Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Announcements of changes or happenings in the Song Fight universe.
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Lunkhead
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Lunkhead »

Wow, you know what? I don't think I ever knew or realized till now that Hot Lunch = The Accordion. WTF?! :lol:
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by fluffy »

Here's some stuff that stands out to me:
  • Meeting everyone in person for the first time in 2003. It was very much a summer camp vibe and it was sad when it ended, and I'm glad that unlike most summer camps we've actually kept in touch :)
  • Doing that weird totally-not-a-show in Van Nuys at a rehearsal space
  • Too much late-night post-show drinking and eating
  • That amazing joy of getting to see my good friends once a year and every live show feeling like an amazing reunion, especially when newcomers are part of it for the first time and become a part of it forever too
  • Actually going to a baseball game with Frankie (and a bunch of others of course) in San Francisco
  • The Song Fight! Left Coast Tour, ending in lovely Moscow, Idaho; I think that's the largest stage I've performed on (and definitely the largest ratio of stage size to audience members), but also that small show we played at a gallery in San Francisco, and that bar in Spokane where everyone kept on getting up in my face (and holy crap that motel a bunch of us stayed at...)
  • Playing disco drums for the Aliens In Leather livefight song in Portland
  • Also splitting a sex dungeon AirBnB with Caravan Ray in Portland (as far as I know no sex took place there while I was present)
  • The road trip I took to Austin, then meeting SoberIRL, uh, IRL, and also everyone else. Also Hoblit's improvised tank-top (and the accompanying inverse tank-top, which I actually have a picture of).
  • Everything that happened in the NYC show, like hanging out at Roymond's place and rediscovering the parts of the city I lived in for a year and having awesome food and drinks and way too much White Castle and gin
  • Being supported by folks who helped me to get better, both musically and personality-wise, and feeling appreciated even though I'm still awkward as fuck
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Caravan Ray »

Good idea Fluffy. I recall:

* Going to Jack Shite's house in 2006 and meeting Songfighter's for the first time - and realising that I actually already new everybody. The first time I had ever met in person someone I had met on the internet - and I was pleased to find that the website wasn't just an axe-murderer with multiple personalities luring songwriters to their doom.
* Discovering the joys of chilli dogs and deep fried cheese
* I have a vague memory of a party with Lunkhead and co in a fancy house near the beach?
* Hanging out in that bar in Santa Cruz across the road from the venue that looked just like Moe's from the Simpsons
* Otters
* Playing in New York. And walking home at 1am through the Lower East Side and the place was alive and buzzing and I felt like a musician
* Getting a train to Brooklyn to play in a park
* My cool hotel in DC that had a leopard skin bathrobe and 6pm happy hour. I recall Fluffy joining me. For happy hour - not in my leopard skin bathrobe.
* Eating cajun fish and watching blues in an old music hall in Virginia with an astronaut. Well - she said she worked for NASA.
* That weird drag show breakfast Dorrie took us to. Bjam warned me not to eat the grits. She was right
* Yes - the Portland Fluffyvan. And the cool bar around the corner that became me second home.
* Getting lost on my first night in Portland after some people I met in the bar took me somewhere, but being very proud of myself for not accepting the cocaine offered to me in the men's toilet of wherever I was. I was being responsible.
* And the other cool gay bar around the other corner where I went to a fancy dress party (did you come to that with me Fluffy? I can't remember)
* Frocking-up for Livefight - one of those "seemed like a good idea at the time" things. My thinking was a bit loose around that time.
* Open mic in Portland - where the barmaid texted me a photo of her R2D2 tattoo because she liked "Pictures of Natalie Portman"
* Playing in a brewery. That was cool.


(how do you do bullet points?)
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Smalltown Mike »

Great to read these stories. Here's mine.

In 2005, I googled “Boon Liver” to see if an old band of mine had ever been posted online and found the Song Fight boards because Leaf (who’d been in the band with me) was quoting BL lyrics in one of his VERY LONG and rambling posts. I started posting songs immediately, a couple as Boon Liver with Leaf.

Gert started very soon after that. We got together for the first time in person (we’re spread out in Boston area, Vancouver, Ottawa and Toronto area) about a year or two later (and then again at a cottage in Massachusetts), and I wrote about it for the Toronto Star. I ride the hell out of some coattails in that band. I’m well aware of that.

For a while I was also getting together with some neighbourhood dads once in a while for music nights as Ill Cricket Crew. Stupid stuff, very fun.

Fluffy said it best — the boards used to be VERY combative. It was all-consuming. I used to get so mad! I eventually took some time off and came back with a better attitude (I think) where I didn’t take everything so damn seriously. Now I rarely even remember to vote, and it’s much better.

Mostly now I record with Rob (who was in Gert) in sh*rts, Flaming Tiger, shotpounder, slither, OG Lawndarts and Gaping Maw. There will be others, I’m sure. We often remix/master tunes and post them in six-packs with art work and lyrics over at Half-A-Dozen Records, where no one cares.

A very sincere thank you to everyone in the community and for everyone involved in keeping this site going. 20 years is a really big deal, and y’all should be proud of what you’ve accomplished and kept going. I’ve always been very grateful for Song Fight — it’s been a great inspiration and hobby over the past 15 years. It’s fun to tell people about. I always know what the title is, even when I know I won’t have time to do a song. Thanks.

My all-time favourite Song Fight tune is Forty Second Songs’ Snow Fort. It’s beautiful.
Punk rock is for children. Grab a six-pack at Half-a-Dozen Records.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Lunkhead »

My all-time favourite Song Fight tune is Forty Second Songs’ Snow Fort. It’s beautiful.
I love that song too! Forty Second Songs is Jonathan Mann. We used to play that song live when I was in his band back when he lived in Berkeley for a few years. We have this weird video from when we played a set at an audio/video production school. They would have bands come in and play live streams on a big stage so their students could get experience with lighting/filming/etc. Jonathan then overdubbed the banter and crowd noise for some reason. :lol:



That whole experience is another thing I have Song Fight to thank for. Jonathan had moved to Berkeley and posted on Craig's List looking for a band, and I saw his ad and knew who he was because of Song Fight. I met some more great people that I've been friends and musical collaborators with ever since. Jonathan had just started writing a song a day and we played so many different songs, I have a stack of charts for his songs about two inches high. :lol: Highlight gigs included: playing in one of the lobbies of the Moscone Center in SF at Macworld, playing at a bowling alley/bar/venue in LA, playing a Halloween gig in costume in Rasputin Records, and playing our final show with a bunch of extra folks all crammed onto the stage.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Sober »

RE: The combative boards. I contributed greatly. I'm 35 years old. Crazy to think that I've been shitposting at y'all for half my life. It's strange; I'd take these long breaks from SF (military, marriage, divorce, etc.), but when I'd come back, I'd revert back to my teenage shitpost voice. This weird, cocky persona that wasn't me anymore. Anyway, I'm better now.

Very much looking forward to the next live show. It strikes me that I've never gotten good and drunk with any of you. After the 2013 Austin show I went to the Wreckdom house and had one, but had to drive back to Dallas that night (ex-wife always distrusted Songfight, very weird). The Wreckdom folks were very hospitable and funny, as one would expect.
  • Getting to sing with Brother Machine at that 2004 Austin show was an amazing gift, though my mic should 100% have been muted. I still bang out Foam Rubber and Space Cadet when I'm drunk.
  • Playing tin whistle with Starfinger on More Than Soup was a dream come true.
  • ***On that note, does anyone have an archive of stuff that was posted to somesongs and other places? I recall that I did a ridiculous hardcore cover of Starfinger's MTS. Would be good to hear again for a laugh.
  • Big thanks to Ken, Dr Worm, Hoblit, Eddiebangs, Glen Case, and others I'm sure for lending your talents live and in studio.
  • Special shoutout to the trolls, in whatever prison they currently reside. Lightning Earfart, Catknife Horsebomb, and even Oust - may you find a constructive outlet for your illness
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by jack »

I just wanted to say I've hung out with lots of you over the past 17 odd years, not very often, maybe once a year or less, but every single time I've hung out with Song Fight! folks I've had a great time. I've never met a bad person on Song Fight! There's a reason it's lasted this long. Community.
"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." - Mark Twain
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by sleepysilverdoor »

What's funny is that the one time fairly recently where I did a set of reviews in the "old" style -- that is to say "pointlessly harsh" -- they really weren't received that well. The method being "play the fight to my wife who doesn't want to listen to music right now and see how long it takes her to tell me to change it".

Man, back in 2006 when I started there were so many reviews that consisted of comments like "this is complete dogshit, how about you learn how to play an instrument and sing on key next time". Now the norm has changed so much that I feel like I'm edgy for saying "I really don't like this at all".

I'm not saying I *miss* the hostility. I think forums in general have just gotten a lot nicer over the years.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by jack »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:37 am
What's funny is that the one time fairly recently where I did a set of reviews in the "old" style -- that is to say "pointlessly harsh" -- they really weren't received that well. The method being "play the fight to my wife who doesn't want to listen to music right now and see how long it takes her to tell me to change it".

Man, back in 2006 when I started there were so many reviews that consisted of comments like "this is complete dogshit, how about you learn how to play an instrument and sing on key next time". Now the norm has changed so much that I feel like I'm edgy for saying "I really don't like this at all".

I'm not saying I *miss* the hostility. I think forums in general have just gotten a lot nicer over the years.
as the old timers are inclined to say "it's called Song FIGHT!" (and yeah, I slung a lot of mud and got muddy back in the day). The funny thing is I didn't know it had changed.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by jb »

sleepysilverdoor wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 10:37 am
What's funny is that the one time fairly recently where I did a set of reviews in the "old" style -- that is to say "pointlessly harsh" -- they really weren't received that well.
TBH they were never received well. Doesn't mean they were wrong. :) I'd say "you don't have to like it" is our motto, and it applies to the songs AND the reviews. Of course, being a dick for being a dick's sake is kind of a shitty move and I would frown on that. But blowing smoke up my ass about whether my song is any good is worse than useful. It's valuable to know what your wife's reactions are (though helpful to understand what kind of music she general likes and whether she's a musician etc.)

Like Jack says, it is Song Fight, not Song Love. And there are plenty of places where you can go to get unabashedly positive "criticism". But that's not what we want at Song Fight, because it's useful only to assuage some insecurity if you have it. Here, we want you to achieve your goals, and we want reviews to help songwriters understand if they've met those goals. Even if that goal is to annoy.

My favorite Song Fight "tenet" is "You don't get credit for having one leg"-- which I interpret as "People like what you made or they don't, and you can't avoid that hard truth by describing the hardships you faced in making your song, or the small amount of time you spent on it. They like it or they don't, just accept that and write another terrible song."

EDIT: I do think that if you think a song is complete dogshit, you should say that. And some people get a LOT MORE CREDIT for singing REALLY TERRIBLY than they should. I mean, you ain't gotta be a dick about it, but some people just need to know that maybe singing ain't for them dawg. And then it's on them to say "Yeah I know but fuck it, here's another song with my terrible singing for you to trash." -- Production does matter. It's SO HARD to hear a good song if the performance of it is awful.

JB
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by fluffy »

Yeah, and I've noticed a long-term tendency for people to try to be "nicer" by saying "sorry, not my thing" instead of being, like, "this sucks." Like, "sorry, not my thing" is such a non-review as to be useless.

I tend not to review much anymore just because I have a hard time coming up with words that I think will be valuable for people to hear; I kind of feel like my own shitty opinion doesn't matter and I don't want whatever crap I'm going through at any given time to negatively affect how I express myself when talking about other peoples' self-expression. But I also definitely don't want to blow smoke up anyone's ass. I guess I prefer to focus on talking about what I liked and how things can be improved but that takes a lot more grit and determination to do well than I can muster most of the time. Plus I kind of feel like after 3-4 other people have reviewed stuff, I can't bring anything to the table that hasn't already been said.

But anyway, I do like how people here are willing to say that something sucks, and how to improve it. Contrast this community with, say, ccMixter; over there, it feels like any review short of 100% glowing praise is met with disdain. Like, "Oh, interesting idea, but I don't feel like those two loops go together well" usually gets a response like "Well this site is a REMIX site, if you don't like it don't post your stuff to be REMIXED" and like... that's not... what I'm saying? At all? Sometimes it's possible to say something like "oh hey this sounds great, maybe try doing [thing] too" and that goes over much better but that still doesn't leave a lot of room for commentary when something is an absolute mess.

Like, yeah, being supportive is better than being cruel, absolutely, but sometimes being supportive also means saying things which aren't praise. It's much more helpful to people with aspirations of making music to help them improve the way they make their music, y'know? Criticism hurts to receive but I've always found that well-meaning negative criticism leads me to improving what I do in the future. Even if it's just to prove an asshole wrong.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by fluffy »

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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by irwin »

I've gotten plenty of reviews that were harsh, but I don't think I ever got one that was wrong. To me that's part of what makes this a great community.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Lunkhead »

I learned real quick that some things that I thought sounded fine in fact did not. Plugged-in acoustic guitar: just don't. Fake drums: avoid the uncanny valley. Singing: have good pitch or use autotune, or forget it. Flabby/farty bass: No. Muddy mixes: No. etc. etc.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by crumpart »

On the criticism theme, I think sometimes there’s a tendency for people (in general) to assume that to be critical means to only point out flaws, rather than to give observations and analysis. I think there’s a vast sea of difference between someone pointing out things that could improve a song in a way that’s helpful, and someone just being thoughtlessly cruel because they think they’re making a joke. Personally, I’ve got a lot out of the times people have talked about how and why I could improve some aspect, but I’ve also told people off for being rude and mean when that was the case.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by pegor »

Happy Birthday Songfight !

You changed the way I listen to music and taught me lots. But you’re like that girl in geometry class, I hang on your every word and think you’re so cool but i know you’ll never love me... :oops:

Uhm intern in the next cube... dumbrella Lurking....an old friend visited with his guitar... June 04 Cellar Door. And some others that just hurt.....

Happy Birthday Songfight !
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by jack »

But we had some fun with our battles back then! Me and Generic would go at it! And don't get me started on Blue. That dude could make the Baby Jesus cry. The diss was almost an art form. Which is pretty true of real life good friends. Real life good friends love to rip on each other (in a hopefully funny way) not flatter each other. And after finally meeting both Jon and Blue in person, we shared good laughs.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Lunkhead »

jack wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:06 pm
Real life good friends love to rip on each other (in a hopefully funny way) not flatter each other.
I generally think that too but for a while now I have started to think that may be a generational thing, and the whole "tearing you down to toughen you up" vibe I had/have with my siblings/friends was not something that Millenials/Z/etc. grew up with. Maybe some younger folks could weigh in about it (not to ask you to "represent your generation" but just to speak from your own personal experience).
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by jack »

"I've never wished a man dead, but I have read some obituaries with great pleasure." - Mark Twain
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by jb »

Lunkhead wrote:
Thu Jun 25, 2020 4:22 pm
Maybe some younger folks could weigh in about it
Sam I read your post to Hugo and this was his response.



HTH,

JB
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by gizo »

I actually quite like the feedback that tells me what's wrong, and how to fix it.

Like my 2011 hit 'Isle Dauphine', in which fluffy advised me to "Please get a better vocal mic", and also that "Atonality works for you, at least".

Words to live by.
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Re: Song Fight! Is 20 Years Old!!!

Post by Paco Del Stinko »

Yeah, nothing wrong with constructive criticism. Or a little ball bustin' either. But no need to be a dick for dicks sake. I always try to find the good in a song and offer what I feel could help for the weaker elements. I have learned a ton here, mostly from the reviews, really. And while I continue to do things I probably have no business doing, I think that I do them better now than I did in 2006. Or so I tell myself.

I never got slammed bad by Blue, but can remember how "phew" it was when I got a positive comment on something I did. Shit, I even got to contribute a bass line to a Supercar song!

I've mentioned this before, but a dude named Beatlebrent said in review of one of my early songs: " I had to stop listening, your voice gang raped me. Sorry". I laughed. At the extreme nature of it, not the uh, rape part. I think that comment got removed, maybe?

Nice to be honest though. But if you can help, help.
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