Chillin' in my Granite Crib (Stone Palace Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Chillin' in my Granite Crib (Stone Palace Reviews)

Post by ken »

Yo review dat shit!
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i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang
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Post by Bjam »

I did both SF titles for my AAD, but only submitted 'Five Nights in Britain'. So here's my way-too-high-but-could-be-vaguely-pretty-with-way-more-work 'Stone Palace'.
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Post by Dan-O from Five-O »

Classy move Bjam not submitting to both titles. Good for you for being forced to choose and making a tough choice. I'll have to listen to the other one to see if you chose right, but here's my review of this song.

Your recording skills are growing before my very eyes, as do your songwriting skills. The guitar sounds good, but to make it sound better you need to focus on a stereo pan. I can understand the limited resources you might have as far as mic's are concerned, so if that's the issue, double up on the track and pan them both as far left and right as you can get. From there move one or the other more towards center so you get a feel like your ears are receiving things like they would if you heard them live. It's a technique thing I'm sure you'll pick up on pretty fast considering how fast you're progessing thus far. Or you could just try playing the same part twice. It's more difficult, but something to consider as when you do, you'll immediately hear what I'm talking about as far as the stereo pan is concerned.

Unlike you, I don't think this song is as far out of your range as you suggest. In fact I think given more time and experience, you'll make this range work for you. If you had sung off key, I would have agreed that the song was out of your range. But you're definitely on key so work it. I like the harmonies especially, so continue to develop those. The story you built with the lyrics is good as well. I like the way you mention specifics, like Joanie at the beginning. It makes the character and the song as a whole more personal.

Overall Bjam, the thing I am most impressed by is how you continue to produce good songs week after week, and how each one improves on the next. Not that you need my approval for anything but I would like it if you keep it up, I would like it very much.
jb wrote:Dan-O has a point.
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Post by Bjam »

I am a classy indivudal who fears the wrath of Songfighters who dislike double entries ;) I chose the other song over this one, as I usually do sappy love g&g crap songs for SF, so I entered the slightly less sappy g&g crap song.

Ususally I do the doubled guitar and panning trick, but what with the AAD I didn't bother. It's lofi or something. I think lazy is nearer the truth.

As for the range, it's kinda at the top, and I always worry my voice will be offkey or crack or do something funky. I'm more comfy doing low/belty stuff, so I fear going up high. Years of being an alto and hating sopranos has been drummed into my head.

Thanks for the approval though! Always nice to have good comments :) My songs/recording of songs has changed so much in a year. It's crazy.
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Post by Niveous »

Just the fact that this fight include Luke Henley, Pumpkin Buzzard and the return of Doscientos fills my heart with joy.
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Post by furrypedro »

Ooh, they're up!

I've just listened to Luke Henleys and it's the balls. that alone is well worth the wait
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Post by Thornberry »

Stone Palace has received no love yet, so Ill try and supply

Jeff robertson - Kinda abrupt way to start..lo-fi recording, but very 60's. pretty cool. The cheap distortion is kinda cool. Man, this is so 60's, specially this solo. you have a nice use of 7th chords. So basically things to work on are just recording techinques, your voice isnt bad, but could use some work. And maybe just a wee bit repetitive. BUt i liked it! B

Wages- THe guitar soundslike mine when i plug it straight in. Your voice has a good potential, but your pitch needs work. I hope you add something soon. Cause it was ok for a second, but the melody isnt strong enough to just be supported by a clean guitar. Ahh..lil dissappointed honestly,. You could have gone somewhere. BUt still coulda been worse C-

Luke Henley - So far, this song has been deemed as "The balls". Lets see. I do like me some piano. Your vocals always remind me of postal service. I cant say im your biggest fan. Your stuff is way out there...maybe a bit too much for this grounded stiff such as myself. C+

Doscientos - THis is kinda retro too. This sounds like something youd hear in a 50's movie in like the dance for high school in the gym. It has the tingy reverb and everything. Does that be a stand up bass me hear? Rock that solo my friend!! I am totally swayin in my seat. I think this is great, but it needs a stronger melody i think. But man that was fun B+

Pumpkin Buzzard- All right a stone draggin. A good idea for a beat. Man, I have such a hard time reviewing these kinds of songs, cause they just arent my thing. BUt i try. I do like the sounds you are putting in the back. Eerie as all get out. In terms of everything else, just sounds uninspired to me. C

Deux Freres- More Tingy reverb. Also another lo-production broadcast. I cant fault you though, you can only use what you have. So lets listen to the music. Very upbeat entrys this week. And stone palace has so much potential for a dark thing. ITs nice though, makes me realize that if something like a Stone Palace can be happy, then THERE IS hope in this world! As for the song, I dont really like it. B-

WreckdoM- See this is the eerie stuff i was expecting. This is weird. Thats what you were going for? You succeeded then. But it was also enough to make me turn the speakers WAY down. I dont like this at all. D-

Steve Gamble- Isnt this song suppose to be called "Stone Palace" You said its called Unicorn something. This sounds like a song....you dont know but I just took like a half hour break and I dont remember what i was going to say there.....Anyways. This is a fun little something that I enjoyed but would never vote for. C+

Dark Liberty- And last up...Dark Liberty! Sounds like early underground Punk, except more poppy. Vocals are a bit too quiet. But that actually is OK, since there is no real melody, just kinda screaming about. Guitar solo is solid, but boring. This is a bit boring. The little bass breakdown only proves its punk roots. I was right. Ya, not enough contrast, it doesnt really rock, but it sure trys. D+


Seeming as I am a sucker for old-type songs, Doscientos takes it by a mile. IF there was a second, Jeff robertson would occupy it.
Last edited by Thornberry on Thu Jan 12, 2006 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by furrypedro »

Thornberry wrote: Luke Henley - So far, this song has been deemed as "balls".
Not balls! THE balls .

-balls = rubbish
-the balls = really good

:?
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Post by Thornberry »

Furrypedro wrote: Not balls! THE balls .

-balls = rubbish
-the balls = really good

:?
Sorry Bout that. i am now informed and it has been fixed :)
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reviews

Post by jeff robertson »

Dark Liberty - This is too well-recorded for the type of music it aims to be. If it was crappier sounding, nobody would be able to tell if the bass and drums were real or not.

Deux Freres - I like the vocals. I like the arrangement up until about 1:15, when those horns come in. At first they sound like MIDI, but later they sound real. Nevertheles, they're too happy for me. Replace them with an accordian or something, and you've got something I'd vote for.

Doscientos - holy shit, this rocks. Are those spoons I hear? Did Sam Phillips come back from the dead to record this?

Jeff Robertson - the only thing I will say about this, is the guitars were recorded straight into the soundcard, and initially sounded something like the Wages song, but then I messed with them in the mix until they sounded like they do now.

Luke Henley - the power went out while I was listening to this. the lights went out, the laptop kicked into batter power. then the music stopped, because the internet had gone out and winamp ran out of buffered bytes. I'll assume that was part of your song, and it does that to everyone who listens to it.

Pumpkin Buzzard - the vocals remind me of Emo Phillips. The saxophone part kicks ass.

Steve Gamble - well-played, well sung, but the lyrics are in that uncanny valley between being serious enough for "real music" and being funny enough for Dr. Demento. I know, because I'm usually stuck there myself. Takes one to know one.

Thornberry - Is this the only song in the fight with a real, full band? I like everything but the ooo-whoah-yeahs, like around 0:48. I like how the guitar just wails soloing in the background even while the singing is going on.

Wages - Everyone else is probably going to rail on you for doing the same guitar thing as last time even they told you not to.

Wreckdom - I have to admit I didn't really listen to this, just skipped around.
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Re: reviews

Post by Wages »

jeff robertson wrote: Wages - Everyone else is probably going to rail on you for doing the same guitar thing as last time even they told you not to.
Before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon you are indicating they will, let me say a few words in my defense. The following is true:
*I don't have a band
*I don't play drums
*I don't have an amp
*The sound is crappy
*I am *trying* to figure out creating drums with PC
*I never submit a "finished" song (how to finish w/o band)
*I'm not the only person who submits a "half-assed" song (it's H-A due to the above statements)

I don't know how the fuck you guys are able to make such great quality recordings in a) such little time and b)at all

So, who wants to fly down to bumfuck Missouri and show me how to get a decent recording? I've read online a bit on how to do this and that, but what I read about recording doesn't make sense. Am I the only person in the world who does NOT know what I'm doing?

The only real point I have to make: I thought this was called "SONGfight" not "RECORDINGfight". So why not think, "Okay, this guy doesn't know how to record, so let me grit my teeth and listen to the song and listen for the 'diamond in the rough' quality"? How about my lyrics? Do they make sense? Do you feel them? Too cliched?

Perhaps I am being mis-understood. I do not WANT to have crappy recordings w/o a band, but that's all I've got. Do y'all want me to NOT submit unless I can get a whole band together?

NOTE: Jeff, this isn't aimed at you, I'm just trying to get a little peace, love, and understanding from zee nay sayers.

I'm a nice guy. Jus' felt like jumping on a soapbox. I feel so clean now...

<thinking to self: you dumbass, you're gunna get a lot of flak for this>
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Re: reviews

Post by jeff robertson »

wages wrote:The only real point I have to make: I thought this was called "SONGfight" not "RECORDINGfight".
Because its a hell of a lot easier to access and complain about recording quality, the degree to which guitars are in tune, etc., than it is to actually explain what you like or don't like about a SONG as such, meaning chords, melody and lyrics. It takes a music degree or the equivalent in self-teaching from studying sheet music or something, to competently talk about songs, as compositions. Most folks have neither, so in order to do more than dig/no-dig reviews, they fall back on stuff like is it mastered too loud.

Myself included in all that, of course.

What software do you use for recording? I use audacity which some folks here will probably laugh at like photoshop pros dissing the gimp, but it works for me and its free.
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Post by WeaselSlayer »

Ain't nothin' half-assed about one man and a guitar. Just ask John Fahey, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Daniel Johnston, Howe Gelb, Jeffrey Lewis...
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Re: reviews

Post by jeff robertson »

Also, I'll point out that the reviews don't neccessarily reflect the votes. "E-Equals" got 14 votes in the Last Day fight, but as far as I know I was the only reviewer who even remotely said anything good about it.. and I forgot to vote. Somewhere there are 14 people who liked that song but said nothing.
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Post by Leaf »

Sir,

there is an evolution in the learning curve ya know.. my first SF entries, from a production perspective were not very good, but has greatly improved with time.. and still has a way to go.

However, keep in mind that everyone has a different perspective on "what a song is" or whether songfight is exclusive to their personal definition or what have you.

For me, (the only opinion I can safely express) I'd like to point out that if your production or playing sucks, it detracts from your tune. YOU may hear your potential, YOU may know what your ideas are, but for ME, this isn't "sketch of a potentially completed idea fight". Suck it up, and learn more. I recall JB saying SOMETHING like "the idea is to see just how good a project can be completed in a week based on the title" and if someone else has better production, or playing ability, and it smokes you in votes or reviews, so be it. Would you walk upto a Junior A hockey player or a rec league baseball player and say "hey it's no fair, you winning and comparing me to you, I mean c'mon, I think I'm good and competitive, just cause you got more skill... teach me how to beat you!"?

that being said, I haven't listened to your song, but I shall.

THAT being said, in the help and how to thread, many answers are available if you take the time to read... or google.
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Post by jute gyte »

Hey wages, how far are you from, say, Joplin? You are one of the very few MO songfighters.
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Re: reviews

Post by Wages »

jeff robertson wrote:Because its a hell of a lot easier to access and complain about recording quality, the degree to which guitars are in tune, etc., than it is to actually explain what you like or don't like about a SONG as such, meaning chords, melody and lyrics.
This is true. After my rant I realized I've done the same thing because, well, I feel obligated to review the songs when I submit one but I don't know what more to say than "I Liked It" or "I Didn't".
jeff robertson wrote:What software do you use for recording? I use audacity which some folks here will probably laugh at like photoshop pros dissing the gimp, but it works for me and its free.
I was using Acid Pro 4, but I switched to Audacity mainly because I want to use more freeware and open source software as a point of principle. :)
WeaselSlayer wrote:Ain't nothin' half-assed about one man and a guitar. Just ask John Fahey, Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan, Daniel Johnston, Howe Gelb, Jeffrey Lewis...
This is the reasoning I used to have...but Bob Dylan is a master. I am but a person who NEEDS a band. If I had the lyrically genius and an unmistakable voice (among his other qualities), I could pull it off. But I know you guys are right. :lol:
jeff robertson wrote:Also, I'll point out that the reviews don't neccessarily reflect the votes. "E-Equals" got 14 votes in the Last Day fight, but as far as I know I was the only reviewer who even remotely said anything good about it.. and I forgot to vote. Somewhere there are 14 people who liked that song but said nothing.
Point taken. Hey! I even got a vote! :D That makes TWO ever! :wink:
Leaf wrote:there is an evolution in the learning curve ya know..
It is true. Part of my problem is, I want a good recording without the learning curve. I need to sit and focus on this and nip it in the bud.
Leaf wrote:I'd like to point out that if your production or playing sucks, it detracts from your tune.
This is what everyone tells me. I just want them to be wrong! :lol:
Leaf wrote:Suck it up, and learn more.
I'll put the silver spoon up too.
jute gyte wrote:Hey wages, how far are you from, say, Joplin?
I thought every SFer was in California or New York! Never been to Joplin, but I live in West Plains which is about 1 1/2 hours southeast of Springfield. It's nice to know I'm not the only hick around. :wink:
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Re: reviews

Post by jeff robertson »

wages wrote:I was using Acid Pro 4, but I switched to Audacity mainly because I want to use more freeware and open source software as a point of principle. :)
There is a lot you can do in Audacity. There is a community of people writing Nyquist scripts for it, or you can write your own if so inclined. We can start a thread about it in the forum that's made for that.

As for the just-guitar thing, most people associate a guy with an acoustic guitar as sounding like a lonely, heroic folk balladeer, out on the streets for a livin'.. Guy-and-electric guitar doesn't have that romanticism. So before you buy anything else, before you guy a drum machine, before you buy a keyboard, scrape up whatever money you have and get an acoustic guitar. Even a crappy one.

I am one to give advice.. nobody ever votes for me either so you should probably listen more to someone who actually wins fights.
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Post by Rone Rivendale »

I'm in Parsons, KS which is 1 hour drive from Joplin, MO.
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Post by Wages »

As illustrated with my reviews below, I'm a little not-helpful and only able to express my impressions and likes/dislikes. Say Levee....

Me (Wages)
I felt like this was a decent tune because, well, I liked the guitar part in the chorus. To me, it's the Franz Ferdinand influence. And remember, I come from the Kurt Cobain school of guitar...listen to stuff, *imagine* the way to play it, and come up with something remotely similar but (hopefully) my own (and let the album producer worry about making it work). Anyone like my stuff enough to volunteer drums? I can write the song usually in a couple hours...send it to you....let you lay down drums (in time) and then I can re-record my part to fit. Com'on, any takers? Is there a forum for this?

Dark Liberty
A little more vol on vox, nice punk tune

Deux Freres
Feel like I'm listening to a fairy tale! Something about it makes me think of Bruce Springsteen.

Doscientos
A style I personally don't care for, but I've heard bands that were signed that had far less talent.

Jeff Robertson
You make a perfect example! I can tell your song rocks but it needs better production. Regardless, I'm adding this one to my saved MP3s.

Luke Henley
A weird combo of TMBG/Beck/Modest Mouse/Flaming Lips. I like the "harmonies" mucho! Also adding to my saved MP3s

Pumpkin Buzzard
Sounds like a weird Korn remix. I like it, but I don't, but I do, but I ...ahhhhhh!!!!! I'll be listening to this one again. Woooooah! Horns!? Oh, and I'm putting this one in my saved MP3s

Steve Gamble
More fairy tale madness! I like the intro "Yes, I have one right here.." Man and guitar that works. The best part is the lead guitar and "Unicorn!" Unfortunately, I have to file this under "novelty".

Thornberry
Enter guitar chops beginning'o'chorus. The main riff sounds familiar, guitar tone seems a little DinoJr influenced. Where were you in the early '90s? For now, this one is also going into saved MP3s.

Wreckdom
Commendable weirdness.

The one I want to vote for is not cut and dry like normal. I want to vote for Jeff Robertson, Luke Henley, Pumpkin Buzzard, and Steve Gamble (with Thornberry a close 2nd). I might have to "eni-mini-mine-e-moe" it. Well, I'm really feeling Luke Henley. Best o'luck 2 all!
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Post by jeff robertson »

wages wrote: I can tell your song rocks but it needs better production. Regardless, I'm adding this one to my saved MP3s.
Production, schmoduction. It needs for me to use an amp. Which I will next time.
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Post by furrypedro »

wages wrote:Say Levee....
:lol:
wages wrote:Anyone like my stuff enough to volunteer drums? I can write the song usually in a couple hours...send it to you....let you lay down drums (in time) and then I can re-record my part to fit. Com'on, any takers? Is there a forum for this?
I can program some drums (and bass) if you like . My sounds are probably just about real enough to fool idiots. might be best if you used a click track too, or tightened up yer playing. your song this week is kind of all over the place tempo-wise. worth a try though, who knows, it could end up sounding shit but as they say....c'est la vie.

Fm's gonna maim you for not saying this in the Collaborations board, but what can you do? :D :wink:
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