Nur Ein II Round Zero "Let Me In"

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Ross
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Post by Ross »

Hey there, I know you judges hate this sort of question/comment, and I hope you won't hold it against me when it comes time to rank again next week, but...

about the non-optional challenge...it seems, perhaps that it's really a minimum requirement. Here's my for-instance, The winning song this week - good song, by the way, really well done - had one unconventional percussion instrument, tupperware as bongos. The original challenge said "Put away your drums, tambourines, cymbals, triangles, cowbell, etc. " and that there had to be "some significant use of non-conventional percussion."
They used, "a mini-tambourine, two mini-casabas," and the tupperware.

Not to pick on Lunkhead and Erin, but since they won and had what seems to me a very minimal application of the challenge, I figured they were a good example of whether it is, as stated above, really a challenge or mereley a minimum requirement. I hope that makes sense.

Ok, now I'm off to write a really rocking and reasonably rough representation of my Ross-ness :-)
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Post by GlennCase »

Again, can't speak for all of the judges on this, but here was my take.

I expect the contestants to make a valid attempt at fulfilling the non-optional challenges. The problem with enforcing this particular challenge, is that it might not be obvious to the ear. You might have wild non-traditional percussion being used, and it might be hard to tell that it's there, based on how it's mixed in. With my rankings, I tried to find a balance between the challenge, and how good the song was.

I will say that certain contestants got bonus points from me if I could hear that they got creative, and really tried hard to incorporate the challenge into their song. I might have rated Marcus a little lower if it hadn't been so obvious that he took the challenge to heart. In some cases I appreciated the attempt, but it actually took away from the song, like in Frankie's case where you can hear the percussion, but it all but drowns out his vocals.

Let's put it this way: If I have two songs that are very close, and I'm having a hard time deciding on which one gets ranked higher? Good use of the optional challenge will LIKELY get the edge from this judge.

Having said that, I wasn't about to give a song a great ranking based only on the challenge. There had to be an enjoyable song in there too. I hope that makes sense. I tried to be fair with my rankings, and I will continue to do so as the competition moves along.

ROCK!

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Post by bz£ »

I more or less agree with Glenn. Except the part about being fair, I am totally against that.

"Minimum requirement" sounds so uncouth, but it's not far from accurate. You have to do it, and you have to do it reasonably well, but that doesn't mean you can't also have drums in your song. Hell, one band even wrote a song for a different title and survived, so it's not like you couldn't have skipped the whole alternate percussion thing. I wouldn't try it in future rounds, though.

Challenges will probably get harder as the competition goes on, and you may find that even thinking of them as a simple minimum will be... challenging.
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Post by Rabid Garfunkel »

Glad to have survived this round, even with the literally last minute change to my entry. Didn't grok the non-optional challenge until I'd submitted the first version at one something the morning it was due(this version) and had the gut clenching realization that sampled not-by-me percussion was gonna get my ass kicked out tout suite.

Moped for a bit, then grabbed the skeleton and something to play it with, and, well, played the skeleton with both hands. That was novel. But incorporating it well into the mix was more than I could handle at 3 in the morning. And the song suffered.

The link with the illegal percussion above, I'm much prouder of, but if you didn't enjoy the official version, well, hearing power tools & machinery along with the guitar's buzzing & power chords on the bass more clearly, that ain't worth the click-thru probably.

Still, I like it. And I'm making damned sure I understand the challenge before finishing a song next time :oops:
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Post by Lunkhead »

We had a really hard time with this challenge. The tupperware thing was the only fruitful result of several hours wasted banging all available household items together trying to find something that sounded good and fit with the song, without me having to spend hours affecting samples to make them interesting. Ultimately we needed to get the song done, and I didn't think it needed any more percussion than it already had anyway, so I gave up trying to pile on extra random noises just to meet the challenge "more". Basically we had to choose sending in a song that we thought was good over not submitting at all or submitting a song that we thought was made worse by meeting the challenge "more". Consider it a calculated risk, I guess. That risk will change in every round, depending on the competitors, the title, the challenge, etc. etc.
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Post by Billy's Little Trip »

I guess my goal to make my unconventional precisions blend to feel not coldly jointed, wasn't in my best interest. I thought the sheet metal bending and then chopping the recording up to fit the beat wasn't appreciated. I honestly spent about 6 hours just on the loop. I think where I failed the judges is by trying to make it sound like it was part of the FX. To be honest, I even thought in the back of my head, that was a bad idea, but I got so into the mixing, I couldn't stop my brain. The only two that I left up front were the metal trash can handle swinging hard left and smacking the bottom of the same trash can hard right, in the second half of the bridge. It's funny that Spinlock said, "your alt precisions are too obvious" or something to that effect.
Bottom line, I did what I do, I'm in round one, and I'll do what I do again. I just want to rock everyones ass the way I like to be rocked. That's it plain and simple.
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Post by Plat »

I was surprised how the Bovine tune is getting knocked for writing to a "different title". Here's why I felt no guilt in using it:

1) It's clearly based on the title. The original title is still part of the derivative title (filLET ME INanga).

2) What's more, the original title is in the derivative title. Just like the phrase ("let me in") asked. This is what started me down the path to the derivative title; I looked for a way the original title could be a substring of something else.

3) One doesn't have pre-written lyrics for "Fillet Me Inanga" laying around to "cover", so it's not like I got lazy and swapped in an old tune (thus having more than the ~5 days to work on it).


So I'm curious: where was the line crossed? By not pronouncing it "let me in"? By changing the ID3 tag and filename to represent the derivative usage? By not specifically writing a lyric about being "let in" in some fashion?

The "I wouldn't try it in future rounds, though" comment has peaked my curiosity, and I'd like to understand this for subsequent entries.

Thanks!
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Post by Billy's Little Trip »

Plat, now that you bring this up. I kept repeating your song today on my ipod. It really rocked me. But I was trying to figure out who it reminded me of. Help me on this one because it's driving me nuts. :?
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Post by Rabid Garfunkel »

Plat, once it sank in, I laughed my ass off. Par for your usual brilliance, that.

The only question is... what the hell is "Inanga"? :wink: Honestly, I don't really need to know.

And Sean, your entry was gorgeously arranged, beautifully realized, and just as humorous, once the stinger was revealed. Sorry to see you out so early. I couldn't pick out a Black Crows (sp?) song from the background hum of the universe to save my life...
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Post by Plat »

Billy's Little Trip wrote:I was trying to figure out who it reminded me of. Help me on this one because it's driving me nuts. :?
I'm not sure, but if you realize it, let me know! (Steriogram/OLP shaky octave falsetto jumps? NIN? Fall Out Boy "uh uh uh uh uh uh uh" at the end of the chorus? I have no idea.)
Rabid Garfunkel wrote:The only question is... what the hell is "Inanga"? Honestly, I don't really need to know.
"Oops!" Inanga is a New Zealand fish apparently. The dwarf inanga is endangered. Damn you, gambusia!

(Oh, and "phew", I'm glad you caught the reference!)
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Post by Billy's Little Trip »

Plat, I'll let you know. But either way, I love it.
Also, now that you're talking about fish from somewhere I'm not, that explains why I thought you were saying "in anger" so funny. I just thought you were an Aussie or some shiz.

...Oh, and that's a Corgi in your avatar.
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Post by Ross »

Various people wrote: Responses to my comment
Thanks for responding, folks. It was just on my mind. Thanks for the input from both judges and participants. And Sam, I think I knew where that was coming from in the first place, I honestly didn't mean to put you on the spot or defensive, it was just a good example of my question. And I agree that the song should come first, but that is, after all why the challenge is called a challenge :-)

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Post by Adam! »

Billy's Little Trip wrote:...Oh, and that's a Corgi in your avatar.
I don't think that's a corgi. Perhaps this competition has given you Ein on the brain.
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Post by WeaselSlayer »

I love that smart-ass dog.
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Post by frankie big face »

GlennCase wrote:...in Frankie's case where you can hear the percussion, but it all but drowns out his vocals.
Wow. I don't know what you're listening with, but that's not the mix we have here at home. In headphones, monitors and crappy computer speakers, the vocals are clearly audible. :?:
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Post by bck15 »

This is my first Nur Ein. I was really impressed by the level of writing and production. Great job. I really enjoyed listening to the songs. I'm a bit surprised I moved on . . . but I'm not complaining.
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Post by Billy's Little Trip »

Puce wrote:
Billy's Little Trip wrote:...Oh, and that's a Corgi in your avatar.
I don't think that's a corgi. Perhaps this competition has given you [url=http://en.[CENSORED].org/wiki/List_of_Cowboy_Bebop_characters#Ein]Ein[/url] on the brain.
HaHa, if you didn't quote me, I wouldn't have noticed that I said it as if I was telling him what kind of dog he has in his avatar. I'm sure he knows what kind of dog he has. I meant to say. "Oh, and IS that a Corgi in your avatar?" It's hard to tell from the pic.
....and that's funny that Ein is a Corgi from Cowboy Bebop. I didn't know that until now.
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Post by mkilly »

Plat wrote:The "I wouldn't try it in future rounds, though" comment has peaked my curiosity, and I'd like to understand this for subsequent entries.Thanks!
<a href="http://wsu.edu/~brians/errors/peaked.html">piqued your interest</a>
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Post by Billy's Little Trip »

mkilly wrote:
Plat wrote:The "I wouldn't try it in future rounds, though" comment has peaked my curiosity, and I'd like to understand this for subsequent entries.Thanks!
<a href="http://wsu.edu/~brians/errors/peaked.html">piqued your interest</a>
Damn French. I like peak better than prick, lol. But feel free to have a peek at my pique. :P
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Post by bz£ »

Plat wrote:I was surprised how the Bovine tune is getting knocked for writing to a "different title". Here's why I felt no guilt in using it:
I think I've been the one complaining about your song, so I suppose I ought to answer.
1) It's clearly based on the title. The original title is still part of the derivative title (filLET ME INanga).
LET ME IN is part of your title, lexicographically, but not semantically. That's not exactly a new idea. Octothorpe, for example, tried it a few times (That's the Spirit and Alright, Alright, amongst others) but those examples involve much smaller changes. Actually, I think That's the Spirit should probably count as the "It was a funny idea but nobody should ever do it again ever" song for title manipulation, but that was a long time ago, so maybe it's okay again.

To my mind, there is a difference between the two sides of your title. FILLET ME IN seems to flow better than LET ME INANGA; the latter is using what appears to be a made-up word for no good reason. Look it up in the Becktionary! DO NOT FIL- is a lot to add, though. It's hard to add a negative to a phrase and be subtle about it.

Note: "FILLET" can be pronounced either FIL-LAY or FILL-IT. I always thought the latter was more of a British thing but it could be regional, too; the former is ubiquitous where I'm from.
2) What's more, the original title is in the derivative title. Just like the phrase ("let me in") asked. This is what started me down the path to the derivative title; I looked for a way the original title could be a substring of something else.
I can appreciate the

"Do not fillet me, Inanga," maintains Nur Ein title (3,2,2)

... but it's pretty weak, I think. Even though LET ME IN suggests that sort of thing.
3) One doesn't have pre-written lyrics for "Fillet Me Inanga" laying around to "cover", so it's not like I got lazy and swapped in an old tune (thus having more than the ~5 days to work on it).
This never occurred to me. Hell, even if you did, which, for some reason, would not surprise me all that much, I don't think you'd try to cheat anyway.
So I'm curious: where was the line crossed? By not pronouncing it "let me in"? By changing the ID3 tag and filename to represent the derivative usage? By not specifically writing a lyric about being "let in" in some fashion?
At the end of the day, you've changed the title enough so there is no reasonable way that the song could be called LET ME IN. And that's the basic idea of songfight!, and by extension, Nur Ein: Write a song for the title that we give you. There's something sacred about that, for me. You can do whatever you want within these broad constraints, but changing the constraints to suit your own nefarious purposes is another thing entirely.

On the other hand, at least it was a pretty decent song. I can't remember where I ranked it but I'm pretty sure there were at least seven or eight entries below it on my list. So it's not an automatic disqualification but it does hurt quite a bit.
The "I wouldn't try it in future rounds, though" comment has peaked my curiosity, and I'd like to understand this for subsequent entries.
Here is what I had in mind when I said that. From the general theory of knockout competition: Do not get crazy (until you have to). Especially in this round, when there was no immunity available, first place and twenty-fourth were worth the exact same thing. Your only goal is to not lose, and there are three ways you can expect to lose at this point:

1. Don't write a song at all
2. Write a song that is bad enough that most/all of the judges will agree on its badness
3. Try something crazy

Obviously you pass on the first two counts. Remember, you don't need to "win" here, and all that Merisan get are relatively weak bragging rights. You can even submit a below-average song and be just fine.

But you tried something wacky. Something that might work fine and might make all the judges angry. This is all risk and no reward. Worked out for you, not so much for Mico Saudad.

Anyway, there comes a point where this can actually be a good strategy. If you expect that your normal song will not be good enough to survive, it's worth considering something unusual. You are clearly not at that point yet and can probably coast through another round or two simply by not upsetting anyone.
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Post by mkilly »

Many words have been dropped here about what's appropriate for a song and what isn't; N.B. the nearly ubiquitous disdain for instrumentals. I think though that charcoal is on the right side of things here. write a song for the title is the fundamental challenge, if you write a song for the title you wished you'd been given instead of the one you've been given, what's a judge to do?

that's a takeoff of this P.R. slogan: answer the question you wished, etc. songs don't have to include the title to be appropriate for a title, imo. the title doesn't have to be repeated in the chorus to fit the title... though it might help... cough moscow idaho.
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Post by Plat »

Alright, thanks bzl and mk for taking the time to explain your point of view (and the grammar lesson :-)).
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