No gag. Just do it. (Save New Orleans Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.

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No gag. Just do it. (Save New Orleans Reviews)

Postby Albatross » Fri Sep 09, 2005 12:07 pm

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Postby stueym » Fri Sep 09, 2005 2:35 pm

Well I just did my first listen through and I urge you guys to go listen...Man what great writing and music!!!!

Max the Cat and MVB.COM have come up with two of THE most in keeping with the theme awesome tracks I have heard in ages. Both capable of being issued commercially. Roymond and Wally Harbinger as excellent honorable mentions

WOW!! :D :D :D Reviews to follow
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Postby j$ » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:02 pm

If there was ever a time to be harsh, now is it ...

A Small Majority - is me and Ray

Bjam - This is lovely. I can finally hear that wonderful voice. Despite its gratituous length, CONTENDER. I might shorten the chorus to 2 lines the first two times. Just to improve the dynamic - basically the strength is of the progression is moving me. But I am drunk, so what do I know?

Comfort - part of me wants you to just say 'they fucked up in new orleans' over and again. The rest is superfluous to the message, in my opinion. Lovely voice - why did you bury it so deep last week? Or was that a different Comfort. I digress. Could do with a bit more noodling around the chords, because I'm drifting off at 1.33-ish. The point has been made by then.

Phunt - Parts of it I like. Parts I don't. Indulgent, but wistfully so, so, not bad.

Hoblit - as it buffers I am hoping for rock Hoblit not 'sensitive' Hoblit. This is cool. Drums are a bit in the background, but other than that CONTENDER, if only for the solo at 1.16 ish. Sweet.

Luke Henley - that is a mighty hiss. Like, more hiss than usual, in a distracting way. But it's a nice tune.

Max the Cat - No, although it's a nice tune, I think it's inappropriate. Well, no, nothing is inappropriate - but it doesn't capture the significance of the title, imo. I guess that's my problem. I just don't believe you mean it, man.

MVB.com - What a lovely opening. It's impressive, but it's just a bit too slow as a tune, and the Whitney Houston wailing-as-emotion vocal approach isn't winning me over. I just don't believe you mean it, man.

Roymond - maybe I should review this in the wrong place ... moat/float is an ugly rhyme, in my opinion. But other than that, as always you bring a quiet dignity to songfight with your music. CONTENDER.

Wally Harbinger - another great opening. And oddly, we start as we finish (in the stream at least.) Nice groove, in a Taxi-theme-tune-gone-funky way. I like it.

I'm voting for Bjam, with Hoblit close second.
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Postby EightLeggedOedipus » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:09 pm

Aw, turd snake.

Looks like I didn't make it in time.
A good offering here, seriously, y'all. I will review these
fights proper when I get back from Japan.

For now, if anyone's interested:

http://www.puregreedrecords.com/eightleggedoedipus_sno.mp3
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Postby roymond » Fri Sep 09, 2005 3:42 pm

Bjam made me cry. Watching the cat drown.

These others are awesome, but my little MP3 player doesn't display artist names, so they're somewhat anonymous which is cool. Oh, yeah, J$ is never anonymous. This is great. Mixed emotions ... great songs about a sucky situation.

Reviews tomorrow, perhaps.
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Postby max the cat » Fri Sep 09, 2005 6:34 pm

[quote="j$"]I
I just don't believe you mean it, man.

I mean it, MTC
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Postby Bjam » Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:37 pm

roymond wrote:Bjam made me cry. Watching the cat drown.

It's kind of a depressing song. Sorry if I make anyone else cry :/

A Small Majority
I dig the drums. The music in the spoken part is nice, and I really like the ending. The samples of the speaking are very nicely put in and work well. J$ and Caravan Ray? Interesting combo.

Bjam
Oops, forgot ID tags. My bad.

comfort
This is nice. The swearing gets a little superfluous for me, but it kinda works in the context, if that makes any sense. The guitar playing with the strategic pauses is very nice. Your voice is very nice, a very flowy but gravelly tone to it. "I've got to find my way, to that perfect place that used to be, where the music was" That's perfect.

Here, Let Us Phunt You and Your Friends
Whoa, loud after comfort's. This isn't too bad. I like the guitar noodling, I wish it wasn't so spread around because it sounds pretty nice, especially with your voice. This has a lot of nice elements, which kinda cuts the song up. It needs that one thing to drag the listener through the song. The strange rambley multiple vocals don't do anything for me, but that's just me. It's about 3 minutes too long though.It's kind of like you're trying to appeal to everyone on SongFight with all the different parts of this song. I dig certain parts, I don't dig other.

Hoblit
Heh, I've been wanting to listen to this since you mentioned the style you were going after in the IRC. This isn't too bad. I like the drums, they really pull you along the song and get you into it. I've gotta say I agree with J$, totally dig the solo. I like this. Not my thing, but I still like it can see it as a good song :)

Luke Henley
The mmmy/wails at the beginning don't work for me. Save mmms, oohs, claps, kazoo solos, and anything 'kooky' like that till at least after the 2nd verse. Your vocals are pretty hard to hear, the higher vocal layer kinda works but it does make it hard to hear. The guitar playing is real pretty though. I'm a little confused by the ending. There was a party going on in the background? There will be a party after all the badness? Is there a deep meaning here or it is 12:20am and I'm reading into things?

Max the Cat
When I was talking to my Dad this evening, he described this song as "Randy Newmanesque" and I totally get that now. This is sweet. Your vocals have a nice jazzy tone to them, and the piano is very well done. Reminds me kind of of Jim Tyrrell, I think that's just the jazzy piano thing though. I get where J$ is coming from with the innapropriateness but I think it kinda works the way it is. It's a more positive song rather than about the negatives, if that makes sense.

MyVirtualBand.Com
I like the saxophone, that's pretty impressive. There was a senior last year, Andrew Urbina, crazy saxophonist. He was amazing. He once improvised for 10 minutes. But anyway. The little vocal flub at 1:08ish really took me out of the song which was sad as I was getting rather into the funk. When the drums kick in, it takes it into that dangerous range of "cheesy jazz lounge" territory. The vocalist is obviously talented, but occasionally when he's belting those notes he's belting for the power, which comes across well, but where power is gained clarity is lost, and I totally lose whatever you're singing. Nice tune though.

Roymond
This is nice. Your guitar sounds very nice, and works really well. The vocals are also nice, you're one of the few who you can feel "Okay, yeah, he believes in these lyrics", which is always a good thing. "It will float, in its moat," isn't working for me either, but I'm sure if you had longer to work on this then you could really make this that much better. I so like the duh-duh-duh-duh of the guitar in those lines though.

Wally Harbinger
Y'know the intro reminds me of the 'demo' buttons on keyboard. *shrug* It's nice, it just seems very programmed. The groove of this is very nice. The samples of people speaking is very interesting. This is a nice piece, but the music is a little repetetive for me. Good, just not my thing. :)

EightLeggedOedipus
Oh, whoa, so turning down the speakers. This has a nice groove, but it feels a little stilted because of the claps and drums both being so sudden. Your vocals are awesome, and work very well. Unfortunately they're kinda hard to understand. However this is still pretty nice. The stilted groove ends up working which is rather strange, but, y'know it takes a while to get into. One of those things you like, but you're not sure why you like it.

Lotsa good songs.
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Postby Caravan Ray » Fri Sep 09, 2005 10:21 pm

Bjam wrote:
A Small Majority
J$ and Caravan Ray? Interesting combo.
.


Thanks. I think J$ let the team down on this one though. I should have gone solo.
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Postby jack » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:34 pm

max the cat
beautiful piece of work. you'd make professor longhair proud.
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Postby Egg » Fri Sep 09, 2005 11:50 pm

Don't be afraid to tear me up as much as usual if not a little more than usual this week just because it's about New Orleans or something. I mean it. Talk dirty to me.


Reviews!

A Small Majority-Same sample as Wally Harbinger? I like the sampling. I think the vocals aren't very aurally evocative. The samples are thick and juicy in comparison to how spread thin the vocals sound post affectation. The vocal track is sort of unsettling. I guess it adds a level of uncertainty/queasiness to the track.

Bjam-You have a nice voice and the guitar has some very nice times (I like those twangy plucks), but the song feels repetitive at times and while this is a pretty plea in some ways, I think it's pretty boring. I think there's a part where your vocals get doubled over and even though your voice sounded nice on a single track, I think more experimentation along those lines could create a more dynamic song. This review, strangely enough, sounds a lot like that review that got hillbilly so worked up.. Uh, that's weird.

Comfort- You know, there are times when this song felt tongue-in-cheek and I think it was because of the language choice (not just fuck, but the general simplicity of the language..it seemed like it might be brutally straightforward to the point where it was sort of a joke.). But I'm left relatively certain that you're serious and not like PiGPEN, so I relisten and the clarity and choice of words and of the instrumentation gives this a cool feeling of legitimacy. Also, I'd like to hear this clarity on the vocals in your songs more frequently. I don't know if you like the sound of fuzzy vocals better than clear ones, but if you're afraid of using your voice, I don't think you should be. I bet a lof of people turn up their volume for this song, which is going to be unfortunate when they hear mine.

Here, let us phunt you and your friends:- Boltoph wrote an amazing guitar track and encouraged me to play with it. Thanks. He also composed a stellar Gary Coleman montage which I chopped up and used a bit. It is disturbing. THC managed some awesome sound samples too and they totally changed the song in a good way. Both of these fellows had other stuff to do with weddings in the family or cable connections getting cut because of construction crews. Thanks for standing by a phunter. Luke Henley jumped into the collab without knowing it until he heard the submission last night. He did that weird acapella synth at the end. I felt it was the perfect close or epilogue to the song.

Hoblit- When I saw you on the playlist since I expected something a little rockier and a little less mopey and was rewarded with being right. This song is pretty straightforward as are its qualities and limitations, and I like it. The drums are well thought-out as is the placement of the cheesy power guitar solo.

Luke Henley- Hey, this is soulful. You are weak and honest. I really wish it was longer and built more with the Preservation Hall business, but if you don't have it in you, you don't have it in you.

Max the Cat-
max the cat wrote:I mean it

I think Max's tune did a great job of reflecting that sort of hell-or-high-water-positive-attitude that is stereotypically associated with New Orleans and that I have actually experienced there. I bought into the song entirely. I think most of it works outside the context of a disaster and it takes on an extra level of significance if you do associate it to Katrina.

This is the attitude that a large part of that city can use to deal with the recent tragedy. I thought it was pretty cool and authentic. I wouldn't mind hearing Dr. John have his way with this, but I like your version too. I think the part that makes this sound a little unauthentic is the relentless references to New Orleans facts. Blanche DuBois is pretty far out of your way to go to allude to New Orleans canon. Um, but I still think it's okay. I also like this ending way better than the last one I heard from you. It's a powerful end with a tiny fade.

myvirtualband.com- You're pretty cool. I liked this song when I was just listening to it. I think the lyrics are pretty cheesy and the delivery is soulful in a traditional sense, but I think that just adds to the cheesiness. I'm more cognizant of soul in the frail sense portrayed in Luke Henley's track this week than sort of this loud, wailing which I commonly associate (perhaps incorrectly) with commercialized music styles that coopted New Orleans music. But I'm definitely overthinking this. It's a pretty song with just enough instrumentation back there and a pretty voice to carry it alongside its stellar production. One of my favorite parts of the production is that it really feels like every musician occupies a real space and stays there throughout the song, which is impossible since you're an Internet band. Way to go.

roymond- I'm gonna say that this got cheesy by the end. The guitar is cool and I'd suggest you tone down the vocals since they're the part that sounds a bit put on. I like how the guitar goes from sort of trucking along to being sad and moving down a little and then trucking on again. The fading reverb on "within you" at the end just hit red on my cheesy-meter.

Wally Harbinger- Cool. Same sample as the first entry. Like you guys planned on a reprise. This is funky. I'm not sure because there's so much noise from the outside world getting into my headphones, but I think your samples could be louder in the mix. Around the 2 minute mark I feel like I've gotten over the funkiness and I'm only listening to hear what other media you've sampled which is sort of an "eh" reason to listen. The funky sampling was interesting for a while though and probably merits some more listening.


Those are my reviews. You know, I used the word "pretty" a lot more than "interesting" this week.


And Eight Legged Oedipus- Awesome. You'd be a contender if you were in the fight. Maybe the vocal track needs to stand apart from the mix more at times. But this is an instant indie hit.
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Postby j$ » Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:16 am

Bjam wrote:A Small Majority
J$ and Caravan Ray? Interesting combo.


No, a different Ray. Nagin. His MP3s were pretty lo-bitrate, mind.

And as for the vocals, I thinned them to a point of weakness and mixed them low in the mix. The song is like a little story, and it's important that the vocals, representing the 'rest of the world', can barely be heard. My point there being that what the rest of the world (specifically white, middle class well-meaning people) thinks is absolutely secondary to what the people who are in New Orleans (as represented by Ray) think.

I am sooo clever. maybe.

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Postby Egg » Sat Sep 10, 2005 5:24 am

j$ wrote: I thinned them to a point of weakness and mixed them low in the mix.
j$


Cool. I'd like to hear you tack on multiple thinned-out vocal tracks that make a bit of a brouhaha while still keeping the focus on Mr. Mayor in order to continue the sybolism of lots of outside voices and make the vocals in the second part of the song a little more substantial while still maintaining the artistic emphasis on the New Orleans view. Bah, just a picky suggestion on an already-well-completed piece.
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Postby roymond » Sat Sep 10, 2005 6:30 am

Bjam wrote:Roymond"It will float, in its moat," isn't working for me either, but I'm sure if you had longer to work on this then you could really make this that much better. I so like the duh-duh-duh-duh of the guitar in those lines though.

Yeah, actually you are right. It should be duh-duh-duh-duh! I only did duh-duh-duh and it never really sits well that way. And I wasn't done with the lyrics, which changed as I sang them.

Egg wrote:The fading reverb on "within you" at the end just hit red on my cheesy-meter.

HAHAHA yes, that just happened (I mean I did it spontaneously and then got into the technique of it all-mistaken distraction?) and I knew it might be borderline cheese, or perhaps worse. I had hoped it would be subtle enough that most people wouldn't hear it (on the elevator, since that's where my stuff apparently belongs these days). Going down...

Thanks for the listen, folks. I was sincere in my motivations, then focused on getting a nice guitar sound (thanks to that great thread) and as always just trying to sing is a challenge. And I need a dirty slide guitar solo in there, which I will work on, too, and post on my site.
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Postby hockinfinger » Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:19 am

A Small Majority - Scary. This does a nice job of portraying pandemonium. I like the la la la parts but the melody in "someone save new orleans" doesn't seem to help the song retain its sense of urgency. I like it as a composition, nice contrast between sad and angry.

Bjam - Disjointed. The lyrics don't seem cohesive. Harmonies could use some tightening up, but they actually could have been left out. It's pretty, nice guitar picking, nice chord progression, but not my cup of beef. Sorry about the cat.

Comfort - Right from the start I'm turned off by the repetition of the first line to the point of being annoying. It's nice for shock value as a first line, but not necessary more than once. Nice effort in the melody, but it seems like there's not any feeling behind it.

Here, Let Us Phunt You and Your Friends - Sounds like a lot of effort was put into stringing samples together to make me wonder why. The guitar parts are cool. Any musical talent that may have been used here is obscured by the jumble of noises, and what sounds like a drunken last minute effort. Sounds like it may have been one hell of a party.

Hoblit - Nice production. I especially like the guitar solo parts. Clever lyrics. Attempts at harmony are a bit sloppy. It still rocks.

Luke Henley - There is a really distracting hiss, which is not made better by the vocals being really weak. The guitar works, and the use of dixieland is ok. I like the lyrics. This song would be much better had it been sung with some conviction.

Max the Cat - Right off the bat, the piano draws me into this tune. It has a Randy Newman feel, not a bad thing in my book. This stands out from everything else in this fight. It has a happy positive feel, and great lyrics. If I had to pick one thing I didn't like, it's the really quick fade off at the end.

myvirtualband.com - Not reviewing myself, so I'll comment on its construction. I did piano, bass, drums and bari sax. MVB member Ronnie did the vocals. I made a conscious choice to stay out of politics and finger-pointing. A lot of the lyrics were mine, with a few taken from MVB member Crash. I sang this Thursday in fear that nobody would come up with any vocals for it, when Ronnie came through late Thursday night. I felt his vocal phrasing and control was much better than mine, so we submitted his. Here is my first try if you are interested: http://www.files.myvirtualband.com/neworleans/myvirtualband.com_sno.mp3

Roymond - Nice clean sounding guitar and vocals. Good use of reverb at the end. The lyrics didn't particularly wow me, but it was a well conceived composition.

Wally Harbinger - Nice funk groove. Being a fan of the old school funk sound, it kept me interested. The creative use of samples kept the groove from getting too old, and accomplished the satire I think was intended.
Last edited by hockinfinger on Sun Oct 02, 2005 7:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Hoblit » Sat Sep 10, 2005 2:38 pm

hockinfinger wrote:Hoblit - Nice production. I especially like the guitar solo parts. Clever lyrics. Attempts at harmony are a bit sloppy. It still rocks.



Hey Thanks.

Also, the harmonies were not attempts at all. They were just two tracks combined and one of them sang wrong. And the 'EFF THE QUEEN' harmonis aren't harmonies at all as much as they are the guitar player and bass player's gruntal yelps into the mic. PUNK RAWK!

Bjam, thanks for the respect. I realize it might not be your taste and you may not like it but I'm grateful that you can critisize it outside of yourself. I try to do the same thing.

Egg, also thanks... it was originally supposed to be even more strait forward but I decided to change up the rhythm guitar for the solo part...just for a change up. I can't help it.

With that, thanks for all the comments on the lame cheese guitar solo ya'll. I even added chorus with a slap back at an attempt to make it sound a bit retro.

J cash, I would have liked my song better had YOU sang it. I thought about contacting you...but the lyrics weren't done yet and it would have been last minute.

Many thanks to everyone who has given it a listen (and commented) so far. I'm buring the fight and taking it over to my friends house that I'm house sitting for a day or two. I'll get to hear how ya'll all sound REAL LOUD on a kick @$$ stereo system and I'll try to review from there. (dial up)
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Postby Nau,D » Sat Sep 10, 2005 3:19 pm

Whoa! I guessed I missed the deadline, dang! What a sloppy return to Songfightin'. Here's my little "Save New Orleans" for anyone interested.
Save NewOrleans

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Postby jack » Sat Sep 10, 2005 7:31 pm

well shit dylan, that is one bad ass tune you have there. all i can say is that you sir are seriously missed around these parts. thanks for the link. you bring the white boy funk to songfight. two thumbs way up. it's like a story of the ghost outtake. and the cowbell seals it!
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Postby h » Sat Sep 10, 2005 10:38 pm

saying the word fuck still has shock value?

it's a tradition where i'm from...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuck
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fight updated

Postby Spud » Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

Eight Legged Oedipus and Dylan Nau added to the fight.
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Song Fight! The Rockening
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Postby tonetripper » Sun Sep 11, 2005 1:55 pm

All hail the return of Dylan Nau....... awesome dude. Max, way to get all Dr. John like for this one dude..... you may have my vote just for how well you pay tribute to an artist I have always loved and the simple fact that Dr. John IS New Orleans in many respects. Gonna keep listening. Just awesome Max!
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Postby roymond » Sun Sep 11, 2005 6:50 pm

I don't get too critical here. A lot of these simply have the right spirit and it comes through full force. A really great variety of songs and breath of vision.

<b>A Small Majority</b> - haphazard assemblage of coolness. Was this meant for the Residents/Presidents fight? The length is just right and the tone of the whole thing is surprisingly cohesive. I do wish the percussion was a bit more assertive, but the weirdness factor is ace.

<b>Bjam</b> - as mentioned earlier, this is sweet. Sappy but sincere. The chord changes are awesome, folky and tremendously effective. Nice texture with the guitars. Joan Biaz meets Liz Phair. Your voice is ... great. This has a wonderful intimacy to it, and fine range. Unfortunately cats were injured and killed during the making of this song.

<b>Comfort</b> - hish pass that guitar at about 180. This almost reminds me of Robert Wyatt. But there are times when everything does. Somehow I find this growing on me, even though I resist it's plodding obviousness.

<b>hereletusphuntyouandyourfriends</b> - I guess this is phuntolution #9. I can't help but hear stands of Violet coming through. I sort of wish my focus wasn't always on the guitar. The other textures, while intriguing and at times actually awesome, never step up to take the baton. So it pans left to right, right to left, and my attention drifts, looking for a hidden message in the personal play that unfolds. The end loop epitaph could be subtler.

<b>Hoblit</b> - Deny it if you like, but your vocals on this are some of your best. And that guitar solo is great over that choppy rhymic guitar part...very early XTC. Wish there were real drums. Man I wish. HOT!

<b>Luke Henley</b> - Another one that somehow holds my attention with its primitive warmth. I like the mix in the end. Very poignant.

<b>Max the Cat</b> - ok, you've nailed this. For an outsider, this comes from within. Beautifully produced and performed. The backing strings are a bit much, perhaps just lower in the mix would do it. Is this the only french this fight has? Score. Over the lounge top.

<b>My Virtual Band dot Com</b> - great effort from the virtual band. Love that this happens there. Ripping lead vocals and sax. Over the smokey bar top.

<b>Wallyharbinger</b> - the tight sampling that was missing but not necessarily missed in the small majority. While not a style I'd expect in this fight, it is such a welcome dramatic break from the heartfelt. The editing is effective and overall the key parts grove really well, but it just doesn't jell...quite. But cool, this.

<b>Dylan Nau</b> - Was Not Was was never like this. Wish they were. This breaths and carries me away. Nothing too heavy, nothing too challenging...makes for an excellent song, sir. Lush and satisfying. Thanks!

<b>Eight legged oedipus</b> - man, the 80s are crushing in on me. And I love it. Dig the stereo panic breathing and the vocals in general. The drums and claps and keys, well, perhaps the floods opened those graves. Nice nonetheless.
roymond.com | songfights | covers
"Congratulatons, roymond; you finally managed to write a song I don't really care for." - Märk
Nau,D
Tingle
Posts: 41
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Sunny Minneapolis

Postby Nau,D » Mon Sep 12, 2005 11:29 am

jack wrote:well shit dylan, that is one bad ass tune you have there. all i can say is that you sir are seriously missed around these parts. thanks for the link. you bring the white boy funk to songfight. two thumbs way up. it's like a story of the ghost outtake. and the cowbell seals it!


Thanks Steve-0, I havent been doing SF for a long time but Im still around, I check out the tunes all the time and read what you are all saying. I was kind of feeling a Meters bassline on this one so I went with it. thanks for the comments, Ill try and get some reviews going here pretty soon.

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