Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

And it hurt, too.
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

Please add your lyric to the thread located here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11702
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Songs posted!
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by neutronflow »

lichenthroat wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:56 pm
Once the songs come out, if anyone can explain, from a musical theory perspective, why my chorus sounds like a metal ballad, I would appreciate the insight. Let me know if you want to see the sheet music. For some reason, all the music I wrote sounded sinister, even though I was trying to write a happy, sentimental song.
Didn't persevere with analysis through the whole song, but the chorus seems to be in the key of Bb minor, with a i,III,VII,VI chord progression: Bb minor; Db; Ab; Gb. Swapping the Db and Bb minor would change the key to Db major and result in a happier sounding I,vi,V,IV progression. Actually, I,V,vi,IV sounds better to me as I muck about here. (To actually play this, I had my capo on the first fret and played Am; C; G; F during your chorus).
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by neutronflow »

Several songs featuring counting in this fight. Must have bled over from SpinTunes.

Berkeley Social Scene: The instrumental section in a different time signature, from about 2:15 to 2:50, doesn't feel like it belongs in this song to me. I think I might like this better if it were just cut out. Other than that, this is fantastic - a really, beautiful, wonderful pop song.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: I think this works pretty well, musically. The lyrics didn't really work for me when I was following along with the lyrics post. When listening without the lyrics in front of me, I don't catch most of the words but the sound of the singing feels like it fits the music and I enjoy the overall effect.

Frontalittle Squad: This really starts to drag after a while. The music under the rapping is kind of pleasant at first, but then it gets old. The narrative is kind of amusing, but I really don't feel like I'd ever need to hear this again.

Hot Pink Halo: Love the chimes. The vocal performance feels really tentative and it seems to have been mixed loud in an attempt to make up for that. The ending feels abrupt to me.

Lichen Throat: Your vocal on this is really solid. I like the chorus melody a lot. There may be too many "What state am I in now?"'s. I get that this is about a kid running and repeating that phrase, though, so maybe it's that there needs to be more musically going on there? Not sure. You could just go with kids are annoying and that part of the song is annoying so, Yay!, thematic match up, I guess. I also wonder how the repetition would sound if the music were all reworked into a major key, but that would be a big change for the whole song and I like the sound of a lot of this now.

Nick Soma: This is great. Wonderful, catchy melody. I think this may meet the optional challenge, too?

Paco del Stinko: I like the organ on this a lot. The sound you achieve is compelling, but there's also something haphazard about it all. Somehow there's a sense that it could all fall apart at any moment. It doesn't, but it feels like it could.

Phlebia: Story only mildly amusing to me. I kinda dig the Nyan Cat sound during the instrumental section. Not something I can see listening to again after I'm done writing reviews.

Pigfarmer Jr.: Pretty nice, really, but the repetition risks becoming irritating. The bridge is really pretty. With the amount of repetition inherent in each verse, I don't think I would want to repeat the first verse at the end. I think I might put the bridge in between verse two and three instead and end after three. The vocal performance isn't particularly rough, but I think it may be too rough for this song. I think the instrumental choices are all working. I particularly like the mandolin.

ShoehornTC: Great melody here; really catchy. I like the oooo's. I'm not sure I follow the lyrics. This overall effect of this is lovely.

Show Me Your Face: The intro section seems to go on a little too long (a third of the full song's running time). Once the full band is in, the song is catchy and energetic. The lyrics seem kind of dippy. The vocals sound great. Kind of weird when you suddenly start singing the name of your band? Probably the weird goes the other direction, though (that you named your band after a line in the song).

Tim Hinkle: I had sat down with my guitar to write a song for SpinTunes 16 Round 3. I didn't have an idea for the lyrics yet, but I wanted to try something with a sort of classic country sound, kind of leaning in to Dave Leigh's comment: "...there's definitely an audience for men who sound like men. And let's face it, you sound like Ron Ely looked." Then I got the terrible joke about Four Coroners stuck in my head and wrote something from there. I don't think it quite turned out as a joke song, despite starting from a joke. Life is often both terrible and absurd.

Undead Squirrels: I don't like the partial fade-out ending. I do like the instruments coming in one at a time at the beginning. This is a little rough, but I mostly like the sound of it. The melody in the chorus is nice.

Vom Vorton: Chorus is lovely. The harmonies sound delightful. I love the rhyme confident/confidante. The first verse seems a little bare without any of the backing vocals the other parts of the song have. The first time I played the track, it didn't grab me until the chorus. Subsequent plays I didn't notice the same issue as much.

WreckdoM: I really like the atmospheric sound of this. In certain frames of mind, I think I would enjoy this playing in the background. I enjoy it less the more I try to focus on it, though. It really seemed to drag on when I was trying to listen attentively to the lyrics. But then I put it on again and walked around my apartment doing other stuff and there's a really nice groove to it. Weirdly great for doing laundry and washing dishes.
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

@Neutronflow: Interesting you referred to the synth sound as the Nyan Cat synth...it's actually a free VST I love calledMeowSynth! For all your meowing needs! Sorry you didn't dig the story though. Admittedly I did come up with the idea while half delirious from a constant 103F fever...stupid flu.
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by neutronflow »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:19 pm
@Neutronflow: Interesting you referred to the synth sound as the Nyan Cat synth...it's actually a free VST I love calledMeowSynth! For all your meowing needs! Sorry you didn't dig the story though. Admittedly I did come up with the idea while half delirious from a constant 103F fever...stupid flu.
I downloaded the VST; will check it out later. Thanks! I hope you're fully recovered (or at least well on the road to). I think the idea is funny, it just doesn't quite keep me going through the length of the song. The bass and drums also sound wonderfully present, which I don't seem to have mentioned in my original post.
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by AJOwens »

neutronflow wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:40 pm
lichenthroat wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:56 pm
Once the songs come out, if anyone can explain, from a musical theory perspective, why my chorus sounds like a metal ballad, I would appreciate the insight. Let me know if you want to see the sheet music. For some reason, all the music I wrote sounded sinister, even though I was trying to write a happy, sentimental song.
Didn't persevere with analysis through the whole song, but the chorus seems to be in the key of Bb minor, with a i,III,VII,VI chord progression: Bb minor; Db; Ab; Gb. Swapping the Db and Bb minor would change the key to Db major and result in a happier sounding I,vi,V,IV progression. Actually, I,V,vi,IV sounds better to me as I muck about here. (To actually play this, I had my capo on the first fret and played Am; C; G; F during your chorus).
It may have something to do with the parallel fifths. For a good explanation, complete with short musical samples, see:
https://www.schoolofcomposition.com/wha ... el-fifths/

There's a sample from Grieg about halfway down the page that features the same effect (under "Why are Parallel Fifths Bad?"), and a sample from Black Sabbath a little further on (under "When are Parallel Fifths Allowed?").
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

neutronflow wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 9:05 pm
sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 8:19 pm
@Neutronflow: Interesting you referred to the synth sound as the Nyan Cat synth...it's actually a free VST I love calledMeowSynth! For all your meowing needs! Sorry you didn't dig the story though. Admittedly I did come up with the idea while half delirious from a constant 103F fever...stupid flu.
I downloaded the VST; will check it out later. Thanks! I hope you're fully recovered (or at least well on the road to). I think the idea is funny, it just doesn't quite keep me going through the length of the song. The bass and drums also sound wonderfully present, which I don't seem to have mentioned in my original post.
Thanks! That free compressor plugin that ujnhunter posted in the "free plugins" thread is responsible for the "presence" of both of those. That and a dash of stereo chorus on the bass. The drums actually sped up slightly: I recorded them at 122 bpm and played them back so they'd be at 127...that was my friend soulflowsteve's idea, as he was originally going to provide the bars at the end but couldn't get them in in time. So I tried my back at rapping for the first time. His breath control is better, but I think I did okay!

It is kind of a novelty song - I noticed you had the same reaction to Frontalittle Squad, which while way more rap heavy trends a lot of similar territory. Aliens, hauntings, it's all paranormal! Still, thanks for the review :)
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

neutronflow wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:50 pm
...but I think it may be too rough for this song.
What do you mean by rough? Pitch, phrasing, tone or...? Thanks for the review, I appreciate it.
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by neutronflow »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 6:15 am
It is kind of a novelty song - I noticed you had the same reaction to Frontalittle Squad, which while way more rap heavy trends a lot of similar territory. Aliens, hauntings, it's all paranormal! Still, thanks for the review :)
I'd absolutely agree there's probably some kind of genre bias going on with me here. I'm not quite sure what I'm against. I don't think it's rap, though I don't tend to listen to a lot of rap, either, so maybe there's something unconscious there. It's not the paranormal. I think I regularly have issues with narrative songs. The music tends to repeat and wear out its welcome while all the details of the story are spooled out. There are definitely narrative songs that I like, though (and some of them are lengthy and repetitive!), so that's something for me to chew over to figure out what makes the difference.
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by neutronflow »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 9:36 am
neutronflow wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:50 pm
...but I think it may be too rough for this song.
What do you mean by rough? Pitch, phrasing, tone or...? Thanks for the review, I appreciate it.
I think a slight pitchiness is the main thing I was noticing. To a degree I wouldn't usually comment on, but last night I felt strongly about it in this song.

Listening again today, it 's hard for me to narrow in on what I was reacting to last night. The more I play it, the more it just sounds like the way the song goes (I'm sure that's an issue that feeds into not noticing and fixing things in my own songs). Anyway, this morning I'm most noticing my "that could be just a bit better" reaction during the second verse. "So you can hear" is probably the line that sticks out for me the most. The first instance of "heavens above," probably next.
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Stray observations: I don’t think I’ve entered a fight where this many people are alphabetically after me.

Also, Berkeley Social Scene’s song this week is far and away my favorite, to the point where coming up with other tracks I want to vote for is slightly challenging.

Tim Hinkle is in second, and it's a many way tie for third.

Berkeley Social Scene:
This may be my favorite song I’ve heard on SongFight in weeks. That chorus refrain with the “looking for an answer…” “one two three four corners!” is just fantastic and tickles my sense of melody in a way that doesn’t occur all that much. Also the vocal style and chord modulations remind me quite a bit of the first couple of Broadcast albums without all of the bloopy synthwork, which is a tremendously good thing because that’s one of my favorite sonic aesthetics. The drum work, the keyboards, the guitar solo, everything about this song deserves to win. Great melody, great performance, great production, just great.

Brown Word and the Big Whine:

Woo, rock! Or I’m not entirely sure where this falls on the line of hard rock or metal. It’s somewhere on that continuum, but the chords and the drum beat make my brain go more towards metal. Anyway, if I have any complaint about this one it’s that the guitars sound a little bit muddy and the drums seem kind of buried in the mix...like the snare drum could probably pop more. I really like the abrupt drop in tempo a little bit later on. Though admittedly, I think that that last chorus after the tempo shift feels a little bit tacked on and I’d kind of like the song to have ended maybe 20 or 30 seconds sooner than it did.

The Frontalittle Squad:
Okay, lots of clever ideas in this track, though I must say that I agree with Mr. Hinkle that it starts to drag a little bit by the end. The general concept - you ran over someone in Toronto and their spirit is haunting your Honda - is a good one! And the chorus that invokes a seance to get his spirit out of your car is pretty good. I think ultimately my biggest issue with this is that there’s not really a whole lot of musical variation. And the beat reminds me of an ad that would show up in the middle of my Spotify playlist. Like when I first heard it, my brain went “wait, why is there an ad in sfjukebox?”. Which I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing, it’s just something about the production value. Lots of clever lines in here though.

Hot Pink Halo:
Well I like your twinkliness in this one, and I enjoy the fact that you added a little bit more variety to your guitar playing -- even though the arpeggios are simple, they’re effective and definitely enhance the song a bit more than the typical “drone on a chord” approach. The chorus is pretty nice, I do like the going “up!” at the end of that first line. Your songs have a heavily autobiographical bent to them that provides a notable charm. Like we definitely know that you’ve taken a trip to Australia to visit your old pals! I hope you’re enjoying yourself down there.

Lichen Throat:
I’m mainly saying this because you’ve described yourself as “melodically challenged” on a few occasions -- your sense of melody is way more pronounced on this one and this is one of your few choruses that I could legitimately describe as catchy. As I mentioned in the pre-fight, I was expecting you to enter as soon as I saw that the prompt involved New Mexico. I’m not really sure why it sounds like a metal ballad, cause I’m not entirely sure I agree. The part before “what state I am now?” provides that vibe more than anything else in the song. I personally think you repeated that part a few too many times. But this is probably your strongest entry I’ve heard since Tumbleweed.

Nick Soma:
Well, this is a pretty dramatic stylistic departure from your previous week’s entry, and I kind of like this change in style. Though something about the rhythm and the chord progression sounds like something that I’d hear on a late 90s pop/rock oriented radio station, though I can’t quite put my finger on exactly what aspect of this track makes me think that. All in all, it’s pretty catchy. I’m pretty sure that this is only major chords throughout the whole song, so good job on fulfilling the optional challenge. Something about the bongos doesn’t quite sit with me right, which is a shame because I usually dig hand percussion.

Paco del Stinko:
I can’t hear the phrase “if I had my druthers” in a song without wanting to follow it with “i’d screw a chimpanzee” because back in my early teens I listened to WAYYYYY too much Primus. Regardless, I like the counting backing vocals that are going on during this track, they’re super well executed. And the rhythmic shifts during the “why can’t we all get along?” parts are great, with the kind of wonky instrumental breaks thrown in between for good measure. The ending seems a little bit abrupt for my taste, but all in all it’s hard to complain too much about this one, even if it doesn’t really stick with me.

Phlebia:
Liner notes: as I’ve mentioned, I was hella sick during most of the composition of this one. That’s largely why I stuck at the bottom register of my vocal range -- I literally couldn’t go any higher without hacking up a lung. I think the only parts recorded while I was feeling well were the drums, which I pounded out in one take early one and spliced intermittently in post editing, and the rap, which was done right at the very end when I was starting to feel better. The rest was mostly done lying in bed. Stupid flu. Anyway, it’s basically a retconning of the Roswell incident about time traveling aliens who wanted to party and got too crunk and crashed in the wrong place and wrong year. Obviously. I had a lot of fun with it!

Pigfarmer Jr:
Hmmmmm, this song is pleasant. It has a well done melody. But maybe it’s where the verses are inherently repetitive, I find myself getting kind of bored with it as it goes on. Though I do enjoy the presence of .... is that a mandolin I hear in the background? Admittedly this song is kind of bittersweet. Something about this reminds me of that children’s book “the Runaway Bunny”. You know, the one where the little bunny is always taunting his momma bunny by threatening to run and momma bunny always manages to come up with the perfectly sweet and loving response? That one. Maybe that’s totally off-base. I don’t know. Sweet song though.

ShoehornTC:
You write these kind of bouncy folky songs that seem very in line with the indie sensibility of the past several years. Songs which I hear, find to be pleasant, easy songs to listen to, and (mostly) go in one ear and out the other with me. But they’re well executed. I think that’s that dreaded “genre-bias” that I see used in so many reviews on this site. That being said, this is well recorded and catchy, and you never drop the rhythm or make any missteps. I wish I had more helpful comments for you? This one does not remind me of stuff my dad listened to on long car rides, but that doesn’t mean it’s any worse! Just doesn’t trigger that nostalgia factor!

Show Me Your Face:
God, I switched computers and accidentally blasted the hell out of my eardrums cause I accidentally had the volume all the way up on computer #2 when I put my headphones in. Anyway, this sounds pretty good through the intro, and I’d like the intro more only the reverby vocal treatment doesn’t really sit right in the mix right. The “Four Corners” with you is remarkably catchy and I love the energy in the chorus. The verses are kind of meandering, and the vocal melodies are kind of buried under the riffs for the most part...which is alright. Lets see -- not that there’s anything inherently wrong with this, but I wish the drums were more centered. So much stereo action!

Tim Hinkle:
I like the chord changes you opt for, as they’re not really the “typical” ones that I’ve heard a million times, but they lend themselves well to a particular melodic sensibility that not too many other people possess. This is probably my second favorite tune of the fight, if only because the jurisdictional pondering of “which state did he die in” and the “four coroners” pun strike me as extremely clever. How’d he die, anyway? Did he trip while taking a picture at four corners? Anyway, a tune that I find it hard to criticize -- I usually enjoy your submissions and this is no exception.

The Undead Squirrels:
Live drums, I’m not alone! The recording of this one seems a little muddled. The distorted guitar is muddy and buried, the strummed electric guitar is lacking high-end, and the vocals have this slap back or echo on them or something? I don’t know, I could tear apart the mix of this one a whole lot more but all in all it seems like it’s a well-enough tune that may or may not have enough sense of dynamics...which may be because of the mixing. I don’t know. I mean the chord progression is pretty good (if not particularly novel) and reminds me of back in the day when I used to play fuzzed out psych all the time on college radio, which is a compliment.

Vom Vorton:
Those synths sound good, and like with so many of your entries I can tell you have a good melodic sensibility and ear for proper composition. Again, I can’t speak more positively of your synth choice. I love your synth. And those descending chords in the chorus work well for me. This is another tune in this fight where there’s something about the way that the drums sit in the mix that doesn’t quite sit with me, and I think it’s probably mostly a matter of stereo placement and eq-ing on the snare drum. Or my ears are broken. I don’t know. Vocal harmonies are on point and sound great! Guitar solo is rather simple but effective and well timed, though I wish it went for more high notes. Wait, are those steel drums? Yes! The pacing of this song is well executed.

WreckdoM:
I like the spooky-ooky synth going throughout this track -- maybe because I sort of went for an x-files vibe with my first synth break throughout my own track. The melody in this one is kind of meandering and I kind of wish it was a bit stronger, like the chorus kind of raises the intensity by shouting more and going for higher notes, but it doesn’t really create anything compelling. The screechy un-lubricated hinge noise is a nice touch, and I like the unnerving effect that it creates. What is that “why did you leave?” sample from? The conspiratorial lyrics add a nice touch, I do like that! I think I like the verses and weird ambient breaks in this song. I feel like musically this track doesn’t have enough ideas to justify the length. Though the lines about cell phone tumors and the lottery were probably my favorite of the tune. Why did you leave?
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by AJOwens »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 1:27 pm
. . .the chord progression is pretty good (if not particularly novel). . .
We chose a chord progression with four corners.
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by crumpart »

neutronflow wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 7:50 pm
Hot Pink Halo: Love the chimes. The vocal performance feels really tentative and it seems to have been mixed loud in an attempt to make up for that.
You’re not wrong there. The instrumental bits were all made with an iPad in GarageBand on a long distance flight, and I recorded the vocals early in the morning at my parents house, also straight into the iPad. Their windows are all single-glazed (thanks Australia...) and while their house is actually pretty well insulated, most of it’s in the roof, so anything that happens in the house is painfully audible through the walls. My mum and dad were sleeping in the room to my left, and my brother-in-law was sleeping in the room to my right. I had the iPad on the bed and was kneeling to sing while holding a pillow up behind my head to mitigate road noise. Not an ideal recording situation, but I didn’t want to break my streak!
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

This was good batch of songs. Thus, fewer complaints than usual.

Berkeley Social Scene—I really hated the noodley intro the first time I heard this, but it sounded completely fine on subsequent listens. This is so smoooooth! It sounds like the band has been performing this song for years. Very nice vocal. I’m usually not a fan of loungey song, but I may have to make an exception to my usual taste for this one.

Brown Word and the Big Whine—You’ve managed to sound like Mary’s Danish, whom I had, until now, considered inimitable. (I really liked Mary’s Danish, so that’s intended as a big compliment.) I’m very much digging the vocal style. If you can figure out how to make the mix sound cleaner and brighter, that would make it even better. Crank up the vocal; I need to feel like I’m completely at the singer’s mercy on a song like this.

The Frontalittle Squad—Wow, this is well-polished! I don’t listen to a lot of music in this style, so it’s a little hard to evaluate, but the technical proficiency is evident and impressive. Clever take on the title.

Hot Pink Halo—Once again, the originality of your arrangement impresses me. The sparse acoustic guitar notes are so simple, but they have a wonderful quiet intensity. The late entry of the synth is interesting, too.

Lichen Throat (me)—The first time I went to Four Corners as a little kid, I ran around in the rain shouting “What state am I in now?” repeatedly. So, the song is about that. As mentioned earlier, I didn’t mean for it to come out so sinister-sounding, but eventually I just decided to roll with it. I think this is one of my better vocals; maybe I’m making a little progress there, finally.

Nick Soma—The rhymes and rhythms work together well and tie everything together perfectly. I could do with a little less shaken tambourine, though, but overall, I really like this.

Paco del Stinko—The vocal delivery gives the impression of a slightly snide, wiser person addressing someone less experienced and knowledgeable, which obviously fits with the lyrics. I guess that was a long-winded way to say that the style of the vocal matches the words. The little instrumental breakdowns are cool, as is the resumption after the fake ending.

Phlebia—There’s no way not to like this. (And I’m not just saying that because I’m from New Mexico.) You had a vision and you totally committed to it, no matter how many words and rhymes it took. Very fun song. Extra points for using “civil twilight.”

Pigfarmer Jr—This feels like I’ve already heard it for years, which I think reflective of the improvements in your craftsmanship. Nothing sounds out of place, and your performances seem comfortable and practiced.

Shoehorn TC—I like how there’s so much more going on than is apparent at first. The closer I listen, the more subtleties emerge. This really sounds like a whole band playing. If there’s anything you can do (I’m not sure what to suggest, exactly) to make the mix sound fuller and richer, that would enhance the effect even more.

Show Me Your Face—I feel like the mix, especially at the beginning is blasting me out of my head, since each added sound is louder than the last. Once the real song starts, the ebullience of your songwriting takes over. This feels like a song that your favorite local band would play in every set, and you’d always be happy to hear it. Maybe one more verse….

Tim Hinkle—I like how you’ve infused originality into a lyrical take that several other people (including me) took. The timbre of your voice is great, as always. I also like how you’ve added the touch of percussion without having it take over the song.

The Undead Squirrels—The guitar part after the chorus reinforced the laid-back feel, and I like how the guitar rhythm then extends into the next verse.

Vom Vorton—The way the vocal starts is so good: stylish and interesting, while fitting in perfectly with the music. This song is so happy, even though it uses the word “brokenhearted.” This fits very well into the rest of the Vom Vorton collection. (By the way, I’ve been meaning to tell that putting on your songs and having a marathon package-wrapping session has become one my holiday traditions.)

WreckdoM—I like the basic rhythm, but I found little hard to pay attention all the way through. You were definitely able to create an atmosphere of paranoia that is consistent with the lyrical conent.
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lichenthroat
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

AJOwens wrote:
Mon Mar 02, 2020 5:31 am
neutronflow wrote:
Sun Mar 01, 2020 5:40 pm
lichenthroat wrote:
Sat Feb 22, 2020 1:56 pm
Once the songs come out, if anyone can explain, from a musical theory perspective, why my chorus sounds like a metal ballad, I would appreciate the insight. Let me know if you want to see the sheet music. For some reason, all the music I wrote sounded sinister, even though I was trying to write a happy, sentimental song.
Didn't persevere with analysis through the whole song, but the chorus seems to be in the key of Bb minor, with a i,III,VII,VI chord progression: Bb minor; Db; Ab; Gb. Swapping the Db and Bb minor would change the key to Db major and result in a happier sounding I,vi,V,IV progression. Actually, I,V,vi,IV sounds better to me as I muck about here. (To actually play this, I had my capo on the first fret and played Am; C; G; F during your chorus).
It may have something to do with the parallel fifths. For a good explanation, complete with short musical samples, see:
https://www.schoolofcomposition.com/wha ... el-fifths/
Both of you seem to raise insightful points, and I appreciate your analyses. I'm also impressed at how clearly you can identify the notes. I now suspect it’s a combination of the chord progression and the parallel fifths. Thanks, AJOwens, for the link to the article on parallel fifths; I tend to use them a lot (perhaps excessively), but they don’t always sound like this. This may help me figure out when I should and shouldn’t use them.

You are correct, neutronflow, about the root notes of the chords. (By the way, what makes this i, III, VII, VI in B-flat major, rather than vi, I, V, IV in D-flat major, which is what I thought I was writing?) And you're also right that I,V,vi,IV sounds good. I probably should experiment more with chord progressions than I do.

Thanks to both of you!
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr »

I'm sick with the flu and my head hurts. I did listen to these more than once but only once with the critical listening skills on (with lots of fever breaking medicine to allow me a go all at one sitting down in the music room.) I apologize if anything is blatantly off. Blame the illness. Or maybe I'm just a jerk. Hard to tell these days.

Berkeley Social Scene: The more I listen the more I like this song. I liked the instrumental break, especially the guitar line. The melody grew on me, too. I like the tone of that lead vocal a lot, although it could maybe be a hair more confident of a performance in a spot or two toward the beginning. That outro with the trill reminded me of a song by Jimi Hendrix on Electric Ladyland.. or at least the outro. A nice touch.

Brown Word and the Big Whine: I'm digging the rock, the guitars. The mix seems a little muddy to me. I'm also in the midst of a bout with the flu (and yes, I got the effing flu shot last October!!!) so I can't completely trust my ears. I liked the phrasing of the lines in the chorus. The spoken/sung doubled bit was a cool change up.

The Frontalittle Squad: Yeah, so this started and I'm gearing myself up for a polite listen and hopefully something nice to say prefaced by "this isn't my usual cup of tea" or something similar. But you damn well nailed my attention to the tree and held it start to finish. I will have to say that multiple listens started wearing on me a hair (re: cup of tea) but this is so creative and well executed that I dig it. The doubled vocal works better in some places than others, but it definitely works throughout.

Hot Pink Halo: Not sure how well I like the rhythm/beat with the rest. I don't dislike this song but it seems a hair on the "could have been better" side of my listening discretion. The vocal seems a little less solid than I'd normally like in a performance, but I very much like the vulnerability that is displayed. And I liked the melody.

Lichen Throat: I like the chorus melody quite a bit. And I think your doubled vocal helps the vocal performance, but it's just wavery enough that it's distracting. I don't dislike this song, but it feels like it needs a bit tightening up. Also, I really wanna play a nicely distorted guitar along with this, especially in the last couple of choruses so I get what you were asking earlier (re: metal/hard rock guitar.)

Nick Soma: My ears are not in the best shape (flu bug) so the busy mix.. or maybe the sonic density... is a little troublesome, but I find myself liking your melody a lot.

Paco del Stinko: I love your lead guitar playing. Very tasty. And the organ/keys are good, too. Lots of details that I like about this song.

Phlebia: That intro reminds me of Sharon what's her name and the Dap Kings... which I didn't really listen to much so maybe that's a stretch. But I like it. There's something about this song that keeps my head bobbing and but moving (and that's saying something as my head has been hurting for three days straight.) I like the downward stepping nearly spoken vocal part. I was gonna say the rap bit doesn't work as well for me, but honestly that's more like half the song, eh? And it's not poorly done, really, although it's not that clear in places. Lots of cool phrasing/rhythmic bits I like in this song. Lots of 'em.

Pigfarmer Jr: A song about dementia based on an article I read and a friend's timely fb post about his mother. I most agree with the structure comments above. I think I'll remix this: V V B V with half the first verse repeated to end. Re: vocal, it was a comp between two takes with no tuning and very little editing etc., (although I think there's a bit eq and compression on it.)

ShoehornTC: I like the rhythm in the guitar (or whatever that is, my ears suck today) and the vocal inflection works well for this song.

Show Me Your Face: Not that big of a fan of the intro and this is mixed a bit too loud compared to the other tracks. (Yes, yes, I have a volume knob, no biggie.) okay, let me rephrase, the vocals come in kind of hot, but the intro itself isn't bad. I think the vocal sits in the mix a little better once the song proper kicks in and I like the song from that point onward pretty well.

Tim Hinkle: Seems a bit quite compared to... never mind, I didn't turn the volume back up from the previous track. I like the western feel of this song (was that intentional?) I feel like someone should be performing this song horseback as they are riding toward whatever comes next. Likable but maybe a bit too straight from start to finish.

The Undead Squirrels: This has an old 60's vibe in the spacial effects and the guitars (especially the outro) that I like a lot. Maybe not my favorite vocal performance of the fight, but there's some cool stuff going on.

Vom Vorton: Probably not my favorite Vom song, but I like the chorus melody and there's nothing here that I particularly dislike. I guess I could say the vocal performance is probably my least liked bit, but it's not like it's really bad or anything. Guess I don't have much constructive to say, I guess.

WreckdoM: The first part of the song was okay. But the bit at 2:20 (or so) piqued my interest and I liked it a lot. The music coming back in after that sounded better, somehow. I guess the vocal is not my favorite here, either. It almost sounds like someone trying a little too hard to sing a halloween song although it isn't bad, really. It feels like I should mention that 5:00 is a bit long, but I liked the ending a lot so it was worth the listen.
Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Dcqs6LhwsoYS6EDGPhCCk

My solo Album: http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

Ad astra per alia porci - Steinbeck
(To the stars on the wings of a pig.)
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neutronflow
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by neutronflow »

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:40 pm
I like the western feel of this song (was that intentional?)
Yes, that absolutely was what I was going for.
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neutronflow
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by neutronflow »

lichenthroat wrote:
Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:18 pm
(By the way, what makes this i, III, VII, VI in B-flat minor, rather than vi, I, V, IV in D-flat major, which is what I thought I was writing?)
Well, it sounds minor to me, so I said it was minor. I'm not absolutely sure how all the music theory cogs line up.

Looking at the song some more, though, I compared the number of times the piece goes back to a B-flat minor chord (it shows up frequently, including the entire time you're singing "What state am I in now?") to how many times it hits the D-flat major chord (never in the verses, once in the chorus melody). That seems significant. Also, I think the chorus melody ends on the note B-flat.

I found this fun thing to play with: http://musictheorysite.com/namethatkey/
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by ElaineDiMasi »

This whole mixtape is a good one.

Disclaimer: I'm disregarding the "all major chords" thing, so those of you who did it, will get your props from somebody else but not me.

Berkeley Social Scene
I'm a sucker for this kind of groove, and the way the "four corners" hook is handled is pretty sweet. All around nicely done and I especially like where the melody goes with "I'm missing our connection".

Brown Word and the Big Whine
At first this was just some mumbly post-punk and then I read the lyrics. This is one of the best. VOTE

The Frontalittle Squad
"abominable verbosity," can't argue with that. Ok, story is funny! Just pulling all this off is funny. You needed the lug wrench to get "Four Corners" out of all this, but you did it. VOTE

Hot Pink Halo
Little Paper Plane, your jewelry box sounds are exactly the right size for you.

Lichen Throat
This one loses points for using the actual southwestern states four corners for the four corners thing. "What state am I in" is all weighty-with-possible-other-meanings, but this is not a big enough lyrical rescue. That said, I liked the music right out of the gate and I still like it all the way through to the end. Heavy-footed and lo-fi at the same time.

Nick Soma
This reminds me of, what was their name, Eve 6. And I like the way you're using the hook. Download and VOTE.

Paco del Stinko
Why is this title making even you be mellow? You sound like the Dead this time instead of like all those faster louder 70's bands.
LOL because so many of us created a "count to four in the song" side-fight.

Phlebia
Grooooovy! One of the grooviest, slyest, and least forced use of the title in the fight. Thank goodness you typed in the lyrics for me though. VOTE

Pigfarmer Jr
Soulfully performed. Lyrically I am confused, is the "you" off at the four corners of the world being lost, or fading out from pain right here? Or is "both, it's an analogy" supposed to be the point. EDIT: per the posts above, I was also going to mention that VVBV is the way to go. You really can't go into a third verse in a row in any style song without major fatigue and irritation for the listener. The Frontalittle Squad song has this problem too of course, but having applauded its audacity, I'm never going to listen to it again, whereas, your song is emotional and pretty and should not allow its fate to be sealed like that.

ShoehornTC
The bluegrass style makes this a treat to listen to.

Show Me Your Face
My fellow February Album Writing Month 'ers might know the awesome guitars of @toms. As for the track, we usually do everything perfect, but this was recorded in the fourth week of FAWM in an election year, so yeah, there might be a flaw or two. EDIT: And yes, since we don't "have a band name," we named the band after the line in the song. Presumably we'd have the eponymous debut album also :-)

Tim Hinkle
Can't fault this.

Undead Squirrels
Don't tell anyone, but I like out of tune electric guitars and I am downloading this track.

Vom Vorton
Can always count on you for cheery synthy goodness! Did you just rhyme "confident" with "confidante" ? You can get away with this. [listens for a bit more] "You turned four corners and ended up back where you started" is a terrific hook line. VOTE.

WreckdoM
There's a fake-out-ending side fight?
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Re: Stubbed my toe on all (Four Corners Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

BSS wins again!
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