So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

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Ross
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So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by Ross »

Now that we've all met her...
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by nyjm »

Smallest single fight ever? Wow.

Edit: Apologies for the crappy lead slide guit in my submission. Ah, the follies of last-minute recording. Attached is a much more palatable version.
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noahmclaughlin_susan.mp3
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by nyjm »

Small but extraordinarily excellent fight!

i love how you can make a disturbing little triptych with mine, Ross's and Jeff's submissions (and throw in deetak's for a prologue...)

backwards binoculars ***½

MELODY (8 / 10)
+++ nice melody +++
/// chorus prosody lacks punch ///

STRUCTURE (8 / 10)
+++ good dynamics and variation +++
/// chorus goes on a bit long and lacks a catchy hook ///

LYRICS (10 / 10)
+++ very clever lyrics! +++

PRODUCTION (5 / 5)
+++ solid production +++

PERFORMANCE (4 / 5)
--- the syncopated kick seems out of place ---
+++ nice low-key vocal delivery +++


noah mclaughlin ***

MELODY (4 / 10)
/// there is a melody, but it's not very memorable ///
--- lead guitar in chorus adds nothing ---

STRUCTURE (8 / 10)
+++ dynamics +++
--- same four chords over and over and over ---

LYRICS (10 / 10)
+++ yay murder ballads where the girl gets revenge +++

PRODUCTION (4 / 5)
+++ solid production +++
/// odd choice to pan the drums hard left for a rock song ///

PERFORMANCE (4 / 5)
+++ appropriately creepy +++
--- a little ragged; screaming? ---

Berkley Social Scene ***

MELODY (9 / 10)
+++ i like how the guit and vox melody back each other up +++
+++ Suuuuuuuusan +++

STRUCTURE (10 / 10)
+++ bridge ! +++
+++ dynamics +++
+++ solo +++

LYRICS (5 / 10)
/// trouble girls ///

PRODUCTION (5 / 5)
+++ love the panning and aural arrangement +++

PERFORMANCE (3 / 5)
--- left and right panned guitars are slightly out of time; it's distracting ---
--- slightly sloppy drumming ---


The HATE Noise **

MELODY (5 / 10)
--- boring chorus is boring ---
+++ good verse prosody +++

STRUCTURE (7 / 10)
/// verse chorus verse ///
+++ dynamics +++

LYRICS (0 / 10)
--- misogyny ---

PRODUCTION (5 / 5)
+++ good blend of overdriven and clean tones +++

PERFORMANCE (3 / 5)
+++ excellent rhythm in verse +++
--- chorus drone ---


Flvxxvm Florrvum ***

MELODY (7 / 10)
/// standard blues ///
+++ still good +++

STRUCTURE (8 / 10)
/// would like more vocal punch in the chorus ///
+++ harmonica solo +++

LYRICS (5 / 10)
/// pretty standard blues theme ///

PRODUCTION (5 / 5)
+++ love the raw feel of everything +++

PERFORMANCE (3 / 5)
--- gurgle growl gets old ---
+++ rawkin guitars +++


Ross Durand ****

MELODY (10 / 10)
+++ Ross Durand Melody [TM] +++

STRUCTURE (10 / 10)
+++ love how there aren't a repeated chorus lyrics but still a melody +++
+++ bone-chilling builds +++

LYRICS (10 / 10)
+++ interesting take on a disturbing story +++

PRODUCTION (4 / 5)
+++ love the guitar tone +++
/// i appreciate the minimalism, but this could use a bit more instrumentation perhaps ///

PERFORMANCE (4 / 5)
+++ solid +++


Lord of Oats ***

MELODY (8 / 10)
+++ poppy fun verse melody +++

STRUCTURE (7 / 10)
/// solo really doesn't add anything interesting ///

LYRICS (5 / 10)
/// oh girl i love you ///

PRODUCTION (5 / 5)
+++ very tight arrangement +++

PERFORMANCE (4 / 5)
/// drums slip here and there ///
+++ limited vox range played to well +++


deetak ****

MELODY (10 / 10)
+++ Excellent! +++

STRUCTURE (10 / 10)
+++ very dynamic, especially with instrumentation +++

LYRICS (10 / 10)
+++ a very interesting ode to a character that i'd like to know better +++

PRODUCTION (5 / 5)
+++ very creative instrumentation +++

PERFORMANCE (5 / 5)
+++ smoky quality of the vox +++
Last edited by nyjm on Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by Spintown »

http://spintown79.blogspot.com/2011/01/ ... -wasp.html

Ross Durand - Emotion filled vocals, with a touching story. Pretty typical of Ross, which is a good thing considering he's typically great. (voted)

deetak - Couple of lines where I would change a word, but I enjoyed the song. Vocally it was rough at times, mostly when you went higher. Overall, well done.

noah mclaughlin - The updated version of this that is linked to in the forums is better than what was entered into the fight. I enjoyed the performance a lot, and if the new mix had been entered in time I might have voted for this.

Berkeley Social Scene - I really liked this, the only problem I had was the vocals. They weren't terrible, but better vocals could have this song on my MP3 player. I could hear all of them, but I really had to concentrate to do so. Besides that the singing just didn't impress me all that much.
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by bdog5778 »

Only 8 songs? I can do this.

backwards binoculars - Finally caught the pun at the end, so I went back and listened again. Catchy enough. Enjoyed the lo-fi aesthetic, but it (along with many other elements) went on too long. When the percussion came in, I wanted the vocals to come in without the distortion and for the drums to be real samples. Then it wouldn't be quite as much of a slowdown when the percussion disappears during the chorus. The whole thing starts out small...and then stays small. That may have been your point, though.

deetak - Ah, yes. Gritty vocals. Enjoying the full production. Handclaps, panned mandolin/ukelele(?), tambourine, strings, harmonized vocals. Fun! The only elements that sounds out of place are the kick drum (needs more 'verb/slapback given the space around the other instruments) and the snare (fake-sounding). Don't know that this one will "stick" with me, but this is well done. I certainly didn't feel the need to skip ahead.

Lord of Oats - That rhythm sounds reminiscent of...something. Ooh, British-ish, Bowie-esque vox. Start/stop -nice. Lead comes in a little loud, but it's tasty enough that I don't really mind. Lyrics flow nicely even if they are a bit ridiculous at points. Enjoy the sudden stop at the end, too. Appropriate.

Ross Durand - Bust out the pancakes, it's time for some syrup! Hehe. I knew exactly where this one was going right from the opening stanza. Still, well done. The organ almost sounds out of place on this one. Your voice and playing sell this one.

Berkeley Social Scene - Ah, the Scenesters have come to bring you the jazzyrockstuff. Nerdy chords over the chorus. Good stuff. That bridge is great. Cool solo, too. "Shag on her shag carpet"? Brilliant.

Flvxxvm Florvm - This is pure magic. Clearly this needs to be played in preparation for a night of debauchery and drunken antics. Awesomeness at 0:33! The hacking at the end is sheer perfection. WINNER.

The HATE Noise - The production is so abrasive I wanted to skip this -clipping, static-y badness. I suppose it might be intended to match the message. "Teeth like a jack-o-lantern" was pretty awesome, though. Not enough cleverness/hookiness to hold me, though.

Noah Mclauglin - Listened to the revised version. Indeed, the drums in one ear is a little off-putting. Great atmosphere and I love the ratty lead tone. Sounds like it might need a tiny bit more gain. Repeated listens make me think that this is a great song. A little better production and teenage girls everywhere will dance to this whilst doing the dishes (picturing some '80s movie here).

I usually only give out one vote, but this time I'm forced to give two: One for Flvxxvm Florvm (George Thorogood on crack and a twelve-pack) and one for Noah McLaughlin (forgotten gem from the '80s).
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by backwardbinoculars »

Just a few simple thoughts. Honestly, I didn't like most of the songs on the first listen, but on repeat times, most of them really grew on me quite a bit. Good job.

Flvxxvm Florvm - Awesome guitar, love it. Vocals were cool, maybe just a BIT much. Lyrics were a bit standard, but fit the song well. Harmonica solo was killer too.

deetak - My favorite of the fight. Great composition and instrumentation. I really enjoyed it, especially the claps and strings (for some reason.)

noah mclaughlin - Drums and guitar were great. Vocals seemed like they were sometimes looking to rest on the melody but were singing around it…if that makes sense.

Lord of Oats - The style of singing and overall composition were very pleasing, but the lyrics themselves were kinda bad for me.

The HATE Noise - Song fits your name well. I had a few laughs, but lyrically was a bit much for me.

Ross Durand - Interesting idea on a song, and well executed. Very good job, but not my favorite style of song. Everything was dead-on, but in the same way seemed a bit derivative (musically.)

Berkeley Social Scene - Verse was groovin but a little too low-key (like I'm one to talk.) I really liked the chorus though. Great composition and levels.

backward binoculars - Me. Put this together in like 3 hours the night before. I didn't feel like singing some derivative song about a woman. Fortunately, my sister-in-law suggested doing a song about a lazy susan which I thought was great. It's very sparse, which I like and don't like simultaneously. I kept trying to fill it out more, but I didn't want to overpower or overshadow the sounds I had going. Obviously a very simple song, but I enjoyed if not just because it is the first kind of story song I've written.
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by Ross »

I haven't written full reviews in a while. I apologize if i have been remiss in my community duties.

The Hate Noise - not sure how to review this. I guess i sense that it is quite successful on its own terms, but i can't say i listen to music "like" this much, so i don't have much context for it. Your little chorus is pretty catchy. I wish there was another dimension to the lyrics somehow besides just being bugged by Susan. Also, seems like it might as well be "Lisa" except you'd have to change one rhyme. Good, not my thing musically or lyrically.

Noah - there are some dramatic elements I like here although I admit that on headphones I find the mix quite distracting. No shame? You repeat that over and over at the end, but I'm not sure I get what it means. This guy is obsessed with his dead lover, how is it she has no shame? I would even have thought of it if it wasn't repeated. Nice build and drama, but the lyrics didn't support it for me.

Bss - you can tell it's bss, because there's no triads, oh, there's one :-) groove is good, nice shape and tune, pretty good hook, but once it gets going it just kinda chugs along in a way that doesn't really do it for me. Everything is in place and it goes just fine. Another one where I feel like it could be any of dozens of female names. Just something I noticed about how people worked with the title this week.

Fluxxum florrumm - another song that is totally solid on its own terms. Digging the slide in my right ear, although when the two guitars mirror each other on the second verse, they get a bit muddy. A rousing song of blues redemption! I would'n t mind some bit of vocal variety. But the harp is nice.

Deetak - very nice, great shape. Like a sequel to "She's Leaving Home" written by a late 80s Elvis Costello. I hope this one wins! The words reveal just enough but not too much, harmonies tastefully applied, strings just right. My only complaint is a title snob thing - it might as well be called Lisa. Oh, and happy two year songiversary!!! So different from your first, frantic entries.

Oats- look it's the return of lord of oats. Where you been? When the voice comes in this takes on an 80s aesthetic that I really like. The lyrics feel like they could use a little smoothing over, some firs-try rhymes in there? But overall a really nice song. Why does this feel stronger than the stuff you were doing before? Or is my memory faulty? Anyway, nice job.

Backward binoculars - I feel like the idea for the song is better than the song itself. I like that you stay pretty committed to the extended metaphor. In the end I'm not sure the punch line works either lyrically or musically. The verses are much stronger than the chorus. But generally another strong song besides that complaint. I do like that it matters that you used the name "Susan."

Good fight! I hope they stay thtis consistent, although then i guess i'll have to step up my game.
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by fluffy »

nyjm wrote:Smallest single fight ever? Wow.
no
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by Ross »

fluffy wrote:
nyjm wrote:Smallest single fight ever? Wow.
no
I figured he meant smallest fight of the single title era.
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by fluffy »

Oh, you're right, I forgot that was during the multi-title era.

So let me revise my answer: no, there are a few.

There's actually a hell of a lot of fights with 7 or fewer titles, and even more with 8 (including "Susan").
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by AJOwens »

Flvxxvm Florvm -- I read this as a Captain Beefheart tribute. Good stuff too.

not promising other reviews this fight. . .
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by Ross »

backwardbinoculars wrote: Ross Durand - ....... seemed a bit derivative (musically.)
derivative of what? Just curious.
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by BBABM »

figured that since it's still up, i'll do some quick reviews

ross durand: i always like your guitar style, you could put any words to any of your licks and it would be beautiful. ill bet you put on a hell of a live performance. as for g&g songs, i have to be in a certain mood for them, and at this moment, not so much. im sure later today ill be digging it. the quiet little organ(?) behind it is a nice touch.

flvxxvm florvm: cool song, but sounds like a live performance rather than a "studio" track. there are just little imperfections all over. maybe what you were going for, i dunno. the voice makes me get a scratchy throat... lol @ the coughing at the end, ill bet that hurt. nice tune

deetak: i love hand claps. my favorite part of this song was the minimalist drums. and the sweet violins from "walking on broken glass".... some one should make a dj mix of those two songs. i dunno who all im gonna vote for yet, but i can pretty much guarantee you will be one of them.

backwards binoculars: i know that lots of people love nintendo music, im not personally one of them. you did it really well though. there is also something not quite right about the voice. i like the words and melody, but the recording, or effects, or something just make it sound like its being sung through a dixie cup on a string.

noah mclaughlin: more cowbell! first off i think the drums need to be panned across at least a little. i really like the "worms crawl out/the worms crawl in, crawl in" line. the slide guitar could use some tightening up... or a good tuning. i like it though.

BSS: fun, impeccably performed guitar progression, drums are tight, and the voice doesn't sound like trey. is that everything i ever wanted in a bss song? if the female singer you have sometimes was in there i think it would be (of your songs since ive been on sf) my favorite. and its not too long with a sweet noodle-y solo. done

lord of oats: if dave gahan from depeche mode sang a david bowie song with a slightly drunk 1970s talking heads on guitar and bass, and some dude that played drums well but they just picked him out of the crowd at the bar that night, and they had never practiced together before... that would be this song. for some reason it will go unnoticed by all but the 12 drunk, slightly malnourished gutter punks in attendance, but made for a life changing experience of the 2 teenagers making out in the corner. coincidentally, ones name was susan, the others name was greg, but the jocks would call him susan while they.... i could keep going, but then id have to get you to sign off on movie rights.

the hate noise: not my favorite hate noise song. everything sounds a little too scratchy, and we all think crack heads are a nuisance, but a whole song on that one joke gets a little old. im sure time restraints and all that had something to do with the shallowness of it all. i guess i just have come to expect more.
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by glennny »

sorry I haven't reviewed.

Congrats Deetak!

Here's the BSS video:
http://www.youtube.com/user/glenartrock ... zIZ0IZzcZM
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by backwardbinoculars »

Ross wrote:
backwardbinoculars wrote: Ross Durand - ....... seemed a bit derivative (musically.)
derivative of what? Just curious.
Hmm, I guess that was a poor word choice on my part. I meant it all sounded very...familiar. The chord progression, style, etc, all sounded almost as if I had heard it before. Totally solid and it goes where your ear wants it, but is still interesting. So really I think you did a great job. My previous statement I think sounded more critical than I meant it.
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Re: So, what did you think of Susan? (reviews)

Post by nyjm »

Ross wrote:No shame? You repeat that over and over at the end, but I'm not sure I get what it means. This guy is obsessed with his dead lover, how is it she has no shame?
It might help if you consider that in the the last verse she's his undead lover.
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