Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

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Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Wed Sep 16, 2015 3:58 pm

Write some reviews, after a fashion.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Sat Sep 19, 2015 9:06 pm

hip, glad to see you vote.
I'm not a rapper.
i like the sound of wood.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby Chumpy » Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:59 pm

I write some negative reviews this time around, and a lot of what I don't like comes down to personal taste, and I often mishear lyrics and misunderstand artistic intent. So I'm going to apologize in advance for this as well as my ignorant and narrow-minded prejudices about music. I am sorry.

Berkeley Social Scene
The intertwined guitar melody at the start of this song is sweet, I liked it right away, and the glockenspielesque sounding tones go really nicely with it. The way the vocals are belted out add excitement and the lyrics are good, especially during the bridge. Speaking of bridge, the handclaps and theremin sounds really work. VOTE.

Cygnet
This is a delightfully bleak little ditty about the sad lives of the various townsfolk and how they relate, or do not relate to fashion. It's got an early-mid 19th century vibe due to references to Prussian soldiers and cholera. Super creative, and interesting enough for me to have listened 4-5 times trying to figure it out. I really appreciate good lyrics, the bit about the butcher's wife 'collapsing into lucid dreams of fashion' is one of my favorites of the fight. VOTE.

Free-Jazz Mouth-Hole
One of the most literal and head-on song about fashion in the fight. Things started rather poorly, and I was worried I was going to be in for a rough ride, but it got better after a minute or so. This song has high points. Lines like "it's reflection of their identity reflected through somebody else's identity, reflected through clothing" and "I am unique, please take a peek inside me" I thought worked musically and stylistically, but it was in the end too uneven and manic for me to really enjoy.

Glennny
I'm turned off by the 80s beat right out of the gate, too many bad associations for me. Some of the words I think I hear turn me off even further. Words like 'reconcile', 'relevance', 'reflects', and the phrase 'lest ye', would have gotten a pretension pass from me, but add 'ennui' at the end (especially in a melodically unsatisfying way) and it triggers my punk-rock reflex. The chorus picks me up again and I feel like I have something nice melodically to cling to, but when the verse comes back and I'm back to blah. I like the twin-guitar sound on the first solo.

Hip Hop Anonymous
Content-wise I feel there is too much braggadocio and not enough clever lines about fashion. I'm OK with it being a battle rap, and your rhymes are solid, but I would have been more impressed if they were topical. The beat is good, but got old, some turntable riffs would have really helped. The lines about making fun of lame rappers and posting it to snapchat gave me a sad, and didn't really endear me to your cause.

Inflatable Vegetables
I'm having another unpleasant 80s flashback. Musically it sounds like a mashup of the Knight Rider intro and early Madonna. A SHADOWY FLIGHT INTO THE DANGEROUS WORLD OF A MAN WHO DOES NOT EXIST. The rhymes are good, I especially like the ashen / fashion rhyme. The bridge my favorite part, that line about 'acting like they hate all of humanity' is really good. Ultimately, for me the song's merits don't earn it enough to dig it out from under the debt it racked up with the bad 80s association.

James Owens
The 'woah-oh-oh' riff at the start is quite nice, the bells add a nice wintery feel to the melody. Really liking the singing on this one, Frankie Big Face is not the only Song Fighter with a Bowiesque vocal style in their bag of tricks! I really like the reverb sound backing vocals too, gives them a nice distinctive sound while still staying in the background. I know James mentioned he was unhappy with the drumming, but it sounded fine to me. VOTE.

Jerkatorium
"Meat sounds. You know how when you slap or flap meat, it makes a noise? They talk by flapping their meat at each other. They can even sing by squirting air through their meat."

Johnny Cashpoint
This is easy for me to like, as it slots into my record collection somewhere in between Back in the DHSS and We Are The League. The high frequencies on the solo caused me to wince and quickly reach for my volume knob though, stupid headphones. Not the only reference to Nazis and/or fascism this fight, and j$ referenced goose-stepping last fight, I wonder if Godwin's Law applies to music somehow?
"Nice and quirky. Like the lyrics, but Is this arty enough for Songfight?" --Spud
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby irwin » Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:45 pm

Love the cover art!
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby Toby Roktot » Thu Sep 24, 2015 7:31 pm

back in the states and will review the FASHION tomorrow.....wtf mates? even if you just listen to a song or two...please drop a score..
also, i worked out a song for the ..brother.. entry while on the 9.5 hr flight from venice. the folks on the plane just looked at me funny....not funny haha....more funny like...shut the f up...sayin'
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby Toby Roktot » Fri Sep 25, 2015 7:39 am

I review in the order the songs appear. Maybe I'm just too lazy to figure out the ABC's....

Cygnet--Music and vocals relate a "Don't Worry, Be Happy" vibe. That's nice! The lyrics, not so much. On first listen, the music was my focus. The smooth voice could of been singing the phone-book, I didn't care! After multiple listens, I get the bleak observations of the singer. Notwithstanding the message, I really like the messenger !! VOTE


Glennny--Hmmm.... I generally like everything Glennny does, esp. the artwork. (BTW Glennny, we are renaming the album, so I'll be asking for more cover art soon. Thx) Back to the review...I'm really trying to like this song. The opening music is o k, although, I'm not a fan of the busy, busy throw-back vibe. The vocals try to draw me back in and, do a pretty good job but, despite the effort, fall short.
( the dog crawled under the table during the outro... looking at me like it's MY fault )


BSS--Before I listen, I'm hoping you guys suck !! Well, you don't suck...this time!! But, I WILL hold out hope for the future..
The music is simply beautiful. The guitar draws me away from the insistent, strained sounding vocals. The drums are spot on for this number. I'm going to listen again---- Music is still beautiful but, the vocals just don't work for me. Even the lyrics seem strained. As an instrumental, this is a winner....


Inflatable Vegetables--Another throw-back vibe... I like the music and the chorus vocals. The vocals in the verse are a little harsh sounding. Maybe that's intended. Not a bad song but, not a vote from me. BTW...really like the lyrics. They illustrate the song very well.



Hip Hop Anonymous--You rap very well and I've liked your style in past submissions. It's not that I don't like this one, it's just not the mood I'm in now...not your fault. Also, the dog got up and left the room....sayin'


Johnny Cashpoint--Dog came back and listened VERY intently !! Not sure what she likes about this number. So, I listened again, and again... Johnny you can do sooo much better than this if you just apply yourself !!!
Also, what's with all these harsh vocals dissing Fashion? A bit jaded don't you agree?



James Owens--WOW !!! What a great start....THEN SO BOWIE !!! This will def win this fight....V-ooOoOoo-T-E


Free-Jazz Mouth-Hole--------dog howls........actually, kinda funny


Jerkatorium--Not so fast Owens !!! Bring back that trophy... Great song, well produced, nicely done. Definitely a two song fight this week. I'm gonna vote twice for this one !! (dog's asleep....stupid dog)
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Fri Sep 25, 2015 9:01 am

Toby Roktot wrote:I review in the order the songs appear. Maybe I'm just too lazy to figure out the ABC's....


To see them in alphabetical order, click the album art.

I plan to review soon, although it's the last sprint before ER, for those who know what I'm talkin' about, so we'll see.

Re the reviews so far, thanks. Bowie is how I sound most of the time (although I've been known to do a passable Johnny Cash).
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby jb » Fri Sep 25, 2015 10:31 am

AJOwens wrote:
Toby Roktot wrote:I review in the order the songs appear. Maybe I'm just too lazy to figure out the ABC's....
To see them in alphabetical order, click the album art.


The song order on the front page of songfight.org is randomized when you load the page. This prevents the voting from leaning toward the bands that come earlier alphabetically.

JB
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:00 pm

Berkeley Social Scene - There's a hook thing going on with the guitars, but its punch is diluted by the reverb. The texture is experimental but not quite working for me; the guitars and keyboard don't mesh with the very dry drums and bass. Some good moments in the composition -- "what to wear, what not to wear" comes together. The theremin adds a nice touch.

Cygnet - Imaginative and evocative lyrics, and a simple, tidily executed accompaniment. The melody is striking, but at the fourth line of every verse it flattens out and becomes indistinct. When both syllables of "fashion" stay on the fifth, the effect for me is anticlimactic rather than suspenseful. But I do appreciate the unusual lilting folk character, which is quite well done, and the warm and intimate delivery.

Free-Jazz Mouth-Hole - This gets better as it goes along. Eccentric throughout, it starts out in a random, flippant way; then the observations gradually become more discerning, and the repeated phrases, both verbal and musical, begin to exercise rhetorical effect. The engaging audacity is another point in this entry's favour.

Glennny - A series of interesting textures and arrangements keep this entertaining and lively, but I'm missing a sense of overall arc or direction. The recording is clear and well-balanced. The playing is solid, and a pleasure to listen to.

Hip Hop Anonymous - I don't like to plead genre bias. Some rap or hip-hop (or whatever it is exactly) I like, but this isn't calling to me. Unfortunately, I'm not competent to say why. Usually the repeating musical riff is harmonically or rhythmically quirky or somehow exciting, but this one is unadventurous and uses a falling line, which is probably why it doesn't draw me in. The syncopation in the vocals is usually mesmerizing in some way, but here the pauses and starts seem to disrupt rather than develop an underlying flow. I hasten to add that I don't know from rap or hip-hop or whatever it's called.

Inflatable Vegetables - This starts a little unevenly, but quickly picks up a Lou Reed vibe and has the right lyrics, dry delivery, turns of melody, and accompaniment to carry it through to the end. It comes off as a well-crafted homage to the New York underground scene of the seventies.

James Owens - I tossed this together, meaning to poke fun at the woh-oh-oh school of composition. To do this I needed the standard glockenspiel and synth pad, and I thought I'd have to layer them, but then the Yamaha coughed up a preset called "New Age" that had exactly what I needed, with a bow on it. The words hint at fascism, but I didn't spend a lot of time on them.

Jerkatorium - You seem to have a post-Costello thing going, not that there's anything wrong with that. Maybe it's the organ, or the brisk, enthusiastic bass, or the crisp beat and fast harmonic moves. Anyway this is great. The words are first-rate drollery. The delivery is, well, awesome. The performance is immaculate, the recording and mixing make for pleasant listening, and the whole thing is upbeat and likeable.

Johnny Cashpoint - The composition carries things along well and develops some suspense in the chorus, with some unusual moves. The arrangement feels a bit hollowed out, but part of this may be the largely untreated production, and part of it may be the occasional rhythmic imprecision. The lyrics communicate well. There's more than a tinge of snarkiness about this song, but I'm pretty sure that was your intent.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:04 pm

owens-- think you did a good job this week, vote.
i like the sound of wood.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby Chumpy » Sat Sep 26, 2015 10:26 pm

AJOwens wrote: I tossed this together, meaning to poke fun at the woh-oh-oh school of composition. To do this I needed the standard glockenspiel and synth pad, and I thought I'd have to layer them, but then the Yamaha coughed up a preset called "New Age" that had exactly what I needed, with a bow on it. The words hint at fascism, but I didn't spend a lot of time on them.
Heh, I assume the folks coming to fashion you are the Gestapo? I thought the beginning sounded a bit familiar, but I didn't realize the 'woh-oh-oh' thing was well.. a thing. I managed to find one recent example, complete with glockenspiel, and it's quite pretty too. I feel like there is a canonical example I should know, but I can't think of it. Oh, and thanks for the kind review, I'd love to take credit for the composition, as it's quickly becoming one of my favorites, but my only real contribution to Fashion was the snotty lead vocals and some knob twiddling. Mr. Jerkatorium wrote the song and played most of the instruments, and yes, he's always been awesome.
"Nice and quirky. Like the lyrics, but Is this arty enough for Songfight?" --Spud
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:02 am

Chumpy wrote:Heh, I assume the folks coming to fashion you are the Gestapo? I thought the beginning sounded a bit familiar, but I didn't realize the 'woh-oh-oh' thing was well.. a thing. I managed to find one recent example, complete with glockenspiel, and it's quite pretty too. I feel like there is a canonical example I should know, but I can't think of it. . .

Thanks for digging up that example. There are others, but I can't name them; I just hear them a lot on CBC Radio 2, which my wife likes to listen to. I'll have to make notes. I can't even be sure I didn't rip this one off. I hope not.

The suggestion of fascism is around fashioning your books, your news. I don't know why I didn't rhyme "views;" that would have totally worked. It's not the Gestapo that fashions you, it's the world to which you are bound (drawing on the Latin root of "fascism") -- by convention, by style, by expectation, by media, yada yada. . .
Last edited by AJOwens on Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:04 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Sun Sep 27, 2015 4:03 am

hillbilly wrote:owens-- think you did a good job this week, vote.

You are one laconic dude! :) Thanks for the kind word.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:57 am

hey Clumpy in that video, did you notice the tastefull selective picking those guys were doing.
i like the sound of wood.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby Chumpy » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:27 am

Yeah Hill, sounds quite nice, simple but gets the job done. Her voice and her accent are also very pretty. I like the folky melody a lot.
"Nice and quirky. Like the lyrics, but Is this arty enough for Songfight?" --Spud
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:52 am

yeah i would probably do her. don't know clump if you search some of the later videos ,she has put on a little weight.
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i like the sound of wood.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby Chumpy » Sun Sep 27, 2015 1:49 pm

Sigh. Classy as usual.
"Nice and quirky. Like the lyrics, but Is this arty enough for Songfight?" --Spud
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby j$ » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:15 pm

I've spectacularly failed to review this week and I feel bad as a result. So a serious, non-jaded, hearty slap on the back to Mr. Rokot and all those who found the time to review a *handful* of songs. Seriously, bad me.

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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby hillbilly » Sun Sep 27, 2015 3:27 pm

Johnny Cashpoint--- no matter what happens, you know i still love you.
i like the sound of wood.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby AJOwens » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:15 am

It's unsettling to get so many votes for a song conceived cynically and tossed together on a single Sunday the day before the fight, especially when, in the past, I've laboured for days on so many that I think were much better, but didn't do nearly as well. There's a lesson there somewhere, if not exactly a moral.

Jerkatorium, congratulations! Yours was a good song, well executed.
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Re: Fashion statements (Fashion reviews)

Postby ken » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:57 am

This is what happens after you attend Songfight Live! Congrats Jerkatorium!
Ken's Super Duper Band 'n Stuff - Berkeley Social Scene - Tiny Robots - Seamus Collective - Semolina Pilchards - Cutie Pies - Explino! - Bravo Bros. - 2 from 14 - and more!

i would just like to remind everyone that Ken eats kittens - blue lang

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