You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by gizo » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:04 pm

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:54 pm
Balance Lost - That guitar intro/tone is great. I saw someone else refer to it as Disintegration-esque, and...well, sort of. Only it sounds more like Wish if we’re doing Cure albums.
Yeah - you're right, it is Wish.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:54 pm

gizo wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:04 pm
Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:54 pm
Balance Lost - That guitar intro/tone is great. I saw someone else refer to it as Disintegration-esque, and...well, sort of. Only it sounds more like Wish if we’re doing Cure albums.
Yeah - you're right, it is Wish.
Haha, my 5 year old insists that I put on "the days of the week song" every time I drive him anywhere...that album's production style is burned into my brain.

Now that would be a super fun coverfight...
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by glennny » Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:06 am

2010 had a Cure cover fight

https://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic. ... &start=110

but it looks like the link doesn't work anymore.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:07 am

glennny wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:06 am
2010 had a Cure cover fight

https://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic. ... &start=110

but it looks like the link doesn't work anymore.
Well...shucks! I'd have loved to hear those. And to think I was actually active on here around that time and just hadn't discovered how much I like them yet.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:51 am

Piano AND guitar solo? Probably unnecessary.
I wish the instrumental section didn't also include a guitar solo
Really nice piano bit in the solo, and it's cool how you switch to the guitar lead there, although I kind of wanted to hear more piano.
While I did have a year of piano lessons when I was nine or ten and while I did get fairly proficient at making shit up on it during my high school and college theory classes, I've not played piano more than about 60 minutes total in the past 25 years or so. I'm not saying I couldn't do better, but what you are hearing on the solo is just about the limit of my current ability. Yes, I've been meaning to start practicing for the last year or so since I bought this electric, weighted key piano, but it, along with a lot of other things, just hasn't gotten done. It never occurred to me to cut the solo in half, and I do like the piano into the electric bit, but I'll toy with the idea if I ever go back and make the one or two other tweaks that I feel it needs. Which I probably won't.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by furrypedro » Fri Oct 11, 2019 7:59 am

vowlvom wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:53 am
Balance Lost - I've noticed that the more songs I've heard by somebody, the higher my standards get.

That is definitely a syndrome I get. I'm going through it with Third Cat right now (being my newest favourite SF discovery) At first you're pleasantly surprised to hear something you like, then your expectations rise and you judge them as you would a "pro", so you get more critical. Maybe it's not the same, but I certainly do that, and though I obviously want amazing praise for everything I do I take the raising of the bar as a compliment too. As should you; I know I've not been blind with praise for your stuff this month and it is absolutely due to an expectation of quality based on what has come before.
vowlvom wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:53 am
This is a good song and in the upper tier of this fight but it's definitely not one of my favourites from you, largely because it just kind of hits one energy level early on and sticks with it. It'd mean making a short story longer but I wish there was a breakdown section or something to make it a little more dynamic - it feels like you could do fun things with that repeating riff that don't really get explored here. I like the lyrics though, the chorus melody is good, it's still a probable-vote.
Yeah, my first reaction was "please tell me what I should explore" but really I know exactly what I could do with this riff. The reasons I didn't are threefold: firstly, as I've subsequently admitted, love em or hate em, I was going for a Gallagher vibe which is best manifest in in-yer-face, faders-to-the-max rock; second, what discerning rock fan can't handle rocking for a mere 2.17? Third, I was consciously thinking about the SF context for once, and this led me to go for a 2 minute track rather than a fully-fleshed...thing. What I mean is, the breakdown in this song should come after the second chorus, but "because Song Fight" I chose to end there, rather than carry on for another minute and a half with another even more massive chorus and fade-out etc. An extension is in order, probably with a real drummer, does it fit on a Balance Lost album, is it worth the effort? These are questions I will consider over the next few months. But the reason for this overlong response is that I feel it is worth considering, and I'm glad you raised it (and I love talking about my own songsdontweall).


gizo wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 3:04 pm
Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:54 pm
Balance Lost - That guitar intro/tone is great. I saw someone else refer to it as Disintegration-esque, and...well, sort of. Only it sounds more like Wish if we’re doing Cure albums.
Yeah - you're right, it is Wish.
I realised I don't know nearly enough about the Cure, actually not for the first time in my life. Hopefully I've got some free Spotify minutes left this month.

thirdcatmusic wrote:
Thu Oct 10, 2019 7:09 am
(editing this in after reading what you wrote re: Oasis - I almost mentioned them in my review but thought you might be offended as they are one of those bands people love to hate. but it reminded me a bit of "listen up." just off memory, haven't actually listened to that song a good long while. I think I will now though. )
That song used to have a special place in my heart (when I was 14-15) and I was the b-side king back then. It seems so basic now, but still has evocative lyrics.

gizo wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 9:00 pm
glennny wrote: Gizo vs. the 17455- This is a quiet recording.
Yes - I need to pay more attention to this part of making songs, for sure.
I dig the melody and the vocal delivery. The solo is nice too. The drums don’t quite work for me. This evokes Beulah , something like “What Will You Do When Your Suntan Fades?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YS8MpuEJ5e0
and/or Sea and Cake. I’d like more bass in the mix. This is a nice mellow song!
Thank you! I was trying to find some drums that captured a hand-clappy rhythm that I was hearing when I played the uke, I'm not sure it was fully realised. Thanks for the Beulah link - listening now and enjoying :)
Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:54 pm
Gizo vs the 17,455 - I’m glad you didn’t do your uke, per the comments cause this instrumentation fits a lot better. I really enjoy this song. I’m not entirely sure that I’m sold on the pick scrape(?) noise that’s going on throughout the background of the track. The twinkly part prompted my wife to say she wanted ice cream. The violin synth was a great touch. I like the lyrics. This kind of reminds me of something off of the Lost In Translation soundtrack. Which is one of my favorite soundtracks ever so that’s a positive comparison. VOTE
pick-scrape = a flanger on a synth, I think. I like ice-cream too!
A vote is a wonderful thing to give, and is graciously received.
furrypedro wrote:
Wed Oct 09, 2019 6:01 pm
Gizo: This is a classic case of pleasant-sounding-but-passes-me-by-if-I-don't-listen-closely. However, there is a bunch of cool stuff going on here. I dig the low phased kind of jet sounding thing going on throughout in the background, and the twinkly keys are a particular highlight. Generally it's all put together really nicely. The drums sound really warm, the vocals sound good and the little touches of backing vox are a cool touch. The cello is also a nice addition although it sounds a touch too synthetic; but where are you gonna get a live cello player? Very nice, probably deserving of a vote.
Yeah - I scouted around the sleepy beachtown I was staying in and there was nary a cellist to be found.
I am a bit of a 'passes by if not paying attention' kind of person, I'll try to be more assertive in future efforts... maybe..

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 9:40 am
gizo vs. the 17,455 - Lots to like here, but I'll reiterate that the drums are slightly more noticeable than good. A quiet render, but it kind of suits the laid back feel and groove. That slight stutter or space between chord changes reminds me of my poor attempts at midi back a few (or more) years ago. It's not a fault, just a connection I make. I like the phase pad and while I'm not a huge fan of the vocal, it's performed well enough and I like the melody. The bits of harmony/backing work well. A competent song that I don't dislike but probably isn't standing out for me.
The midi stutters are probably worse because I was using Garageband's "use the keyboard as your keyboard" feature. But yeah - that's classic me not being great at things.

Overall - thanks everyone. I'm happy to be reading feedback about the song that's not commenting on the shocking mismatch of track volumes or silliness like that - hopefully it's a sign I can improve and grow.

You're all extremely buddhaful!
I found the reviews for this funny because we can't agree on what is good/bad about this song. Everyone likes different things about it; for example, I didn't think it was quiet. Soft, yes, but a quiet recording, no, and I do think the drums are cool. I want to reiterate that it only passed me by because I was listening passively, and even then it was pleasant, but when I focused on it I liked it even more. I did vote for it in the end btw. Re: the cello player, next time, scout harder :)


Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:51 am
Piano AND guitar solo? Probably unnecessary.
I wish the instrumental section didn't also include a guitar solo
Really nice piano bit in the solo, and it's cool how you switch to the guitar lead there, although I kind of wanted to hear more piano.
While I did have a year of piano lessons when I was nine or ten and while I did get fairly proficient at making shit up on it during my high school and college theory classes, I've not played piano more than about 60 minutes total in the past 25 years or so. I'm not saying I couldn't do better, but what you are hearing on the solo is just about the limit of my current ability. Yes, I've been meaning to start practicing for the last year or so since I bought this electric, weighted key piano, but it, along with a lot of other things, just hasn't gotten done. It never occurred to me to cut the solo in half, and I do like the piano into the electric bit, but I'll toy with the idea if I ever go back and make the one or two other tweaks that I feel it needs. Which I probably won't.
For the record, I had no problem with the piano playing whatsoever, I'm just wary of solos generally (in this case it was fine, until...) but when it feels like instruments are waiting for their turn to solo I start to balk, and consecutive solos are absolutely what I was commenting against here. That said, it's just a personal preference, you really didn't overdo it that much. I solo too. But I bust Glennny's balls about this all the fucking time. Essentially, why are you soloing? If there's a point to it, if you're expressing something, then fine, great even. But if you're just doing the rounds, I'm signing off. I expect to be picked up on this too. What's in the song that doesn't need to be there? Trim the fat. In your case, definitely bust out those old piano skills! I mean it, that's great. Do the song need a guitar solo as well? IMO no.

I got derunk an sed a bunch of things!
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Fri Oct 11, 2019 9:24 am

I got derunk an sed a bunch of things!
I'm shocked. Shocked, I tell you.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:29 pm

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:07 am
glennny wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 3:06 am
2010 had a Cure cover fight

https://songfight.net/forums/viewtopic. ... &start=110

but it looks like the link doesn't work anymore.
Well...shucks! I'd have loved to hear those. And to think I was actually active on here around that time and just hadn't discovered how much I like them yet.
Wait! Dang it i even posted in the thread under a different account i made! I called "Killing An Arab" cause it was one of the only non-Disintegration tracks i knew at the time! I think my lack of a decent recording set up at the time made it too challenging to do vocals and all I had with me that summer was a laptop...which is the main reason I was submitting bizarro plunderphonics noise experiments at the time.

It's all coming back to me now. Wish I could hear that country-fied Primary, but the links are gone augh! Oh well.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by AJOwens » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:09 am

Absolutely Credible -- Exciting textures. The vocal cuts like a razor through an abstract painting. I can't make out all the words. That's a habitual problem for me, not necessarily anything to worry about, but it means I can't review them. The composition is simple and effective. The melody is taut. The arrangement employs creative randomness. Truly an interesting sound.

Balance Lost -- The suggestion of church bells starts the song. After a guitar-toccata opening, it quickly hits stride. Powerful drumming. The tune has good flow. Good contrasting sections. The lyrics (thanks for posting them) straddle past and present tenses, which is confusing when I read them, but not so bad when I listen. You use concrete images, which is good, but the metaphors are often mixed. Is this about Greta Thunberg?

Berkeley Social Scene -- An unusually laid-back feel for this group, almost a Southern groove with jazz and rock elements. I like it. The chorus could benefit from some contrary movement. Intriguing lyrics. The backing vocals at the end don't add much. This has a very warm, natural vibe.

Break Broken -- The vocals are a bit up front in the mix, and I'd add a bit more reverb to relax the intense closeness of the performance, and maybe to help round out some slight pitchiness here and there. The composition is thoughtfully rich in harmonies, with some surprises in key places. The images in the lyrics don't always add up to a bigger picture; better to stay with a single metaphor. The music moves me emotionally, which is a good thing in a song.

Eat It 'n' Mattress -- The mix is loud, compared to most tracks from the Song Fight pantheon. You could consult a reference track before submitting. But if you must bump the volume for effect, you'll want to avoid distortion. The song sloops along steadily, has some very nice crescendos and transitions, some incongruous backing vocals. The lyrics make a fascinating read, but they demand of the tune a flexibility of rhythm and cadence that it can't provide.

gizo vs. the 17,455 -- Sets a hypnotic mood. The texture is strangely sparse. Sweet harmonies. The lyrics are very effective.

Glenn Case -- Great groove. Imaginative progressions. Good vocals. Strong lyrics. This is all extremely clever, and my only complaint is that it's too smooth. Maybe it's just genre bias, but the sheer professionalism gives it a sort of anonymity. It doesn't help me feel what the lyrics want me to feel. For example, the phrase "Long Story Short" ends on a surprise major, which feels good, but the story is not a triumphant one. Otherwise, this entry is phenomenal.

Glennny -- A nice blend of tin-pan alley (or something like that) and a modern jazz sensibility; entertaining and artfully playful, as are the lyrics.

Hot Pink Halo -- Musically, this reminds me in places of some north European a capella folk singing I bumped into once on the multicultural channel, and then encountered again in the Icelandic film "Woman at War" (which is worth seeing in its own right, if you haven't seen it). This is very likeable. If the harmonies were tighter, it would be awesome. The solo vocal could come up a bit in the mix. I'm enjoying the economical, understated accompaniment.

Jonathan Mann -- Great story, with music that moves the narrative along stylishly and punctuates it to dramatic effect.

Leppakron -- This is one of those jam entries we occasionally inflict on the long-suffering Song Fight community. I think this time we wrote the lyrics down and then tried a few rehearsals before we started recording, as somebody un the forums once helpfully suggested. But I could be wrong. The guys wanted it to be about Greta Thunberg, but we didn't entirely agree about what to say, so the lyrics ended up less than direct.

Lily Plus Martin -- Atmospheric, experimental, poetic, with some sweet singing. The story seems dark and haunted, and the music works with that, although I find it a bit sparse. Do we really swallow spiders on our sleep? I hope not. . .

The Magnetic Letters -- Very rich and complex harmonization in a classical tradition, quite beautiful, followed by something that feels like an homage to the theme from Dr. Who, but again with some really lovely things going on harmonically and melodically. The lyrics offer a strange take on the title, not quite plausible for me, but they're very well done. Good singing too. The recording has a lot of high spectrum, which makes it feel scratchy.

Paco del Stinko -- The title makes a great setup for "I Love You." An energetic, fun song, with performances to match. It lasts just a little longer than I expect.

Phillipso -- Nice fretless bass intro, but it seems at odds with the continuation. The distortion on the vocals is a little too thick, making the lyrics hard to understand. But I don't understand them anyway, so that balances out. The music is an exciting onslaught, a blend of rock and jazz that takes no prisoners.

Phlebia -- The words are very good, a writer's lyric. The music brings together big tribal drums and ominous chanting, suggestive of strange rituals at midnight. One could draw the inference that there is something darkly magical about the editor's art. But perhaps it's meant to evoke whatever overcooked sword-and-sorcery epic is under review (The Worm Ouroboros?).

Pigfarmer Jr. -- The lyrics are simple and evocative --"relatable" is a word I might use, if it were a word. Anyway they're good. The music is standard for the genre, no surprises or twists. The performances and arrangements are lively and entertaining.

Third Cat -- A pleasant synth-driven sound, with smooth, reverb-softened vocals. In places the drum pattern has a slight limping quality. The composition uses a repeating four-chord structure to carry most of the load, which, perhaps because it's encountered so frequently, is not my favourite choice (although I've used it myself on occasion).

TOSHIRO -- The rhythm guitar starts out with a strong Neil Finn quality, but the rest of song quickly takes on another feel. I especially like the contrasting part with the wall of guitars and the descending bass octave run. (Whether to flatten the seventh is one of those agonizing bass questions.) The harmonies are eccentric, but I think they work.

Vom Vorton -- I mentioned the four-chord structure in the Third Cat review. Here it is again, maybe even in the same key. This is the problem. Those chords are the crack cocaine of the music industry. But the song is attractive, with good singing and a fine guitar lead. The lyrics sort of fill themselves out most of the time, but with an effective unexpected ending.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by Toshiro » Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:22 pm

Thanks to those who took the time to review me this week, I will return the favour.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by crumpart » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:54 am

Absolutely Credible
Handclaps! Enjoying all the instrumentation and rhythms.

Vom Vorton
I feel like this could be a track on 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields. Love the solo half way through name listing. Sure, it’s a joke song, but I love a good joke song here and there. V

Toshiro
Am I contractually obliged to vote for you because we’re married, like neighbouring countries in Eurovision?

Third Cat
Love the chilled out vibe. Liked that you cut to the chase by opening with “long story short”. Occasionally the timing with the rhythms feels a little off, but overall I like this a lot. V

Pig Farmer Jr
You should put piano in more of your songs, it really adds another dimension. I also love that synth sounds that comes in somewhere along the way, and your voice has a lovely tone especially in the choruses. V

Phlebia
Not remotely the kind of music I normally choose to listen to, but I love this. It has kind a Gregorian chant feel to it which I like a lot. I think the chant backing works super well with the talk singing over the top. My knowledge of musical scales is lacking; does this use one of the less often used ones? V

Phillipso
The vocal delivery and melody aren’t what I personally want from this song, and most of the time I can’t figure out what you’re saying. I’m enjoying the guitars.

Paco del Stinko
This is super sweet. You had me at “Captain of the Enterprise”. The piano tone is working really nicely with the vibe of the song, and the way it moves into the slight sinister feel of the bridge is great. The backing “I love you” vocals may be my favourite part of the song. V

The Magnetic Letters
This is no Pocket Full of Bones, but I love that shift to the chip tune segment so much that it gets a vote. Did you ever read the YA book by Gillian Rubinstein from the mid nineties called Space Demons? V

Lily Plus Martin
This is hitting better for me than Pocket Full of Bones did. The line “still a home to the children of the spiders that we swallowed in our sleep” is following me around. I think the glitching voices are super successful, and I think you’ve made really good use of the stereo field. This reminds me a little of Your Ghost by Kristen Hersch and Michael Stipe. V

Lepprakon
The melody in this isn’t really grabbing me. I think it could use some higher end backing vocals throughout. Or a gospel choir (because we’ve all got access one of those at hand, right?)

Jonathan Mann
I love this, and I love it the more I listen to it. It’s really sweet, and is a lovely example of the value of kindness in making the world a bit better. Watching your YouTube channel was listed on the Start With This podcast as one of the homework assignments, and I hadn’t checked it out yet. Now subscribed, and I loved watching the original videos that inspired this song. I think the call and response and backing vocals in this are the highlight here. V

Hot Pink Halo
Me again! This one was well out of my comfort zone, but I actually really enjoyed doing it (against all expectations). I was hell bent on not doing a rap despite all your peer pressure, but about half way through I realised I was writing a rap whether I liked it or not. A quick YouTube search reveals that raps based on The Odyssey are a common high school project; hopefully I did better than all those children. While I struggled with the mixing on this one (because I deliberately refused to look up any instructions until I was done) due to the difference in volume and arrangement between the verses and choruses, the feeling of confusion in the choruses was a deliberate choice. In The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood, she sets the chorus up as Penelope’s handmaids, who are brutally killed by Telemachus at the end of the story because they slept around with the suitors. They were also slaves, and probably the most powerless characters in the book, so their deaths are very uncomfortable for me. In all the translations of The Odyssey by men, this seems to be entirely glossed over, and they’re just talked down upon as sluts and whores. Again, in the translations by men, Penelope is also minimised as simply Odysseus’ faithful wife, who is only rejecting the suitors out of deference to her husband (while he’s off lost at sea for 20 years banging every woman he meets). Maybe she just wanted to rule her own damn home in peace instead of marrying any of those dipshits. I get cross about this and will shut up about it now. Anyway, I first became interested in The Odyssey in 2009, when I was working in the collections at the State Library of Victoria. One of my coworkers was a man named Frank Lovece, who remains one of the loveliest, kindest people I’ve ever met. When he warmed up to me a bit and realised I was interested in poetry and weaving (I was taking a year off school between my undergrad and starting a masters in fine art), he told me about rhapsodies and Penelope’s weaving and unweaving. I’ve made a lot of artworks about it since. It turned out that Frank was a member of the cult math rock band The Primitive Calculators, and also Arf Arf, who were an experimental poetry group. Both those projects are famous for their anti-establishment, experimental vibes, and super weird, confusing sounds abound. I found out about a year ago that Frank had died suddenly, and it still makes me sad. I think he’d like my crazy chorus and beat made from loom sounds. He’d probably add more weirdness though. Here’s a lovely obituary that I like to read sometimes: http://thedwarf.com.au/news/22277/tribu ... alculators

Glennny
I really like the synths that starts this one out, and in general the bounciness of it is a plus for me. I feel like some of the lyrics don’t can super well, and I’d like it to have a bit more structure. I can’t remember if there’s no chorus, or if the melody just doesn’t differentiate enough.

Glenn Case
I like the tones you’ve used on the voices in this one. There’s a lot I enjoy about this but I keep finding myself tuning out about half way through.

Gizo
The more I listen to this the more I like it. I personally think that the synth could be a little more sparse rather than just running through the whole thing. I like the backing vocals a lot, and I think that high keyboard part is a super nice touch, especially how it fades out. I love the cormorant line; I think it stops the whole thing from being overly romanticised. V

Eat It ‘n’ Mattress
This is pretty fun. The lyrics feel like Dada or the songwriting version of Exquisite Corpse, which are both cool ideas, but I find myself wanting a bit more substance in them.

Break Broken
I like a lot about this but would like it even more if it had backing vocals.

Berkeley Social Scene
I really love the vocal delivery in this. As a whole it’s pretty enjoyable, but not something I would actively seek out.

Balance Lost
I like the vocal delivery in this and think it sits really well with the instrumentation. I think I’d enjoy a few more higher pitched sounds here and there.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Mon Oct 14, 2019 11:46 am

crumpart wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:54 am
Vom Vorton
I feel like this could be a track on 69 Love Songs by The Magnetic Fields.
Wow, thank you! I take that as an extremely high compliment!
AJOwens wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:09 am
Vom Vorton -- I mentioned the four-chord structure in the Third Cat review. Here it is again, maybe even in the same key. This is the problem. Those chords are the crack cocaine of the music industry. But the song is attractive, with good singing and a fine guitar lead. The lyrics sort of fill themselves out most of the time, but with an effective unexpected ending.
Yeah, that's a good point about the overused chords. Partly a result of me writing it on piano, where I still tend to stick to very familiar patterns due to inexperience. The other part is thinking that the clichéd chords kinda fit the joke, but that doesn't necessarily make it the right choice for a good song.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:19 am

crumpart wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:54 am
Phlebia
Not remotely the kind of music I normally choose to listen to, but I love this. It has kind a Gregorian chant feel to it which I like a lot. I think the chant backing works super well with the talk singing over the top. My knowledge of musical scales is lacking; does this use one of the less often used ones? V

I'm not sure there's a name for it, but it's in C# with the 2nd, 6th, and 7th flattened. I got to googling a bit and apparently it's called the "Phrygian Dominant" mode? I didn't know that until a minute ago, but I like it and it tends to create a somewhat powerful vibe!

Also you used loom sounds for your backing track? I didn't catch that at all!
AJOwens wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:09 am

Phlebia -- The words are very good, a writer's lyric. The music brings together big tribal drums and ominous chanting, suggestive of strange rituals at midnight. One could draw the inference that there is something darkly magical about the editor's art. But perhaps it's meant to evoke whatever overcooked sword-and-sorcery epic is under review (The Worm Ouroboros?).
Perhaps there is something magical about the editors art! I mean what greater power is there than to clean up the thought-stuff of others? As for the exact target of the lyrics, I loosely had both the first bit of the first LotR novel as well as a bit of "The Gunslinger" by Stephen King in mind -- both classic, well loved novels that open a longer series and take wayyyy too long to get to the point. That said, all the wizard/landscape talk is much more associated with high fantasy than western sci-fi epics.

To be fair, I mostly stick with non-fiction, sociological commentary, or natural field guides for most of my leisure reading. Though I am a sucker for some of John Michael Greer's novels -- I found Star's Reach to be one recent pick that was a bit enthralling.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by owl » Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:54 pm

Very strong fight, nice work everyone! I'm going to be that weirdo who submits reviews without actually being in the fight ;)

Absolutely Credible: Fantastic fade-in and intro, but you lose me with the distorted bassline... looking at the other reviews, I am well aware I'm in the minority here, but I dunno, I just can't get into it and it really distracts me from anything else happening in the song. It kinda reminds me of Collective Soul and seeing as there's no cat involved, I have some genre bias against it. I like the Casablancas vocals, and I love the guitar riffs that come in around a minute in. In general, I find the instrumental riffs in this song a lot more memorable than the main vocal. I guess nobody ever said the main vocal had to be memorable, just as long as SOMETHING is. So I'm on the fence about it! I think this is really well put together, but I just don't really enjoy the bassline.

Balance Lost: I love this, that main guitar part is SO good, and the change at the chorus is really nice. It doesn't feel as carefully arranged and produced as some of your tracks--my only complaint would be that I wish there were more of an arrangement/energy change at the choruses to go along with the melodic/key shift, it does feel like it kind of stays at the same intensity level the whole time. But this is one of my favorites of the fight overall.

BSS: I love Norman's smoky voice. This is really not my preferred genre, but I think you guys did a really nice job here. It reminds me of Sultans of Swing. The Rhodes is maybe my favorite bit--just the right amount of twinkliness to elevate the arrangement.

Break Broken: Very nice piano playing and singing, and I love the chord progression at the end of the prechorus lines. The lyrics and vocal delivery are really solid--I really love some of your images and phrases--"way below the water in a three-piece suit," "running eyes closed, hoping that my feet don't leave the path," "the breeze of a sword that barely missed." Nitpicks: the long held notes with the "eee" vowels often sound kind of unpleasantly nasal tone-wise, I would have liked a few more little arrangement treats in the background to mix up the textures a bit, and it really sounds like it belongs in a musical, which is not my favorite genre either... but overall I thought this was very good.

Eat it 'n' Mattress: 99% of my reviews so far have been "I have genre bias against this song," but oh man do I mean it this time, I really hate this type of slick, autotune-laden modern production. BUT you've balanced it with surreal, bizarre lyrics, and I'm really into that. I like the deranged bus driver's shining teeth in particular. (Also, you're in Green Bay, what?! You shoulda come to Song Fight Live!) Anyway, this is another maybe-vote struggling hard against my genre bias, I just can't get past the production despite really admiring the concept.

gizo: I love the laid-back, melancholy feel to this, and the cello. That's a really nice keyboard solo part in the middle, love the tone you picked! I do not really like that ever-present flanged synth thing in the background, I found myself constantly distracted by it. I think I would have liked a more organic, acoustic-sounding song on the whole, for this particular song... maybe not just guy-and-uke but maybe somewhere in between? Ocean waves samples could have been nice for a constant rushing noise, instead of the synth, though maybe that's too on-the-nose. The lyrics are pretty; my favorite part is the last part about the dreaming of the house, and the abrupt ending after you've sung "cut a short story shorter." Don't take this the wrong way, though, but to give you some meta-critique, your written descriptions on the forum--wind turbine, wattle bird, coffee and beach walks--seemed far more vivid and interesting to me than the actual song lyrics ended up being. I like it better when a song sounds like only one person could have written it, and these lyrics ended up being kind of generic and slightly cliched (golden light, early bird) in a way where it didn't sound as uniquely you as I think it could have. The song itself could probably use a bit more dynamic changes in the arrangement or switch-ups in the melody, it did start to feel quite long (haha), but I really enjoyed it on the whole. [NB: I definitely have a song out there with the phrase "golden light" and possibly also one with "early bird" so pot kettle etc but I think my comments still stand]

Glenn Case: This scores pretty high on the yacht rock scale! I have to be in the right mood for that. I think this is nicely performed and arranged as usual, and you have some interesting, inventive chord progressions, but I dunno, I just kind of feel like I'm listening to Steely Dan, and you know how I feel about that. :) This kind of falls into the "genre bias" bucket like so many of the other songs in the fight this week (do I just not like any genres, or what?!) The vocal sounds sort of excessively processed for my taste, too, too much tuning or EQ tweaks or something, not sure what it is but it doesn't sound as warm as some of your other vocals do.

glennny: This song rules, I like that swooshy synth intro and the abrupt dive into literary-joke hot club jazz still coupled with cheesy swooshings, it's ridiculous and I'm really into it. (I think I have genre bias in favor of this!) Nice playing, nice mix, I like that solo at 00:48. I'm not sure I'd ever listen to this outside of the Songfight context, but it was a very enjoyable excursion in context, one of my other favorites.

Hot Pink Halo: I love hearing your accent coming through, although the lead vocal feels a bit muffled. I'm not sure I'd really classify this as a rap, but it's at least adjacent :) I love the weirdness and inventiveness of the arrangement, and the ideas you're exploring in the lyric (appreciate the "cotton on" pun as well). The chorus is too chaotic for my tastes, though... I understand what you're going for but it's just not very listenable for me.

Jonathan Mann: This is very cute and well crafted, but it just doesn't quite feel like it has lasting value to me... I appreciated it the first time through, but I can't say I would necessarily go back to listen to this. There's nothing to complain about musically, but I guess in the end it just kind of felt like a kid's song, or a novelty song, rather than something that meant anything to you emotionally, even though I'm sure the actual event did mean a lot, so it didn't really connect with me.

Leppakron: Whoever is playing lead guitar needs to chill for a minute, they are just noodling nonstop, in a way that is fun for the person playing and really not fun for the listener, and it is SO distracting from the other stuff going on. It's not nearly as much as in "Hope Against Hope" (which, thank you for posting the chords for that btw, I may or may not get around to that cover one day) but they could maybe at least limit the noodling to just in between the vocal lines or something? Anyway, I like the other stuff going on, although it doesn't feel totally done, it does have a bit of that jam session feel. The chorus is memorable to me, more than many of the other entries. The bouncy staccato parts of the song are my favorite. Parts of this reminded me a little of the Beatles but I can't quite put my finger on which song I'm thinking of. It also reminds me of "Drive" by the Cars, hahaha. (I'm just going to say this about every song of yours now.)

Lily Plus Martin: Great lyrics! Nice singing from both of you (I particularly like that little hoarse vocal catch on the line "God he doesn't see me"). I'm not a fan of the stuttery drums (insert genre bias complaint here) although I do like the glitchy vocal effects, and the radio static thing at the end, and the electric piano sounds nice. I think my main complaint is that the song doesn't really hang together for me as a whole--the lyrics are fine when you read through them, but listening, this feels like a bunch of disconnected parts kind of stuck together instead of an entire song that would make sense as a whole. Like if you played it for your "Lily + Martin MTV Unplugged" album on an acoustic guitar, I feel like it wouldn't quite gel.

The Magnetic Letters: "Herzog Zwei" is a very cool-sounding video game to namedrop. I wish the vocals were a little louder in the mix in general. I like the dive from that pretty intro into the chiptune madness, and this doesn't overstay its welcome. The higher-register synths might be a bit loud compared to the lower-end stuff, it feels a bit shrill, but overall I enjoyed it and I think I would enjoy it even more with a few mix tweaks.

Paco Del Stinko: This is great, I love the jangly guitar pop with those off-kilter flatted notes that keep it sounding like a classic Paco tune. I wish the vocals were mixed a little higher or brighter, something about the lead vocal quality sounds sort of oddly dull in the mix (backing vocals sound good though!) But I really like those Dracula-esque bridge vocals followed by the exuberant shreddy guitar solo. Probably one of my favorite Paco Del Stinko songs that I've heard.

Phillipso: I really like that main bass riff. I wanted to hear the vocals a bit more and the guitars a bit less--there's one on the left that seemed like it was jumping out of the mix at times. Wasn't particularly into the soloing, although it all sounded well performed. I loved the high guitar riff that starts around 3 minutes in, but then I didn't feel to me like the distorted guitar that came in shortly afterwards meshed super well with what the high guitar was doing, they seem like they are maybe playing in slightly different scales or something, and I was kind of sad about that. Overall I think I have a similar complaint for me as the Lily + Martin song, this has a lot of cool parts that I liked on their own, but it doesn't feel like a cohesive song to me.

Phlebia: I like the hypnotic tom groove. I'm on the fence about that medieval chanting stuff, it's atmospheric and all, but it also reminds me of Loreena McKennitt and Enigma and that whole period of the 90s where Gregorian chants were briefly popular and I feel like I would rather leave that whole weird musical period in the past, even though I like "Return to Innocence." Also, I don't really like Tool, and the more this makes me think about Tool, the less I like it. On the other hand, the spoken word parts remind me of Slint and I love Slint, so I guess that all evens out. I love the banjo! More dark banjo jamz, please. I'm kind of inclined to vote for this on the basis of the banjo alone.

Pigfarmer Jr.: I like the chorus melody a lot, it's a little melancholy in this way that reminds me of Tom Petty. The piano solo is nice, although something in the mix makes it feel like it's not in the same room with everyone else. Good vocals! The lyrics felt pretty generic (see note above to gizo about wanting to hear words that only you could have written), and some of the rhymes and phrasing felt too simple to me--same length lines, same rhyme sitting at the end of each line with the same length gap between--but they scanned and worked well with the music, I thought, so it works, I just think it could have been more lyrically/metrically complex. Anyway, this is a really nice one! I enjoyed it a lot.

Third Cat: This is lovely, the opening lines are so sad and evocative and direct in a way that really grabs you right off the bat. Nice use of delays and effects as usual, the repeated refrain at the end of the song works really well. I just wish this was longer--this is one of my favorites of this fight as well.

TOSHIRO: Your vocals remind me of Morrissey a bit, they have that crooner quality to them. Maybe they're a bit loud in the mix, though? I loved the alternation in this song between the quiet polite parts and the noisy MBV-style guitar assaults. Some additional layers in the quieter parts might be nice. I liked the melody in the choruses. This felt like it needed another section to me, I was taken by surprise by the ending, but overall I really enjoyed the song, particularly the noisy parts, which made me very happy every time they kicked in. (Another where I have genre bias in your favor, which makes me feel a little better about my huge pile of reviews at the beginning saying "this is good BUT I hate this kind of music")

Vom Vorton: This is lovely, I really love those detuned warbly keys. Also, is that really how you pronounce "Barbara" in England? If so I am SHOOK and I'm not even named Barbara. I really enjoyed this one musically, it was nicely produced and performed as always, and a pleasure to listen to--the lyrics are extremely silly, but the music is warm and pretty and gives you a lot to enjoy beyond the shaggy-dog joke. I will second the 69 Love Songs comparison!
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by gizo » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:19 pm

owl wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:54 pm
gizo: I love the laid-back, melancholy feel to this, and the cello. That's a really nice keyboard solo part in the middle, love the tone you picked! I do not really like that ever-present flanged synth thing in the background, I found myself constantly distracted by it. I think I would have liked a more organic, acoustic-sounding song on the whole, for this particular song... maybe not just guy-and-uke but maybe somewhere in between? Ocean waves samples could have been nice for a constant rushing noise, instead of the synth, though maybe that's too on-the-nose. The lyrics are pretty; my favorite part is the last part about the dreaming of the house, and the abrupt ending after you've sung "cut a short story shorter." Don't take this the wrong way, though, but to give you some meta-critique, your written descriptions on the forum--wind turbine, wattle bird, coffee and beach walks--seemed far more vivid and interesting to me than the actual song lyrics ended up being. I like it better when a song sounds like only one person could have written it, and these lyrics ended up being kind of generic and slightly cliched (golden light, early bird) in a way where it didn't sound as uniquely you as I think it could have. The song itself could probably use a bit more dynamic changes in the arrangement or switch-ups in the melody, it did start to feel quite long (haha), but I really enjoyed it on the whole. [NB: I definitely have a song out there with the phrase "golden light" and possibly also one with "early bird" so pot kettle etc but I think my comments still stand]
Thank you. That is some top class commentary.

I have really appreciated all the feedback I've received since returning to the forums, but this piece is particularly 'sticky'- I think because it points to areas in the creative process, rather than more technical guidance (which I always feel quite overwhelmed and intimidated by).
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:55 pm

owl wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:54 pm
Also, is that really how you pronounce "Barbara" in England? If so I am SHOOK and I'm not even named Barbara.
Uh... No, actually. I hadn't actually noticed until now how weirdly I'm pronouncing Barbara there. Apologies to all Barbs!
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by Æpplês&vØdkã » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:14 am

owl wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:54 pm
Very strong fight, nice work everyone! I'm going to be that weirdo who submits reviews without actually being in the fight ;)

Phlebia: I like the hypnotic tom groove. I'm on the fence about that medieval chanting stuff, it's atmospheric and all, but it also reminds me of Loreena McKennitt and Enigma and that whole period of the 90s where Gregorian chants were briefly popular and I feel like I would rather leave that whole weird musical period in the past, even though I like "Return to Innocence." Also, I don't really like Tool, and the more this makes me think about Tool, the less I like it. On the other hand, the spoken word parts remind me of Slint and I love Slint, so I guess that all evens out. I love the banjo! More dark banjo jamz, please. I'm kind of inclined to vote for this on the basis of the banjo alone.
Well, you called a few of my influences, even though I swear the Tool similarities were accidental! I guess "growling bassline and toms and long sustained vocal notes" gets you halfway to a Tool song anyway! Maynard sings better than I ever will anyway.

That being said: I feel asleep to a cassette tape of Enigma 2 - Cross of Changes almost every night from about Kindergarten to 2nd grade. My mom/step-dad are also really into shamanism and took me to sweat lodges all the time as a kid. So hand-drums and chanting are kind of burned into my brain and have been from an early age. I also used to be really into that medieval folky stuff that came out of the goth scene (think early Miranda Sex Garden/Medieval Baebes). And one of my all time favorite groups is Dead Can Dance, which -- Tool similarities aside -- was really more what I was going for.

I will honestly say I did seriously fight the urge to go full Enigma on this one and bust out the hand drums, synth pads, and sexy whispering...maybe in another fight just for giggles.

Slint is cool though, they're one of those groups that I'll return to once in a blue moon, listen to, enjoy the album, then promptly not listen to it again for another couple years.

I'll get the banjo out again soon!
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:28 am

owl wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:54 pm
... and some of the rhymes and phrasing felt too simple to me--same length lines, same rhyme sitting at the end of each line with the same length gap between
I've been working.. okay, that's a lie. I've been conscious of phrasing, etc., On the Jerks podcast there was a conversation about it that stuck with me so it's one of those things I'm at least trying to be aware of. So I was pretty happy with the phrasing and line length of this song. Then you come along and make the (very valid) point that it sounds generic with no change up. The challenge is to have it sound natural without being too boring. I can't say I disagree.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by owl » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:31 am

gizo wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:19 pm
Thank you. That is some top class commentary.

I have really appreciated all the feedback I've received since returning to the forums, but this piece is particularly 'sticky'- I think because it points to areas in the creative process, rather than more technical guidance (which I always feel quite overwhelmed and intimidated by).
I'm glad it's helpful. I would love to see some songs from you that are as super fucking weird and surreal and evocative as your "Please Move" reviews! (although... as far as reviews go, I would personally prefer to see normal reviews for humans)

(This is my song that has "golden light" in it btw :))
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by owl » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:31 am

vowlvom wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:55 pm
owl wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 3:54 pm
Also, is that really how you pronounce "Barbara" in England? If so I am SHOOK and I'm not even named Barbara.
Uh... No, actually. I hadn't actually noticed until now how weirdly I'm pronouncing Barbara there. Apologies to all Barbs!
You should have put Hannah in the list right before that and it would have sounded intentional ;)
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by owl » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:57 am

Æpplês&vØdkã wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:14 am
That being said: I feel asleep to a cassette tape of Enigma 2 - Cross of Changes almost every night from about Kindergarten to 2nd grade. My mom/step-dad are also really into shamanism and took me to sweat lodges all the time as a kid. So hand-drums and chanting are kind of burned into my brain and have been from an early age. I also used to be really into that medieval folky stuff that came out of the goth scene (think early Miranda Sex Garden/Medieval Baebes). And one of my all time favorite groups is Dead Can Dance, which -- Tool similarities aside -- was really more what I was going for.

I will honestly say I did seriously fight the urge to go full Enigma on this one and bust out the hand drums, synth pads, and sexy whispering...maybe in another fight just for giggles.

Slint is cool though, they're one of those groups that I'll return to once in a blue moon, listen to, enjoy the album, then promptly not listen to it again for another couple years.

I'll get the banjo out again soon!
Ha, called it! I wonder if you might like this band Al1CE, we played with them recently when they were on tour and I feel like they are kind of in that genre. Maybe too commercial/not quite medieval/dark enough for you, but check them out.

I forgot about Dead Can Dance! They were cool. I just fell down a brief Wikipedia rabbit hole looking at their page, and found that two of them met in Melbourne's little band scene started by... The Primitive Calculators, @crumpart's friend's band. Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, anyone?

and speaking of dark banjos and hand drums, I might go see my friends perform this original score for Koyanisqaatsi this Friday, I saw it when they recorded this session last year and thought it was great. Although some friend who heard it said it sounded like a Ken Burns documentary and that spoiled my feelings about it a little bit.
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Re: You won't believe what happened next (Long Story Short Reviews)

Post by owl » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:35 am

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:28 am
I've been working.. okay, that's a lie. I've been conscious of phrasing, etc., On the Jerks podcast there was a conversation about it that stuck with me so it's one of those things I'm at least trying to be aware of. So I was pretty happy with the phrasing and line length of this song. Then you come along and make the (very valid) point that it sounds generic with no change up. The challenge is to have it sound natural without being too boring. I can't say I disagree.
Well, I think you nailed it as far as sounding natural! (but your princess is in another castle!)
If they were my lyrics and I were editing them I would probably just think about those gaps in the verses, do they all need to be there? Maybe try to put some more words in those gaps, or move the location of the pauses around? Like I would have probably just gone straight to "If it was me..." without that extra 4-count in between those lines. But I'm notorious for cramming too many words into things so maybe don't listen to me.

Like in your entry for "Two Hits," I remember really liking the way "the house always wins" was phrased, you guys had the pretty strictly metered previous lines and then that one line that sprawled out that gave it a lot more rhythmic interest (although I think at least one of the Jerks didn't agree with me about that line).
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