RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Toby Roktot
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RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Toby Roktot »

Ready, Set......Go !!!!
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king_arthur
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by king_arthur »

Paco took the lyric I left in the Lyric Marte and turned it into the "King Charles" entry this week. Lyrics, me; music and performance, Paco.
"...one does not write in dactylic hexameter purely by accident..." - poetic designs
Toby Roktot
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Toby Roktot »

Hi again... I don't see my submission. I did receive the Nigerian Prince response. Was my track messed up or something. I had this happen before and just let it go. Maybe I'm doing something wrong. Any help will be much appreciated. Or, maybe this is a hint ??
Thx
Tob
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Chumpy
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Chumpy »

Some great songs in this fight! Good job folks. Early standouts for me in include BSS sounding like the Lemonheads, Ross Durant sounding like Neil Diamond, and Shotpounder sounding so badass I want to trash my home studio.
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Toby Roktot
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Toby Roktot »

I agree, some fine work here this week....

1. Shotpounder...absolutely, the best !!!
2. Tuners Union...distant second, but, very good !!
3. Glennny ties Toby Roktot...but, since TR is pretty vacant...
Thx,
Tob
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Smalltown Mike »

Great work, Ross Durrand. Really nice.
Punk rock is for children. Grab a six-pack at Half-a-Dozen Records.
Toby Roktot
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Toby Roktot »

Hi, once again... I'm in Frisco for a day or two... Any info on my missing song ? thanks !!!!!!
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king_arthur
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by king_arthur »

Toby, have you sent a PM to Lunkhead about this? As it says in the Nigerian Prince email, "If your band name is wrong, or something else awkward ensues from your submission, simply assume that it's your fault then let us know. We are generous. We will most likely correct the problem. Unless you are a jerkatorium." May get better results than, umm, complaining on the boards...

However, considering that Lunk is a member of BSS, and therefore from the San Francisco Bay Area, your reference to "Frisco" may have doomed you already...

Oh, and, I haven't listened to all the songs yet, but Micah Sommersmith will definitely be getting a vote from me. Good performance of a really well written song.
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Lunkhead »

Hey, only just seeing this now, sorry. Lemme look into the missing submission.

Also, if you're in the SF Bay Area, tomorrow night is BSS's jam night this week, in Oakland, if you're interested. I won't be there but I think the other guys will be.
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Lunkhead »

Oh, it looks like you submitted your song within an hour after I updated the site. Which was already like a day after the deadline... I'll try to get it posted but it might not happen for a bit.
Toby Roktot
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Toby Roktot »

Thanks King. I just sent a pm to Lunk. To be sure, not complaining, and yes, more than likely MY fault. As I indicated, this has happened before and just wanted to clear up my confussion (mistakes).
Thanks again,
Regards,
Toby
Toby Roktot
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Toby Roktot »

CONFUSION...damn fingers !!!
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Lunkhead
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Lunkhead »

Toby's original submission seems to have suffered from "disappearing email syndrome". :( I was hoping that, since that hadn't happened in a while that Dreamhost had fixed whatever was causing that, but I guess not. I guess it's still probably a good idea for folks to post in the pre-fight threads so that I can cross check the thread against the emails that I _do_ get to try to notice missing emails sooner.
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by MicahSommer »

Berkeley Social Scene - Enjoyable chorus hook (“sinking down and finishing last”). Drums feel thin, and I wonder if the tempo shouldn’t be a few clicks faster. Great little keyboard solo around the one-minute mark; I wish it lasted longer.

Glennny - Now these drums are nice and beefy! Great guitars as usual, and all-around good production. The two-part polyphonic vocal section is a neat idea but the execution isn’t quite right - I think the “unlike you I dream” part is too high in the singer’s range, and it also doesn’t stand out from the background quite enough. I wouldn’t have been able to understand any of it without reading the lyrics I think.

King Arthur - Nice multi-part vocals, and pleasant folk instrumentation, but the real strength is the lyrics, especially in the chorus - the ABBA structure of the chorus and the way you re-interpret the title each time.

King Charles - Reliably great Paco guitars and great KA lyrics. The tempo is too fast to do justice to the lyrics - the vocals just barrel along. I’m all for collaboration but here it’s very apparent that the lyrics and music were written by different people.

Micah Sommersmith - My vocals are begging for a re-record, I know, and my guitar’s cheapness manifests itself in some noticeable tuning issues. Otherwise, I’m quite happy with how this one came out.

Paco del Stinko - Spends a little too long on the guitar-and-vocal opening section, but when the rest of the band comes in it’s a fun ride. I like the lower-key middle section a lot. There are some really really weird vocal phrasing issues throughout the song - like when you stress “on” instead of “beers” in the first line, or when you stress “to” in “race to the bottom” in the first line of the chorus, or places where syllables get unnaturally squished together. I don’t know your songwriting process, but it might be a symptom of writing the lyrics first and then not editing them when they don’t quite fit with the music.

Pepper Jane - The very serious melancholy of the music suggests that you are trying to say something profound about the red-necked stint, or perhaps draw a metaphor for our own activities from theirs, but the lyrics never really get there - instead it’s a pretty straightforward description of the bird’s activities. The incongruity keeps me from really appreciating either; I’m all for educational lyrics, and I’m all for melancholy music, but there doesn’t seem to be a compelling reason for the combo here.

Ross Durand - Nice character sketch - the personality you describe is well-drawn and recognizable. You use the sinking metaphor throughout to great effect. Musically, there’s not a whole lot to comment on - I like the harmony vocals in the chorus, though the melody and guitar are not particularly memorable.

Shotpounder - The only lyrics I could understand were “race to the bottom” and “who’s gonna win,” so I wish you had posted the lyrics to the boards. This is not really my preferred genre so I don’t have much to say about it. I do like that bass riff.

Tuners Union - I don’t love the beepy-keyboard lead instrument, but otherwise I really like the chill indie-Americana vibe of the beginning section, so much so that at first I was disappointed when it veered off course, but I grew to love the gung-ho high-energy second section as well with its spit-fire vocals. I’m not 100% convinced the two sections belong in the same song, but I had a lot of fun listening. The lyrics, as far as I could make them out, fit the music well with some nice rhymes - the only dud line for me was “on paper with a pen.” Oh, and the fact that it ends with 30 seconds of silence really bothers me, but the prior 4 minutes are enjoyable enough for me to forgive you.

WreckdoM - This feels like the 30-second intro to a sweet hip-hop track stretched out to 4 minutes. The (sampled?) vocals are distorted and overlaid on themselves so much that I could barely make anything out except for a phrase here and there - I think it’s about immigration? If you’re making a political statement, I don’t know what it is.
Last edited by MicahSommer on Sat Oct 22, 2016 7:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by kaz »

MicahSommer wrote:Oh, and the fact that it ends with 30 seconds of silence really bothers me
Whoa. That bothers me too. Not sure why that happened, also a little bothered I didn't catch it. Sorry about that.
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by jb »

Tuners Union - Nicely produced. Two hundred ideas in this arrangement and I liked them all.

BSS - poppy and catchy, nice!

Glennny - Rockin' drums. Lots going on here. Vox a little muffly, wish I could make out more of the words.

King Arthur - This reminds me half of the Beverly Hillbillies theme and half "Jump In De Line"

King Charles - Genre-specific right out the bat. Coulda maybe done a couple more takes on the vocals to get them dialed in like the rest of the music is. But even so, not bad.

Micah Sommersmith - Somehow the lyrics seem to be at odds with the musical style. Kinda weird effect. Might be the accordion.

Pacoooooooo - Intro goes on foreeever. Love the theremin. I get a hook at 1:36 but needed one at like :30! But man, I love "Down here at the bottom they put on one helluva show". That's a good landing.

Pepper Jane! - Very pretty as usual. You've got that down. Maybe in a song sometime poke me with a stick and make me say "oh man that's a good line", instead of "yep, another pretty song"?

Ross Durand - Your voice has that nice balance between low and high frequencies that makes it come through really clear. Really satisfying when the harmonies come in and the tambo is well used. Wouldn't mind if you took one word out of every line.

Shotpounder - The Offspring live!

WreckdoM - Something muddy in the mix is obscuring a few of the details I want to hear in here. This is a good track to work by. Kinda Soul Coughingy a little bit, though more of a pastiche than those guys did. I dig it.

Good fight. Nicely done everyone.

JB
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by thehipcola »

Pepper Jane - Really like this. Couple of awkward turns of phrase but this is a pretty song, great take on the title. Lovely voice! I'm not a fan of lyrics that repeat verses or part of... seems lazy. I also get that it can be a style choice - no points lost. just mentioning it. Great bridge, particularly the last chord. Unexpected but perfect. Possible vote.

King Arthur - this is great. I like the sound of all the guitars - is there a banjo in there or something? it carries well. really well done, and I'm smiling through the whole thing so no complaints here.

Paco del Stinko - this is awesome. So much to like. LOVE the switch of guitar tone when the drums come in.. really dig the idea in the lyrics..great take on the title. wow - keeps on giving! the crazy chord changes are awesome. much to like in this - going to take some killer tunes below to knock this out of Vote position. Nice work!

BSS - super great. I like the hooky title refrain. great mix, tight song. Possible Vote. Keys are a nice touch.

Glenny - I dig this. Listening on an iMac and it's hard in the chorus to hear the chordal info from the guitar - like a bunch of mids are missing - so it's hard to place the vocals musically. Great guitar playing. Lots of great ideas in this... nice job.

Micah Sommersmith - full disclosure: I hate accordian. I'll try to rise above that for this review. I'm not sold on the vocal affectation - and related to accordian - it sounds campy, like accordian. The song is fine - good take on the title, but its the cutesy-clever bent that turns me off. All good though - my gripes are opinions only - it's well executed. The mix is a bit dull but well balanced. Cool beans.

Tuners Union - this is great!! Love the instrumentation. I wish the harmonica sample would cut out after the first time it's used... ooh, really dig the chorus - nice chords all over the place here. cool tempo changes... and a funky clav. What's not too like? (harmonica over use aside) The break between choruses is brilliant. Possible Vote for sure.

Ross Durand - this is awesome. not usually a fan of guy&guitar - but this is particularly well done. possible vote. one gripe - tambourine is way to soft - i'd like to hear the edges of it's sound. whatever that means.

Shotpounder - yep, it's a little too unintelligible. Seemed like a good idea at the time - but wished I'd have dialled it back a little. good feedback.

WreckdoM - warms my heart to see WreckdoM in this fight. Nice! And this is a worthy addition to the catalogue. Classic!

Good fight! Votes go to Paco del Stinko and Tuners Union, although it was close.
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Berkeley Social Scene - Laidback and catchy, subtle backing vocals are a nice touch, but enjoy Martin's spot in the chorus as well. Great bridge, tasty "all that's needed" guitar solo. Strong start to finish, can't find anything to knock. Not that you have to.

Glennny
- Manic time. Ah, right, racing - duh. The leads are great, of course, but I like the adventurous overlapping vocal section after the lead section, even if all of it doesn't work. So much happens here that the last 30 seconds feel longer than they are. Complex and interesting throughout, might've clobbered with a snip off of the end.

King Arthur
- Gotta say it, very Dead-ish. But it feels a little more charged, less casual than them, perhaps. Great vocal work, both lead and backing, over those nice organic feeling stringed tracks. Probably could've even had another lead section near the end, but not needed as this is a delight. Still rollin' man, keep it up.

King Charles
- Yeah, scooped up KA's lyrics and blasted this one out in maybe two hours. Sloppy, but decent energy. Could use backing vocals, more takes, etc. Tried a different compressor on the snare, kinda like it.

Micah Sommersmith
- Rousing and upbeat. The chord structures are nicely complex and I like the way the chorus is constructed, but especially the bridge. Great modulation too. The mix isn't muddy, really, but could use some sparkle or subtle bite. Great playing as well.

Paco del Stinko - The story is based on a story a fella I work with told me, how he gets people to buy his drinks for him.

Pepper Jane
- This is indeed lovely, can see the narrator looking lovingly at a little bird, perhaps too starry eyed. As nice as this is, it goes on too long. But gotta say that besides your voice (usual compliments) your guitar playing is very good and the tone is tasty. Probably my second favorite acoustic guitar tone on SF! right after...Ross Durand. Anyway, nice song, too long. I do enjoy the room/street/traffic/ambient sounds you leave in your songs.

Ross Durand - Glad to hear you back, too long gone. This is confident and mature, two things I'm often not, and feels settled into itself without feeling old or re-hashed. The short-ish length adds to its strength and beckons a second listen. Good lyrics, arrangement, even if a bit loose. Well, loose is ok, slop not always. And nice to hear that guitar too, always love its tone.

Shotpounder
- Great drive off the road at too fast a speed fun. I only understand the race to the bottom who's gonna win lines but enjoy the vein bulging-spat out vocals anyway. Twice as long as needed for the next round of Short Music For Short People, but would fit right in. Love it.

Tuners Union
- Nice. I am always impressed and humbled by your music, and this is no exception. The writing, playing, performance, arrangement are all top tier. What I like about this, and others of yours, is the imagery that I get other than what the lyrics put forth. Like scenery or landscapes going by from a train window. Hard to explain. I think that you and Micah must have similar mix approaches. Well balanced, maybe missing a wee bit of sparkle or bite. Great stuff regardless.

WreckdoM
- Always glad when you guys are here. ALWAYS. And appropriately enough, right at the bottom of the fight, arf arf arf. Murky and wet, I get that it's about the current political climate, I think, at least in part. Probably the way of the word as well. Yeah, we're goin' down. Thanks for holding our hands as we spiral into the abyss. Cheers!
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Smalltown Mike
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Smalltown Mike »

Overall, I thought it was a strong fight with a lot of really nice songs. Nice work, all.

BSS
: what a great opening drum sound. Lovely song all around. Love that key solo, and love how early it comes in. “Stopped on a dime but I’m a dollar short” is great.
Glennny: another great drum intro, and a great sound. Great solo! Great ending.
King Charles: Hell yea. This is really nice. Clean sound, great chorus. A little bit of Dead Milkmen in this. I listened twice in a row – it’s fantastic.
Micah: is that a real live accordion? Unlike Hip Cola, I like a nice accordion. Great chorus. Nice harmonies.
Pepper Jane: I might like to hear just a hair more guitar. Your vocals sound lush and really nice. I could listen to an album of this, for real. I need to go back and listen to your earlier entries.
Shotpounder: Besides “Race to the Bottom” and “Who’s going to win?” I don’t understand one GD word of this – and I’ve heard the a capella track.
Tuners Union: Hell yes. This is wonderful, right from the start. Love it. One of the best things I’ve heard on SF in a long time. That chorus caught me right off guard, in a really good way. I need to go back and check out your full SF catalogue. To me, this is the best one by a longshot.
King Arthur: My Gawd but I wanted to hear drums kick in (when the vocals started, or shortly after). Doubling on the chorus is nice. Your stuff is always well recorded. Nice solo in there. Some variety in this would be nice – all feels too similar.
Paco: Unlike King Arthur, I knew you were going to give me the payoff of some drums at some point. Might have been nice to hear ‘em come in full for a bit, before dialing ‘em back to the kick and high hat. Might have been; what do I know. I do like a nice solo, I do. Dig the drum sound.
Wreckdom: The vocals are tough to hear, and I want to know what you’re seeing. I assume they’ll be included with the record, and/or splashed on the big screen when you play gigs. That would be my only complaint – I don’t know what the F you’re saying.
Ross: I’ve already mentioned how great I think this is. Guitar is recorded REALLY well, and your vocals sound really nice. In the chorus I hear the tiniest hint of Afternoon Delight. Very well done.

Votes for ... a bunch of y'all. C'mon, you don't really do this for the votes, do you?
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Lunkhead »

Hey Toby, I'm sorry I never got a chance to post your song. I had some serious personal stuff come up and I honestly wasn't able to devote any time to my fightmaster duties after I posted the fight. I'll try to find some time soon to get it added to the archive after the fact if I can figure out a way to do that. :(
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Re: RACERS....Start your bitchin'. RTTB reviews.....

Post by Smalltown Mike »

Shotpounder won? Sell-outs.
Punk rock is for children. Grab a six-pack at Half-a-Dozen Records.
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