Nur Ein XII Round One "After You"

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Lunkhead
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Lunkhead » Mon Apr 24, 2017 7:57 am

There seemed to be an SSL certificate problem when I was checking it earlier yesterday. Looking in more detail now it looks like the SSL certificate for songlander.com expired on Saturday. Niveous, if you're using Chrome or Firefox, you should be able to tell your browser you want to proceed anyway, though you may have to click into "advanced" options or something to do so. Also you may have to go directly to a songlander.com URL for your browser to give you the option, e.g.:

https://songlander.com/rest/contests

In Chrome, once I went there, and said I wanted to proceed anyway, I could then go back to the nurein.songlander.com site and things worked.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby WendyWisemanFisher » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:13 am

Doh. I'll just use the extra time to make mac and cheese dogs for breakfast and drink more coffee. Good luck getting it sorted it out.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:13 am

For some background, the site is hosted at dreamhost and they support free Let's Encrypt certificates automatically, but it's a new feature and they're occasionally running into bugs. I put in a support ticket and it'll hopefully be worked out by EOD- otherwise I might have to pull HTTPS from the codebase.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Chumpy » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:20 am

Manhattan Glutton wrote:... I put in a support ticket and it'll hopefully be worked out by EOD- otherwise I might have to pull HTTPS from the codebase.

Cool, thanks for looking into it. In the meantime, would it be possible to temporarily drop the mp3 files into a public directory so we can listen to the songs? Thanks!
Last edited by Chumpy on Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:28 am

I don't have them - Niv does. But if Niv uses the workaround to upload them to the site, I will prioritize getting them listenable. I'm presuming he might not have time at work so it all might just work itself out by the time he does...
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Lunkhead » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:54 am

I assume the songs are only in the emails to nurein.sidefight and not saved anywhere else? Do any of the other judges have access to that email account?
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby j$ » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:22 am

If the problem persists, we'll look into extensions. In the meantime, hold your horses, go work on your round two songs.

NIV, if you want, I'll be home in an hour, so can temporarily host them on my site, if we think tech glitch won't be fixed in the near future.

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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Lunkhead » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:00 am

There is a workaround that I described in a post above. Anybody who has the files could use the workaround and get them posted at any time. Not that I'm rushing, just, providing information in case folks want to act on it.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Niveous » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:12 am

I'm currently on the road so I can't do a workaround. But I have given the songs to Manhattan Glutton.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby j$ » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:13 am

Yeah, unfortunately as has already been said, the judges are just that, not hosts - we don't have access to the songs until they're posted, just like your good selves. I was just offering an alternative, since (a tad surprisingly) all Nur Ein contestants want to do is listen to the competition, not just their own song 20 times on repeat :)

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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:20 am

I put up the songs. Still working on HTTPS issue, but if you use Sam's workaround it'll be fine.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Lunkhead » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:24 am

Hooray!! Thanks all.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:30 am

And HTTPS should be resolved. All good to go.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby noma » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:06 pm

Time to be narcissistic and pretend I'm just being nice to the judges - clarification time! I don't think too highly of either my vocals (laryngitis, still in progress - we shall see how that's gonna work out next round...) or my mix, but I am still proud of the composition.
Counter-melody occurs in the intro and post-1st chorus, with distorted piano VST (yes, that's what that is) vs. string synth, plus a bass line kind of harmonizing with both melody lines or whatever; then there's the backing vocal part during the chorus; and last, but not least, the distorted bass unflinchingly repeating the verse part over completely different chords during the bridge.
All the instrument parts were composed apart from each other and then put together accordingly, or jumbled up at times as in the above mentioned bridge.

BTW, I noticed only after sending my file that the backing vocals during the chorus turned out strangely quiet and washy. Couldn't really understand the lyric of that part myself... :oops:
Which made me think of R.E.M.'s "West of the Fields" - specifically, the bridge. Michael Stipe himself said he has no idea what the correct lyric was, but certainly not "The animals, how strange / Try, try to stick it in". :roll: But what is he singing? :?:
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:07 pm

These are excellent. I am so happy.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby noma » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:09 pm

Listening in now, by interpreter, in alphabetical order. It's always nice to open your listening session with some bossa nova. Keep it beautiful. 8-)
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby furrypedro » Mon Apr 24, 2017 4:03 pm

Sorry for forgetting to post my lyrics! They're up now.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Chumpy » Mon Apr 24, 2017 5:19 pm

Just a reminder that the After You listening party is happening right now on YouTube. Of course the actual songs don't start for another 30 minutes, but the pre-show is actually pretty great, where Tommy spins a bunch of his favorite SF and Nur Ein songs. Good stuff.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby ujnhunter » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:34 am

Just wanted to say that I loved all the little in-between bits by song fighters during the live stream. Songs were alright too... ;)
Edit: Where can ein download the tracks?
Edit 2: Nevermind... http://nurein.songlander.com/titles/41E ... 3325DDDA0D
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby MicahSommer » Tue Apr 25, 2017 11:45 am

I'm sure I've used lots of positive adjectives to describe Jerkatorium songs, but I don't thing "beautiful" has been one of them - until now. Really nice job Ryan and Chumpy - your song took me by surprise, in a very good way.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby j$ » Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:37 pm

W.A.I.L. I.A.A.C.
Ack, how am I meant to rank these? No-one should get eliminated based on what's been turned in. I'm going to have to play the personal taste card Sorry, everyone. It's lonely being a judge :)
Also I find the prescriptive Smiley limit to be an insult, TRUMPfight!


73 Keep it Beautiful
- undeniably pretty, very well done. Love all the tones and moods. nice little take on the 'After you' title. But it doesn't stick with me after listening and I am not rushing to listen to it again. Which speaks to itself, I guess. I'm anti-pastiche.

BL - not fancying the spoken word part this time out. The rest of it floats my boat. Well, maybe the lyric is a bit 'yerp'. Purdy, though. The last thirty seconds or so is mah favourite bit.

BSS - great keyboard. Oh, I really hope you're not going double-entry, I hate that. Who wants to see DP, right? ;) I will only vote for one song once. That said this is a *great* song. Right levels of camp and humability. Yeah, this one works for me. Also for once the right length (matron).

BYD - I'll liking this vaguely Doors'y approach you're going for these days. Suits your skills very well, folks. Heh, the chorus makes me chuckle. An easy approach, perhaps; but done well. Maybe there's not enough arrangement between the verse and chorus, mind. Makes it feel longer than it is. But it's well performed. Perhaps an off-set guitar part would give it some more colour? Sloppy mix-of at the end is not neccessarily a bad thing.

Cavedwellers - not much to say about this until the chorus hits and that weird guitar noise/tone takes it up an interest-level. Vocal sounds great. Can't decide if I really like the bass line or if it's a bit over-fiddly. 'I'm a wraith, no escape from this last haunt'? Tell me I misheard that, please. Weirdly inappropriate broken country solo works. Erm, yeah, slightly clunky lyrics and squeaky counter-BVs take this down a notch but also lots of interesting stuff going on - hmmmm

Glenn Close - It's you doing what you do best, so I can't really knock it. Amd the counter-BVs work really well, giving the song a new width. It's a lovely melody / chord progression. I'm not sure I'm putting it in my saddle-bag of favourite GC songs; but it's absolutely fine. It's interesting how the title & challenge has brought a lot of similar sonic approaches from the competitors. Maybe I'm just tired already, six songs in, of mid-tempo, pretty songs ...

IV - an IV Bond theme? I love that bonkers counter-keyboard. best worst tone you could have chosen for the song! Seriously it's a great choice, brings some extra interest to what might just be 'We Are Detective' otherwise. it's campily cinematic, which is a genre not explored enough. I think that chorus could do with some harmony BVs though. I'm getting slightly ansty by the spoken word part. And then the arrangement gets realy interesting. Maybe could have brought that in earlier than the final 30 seconds.

Jerkatorium
- OK, I don't think I would have guessed this was you guys. Creepy stalkers for teh win? Ah, I feel like I know this chord progression. Perhaps the arrangement is a bit thin in the most part. I mean it's undeniably beautiful in its constituent parts; but I'm slightly at a loss after listening.

Lichen Throat - ha! This is very silly and eccentric and I like it! I really like the off-kilter arrangement that makes me think of all my favourite bands like the Residents, while being nothing like them. The fraility of the voice works really well as does the fact that it sounds like you're singing a completely different song to the music and yet it all just about falls together. Good stuff, sir. it lacks in the big singalong chorus but it is a breath of fresh air.

LW & RG - that Keyboard part is probably mixed a little loud and the main vocal slightly too quiet, tbf. But it's a pretty song and the rough edges give it a character that the smoother pretty songs so far could do with. I love the BV 'aahs'. The voices work so well together at that point. It oddly sounds like a goth cover of an Air song, which is definitely a good thing and unique. Maybe outstaying that welcome at the final chorus; but then again maybe not.

Merisan - Another beautiful song and wow, what a vocal (even given how Erin's vocals are always great). I'm liking this 'trip-hop'/whatever slant to your music. Once again, I'm not convinced by the male BVs - don't get me wrong, it's perfectly the right thing to do when you do it, and they're done fine, it's just not quite what I hope / expect to hear - maybe you could reverb them more to give them more a ghostly feeling. This is a song with a ghost hiding in the backline, for sure. That's all I can say that's not 'hell yeah'. And given me predilictions musically, you must have made an impression! (You had me at descending chord sequences to be honest).

Micah S
- I guess BYD get the benefit of beating you in the alphabet conceptually. Silly, silly, camp immediately makes me happy. I would say it's a thin arrangement. maybe people are doing this to give room for the counter-BVs in each case? God knows. I'm crap at such things. Yeah, fun. Short and a bit throwaway but fun.

Nick Soma - someone loves the 80s! At least it only sounds like it 'could' be a Killers song this time out :) It also some vague Springsteen overtones too. I love the bass tone. Some of the nuances of the melody are getting lost in the reverb fun. Is it a good song? Hell, yeah. Do I like it? Errrr ...

Paco Del Stinko - Yeah, after last round's *shrug* - this is brilliantly stupid. The chorus is the weakest part of the song but it's still fine. i really like the silly brilliance of the multiple voices and the 'it's not throgh-composed but it has the feel of it' inventiveness. Also, that falsetto[SMILEY]

Pigfarmer jr
- Nice sleazy guitar tone. It is what is - that 70s country approach is done well, whether or not I want to hear it [SMILEY]. I like the lyric, for the most part, muchly. The arrangement is done well and the descending organ in the chorus is catchy. I'm not sure about the multiple counter-melody BVs at the end - it almost falls apart there. Still, nicely done. For what it is.

ROTR
- And *there* are the guitars! Yeah, good. A safe play, maybe, then again you got all that in your tank, why wouldn't you? I like the half-speed 'break-down' - some really clever leadwork there (man). Also I really like the phrasing on 'I'm feeling better every day'.

Skub
- Ah top bass line. 'My heart is beating like an 808'[ SMILEY] Minimal for the win, if the song is strong enough. Not sure the lyric jumps out at me, apart from a few choice phrases, but when the counter-melody BVs kick in, it's like punky-pop heaven, I kind of wanted them to go on forever.

Strangelove - well that's a much more DM chord progression (with a fair share of New Order thrown in for good measure). The music and the vocal are a bit too far apart in the mix, to neither's benefit. I like the approach to 'After you' - surprised no-one else has gone that way yet. Ah you bring in the gated keys too late. It's getting really good now (though could do with a high-pass to take out the more bassy end of the mix) - Yeah, the last half of this song is brilliant, it just took a little long to get there.

Wendy Wiseman Fisher - Another great lyric from you; not soo keen on the earnest music this time round - but that seems to a by-product of the title / challenge that caught many's inspiration. Also like many songs this time, it only really gets going half-way through. When it does, it's great, powerful. But the slow build is a tricky thing, to keep attention until you get there ...

Zed's Dead Baby
- Normally, I hate country songs. And I HATE meta shit. That said, the sleazy guitar part carries me some of the way into this song. But not far enough. The mix is good, BTW. Also the lyric is clever and cute but I'm ... meh ... maybe it's coming at the end of the alphabet? The A Capella is my favourite part and too short, IMO.
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Re: Nur Ein XII - Round One

Postby Manhattan Glutton » Tue Apr 25, 2017 1:05 pm

This round was really hard to rank. If you were in the top, you were just as enjoyed as all the top. And if you weren't in the top, you were no less enjoyed than anyone in the lower-half.

73 Keep It Beautiful - Nice. For a bit of an elevator genre, it still stands out. As always, performed deft-fully with interesting melodic choices. I appreciate the genre diversity - though the genre doesn't speak to me. You managed to make this a sweet little song *despite* the genre.

Balance Lost - The breaks and talking work well, and that's hard to pull off! The flute is a bit annoying at points with no discernable melody. I really like the energy changes, and it's performed well. The ending leaves a bit to be desired in terms of resolution. Overall, really cool and I like the bass melodizing and instrumental choices especially.

Berkeley Social Scene - You think you can just do 6/8 and get my attent- hey look at these really cool harmonies!! Really cool intro. I like the delivery of "the waves will crash". One or more of you are suffering a little with the high and low parts of the chorus, but that's OK. This song feels like it's trying to hack me, personally, as a judge, so I do wonder about that... but let me be hacked, cause this is great! 6/8, bass tone, drum tone, lead guitar tone, rocking hook chorus with harmonies... My wife said "this sounds like a better Weezer". The chunk on the guitar in the verse is a great touch.

Buffo Yux Dudes - Almost thought you were Paco at that first line. You can't sing this song like this - some screaming, layered vocals, something, at the chorus would make it a great sing-along. The lyrics sound so angry, but your voice is so subdued and nice. The chorus has a good counter-melody on the keys. What I'd do: thin out the drums and turn them up - make it more of a rock plod, save the lead keys for the chorus, have a variety of vocals at chorus maybe some screaming. Nice little song that could use some production.

Cavedwellers - The mastering hurts a LOT and I'm trying to not let my rank be affected. I like the direction of the song - chord changes and bass lines particularly stand out. Glen, I can't remember the last time you sang so well in that range (hey maybe that reflects on my listening patterns). You are so INCREDIBLY on key except the last couple words. Really digging the bridge onward. While having a lot of cool pieces, the composition is a little vanilla.

Glenn Case - Awesome vocals. It would fit well on Guster's "Lost and Gone Forever" album - almost too well! But has more of the production of Weezer. It's a well written, well performed song that would benefit from some more production/instruments. Some of the most brave counter-melody vocals of the group, with a tasteful three-piece harmony at the end.

Inflatable Vegetables - The intro is exciting! The verse is a little less exciting, but I like the direction. I like how you're mixing up the instrumentation The chorus dynamic shift is nice - it would be nice to have harmonies or more. The drum build-ups are cool. It would be nice if they were meatier drums - thicker, louder bass and snare, reverb on the snare. Overall nice song that could use help in the mix. Feels a little James-bondy! The repetitous lyrics stand out a little.

Jerkatorium - Damn, I didn't think this was coming after the last round. This is awesome. I can tell you're really into the lyrics. You should have used some vocal countermelodies in the pre-chorus: "I'm just starting!" "You're departing!" The vocals are great, and I think they would be enough to add some more spice to the verses with harmonies. The mix at the chorus could have been thicker (eg; dist guitar up), but it's tasteful regardless and that's a matter of preference. The length could have probably been trimmed - 4 minutes of that stripped down drum beat is a bit much.

Merisan - Like BSS, I kind of feel like I'm being exploited by some of the musical choices. All of the augmented pieces are really nice - ooohs, low vocals, lead guitar. Nice engineering and performance all-around. My nitpick would be with an over-abundance of sameyness in the verses - the format of a rhythm guitar waltz can feel like a plod to me sometimes, so changing up the rhythm guitar a bit more during verses, or added layers, or even shortening the song would have made it 10/10. The pre-chorus could have had some really hooky additional vocals.

Lichen Throat - The beginning is pretty cool, as is the use of dissonance. It's strangely charming and interesting. With a bit less dissonance and higher register voice, it could be more Animal Collective and less Ween.

Lucky Witch - Tastefully done. I like the tone of the keys, but they are a bit loud in the mix. Take the reverb off the vocals and put it on the guitar and keys, lower the keys, raise the main vocals, add some drums, and you've got a fine recording.

Micah Sommersmith - It was a bit a hokey, but I like the acapella ending. Singing the scales is brave and might pay off, but you're a bit off-key in there. At least you're putting your heart into it!

Nick Soma - Pretty cool alt rock track. The arrangement is right. I really like the lead guitar tone you picked and the feel of it. Engineering wise, you're a bit quiet - maybe you'd have more luck by dropping off the bass EQ? (I didn't verify this, it's just a theory). I really enjoy the bass line but it gets lost in a muddy mix. I think this would be higher ranked if it had better mixing.

Paco Del Stinko - I like the character voicing! The chorus is a bit trite. I like the self-righteous anger feel, but I feel like the vocal performance could have conveyed the annoyance a bit more. Composition is just right and has good transition points and doodles. The layered vocals are great at the end.

Pigfarmer Jr - I like what's going on here. I think very similarly to your last entry, you have a knack for picking up very recognizable musical elements from popular songs. There's a bit of Piano Man, Sad Songs and Waltzes, some famous song from karaoke, ... I think the chorus needs a bit more force - maybe more vocal layering or something and it could be really fun to sing along. I can definitely tell you added more variety from the round zero entry.

ROTR - You've added two more chords! :) I like this genre a lot better than Kenny Loggins Foot-Loose from last round. The callbacks on the chorus are sweet. Good singing, good guitar changes, good tempo. I like the idea behind the bridge but I think it could have used a little more thought at the beginning - for such a concisely composed song, the bridge was weak until the lead guitar really took over there.

Skub - I love the mix of inspiration going on here. It's like Les Claypool, Prince, Electric Six, and OK Go had a black-out drunk party and nobody knows who's the father. I doubt I need to praise your performance anymore since you probably know it's impeccable. I would have liked a stronger end - it kind of feels like a challenge CYA, and I find the fade-out a little lazy (yet strangely brave and appropriate).

Strangelove - Wow, low mix. Once I turned it up a LOT and gave it a longer shot, I'm really digging the synths and I hear what you're going for. The breakdown is pretty cool, nice drum programming... It seems like you didn't have enough time to get all the finer details down but the rough outline of a sensible composition is there. A stronger vocal take would have helped a lot to my ears.

Wendy Wiseman Fisher - Much improvement over last round. The "after you" rounding vocals are the hook and the song really starts to reach cohesion about 1.5 minutes in - which is a bit late - as the beginning is a little bit of a questionable journey. The vocals at 1:15 are performed like you wrote some bad lyrics and then wanted to sing them ironically - don't do that! Own the awkward burger line or cross it out!

Zed's Dead Baby - This is just really fun. It's a genre work, but I want to sing along with it, and the loose plodding adds an essential air of authenticity. Great work on harmonies and lead guitar, especially. I've definitely heard some major elements of this song elsewhere but not enough to take down my enjoyment.

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