Nur Ein XI Round Four "Million Watts"

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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby PepperJane » Fri May 13, 2016 11:55 pm

iVeg - your flaws are fantastic!
*bows with respect*
Everything is about perspective. :shock:
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby bgm » Sat May 14, 2016 12:08 am

Heh, the Oblique Strategy card that Eno just tweeted for today is quite apropos:

Image
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby BenKrieger » Sat May 14, 2016 4:17 am

I don't have an eno card but I have a hangover. That'll help!

Edit: IN! The main "flaw" is the acoustic guitar, which was played using the mike stand to rub against the strings for a ragged effect. Plus the performance in general.
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby iVeg » Sat May 14, 2016 12:14 pm

In: There were several flaws:
1. One million watts = one megawatt. So my song should be "Fifty-one Megawatts"
2. Getting caught hiking after sunset, more than once. A judgment flaw.
3. The second pre-chorus had about twice as many syllables as it should have. I pared it down a little.
4. I forgot to attach the song file to my email again - same as this round last year.
5. I had to edit the lyrics I submitted like four times.

Technical flaws:
1. Cell phone alarm went off during one of my BGV takes
2. Bass part during solo was supposed to be triplets, like the guitar parts, but I had quantizing on 8th note swing, so its 2 notes [b and c] simultaneously
3. At end of guitar solo, I had improvised something I thought was very cool, but I could not figure the notes out when I went to play the second guitar part. So I played f b-c e-f a-bb c#-d f#-g-f#-g [frets 1 2-3 2-3 2-3 2-3 2-3-2-3] which is not in any scale, was me just being frustrated.

In addition to any other technical flaws :oops:
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby bgm » Sun May 15, 2016 6:33 pm

In with three hours to spare what on earth shall I do with all this free time I feel like I'm the king of leisure time

My old Fender amp is super-buzzy at the best of times but I got a Vox Phantom re-issue a while ago and in three of the pickup positions it is insanely buzzy; through the Fender it's comical how buzzy it is. Like unbelievably buzzy.

I don't have them much anymore (knock on wood) but in my 20's I used to get a lot of panic attacks. Particularly in public situations like a class at university or sitting in an audience at a performance or something. This ominous feeling that something was going horribly wrong, that at the best you were going to puke or cause a huge scene and at the worst you might die. And all you want to do is get the fuck out of there.
So I used the sound of the buzzing as a metaphor for that feeling that comes on during panic attacks.
Hope that's not too explainy, I never do this.

P.S. I was going to do some dopey "flaw" things like have my kids call down the stairs that it was dinner while I was recording or make my ID3 tags say the song was "Snowbird by Anne Murray" or something but it didn't really go with the song.
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby Caravan Ray » Sun May 15, 2016 9:16 pm

Well...my flaw will be obvious - though not really deliberate.

At the last minute, my garageband/iTunes relationship went pear-shaped and my computer froze.

Had to record a last-minute live version on my phone.

NB: The version I was going to send in wasn't much different - it was still going to be a live g'n'g thing - but the voice and guitar were on separate tracks so I could have mixed it better. But - it's not "Production Fight!" right?
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby RangerDenni » Sun May 15, 2016 9:29 pm

This challenge was hard for me. I almost ran out of time. I am by definition, flawed. I do not strive for recording perfection--but wish to selfishly please my own ears. My ears are a work in progress. I wanted my flaw to happen organically and to fit the song and not be contrived. This was somewhat to please your ears. :) I talk about it in the lyrics a bit, or try to. It can be at the end of the song, unless you feel it's flawed in other places, and then you are welcome to grab at that and consider me advantaged at this particular challenge since I routinely shortcut basic steps and forget little random recording things which cause my mixes to suffer--which is why I'm here at songfight anyway so that I might better myself in my own way. NUR EIN.
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby BenKrieger » Sun May 15, 2016 10:26 pm

A few initial thoughts:

bgm - Always excited to hear what you do. Weird Kid A/Elliot Smith vibe on this. I love how the glitch immediately becomes part of the texture. Great use of harmonies.

DJ Ranger - Haunting piano! I listened to this one as I was walking home after midnight and it was eerie.

DuTova - The flaw hits right outta the box on this one. Love the synth line!

Grumpy Mike - Nice guitar clean guitar part. Is the “Creep” ca-chunk the flaw?

Inflatable Vegetables - It’s like a lo-fi Thin Lizzy!

Ken Mahru - Love the electro pop organ and the vocal melody. You really ran with the electricity theme on this.

Micah - I love multi-tracked choruses when they’re done this well! This is quirky, great rhymes. I think this is my favorite.

Paco del Stinko - GREAT intro. Electricity as a metaphor for love, who knew? Nice and bratty, in your face guitar solo. This definitely “jolts” the playlist.

Solo Frijoles - The more I listened to my mix, the more it hurt my ears, so I worked at it a bit and I’m a little worried that I EQed out the “flawed” acoustic guitar. Hopefully the scrapey sounds come through.

Strangely Brown - The obvious flaw is the lack of obvious flaw. Kind of brilliant!

BSS - I’m curious as to what your flaw will be since you all usually keep things pretty tight. This has a cool Black Sabbath vibe. The flaw hear seems to be the loose, pre-quantizing 70s-band-too-high-to-play-in-sync approach. The brief break in the music isn’t as much of a flaw as the playing. I dig it!
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby grumpymike » Sun May 15, 2016 10:50 pm

Nice guitar clean guitar part. Is the “Creep” ca-chunk the flaw?

Totally coincidental, or accidental! There are glitched out drums that get louder (during the verse) but I was having mixing problems at the last minute so it might not be as apparent as I'd liked.

I only got to hear a little bit so far but I like your lyrics - they made me smile.
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby glennny » Mon May 16, 2016 2:53 am

https://soundcloud.com/glenartrock/cave ... lion-watts

If you're interested in the. Cavedwellers shadow entry.
Hopefully we make the listening party.
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby j$ » Mon May 16, 2016 5:49 am

W.A.I.L. I.A.A.C. 1+5+1+5+ ...

These are all good songs. I'm impressed. Makes ranking difficult and cruel ... so, sorry in advance.

bgm - very good as usual. Overusing the buzzing perhaps -but it's not overpowering song. I prefer the verses /bridge to the chorus. Love the little squelchy keyboard. Yeah, the chorus isn't big enough for these ears (though the BVs are lovely). The sudden ending is great.

DJRD – the piano starts out like the soundtrack to the saddest movie ever. Sadly once the good vocalling kicks in the tempo is almost unbearably sluggish(though it does give a lot of room for the interesting swells and peaks squeezing through the chords’ fingers). Blimey, that was short. It's pretty and creative but at the end, it is just what it is, for me.

DuToVa – Great wobbly bass and terrifyingly fat synth. Don’t like the sound of the voice as much as last time. I mean it’s fine and perfectly acceptable but it just sounds a little uncomfortable singing the silly words. Didn’t really hear any obvious flaws (beyond the slightly loose relationship between the various instruments. Was it that)?

Grumpy Mike – Love the tone on the lead in the verses. The choruses are fairly much ‘standard Mr GM’ – but I like the Radiohead style approach to the guitar arrangement throughout (even the very ‘Creep’ off-beat chorus intro chords). Like those little glitches in the drums. Weird but subtle enough not to be off-putting. They actually bring a new element to the listen as even though I guessed they were the challenge, I began thinking, actually they make the song better! The lyric is fine,not leaping out at me but I'm not sure that many this time out have, so no biggie there.

I-Veg - Love the clumping bass and drums (‘clumping’s a compliment in this context btw!) Chorus is strong. I like the stuttering, chewing on the words, vocal arrangement into them as well. Weird good short solo riffs in there too. Yeah, I liked that.

Ken – Nice keyboard! The lyric is OK but nothing to write home about. But that arrangement, with the keyboard leading the guitar and bass floats my bitter boat big time. I like the little stop/stumble too. The BVs lift the (good but a little cold) vocal. This is a really god Ken entry.

Micah Somersmith – Who can dislike a good a capella introduction, even if it’s a bit too ‘hymnal’ for my personal tastes. (I guess it makes more sense as the story evolves/comes back in at the end). Not sure I like the ‘meta’ coughs and swearing as ‘flaw’ under them. It seems a bit easy. The rapping / humour in the lyric takes the edge off what could have come across as too earnest. Just about 

Paco – Hah! The challenge suited you perfectly, it would seem. This is pretty damn sweet and the ‘rehearsal room’ feel suits it down to the ground. The chorus is a little disappointing in relation to the rest of the song but not crippingly so. It’s just' 'oh, ok, that’s fine – can I get back to the rest of the song please'? Also that bass is cool, in tone and what’s playing, it’s holding the whole song in perfect shape. Rock it out, indeed.

Solo Frijoles – Yes, this is great. Vocal sounds great. That chorus is going to be stuck in my head all day. (Incidentally, it makes me think of Flight of the Concords ‘Binary solo’ – which is total coincidence but makes me happy). Did I say the vocal sounds absolutely great? The story in the lyric is damn stupid (cutting asses of yoga teachers?) but it doesn’t get in the way of the joy of the song at all. Great, great song. Oh, and ftr, I could make out the weird effect on the guitar strings, just about. At some points more than other, I assumed it was actually too much delay but I see your explanation now and I am surprised (but glad) that it wasn't more pronounced.

Strangely Brown – This was recorded on your phone? Sounds absolutely fine to me! Ha! As per Micah, I don’t like the ‘meta’ talky bit in the break down – it kind of ruins the perfectly fine pylon/knob gag you just made. ’10,000 Stephen Hawkings’! I think this is the best you’ve done this Nur Ein. And I usually rail on G&G so extra kudos points for forcing me to break my own rule.

and ...

BSS – Nice riffing. It doesn’t really go anywhere all that interesting beyond the groovy-as verse (and the vocal is ropey to distraction for this time out – which I’ll take as the obvious flaw. Though TBF the times it goes all emotive and rock-star it works really well). Oh, semi-meta breakdown. Shame. There’s some really interesting chord progressions in the chorus, deliberate flaw or not. I think this is a pretty good song being screwed by the challenge. Unless of course you chose to ignore the challenge as you had immunity. In which case, we both look super-stupid. :)

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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby BenKrieger » Mon May 16, 2016 5:54 am

j$ wrote: (cutting asses of yoga teachers?)


The problem with changing a stupid line like that I'd have to live with the fact that I changed a stupid line like that!

The chorus reminded me as a cross between Prince's "1999" and Rush's "The Body Electric."
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby Paco Del Stinko » Mon May 16, 2016 7:29 am

Good round, everybody. I am going to write the names of those that will be eliminated on a piece of paper and open it Wednesday morning. Good luck, judges!

For anyone interested, my recording process this round went like so: I broke out my four-track cassette recorder with the intent of going all lo-fi but, alas, the capstans were unable to move the tape along. At all. My dear old friend lights up, and that is all. So, I stuck with the four tracks idea. I recorded each with a condenser mic, several feet away from the source. The tracks were drums, guitar/"yeah" vocal, bass/"yeah" vocal, and lead vocal. All vocals were through an old wooden Crate amplifier that I have, bass and guitar amplified and mic'd at same time as vocals.

The drums actually sounded good (timbre-wise) until I smooshed them with compression during mix-down, resulting in that in your face ride cymbal. Bonus flaw! I did each track in as few takes as possible and panned them straight up in the mix. I was aiming for a garage jam feel and had a blast doing it. So there.

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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby DuToVa » Mon May 16, 2016 8:41 am

j$ wrote:DuToVa – Didn’t really hear any obvious flaws (beyond the slightly loose relationship between the various instruments. Was it that)?


j$ - The vocals are kind of an acquired taste. The singer says his vocals are the flaw! The official flaw is the short keyboard section between verse sets which sounds awkward to me. It should have been twice as long.
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby RangerDenni » Mon May 16, 2016 10:00 am

j$ wrote:DJRD – the piano starts out like the soundtrack to the saddest movie ever.

Keep it up. I'll end up racking up j$ quotables and have a stack for my signature line. You are hilarious and I spat coffee laughing. :)

As for the rest. This was a slow, sad song about a slow, sad ghost. She's tragic and meandering and I wanted a feel as if sitting in a dark room with your EVP recorders and broad spectrum cameras ... waiting, waiting for the needle to jump on your old EMF meter. ooooo scaryscary!
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby BoffoYux » Mon May 16, 2016 12:54 pm

Nur Ein XI Round 4 Listening party.
Tonight - 5/16 at 9 pm EST
11 World Premiere tunes!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF9GiHJ-6MI
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby Chumpy » Tue May 17, 2016 1:35 pm

bgm: Nice rhythmic use of amp buzz, even getting multiple tones out of it, it works musically and brings out the theme of electricity and power. It reminds be of how you used the test signal in round zero. Pretty harmonies and singing as usual, but I particularlly liked the brief Marc Ribot style guitar licks in my right ear right around 1:53 - 1:56. Ending abruptly as the music is building is unexpected, but returning to the amp noise at the end is a nice touch.

DJ Ranger Den: Beautiful piano chords and room reverberations, it has nice spooky feel to it. The layered singing is lovely, and fits the mood. My complaints are I don't feel like you embraced the 'flaw' part of the challenge, and the song itself seems like a fragment of a larger work and lacks somewhat in coherency. The mood here is great though.

DuToVa: Way to get the flaw out of the way early. It's about wormholes, a crazy inventor, a toy gun, a brick spaceship, a million watt laser -- I don't exactly get it, but it does create a cool Sci-Fi feeling, especially the bit about floating dead in space and running out of air. Really like the synth line in between verses, and the atmospheric synth on the choruses. Not wild about the vocal style.

Grumpy Mike: Clean guitar! Is that a first for Grumpy Mike? Great sounding vocals and BVs, and the drum glitches are pretty obvious to me, but are done in a way that adds interest. Well performed and well produced. I like the power outage metaphor, and how a person can be your battery/generator.

iVeg: Heh, dig how you put 1982 in the ID3 tag. Really enjoyed the writing, I way you describe the wind turbines as white giants waving their long arms trying to catch the wind. Really like all the island terminology like 'flying islands'. I feel like you didn't really do much with the flaw challenge, but I like what you did with the title. You're stuck without a flashlight, but just over the way is fifty million watts of power that you can't do anything with.

Ken: The synth and guitars working together in the song sound really great to me. I brighten up a bit every time it comes on, that bubble-gum pop makes me happy. The off timing guitar strums at 1:30 work well for me as a flaw, and work as they should to add character without distracting. There is an instrumental bridge right around then that seems like it's missing something, I think a spoken word bit would have worked well there, like a Belle and Sebastian song.

Micah: The sacred choral sounds are lovely, and as the song goes on it becomes apparent why they're appropriate. In terms of telling a story in rhyme and verse you are unmatched this fight. I feel like the 'open mic' flaw was a touch overdone, but it's a minor nit.

Paco del Stinko: Great approach to the challenge, the sound you captured is raw and exciting, like it was a live recording. The way the guitar breaks up during the solo is a cool effect, and the distortion you got on the vocals nails that garage rock sound. Well done.

Solo Frijoles: I love how you rework the song title to make it fit it into a killer chorus hook. For me, the primary challenge of Song Fight is to do something good with the arbitrary and often lame title you're given, and I'm often frustrated that many competitors weakly incorporate the title once somewhere into the song and call it a day. The scraping sound on the acoustic guitar is subtle enough to be a flaw, without tanking the song. I had to listen a few times to hear it.

Strangely Brown: I like G&G well enough, but the lyrics have to be very strong, like Dylan, Drake, Smith, or Pollard. Unfortunately as charming as this is, it's more akin to a campfire sing-along than something I want to hear multiple times. You definitely had an obvious flaw, but I felt like you did a half-ass job with the song title.
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby ken » Tue May 17, 2016 2:24 pm

Chumpy wrote:There is an instrumental bridge right around then that seems like it's missing something


Also a flaw.

If you want to record a spoken word part for it, that would be fun!
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Thu May 19, 2016 5:58 am

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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby MicahSommer » Thu May 19, 2016 9:06 am

I've been really enjoying re-listening to these entries. I fully support bgm's coronation as winner of this round - his tune is solid as always and the stuttering feedback is a super catchy and integral part of the song.

I was surprised to see iVeg on the verge of elimination - his entry was one of my favorites. Great guitar work, especially the harmony guitars at the end.

I was stumped for a while trying to think what Solo Frijoles' entry reminded me of - it's the Mountain Goats! Especially in the vocal delivery. I thought the scrape-y guitar was an excellent touch - a flaw that enhanced the song, like bgm's.
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby Niveous » Thu May 19, 2016 10:10 am



Thanks!!!
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Re: Nur Ein XI- Round Four

Postby BenKrieger » Thu May 19, 2016 10:47 am

MicahSommer wrote:
I was stumped for a while trying to think what Solo Frijoles' entry reminded me of - it's the Mountain Goats! Especially in the vocal delivery. I thought the scrape-y guitar was an excellent touch - a flaw that enhanced the song, like bgm's.


Im not a rabid fan (I know many who are), but I have a few of Darnelle's records and when I was listening to the song, I thought that as well. I picked up the new Modern Baseball release this week, and that definitely changed my approach to the song.

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