You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Lunkhead
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You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

They had like that one guy. What were they, like, Jefferson Starplane? Steely Dave? Ah, whatever.
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by Chumpy »

Jeff DeSantis - I honestly didn't expect any songs in this fight to move me emotionally. I was pretty sure that all the songs would feature a bunch of dad jokes set to music. You smartly use the Dad jokes as a theme and a device in a story narrative that is both touching and sadly beautiful. Lines like 'boy, your Mom would be proud', 'you good looking son of mine', 'dying for a cigarette / dreaming of a summer's day' have substantial punch. My favorite song of the fight.

Berekley Social Scene - I love the plucked electric harp sounds you first hear at the start of the song, it gives the song a pretty dreamy quality. Martin's vocal performance is one of his best, and he really sells it on lines like "your eyes still shining / your lies still hiding", and at the end with "we're not all good / we're not all bad". Nice work!

Paco del Stinko - Hearing a few muffed guitar chords at the start, interesting stylistic choice. I love the BVs on "we're all gonna die", classic Paco. Great dynamics on this song, the section with just very quiet guitar and voice is really effective. The slightly sloppy guitar here also works well. The "take a look around / everyone in the pool, it's time to drown" line is great.

Micah Sommersmith - A nonstop stream of corny Dad jokes set to rollicking accordion with clever wordplay. This is what I was expecting, thank you! The tennish line actually made me groan. I'm really a fan of the rap break, and the way you punctuate the lines with the 'gang vocals' makes it exciting. I think mixing up your singing and rapping is a solid idea. Great writing and rhyming as usual. I think we both appreciate chorus change-ups, like your 'blowing smoke/word I spoke/could row-an-oak', keeps the listener interested.

Lichen Throat - The music on this is pretty good! I really like that initial instrument sound, like mallets striking strings or something. I like that clank sound that accompanies the drums when they come in, nice. The strings in my left ear really work too. What brings this song down is that the vocal melody is on uncertain ground. Your voice has a deep nice character that I want to listen to, reminiscent of Ian Curtis from Joy Division. You just need to focus it on a consistent vocal melody, because the way it melodically meanders is not good. It doesn't need to be wide ranging, it just needs to be consistent. Figure out a collection of pitches you can reliably hit, and arrange your vocal melodies around those pitches, and strive for consistency. Software can be a big help here, having a computer analyze (and potentially correct) the notes you're singing can be a game changer for you the composer, allowing you to see what your ears may not be hearing.

Ross Durand - Good sounding G&G recording and vocal performance. The chord progression reminds me of a common folk song, although I can't quite put my finger on it. The 'dadj' + oak punchline is a real groaner. I like the "now please don't interrupt" line, because I really wanted to stop you and go "I know where this is going Dad!"
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

Who knew we'd have two acorns in this one?

Berkley Social Scene: I really, really like the chorus. The repeating, elliptical (for lack of a better word) instrumental melody is nice, too. Other than that, I don't have much more insight. Good work. VOTE

Jeff DeSantis: The completely non-funny delivery of the jokes works very well; it effectively emphasizes the melancholy of the subject matter. Good vocal performance, as well, and the vocal-only beginning sets the right opening tone. The drum sound doesn't seem to match the rest of the song particularly well--maybe less high hat?

Lichen Throat (me): The instrumental music might be a little too upbeat for the lyrics, but otherwise I was pretty happy with everything but the vocal. As for the vocal.....singing is hard! As was suggested last week, I tried to make my voice a little higher pitched this time. My original plan was to sing to match the viola melody, then delete the viola from the final mix. Obviously, I wasn't able to completely match the viola melody with my voice, and in the end, it seemed to sound better if I left the viola in the final mix. I tried to use pitch correction, but maybe I didn't do it right, since it sounded overly electronic (nearly to T-Pain levels), so the final mix is uncorrected. Bad as it is, I feel like maybe the vocal is very slightly better this time, though that may just be wishful thinking.

Micah Sommersmith: After this song, you're second only to Dar Williams (whom I get to see play this Saturday, incidentally) in being able to make me feel genuinely uncomfortable after repeated listens. (This is a good thing, if it's not clear.) As usual, you've chosen the perfect length for your song; in this case, the longer duration emphasizes the relentlessness of the humor. Even the questionable rhymes (such as "influence/mad into this") work, since they go along so well with the lyrical subject matter. VOTE

Paco del Stinko: Nice guitar and vocal performances. The interplay among the instruments is good, giving the feeling that this song has been solidly crafted. No crumbs from the pie, indeed.

Ross Durand: I'm not sure the long build-up to a single punch line is effective, but I realize that may be the point, in a way. The folk song aspect is pleasant.
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by Ross »

Chumpy wrote: Ross Durand The 'dadj' + oak punchline is a real groaner.
Thanks!
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by MicahSommer »

Berkeley Social Scene - Good groove and nice guitar playing as always. The lyrics are pretty thinly-sketched and generic, with no specific details that make me care about this guy’s relationship with his dad. The ending section is musically great, both the accompaniment and the vocal melody, but I don’t really know what the lyrics mean in the context of the rest of the song.

Jeff DeSantis - Here’s the dead-dad scenario again from the opposite side, and this time with considerable more emotional heft. The dumb jokes throughout ultimately serve to make the “punchline” all the more powerful. The simple melody is effective - this is the song that has been stuck in my head by far the most out of all of these. My two (fairly minor) complaints are that 1) I’ve heard most of these jokes already and 2) the cheap-ish quality of the piano and drum sounds kinda make this sound like a demo.

Lichen Throat - Innovative and interesting instrumental arrangement again, though I wish the drums packed more of a punch - the opening octave riffs made me expect a full-on electro-pop dance number, and I was disappointed until I adjusted my expectations. Your lyrics are good and present an unexpected take on the title. Your vocal is muddy and I don’t think it’s entirely the fault of your singing abilities. I’m going to guess you’ve got a pretty cheap microphone, and when your voice is paired with sampled/synthesized instruments the difference in quality is all the more evident. You might consider upgrading to a higher-quality microphone, or at the least play around with the EQ on your vocal track to make it clearer (try boosting high frequencies and/or cutting low frequencies… though I’m no expert).

Micah Sommersmith - I wish I could have squeezed in some more and better dad jokes, but on the whole I’m pretty happy with both the lyrics and the music. For backing vocal inspiration, I looked to Flaming Tiger for the rap verse and Paco del Stinko for the chorus.

Paco del Stinko - Seems like you’re chastising the rest of us for indulging in dumb humor which the age of Trump has made obsolete. Fair enough, though it renders your song’s connection with the title tenuous at best. However, your singing, playing, and composition are all fantastic on this one.

Ross Durand - Great singing and guitar playing, solid tune, clever enough… Pretty low replay value.
Chumpy wrote:The tennish line actually made me groan.
I legit say this in real life whenever anyone says ten-ish, which I think is at least once a month. If I am only remembered for one thing, I'm okay with it being this joke.
lichenthroat wrote:Micah Sommersmith: After this song, you're second only to Dar Williams (whom I get to see play this Saturday, incidentally) in being able to make me feel genuinely uncomfortable after repeated listens. (This is a good thing, if it's not clear.)
Mortal City is one of my favorite albums by anyone ever, so I will gladly take this compliment even if I'm not sure entirely what it means. Also, jealous. I would love to see her live.
"you did a skillful job pulling off the sexy" - RangerDenni
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

MicahSommer wrote:Your vocal is muddy and I don’t think it’s entirely the fault of your singing abilities. I’m going to guess you’ve got a pretty cheap microphone, and when your voice is paired with sampled/synthesized instruments the difference in quality is all the more evident. You might consider upgrading to a higher-quality microphone, or at the least play around with the EQ on your vocal track to make it clearer (try boosting high frequencies and/or cutting low frequencies… though I’m no expert).
Yes, I have a very cheap microphone. I've tried to resist blaming the microphone, since clearly my singing is very unpracticed, but perhaps I should try to get hold of a better one. I'll try fiddling more with the EQ, also.
MicahSommer wrote: Mortal City is one of my favorite albums by anyone ever, so I will gladly take this compliment even if I'm not sure entirely what it means. Also, jealous. I would love to see her live.
Mortal City is one of my favorite albums, too. I was attempting to refer to Ms. Williams's ability (and yours, also) to write songs about uncomfortable situations in which the discomfort described in the song is effectively--and repeatedly--transmitted to the listener. I'm thinking of songs like "The Christians and the Pagans," "The Babysitter's Here," and (to a lesser extent) "The Pointless, Yet Poignant, Crisis of a Co-Ed," which can still make me squirm a little bit in embarrassment and awkwardness, even though I've heard them dozens of times.

Her show's tomorrow night; I'm really looking forward to it.
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Congrats Micah Sommersmith!
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by MicahSommer »

Lunkhead wrote:Congrats Micah Sommersmith!
Thanks! I had a lot of fun with this entry so I'm glad other people enjoyed it too.
lichenthroat wrote:Her show's tomorrow night; I'm really looking forward to it.
How was the Dar Williams concert, lichenthroat????
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

MicahSommer wrote:How was the Dar Williams concert, lichenthroat????
It was really good. Apparently it was the Mortal City 20th anniversary tour, so she played every song from Mortal City, along with "The Babysitter's Here" and "I Won't Be Your Yoko Ono." Her band consisted of a guitarist, drummer, and keyboardist. It was interesting how some of the songs sounded almost exactly like the recorded versions, whereas others were quite different, owing to differences in the instrumental arrangements and backup vocalists. A few of the keyboard arrangements were a little weird, but her voice sounded great.

Congratulations on your win this week!
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by MicahSommer »

lichenthroat wrote:Apparently it was the Mortal City 20th anniversary tour, so she played every song from Mortal City
HOW.
DID.
I.
NOT.
KNOW.
ABOUT.
THIS.
AND.
MISS.
HER.
PLAYING.
IN.
MINNEAPOLIS.
IN.
NOVEMBER.
*bangs head on table repeatedly*
lichenthroat wrote:Congratulations on your win this week!
Thanks... but now it feels so... hollow.
"you did a skillful job pulling off the sexy" - RangerDenni
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lichenthroat
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

MicahSommer wrote:
lichenthroat wrote:Apparently it was the Mortal City 20th anniversary tour, so she played every song from Mortal City
HOW.
DID.
I.
NOT.
KNOW.
ABOUT.
THIS.
AND.
MISS.
HER.
PLAYING.
IN.
MINNEAPOLIS.
IN.
NOVEMBER.
*bangs head on table repeatedly*
I can feel your pain through my laptop screen. I probably would have missed it too, if not for the Bandsintown app on my phone; I highly recommend signing up for it (or a similar service).
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by MicahSommer »

Micah Sommersmith - "Dad Joke" live at MORE Healthy Foods, Montello, Wisconsin - 07-27-2019
"you did a skillful job pulling off the sexy" - RangerDenni
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by owl »

Sorry I missed your show, Micah (had a BASEBALL GAME with BAT DOGS to go to!) but I'm glad you bumped this because 1) such good bad dad jokes! (Didn't listen to this fight the first time around, looks like it was a few months before I first joined this site), and 2) just wanted to belatedly join in the Dar Williams appreciation, she is one of my all-time favorites, and in particular her two early tapes "I Have No History"/"All My Heroes Are Dead" which have some incredible songwriting--a lot more sad and strange and lo-fi than what made it to her albums, which sometimes feel too hokey and overproduced for me (particularly the stuff post-End of the Summer). I've had a vague idea for a while that I should cover those two albums just so those songs get out into the world in a way that's easy for more people to hear them because they are so damn good.
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Re: You sound like that one band, you know, the one with the people (Dad Joke reviews)

Post by fluffy »

One time my dad and I went to the hardware store to buy a new remote for the garage door. The salesperson asked what kind of garage door it was. Without missing a beat, my dad said, “The kind that goes up and down.”
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