A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

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A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by ElaineDiMasi »

Make Spoons Not Knives - I think the hook/chorus is killer.

Melvin - Your voice and music have got a serious charisma to them even when the lyrics and the character in the song don't, much. The changes from 2:30 on are pretty cool.

oddbod - This goes well with the dancing woodland creatures from the prefight thread. "Posing Pouch", funny. I must say I have a huge admiration for your ability to mix this kind of set of instruments! Everything's chiming. One thing bugging me is a hit on the upbeats which sounds gated or something, it's a really short hit of a sandy sounding thing, and sounds like a sound that was cut off before it was finished.

Paco del Stinko - I turned this up loud to listen to the guitars. The "Iron Maiden" line goes with them great!

Quimby - Thanks for this; I liked everything about it. Except I guess that the drums couldn't be varied more.

Rone Rivendale - I saw your lyrics post earlier and thought the concept was great. Some good lines. It'd be easier for me to like the recording if there was a more real rhythm and melody to it. Not many people can get away with sort of stabbing around randomly like that.

Ross Durand
- Good! Sounds nice (as expected) and also has lyrics and turns that are unexpected.

Slatsations - Haha! Great design with a ton of details that I thought were really cool. I like the beat, I like the bass. In my headphones it sounded a little heavy towards the left. I guess a lot of things are panned pretty hard?

Sourbelly Trio - Uh.. I listened to it twice all the way through. Laughed at the "Haw!" at the end, both times.

Steve Durand - Nice take on the title! Great arrangement - kept changing all the way along.

The Styop Quoons Experience - "died in a fire not of his design", funny. River of wax, cool scene. The scales in the solo at 1:30 have some interesting steps in them. Still, the music kind of plods, doesn't it?

Todd McHatton - Wow, the whole soundfield is full to brimming and it all sounds really good. Keeps moving forward too. Everyone is going to vote for this. It's like, really hooky but I wouldn't be able to say what the hook exactly is. Thing is, I can never remember what your songs were about after they're done playing.

The Weakest Suit - I like this a lot. I'm quite into simple chord structures. Lyrics must be resonating with me, and I liked the way they're phrased too. Except the wrong syllable emphasis on "entropy", which drives me nuts!

Berkeley Social Scene - The "a bitter pill.. " parts sound good because they sound strong. For the song overall I think the vox have more attitude than charisma, which is a bit of a turnoff. Highlight for me in this recording is definitely the synth - fun performance on that.

Corduroy Gangsta - This hurts my ears. Are there any changes in it other than the thing that enters at 1:00 instead of 0:00? Ok, there's a fill at 2:20. Ow.

Dirge - This is neat and swirly and it makes me listen to the words. Good sub-chromatic swooping in the vocal! I like where they land, too.

Elaine DiMasi - My favorite local co-writer Jeff Keister was around that weekend. We took a break from what we were doing so I could show HW to him, we played with it for 20 minutes and then he knocked out the bass and drums in like two takes each. He rocks. We like to do stuff with this drums, bass, piano lineup. If we ever co-write for SF we'll post as All Four Feet. And thanks to jeff robertson for the "phone call"! I wandered by Neo-Candyland asking about collaborating sometime, and this is what seems to have happened.

Interesting set of songs - I haven't at all decided what to vote for.
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Billy's Little Trip »

ElaineDiMasi wrote:We took a break from what we were doing so I could show HW to him, we played with it for 20 minutes
You call your hoo ha, HW? Hot! giggity Image
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Is that Henrietta singing for Quimby?
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Lunkhead »

Wow, I really enjoy that oddbod entry. Nice work! I dig the instrumentation in particular, and the nice singing.
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by dirgetheband »

Hollywood Wax? Wax where?!? What color? The price of admission? Seems there were three general ideas, those being, one, the waxing of pubic hair, two, a substance insoluble in water, or three, the Hollywood Wax Museum. So, I don’t know that there were a whole lot of directions in which one could go. I don’t want to say it was limiting, but it sure was tough.

The Highlights:

Elaine DiMasi – I find song this much more enjoyable than your previous entry. The arrangement has a nice flow, feels really “open” which is good ‘cause it gave your vocals some room to breathe. The “phone call” is a nice touch. I think some of the lines are a little too crammed full with syllables, a little too rushed, which took away from the “airy” feel. Nice work.

Oddbod – This is a really cute song. Are you Mike Patton’s long lost brother? I love the crooning. And the uke. And the whistling. Look at me, I’m gushing. Awesome work.

Steve Durand – This is a clever tune, too. The lyrical idea is something that I agree with greatly. The instruments have a nice swingin’ jazz club sound to them. I wonder what you record on?

The Slatsations – I like the call-response between the male vocal and the female vocal. The electronic breakdown at 2:10 is a pleasant surprise.

Ross Durand – For me, this is the highlight of the Fight. The acoustic accompanies the vocal nicely and nowhere do any lines get forced through. In the living room, everything sounds perfectly mixed but over my headphones the bass line in the guitar is a little too hot. Way to add another beat into the closing measure so that the vocal flows smoothly.

Quimby – Those drums rock. Why aren’t they more forward in the mix? I think with a little drier drum and a little wetter vocal this song rocks. Maybe an electric guitar at some point but that might just be my need for “more rock”.

The Weakest Suit – God, as much as I love your track last week, I’m equally under whelmed by this one. As someone wrote for “A Scary Thing” I think your songs are awesome with the full band treatment. This one, I believe, would have worked well with loud, distorted, electric guitars. Nice song with nice interplay between the guitar and vocal.

Melvin – Okay, who let Weezer out? The guitar tone is perfect for this song. When the synth comes in during the chorus, it sits perfectly with the vocal, not overpowering, not unnoticeable, either. So, is this what most of your songs sound like? For “A Scary Thing” you were Master P, but white. I like both identities.

Make Spoons Not Knives – I like this. I think you get the award for Best Mixing Job this week. It’s perfectly balanced, which really adds to the spookiness. Nice pacing. The song never drags and is over quickly. The fire sounds are fantastic! I hope the voices tell you to keep recording.

Todd McHatton – Really cool stuff you do with your voice. I’m glad that on the CD I made for this Fight (with random track assignment) that my song follows yours. This song is really, really, really, really sonically FULL! I can get that when I record analog, but haven’t mastered it through the digital realm yet (deathly afraid of clipping). Cool, jangly guitars.

Dirge – I kind of like this, I kind of don’t. I worked from about 10 PM until 3 AM on it, so I never got to take it into the other room and see how it sounded compared to an Elliott Smith album (what I was gunning for sonically). It lacks punch and the guitars aren’t as full as I’d like them to be. That stupid Bomb Factory mastering plug-in is breathing all over the master bus. Argh! I usually don’t play around with stuff like the trip-hop drums at the beginning and the swirly C at 1:01, but for this I like how it worked. I was planning on recording a full-blown, Dio-inspired metal song initially, but scrapped it at the last second. Maybe for “City of Fog.”

Corduroy Gangsta – Is that Homer Simpson? Doh!
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Todd McHatton »

Okay, so I finally made it here to the boards. I apologize for my tardiness. I must admit a home court advantage on this one - I was there, I lived it, yes... it's autobiographical. I'll leave it at that for now.
At the beginning of this year I started a website featuring a new "Song Of the Week" every week at http://mchatton.com/. This endeavour was loosely based on a challenge from my brother in law Andy http://waxy.org/ and the success of his friend http://www.jonathancoulton.com/. Then, while we were on vacation this year he suggested I come play with you folks. I've really enjoyed it and your feedback here has been most helpful. I think I'm getting better at this because of you, so thanks!
The last fight was spectacular - some of the best stuff I've heard since I've been here. This one was, um, different. Some of it felt like the Dr. Demento show (indicated with a DDS below).

Some brief reviews:

Elaine DiMasi – I sense a long standing affection for Joni.

Oddbod
– Love this. XTC vibe (Colin - Not Andy) - Vote.

Steve Durand
– Nice arrangement. I think you should have someone sing these songs for you.

The Slatsations
– DDS

Ross Durand
– John Hiatt vibe. Almost really liked it.

Quimby
– Could be really good but really missing the bass line and the potential Fleetwood Mac-ish development.

The Weakest Suit
– Dude, you've done some great stuff here. What is this? If you're going to jack the good Doctor (Suess in this case) you've really got to bring it (for me at least).

Melvin
– First time I've heard you unrapped. Cool Weezer/Cars/Cake vibe. I really enjoy your stuff. One of those crash cymbals is bugging me but definitely a Vote.

Make Spoons Not Knives
– DDS - a potential fave in the DDS category.

Todd McHatton
– I like it.

Dirge – Almost feels like a b-side from GnR Lies.

Corduroy Gangsta
– DDS

Paco - DDS - Always entertaining.

Heine
- The Vapors maybe? Could use more variation. I liked the fade out. Almost DDS.

Rone
- DDS - Awesome! The line that someone typed in here "...I've been Roned!" sticks with me all the time.

Sourbelly Trio
- Another potential fave in the DDS category.

The Styop Quoons Experience - DDS

Berkeley Social Scene
- My Sharona! The first band I ever heard on Song Fight. I always enjoy your stuff - you always stand out for me. I like this but it's not nearly as developed and entertaining as your usual.

Thank you again Song Fight people! My votes this time go to Oddbod and Melvin (and me).
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Ross »

dirgetheband wrote:Ross Durand – For me, this is the highlight of the Fight.
wow! cool, thanks!
Todd McHatton wrote:Ross Durand – ... Almost really liked it.
Almost thanks :-)
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by MisterQuoons »

Okay, here's my reviews.

Elaine DiMasi - not bad. A little too "coffeehouse" for my tastes, but that's just me. In any case, you've clearly been making music longer than I have and seem to know what you're doing.

Melvin - Your stuff is always enjoyable. I see you've switched from hip hop back to brat-punk. Bravo.

Oddbod - A little redundant, but cute.

Berkeley Social Scene - Yawn. You seem to be rather popular here, and to be honest, I have a hard time figuring out why. Nothing personal.

Sourbelly Trio - Yes! The cheezoid drums and low production value make this song. The solo in the middle sounds like something out of one of Les Claypool's bands. Loved it. I'm done reviewing it now. Hawww!

The Weakest Suit - Meh. Your stuff needs more instrumentation. Your guitar playing isn't strong enough to carry a song on its own.

Dirge -I liked the electric guitar at the end, but otherwise, meh.

Make Spoons Not Knives - I don't think there is anything about this song I don't like. I liked the concept, the music is quirky and a little on the creepy side, the lyrics are clever, and it's just the right length for this sort of thing. I will probably vote for this.

Heine - I'm not sure if the low to high, faux-British, pretentious indie rock, art school graduate kind of singing voice you used was supposed to be ironic or not, but if it was, then I liked this song.

Ross Durand - Fine, do a serious interpretation of the song title. See if I care. Seriously, though, very nice. Finally, someone here who knows how to record a solo acoustic guitar.

Todd McHatton - This sounds like something Apple might use in one of their iPod commercials. I really liked the arrangement. Very exotic-sounding. For some reason, it reminds me vaguely of the Velvet Underground.

Steve Durand - Great song. I wish I knew more (by which I mean anything) about how to write and arrange jazz, because I would totally love to do something like this. By the way, are you any relation to Ross? Just curious.

Slatsations - bass needs to come up in the mix a bit, and possibly be thickened a little. Also, something needs to be mixed over all the way to the right channel, to balance things out. Except for that little part in the middle, this song leans way too heavily towards the left channel. All petty technical quibblings aside, though, I rather dug it.

Corduroy Gangsta - Homer, lol. I'm also a fan of making silly electronic songs that utilize pop culture samples. That said, though, this could have been better. Try adding more samples (or possibly finding a longer, more recognizable one) next time.

The Styop Quoons Experience - I'm really not happy at all with the way the vocals came out on this one. I will probably re-record this at some point. Aside from that, it should be noted by anyone who happens to care that this is the first songfight submission I've done that contains a live guitar performance. Hooray!

Rone Rivendale - As horrible as your songs are in pretty much every conceivable sense, I kind of enjoy them for some reason. Not many people would have the balls to publish something like this, and I rather admire that you do. You should seriously consider forming a Henry Rollins style hardcore band.

Quimby - You sound like a female version of Neil Young. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not. In any event, this song just sort of goes on and on without anything really interesting to make it noteworthy. Listening to it was kind of like driving through Wyoming.

Paco Del Stinko - You're another one on here that I always enjoy. If you have a CD out, I might like to buy it. You know what you're doing; you don't need any advice from me.
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Steve Durand »

MisterQuoons wrote: Steve Durand - Great song. I wish I knew more (by which I mean anything) about how to write and arrange jazz, because I would totally love to do something like this. By the way, are you any relation to Ross? Just curious.
Ross and I are brothers.

Thanks for the review.
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by jast »

I think I may be in a disliking mood for this round of reviews. Contact me if you want your money back.

Berkeley Social Scene -- Nifty synth thing in the right channel. Vocals are a bit sloppy in places (though I actually like most of the vocals) and this song doesn't really do much. Except hurt my right ear. The low bass parts of the bass drum are pretty hard on the ears when you listen with headphones. Good performance and everything, I guess, just not exciting.

Corduroy Gangsta -- The bass line and the minor chords clash harmonically. Sampling copypasta does not a song make. This is one of the few songs I've reviewed so far that I didn't listen to completely, I just did a couple of forward seeks to verify my suspicion that nothing of interest is happening. No cake.

Dirge -- The guitar in the beginning sounds mushy (probably deliberate but still...) and extremely overcompressed (or otherwise dynamically mutilated). Backup vocals and lead vocals don't seem to fit together (are the backup vocals lagging?) When full instrumentation sets in near the end (quite unexpectedly, too), I think the guitar is overpowering the vocals. In short: original enough (if not exactly the kind of thing I like) but a bit lacking in execution and egineering. So, do I like it, then? Sort of, yeah. Keep them songs coming and maybe next time I'll be a lot more excited.

Elaine DiMasi -- I think your mixing is getting better, or it just works better with this kind of style. Keep at it! Stylistically very interesting, this song, not something I usually listen to. Again, I think mixed voice would have been a lot better than the occasional falsetto here. Something that I would love here would be more varied backup vocals; it's basically chords all the way through here. Still, for being very different and pulling it off well, this song gets a vote.

Heine -- The vocals are too hidden in the mix, I think. This is definitely not a bad song but it doesn't set itself apart either. I can't decide if the falsetto jumps are good or bad. All in all, something I'd listen to again, but not something I'll vote for. Maybe next time.

Make Spoons Not Knives -- Let's see, what do I like about this one? The mixing, I guess (though perhaps a bit less delay on the vocals?). Other than that? It's short. Yes, it qualifies as a song, but that's about it. Oh well, I like things that are harmonic and all that, and you're not really doing much of that. I guess it's time to call genre bias. Unsurprisingly, the part I like best is the chorus.

Melvin -- What's with the hard right panning, do you hate people with headphones? Anyway. I like the sound of this one a lot. The song is, well, not very memorable before 2:20 and after 2:40 (estimates).

oddbod -- Nice upbeatness right from the start. Great instrumentation too. Great singing, too. I can see this one as the song for the official Hollywood Wax commercial. Perhaps bring the vocals up a bit more in the mix. The instrumentation feels just a bit overbearing. Still, vote!

Paco del Stinko -- I think this one is missing an intro. Even a very short one would have been nice. Again, there's a bit of clipping somewhere in there(rhythm guitar or bass track). I think it's getting less, though. Great solo and trademark PdS sound. I find it hard to get into your songs but this is one of those I like better. I think.

Quimby -- Nice roomy drum sound. Wow, are those vocals completely dry? Unusual but perhaps well-suited for this song. Then again, perhaps not. Hmm. As for the song, to me it feels like it's not going anywhere. Perhaps more build-up would have been nice. Still, I think there's potential there.

Rone Rivendale -- I think I can see where you are going with this, but your performance (or lack thereof) makes it really hard to be sure.

Ross Durand -- It's a bit weird how the vocal doubling seems to be mostly in the left channel. This is a good song, I guess, but I'm very sorry to say that something about the melodic structure rubs me the wrong way and I can't write an objective review.

The Slatsations -- Snare sounds pretty strongly gated. Vocals are a bit boomy or something, I can't really describe it. The backup vocals in the chorus would be absolute genius if they didn't sound so out of key. There seems to be pretty strong master compression on this one (smooth enough to not ruin everything but it very noticably pulls down the drums level when more instruments set in). There's a lot of potential in here, anyway; I'll be watching you.

Sourbelly Trio -- Delightfully silly. Lovely changes between sections but it still fits together. That's a pretty trashy solo part there; I guess this song needed one. Pretty please upload with higher bitrate next time? Vote!

Steve Durand -- Jazzy! The vocals are a bit sloppier than I'd normally stomach. The rest of the performance is gold, though, so I guess you can have a vote.

The Styop Quoons Experience -- Vocals are off beat and I think that's not the right tonal range for the voice. That they're goofy sounding is probably intentional. I like the rest, anyway. Work on the vocals and next time you get a vote.

Todd McHatton -- Welcome to the forum, Todd! Oh, right, the song: energetic right from the start. Very slight clipping in a few places. I don't like this kind of song ("kind of song" is the best I can give you, I can't describe it, perhaps it's about lots of unresolved chord progressions), really, but you just do it so well I'll have to vote for it anyway.

The Weakest Suit -- As far as I can make out the lyrics, I like the message. Is singing this quietly really the right tool for the job (=song)? I have said before that singing quietly is difficult if it's supposed to sound good, too (one reason why I haven't submitted a quiet song yet). Anyway, good song, but not vote-good.

Vote tally: Elaine Dimasi -- one vote. oddbod -- one vote. Sourbelly Trio -- one vote. Steve Durand -- vote. Todd McHatton -- one vote.
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by dirgetheband »

jast wrote:Dirge -- The guitar in the beginning sounds mushy (probably deliberate but still...) and extremely overcompressed (or otherwise dynamically mutilated). Backup vocals and lead vocals don't seem to fit together (are the backup vocals lagging?) When full instrumentation sets in near the end (quite unexpectedly, too), I think the guitar is overpowering the vocals. In short: original enough (if not exactly the kind of thing I like) but a bit lacking in execution and egineering. So, do I like it, then? Sort of, yeah. Keep them songs coming and maybe next time I'll be a lot more excited.
Beginning guitar part? Yes, totally intentional. Near infinite compression, high- and low-pass filter. I wanted it to sound like it was coming from a cell phone or a crummy transistor radio or something of that sort. Unfortunately, on the rest of the song I got a little heavy-handed with the compressor on the master bus. And because I mixed it at the end of a lengthy session, hearing fatigue had set in and I didn't catch it. Grrr. Argh. Whatever.

Vocals? Well, if you couldn't tell, I stink at singing. I know, I know, work on it then, right? Well, I think people would look at me funny if I practiced my do-re-mis at my bank job, or at the hockey arena, or the record store. (Maybe not at the record store, they might just join in there.) So yes, there is the issue of practice time, but more importantly, there is the issue of practice quality. If anyone has some idea as to how one can go about properly learning to sing properly, I'm all ears. Beyond all that, my tried-yet-not-exactly-true method of recording vocals is to start with a pass that can stand on its own, then I double, triple, maybe even quadruple it in an attempt to just make it seem BIGGER. This may or may not work, but it's what I do. After the layering occurs, I usually look for sections that could use a little something extra and add in something extra, like the "aaahhhhs" in the verses of "Hollywood Wax." Again, sometimes these work and some... You know that tune.

Thanks for the comments. I think the next song will be more \m/ (that’s supposed to mean “metal”).
DT
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by jb »

dirgetheband wrote:Hollywood Wax? Wax where?!? What color? The price of admission? Seems there were three general ideas, those being, one, the waxing of pubic hair, two, a substance insoluble in water, or three, the Hollywood Wax Museum. So, I don’t know that there were a whole lot of directions in which one could go. I don’t want to say it was limiting, but it sure was tough.
I can name at least two more:

1. Waxing as in "the moon is waxing" or "to wax as in to grow" vs "waning" as in "Baby watch out for the hollywood wax 'cause you know it's just gonna wane."

2. Wax as in an old timey record album.

Within all of those there are sooooo many possibilities.
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by jast »

I had started writing a song that interpreted HW as something that makes things glamorous, Hollywood style ("if only I had some more Hollywood Wax on this so I could be one of the cool folks"). Then other things got in the way and I didn't even start recording.

Anyway.
dirgetheband wrote:Near infinite compression, high- and low-pass filter. I wanted it to sound like it was coming from a cell phone or a crummy transistor radio or something of that sort.
Other interesting ways to make something like that happen include bit crushing, resampling to an insanely low rate, pulling the sound through a really low-quality mp3 encoder or even a GSM-style CELP codec to match cellphone acoustics, a tube modelling amp with its settings randomly toyed with, etc. etc.
dirgetheband wrote:Vocals? Well, if you couldn't tell, I stink at singing.
I didn't say that. It's always good to be critical of yourself, of course, so I'm not going to completely disagree with you, but my point was just that I think the backup vocals (the "aaahhhhs") were a bit too slow. I think it's mainly a question of carefully listening and redoing the take, and perhaps getting into that takes a bit of practice. Anyway, there have been considerably worse submissions as far as vocals go, and however much practice you manage to squeeze in, I'm sure you've got a lot of improvement coming in the future. We all do[1], after all, that's why we're here.

[1] speculation, of course. I know I want to improve, anyway.
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Spud »

I was working with the idea of waxing eloquent or philisophical, and opposing that to waxing "hollywood". Never got anywhere. Guess that's why I'm not the lyricist. Stubs would have had a field day.
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Ross
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Ross »

Didn't gangsters use to say "wax" meaning to kill? There's another one.

Oh, and I want my money back ;-)

Seriously though, thnks for doing reviews, I'll probably try to get some done tonight.
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by jast »

Here, have an e-cheque:

Code: Select all

From: jast
To: Ross
Subject: SF Review Refund code 128473
Amount: 0.00 USD
Signature: 65fa25ec88f246f1fb521c5d325cdb13ad3d4b08
Signature-Algorithm: SHA1
Good luck finding a bank that accepts it.
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by glennny »

Corduroy Gangsta- Not very dancey for a dance tune. I suppose it’s kinda trancey. This flies by and I feel the music went nowhere and Homer is my alarm clock.

Dirge- I don’t get or really like the 1st 20 seconds. The G and G is pretty good actually. Nice melody, nice strumming! The haunting descending backing vocals are very cool. The last 20 seconds don’t work either. It sounds like you ran out of time and didn’t square away the right drum beat for when it kicks in. There’s good stuff in there, just sounds unfinished to me.

Elaine Dimasi- YES! This is by far my favorite entry of yours! Not sure about the phone call solo, perhaps it has to do with the “story” of the lyrics. The melodies are great! Bass and drums are really great too. I think musically the song is a minute too long. I see you had some precious lyrics to get through for that last minute, but I think it would be stronger with some lyric editing and ending at 2:57 or so. I’m excited to hear what you’ll do next.

Heine- It’s an 80’s New Wave tune, full with 4:51 running time, 4:51 and no guitar solo? There ought to be a law! This is an enjoyable listen. The falsetto octave jump on “Me” and “Tea” and “Change” is a bit off. This would be a lot stronger with some editing as well. Good listen though!

Makes Poo N Snot Knives- Nice length. This is a cool little gem in the fight. Tells its story , appropriately spooky, musically interesting. Well done!

Melvin- Pop Genius! Excellent song dude! On my 1st listen I thought this was Reist. When you get to the chorus its good ole Mel !! (BTW I’m loving Reist these days). What really does it for me is that SICK solo! You gotta tell me how you got that sound! Backing vocals are unparalleled! Great riffs, great melodies. This is the clear winner of the fight to me. BIG VOTE!

Oddbod- OK what the hell is Lunk talking about? Ah, yes, this is Fantastic! Very well produced! The Uke sounds fantastic, wonderful piano too! The cornucopia of instrumentation makes this really delightful! Very good singing and performance on everything! I do wish there were real drums, but the drum machine is non offensive. VOTE!

Paco del Stinko- VOTE VOTE VOTE!- jamming! Killer riffs! One of my favorite vocal performances from you! Awesome guitar wailing too! Gosh I wanna be in your electric band some day!

Quimby- When the Levee Breaks Drums, dinosaur feet and all. Pretty sounding acoustic, however I find the “head” riff pretty dull. However that’s all meaningless backdrop for an awesome voice! WOW what a voice! Now you need a compelling song. This isn’t bad, but I’ve heard 900 songs like it especially in LA, perhaps the jokes on me and the stylistic choice is an ode to Hollywood. I look forward to hearing more songs from you!

Rone- Sorry man, I couldn't take it.

Ross Durand- I like where your voice is at in this song. I think sometimes
You out sing your abilities, but not in this track, you’re nailing it! Great dynamics! Wonderfully played acoustic, nicely miked too by the way! Gets a VOTE.

Slats- This is silly. I enjoy this. Especially the backing vocalist. The lyrics are so over pronounced it sounds like a comedy troop, doing a farce. Vocals are also very loud in the mix which adds to that.

Sourbelly Trio- The Farmer in the Dell? What the Hell? I find that 1st 1:20 offensively not funny and tedious. However the “dank diggitty dank” wins me over. Then there’s a KICK ASS guitar solo! All is forgiven once the guitar actually gets to stretch out. Damn it, back to Farmer in the Dell, but not for long. Ridiculous Punk bit. Fun ride.

Steve Durand- Delicious horns! Swinging drums! Great “Doot Doots” Who’s on bass? Who’s on drums? Very cool song! VOTE!

The Styop Quoons Experience- Gosh we hear this riff a lot. The vocals are terrible. They sound uncommitted. Did you have to be quiet while recording? The organ sounds good. The fake bari sax, was good choice for the solo, however it doesn’t really deliver much of an interesting melody. This is under 3 minutes but it feels like 8 minutes. Desperately needs more variation, and especially needs committed vocals.

Todd McHatton- If this were 1985, I could imagine a Circus magazine with the title “Todd McHatton VS. Melvin”. Holy Science! This is a Great song! So let me begin pressuring you to play in the Song Fight West Coast Tour next year. Now that I see you’re in California. There’s something soooooooooo Beatles about this! Lush vocals I guess. Great song! Wish it was longer!

The Weakest Suit- It’s not bad, but it’s not grabbing me. It really sucks to have to follow that Todd McHatton song.

The Berkeley Social Scene- The drums, bass, and guitar are live with no click and no over dubs. Actually most if not all of the Synth is too, I’m not actually sure, maybe Lunk will chime in on that point. Vocals were overdubbed the same night. It is a simple song, very fun to play. I was going to overdub another guitar solo, I’m a little embarrassed you hear me scrolling through patches on my zoom. I love Ken’s backing vox to Martyrs always passionate (emo if you {still} will) vocals. The song reminds me of Flaming Lips with the synth. And a little Cygnus X-1 with the octaves. However I played it for my wife and her 1st words were “My Sharona”. I hate to get all Vanilla Ice on you all here but My Sharona goes “ Dun Dun Dah Nah Dun Dat Dun Dat Dun Dun Dat” and our song goes “Dun Dat Dun Dat Dun Dat Dun Dun Dun Dat” : TOTALLY DIFFERENT! (OK I see where you’re coming from). This will be fun live, I’m digging it. I’m not objective but I have to vote for it.

Some classics were born in this fight amongst some mediocrity.
Votes for MELVIN, Todd McHatton, Paco del Stinko, Steve Durand, Ross Durand, Oddbodd, and the BSS.
Phillipso, Older Brothers, Semolina Pilchards, Zipline , Thank Glennny for the Frisbee, The Odoriferous Valley, The Worldly Self Assurance, Berkeley Social Scene, Very Gentle Knives, Daddy Bop Swing Set, GUNS, The Kraken Lives, Cavedwellers
martyr
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by martyr »

Weakest Suit - Don't be afraid to just solo with the acoustic and vocal about stars and life. Reminds me of those starting days of going to a park at midnight in high school to sing and play. Charming.

Quimby - Nice starting beat. Good R-guitar. Long intro. Oh nice the Annie D'Franco style female vox set in. Reminds me of a Santa Cruz chick blaming her sister's flee to Hollywood on LA slime rather than on SC enviro-suffocation. Nice lilt going to this. Definitely achieves the desired feel -- sort of an unplugged Pearl Jam with female lead.

Ross Durand - Like the initial verse line and guitar lick juxtaposition. The turn rhyme is nice. The chorus melody is nicely composed -- I would just ask for a ~slightly~ more polished smoothness to the vocals on the high notes -- think Disney lullaby -- if it could sooth a baby to sleep this would be perfect. This could be your version of that one Green Day song they play at all the proms. Kids crying their tears out in joy to just be alive. NICE.

Dirge - The Elliott Smith feel you strive for gets cut out pretty quick with those intro synth bongos. That said, I see what you were trying to do with those descending vocal backing lines, and all I can say is keep trying! Elliott Smith is one lofty guy to try and emulate. The ending line / chorus is also not very Smithsy, but that is okay, the chorus has the potential to be catchy if developed. It ends abruptly and really needs some arrangement work to flow back into the verse oh oh oh descending parts again. Anyway -- good efforts.

Styoops Quoon Experience - Kind of a goofy vocal style -- is it a deep low clown ghost story? Boo! Well I guess I grow accustom to it after the initial unexpected shock of the unexpected. The sax sounds are sweet. The backing tones are good too. Like the circus turn percussion noises. Seems fun enough. Not sure what to say -- think I'm having genre direction mismatch.

Melvin - Dark. Metal. Darker. Heavier. What is this? Black Metal. I am scared. Crawling backwards from dead things - sweet. Oh pop SENSATION!!! The harmonies and heavy hitting drum production are just too tasty. Very nice song. Like the synth sound. My only suggestion would be to tone tweak that heavy guitar sound ~a bit~ so it sounds more ?authentic? when it is on its own (like right before the synth kicks in 2nd time). I guess the only way to do that is to record a Marshall stack on 11 in a huge studio. If the rhythm guitar sound was achieved with VST FX in an otherwise silent apartment, that's amazing. The ending is abrupt too, but not a bad choice at the end of the day. Nice solos. AWESOME.

oddbod - Jangly, fun, like skipping through the park. The vocals are like being Rod-rolled through a casting call where you know you're wasting your time and are going to get denied cause you don't know the right people. The chorus reminds me of swimming in the warm flat waters of Jamaica. This is just juicy tropical. What was that about underwear getting stripped off?? Did you have something to do with the cover art this week? I didn't know songfight was a conspiracy. I'm really enjoying this. PINEAPPLE!

Paco Del Stinko - YEAH heavy hitting start. Spelt out stuff I can't understand. Donkeys on backs. Saddling up the man. Excellent song structure. I like the squeeky high "She's got a hollywood wax" and the mixed up guitar lick highlight. RIGHTEOUS.

Corduroy Gangster - Electro loop with clip samps.

Todd McHatton - Lush vocal swirl gazer of visonary dreams. LSD influence in the skys of diamonds sense then out pops the yellow brick road reference -- not a yellow submarine? This is pretty cool. I like the jangly guitar tone. I like the drone tones. I like the timpani drum thing that transitions parts. GREAT.

The Slatsations - Groove . bass . low mastering . melody is like one note. The chorus works -- oh I get it -- this is supposed to be like Cake! It actually works -- but perhaps a bit too directly influenced. The female backing is key -- she really helps -- the juxtaposition is key too. The sort of B-52s male spoken w/female sung. fine fine.

Rone Rivendale - This is like calling a crumpled piece of paper high art. This is like the art scape album I got of Kirk Cobain doing some Poet's verse over distorted guitars being randomly detuned. Except your don't have the star power or vocal force to pull it off... Maybe 0.1% would buy it after you release .. Nevermind ..

Steve Durand - Horn authenticity surround sound. How not to delve into such rich sound scape? Like the reeds a lot. Yeah, clarinet is unrepresented on SF... Those things sound good!!

Heine - Kindof old REM rockabily intro - like that. Ambitious high low vocal that actually works. add a chorus hook vocal based on a variant of intro? not bad.

Sourbelly Trio - Hick spoof junk. No, I'm not doin this.

Berkeley Social Scene - Ours was a sub 24-hour entry -- 2 hour composition / tracking, and perhaps another hour of mixing / post production. Favorite parts of this track: Lunkhead's synth is #1 fo sure -- and was basically what the song was written around. Ken's verse groove is quite nice too and the slowly desynching Glenny guitar. I'm on this whole kick of the importance of getting the first verse vocal line perfect, and hadn't figured out exactly how to attack it until the next day.. I think the Choruses hold up -- and like Ken's overlays. HAPPY with this one.

Elaine DiMasi - Lilt, sway, who's that one woman who opened for Bjork at the Shoreline? She plays harp. No I'm thinking of some woman whose voice is similar, but plays piano. I like the bass -- fretless? Like the piano and drums. The live feel is cool. The sample disturbs at the halfway point -- perhaps mixed too loud? This is pretty long; fine job.



:) :| :cry:
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by melvin »

glennny wrote:You gotta tell me how you got that sound!
Thanks for the amazing review, Glen! After weeks of pissing you off with my rapping, it's nice to be back. :)

It's funny you ask about that sound, because it's the first time I've used my Boss Metalzone pedal in years (distortion cranked and plugged into an early 80s solid state Yamaha 1x12 combo amp with its distortion also up, and mic'ed with my new Audio Technica 4033/CL). So yeah, it's a sound I've never made before. Frankly, I wish I could do it more justice by being better at guitar solos, and I'm a bit surprised you categorize this solo as "sick". That's quite a compliment coming from you!

Martyr -- the rhythm guitar is just a stock Logic VST plugin. Logic Studio has seriously changed my recording life, and I highly recommend it to anyone who's still farting around with some ghetto PC-based crap like I was for the past decade.

Thanks to everyone who's reviewed. I will review by the weekend.
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Rone Rivendale
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by Rone Rivendale »

melvin wrote: Thanks to everyone who's reviewed. I will review by the weekend.
Looking forward to it.
martyr
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Re: A trip to Madame Tussaud's (Hollywood Wax reviews)

Post by martyr »

melvin wrote:Martyr -- the rhythm guitar is just a stock Logic VST plugin. Logic Studio has seriously changed my recording life, and I highly recommend it to anyone who's still farting around with some ghetto PC-based crap like I was for the past decade.
Ok - glad I wasn't totally off on that. Yeah, I don't mean to detract on this piece of work -- all the tones in it are perfect. I just think the rhythm is so central to the song that it could have tipped to be fully authentic tube Shellac style. Logic is mainly for the Mac right? Anyway, I still have the guitar line in my head from last night, so the crunchy tone must contain a virus. Yours is hands down my favorite for the week. It exceeds your excellent song craft (I'm more inclined to the alt side than the hip hop). *Love* the story line. It's so funny; hope it's not based on a true story. It sounds inspired. :wink:
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