything. It's even worse for this Cover Fight because all of the entries are just great.

Inflatable Vegetables reliably brings his charm to "The Meaning of Love", and I think it's a vast improvement over the original. And Chumpy's right: replacing the keyboards with guitar was a great choice.

"Everything Counts" by The Kraken Lives - it is impossible to not love this cover. The overpowering buzzsaw synth sound is weird and compelling when combined with the kids' singing. The thing I hate most about the original DM song is that it is so ultra-pretentious and essentially boring (the only vaguely interesting part of the original is the calliope bit in the chorus, but it doesn't redeem the song). The Kraken version is fun, and interesting, and adorable, and a little perverse. Awesome.

Johnny Cashpoint's version of "Blasphemous Rumors" has a great, great instrumental track. Different, interesting, really inspired. So it's surprising and a little disappointing that the vocals are faithful to the original. Still worth repeated listens.

Project Marv's "Stripped": I don't think I've ever heard the original, and I'm not a big DM fan so I probably won't bother checking out the original. I can't imagine that the original would be anything but disappointing after hearing this cover version - I'll bet the original is less Neil Young and more shallow eurotrash synthesizer. The harmonies on this version are wonderful, the production is sweet and evocative.

Jim Tyrell's acoustic "A Question of Lust" is another 'unplugged' DM cover, and it is successful due to the uptempo energy and the soulful singing. I enjoyed this a lot. So many 'unplugged' sessions have a laid-back atmosphere that just make them sound sound sedated and apathetic, but this cover feels enthusiastic and passionate.

Jerkatorium's "Enjoy the Silence". Mostly me doing music, with Chumpy doing almost all of the vocals. Thank goodness I found someone to collaborate with; with any luck I'll never have to put this mouth near a microphone ever again. If I'd had another week I probably would've re-worked it to make it sound more like Boney M.

"Halo" by Cookie Blue is so nicely textured. It really creates a mood. Brilliantly executed and very enjoyable. This is another song where I haven't heard the original, and I don't plan on it because now hearing the original can only be a letdown.

Nick Soma's "A Pain That I'm Used To" - Yet another song I haven't heard before, and I'm guessing it's okay that I haven't heard it. This version has great, confident vocals and a nice influx of Seattle grunge.


No clunkers in this set. I like them all. The one I keep returning to for repeat listens is Cookie Blue's "Halo".
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by Chumpy » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:56 pm

Nick Soma: "A Pain That I'm Used To" from Playing The Angel (2005)
Wow, a DM song that actually rocks, well at least in the chorus. You picked a good song for the grungy treatment. I liked how the music on the first verse was kinda atmospheric, and reminded me a tiny bit of some sounds on Tom Waits' Raindogs. I got a rush when the guitars kicked in at the chorus, and I was was like "Finally! Balls!" My complaint is that the guitars remained after the first chorus, which made subsequent transitions from wanky emo verses to rocking chorus less satisfying, and the verses themselves a little boring.

That's it for my commentary on the songs in the fight. If any more songs show up I'll give them a listen. Thanks to everyone who participated, I'm stoked to be included in your number.
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by j$ » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:31 pm

Chumpy wrote:Johnny Cashpoint: "Blasphemous Rumors" from Some Great Reward (1984)
I love your accent, don't change. I also thought it was a crying shame that your Grim Reality didn't get a vote, and nobody reviewed it ..
It's my accent, I can't!

Seriously, thank you - that's a very nice thing to say. I am old, grumpy and belligerent enough to have long since stopped caring whether other SF-ers like or 'get' my songs. Obviously I want everyone to, but if I am happy with what I've recorded, that's enough. Of all the songs I have sputtered over the songfight archive these past *mumble mumble* years, there are maybe only 3 or 4 I wish in retrospect I hadn't submitted - oddly, none of those got zero votes. Still it's always nice to read an unexpected comment like yours. So thanks again!

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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by j$ » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:26 pm

W.A.I.L. I.A.A.C.

Apologies for the shortness of/lack of sense in the words - these are my 24th-31st SF song reviewed tonight, so I am a bit burnt out, but if I don't do them now, I don't know when I'll be able to ....

IV - Ah, that's lovely. It's weird how your voice fits that early Depeche Mode mood just perfectly. Well maybe not weird, but unexpected. I especially like the main riff on 'guitar'. And you've kept it dancey, which makes me happy! Good stuff.

TKL - One of my favourite Depeche Mode songs and this is a fab cover. Only, and this is a *me* thing, I don't find a delightful kid singing on this particular song charming, more a little upsetting. I get the point it makes, and appreciate it, but it makes me slightly resistant to listening to it over and over again. Obviously that's no comment on artistic or parenting choices ( :)), I just want to cry for the future when I listen to this. Do you know what I mean? It's great and greatly disturbing at the same time.

j$ - that'd be me. I just about remember these singles the first time around (as I am massively old) and thinking how amazing it was (is) that proper pop music could also be weird and a bit creepy. It was my introduction to a whole lot of much more terrifying properly 'industrial' stuff, for which I am eternally grateful to DM for. This one's dedicated to my mum, who loved this song as much as I did as a pre-teenager insisting she played it in the car over and over again. Before we start getting too weepy, I recorded this in its entirety in an hour, so don't expect any great insights :)

Marv Smooth - the first minute or so doesn't do much for me. After that it clicks into place and it's amazing. I love your voice with this banjo(?) arrangement. Sounds fabulous.

Jim Tyrell - This is absolutely one of my favourite DM songs (along with "... Lust") - I love how this brings the beautiful melody of the original to the forefront. Probably shouldn't have played at a bpm which makes it sound like a ska song, but it still sounds good. I'd have loved to hear you tackle this at the piano.

Jerkatorium - I have a love/hate relationship with this song because there was this particular club I went to who would play it every single week through the 90s and 00s - it is a good song, it seems (to me) a very straightforward cover, which is of course absolutely fine. Though I think it could stand being fractured more, I am enjoying this, especially your vocal, which captures Gahan and also brings a subtle new angle on it.

Cookie Blue - By this time in the chronology of me & DM, I'd pretty much stopped listening, because like with most bands at the time, suddenly cowboy gothic was "in". That was "not my bag" (TM) and I walked away with head hanging low. This is beautiful, but a bit portentous - which is not what I want from DM. I do have to repeat, though, this is *gorgeous*. Nice job! Mad propz, or whatever it is the kids stay today :)

Nick Soma - Not a song I know. I'm liking the subtle sleaze in the vocal, matched by the synth bass. And I love when it turns into Linkin Park (joke). This is really good.


I think my personal favourite is I-Veg, but in a reasoned world I don't live in, it should be a brutal battle for first between Cookie Blue and Nick Soma?
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by jb » Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:42 am

Better late than never. Been working on this for literally months, a tiny bit at a time, and now I'm stopping. Not quite where I wanted it but, but as my second effort in Reason not terrible.

Personal Jesus

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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by iVeg » Sun Jul 05, 2015 1:47 pm

Jb: The vocorder/ vocal effects made this even creepier and more inhuman than the original. I really enjoyed this. Some of the sounds reminded me more of Devo. May have been a little too busy over the first verse. The synth parts kinda buried the vocals. Thanks for finishing this and posting it!
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Re: Songfights of Faith and Devotion

Post by jb » Sun Jul 05, 2015 2:22 pm

Thanks, iVeg. I debated how far forward to bring the vox, and wound up keeping them more in the middle of the mix than I might normally have done. On my 7506's it was intelligible, so I left them kinda swimming in there. I'm happy that I at least asked myself the question rather than it just be an unconscious mistake. :)
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