What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:06 am

A second try, from notes scrawled over several days. I'm no expert, but everybody has an opinion, and around here everybody wants an opinion, so here goes.

authors of - I like the ambience, but it needs variety. Strong, out-there singing, occasionally reaches. Makes me think of U2 and Robert Fripp.

Balance Lost - Mesmeric. Builds well.

Berkeley Social Scene - A curious lilting rhythm -- hard to tap your feet to. The drum-and-guitar riff adds contrast and helps distinguish the song.

The Colour of Infinity - A dark sound -- something of Nico here. The recording seems slightly muffled, as if overtracked on reel-to-reel; higher frequencies are missing.

Crank Radio - Great energy. Good vocals. The changes keep it lively. I like the angry bashes at the end. Vote.

Everlasting Gobstopper - Thoughtful and moody, but never really breaks into anything. The vocals and guitar could be higher in the mix. I think it needs bass, but then I'm a bass player.

Future Boy - Sweet voices and fine tight harmonies. The words and music communicate a tension between mellowness and angst. The Rhodes dominates, seems to be overdriving.

Glenn and Rachael - Fun, lively, good hook.

Gooey Caramel Centaur - There's a good song in there, but it's hard to get past the cramped recording. Stereo separation would make a big difference. Also move away from the mic and let your voice out.

The Hell Yeahs - This one made me smile. Infectious singing, great work on all the instruments. The lyrics have a rhythmic life all their own. Vote? Hell, yeah!

James Owens - I tried for a protest song about G8-like events, with an olde-worlde celtic scale and lyric. But it made itself into a railroad work song, so I added a train-meets-crossing blast for harmony. I gather the sledge-meets-spike should have sounded bigger. Originally I laid down a rhythm track using vinyl record noise (Meet the Beatles, of course) to give it an antique feel, but it sounded cleaner without. Maybe I should have left that in, or faded it gradually.

Jeff Robertson and the Neo-Candylanders - Dylanesque folk. The slide guitar is a nice touch. I like the second vocal best when it's an actual harmony.

The John Benjamin Band - You've taken classic chords and, uh, opened up some new possibilities.

Jon Eric - Has momentum. Kind of uncontrolled, but you knew that. Great harmonica work.

Kasper - Clever lyrics, nice over-the-top delivery.

King Arthur - Very melodic at all levels, and the melodic interplay is well done. Good contrasts. Nice bass work. Vote.

Lord of Oats - Interesting synth backing. The vocals have a nice angst quality. The song has the same intensity throughout, maybe needs to develop more.

Melvin is God - This one has lots of personality and plenty of changes, well-matched to the lyrics.

Naked Philosophy - I heard a fourth chord!

Octothorpe - A fine class-war song, complete with a chant for the masses. I can relate.

Paco del Stinko - Hard-driving rock with touches of Zappa, metal, punk, eccentric changes, beautifully arranged and powerfully delivered, with a well-done faux-live intro and outro. You guys don't need lessons from anybody. Vote.

Pathetic Wannabees - Excellent screaming! I hear hints of Beefheart and Pere Ubu.

Raised by Wolves - This builds a fine textured, sombre mood, only to break it when the rhythm changes late in the song.

Rone Rivendale - I recognize the lyrrics from Melvin is God. I gather there's some kind of in-joke going on here. Discombobulated and completely fascinating.

Scomber and Friends - The vocal inflections sell the song. Some fine bass work here. The chorus synth is a bit busy for me, or maybe just too prominent, but that's a nitpick. Vote.

The Sky Looks Pissed - An effective simplicity, with thoughtful lyrics. Recorded too low. The song builds to the spoken part, but the spoken part feels anticlimactic.

Sockpuppet - Highly spontaneous!

The Stypod Queers Experiment - At first I thought this was about a disaffected telephone repairman, but then I realized you weren't singing "butt set" at all. The unison creates a manic effect. I think the bass is overdriving a bit.

Surf Train Surf Industry - The starting rhythm feels stilted, but when the rest of the synths arrive, this song arrives. Gorgeous harmonies. Vote.

Todd McHatton - A pretty song, light and airy and sweet, with excellent guitar playing. The reverb is a bit heavy and threatens to bury it.

The Voice Inside Your Head - Another train song! I can relate. Clever lyrics -- I didn't check your figures. The semitone lifts are perfect.

The Weakest Suit - Tight rhythm playing. The hammering repetitions are effective for the song, but would be strengthened by more instruments (like a bass!). The guitar recording sounds thick, as if overcompressed.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Generic » Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:39 am

AJOwens wrote:Rone Rivendale - I recognize the lyrrics from Melvin is God. I gather there's some kind of in-joke going on here.


Melvin is God is actually another Songfighter in disguise, and both of his entries so far have used lyrics he stole from Rone. Rone's the original there.

Also, Rone, if someone actually recognizes your lyrics, I think you might be starting to do something right. Wow!

Also: AJ:
AJOwens wrote:Kind of uncontrolled


:lol:
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Eric Y. » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:43 am

Mr. Owens, thank you for listening, and thanks for putting the effort into commenting.
AJOwens wrote:The semitone lifts are perfect.
Glad people are appreciating that -- it wasn't easy, actually, since I only have two (diatonic) harmonicas, one "D" and one "G", so I had to record some of the parts in the wrong key and pitch-shift them upwards. (The guitar and bass were recorded exactly as they sound, though).
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:53 am

eric Y wrote:
I had to record some of the parts in the wrong key and pitch-shift them upwards


When I pitch-shift using Goldwave, even if only by a semitone, some flange-like distortion is introduced (at least, when the length is held constant). What processing software did you use?
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Eric Y. » Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:00 am

I think I used a plug-in effect that is part of Sonic Foundry's Sound Forge... I didn't experience any distortion or anything flange-like, but there were a couple of electronic "chirps" -- like the nasty artifacts that show up in an mp3 when there was a hiccup during downloading. I had to dice up the harmonica tracks a bit to insert a little piece of "good" sound to replace the "bad" sections.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Generic » Wed Jul 22, 2009 2:35 pm

Eric Y. wrote:Mr. Owens, thank you for listening, and thanks for putting the effort into commenting.
AJOwens wrote:The semitone lifts are perfect.
Glad people are appreciating that -- it wasn't easy, actually, since I only have two (diatonic) harmonicas, one "D" and one "G", so I had to record some of the parts in the wrong key and pitch-shift them upwards. (The guitar and bass were recorded exactly as they sound, though).


I've done that before. It's infuriating to record something that sounds so off, but the results are worth it.

Okay, so I was jabbing at you because I thought you and I had done the same thing, but I lifted by whole tones, and you only lifted by half-tones. I guess yours is more impressive. :)
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Eric Y. » Wed Jul 22, 2009 5:51 pm

Not that impressive. Mine was multitracked, not recorded live.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby jeff robertson » Wed Jul 22, 2009 6:49 pm

Generic wrote:
Eric Y. wrote:Mr. Owens, thank you for listening, and thanks for putting the effort into commenting.
AJOwens wrote:The semitone lifts are perfect.
Glad people are appreciating that -- it wasn't easy, actually, since I only have two (diatonic) harmonicas, one "D" and one "G", so I had to record some of the parts in the wrong key and pitch-shift them upwards. (The guitar and bass were recorded exactly as they sound, though).


I've done that before. It's infuriating to record something that sounds so off, but the results are worth it.


When I've been faced with this harmonica issue, I temporarily pitch-shifted the other tracks into the harmonica's key while recording it.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby deetak » Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:30 pm

My picks were The Hell Yeahs and Paco. Songs that didn't quite do it for me, but had some singing that I liked most, were Jon Eric's and Crank Radio's (the chorus before, and 3:15 to end). I like the last third of James Owens' with the harmonizing.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Heather. Redmon. » Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:13 pm

yay!
jack wrote:heather is the hardest working mom on songfight (in addition to being arguably the rockinist chick....).

Listen to our music!
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:36 am

Deetak wrote:
I like the last third of James Owens' with the harmonizing.


Thanks for the feedback!

Harmonizing is a strong suit for me. Singing is not. I should have known better than to offer a near a capella performance the fist time out (or maybe ever!). But I wrote the song while cycling to and from work, and that's how it came out.

Next time, if the muse is kind, there will be more instrumentation, and a more contemporary sensibility. I do write completely other stuff, I promise. Meanwhile I'm off to a beach in PEI for a couple of weeks.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby drë » Fri Jul 24, 2009 3:51 pm

Eric Y. wrote:EDIT: For your reviewing convenience--

Thanks, Eric.

SFL09 sounded like a blast, wished i had been able to attend, but i'll do quick reviews instead.
Man i love this place.

authors of - i like some of the music here, but after a while it just rambles on and on. your trying tho.

Balance Lost -at first i was like WTF? did The Streets go soft on us? but then i started really liking it, specially how it slowly builds.. on and on.. the piano loop doesn't get boring, as its very well layered. wish it had some distorted guitars or bass towards the end, just to give it that extra edge and make it more powerful, but i still digg it the way its is.

Berkeley Social Scene - i enjoyed the cassenopoint interview Ken. as for this.. live recording ..blah. cool intro by glennny tho.

The Colour of Infinity - i really like the drums on this..beats. the vocals are making me sleepy however. good music! underpar vocals.

Crank Radio - Mico, abc..guy..whomever, this is a great song. i keep playing it over and over. great energy, great vibe. don't know how it didn't win the SFL fight, vote.

Everlasting Gobstopper - wish the acoustic guitar was better recorded, or equalize to fit with the decent lead parts. the tones of both guitars are way off. the vocals are sappy and weak, but well sung. not a bad song, could use a better mixing/production..best part: lead guitar. starts to just run on and on... after a while.

Future Boy -... Future boy is still around and playing. the beat is a bit cheesy, other than that it has a good vibe, like the one use to get a girl on the couch. also like how warm the instruments sound.

Glenn and Rachael - 1.2.3.................... Great Song, you two hopelessly romantics. i hope u get to record this in the studio. its a keeper.

Gooey Caramel Centaur - mmmmmm. dono man. dono.

The Hell Yeahs - best part, are some of the instrumental breaks... it sounds pretty typical THY (ever thought about experimenting a bit?)

James Owens - Browny points for creativity here. you must listen to a lot a medieval music, James. i like how it slowly builds with the story telling. very different and refreshing. thanks.

Jeff Robertson and the Neo-Candylanders - Jeff, Mr Flapjack... i have a sweet spot for your rootsy songs like this. they rock! Slide guitar with tired weathered vocals, very authentic. there something very true and genuine about your songs(well some of them). VOte.

The John Benjamin Band - good songwriting JB. get this studio recorded and try to sell it to Pfizer for one of their ED commercials, then it would be a legacy!

Jon Eric - decent live recording, i like how you sing "8 months pregnant, god did it show"... and then you screw up but follow with a quick recovery......

Kasper - funny little Irish ditty about the jacksons... liked the different musical parts.

King Arthur - KA never lets me down. truly enjoyable tune with interesting lyrics, however i find them hard to follow at times. wish you had posted them. i like how you keep the listener always in suspend trying to figure out who are these people? what is this song about? i digg it. VOTE.

Lord of Oats - Oatsi, i like this man. its very you, your style, and well produced. good lyrics, with good delivery.

Melvin is God -this actually sounds like melvin's voice.. and if it is Melvin.. ARE U ON FUCKING DRUGS? yes the old dr jekyll and mr hyde story. how does that story end again? lame song. (edit..i just heard Ron, nvmind.)

Naked Philosophy - songs like this, written on the whim of the moment make for a great time capsule. glad you wrote it.

Octothorpe - 1. 2. ..3... here i go...avant garde rock. this is actualy catchy after a while. just like a huge fuckoff chant. sounded fun, wish i could have been there.

Paco del Stinko - your a nutcase paco, but it takes a nutcase to mimic so many different voices. ROcking tune! i like when it gets a bit chaotic..and then it picks up again. VOTE. also congrats on your win the other win, well deserved as it was a long time coming.

Pathetic Wannabees - i like the funk in this. groovy.

Raised by Wolves - A cut above the rest work. I get a very 80s Gothic vibe, yet not Cureish. vocals too soft, evrything else sound great.

Rone Rivendale - yeah Rone. Props for the creativity here.

Scomber and Friends - theirs some beautiful music here, but their something dragging it down. not sure if its the vocals or lyrics... i think the vocals need a better delivery, it sounds like your reading the lyrics while singing, other than that good composition.

The Sky Looks Pissed - i really like this. some people can do sadppy guy and guitar songs others cant. this is a good example of a lofi G&g. maybe this is what coner oberest sounded when he was 13.. who knows. VOTE.

Sockpuppet - Seattle SF bands have the whole jazz/avant garde/spoken poetry, coner cover. this is good, good poetry Fluffy.

The Stypod Queers Experiment - decent stoner music. this would be 100X better if i was high righ now.

Surf Train Surf Industry - hey STSI is still around. not your best song i have heard..but yet still creative and sounds like your trying new things. props.

Todd McHatton - this is good, folky and laid back. love the tone of that acoustic, wish most people could capture that tone, its full, warm, not too bright, not too heavy, with the perfect mid. this is great actually, wish it had some additional instruments sporadically for added dimensions. VOTE.

The Voice Inside Your Head - those drums panned hard to the left, sound really bad, why woudent u have them on the center? this is actually a funny song, great thinking. best part is the bass line, worse part the drums.. with the vocals and guitar somewhere in between.

The Weakest Suit - At first the song sounded weak..but then you got me with that chorus..i gotta say, did you take that rhythm from a popular song?
I HAVE HEARD BEFORE! "they got, ta ta ta ta..." man what song is that?
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Eric Y. » Fri Jul 24, 2009 4:32 pm

drë wrote:Thanks, Eric.
You're welcome! Thank you!
drë wrote:those drums panned hard to the left...
Funny you should mention. Until I get my hands on the set of drum mics I've had my eyes on for a long time, I'm stuck with a simple stereo array. Every time I've ever recorded drums, I've used approximately the same panning -- snare mic panned about halfway to the right, kick drum mic near the middle, and it's been moderately workable. Anyway, somehow I accidentally reversed the outputs from the mixer going into the sound card, and the snare ended up on the wrong side. I would've re-recorded it once I realized, but I was pretty happy with that last take, so I left it alone, and kinda built the rest of the tracks' panning around that. Sorry you didn't like it.

(PS, I'm sure somewhere in my recording software is the option to swap channels, but I didn't feel like looking for it.)
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby The Weakest Suit » Fri Jul 24, 2009 5:33 pm

drë wrote:The Weakest Suit - At first the song sounded weak..but then you got me with that chorus..i gotta say, did you take that rhythm from a popular song?
I HAVE HEARD BEFORE! "they got, ta ta ta ta..." man what song is that?

i don't think you mean this, but this is what i think my mind was thinking about when i was writing my song.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Black Tyrano » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:23 pm

Future Boy: Holy shit, dude. Nice voice/harmonies. I joined the forum just to say that, although I'll try to stick around now that I'm in here. Anyway, your track stands out to me as fantastic. I really like the feel, and the warmth, as I believe someone else already mentioned. Your keys may very well be overdriving, but I don't even /care/. The lyrical pacing and stuff fits well too. Props.

Also, Glenn and Rachel, I hope you make a nice recording of this one, as I think that would really let some of the drowned out elements shine through.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby king_arthur » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:33 pm

drë wrote:King Arthur - KA never lets me down. truly enjoyable tune with interesting lyrics, however i find them hard to follow at times. wish you had posted them. i like how you keep the listener always in suspend trying to figure out who are these people? what is this song about? i digg it. VOTE.


Thanks much! I will try to get the lyrics posted, but I have to go back and listen to the song and figure out what changed between typing them up and actually singing them :-)

As far as "who these people are," I've been attending an Asperger's support group lately - I'm not positive I have it, but it seems like the more I learn about it, the more I go, "umm, yeah, that's me." The Mrs. is entirely convinced, and she's generally right about things much more often than I am... anyway, a lot of the stories in the song came from things that happened at those meetings, and if some of the stories contradict each other a bit... well, they say every aspie is different...

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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:38 pm

drë wrote:
you must listen to a lot a medieval music, James.


Thanks for the review. The melody echoes traditional English folk songs. Two that come to mind are John Barleycorn Must Die, covered by Traffic ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-q4LvXZNOuI ), and Lovely Joan, which Ralph Vaughan Williams worked into his Fantasia on Greensleeves ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlABnm6g4fI, around the 1:43 mark). [i]Lovely Joan[i/] has delightful lyrics ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovely_Joan ).
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Ethan » Fri Jul 24, 2009 8:06 pm

drë wrote:The Sky Looks Pissed - i really like this. some people can do sadppy guy and guitar songs others cant. this is a good example of a lofi G&g. maybe this is what coner oberest sounded when he was 13.. who knows. VOTE.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_(Conor_Oberst_album)

well... i guess kinda
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby Future Boy » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:01 pm

Thanks for the props Black Tyrano. It's interesting to me that people hear the rhodes as being overdriven. I've maybe overcompressed it, but I don't think overdriven is the right word. What it sounds like to me is that I may have played the two tracks a little *too* in sync and there is some weird phasing going on or something. I mostly hear the keyboard as being not defined enough, not warm enough, but I left it as is because I made the song the day before the deadline and had to call it done. The funny thing is, if there is in fact some frequency canceling going on in there, due to phase issues, it totally fits with the last line couple line of the song, which makes me want to leave it as is, since I considered doing some intentional signal canceling through inverted phase.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby fluffy » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:31 pm

king_arthur wrote:
drë wrote:King Arthur - KA never lets me down. truly enjoyable tune with interesting lyrics, however i find them hard to follow at times. wish you had posted them. i like how you keep the listener always in suspend trying to figure out who are these people? what is this song about? i digg it. VOTE.


Thanks much! I will try to get the lyrics posted, but I have to go back and listen to the song and figure out what changed between typing them up and actually singing them :-)

As far as "who these people are," I've been attending an Asperger's support group lately - I'm not positive I have it, but it seems like the more I learn about it, the more I go, "umm, yeah, that's me." The Mrs. is entirely convinced, and she's generally right about things much more often than I am... anyway, a lot of the stories in the song came from things that happened at those meetings, and if some of the stories contradict each other a bit... well, they say every aspie is different...

Charles (KA)

man, if you've made it this far in life without knowing about it you probably don't have it

asperger's is the new ADHD. the 'tests' for it are so vague that bascially anyone who has ever had any sort of bad interpersonal relationship (read ANYONE) would 'test' positive for it. unless an actual trained psychologist has run a full psychiatric evaluation on you and said you're an asspie I really would not take any sort of diagnosis with more than a grain of salt. especially when it comes from other "asspies" because they're all "ONE OF US GOOBLE GOBBLE"
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby The Weakest Suit » Sat Jul 25, 2009 6:30 am

fluffy wrote:asperger's is the new ADHD. the 'tests' for it are so vague that bascially anyone who has ever had any sort of bad interpersonal relationship (read ANYONE) would 'test' positive for it.

i blame the tv show House for the "popularity" and "glamorization" of aspergers in recent years.
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Re: What Happens at the Butchers Convention? (They Meet Reviews)

Postby king_arthur » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:10 am

Yeah, well, it's a name for a "condition" that ranges from very mild to almost autistic, and I'm certainly on the mild side. It's just what I'm looking at right now to try to find clues to help me sort out some particularly problematic areas in my life. And the group meetings are... interesting...

Actually, wasn't it "Boston Legal" that had the asperger's character? He had a lot of weird movements, clicking and stuff, but I guess just having a character with no social skills wasn't dramatic enough. Or didn't justify being given a name. I don't think I've met anybody at the meetings who had as many tics as that guy did...

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