Nur Ein IX- Round Three

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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby ken » Sun May 11, 2014 10:01 pm

A few things you might want to know about my song.

1. I have immunity, so there.
2. I wrote it a little late in the week.
3. It is about Harry Houdini.
3a. The Milk Can is one of his first tricks, where he would be sealed in a milkcan full of water and escaped from it.
3b. The Upside Down is a later trick, much like the Milkcan but in a glass tank where the audience could see him escape. He often encouraged the audience to hold their breath along with him.
4. My mom sings on the bridge. Despite thinking she was tone deaf, she did such a good job on the melody I had her do a couple of harmony lines as well.
5. Bass and drums were done quickly at the last minute to fill everything out. Sorry everything is so loose.
6. Nur Ein!!
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby BenKrieger » Mon May 12, 2014 3:48 am

OMG GLENNY.Your guest vocals. LITERALLY LOL. :D :D :D
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby adamadamant » Mon May 12, 2014 5:43 am

Just had a quick listen and there are some really great entries this week. I don't fancy my chances.

Favourite has to be Kraut Kitten I think, with honourable mentions to Manhattan Glutton and The Chocolate Chips.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Lunkhead » Mon May 12, 2014 8:16 am

I think my favorite of this round is the Tydon Docks song. Really great job on that song, CR!
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby BoffoYux » Mon May 12, 2014 5:38 pm

I'm hosting the Nur Ein IX Round 3 Listening Party on UStream
Show starts at 9 pm EST.

Preshow is starting around 8:30ish. It's -4 UTC for those out of the States.
Drop on in if you have some time.
http://www.ustream.tv/channel/nur-ein

The chat room is on UStream if you have an account, or on Chatzy
http://us19.chatzy.com/87724745758226
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Generic » Tue May 13, 2014 8:15 am

From a judge's point of view, this round is both a delight and a nightmare. I'm delighted that so many of you guys brought your A-Games, and that the songs are all well-produced and lyrically adventurous. It's a nightmare because now I have to rank these things! I'll let you know right now, even knowing that the bottom three songs are subject to elimination, I'm going to putting some songs in the bottom of my list that I actually do like, and I'll be genuinely sad to see those competitors get eliminated. The competition got fierce a bit earlier than usual, I think, and it's really amazing to hear. Now I'm desperately trying to break a tie in my head for my #1 spot. Everybody in this round has reason to be very proud, so thank you all for participating and giving it your all!
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby chocolatechips » Tue May 13, 2014 9:31 am

A lot of great stuff this time around; some highlights for me ->

Krautkitten: cuteness overload. a really great little song. the ramshackle/looseness of it is endearing too.

Merisan: almost as cute as Krautkitten. damn good.

Nick Soma: I found myself pulled into this one, nice melody. I like how it gradually builds too.

Cavedwellers: I was thinking this is really good but then the weird bit comes in and I'm thinking it's really great. Love the guitar solo after it too. Definite Ween vibes but I like Ween a lot, so that's good for me.

Ross Durand: at first I wasn't really sold by the canned sounding sounds (and I still think these sounds could be improved on) but when the guitars come in at about 1 minute I'm into it.

Paco del Stinko: I like this one. it's loaded with quirky goodness.

Manhattan Glutton: Fun Beastie Boys style jam.

Vincent Von F: Reminds me of some kind of mix of Crosby, Stills, & Nash with Syd Barrett. I think that's rather awesome.

I really think all of the songs had some good elements to them this time around ... so no slight meant to the songs I didn't get to. Plus I'm not a judge so it doesn't matter what I think, eh? Curious to see how the judges rank 'em.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Vincent Von F. » Tue May 13, 2014 11:05 am

Chocolatechips wrote: Vincent Von F: Reminds me of some kind of mix of Crosby, Stills, & Nash with Syd Barrett. I think that's rather awesome.



Wow! Thanks a lot, dude! It's one of the best compliments I've ever had.


I allways dig your songs a lot too.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Ross » Tue May 13, 2014 11:32 am

chocolatechips wrote:
Ross Durand: at first I wasn't really sold by the canned sounding sounds (and I still think these sounds could be improved on) but when the guitars come in at about 1 minute I'm into it.
being included on your list gives me the slightest hope of moving on :-)

As you know, this isn't my usual approach, i was trying to stretch a little, both because I knew I would have to do most of it without my usual recording setup, but also to involve my daughter, who has been listening to a lot of electronica lately, so i was trying to dabble in some of that stuff.

Thanks for the comments.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Tue May 13, 2014 2:42 pm

Here's a review in the style of Niv.

Adam Adamant
+ cute and jangly, gets the attention immediately
- pitchy vox

Balance Lost
+ experimental, good intentions with the drum beat
- long intro needs more payoff

Cavedwellers
+ guitar riffs and solos
- vocal melody (during the verse and chorus, not the bridge)

Inflatable Vegetables
+ trip-hoppin' the oldies
- needs more back-beat, less oldies

Kraut Kitten
+ good song for kids who like Raffi to listen to
- good song for kids who like Raffi to listen to

Manhattan Glutton
+ something different
- kind of a joke song

Merisan
+ pop delight, 'oh' yeah
- indie instrumentation all subdued (cheese-e-guitar tone, etc)

Nick Soma
+ tasty gentle alt rock song that sounds like a 90s/2000s punk rock band doing emo
- pitchy voxcals

Paco del Stinko
+ cute marine song in the vein of ween
- do the harmonies on 'fishies swim', man, it's begging for it

Rabid Garfunkel
+ experimental instrumentation and atonality
- there is no melodic relief

Ross Durand
+ tryin' something new, I like it and the guitar funk
- your new style, expectedly, needs some refining. some parts need more, some parts need less and more of what they have.

Chocolate Chips
+ sugary sweet chill song, really dig this
- kind of feel like I've heard it all after the first chorus

Tydon Docks
+ pretty advanced songwriting going on
- I can do without the monkey stuff

Vincent
+ sweet guitar tone and harmonies
- sounds like it was recorded long ago, both in style and production.

Ken Mahru
+ well done fun song
- break the formula
Last edited by Manhattan Glutton on Tue May 13, 2014 7:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby BenKrieger » Tue May 13, 2014 3:23 pm

Thanks for the compliments! I've never heard Raffi, though I'm familiar with who he is.

I had a few ideas that I was working with, but I liked this one because it really infused the idea of a family guest member into the theme of the song. The other ideas I had required guest participation, but not necessarily family guest participation. I could have brought anyone in to sing. Not on this song, though, which is why I went with it.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Caravan Ray » Tue May 13, 2014 3:59 pm

Manhattan Glutton wrote:- I can do without the monkey stuff

There are no monkeys. That wouldn't make any sense.
There is, specifically - one gorilla, two chimpanzees and a female orang-utan. I couldn't find a sound bite of a bonobo, which is why I used the second chimpanzee (I think they sound pretty much the same anyway). I hope the judges don't mark me down for that.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Tue May 13, 2014 4:24 pm

"-there is no melodic relief"

Awesome zen master kung-fu movie evaluation, even if it's in the negative column. Considering the subject matter, well, I'm happy with the reaction. Thanks for the review!
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Mysteria » Tue May 13, 2014 8:13 pm

Great round everyone! This was insanely hard to judge because I honestly liked every song and really hated having to rank songs I liked for potential elimination. You've created some amazing music here, thanks! I look forward to seeing what next week brings.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Caravan Ray » Tue May 13, 2014 9:12 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:
Manhattan Glutton wrote:- I can do without the monkey stuff

There are no monkeys. That wouldn't make any sense.
There is, specifically - one gorilla, two chimpanzees and a female orang-utan. I couldn't find a sound bite of a bonobo, which is why I used the second chimpanzee (I think they sound pretty much the same anyway). I hope the judges don't mark me down for that.

Looks like Judge 2 noticed the bonobo missing.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Rabid Garfunkel » Tue May 13, 2014 9:18 pm

Okay... Lynching homeless people is uncool. Aqualung Two it wasn't. Gotcha. But still in by the hair of my chinny-chin-chin. Awesome!
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Generic » Tue May 13, 2014 9:26 pm

Judge Reviews!

Some really amazing lyrics from just about everyone this week. Cornelius Drebbel! Harry Houdini! A brief survey of Western Philosophy! Biological Taxonomy! This title brought some of the best in all of you guys, and I am truly impressed. I didn't ding anyone for the challenge, but clever implementations helped out Kraut Kitten, The Tydon Docks, and Manhattan Glutton. Here are the specifics:

Adam Adamant
I'm curious, can you tell me what type of ukulele you're using? Maker, model name, where you got it, etc? You seem to have trouble keeping it in tune, and I'm wondering if it's just a problem with your instrument. Anyway, tuning issues aside, this is a peppy little number, and it's a better than usual integration of the acoustic uke with the sequenced instruments. I'm not a fan of the pickup lines in the bridge - they're not delivered with conviction, they're mixed a bit too high, and the self-censoring is distracting. This is cute, but it's not really winners'-circle material.

Balance Lost
Love the twirly chimey thingies in the intro. Is that a mandolin, are are you just strumming your violin? The measured cacophony in the intro stays on the right side of listenable, but runs a little long. I like the rest of the song, including the "vidyayevo" part, but I think it needs a few more listens to really marinate with me so I cans absorb the emotional impact of those words.

Cavedwellers
Really ambitious lyrics this time around; I love it. Looks like Django wasn't up to the bridge melody, but gosh does he put his all into his vocal part. Your vocals are mixed really well, but delivered a little thinly. I'm no expert, but it sounds like you might just be singing from your chest instead of your gut. Not as much "oomph." The guitar solo is awesome, and it kind of scares me to think that there are two Phillips brothers out there both that awesome on the guitar. The third verse lyrics are sort of a de-escalation from the first two, which makes me think they should have been re-written or presented in a different order. That's a minor issue. This is overall an excellent entry; keep it up!

Chocolate Chips
Who's your collaboration with? I like the song, the minimalist lyrics, and the pitch-shifted backing vocals. The harmonies are lush and satisfying. High production values, good performance. I don't have anything bad to say about this.

Inflatable Vegetables
That intro is a little painful, because your voice comes in hot and off-key. You manage to course-correct for the rest of the song, but starting off on a sour note kind of "curses" the rest of the song. I'd really love to see some lyrics, so I have a clearer idea of what you're singing about. I mean, obviously it's that missing airplane, but I'm having a hard time making out the specifics. What do you have to say about this flight that hasn't been covered in the news? What's your message?

Ken Mahru
Man, These lyrics are great. It seems this title really inspired people to be lyrically adventurous, and I'm loving it! I know you were kind of in a hurry for the mixes here, but I encourage you to revisit this, mix your vocals a bit louder, consider adding some spot harmonies, and maybe make the ending a little bigger. But hey, you were immune this round, so it's all bonus anyway!

Kraut Kitten
It's obvious to me that you could record a whole album of kids' songs under some name like The Krieger Clan and it would be a massive hit. This song is a much better and more balanced use of your children than last week. This is pleasant, catchy, and fun! It's got momentum, both musically and lyrically. I love the pacing, the arc of the "story." Excellent top tier work!

Manhattan Glutton
I'll have to remember to invite you into the next Frontalittle song. This is mixed to perfection, but I'm not a huge fan of brag-rap in general. The samples from your mother add a sense of purpose, but overall I feel like you're coasting on your high production values this round.

Merisan
Educational power-pop goodness! I like the punchy guitar riff, the lyrics, and especially that synth in my right ear starting with the second verse. Centering it for the solo is a smart production move. Your hook is incredibly catchy. I've got nothing bad to say about this. Who was the guest?

Nick Soma
What instrument is that taking the lead there? It's really catchy, and it gives the song a vaguely ethnic vibe, could be anything from Irish to Arabic. The chugging electric guitar in the second verse gives the song a great sense of momentum, but the vocals don't manage to keep up with the crescendo - maybe try adding some more harmonies or double-tracking your voice as the song gets louder. The ending is a bit sudden; it feels like there was more song there.

Paco del Stinko
Nice circus-on-drugs style there. The spoken word bridge was okay, but she felt a little out of sync with your music a couple of times, which makes me think her section should have been shorter. You used all four challenges so far this year all in this one song; was that on purpose?

Rabid Garfunkel
I like the moody vibe you're putting down, but I'm afraid this might be the round where your difficulty singing finally catches up to you. I love that beat boxing break in between the verses. The way it continues through the st of the song is really cool and helps keep it interesting! I might suggest deploying some quick fills to maintain interest in the gaps between the lines of your lyrics - there's a lot of space there to play with. This "melody" haunted me as I listened more throughout these two days. The song kept rising up the ranks with each successive listen. Who knows; maybe you'd have won if I'd had two weeks to judge.

Ross Durand
You know it's a weird week when Ross comes up with the same interpretation of the title as Manhattan Glutton, and their songs are the most similar pair of the round! I like the list of ships in the first verse, and the crime/alibi theme in the second verse. It's remarkably refined for an experiment in a new genre, but some of the sounds come off as a little harsh in the mix. I would also have liked to hear some more variation in the verse melody.

Tydon Docks
Your bongos sound fine to me. Maybe a bit quiet in the mix, but it sounds good! Your lyrics are a bit on the blunt side, but I like your interpretation of the title. Maybe you can go into more detail about the crimes that whoever you're singing to had committed that merit them being cast out of a whole taxonomical family? I was a bit bored at first, but when the layered vocals kick in at the end, the whole thing really clicks and satisfies. Great job!

Vincent Von F
This kind of washes over me without making an impression one way or the other. I listened several times, and didn't hate it while it was on, but I can't remember much about it after it was over, except a pleasant psychadelic groove and your baby.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby noma » Tue May 13, 2014 11:33 pm

Generic wrote:Nick Soma
What instrument is that taking the lead there? It's really catchy, and it gives the song a vaguely ethnic vibe, could be anything from Irish to Arabic. The chugging electric guitar in the second verse gives the song a great sense of momentum, but the vocals don't manage to keep up with the crescendo - maybe try adding some more harmonies or double-tracking your voice as the song gets louder. The ending is a bit sudden; it feels like there was more song there.


That instrument is an Irish bouzouki, so you're not wrong about the Irish vibe ;) yeah, I know the vocals are my weak point. This week I think I'd have re-recorded and, as you suggested, multi-tracked them if I'd have had the time, but that's Nur Ein...
The second voice that sets in as a backing vocal during the first chorus and takes the lead during the outro is my sister. We did not meet in person for this recording, I just sent her the song and she sang. By then, there was not much time left.
I'm glad I still made it to Round 4! :)
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Vincent Von F. » Wed May 14, 2014 12:40 am

Hi everyone.

Now that I'm out (totally agree with that) I have to say that it's ben a real pleasure to take place for the first time in this contest. All the people involved have such great talent and It's an honor to songfight with you all. The level in this round was hard and the songs up in the list are totally awesome. Special mention for Merisan (you song it's an instant hit) and, of course the great Chocolate Chips, which is currently my favourite contender.

My purpose when I decided to take part on this was to learn something, because I'm totally new at recording at home. I can say I've learned a lot, toghether with having lots and lots of fun. All your reviews, feedback and appreciation really make worth the effort of composing, recording, mixing and editing in only a week, which I can say It's exhausting.

Thanks to the judges, for their work and thanks to all the contenders.

Hope to see you again next year. I'll keep following with great interest the competition. I'm a big fan of many of the remaining.

Big hug for everyone. Keep it up!

NUR FUCKING EIN!!!!
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby adamadamant » Wed May 14, 2014 4:55 am

Thanks everyone, and best of luck in the rest of the contest.

It's been a good year.

I'm curious, can you tell me what type of ukulele you're using? Maker, model name, where you got it, etc? You seem to have trouble keeping it in tune, and I'm wondering if it's just a problem with your instrument.


It's a Kala uke, I got from a local shop called Duke of Uke. I do remember you used to say the same thing a couple of years ago, when I had a different uke (one which was very cheap and would go out of tune very easily). This one is a lot better, I checked with a clip on tuner before and after recording, and it was still in tune. One string had slipped a tiny amount, but not even a full notch on the tuner.

Perhaps it's to do with the way I play it? I'm not sure, as I don't notice the out of tuneness like you do. Not to say it's not there, but I don't think I have a good ear for it. The other thing, this week, I used an acoustic guitar too, which I think may have been out of tune slightly, perhaps that was what you were hearing?

Thanks for the thoughtful review though Jon, and the very active communication you've been having between contestants and judges. It's been a great feature of this years contest.
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Wed May 14, 2014 7:55 am

I presume no one's heard of Three Loco???
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Re: Nur Ein IX- Round Three

Postby Generic » Wed May 14, 2014 8:31 am

adamadamant wrote:
It's a Kala uke, I got from a local shop called Duke of Uke. I do remember you used to say the same thing a couple of years ago, when I had a different uke (one which was very cheap and would go out of tune very easily). This one is a lot better, I checked with a clip on tuner before and after recording, and it was still in tune. One string had slipped a tiny amount, but not even a full notch on the tuner.

Perhaps it's to do with the way I play it? I'm not sure, as I don't notice the out of tuneness like you do. Not to say it's not there, but I don't think I have a good ear for it. The other thing, this week, I used an acoustic guitar too, which I think may have been out of tune slightly, perhaps that was what you were hearing?


Even good ukes can be finnicky and tough to get just right. The banjo gets a bad rap as the hardest string instrument to tune properly, but I've always had trouble with the ukulele. I've written ukulele parts and then discarded them due to difficulty getting the thing to play nice with other instruments. There's a chance it's something to do with your technique, but something usually feels a little "off" about your ukulele to me. It might also be the guitar and your softsynths, too; I'd be curious to see whether the track would sound better if you dropped all the other instruments.

Thanks for the thoughtful review though Jon, and the very active communication you've been having between contestants and judges. It's been a great feature of this years contest.


Happy to do it! Thanks for the music and for being a part of the competition!
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