Archive for the ‘Spintunes’ Category

SpinTunes 12 Round 1 Reviews

February 1, 2017
kitty

lagertha loves me.

Whoa. 37 songs in this SpinTunes group. Many superb songs. I’ll try and parse some thoughts on each.

Ryan M. Brewer – ReCount, Revenge

Driving rhythm, nice hook, and lots of wordplay in the imagery of the disputed Gore v Bush election counting in Florida. Well done, and it’s sticking in my head.

Kyleen Downes – Do What You Do

You hit this one out of the park. Dreamlike and etherial, yet grounded in a fait accompli. What do you do after you’ve lost something you never thought would be lost? And you’re not responsible for those anymore since you lost? Drew me into the story, and the chorus was a nice hooky break.

Lucky Witch & The Righteous Ghost – Spoiler

The chorus is catchy – I keep coming back to it. Maybe because it’s repeated 4 times. Use of the synth bells on the keyboard was a nice touch.

Governing Dynamics – Concessions

Haunting guitars and an overall mood of uneasiness works it way through this track very insidiously. Punctuated with a blistering soul searing solo. Bonding with those who lost has never been so wallowing with hope.

Dr. Lindyke – Doom’s Day

Love the concept. I’ve always had a soft spot for Victor von Doom. And using a Tango base for a dictator was inspired. Brough a Latin and Latvarian flair to the proceedings. Reed Richards would be suitably upset with this song. Bravo.

Edric Haleen – This Changes Everything

I’ve read Edric’s reasoning why he should be DQed for this song. It’s true. He should. But It was something he believed in, and making a stand is something he’s good at. The dissonance in the song fit the mood of the ‘event’. So you win. and lose. Simultaneously. Here’s hoping you win in the end in another venue.

Kevin Savino-Riker – The Damn Breaks

Simple arrangement with guitar focuses the attention to your lyrics, which is a good thing. A good warning to those who win that they might not actually get what they’r looking for.

Heather Zink – BeFührer

Nice plaintive piano work on the German history of the early setbacks of Adolf. You just can’t keep a good man down. Or a bad one. May the Fatherland last 1000 years… or 12 and end in a bunker.

Shyfox – Berdie

Kicking back with a ukulele, a deceptively upbeat song on keeping the faith and moving forward even with the current setbacks. Nicely done.

Domingo – Bulería de Persuació

Beautiful Guitar Work. Emotional response. I ran the lyrics through a translation, and your version was much more striking – ‘Don’t Throw me to the Wolves’ isn’t as persuasive as ‘Awaiting to be thrown to the depths of Hades’. Very enjoyable song.

Steve Stearns – Overthrown

Love that funky bass line. Also love the future dystopian society on a remote colony base. I’d like to hear the backstory on this one.

Zoe Gray – Long Live The Queen

Funky drums behind an etherial vibe. I missed the Carrie reference until I read the details on Bandcamp. Now it all makes sense. Winning the election for Prom Queen isn’t all it’s cut out to be for the voters. Nice execution. Literally.

Brian Gray – Abernathy Fitzgerald

You’ve got a great talent telling stories though creative characters. Another home run with this loser turned winner who is still a loser. The chorus of ‘Suck it’ was truly inspired.

James Young – Vote For Me!

Driving bass line and guitars keep my attention here, as well as the lyrics that just keep relentlessly coming. Nice guitar solo and alternating vocals between punctuated riffs.

Rob From Amersfoort – Why

I like your off kilter style. The effect laden voice and overall goofy take on the loss of the election kept me off balance – It’s kinda like XTC meets Emperor Gum and had a baby that came out of the womb as a teenager.

Bryan Schumann – Royal Blood

Nice mood you set with this one. You captured the loss of a parent, and the need to succeed when you succeed. Good guitar work.

Ross Durand – Homeroom

Nice take on the angst of losing a school election. The self loathing of having to hear the voice of his rival every day over the PA system fits all too well. Solid guitar work and plaintive vocals put the cherry on this.

Jerry Skids – The Ethical Ballad Of Mayor Goldie Wilson

I never thought the Mayor of Hill Valley would be the topic of such diversion. Or the cause of two many issues in the main city of ‘Back to the Future’. Nice extrapolation from the point of view of Marty McFly’s nudge into politics. Harmonies and simple guitar work come together for a song greater than the sum of it’s parts. Good one.

Turtle Fence – Mr. Brexit (or, Nobody Loves EU)

Stripped down arrangement amplified by the multiple voice tracks. Felt a little sparse, but then again, Brexit doesn’t make you want to jump for joy either. I liked the multi voice tracking.

Mick Bordet – Democracy Inaction

Whoa. Slow things down and feel the burn. You set a mood for this whole piece that was depressing and thoughtful, which I think you were looking for. Achievement Unlocked.

Army Defense – Elected

Upbeat surf rock ditty on the rich corporate america lifestyle. Pretty dystopian, but with a nice counterpart including the happy guitars. The hook sticks in my brain, so you got something going on there.

Emperor Gum – Lucifer

I love the idea of evil incarnate having a go at UK Politics. Obviously he’s going to succeed. But with style and panache. Nice comic timing with the appropriate verses kicking in with music creshendo. Very well done.

Mariah Mercedes – Election Of Love

This rocks in so many ways. The chorus. The seduction of the voter with the sultry voice.  And the hook. One of the top songs this round which keeps going round and round in my brain. Don’t forget us when you’re in the big show!

Alex Forger – Change The World (I Hope)

Nice, Simple arrangement for a winning candidate and his ethical debate with himself. When you go down that slippery slope, what happens, one compromise at a time? Who knew ethics could be so intriguing? Good ideas in a complicated story.

Caravan Ray – Party Games

You have to smile when you hear a banjo. Which make the depressing lyrics hit a great counterpoint. Great banjo work as well. A solid entry and bonus points for rhyming disorder with  schadenfreude! Best dissonat couplet since Mark Humble rhymed Pizza with Neitzche.

Adam Sakellarides – A Better Place To Live

I like future songs about enslavement of the human race. You’ve done a good one here. Adding the self aware touches and catch chorus, you have a winner. However, none of us will be around to sing it.

Jailhouse Payback – How To Lose A School Board Election

Nice groove, completely at odds with the protagonist of the song, who isn’t comfortable in his own skin. Interesting tempo changes. I liked it.

DJ Ranger Den – My Fellow Mannabadoos

I think you wrote this song just because you like saying the word ‘Mannabadoos’. I can’t blame you. It is catchy. Catchy enough to say it 10 times… 11 if you could the backward masking (Yes, I counted!)

Boffo Yux Dudes – Bully For You

I do love Al’s photo punk rendition of the Roosevelt / Taft slugfest that left Wilson the victor.

The Crack Fox – Erection

An interesting mood piece. I’d almost call it an instrumental, although you did use 7 words so you did hit the challenge.

Sumner Wynn – The Great Weight

Brash fuzzy guitar and drums over a wistful and forlorn vocals discouraged over the loss of

an election. The analogy of weight and the presidency is interesting juxtaposition with the colorful lyrics.

Ominous Ride – 19 Never Comes

Perplexing lyrics. Driving beat and and baseline. Vivid imagery  You definitely set a mood here. What does it all mean? and why 19 votes?  The bears repeated listening.

27 Tikis – Kahuna Of The Corn Tropics

Happy Island vibe in the midwest. This one made me sway and smile. Silly and fun. Thumbs up

Megalodon – Democrat Pixie

Interesting tale of the ’66 senate race of Dick Tuck. I like how you took the phrase ‘The Bastards Have Spoken’ and turned it into your chorus. Is that a Dulcimer or a Uke in the background?

Good execution and good story.

Dr. Lindyke – A True Democracy (Shadow)

A fitting tribute SpinTown and the contest itself. Although the mental image of Cherry Pi riding herd is a little much. And illegal in most states.

Dr. Lindyke with Cherry Pi & Spintown – It Happens To Everyone (Shadow)

Yeah. Cherry Pi in a Shaggy dog story? Again, illegal in many states. But Emily Litella would be proud.

Andy Glover – Ratings Are Down (For Now) (Shadow)

I like the tone you set with just a simple guitar and your voice. The analogy of votes and love are strong. Ratings and luck are both down for this person, and it comes across. Nice execution.

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Reviews: SpinTunes:Champions vs. Shadows

July 30, 2015

STCvsS

 

Since there were 3 members of BYD involved with this puppy (and Toni, who weighs in on Al’s vote), it was a complicated process to figure out the actual vote. Travis has our results, but the reviews are up for all to peruse, cajole and otherwise commiserate about. I was surprised at Scott’s thoughts, but hey, he has a point.

***

First up – Al Morgan takes the stage and mixes a few drinks.

Shadows:

Bubba and the Amiable Kraken – Bluebird:
Very catchy and sweet; I like the wistful vibe. Simple, but that works in its favor. Kinda XTC-lite. The whistling part could be the background of a car commercial.

Zoe Gray – Satisfaction Guaranteed:
Very smart; my own feminist teenage daughter would approve, and in fact this sounds a lot like some of the music she listens to. I like the spacey feel, which conjures a retro-futuristic (or is just futuristic?) vibe for me, especially contrasted with the wry content and delivery of the lyrics. Great tune (hummable!), only the bridge took me by surprise a little. A strong contender, of course.

Hotel Rex – Bridge:
I’m a sucker for power pop, what with the “1,2,3,4” countoff and all, though I’d likea little more power here. A bit generic, but ultimately a perfectly pleasant tune, well-executed.

Jutze – Ballad of the Emperor:
Props to any fellow traveller who takes the offbeat route, and bonus points for using “septillion” in a song. You do realize Star TREK is the superior franchise, don’t you?

James Young – Sandcastles:
Really well done. Not much to say, except that I like it a lot and that the Posies called and want their song back.

Rob from Amersfoort – Dream House:
OK, now THIS is what I’m talking about. When it first started I was dubious, and within 15 seconds I was loving it. Just brimming with the post-psychedelic quirkiness that I yearn for; it’s like some garage-band cross between The Soundtrack of Our Lives and The Tages. You’re not gonna get everyone on your side, but the ones you do are gonna LOVE you.

Brian Gray – I’ll Do It Myself:
Wow, I’m glad this isn’t about me. The music is exquisitelysequenced/played and fits the mood of what you’re going for perfectly. The lyrics are razor-sharp though they wander into unfathomable acronym territory at times, which I suppose is part of the joke. I think I know what you were going for with the “Septembers” bit, and it’s a nice change-up, but ultimately I think it disrupts the flow of the song. The best caustic put-down songs (and this is a good one) are usually pretty relentless. I would have liked to have heard more vitriol in the vocal delivery, but you probably see the character differently than I do.

Boffo Yux Dudes – Tiny House:
I just thank God that my wife indulges us in our silliness and I finally found a Linux-based vocal compressor plugin that works for me.

Dr. Lindyke – Day after Day:
Ah, my old archnemesis, earnest self-reflection. Well-written, sung, and played, this has everything a good 70’s-type piano song needs, including true emotion and a big ‘ol hook. The bird sound effects are appropriate and NOT played for laughs; consequently, this seems like a waste to me, but whatever floats your boat.

Pigfarmer Jr. – River of Tears:
Straightforward and roots-y. I think it works in that I want to take the narrator out for a few beers and get plastered so we all forget our troubles.

Trader Jack – Building:
The instructions are going a bit fast, so I appreciate the repeated phrases. I, too, could not find a compass, so I had to hand-draw the circles best I could. You seem to be concerned with wanting more, but if we’re going to get this done you’ll have to stay focused on the task at hand. And we won’t be able to build the tesseract you mentioned until we’ve completed the two-dimensional stuff.

Ben Taggart – Building Me:
This kinda thing ain’t my cup of gin, so I’ll note that the simplicity of the arrangement works in your favor, but you have to guard against monotony (yeah, yeah, I know, pot, meet kettle). Nice melody, but there might have been a pitch crack here or there (dammit, there’s that pot/kettle combo again!)

Champions:

Jenny Katz – Thoughts on Leaving You:
This is a whole new level of good. I have a low tolerance for confessionals-with-an-acoustic-guitar, but damned if you didn’t keep me listening and thinking. Emotional without being overly sentimental, direct without being aggressively blunt, I’ve been there and maybe you all have, too. So you made me want to ask the question, Jenny: what DOES “free” mean to you?

Governing Dynamics – Room Stop Spinning:
Sounds like a lost You Am I track, which is a definite plus in my book. Growing old’s a bitch, which is why I’ve given it up mentally even if my body trudges onward, so I’m right with ya, buddy. And any DJ who doesn’t know Nirvana isn’t worth my junked collection of Ric Astley twelve-inchers.

Matt & Donna – Reasons My Kid is Crying:
You think things are bad now…wait until the little bastards become teenagers.

MC Ohm-I – Favorite Things:
The main drawback for me is that the vocals seem really low, so I have to consult the lyrics, which I mostly understood but my son thought were the best things he’s heard this week. I like the idea of hijacking something from “The Sound of Music” for a hip-hop song, if not least because it amuses me to think of Edric Haleen guesting with you on this. That’d be kinda awesome, actually.

***
Next up – Scott Mercer serves up his results with a dish served cold for the Champions…

***
All of the Champions should be disqualified.

None of them met the requirements of the challenge.  The challenge was: “write a list song about any topic you like.  The song should be in the form of a list, not about a list.”  To me, that means that the song should consist of a list and nothing more.

None of them were in the form of a list.  All the lyrics contained extraneous phrases, descriptions, questions, sentences and lyrics that were not part of the list.    (If the second sentence was not in the challenge, all of them would pass.  That second sentence prohibits any meta-commentary).

Having said that, the song that most resembled a list was the song by Jenny Katz.  Still, one of the lyrics is “I guess I should put the rest of the good down here in the column,” which is her commenting on the list, and not part of the list.  Clearly, there she is talking ABOUT a list, which is not to be done, according to the challenge.

Musically, the best song was the song by MC Ohm-I.  The My Favorite Things loop was fantastic and appropriate.

Moving on to the Shadows.
The challenge was a lot more vague and open to interpretation.  Probably appropriate that the Champions should get a more strict challenge and the Shadows get a much looser challenge.  So no disqualifications for the Shadows.

Overall a strong group of entries.  Nothing outright terrible.

1. Bubba and The Amiable Kraken – Love it…don’t mind the whistling at all, it’s a song about a bird.  Really pleasant and catchy.  Great hook in the chorus.

2. Zoe Grey. – Fantastic girl pop.  Lots of heart and brains.  Good social commentary here.  This manages, somehow, to feel both contemporary and timeless simultaneously.  Just a winner all the way around.

3. Hotel Rex – The first of several bridges that get built.  Really like the music, it’s got that classic Beatles/Badfinger feel.  Really strong entry.  The clumsy ending means I can’t rank it number one.

4. Jutze – This is a novelty, and I think I know where I speak regarding novelty songs.  So it has to be judged on different criteria from the other entries.  Is it a good novelty song?  I think it’s just okay.  No new twists on the Star Wars mythos really.  Hasn’t this vein been mined out by this time?  Overall, it’s a bit perfunctory.

5. James Young – It’s got an 80’s rock feel, like, I dunno, Big Country?  Midnight Oil?  It’s not bad but it doesn’t get me riled up.

6.  Rob From Amersfoort – Okay, more building castles.  This is also has an 80’s feel in my opinion, but more like Talking Heads or The Cars?  A bit “New Wave”.  It’s a bit more catchy than the James Young, but not much.  Really not a fan of that coda.

7. Brian Gray – This type of musical arrangement would have been good for a list song, but…that’s irrelevant.  Anyway, love the wordplay, and the “End of The World As We Know It” lyric torrent.  The completely non-matching bridge makes a nice intermezzo, a refreshing palate cleanser before we go back into the final verse.  Delightful!

8. BYD – Not rating our own song.

9. Dr. Lindyke – Well, hey.  More building castles in the sand!  This is a nice ballad, kind of a power pop ballad.  Reminds me of The Vandalias.  Nobody knows who that is, I’m sure.  We stay with the sand/beach metaphor throughout the song and really explore it, though.  And I appreciate that.  It’s not just a passing, obvious gambit.  Definitely a 70’s feel.  And a cameo from Jonathan Livingston Seagull!  Points for that.

10. Pigfarmer Jr. – Okay, now back to building a bridge across the river.  The songwriting is perfectly good, but I’m not blown away by the arrangement or the recording.  It’s pretty spare and I think the song could have justified a denser arrangement.  I know, it’s kind of country or folk or whatever, but that’s just how I feel.

11. Trader Jack – I appreciate the attempt at doing something different, but I did not want to listen to this a second time.

12. Ben Taggart – (late entry) – It’s a nice heartfelt song, I like the tack on the lyrics, something nobody else tried.  I don’t think it would have won, but I liked it.

***
and lastly, up with desert is Tommy G, who hits the nail on the head with his insightful commentary (or is that the mixed drinks talking?)

***
The Champions…

Jenny Katz – Thoughts On Leaving You
I like the simple guitar melody line that pushed the thoughts forward. It’s as though the pro and con list is a frantic thought process. What’s good? What’s bad? and what’s not in my control? She’s made her mind up. What about him?
Nice, plaintive ballad that hits many good notes and answers one question but leaves us wondering on the final one.

Governing Dynamics – Room Stop Spinning
Fun, Fuzzy Guitars accent the fuzziness inside the singer’s head. Is he growing up and out of partying? or just annoyed at the fact he can’t relate to the next generation coming up in the wash of bourbon and regret? If you’re too cool for the room, should you stay in it?
I like the driving bass as a counterpoint to the languishing guitars. The song can’t keep going in one direction, which accents the spinning room. Interesting use of tempo there.

Matt & Donna – Reasons My Kid Is Crying
I liked the melancholy kid cries turned into the chorus refrain. Nice touch on using a stylophone. It fits like an electronic xylophone glove. The forlorn feeling by the doting Dad come through as exasperation from the parents, where they can’t do the right thing for their kid (Although they look like they’re doing the right stuff, the kid obviously doesn’t agree)
It looks like they both need a kid breather after this, but the song tells the story well.

MC Ohm-I – Favorite Games
Good use of tying the music riff into the list theme for ‘My Favorite Things’. It fit well. The lyrics had wit without being snarky. I’d love to hear the vocals more present in the mix – they should be front and center on the next version.

The Challengers

Bubba & The Amiable Kraken – Bluebird
Fun, easygoing song about making a birdhouse. I liked the harmonies on the final chorus line, and the accent from the electric guitar complements the acoustic strumming.
The lyrics brought me to a meadow in my mind. Good job.

Zoe Gray – Satisfaction Guaranteed
Building your personal robot? That will take care of your every wish? What could go wrong with that? Well, what happens if that robot finds out there is more than serving people out there? Interesting tale, and good use of minor chord progressions to heighten the off note that all is not as it appears in the song.

Hotel Rex – Bridge
Good bar band rocking song, but the lyrics cryptically show the building involved is one of self deception. Nice twist there – the main character is actually pretty clueless about his situation. So it’s treating the subject as a positive, while the listener can pick out all the negatives involved in this relationship. Good touch.

Jutze – Ballad Of The Emperor
Who doesn’t love a good Star Wars romp? I like this upbeat ditty about building the most powerful station in the universe. Nice foreshadowing with ‘This weapon is too big to fail’.  The whole song made me smile.

James Young – Sandcastles
Funky analogy of Building Sand Castles and the impermanence of reality. Good guitar solo.  Do the castles hold your dreams, which wash away with the waves? Is it all futile in the end? a bit depressing, actually, but the forlorn voice does bring it together in the chorus.

Rob From Amersfoort – Dream House
Very dreamy stuttersteping song. Odd choice of chord progression, which builds on itself, brick by brick. Feels like you took inverse chords to make it have an unsettling emotional response. Then you toss in the refrain at the end that mixes things up more. The dream is askew, and the notes reinforce that thought.

Brian Gray – I’ll Do It Myself
Driving upbeat, manic tempo keeps the pace with a caffeine fueled tantrum.
The break was a good counterpoint for where the singer wants to be – but never quite gets back there. Also liked the organ solo – kept things moving fast like the mental state of the programmer.

The Boffo Yux Dudes – My Tiny House Is Too Tiny
I’m biased on this one. Al and Toni took a fun take on Scott’s lyrics. I’m still laughing every time Peter Dinklage is mentioned. So I’m a little prejudiced.

Dr. Lindyke – Day After Day
I like the laid back vibe this puts out. It’s not rushed. It has its own pace, and keeps to it. The ebb and flow of the tide fit the couple and their on again, off again relationship. But like the tide, they keep at it and build it back up again. SImple melody, but it all fits together like  glove. Well done.

Pigfarmer Jr – River Of Tears
Aching lyrics of lost love and lost time hits the heart. Nice guitar solo. Building Bridges over the river of tears is a good analogy for the heartache of the singer.

Trader Jack – Building
You build confusion very well with this tune. Watching the video helps at least make some sense of the lyrics, but it’s a long way to go for a cube.

Ben Taggart – Building Me (Shadow)
I’m seriously bummed this one came in too late to be a true shadow, and is more a stalker song. NIce analogy for building character instead of things. It also has a nice theme of passing on knowledge through the generations.

I’ll add the actual ranking of all the songs after Travis has posted his versions, since we had one clear victor, but the others were all within one point. Nice job everyone, and on to the final round!

 

Tommy G., Al and Scott.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to speak of other things”

December 16, 2014

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “to speak of other things”
Like a fallen star who works in a bar where Yesterday is king
The fans will stay for an hour or so, they still remember his fame
But the time has come the Walrus said, to call your fans by name

– H. Nilsson “Mr. Richland’s Favorite Song”

 

In 2015, your patience will be rewarded. Big BYD plans in motion. HUGE. Slow spoilers to come out soon.

Before then, we’ve got SpinTunes 10 to complete.

If you are, or think you are a songwriter, you really should be a part of this one.

Don’t just take my word for it. Take Hulk Hogan’s.

 

SpinTunes8 Reviews – Missing You (but remembering RC)

February 14, 2014

This round starts with a testimonial and remembrance to our lost friend RC, who passed away much too soon. Randy Christopher was SpinTunes 7 champion, and we gathered before the listening party to play some of his songs and say some thoughts about the man we never met, but knew nonetheless. Then we introduced the new round of songs with the challenge ‘Missing You’. Audio from the Listening Party with RC’s song can be found here.

I’m a little disappointed there haven’t been many people reviewing the songs for SpinTunes 8. Well, here’s my two cents on the 32 songs in this round. The gauntlet has been tossed!

You can listen to them all here or go to the doohicky link or click the lines to get the individual songs…
Dex01 – Monster
Love the grungy guitar. Reminds me a few early punk bands and echos of Boomtown Rats. Good effort on the production.

TurboShandy – Torchbearer
Good ballad. Like the vocal doubling on ‘Baby’. Solid effort.

Felix Frost – Cat’s Eye
Very eerie production values. You’ve  picked up your own ‘sound’ that’s recognizable. Interesting imagery.

Jutze – Nancy (Please Don’t Go)
I like the peppy beat, and the slow reveal to the ‘who’ of the song. Jaunty and rockin.

Jenny Katz – Secret Love Life
I like the jazzy groove and production of this. Jenny’s voice works well. The hint of strings underneath adds to the melancholy of the whole piece.

Dr. Lindyke – Why
Interesting reflective piece. Strong piano, and different hearing Dr. L. using drums more often. Nice job on this one.

Sara Parsons – Guilt
Pretty vocals counterpoint the words of loss. Good to see Sara writing more songs again.

Caravan Ray – Missing You
Upside down grunge. Extremely tasteless lyrics. I liked it a lot.

Ominous Ride – When I Lost You
Very ethereal production. Moody Bluesesque. Nice 12 string work.

Brian Gray – The Child I Left Behind
Bold choice to go acapella. Chuckled at ‘Pants on Fire’. Solo seemed to work well with the material.

Edric Haleen – On The Matter Of Bullying (Part 3)
Powerful piece. Nice collaboration. Stirring performance.

Ryan M. Brewer – Burn Out Or Fade Away (PSH)
Good Ballad. Piano supports the theme and mood well. I like your voice with this piece.

Army Defense – Phil And Don
I liked the trade off between the brothers, and the production changes between the early Everly brothers and a more 70’s technique in harmonies. Nice job putting their breakup into a song.

Jailhouse Payback – Hey Eugene
Nice guitar work. Looking for a connection to the Pink Martini’s song, but there might not be one.

Ross Durand – Sitting Right Here
Bittersweet ode to a mother-in-law slowly slipping away. Good counterpoint making it an upbeat ditty with the sad lyrics.

The Orion Sound featuring Microglitching – Without You (A Valentines Stalker Song Sequel)
The 2nd sequel song this round. Interesting operetta storyline. Tho the ‘It was all a dream’ is a little off for an end, the imagery is kinda funny and harsh.

James Young – Never Coming Home
Love the guitar work. Simple yet complimentary. Nice solo.

Zoe Gray – Ginger Twins
Nice lament from one brother to another after a battle. Your voice fits the haunting thoughts the Weasleys had in the aftermath of Voldemort’s final battle. I liked ‘The Joke’s on me’ since that was the shop they ran together.

T.C. Elliott – Broken Mind
Grungy guitar goes well with the warped mind in the song. Counterpoint of Steel guitar in the solo worked well. Hint of backing vocals fit nice.

Trader Jack – Doom Dah
Interesting ramble. Made me snicker in a few places, but needed a little something to bring it together. Otherwise it’s just a crazy guy with no purpose.

Adam Sakellarides – Right Place, Wrong Time (The Time Traveller)
Takes a bit to get to the chorus, but has a nice groove. I like the story of love lost before it even happens. Has a Jonathan Coulton vibe to it.

The Boffo Yux Dudes – Dead Wrong
What is this crap. Lousy song. These guys should be shot.

Menage a Tune – The Box Feeling
2nd acapella tune this round. Interesting song about loss and remeberence looking at photos…

Sid Brown – Who You Used To Be
Song builds well. Sad tune on the loss of another. I like the guitar work.

Taylor R – Missing You
Love lost and on a plane to Australia. Good grungy guitar. Vocals a little pitchy. Nice effort.

Spencer Sokol – Burdens
Multilevel song about accidents, loss of life and faith, and how things fade away. I liked some of the interesting wordplay. Nice to hear Spencer back in the saddle again!

Wait What (the Band) – Without You Here
Once again, I laugh in spite of myself. The dick jokes come fast and furious. Literally.

Governing Dynamics – Song To Stay Awake (700 Miles)
A song about loss and regret. Guitars keep the mood of hopelessness and loss of redemption moving forward. I like you snuck in some keyboards as well.

Hudson And Day – I Tried, Okay
Hmm. Funky experimental art piece. Like the idea but a little hard to pick out the lyrics without the words. Might have been stronger if you did a call and response instead of singing on top of each other…

Heather Miller – Greatest Generation (Shadow)
Sad this one was delayed and became a shadow. A song of rememberence and respect for someone gone. Liked the story of trying to show respect to one’s elders you care for.

T.C. Elliott – Will You Run Away With Me, My Love (Shadow)
T.C.’s second song this round. Forlorn love and lost dreams. Good guitar work.

Andy Glover – What’s Making Me Sad (Shadow)
Upbeat song on love lost. Nice counterpoint to the words. Flows together well…

Overall a strong round. Looking forward to Round 2!

Elementary, Dear Watson. BYD is on the Periodic Table of Geek Musicians!

February 13, 2011
At least we're 'Radio' active!

Bohrium? You have to be kidding me!

The Boffo Yux Dudes on the Periodic Table of Geek Musicians!

We were honored with a position on the Periodic Table of Geek Musicians tonight. It’s not only a place in history, it’s also a way to generate funds for one of Dave Leigh’s charity endeavors, Rite Care. I’ll let him talk about it.

***

I’m Dave Leigh, aka the vocal half of the songwriting team Dr. Lindyke. While not programming or writing songs, I also spend a portion of my free time supporting a charity called Rite Care Centers for Childhood Language Disabilities. Rite Care provides speech and language therapy to pre-school children without regard to race, creed, or the family’s inability to pay. It’s funded entirely by members of the Scottish Rite through various fund-raising projects (not all of which are as harebrained as this one).

***

So there are two BYD items up on the site if you’re interested in helping out Rite Care –

The Chapeau of the cereal minded

Click to get the hat - All the profits go towards Rite Care

Or you can choose this lovely T-shirt

Stays Funny - Even in Milk

The 1st Boffo Yux Dudes release on a T-shirt. Click here to buy one.

Thanks to Dave for including us in his worthy endeavor, and I’m hoping more artists will be joining us soon!

It was quick, it was fun, it made me laugh.

January 17, 2011

Looks like a barrel of laughs....

I ‘ve been working on a new project with Allan Morgan and Pat Montello for Niveous’s Gift of Music 2011 benefit, and I was getting a little frustrated. We actually made a deadline for once, but it was extended out a week, so I couldn’t share it quite yet with the public. We had a lot of fun with it, and I was excited to do something with Pat again after many years. But I didn’t have any outside people to bounce it off of.

Yesterday I was in the Artifiction chatroom, and saw Dr. Lindyke working on his new song  – so I tossed him a link to check it out to get an opinion. I didn’t have the audio feed at first, but could see him contemplating, then snickering, then rolling in conniptions back and forth in his chair. Made me feel good that it hit the mark.

I think we nailed it.

I’ll post the links to Gift of Music 2011 when it goes live – hopefully later this week. Here’s where you can check out the previous year’s entries – there are a lot of ‘Song Fight’ alumni involved who we’ve met through the SpinTunes and Masters of Song Fu contests.

SpinTunes Round 4 song reviews

November 23, 2010
Doc, I have these dreams about being chased....

Did you know there was an LP cover contest as well? (Thanks Dave)

I’m writing this review before coordinating my vote with Allan Morgan – since we together only get one vote, I’m only 50% of the official tally. But here goes my quick impressions of the 4th Round songs. The first 4 are in the running to win, the rest are shadows by previous contestants. Boffo Yux Dudes did three shadows this round – I’ll post them up later.

Zarni De Wet – The Bleeding Effect ( Assassin’s Creed)
Zarni takes this piano ballad about a schizophrenic killer and shoots out a mood of death and destruction. It’s not quite clear if the song is from the unstable Desmond’s point of view or Subject 16’s – perhaps both – but it’s still powerful stuff.

Mitchell Adam Johnson – In Another Castle (Super Mario Bros)
Mitchell writes from the view of a princess that keeps putting herself in danger, so she’ll feel the thrill of being rescued. Good use of video sound fx and samples of the game. Nice touch with ‘If you didn’t show, I’d die’ literally and figuratively.

Rebecca Brickley – Where I Am (Carmen SanDiego)
Rebecca turned this jazzy number into a humorous tweak on the game ‘Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego’. I can almost see Rockapella doing backup for her on this one. Witty lyrics make this one a winner. Enjoyed the Get/Silhouette rhymes and the baiting of the Chief to find her. Teasing or a challenge there? Actually, Both.

Chris Cogott – In Bright Falls (Alan Wake)
Chris brings a Surf guitar and 60’s beat to the tale of A. Wake and his quest to find sanity and his lost wife in Bright Falls. I had to research the game – he did a great job with the details. Enjoyed the musical tags and Beatles hooks to the song, including the Paperback Writer homage at the end.

Charlie McCarron – The Pac-Man Duet
A fun romp where Pac and Ms. Pac Man sing about meeting together. I like how Charlie and Nicole’s voices work well together in this one. Wish it was a little longer, but the ghosts had other plans.

Mark Humble – I’m Q*Bert, Babe

Mark slipped into a soulful vibe with his one. I expected Barry White to sneak up on the speakers. Loved the SFX mixed in to the storyline, as well as rhyming Pizza with Nietzsche. Total win.

Brian Gray – Hard To Get (Shadow) (Donkey Kong)
Upbeat, bouncy and fun. I liked the swing feel and harmonies, along with the witty wordplay.  Having the large simian use the princess as bait to catch the Mario of his dreams was a clever hook. Turning it into a homoerotic Shakespeare themed love story was a level above the rest.

JoAnn Abbott – Go For The Eyes (Boo from Baldur’s Gate)
Joann  (and Caleb) waltz into this song about Baldur’s Gate and Minsc’s Miniature Giant Space Hampster (™), Boo. The title refers to the favorite attack of said rodent. I liked the witty storyline and baroque feel.

David Ritter – Pitfall! (Shadow) (Pitfall)
David brings up the original Atari 2600 game Pitfall and runs with it through dangers and swinging vines. Turning it into a slow ballad with guitar and piano was an interesting choice for an action game.

Caleb Hines – The Writing On The Wall (Portal)
Caleb’s take on Portal with Joann singing lead . Interesting take on the game, with lots of insider hints and a nod to JoCo.  I’d have my cake and eat it too… if it wasn’t a lie to begin with. Nice job on this one.

Governing Dynamics – One Four One (Roach) (Shadow) Gary “Roach” Sanderson from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Travis sets a mood for this song with droning grunge guitar and drums about a black ops team that deals with the struggle of war, and relentless killing all around him. He hit the right notes in getting the tone of the game across. War is hell, but this is magic.

Inverse T. Clown – I’m Tops (Shadow) (TopMan from MegaMan)
ITC takes the wimpiest boss from the classic game and imbues him with an ego the size of New Jersey. Bouncy synth and 8 Bit Drums keep the tune rolling until it’s inevitable demise. I liked the fact he refuses to admit ‘Top Man’ is for his weapons instead of an elite status in his own mind.

I saw a lot of thought and planning in this round of songs – didn’t expect the depth and levels in such simple games, but people found them and brought them out. I’ll post the BYD songs here later this week, but you can listen to them and vote at the Spintunes site. Enjoy!

The Ballad of Henry Pym – in HD!

August 12, 2010

The Boffo Yux Dudes have been writing music for the new SpinTunes songwriting contest – our first song was this little ditty about our favorite SuperHero, Ant-Man.

We made a little video for it in HD – it’s 1080p if you really want to blow the sucker up on You Tube.

Bully for You!

Hey! Don't forget about me! I Helped!

Special thanks to Bully, the Little Stuffed Bull, for help in acquiring the scans and also perusing the lyrics so we have the true essence of who ‘Hank Pym’ really is.

Spintunes Round 2 Reviews

July 16, 2010
Time for a break... or a verse and chorus

Juggling time signatures is hard work!

My thoughts on the songs for the Spintunes Round 2 challenge –

The songs can be heard HERE

The Offhand Band – Another Universe
This track surprised me. The off key presentation of the vocals distracted me at first, but as I stuck with it, the song grew into a very complex opus.  I liked the interplay between the 2/4 and 3/4 time sig. The Piano coming back in at 3:00 to the end brings it full circle. As Dave Leigh mentioned previously, I’d love to hear how this would turn out with a vocal track.

Jenny Katz – Miss You
Jenny’s scatting’ to a Jazzy tune about missing a partner.  A happy bouncy tune that sneaks in 3 different time sigs.

JoAnn Abbot – Life
JoAnn was another pleasant surprise this round. I know she’s just starting to create songs, and she’s progressed to playing her own instruments this track. The song about the passage of life flowed well.

Edric Haleen – Love
You can say a lot about Edric, and boring isn’t the E. Man. This one he’s channeling Mike Lombardo’s piano, with all the emotion and feigns of love and the trademark Edric sustained note. Very well done. Got my vote.

Sara Parsons – A Little Time
Sara has a velvet voice and a soft demeanor that sneaks up on you, and before you know it, you’re sucked into her songs. This is a lament about wanting to make a connection, and self worth issues keeping connection at bay. A Solid entry.

Caleb Hines – Insomniac Lullaby
Caleb has been pushing the envelope with his latest songs. The use of Time Sig. between the sleepy and non sleepy voice worked well.  The edginess came out in the 5/8ths segments.

Governing Dynamics – Eleyna Dreams
Travis brings out the guitars for this dreamy grunge tune with lots of imagery.  The time sig worked well to draw the parts together.

Emperor Gum – Smoulder
Another song that takes a while to build into something interesting.  I give points for trying to do a song about a 17th century pyromaniac in love, but I couldn’t quite get into the music.

Gorbzilla – Than Infinity
Gorby is joined in this tune with his family members sining an ode to Mom. Upbeat, happy, and genuine fun. You can tell they had a hoot making this one. Got my vote.

Ross Durand – Waltz with the Devil
Dylan meets Consumerism. Some cleaver lyrics in a protest song format.

Steve Durand – Rara Avis
Very offbeat Jazz song with a 60’s flair. When the Zabba Zabbas came in, I started looking for the GoGo dancers. Another that didn’t quite hit the mark, but points for pushing the theme.

Charlie McCarron – Sleep On It
You hit all the technical requirements, but the song didn’t really say anything or move me. It had a Loudon Wainwright III feel, but needed more oomph to it.

Kevin Savino-Riker – Here At The Door
Progressive Rock at it’s best. A Rush feel with an art house beat.

Heather Miller – Bullseye
A love song about pool, finding love playing pool, and how fate move us in different ways.

Godz Poodlz – Identities Assumed
The Poodlz work the spy scene with this little Peter Gunn themed ditty on two stealthy agents.

Denise Hudson – Flex Time
Funky beatnik poet song. This cries out for a bass to join the sexual tension.

“BucketHat” Bobby Matheson – Space Pirates
Bobby creates a space sea chanty about technological pirates. Fun and jaunty. The accordion builds the Time sig perfectly to a pirate crescendo. Got my vote.

Dr. Lindyke – Minutes And Hours
Dave take the time sig theme to a logical conclusion, with time itself being the focus of the song. Very interesting that he took the same melody and played with how it sounds via the different time sigs. Would have gotten a vote if not a shadow.