Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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slyeli
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by slyeli »

Thanks for the reviews everyone.
SamECircle wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:00 pm
sly eli: Your voice rocks and I love the way the production evolves through the track. I wish the lyrics reflected the musical growth of the song, but they end in much the same place they started, which limits the sense of evolution.
I think you've picked up my bias towards music and melody over lyrics. They're something I struggle with. In the phrasing debate I'll admit that it's not something I notice much in songs and that probably shows in my own music.
sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:05 am
Sly Eli - A gangster, huh? This song has a fun “don’t bring me down” inspirational feel. For the most part this isn’t gripping me all that much, but when the chord progression starts moving around a bit and things pick up for the instrumental break it starts to sound really compelling. I’m not entirely sure what to suggest there, it’s like the song is being held back by not taking any musical risks while the vocals are going on, and as soon as they stop you let the music get a lot more exploratory. I guess I’d like to see you keep the music as fascinating during your vocal parts.
It was very much tongue in cheek :). I was trying out some new things with the chords so I think subconsciously I went for a safe melody. I'm happy with the way the verse turned out but I agree that the chorus needs more work to make it interesting.
the idiot king wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:41 pm
Sly Eli - Excellent chord shapes. There's not enough sixth, seventh, ninth and above chords out there. The chorus is really cool, the toy piano is an unexpected but welcome texture. Great arrangement. I'm really into this.
Thanks, it's the first time I've ever used a diminished 7th chord in a song and it's made me realise how much they can add to a song.
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by mo »

the idiot king wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 1:04 pm
mo wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 11:43 am
why is it always two cents. how are you supposed to get rich off your opinions this way
Because if jerks like me keep giving out opinions at two cents a pop we can stay financially solvent. Any more and things get dodgy, especially if we start talking Star Wars.
I can't tell if this means you'd be in or out on doing the rock opera version of the way the sequel trilogy *should have* gone
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by the idiot king »

mo wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 3:18 pm
I can't tell if this means you'd be in or out on doing the rock opera version of the way the sequel trilogy *should have* gone
I’m pro-sequels but I think we should stop that conversation before it gets intense, haha.
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by lichenthroat »

Thanks for posting that chart, owl. It made me realize that I had never considered the temporal distribution of word pronunciations; I had been focusing exclusively on getting the proper syllables accented without regard to how narrowly or widely spaced they were.
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by jb »

I’m with owl. There are lots of songs that strive to have the same melodic rhythm from verse to verse and are seemingly ok with weird prosody to achieve that consistency. It drives me up the wall.

Prosody:
https://www.apa.org/pubs/highlights/peeps/issue-29
blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by jb »

I do like songs that knowingly play with prosody:

blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by the idiot king »

jb wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:43 pm
I’m with owl. There are lots of songs that strive to have the same melodic rhythm from verse to verse and are seemingly ok with weird prosody to achieve that consistency. It drives me up the wall.

Prosody:
https://www.apa.org/pubs/highlights/peeps/issue-29
Completely valid opinion, but that’s different than suggesting it’s lazy or poor songwriting as suggested elsewhere.
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by jb »

the idiot king wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 5:05 pm
jb wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 4:43 pm
I’m with owl. There are lots of songs that strive to have the same melodic rhythm from verse to verse and are seemingly ok with weird prosody to achieve that consistency. It drives me up the wall.
Completely valid opinion, but that’s different than suggesting it’s lazy or poor songwriting as suggested elsewhere.
Not necessarily lazy, just as “good” prosody (IMO) doesn’t necessarily indicate the opposite. But as a subjective thing my opinion is definitely that what I describe above is a serious flaw in performance/construction. So I guess if you want *me* to like it...
blippity blop ya don’t stop heyyyyyyyyy
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by Here, Atticus »

I'm with owl? I'm with owl.
Appreciation is subjective, sure. But, in my thinking right now, intentionally shirking musical conventions sounds different than being ignorant to them (and I don't mean ignorant in any sort of pejorative way). Syllabic stress is important and going against intuitive emphasis stands out to the listener. I know I've scrapped or reworked lines in even quick-songfight-mode for that reason.
If nothing else, it's part of the greater songwriting process and deserves some level of attention.

Edit: Responses
SamECircle wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:00 pm
Stellar guitar tone and vocal recording. Shades of Joyce Manor in a great way. Your chorus feels wildly different from the rest, like we're cutting to a TV theme song. Leaves the whole thing feeling slightly disjointed, but the great performance does a lot to sell it.
The chorus was meant to be (optionally) sarcastic, I swear! Good times in a song about how my good times were never actually good.
sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:05 am
Dig the random scream halfway through. Vocals are super strong. Guitar production sounds great, the multi-tracking in stereo gives it a good sound. Works well in mono too. The transition to the chorus is a bit abrupt, and the bridge is a bit more rhythmically simple than I usually like. I’m not bitter, I’m better is a great line. I like the vocal grit at times.
Again with the sarcasm, the screams were a response to the general sentiment of a bunch of our reviews: "the song would be better without the screaming." The bridge? We wrote and recorded the whole song in 5 hours this weekend and I personally consider that a valid excuse.
(and thank you!)
the idiot king wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:41 pm
That's a hell of an opening line, haha. In case it wasn't clear from my track I love songs based around weirdo chords. Strong Dismemberment Plan vibes here and I am here for it.
These are my two greatest points of pride this week, so thank you for mentioning them both :D

My reviews are coming soon! I'm about halfway done with them; this was a big one.
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by mholland »

SamECircle wrote:
Mon Feb 01, 2021 5:00 pm
night sky: Love the "Arrested Development theme song" guitar line. And OMG the horns!! The vocals sometimes sound like they are dragging, almost as if you want the song to be faster. I think if you bumped the tempo up 25% this would take on really sweet, almost ska-adjacent vibes. Also: Make sure you know what the hook is, and put some extra juice into the hook! Your energy is great but it feels very similar throughout. Peaks and valleys engage the listener.

venison rebels: Yes sax!! Super polished. I listened to some Cranberries after walrus volcano banker's song and you have some similar tonal stuff going on too, especially on the line "smell those cities burning" which is the same interval as just before the chorus of of 'linger.' Something to work on would be incorporating more moments of poetry & ambiguity in your lyrics, they feel very straightforward.
sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 6:05 am
Night Sky - This is really groovy and I like the sax a lot. Something about the mix feels a little far away but all in all I enjoy this groove you’ve got going. Every time I hear your songs I keep on expecting them to sound like Morphine but your voice doesn’t sound much like Robert Sandman’s at all and that’s okay cause he was a legend and hard to touch. Maybe goes on a bit longer than it needs to but it’s a great groove that I love hanging out in so hey, it works!

Venison Rebels - Immediately recognized Robyn here. And also immediately recognized mholland here too. Of the collaborators this is probably the one that has the most immediately recognizable contributors. But then again, we only have so many sax players here! This is a good tune. It reminds me of something, but I can’t place it exactly. Something about the melody reminds me of something that would have been big when I was younger. The chorus chord progression is pretty much “Linger”, but obviously the melody is different. Very strong. Bass and drums are not the stars of the show, but they’re competently executed and anchor the song well and isn’t that what they’re for? Well done.
the idiot king wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 12:41 pm
Night Sky - Ooh, I'm liking the horns! I want to listen to this like maybe one drink too far in at a smoky nightclub. Vocals are a little pitchy here and there but not offensively so.

Venison Rebels - I played bass and synth on this. As someone else noted, the bass is very basic. Just holdin' things down and letting the vocals take the spotlight. I also mixed it.
Thanks for the reviews! Musically, the Night Sky song was all about the groove and an excuse to practice arranging five saxes, which I consciously traded off against time spent arranging an overall arc for the song (or laying down better vocals). If it hadn't already been pushing up against four minutes I would have included a chorus or two of solos and made it a jam.

And thanks for the Morphine listening suggestion, sleepysilverdoor. I didn't know them, and damn they're good. I'd like to incorporate more melodic bari work into my own songs, but I'm not quite there with my bari chops at the moment. Guess I gotta play more bari.

I had a great time working with Robyn, the idiot king, Lunkhead, and ken on the Venison Rebels tune. It was sort of magic how it all came together in the end. Everyone contributed great work and the idiot king produced a great mix.

On the topic of the major controversy of CON-ta-gious, the shifted emphasis doesn't bother me at all. I know I'm sometimes guilty of transgressive phrasing, and I can see how it can come across as lazy (and sometimes it is), this one doesn't seem lazy to me.
Night Sky is Sally on lyrics, Steve on drums, and Matt on the other stuff
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by Duncan »

I'll weigh in once more on CONtagious. I don't think this one on its own is a terrible offender. I can think of ways to phrase that line which would give it standard syllable stress and sound good, but if it's that way for kicks then that's cool. But I think the conversation morphed to a more general discussion of what is valued by different people in songwriting and song listening. Proper phrasing is a hill that I'd consider dying on (although Owl, JB and Here, Atticus and I would probably do some cool quadrangle maneuver and come out alive and victorious). It's not because I like to be proper --far from it-- but more that I think good phrasing and vocal rhythm lets the words enter the head easier and convey meaning. For me, when it sounds like it's flowing like human speech and the rhymes/syllables just land without force, it's so much more satisfying to hear. Arlo's mooooooootor-cickle is a joke in itself so it's a great deviation. Carry on
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by the idiot king »

Damn, didn’t expect to have CONtagiousgate for my first fight back but this is cool. I’m happy to hear people’s takes on it. I listen to a lot of stuff that doesn’t care about that sort of thing (Interpol, Dismemberment Plan, miscellaneous shit punk and noise) so to me it strikes me as a very “pop” thing to do to focus on that. Maybe next time TIK does a fight (RPM this month, so it’ll be a couple weeks) that will be my optional challenge.

But yeah thanks for sharing opinions on the topic, everyone!
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by Here, Atticus »

the idiot king wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 7:22 pm
Damn, didn’t expect to have CONtagiousgate for my first fight back but this is cool. I’m happy to hear people’s takes on it. I listen to a lot of stuff that doesn’t care about that sort of thing (Interpol, Dismemberment Plan, miscellaneous shit punk and noise) so to me it strikes me as a very “pop” thing to do to focus on that. Maybe next time TIK does a fight (RPM this month, so it’ll be a couple weeks) that will be my optional challenge.

But yeah thanks for sharing opinions on the topic, everyone!
I'd agree with you on the "pop" point. I think intentionally ignoring meter like that can be effective artistically, as can any disavowal of pop norms. But we all like different things about music here as individual songfighters and reviewers. Regardless of what any of us are doing for art, pop sensibilities exist, and using those elements well can both create an "easier" listening experience for casual listeners while highlighting creative songwriting for those that are actively listening for interesting and unexpected elements. It feels like a terrible, delicate balance. That's where I'm at right now with my thinking on all of this, anyway. I don't mean any of this as an argument to your point. Just inebriated philosiphicating.
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by mo »

My contribution is that I once got high with Mark Sandman backstage at The Middle East before they went on and blew everyone’s minds. Dana Colley played two saxes at once, it was a phenomenal show
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

I saw them at The Middle East for their CD release show for "Like Swimming", got a signed CD. Didn't get high with the band though.
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by mo »

Oh wait, I mean your mother’s a prosody
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

Mark Sandman died when I was a kid, you lucky 40-somethings.
I can never decide if Cure for Pain or Good is my favorite album of theirs. Early to Bed is probably my favorite track though.
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by Here, Atticus »

Im a basic bitch that never made it deeper than Buena. Boy, do I love it though.
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by the idiot king »

mo wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:47 pm
My contribution is that I once got high with Mark Sandman backstage at The Middle East before they went on and blew everyone’s minds. Dana Colley played two saxes at once, it was a phenomenal show
Lunkhead wrote:
Wed Feb 03, 2021 9:58 pm
I saw them at The Middle East for their CD release show for "Like Swimming", got a signed CD. Didn't get high with the band though.
Lordy do I envy you both! Cure for Pain is one of my all time favorites. You still in the Boston area?
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Reply in a new thread so we can get this one back to reviews. :)

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=12026
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by Duncan »

If anyone has a half-finished review, I'll do the rest. Is that lazy or charitable?
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Re: Come on, Pa! Tell me about those (Better Days Reviews)

Post by Duncan »

I didn't collaborate on the recording end, so maybe on the reviewing end...
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