Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Discuss upcoming, current, and previous song fights.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:20 am

It doesn't really matter to me. To meeeee. TO MEEEEEEE!!!!

(Or maybe it does and I'm just faking.)
Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Mar 30, 2019 3:21 am

No lyric thread yet... *looks around disapprovingly*
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:55 am

Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1Dcqs6LhwsoYS6EDGPhCCk

My solo Album: http://tcelliott.bandcamp.com/

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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:53 am

Songs posted.
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Pigfarmer Jr
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:53 pm

Berkeley Social Scene - I like the bass line and the gang vocal sections are cool. The low and dirty guitar at the end is cool. This song didn't grab me much on the first listen, but it definitely is growing on me.

dark side of the attic - This has a haphazard sound that, on the one hand, is intriguing, but on the other, ends up making me feel like it's incomplete. The mix is dark and seemingly muddy. The arrangement is pretty consistent throughout. When the vocals are closer to matching up I like the double tracks. When they don't, I don't as much.

Evil Grin - Thanks to Amanda for helping me out and contributing lyric and melody ideas as well as all the singing.

Geech Sorensen - I liked this one on first listen. The intro got me into the song immediately and I like the sparseness that follows and how it highlights that bass so well. The ride might be a hair too prominent in the mix after a while, but I'm nitpicking a solid song that I'm liking quite a bit.

The Glash - I really wish the mix was clearer and I could hear the lyric a bit better. I liked the rhythm in the vox, although the solid, on the beat, delivery of first two verses are a bit samey. Ultimately, I like the attitude behind the vocal performance, but the mix doesn't sit well with me.

Lichen Throat - I like the idea behind the sparse arrangement. I'm not sure it fully hits the aimed effect, though. The vocal melody could use a good dose of tightening up and it's not really helped with the delivery. I liked the lyric and it's blunt indictment. I would be willing to take a hand in mixing one of your songs at some point if you'd be interested in that. It's purely a selfish endeavor, tbh. But if the timing works out, the offer is there.

Micah Sommersmith - I'm not sure how you did it, but now I want an accordion vst to play with. And I love your arrangement here. I think the melody is a bit too... erm, happy? poppy? for my taste, but I'm liking your arrangement and structure.

Paco del Stinko - I like your vocal. The smooth delivery works well with your voice and with this song. I like the rhythm. I thought the arrangement was good (I enjoyed the break down/bridge as a nice change of pace that works well for me.)

Third Cat - This is another song where I like the rhythm. That it's propelled with the hand claps should give it bonus points. They might be a bit monotonous by the end as there doesn't seem to be much of a break from them, but they work for me. I like the fairly sparse arrangement (although it's not too sparse.)

Tuners Union - I very much like the music here. And the doubled vox is mostly very good. But each time I listen I'm taken out of the song a bit when the vocals come in. They are definitely stronger as the song progresses. I like the guitars quite a bit and I like how this builds.

Vowl Sounds - I like the melody quite a bit. The places with slightly larger jumps intervals are delicious (even if the lowest note isn't alwas the most solid, they work very well for me.) The doubled/harmony/layered vox title bits are very tasty. Short and to the point and one of the standouts of the fight.

Geech, Turners Union and Vowl Sounds instantly come to mind for top tier entries, but I enjoyed a lot of these. I'll think on it a bit longer before voting.
Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by codywalkerjr » Thu Apr 04, 2019 4:18 pm

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:53 pm
Berkeley Social Scene -
The Glash - I really wish the mix was clearer and I could hear the lyric a bit better. I liked the rhythm in the vox, although the solid, on the beat, delivery of first two verses are a bit samey. Ultimately, I like the attitude behind the vocal performance, but the mix doesn't sit well with me.

.

Thanks for the review! His Rap was recorded on an iphone and I recorded it from a text, out of the headphone jack, into my daw.. Pretty lame.. But that explains the muddy mix. I tried to play off of the cell phone mic sound.
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Thu Apr 04, 2019 5:26 pm

Mad props for doing the best you can with what you have.
Evil Grin has an album: https://evilgrin.bandcamp.com/
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by MicahSommer » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:57 pm

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:53 pm
I want an accordion vst to play with.
Only the real thing will do!
cranky accordion.jpg
cranky accordion.jpg (21.29 KiB) Viewed 3706 times
...Seriously though, come up to Wisconsin, knock on any random stranger's door and ask if you can have their uncle's accordion they have sitting in their attic.
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Fri Apr 05, 2019 5:24 am

I'm fairly sure my father has one from some great uncle or other, but it's a full sized, heavy beast of a machine that I ain't gonna even try to hold, much less play. I want the sound, not the responsibility.

Also, I have tentative plans on being in Madison this fall for either a fawmstock or just a visit of some fawm friends. (Assuming SF Live isn't held there or actually in addition to that.) So maybe you can show me how you squeeze the magic out of that thing.
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:24 am

Not actually listening while writing so apologies for any inaccuracies, but I have listened to them all three or four times.

Berkeley Social Scene - this is definitely the handclappiest song in a bunch of pretty handclappy songs, and for that I... erm... applaud you. I have some issues with the mix, there's a mix of really dry sounds and really reverby sounds and it feels a bit odd to me, and some of the timing feels a little sloppy as each instrument is introduced. The clappy stuff is great fun though and earns a vote.

dark side of the attic - if you're going to force me to think about Brexit more than I absolutely have to then you're going to have to back it up with an interesting melody or some clever lyrics and unfortunately this doesn't have either. I sometimes enjoy your strange, loose, atmospheric songs but I couldn't get into this one.

Evil Grin - is this the only song out of the whole bunch that doesn't have handclaps? I've been listening in random order and this one came up last, and I was gutted that the handclap streak was broken! I really like this song though, so you are MOSTLY forgiven, certainly enough for a vote. I can hear the Pigfarmer Jr. in it but it also sounds quite different, and not just because of the different vocalist. The mix is a little muddy in places but I definitely want to hear more from this creative pairing!

Geech Sorensen - I really like the stop-start rhythms in the music, in fact generally I'm a fan of the music here, but the vocal melody feels a little uninspired and stops the song from quite being among my favourites this round (I still like it, but it's a strong fight!)

The Glash - this is pretty fun, the lo-fi vocal kinda makes it feel like a live recording to me. I was looking forward to this one after your description and the lyrics and the end result didn't quite live up to my expectations, but it's a solid job considering how it was recorded. Not among my favourites, though.

Lichen Throat - guitar sounds good, and a different take on handclaps from the rest of the pack - super-sparse and reverby! Not my favourite of your songs though, the lyric didn't quite click with me like some of your stuff. Although "strawberry" / "ADHD" is an admirably bold half-half-half-rhyme.

Micah Sommersmith - possibly my favourite this round, I love it when you bust out the accordion, the chorus is insanely catchy and the lyrics are very sweet. Vote.

Paco del Stinko - enjoyed this one a lot too, my favourite Paco song in a few fights. Some really great hooky guitar work and backing vocals. Vote.

Third Cat - there's a lot of good ideas in this one but it doesn't quite work for me as a whole. The sparse bits feel REALLY sparse, which kinda pays off in terms of dynamics but leaves parts of the song feeling almost unfinished to me.

Tuners Union - another gorgeous production, I love all the little guitar runs and the way the lyrics get denser and quicker as the song goes on. I think I've heard a few TU songs that I liked more but this is really good and another vote.

Vowl Sounds - this was unusually hastily assembled by Vowl Sounds standards, I think we got the whole thing done in 24 hours despite working from different timezones! I was aiming for something guitarry and power poppy but then I got sidetracked and started messing around with my Casio SK-5 which led to lo-fi synthpop. All the synths here are sampled through the Casio. I don't think I left much room in there for vocals but my Vowl colleague found a way!
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:35 pm

vowlvom wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 7:24 am
Evil Grin - is this the only song out of the whole bunch that doesn't have handclaps? I've been listening in random order and this one came up last, and I was gutted that the handclap streak was broken! I really like this song though, so you are MOSTLY forgiven, certainly enough for a vote. I can hear the Pigfarmer Jr. in it but it also sounds quite different, and not just because of the different vocalist. The mix is a little muddy in places but I definitely want to hear more from this creative pairing!
I tried hand claps and they didn't work that well. I decided that I'd rather have a better song than to do the optional challenge for the sake of doing the optional challenge. But I'm definitely open to the criticism that I probably should have been more creative with them.

If you have time and the inclination (don't feel obliged) I'd love more input on the "muddy" bits. Where you hear it etc., Of course, if you're like me, you probably won't have the time. But if you do...
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Sat Apr 06, 2019 3:48 am

Pigfarmer Jr wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:35 pm
If you have time and the inclination (don't feel obliged) I'd love more input on the "muddy" bits. Where you hear it etc., Of course, if you're like me, you probably won't have the time. But if you do...
I guess mostly I just want the vocals to be a bit clearer in the mix, I'm not sure if maybe that rich fuzz guitar sound is covering some of the same frequencies or something? Maybe somebody with more knowhow will be able to offer something more useful! But either way it's a minor complaint, I really enjoyed this song, up there with Micah's as my favourite in this fight.
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Pigfarmer Jr » Sat Apr 06, 2019 4:44 am

re: Mix - Yeah, get that. Thanks much

Re: Hand Claps - I want to give Ryan a big shout out. It's cool that the optional challenges are getting some focus and encouragement. I think the Jerks podcast (and specifically Ryan's view point) is having an effect. That's cool. (Even if we'll probably be dinged for not doing it.)
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by thirdcatmusic » Sat Apr 06, 2019 7:49 am

Vowl Sounds - This is quite cool. Love the instrumental and the vocals are charming and hooky in places. Has this feeling of a 50s or 60s pop song but with this lo-fi synth instrumentation that updates it in a pretty groovy way. Gives it a kind of timeless vibe which is really cool. Definitely among my favorites. Vote.

Evil Grin - This is pretty good. Good singing. Good playing. On the negative side the arrangement is a bit "samey" for my taste and kind of sludgy. I think the guitars are a too loud and there's not enough dynamics, it's mostly just at one level the whole time. My favorite bit is the b-section that starts around 1:25, that's a nice change of pace but it's a pretty short section. The solo is good but I think the lead isn't quite loud enough in comparison with the electric rhythm guitars. I guess my main complaint about this track is that the rhythm guitars are too loud in contrast to everything else (drums/vocals). And the whole thing just seems a bit overcompressed. Vocals should be more clear and up front with this type of song I think.

Paco Del Stinko - Great instrumental mix. Love the backing vocals. Your lead vocals fit in this song pretty well too. Lots of cool contrasts/dynamics. A very creative and interesting arrangement. Among my favorite PDS songs I've heard so far. Vote.

dark side of the attic - It sounds like the individual parts were recorded without too much concern for whether they fit with the other parts. But Theresa May may not like it. Brexit with no exit. I like the rhymes/wordplay and the general insanity at play here, but not sure I really like the overall song too much. Still it's kind of an interesting listen.

Tuners Union - I've heard a few of your songs and they always impress the hell out of me. This is no exception although maybe not my favorite of yours (I heard some others that really blew me away). Love that little guitar riff that come in so clearly, it just cuts right through. Really cool arrangement. Reminds me a bit of the band Broken Bells. Vote.

The Glash - Not loving this one, beat is too weak for a hip hop song and the rapping isn't that bad but not quite tight enough to make this work. I did read how you recorded it and that explains the mix... but uh. yeah, that's a no from me dawg (/Randy Jackson/)

Micah Sommersmith - Jamming accordion. Groovy arrangement and a pretty decent mix. Cool lyrics, I'm the type of listener who rarely notices lyrics unless they're really bad or really good, I think yours are really good. Lots of energy in the performance. I like this and it's growing on me with each listen. Cool bass guitar in this track. Good vocals, lead & backing. I don't like the rap section so much. Still: Vote. One of my favorites.

Geech Sorensen - I like this song overall, cool chorus. My favorite part is the instrumental solo which has a pretty great groove to it, love how you add layers there. It does feel like maybe it could have gone up one more level to really blow the top off. I quite like that bass riff but you may do the whole cut everything out but the bass a bit too often, it's a cool trick but doing it 4 times per verse is a bit much. This is one I like but with some reservations, an almost vote.

Berkeley Social Scene - Love how different this sounds than what I expect from BSS; nice change-up. Killer bass and I love the keys that start the song. Maybe the keys are mixed too loud, but that kind of gives the song a personality too. Really cool chorus. Good vocals (and backing vocals.) The "let me see you clap your hands" bit is kinda funny, but takes me out of the song, I'd like it better without that part I think. Still overall I like this quite a bit. Any doubts are washed away by the really awesome instrumental section at the end. Love the feel there. Vote.

Lichen Throat - Instrumentally this is more appealing than most LT songs, and the guitar break around 1:06 is quite pretty. Nice sound there and I enjoy the minimalist vibe. "You say you grew up so poor you never tasted a strawberry" is a pretty cool lyric. On the negative side is the usual complaints about rhythm and vocal pitch. Some pretty cool ideas in here and I found it to be an interesting listen.
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by MicahSommer » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:05 pm

Berkeley Social Scene - I’m so glad you unearthed this long-forgotten outtake from “Free to Be You and Me”! I don’t think many people were using the term “haters” in the 1970s, but other than that the lyrics are spot-on. The fun that everyone is having comes through very clearly, although rhythmically everything is juuuust a bit too loose for my tastes. The various parts feel like they’re barely hanging together, which maybe is part of the charm.

dark side of the attic - Not such a fan of this one, sadly. If I thought BSS’s entry was rhythmically loose, this one is positively falling apart. An intentional choice I’m sure, but not one that works for me. If there was more weight to the lyrics it might help me out, but this two-minute song feels like it stretches on long past its welcome.

Evil Grin - I’m a fan of the big electric guitars and drums! As usual the acoustic guitar also sounds excellent, and the combo of electric and acoustic works really well. The vocalist does a nice job too, and I’m glad the song was saved by collaboration. Thematically the lyrics seem to be in a similar territory to my entry, with the singer offering unconditional support to a partner, although the bridge makes me wonder if the singer is languishing in the friendzone rather than this being an honest and communicative relationship.

Geech Sorensen - Nice guitar interplay, great vocals, well recorded and mixed. The call-and-response with the bass is cool, but doing it every line, with the bass alone every time, makes the song start to drag. By the end I don’t feel like the song has earned its 4:25 runtime. I do like the lyrics. When I start a Song Fight entry I usually latch onto the first interpretation of the title that comes to me, so radically different interpretations come as a surprise, but of course the weary resignation of your lyrics fits the title perfectly.

The Glash - This is fun! I dig the old-school party rap feel, and the flow reminds me of Sir Mix-A-Lot in “Baby Got Back” (not an insult). I reeeeally wish the lead vocal could have been recorded properly with decent equipment, and I’m annoyed that you used the word “day-glo” in two different verses. Otherwise, it’s a good time!

Lichen Throat - The guitar sounds great, the vocal melody is pretty good - more, well, melodic than we might expect from you. The lyrics display typical Lichen Throat craftsmanship - the refrain “Whichever you choose, it’s the wrong choice. / Whenever you speak, it’s the wrong voice.” displays a nice parallel construction to go along with the rhyme and the title. Tonally, I’m fine with the general acerbic bent, but in the absence of more specific reference points, I’m put off by the slams against [checks notes] poor people and the mentally ill.

Micah Sommersmith - it me. I was recently revisiting some older recordings of mine, including the cover I did for Jerkatorium for Gift of Music 17-18, and remembering how much fun it was to go all out on the accordion while covering an uptempo pop-punk song. So this song was an attempt to revisit that sound. I’m quite happy with how it turned out, and I definitely had fun!

Paco del Stinko - I’m not sure what’s going harmonically in the beginning - the layers of guitars (and banjo???) don’t seem to be quite playing in the same key or something? I guess it’s too sophisticated for me… The lyrics and vocal melody are fine, although the (surely intentionally) exaggerated R’s of “I’m just herrrre to serrrrve you” get on my nerves. Great use of handclaps.

Third Cat - Like your “Is This Real Life?”, another one with a big contrast between the verse and chorus, although in this case it works in the song’s favor. The extra beats that you hold “belieeeeeve” for really ratchet up the tension leading into the chorus, and when it finally comes, with the shaker and those spacey harmonies, it’s very satisfying. Then we get a brief synth solo which turns out to be a red herring as the chorus comes back immediately. Then a repeat of the intro hook and… the song’s over? It’s quite an unconventional structure but for me it really works. I enjoyed listening to this song a lot.

Tuners Union - There are many classic Tuners Union traits present here. The vocals sound great although in the absence of posted lyrics I have trouble understanding them. The melodic hooks are great and the instrumental performances are great although there’s so much going on that it feels a bit overstuffed. Like in the solo section I think I hear at least 3 distinct electric guitar parts, probably more? I’ve really enjoyed your maximalist approach before, I’m not sure why it’s not working quite as well for me this round.

Vowl Sounds - Me listening to the first verse: “Oh this is so sweet, and it seems like their thematic approach is similar to mine.” Me listening to the third verse: “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!” The idea that what you thought was a strength in your relationship, your partner sees as its fatal flaw, is literally the stuff of nightmares. The music is fun and summery and light and maybe could have taken a slightly darker turn in the last verse to accentuate the turn in the lyrics. The vocal delivery is great as always, although there are some downward leaps in which the landing on the low note is not very secure. Finally, respect for fitting three verses and chorus in under two minutes.
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by lichenthroat » Thu Apr 11, 2019 9:35 am

Berkeley Social Scene—I like the marimba (or whatever that is); it contributes to a pleasant overall tone of the song. The bass is nice, too. The handclaps are integrated well, the James Brownesque vocals are fun, and the solo at the end is great.

dark side of the attic—This is a little rambling, but that characteristic matches your lyrical subject, so it’s aesthetically cohesive. The opening chords sound good.

Evil Grin—I really like this. It’s interesting to have an alternative-ish vocal combined with more traditional rock instrumentation. I’d be quite pleased to spend an evening at a local club listening to music like this. Love the bridge—what are you doing to get that reverberating quality to the tone?

Geech Sorenson—I like the first time everything but the bass cuts out, but after that it becomes a bit much. The chorus is very good; I like the use of “detente.” I also like the extensive use of the ride cymbals in the rhythm. This feels a little long, but it’s a good song overall.

The Glash—Vocal delivery is good, and I appreciate your cleverness in adapting to the recording limitations. Not my particular brand of cola, but the execution seems to be pretty good.

Lichen Throat (me)—This is the first song I’ve submitted that hasn’t included any sampled instruments. Recording and mixing the handclaps was difficult. Overall, I think the song is a little boring, and I’m also afraid that the lyrics may have come out somewhat more meanspirited than I had intended.

Micah Sommersmith—Lyrics are great, which is nothing less than I’ve grown to expect from you. The vocal melody in the chorus feels a bit pedestrian, but I’m happy with everything else, especially the accordion solo, the vocal delivery, and the lively rhythm.

Paco del Stinko—This is among my favorites of yours. It settles nicely in a groove but remains playful. Instrumental performances are skillful as usual. The vocal is even-toned and subdued, while still being expressive.

Third Cat—Excellent opening. This is very well crafted; it feels as if you had a clear concept and worked diligently to execute it.

Tuners Union—So lush! I could do without the 70s keyboards, but otherwise I like a lot about this song. This sounds like it could be something that a band spent a couple of weeks recording in an expensive studio.

Vowl Sounds—The extra drum beat in the rhythm is genius. I don’t have a lot to say about this, other than that it’s great. Another one of yours that’s going straight to my hard drive. I wish it was longer.
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Geech » Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:36 pm

BSS - I played the drums and contributed some vocals. An absurd attempt at a party jam, but there is a naive charm to it. The claps are, by far, the best part. I would like to make a whole song based on just that. Ken’s keyboard line is very catchy. Recording it was pretty fun.

dark side of the attic - I really like the Fall and there is an obvious kinship to that. I wish it held together more, though. It melts by the half-way point

Evil Grin - Good simple riff to start. Nice harmonies mid-way through each verse line. I am a sucker for a mix of electric and acoustic guitars (ie, see my song). I think my main issue is that the lead vocal needs more emotion. The soft vibe doesn’t fit the rocking feel of the song, especially the double kick at the end (which I question, anyways). The guitar solo starts with a nice melody which would have been cool to have interspersed throughout the song.

Geech - My song! Lunkhead Sam recorded and mixed it. And helped with the claps. Thanks, Sam! The call-and-response break in the verse for the bass seems to be getting the most err… attention - It’s a bit weird there, I admit. I was thinking something akin to a White Strips riff, which is typically pretty bashed into your head through repetition. I am pretty proud of the bridge - I think it has a nice build and contrast in feel. As an aside, I didn’t know that a 4 minute song would be pushing the boundaries of acceptable SF behavior, but then again I am pretty new around here.

The Glash - There is a 90s vibe to this for sure. I wish his flow were stronger. The overall backing track, with the sprinkles of minor keys, reminds me of the Wu, whom I love. This seems to have only one part - there is no real distinction among verse and chorus and anything else; it seems more like an interstitial than a song.

Lichen Throat - This is so minimal. There just isn’t much going on. I’d like a stronger, more tuneful vocal. “You grew up so poor you never tasted a strawberry”? Who is this?

Micah - This starts out like a game show theme. The verse melody is nice. This is my first hearing about decision theory in a song. Good prechorus. The chorus is a bit anthem-y for me. Awesome accordion playing. Fab solo. The rap bit reminds me of Les Claypool. You do have skills there. The breakdown with the clapping is nice. Good harmonies. Overall a solid tune.

Paco - It was hard for me to get into this. “I am just here to serve you” works well as a line and melody with its snide delivery. I like that you made that a focal point of the song. I wanted even more of that. The breakdown and what comes after it, I don’t think it’s even needed. This coming from a guy who made a song over four minutes.

Third Cat - Does this begin with the chorus? Solid hook. The other parts with vocals don’t grab me though. Hard to find the hook or remember. I just want to get back to the “Whichever Whenever” bits.

Tuners Union - This reminds me of CSNY. Sounds great. Nice piano in the background. The claps and upbeat guitars keep it from being too hippy dippy. The guitar solo did not have to be harmonized. The rap-style flow at 2:10 loses me. I don’t get that and I don’t think it fits.

Vowl Sounds - This is a bright and happy tune although the lyrics clearly aren’t. The keyboard melody lines are pretty and I like how they forecast/refer to the vocal line. I wanted you guys to come back to the chorus at the end!

I think my fave, outside of the songs I was involved with, was by Micah. Evil Grin, Tuners Union and Vowl Sounds come next. Nice job!
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Chumpy » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:43 am

The Jerks are back in your headphones for yet another podcast!

Here are all the deets: You can send us whichever feedback you deem appropriate, whenever at: feedback@twojerksonevote.com.

Go straight to the good stuff:
  • 00:00:00 - Intro song
  • 00:01:06 - Beginning-of-podcast chatter
  • 00:07:45 - Berkeley Social Scene
  • 00:13:30 - dark side of the attic
  • 00:20:00 - Evil Grin
  • 00:24:41 - Geech Sorensen
  • 00:29:50 - The Glash
  • 00:35:37 - Lichen Throat
  • 00:43:21 - Micah Sommersmith
  • 00:48:05 - Paco del Stinko
  • 00:53:28 - Third Cat
  • 00:59:07 - Tuners Union
  • 01:05:51 - Vowl Sounds
  • 01:11:14 - End-of-podcast chatter
Please to be digging it now!
"How did these fuckin' guys get signed? Bring on the Beach Boys meets Ween." --boltoph
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by vowlvom » Sat Apr 13, 2019 11:32 am

Excellent work once again posting that just in time for me to think "god, I have about 75 minutes where I do not know what to do with myself before dinner". Good to hear Cybronica in on the action, the vocal coaching stuff was interesting!

I believe owl is singing through a cold at the moment but also I should probably do more work figuring out what key I write in when collaborating because mostly I (quite selfishly) just write stuff and send it and demand a vocal in return! I have to give owl massive kudos for turning this one into such a cool song though as I sent the track over with very little time to spare and at a frankly ridiculous tempo and she did amazingly! That lyric is so good.

In terms of the reverby synths, I had a weird, brief-but-intense obsession with this amazing Russian synthpop song while brainstorming ideas for this fight, and this song is basically me going "what if I tried to do that, but only using a Casio SK-5?"
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by kaz » Sat Apr 13, 2019 2:35 pm

Vowl Sounds
Vocals sound excellent. My only gripe is at about 0:32 when the backing vocal comes in a little loud... I was very into just the lead and I think it just took me by surprise too much. Maybe back them off there just a tad. Otherwise it's great, I really like the 'forever, forever' match with the title.

Geech
Wonderful production. I find myself wanting more chorus and less verse. The bridge at ~2:30 is a cool break, but I'd like to hear a more meaty solo on top of it. Not much else to add here.

Evil Grin
Every part of this is great. The only thing that doesn't quite hit me right is the tone of the vocal along with the feel of the rest of the song... there's this grunge-ish sound, and then this very smooth, sweet vocal harmony. In context I'd actually prefer a rougher sounding voice.

Micah
Bitchin' accordion, as always. I'm getting a very They Might Be Giants feel from the vocal and room reverb and the harmonies. I have nothing to add here. Nicely done.

Third Cat
Love this lead riff right off the top. I want a little more force out of the vocal in the beginning... open it up let it rip a little more, I'd say. That's actually the case in general... as vowlvom said there's a sparseness that leaves me a little unsatisfied. The pieces are definitely all there though.

Lichen Throat
With a song clocking in at 2:14, it's probably not necessary to spend 25 seconds of that on an intro that doesn't really do anything interesting. Lyrics seem to the be the main point here, and they're certainly interesting. But the music kind of gets boring.

Paco
I love well executed delay. That first progression is awesome... there's a sneaky change from a minor to major chord which is hard to pull off well, but you've done it here. I don't like the slowdown at 1:50-ish too much... it just feels like we lost a wheel for a minute.

BSS
Some of the rhythms here could be a little tighter. But the breakdowns are fun as hell, and there's not much else I can add here, because this is pretty great.

The Glash
I really like the straightforward use of the title. But with a sparse and lyrically driven song, I need to be able to hear these words much better than this. Musically I could use a little heavier of a beat... it would help drive the point home a little better, if that makes sense.

dark side of the attic
I really can't follow the music, and I really don't the mix of anything political with music... at least not so blatantly. Can't add too much here.

Tuners Union
Mine. Yeah, there may be too much going on here, but I assure you there are hand claps in there. I ran a little short on time and kinda half-assed the solos but otherwise was pretty happy with this. As for the vocal t's referenced in the podcast, that was not on purpose. The first couple takes I did of that were this unintentionally cringeworthy dork-trying-to-sound-Jamaican thing, so what you're hearing may be an effect of me trying to dial it back a little bit.

Many thanks to everyone for the reviews.
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by Lunkhead » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:55 pm

Vowl Sounds win!
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Re: Don't forget to write some notes. You know... (Whichever Whenever Reviews)

Post by owl » Sun Apr 14, 2019 9:59 pm

OK, my taxes are FINALLY filed so I felt like I could take some time to finish writing up my reviews!

I enjoyed the podcast! Cybronica, super interesting to hear your input about various vocal strengths/weaknesses/techniques, I don't think I realized this was a thing you literally do professionally and that explains a few things ;) it's oddly less intimidating to me knowing that you're a classically trained professional opera singer and not just some random amateur schmo like the rest of us* who just happens to be amazing at operatic vocals.

* I assume, but I guess actually I have no idea if there are other classically trained professional musicians wandering through our midst.

Paco del Stinko--Lovely arrangement and production, stuffed full of cool guitar bits, the backing vocals in particular sound great. The verses were kind of there and gone and never stuck with me, but the chorus is a real earworm. I really like the part where it pauses and starts building back up after the breakdown. Part of the chorus vaguely reminds me of the Cyndi Lauper song "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" which for me is a big plus.
Third Cat--I really like the laid-back groove in this song, the guitar/vocals/handclaps all fit really nicely together. It opens up nicely into the chorus, nice extra layers there, but somehow I felt like it kind of lost steam after that first point and never really quite got going into where it was headed. The production details like the various reversed sounds and the building distortion on the vocal into the chorus are really pleasing to me.
Lichen Throat--It's good to hear more real guitar! It sounds good. I like the lack of MIDI instruments this time around, and the solo part about a minute in is cool, although I do think adding a bit more instrumentation for a richer feel would have worked well... maybe in a middle ground between a full-on intricate arrangement and this minimalistic production. The lyrics didn't really connect with me this time, though, and the vocal delivery felt a bit aimless--I think a faster pace would have worked nicely and given this a catchy feel (not sure that's what you were aiming for, but I can hear it in my head).
Micah Sommersmith--that is some impressive accordion playing! Strong melody, catchy, inventive. I like the rap, and I like the sweetness of the lyrics. Between the rapping and the accordion jam, it kind of strikes me as a Weird Al polka song but with serious lyrics, which is an odd juxtaposition but I enjoyed it. One of my favorites from the fight.
Berkeley Social Scene--those bells are awesome (if maybe mixed a bit loud, it's distracting). The little keyboard riff starting this out was one of my favorite individual elements of this whole fight. I also love the bassline in this song. I never thought I would say this but I guess a whole fight full of handclaps has worn on me a bit: perhaps there is a bit too much handclap action at the end there...? The vocals are really fun--well, the whole song is really fun. I enjoyed this a lot, one of my other favorites.
dark side of the attic--This was just kind of confusing to me and it was a difficult listen, there were too many moving parts that didn't seem to work with each other and like most or all of the reviewers who have posted so far, political lyrics are a hard sell for me. They might have worked better for me if the backing music held together better, the "Theresa may not like it" line made me smile.
Geech Sorensen--I do like that bass call and response thing, but I agree it might happen a bit too much overall. (I understand your point about trying to go for an insistent White Stripes type riff though, and I wonder if it might go over better if you weren't playing to an audience of other musicians who are more conscious of certain things.) I thought this was really well performed and produced, a solid 90's alt-rock jam. The chorus didn't really work well for me, although I liked the "detente" rhyme--I think I felt like it should build up more and/or resolve, and it just seemed like it moved along at the same intensity level without quite getting anywhere, which felt unsatisfying by the end of the song.
Tuners Union--Something about this song vaguely reminds me of "Careless Whisper," I think a combination of the general smoothness and some little snippets of the melody and rhythm? When I did my first listen through all the songs, this one immediately stood out to me production-wise, it's a beautiful rich production and well performed--I really like the way those sweeping piano arpeggios work in the arrangement, the doubled vocals sound so good, and I like the sort of burbling guitar layer. Couldn't quite make out all the lyrics (I always like to see lyrics posted!) but I like the flow of the words (although to nitpick, the long pause in the middle of the word "whenever" kind of bugs me). Although I liked all these individual aspects, and I liked listening to it, the song itself wasn't quite hooky enough to stick with me.
Evil Grin--Great collab, and I'm glad to see it looks like we have more Evil Grin coming in the next fight. This is really nicely performed all around, the lead vocal is appealing and the guitar parts are polished and they work really well together; the way the vocal is held longer in the first "whichever way..." line works well for me, although the "I'll be there for you" parts of the chorus seemed almost anticlimactic after those wonderful first couple of chorus lines. Some of the harmony vocals seemed slightly off in choruses 2 and 3, but I didn't notice anything amiss in the first chorus. Lovely dynamic shift in the bridge and I like the repeated "I'm ready" in the lyrics there. I think I would have liked more variation in the dynamics/accompaniment between verse and chorus too though.
The Glash--I agree with Geech that parts of this remind me of Wu-Tang (the delightful little piano samples, and the "whichever whenever" chorus has a kind of ODB-esque rambunctious charm) but the actual rapped parts feel a bit too rhythmically and lyrically simple for me, I know it's kind of a throwback early 90's hip-hop kind of thing but it all just feels too straight-ahead to me, I grew up in an era when they were trying to sell Fruity Pebbles to kiddos with this kind of flow and so it doesn't take much for that to get triggered in my lizard brain when I hear a particular vocal cadence. Obviously the production could sound better, but I'm not particularly bothered by that given your description of the process you went through with the vocal track. I wear a lot of ridiculous clothing, so I appreciate the pro-unicorn vomit message in the lyrics. Is "your clothes" written in that last line of the transcribed lyrics supposed to be "their clothes"?
Vowl Sounds--I have indeed had a cold for the last couple of weeks as Vom mentioned (I have been sending him many undoubtedly annoying anxious emails about "Two Hits" constantly wondering if my vocals sounded too stuffed up and if I should re-record this part or that part!), plus I was already late to a gig when recording the vocals for this song so I'm sure it was not my finest hour for various reasons. Cybronica is right though that it's really mainly a range issue, the low notes are at the bottom of my range and I really wanted that particular note in the melody, so I just went for it instead of switching to something higher and easier to sing, I didn't really anticipate it getting so much attention!

Sometimes for our collabs I will send over an idea I've already been working on in a particular key and that probably results in a better match for my range, sometimes Vom sends me a pretty much completed track in a random key and I guess sometimes that works out and sometimes it doesn't, I'm not sure I have ever sent something back to be transposed because I usually just go for it anyway.

Also Vom I can't believe you only sent me a link to their Bandcamp when you were mentioning the Russian synthpop song before, that video is INCREDIBLE and all of those guys are my new style icon. (Well, except the bassist who looks like he's wearing a Patagonia fleece. But all the other guys and particularly the vaporwave Paul Blart keyboardist! I love him.)
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