Nur Ein X - Round Three

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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby frankie big face » Wed May 13, 2015 10:00 am

Cue Lunkhead: "Get a room you two!"
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby RangerDenni » Wed May 13, 2015 10:44 am

Generic wrote:...I'm disappointed to see DJ Ranger Den go out on such an entertaining gamble...

Thank you. I appreciate that muchly. :)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby Generic » Wed May 13, 2015 11:22 am

Reviews from a judge!

Overall, this was a really interesting and entertaining week, because almost every song took some sort of huge risk. Some of these risks didn't pay off (I actually thought Ranger Den was on a hot streak, so it's disappointing to see her go), and some paid off huge (Erik's lyrics in Japanese! Frank's didgeridoo and quasi-Aboriginal chanting! Cavedwellers' educational ballade!), but even the misses were fun to listen to. This is one of those rounds that makes me happy to be a judge, and makes it really difficult to assign rankings. Here we go...

À Tous Les Monsieurs
Writing the whole song in Japanese (except the coda) was a bold and daring move—one which I think paid off for you! Superficially, this reminds me of "Iris" (no, not that one), which is a flattering comparison in my book, although your song doesn't have the power-diva drums, so it's a lot mellower. One thing that's obvious listening to your four songs so far is that you're a tremendous musician with access to a lot of people who are also really great musicians. Your guest singer this week has a beautiful voice. The lyrics, I suspect, lost a little of their power in translation, but so it goes; I bet your knew most of your audience wouldn't be fluent in the language. This is quiet, simple, and haunting. Well done.

Balance Lost
Very catchy chorus - I especially like the scansion. When the full arrangement kicks in, something saturates the mix badly. I think it might be the kick drum. In the choruses, something sounds like it's causing the whole mix to clip 1-2 times per second, and it's difficult to concentrate on anything else when that's happening. I do like the historical angle on the lyrics, and the synth/guitar break. I had this higher in my original rankings, but the more I listened, the more the compression issues annoyed me. I couldn't get over it.

Carlo Bruno Jr.
I'm going to take Frankie's advice to heart here and remind myself that sometimes words are just words. Seems to me like this whole song is built around that multiple-guitar harmony riff. It's an incredible riff, one worth building a song around. It's frenetic and tense. One of these days, I'd like to hear you, Paco, and Glennny collaborate on a song with battling guitar solos.

Cavedwellers
The music provides an evocative epic sound for the educational backdrop. I like the focus on the different family members who've held the Byron title. My personal bias makes me a bit disappointed that there's not more of a focus on George ("The" Lord Byron). The violin works really well under the vocals, then shines when it's time for the solo. Beautiful. The tambourine doesn't strike me as fake this week! :-P Excellent work.

DJ Ranger Den
It's strange to hear Mr. Ranger Den's voice in a recording. This is more of a comedy sketch than a song, but I admit that it made me laugh several times. It's a creative premise with just the right amount of absurdism. "Home to our full service bar facility, transgenics lab, and chips shop." Yes, I'm giggling quite a bit. Mr.'s delivery on "Siren Song" is perfect. And you kept it to just about the longest it could possibly have been without overstaying its welcome. Unfortunately, it was a mid-game risk, and it didn't pay off, but I was sad to see you go.

DuToVa
This genre is a good "compromise," a middle ground between the aggressive early entries and the folkie pop of last week's entry. There's a really good song in here somewhere, and I don't even think it's buried very deeply. But the vocal melody doesn't quite fit the song in a few spots, especially in the chorus, and that's bothersome. I also think the vocal needs some punching up. A little bit of compression, perhaps a shade more reverb than they have now (and a little bit more still for the choruses), and maybe a second vocal.

Frankie Big Face
After your lecture about interpreting lyrics, you might think I wouldn't appreciate your words this time around, but I think you're doing a really amazing job threading that needle here. I don't know exactly what you're singing about, but I also don’t mind, because of how evocative your lyrics are. "A foggy silence rolled in to coat the scene" is beautiful poetry. The didgeridoo was unexpected and delightful, then the Balance Lost-esque synth and percussion track swept me away. The pacing is beautiful - opening on the lone piano and doing the first verse "solo," then bringing in the extra instruments in a pause between verses, doing the second verse with the full arrangement, then stripping out all the extra instrument except the didgeridoo for the third verse. If I may quibble, I feel that your voice got a little overwhelmed in the larger arrangement - I was expecting you to bring the melody up an octave and really belt out those parts, which never happened. Nevertheless, this song is gorgeous, and my favorite song of Nur Ein X so far. Easy #1 for my rankings this week. Great stuff.

Inflatable Vegetables
This is probably the least adventurous song this week. Not that that's a huge problem; you tend to do straight-up-the-middle songs really well, and manage to sound like you're having a lot of fun doing them. At first I penalized the song for a middling approach and kind of corny lyrics, but this grew on me with repeated listens. When we got to the bridge, I realized that this whole song sounds like one of Fountains of Wayne's genre explorations. I think it's the tight harmonies and that guitar riff in the chorus. Just really fun stuff.

Ken Mahru
I'm surprised no one else thought to quote Lord Byron. This song confused me at first because I thought it sounded quite melancholy, especially with the repeated line "and her cheek is wet…" I was trying to figure out what was so sad about a destination wedding, whether the character was about the leave her fiancé at the altar or something. Then I realized that that's not what you're actually trying for here. The lyrics are okay, but I think I'd like them better if there were some kind of conflict driving them. There's not necessarily anything wrong with a song whose music doesn't match their lyrical content, so maybe I'm being too hard on this one. I'd like to hear it maybe 5-10bpm faster, and with maybe another musical element in the chorus to punch it up a bit more.

Manhattan Glutton
Leaving aside whether your take on the challenge is successful, and whether it's a good idea to insult one of the judges, the primary thing I'm concerned about with regard to this song is that it's a joke song, and it's just not funny. And if none of the jokes land, I don't really hear anything else to appreciate here. It has none of your usual performance and production finesse. The Australian accents are horrendous, there's no message to the lyrics, and even the melody strikes me as facile and unmemorable. Better luck next year.

Michael J. Samuels
I don't mean to be mean, but you could basically copy and paste my review of your "Stolen Diary" here and it would still apply. I like that you're being ambitious, but I don't think the resulting song is engaging or entertaining at all.

Nick Soma
I think what pushed this up to #2 on my list was that organ. Excellent playing, but not distracting from the rest of the song. I love this power-pop stuff, and you probably know that. The lyrics do a great job of setting the scene, and I like the angle you took, being disillusioned with the abandoned ideals of the counterculture. I liked this, and I don't really have much critical to say here. Great work!

Rabid Garfunkel
The lyrics are weird and mysterious; I have no idea what you're singing about, but I get the impression that you know. Still, I wouldn't mind a little explication of the line "Draw a line from the ears to the eyes." Two things are holding this song down near the bottom of my list. First is the vocals. They get better as the song goes on, but the improvement is only from "sucky" to "passable." Vocals have always been one of your weak points, and I'm sure that's not news to you. The second thing is that I don't think you fulfilled the challenge in good faith. To me, there's a difference between a guest and a sample. The sample you used is interesting and well-placed (prison work songs are some fascinating source material), but it also drew attention to the fact that these chain gang songs were recorded literally halfway around the world from Byron Bay, so that just raises further questions. But hey, with reworked vocals and maybe a different title (pending an explanation from you), this could be a real keeper.

Paco del Stinko
Sometime after Nur Ein ends, I'd love to have a chat with you about your lyrical process. I can't even fathom how you thought up this approach and some of these words. "He likes small girls and makes goo-goo eyes" sticks out especially, and your vocal delivery there really sells it. Even more so in the bridge. This is huge and creepy. Not bad for an off week, right? ;-)

The Chocolate Chips
After so many songs with your overprocessed vocals, I think maybe you were a bit rusty when it came to mixing a "normal" voice. Your guest singer is good, but I wanted her more front-and-center, more clear, more immediate. And I have to admit, when she hits that downward broken chord (the word "beautiful" in the chorus), that strikes me as one of those musical phrases that your vocoder would have made pop. Ultimately, this is a mostly-good song that happens to be in a genre I don't enjoy. Sorry I don't have more useful feedback.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby iVeg » Wed May 13, 2015 12:19 pm

Thanks for reviews, judges who reviewed. Pleasantly shocked to make it to next round.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby Billy's Little Trip » Wed May 13, 2015 12:34 pm

Generic wrote:Superficially, this reminds me of "Iris" (no, not that one

There is only one Iris song that I care about.

Also, I might be a little biased, but I feel exactly the same about DJ's piece. I thought it was very clever. And yes, a risk at this point. But Dee has always been a maverick when comes to her musical choices and I don't think that's ever going to change, lol. :D
Last edited by Billy's Little Trip on Wed May 13, 2015 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Wed May 13, 2015 12:36 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:Manhattan Glutton: A masterpiece. despite the worst accents I have ever heard in my life.

I sincerely hope you are sincere, as I meant no offense.

Some might wonder why I would make such an incredibly clever and risky track that only one judge might "get". Well, I have vacation coming up and would have to drop out anyway.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby Caravan Ray » Wed May 13, 2015 1:49 pm

Manhattan Glutton wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Manhattan Glutton: A masterpiece. despite the worst accents I have ever heard in my life.

I sincerely hope you are sincere, as I meant no offense.

Some might wonder why I would make such an incredibly clever and risky track that only one judge might "get". Well, I have vacation coming up and would have to drop out anyway.

Well - maybe 'masterpiece' was a bit strong - but I did enjoy it very much and rated it accordingly.

True - the accents were appalling - but I at least found it very funny. I played it to a few blokes in the pub last night, and all agreed it was a pretty good parody of me. It even came on in my car while my 10 y.o. daughter was with me - i let her hear the first few lines before I pressed 'skip' (I didn't tell her what it was, she just knew it was one of the songs I was judging) - and she thought it was hilarious, and instantly picked up that it was someone pretending to be me.

The interesting thing to me was noticing the difference between what you wrote, and what I might write. It was very similar to something that I might write, in style and structure and content - but I couldn't help noticing every now and again bits where I would think "I would have done that bit differently". It sort of sounds like a first draft of something I might do (and I assume it really didn't get past first draft stage with you either). A 2nd draft would tighten it up and make sure every single line had a joke in it.

So - I think you achieved what you set out for. Job well done.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby Caravan Ray » Wed May 13, 2015 2:19 pm

frankie big face wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Frankie Big Face: This is pretty cool. Great job on the lyrics


Thank you! I was wondering if my references would make sense to a "local." The names of those places and things (Julian Rocks! Tuckaroo! Broken Head!) are so vivid and evocative—the lyric almost wrote itself. But I didn't know if it would work for you—that was the risk. I just knew I wanted to use the word "defenestrate"—that was my starting point for the whole song and concept.

Glad you liked the song.

I was surprised how well everyone did with the lyrics. I was expecting to hear some bad "clangers" with inappropriate terms thrown in (there were one or two - will get to those later) - but overall, most nailed it.

And FBF nailed it in particular. Julian Rocks and Broken Head were both appropriate and well used. Extra points for mention of the lighthouse - that is the most iconic feature of Byron, and generally should always be mentioned to set the feeling of place for it.

"Tuckeroo" was an interesting choice. At first it jarred a little, not because it wasn't biogeographically correct - more that it is not a tree you ever hear sung about. It is fairly ubiquitous in the area, but it is not a particularly impressive or memorable tree. I suspect that outside of people (like me) that actually go out and identify trees professionally, or are just really into trees - many locals may not even know what it is. Aust. folk/country songs often mention the iconic species like coolibah, or mulga, or mallee, or red gum, or blue gum or just the generic 'wattle' - but these can all get quite cliched. I am pretty sure I have mentioned jacaranda or mango trees in songs in the past to evoke the sense of suburban Brisbane - more cliches. 'Tuckeroo' works because it is the right tree in the right place - and isn't a cliche. And it is a nice name.

So yes - your lyrics worked perfectly to evoke the sense of place. And It is probably your lack of detailed knowledge of the place that kept you from falling into the cliche trap.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby j$ » Wed May 13, 2015 2:21 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:
Manhattan Glutton wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Manhattan Glutton: A masterpiece. despite the worst accents I have ever heard in my life.

I sincerely hope you are sincere, as I meant no offense.

Some might wonder why I would make such an incredibly clever and risky track that only one judge might "get". Well, I have vacation coming up and would have to drop out anyway.

Well - maybe 'masterpiece' was a bit strong - but I did enjoy it very much and rated it accordingly.

True - the accents were appalling - but I at least found it very funny. I played it to a few blokes in the pub last night, and all agreed it was a pretty good parody of me. It even came on in my car while my 10 y.o. daughter was with me - i let her hear the first few lines before I pressed 'skip' (I didn't tell her what it was, she just knew it was one of the songs I was judging) - and she thought it was hilarious, and instantly picked up that it was someone pretending to be me.

The interesting thing to me was noticing the difference between what you wrote, and what I might write. It was very similar to something that I might write, in style and structure and content - but I couldn't help noticing every now and again bits where I would think "I would have done that bit differently". It sort of sounds like a first draft of something I might do (and I assume it really didn't get past first draft stage with you either). A 2nd draft would tighten it up and make sure every single line had a joke in it.

So - I think you achieved what you set out for. Job well done.


I think the mot du jour is 'Get a room'! In the losers' annex. Zah-ing!

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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby j$ » Wed May 13, 2015 2:24 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:
frankie big face wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Frankie Big Face: This is pretty cool. Great job on the lyrics


Thank you! I was wondering if my references would make sense to a "local." The names of those places and things (Julian Rocks! Tuckaroo! Broken Head!) are so vivid and evocative—the lyric almost wrote itself. But I didn't know if it would work for you—that was the risk. I just knew I wanted to use the word "defenestrate"—that was my starting point for the whole song and concept.

Glad you liked the song.

I was surprised how well everyone did with the lyrics. I was expecting to hear some bad "clangers" with inappropriate terms thrown in (there were one or two - will get to those later) - but overall, most nailed it.

And FBF nailed it in particular. Julian Rocks and Broken Head were both appropriate and well used. Extra points for mention of the lighthouse - that is the most iconic feature of Byron, and generally should always be mentioned to set the feeling of place for it.

"Tuckeroo" was an interesting choice. At first it jarred a little, not because it wasn't biogeographically correct - more that it is not a tree you ever hear sung about. It is fairly ubiquitous in the area, but it is not a particularly impressive or memorable tree. I suspect that outside of people (like me) that actually go out and identify trees professionally, or are just really into trees - many locals may not even know what it is. Aust. folk/country songs often mention the iconic species like coolibah, or mulga, or mallee, or red gum, or blue gum or just the generic 'wattle' - but these can all get quite cliched. I am pretty sure I have mentioned jacaranda or mango trees in songs in the past to evoke the sense of suburban Brisbane - more cliches. 'Tuckeroo' works because it is the right tree in the right place - and isn't a cliche. And it is a nice name.

So yes - your lyrics worked perfectly to evoke the sense of place. And It is probably your lack of detailed knowledge of the place that kept you from falling into the cliche trap.


The next round challenge was going to be 'Make Caravan Ray sound like the sappy old Grandad pussy he really is' ... but looks like we've been pre-empted :) Quick, judges, to the judge-cave to see if Plan B - "don't let us down" - is a goer ...
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby Caravan Ray » Wed May 13, 2015 2:52 pm

Yeah - I was gonna mention that. J$, when you go to the Judgecave - use your own Judgepole. I hate coming in and finding mine all sticky.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby j$ » Wed May 13, 2015 2:54 pm

I've told you before- that's not me, that's Jon ... he really is a big fan ...
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby Niveous » Wed May 13, 2015 3:07 pm

Oh god. Am I going to return to the judgecave next year and find that it reeks of astroglide and sadness?

BTW, Round 5.
Title: "Astroglide & Sadness".
Challenge: Must include the sounds of intimate encounters.
(That challenge will then be made so much better by Jon Eric then having to track down a bunch of songs for examples then being reminded that the internet is a scary place)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby Generic » Wed May 13, 2015 3:40 pm

The sad truth is that I can think of three just off the top of my head.

That is a surprisingly potent title, though. Maybe I'll keep it in mind for Circle of Titles.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby frankie big face » Wed May 13, 2015 3:48 pm

Caravan Ray wrote:And FBF nailed it in particular.

"Tuckeroo" was an interesting choice. .


First off, excellent! Makes me very happy. The last thing I wanted to do was sound misinformed or, worse, that I was making fun of the place. I chose my reference points carefully and well, apparently! (Kudos to the Wikipedia entry. :P )

I chose "tuckeroo" because it was the only tree from the (perhaps abbreviated) list of indigenous trees at Broken Head that had the right size branches for breaking the fall of a human being and the right number of syllables for my verse. It's actually kind of a silly word for such a serious song but hell, I started out with "defenestrate" so obviously I'm not afraid of ambitious word choice.

Thanks for the extra comments. Hope to visit the place someday. (But not in the way of my protagonist.)
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby frankie big face » Wed May 13, 2015 4:03 pm

Jon, thank you for your kind words about my song. I thought about singing a verse up the octave but it seemed out of character for the song. It may have wandered dangerously close to stadium rock territory. If I had, say, used a VST for the didgeridoo, I would have chosen a higher key, which probably would have solved the problem you are describing. As it was, I was locked into E because that's the pitch of the actual instrument. :shrug: Anyway, I'm glad you liked it. :D
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby j$ » Thu May 14, 2015 9:39 am

frankie big face wrote:JIf I had, say, used a VST for the didgeridoo, I would have chosen a higher key ...


Maybe you should treat yourself to the new Whine-a-tron 5000 VST. You must be exhausted from using the real thing so much :)

(Obivously if such a VST existed, it would be called the WahWahWah. Amirite)?

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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby à tous les monsieurs » Thu May 14, 2015 6:46 pm

Thanks for the unexpected win. Not to be self-deprecating, but I did not expect this entry would do anything but just get me by to the next round. No plans of winning immunity as is evidenced by the fact that I completed a song entitled "Banshee" on Tuesday night. Had I known immunity was coming I would have taken the Nur Ein week off (following FBFs personal recommendation)

Anyway my vote for Round 3 would have been a toss up between CD and FBF. (Jon, I believe I "robbed" it from both of them). FBFs is a beautiful piece reminiscent of Eno's early material and his later ambient collaborations with Harold Budd. CD reminds of the best ballads of Fairport Convention or in a contemporary (but still pretentious) setting the Decemberists.

I'm a sucker for:
- major sevenths
- extended folk-rock ballads in triple meter

Probably not at the same time?

Also the #iv m7b5 chord in FBFs verse is so cool.

Great job guys.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby frankie big face » Fri May 15, 2015 11:25 am

à tous les monsieurs wrote:Thanks for the unexpected win. Not to be self-deprecating, but I did not expect this entry would do anything but just get me by to the next round. No plans of winning immunity as is evidenced by the fact that I completed a song entitled "Banshee" on Tuesday night. Had I known immunity was coming I would have taken the Nur Ein week off (following FBFs personal recommendation)


I, on the other hand, was so sure there must have been some sort of soon-to-be-corrected math error, that I haven't even started my song for this week.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby j$ » Fri May 15, 2015 4:35 pm

You two - Get. A. Room.

And play with your VSTs.
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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby frankie big face » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:02 am

I remixed this song. Nothing major - just fixed a few things that were bothering me. You may like it more now.

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Re: Nur Ein X - Round Three

Postby johndisk0 » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:31 am

frankie big face wrote:I remixed this song. Nothing major - just fixed a few things that were bothering me. You may like it more now.


Ya know, its funny you said that, because I was considering starting a thread with "fixed" songs. Songs that we redid or put finishing touches on during our extra time to make them sound more like what we were going for. Anyone else interested in posting tracks in a thread like that?

-jd0

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